In one fell swoop, Image-Line has given computer musicians two things they might have thought they’d never see.

One is a version of FL Studio that runs on the Mac – something the developer once actually vowed openly would never happen, but which is now actually happening in beta. See video, above.

The other is a full-featured music app for Windows 8 touch devices you can download from the Windows Store. It turns that touch-enabled Windows tablet or laptop into something that’s more than a Windows PC you jab your finger at, wishing your finger were a mouse. See video, below.

The details:

I’m a Mac: Finally, here’s a version of FL Studio, the long-beloved Windows-only music workstation, that you can use on your Mac without booting Windows. It’s not native, but it seems like it might still be usable for those who don’t care to reboot. FL Studio doesn’t really look like a normal Windows app, either, and on the Mac, it’s still happy to use your audio interfaces and controllers and such.

In fact, one “bug” in not having a native Mac app is even a feature. Because it’s built in a custom wrapper based on Crossover, FL Studio on OS X runs Windows VST plug-ins. So, if you’ve been jealous of a particular plug-in – many of them free – you now can now run them without rebooting.

Okay, granted, they do have some caveats. They do warn you that they can’t guarantee third-party plug-ins will work (well, that’s usually true), and that it’s provided as-is, and might not work, and they’re not supporting it, and you could just go run Boot Camp, and they can’t be held responsible if it kills your cat, and in the end, could cause your eyebrows to catch fire. Apart from that, though, it’s the same as a native app.

Wait a minute. All these dire warnings are making me more intrigued, not less. (TRY APP. SMASH! GO BOOM!) Let us know your results.

Since this is a non-native app, you’ll want to watch the installation video for an idea of what to expect:

FL Studio Mac OSX Beta

Hint, guys: there’s a space between OS and X. You’ll get used to this, I swear.

I’m a PC: If you’re looking forward to some spare time on your hands to settle back on the couch with one of these new touch-enabled Windows tablets and laptops – Steve Ballmer, Steve Sinofsky, we’re looking at you – now at last you have a native touch app to make it worthwhile. FL Studio Groove is an all-new, from-the-ground-up app for touch built in Windows’ newest tools and available via Microsoft’s app store.

There’s actually a nice array of tools here. You get a piano roll, mixer, and sequencer, plus tools for drums (with layered samples spread across ten drum pads), built-in effects, a synth, and automation recording. This is certainly the sort of thing that’s available on iOS, but consider that on Windows, your laptop might just transform into a tablet so that you can switch from FL Studio sessions on the desktop to mobile, touch-centric work in this app. And FL Studio itself is also touch-enabled, so you can do all of this on one machine.

I hope to soon have some hardware suitable for testing. It is a little puzzling that Image-Line aren’t saying more about how the touch app and desktop FL Studio fit together, given they share the same name and workflow integration would be a no-brainer. But it is nice to see a Windows-style app in this space.






And a tutorial to get you going: