FL Studio
Original author(s)Didier Dambrin
Developer(s)Image-Line Software
Initial releaseApril 26, 1998; 26 years ago (1998-04-26) (as FruityLoops)
Stable release
21.2.3 / February 8, 2024; 4 months ago (2024-02-08)[2]
Written inDelphi, Assembly language[3][4]
Operating systemmacOS, Windows
Available inEnglish, German, French, Spanish, Chinese
TypeDigital audio workstation

FL Studio (known as FruityLoops before 2003)[5] is a digital audio workstation (DAW) developed by the Belgian company Image-Line. It features a graphical user interface with a pattern-based[6] music sequencer. It is available in four different editions for Microsoft Windows and macOS.[7]

After their initial purchase, lifetime updates of the software are free to registered users.[8][9] Image-Line also develops FL Studio Mobile for Android, iOS, macOS, and Universal Windows Platform devices.[10]

FL Studio can be used as either a Virtual Studio Technology (VST) or Audio Unit (AU) instrument in other audio workstation programs, and as a ReWire client. Image-Line offers its own VST and AU instruments and audio applications. FL Studio has been used by many notable hip hop and EDM producers, including 9th Wonder, Cardo, Basshunter, Metro Boomin, Hit-Boy, Porter Robinson, Alan Walker, Madeon, Soulja Boy, Southside, Martin Garrix, Avicii, Imanbek, Lex Luger, and Deadmau5.[11][12]


The first version of FruityLoops (1.0.0) was developed by Didier Dambrin and was partially released on December 18, 1997.[13] Its official launch was in early 1998, when it was still a four-channel[14] MIDI drum machine.[15] Dambrin became Chief Software Architect for the program,[9] and it quickly underwent a series of large upgrades that made it into a popular and complex digital audio workstation.

Image-Line renamed FruityLoops to FL Studio in mid 2003, after the company's attempt to obtain a US trademark prompted concerns from Kellogg's.[16] and to improve the software's marketability.[5][failed verification] Software piracy was a major issue in the company's early days, and it took nearly 5 years for the company to earn money from users purchasing legitimate licenses.[11]

A macOS-compatible version of FL Studio was released on May 22, 2018.[17]



FL Studio comes in several editions with different levels of functionality. The free trial version includes all of the program's features, all plugins, and allows users to render project audio to WAV, MIDI, MP3, FLAC and OGG.[7] Projects saved while in demo mode, however, can only be opened once FL Studio and its plugins have been registered. Also, instrument presets cannot be saved and the audio output of some instruments is cut out momentarily every few minutes until the program and its plugins have been registered.[18]

Fruity Edition

The Fruity Edition allows users to access the playlist, piano roll, and event automation features, which allow complex and lengthy arranging and sequencing. There is also VST/ReWire support so that FL Studio can be an instrument in other hosts such as Cubase, Sonic Solutions, and Logic. As of version 21.0.3, this edition includes 84 instruments and effects; it does not support audio recording and the use of audio clips.[19]

Producer Edition

The Producer Edition includes all of the features of the Fruity Edition, as well as full audio recording for internal and external audio and post-production tools. It allows hand-drawing point and curve based splines (referred to as "automation clips"). Plugins include Edison, Slicex (loop slicer and re-arranger), Sytrus, Maximus, Vocodex and Synthmaker. It also allows waveform viewing of audio clips and the ability to add cue points.[20]

Signature Bundle

This edition includes the Producer Edition plus a series of plugins such as the Fruity Video Player, DirectWave Sampler, Harmless, NewTone, Pitcher, Gross Beat, and the Hardcore Guitar Effects Suite.[20]

All Plugins Edition

The All Plugins Edition includes the Signature Bundle and extra plugins, particularly synthesizers.

FL Studio Mobile

On June 21, 2011, Image-Line released FL Studio Mobile for iOS and in April 2013 for Android. Both support the ability to create multi-track projects on mobile devices including iPod Touches, iPhones, iPads,[10] Android 2.3.3, and higher smartphones and tablets.


Groove, a standalone Groovebox-style application optimised for touch-based music creation, was released for Windows 8 on September 2, 2013.[21]

FL Cloud

FL Cloud is a sub-brand launched by Image Line on October 26, 2023, encompassing online products and services for music production, with tools for mastering, music distribution, and accessing a curated selection of audio samples. Its features include:

· Sounds: Similar to FL Studio FLEX, FL Cloud allows seamless integration of audio samples directly within FL Studio. Content can be download directly into the FL Studio project, eliminating the need for external libraries or manual file management. There are free and subscription options. The subscription option provides access to a wider range of sounds compared to the free version. Alternatively users can purchase non-expiring Download Credits to access the same sample library as available while subscribed.

· Mastering: FL Cloud offers both free and paid options for professional-grade mastering. The free tier provides basic tools, while the paid subscription unlocks advanced features and additional mastering effects.

· Music Distribution: Included with the subscription offering, music distribution allows users to directly upload their music to major streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and more.


System requirements

This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (March 2023)

FL Studio 21 works on Windows 7/8/10/11 or later (32-bit or 64-bit versions) or on Mac OS.[8] FL Studio processes audio using an internal 32-bit floating point engine. It supports sampling rates up to 192 kHz using either WDM- or ASIO-enabled drivers.[9]

Program features

The mixer interface allows for any number of channel configurations. This allows mixing in 2.1, 5.1, or 7.1 surround sound, as long as the output hardware interface has an equivalent number of outputs. The mixer also supports audio-in, enabling FL Studio to record multitrack audio.[28][non-primary source needed]

FL Studio supports audio time stretching and pitch scaling, beat slicing, chopping, and editing of audio, and as of version 12.9 it can record up to 125 simultaneous audio tracks.[29][non-primary source needed] Other key features include a digital piano roll. Audio can be imported or exported as WAV, MP3, OGG, FLAC, MIDI, ZIP, or the native project format with an .FLP filename extension.[9]

The trial allows users to save projects, but does not allow reopening them. Tracks may be exported to any of the available file formats.[30]


FL Studio comes with a variety of plugins and generators (software synthesizers) written in the program's own native plugin architecture. FL Studio also has support for third-party VST and DirectX plugins.[31] The API has a built in wrapper for full VST, VST2, VST3, DX, and ReWire compatibility.

Although FL Studio's own plugins are set to be available only in their native format in the future, some of them also function independently as standalone programs and can be purchased in VST format for use with other DAWs.

Virtual effects

FL Studio is bundled with a variety of sound processing effects, including common audio effects such as chorus, compression, distortion, delay, flanger, phaser, reverb, gate, equalization, vocoding, maximization, and limiting.


FL Studio's install contains the entirety of native software synthesizers, internally labeled as "generators". Depending on the edition of the program, some will be locked in trial mode until the synth itself or a software upgrade is purchased.


Harmor is Image-Line's flagship synthesizer. Initially released in late 2011 as a successor to Harmless, it was envisioned as a way to work with additive synthesis through an interface typical of subtractive synthesizers. It also includes many functions previously found within individual FL Studio utilities. such as the ability to produce sounds from pictures fed into the synth (known as image resynthesis).


Sytrus is an FM synthesizer with an internal effects module and additional wavetable capabilities. Its architecture can let it interface directly with patches from Yamaha DX7 units, allowing it to import original SYSEX data.[32]

Dedicated hardware

As with other DAW developers, Image-Line has collaborated with hardware manufacturers on two occasions, resulting in the release of products branded and compatible with FL Studio.[33]

The first was the Akai FIRE, a MIDI controller with touch and pressure-sensitive buttons modelled after the software's channel rack pattern editor. Released in 2018, it can be used as a pattern editor, keyboard, drumpad, multi-colour peak visualizer and performance controller. A distinctive feature of the Akai FIRE is that up to 4 units can be connected to a single instance of FL Studio, chained together or with a different mode set for each. It is sold in two variants, one coming without extra software (aimed at existing FL Studio users), and one bundled with an exclusive version of the Fruity edition called the Fruity Fire Edition.

The latter of these involvements is currently the Novation FL Key line of controllers. It consists of two redesigned MIDI Keyboards – dubbed the FL Key Mini and the FL Key 37, the latter being larger in keybed and size – originally from Novation's own Launchkey line, modified to have a grey case and an FL Studio-themed RGB lighting palette.

Despite some initial traction regarding the Akai FIRE's unusual velocity implementation, both units have gone on to receive broadly positive reception from the professional press.[34][35]


FL Studio has been praised for its simplicity, power, and ease of use.[36][37] Jamie Lendino of PCMag wrote that "While [FL Studio is] still clearly geared for electronic music production 'in the box,' as opposed to recording live musicians playing acoustic instruments, you can record or create just about any kind of audio project with it."[38] Criticisms include a difficult audio recording system.[39][40]

Toby Fox used the program to make the soundtrack to Undertale and Deltarune.[41]

See also


  1. ^ "Evolution of the FL Studio logo". 2021-05-13 – via Facebook.
  2. ^ "History | FL Studio". image-line.com. Image-Line Software. Retrieved 2023-11-01.
  3. ^ Deahl, Dani (2018-05-23). "Music production software FL Studio is now available for Mac". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  4. ^ "Image-Line Software Case Study". Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  5. ^ a b "History". FL Studio. Archived from the original on 2011-10-26. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
  6. ^ "Working with Patterns in FL Studio 20". MusicTech. 2018-09-05. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
  7. ^ a b "What is FL Studio?". image-line.com. Image-Line Software. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
  8. ^ a b "FL Studio Overview". image-line.com. Image-Line Software. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
  9. ^ a b c d "FL Studio Video". OVGuide. Archived from the original on 2012-03-17. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
  10. ^ a b "FL Studio Mobile". image-line.com. Image-Line Software. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
  11. ^ a b Weiss, Dan (2016-10-12). "The Unlikely Rise of FL Studio, The Internet's Favorite Production Software". Vice. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
  12. ^ "Power Users". www.image-line.com. Archived from the original on 2019-04-02. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
  13. ^ "FL Studio 1.0". www.image-line.com. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
  14. ^ Silva, Joe. "Review: Image-Line FL Studio 8". Music Tech Magazine. Archived from the original on 2013-04-21. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
  15. ^ Ahmed, Insanul (2010-06-12). "Review: Producer Lex Luger Talks About Working With Rick Ross & Waka Flocka". Archived from the original on 2012-09-25. Retrieved 2020-04-22. All I needed is Fruity Loops, my laptop, and my headphones, and I'm going in.
  16. ^ McGlynn, Declan (2020-04-20). "How FL Studio changed electronic music forever". DJMag.com. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
  17. ^ Deahl, Dani (2018-05-23). "Music production software FL Studio is now available for Mac". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
  18. ^ "Limitations in demo version". image-line.com. Image-Line Software. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  19. ^ Studio, F. L. "Compare Features and Pricing - Editions". FL Studio. Retrieved 2023-06-11.
  20. ^ a b "Editions". image-line.com. Image-Line Software. Retrieved 2015-04-26.
  21. ^ "FL Studio Groove App". image-line.com. Image-Line Software. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
  22. ^ "FL Cloud". www.image-line.com. Retrieved 2023-11-16.
  23. ^ FL STUDIO by Image-line (2009-09-18), FL Studio 9 Introductory video, archived from the original on 2021-11-10, retrieved 2018-01-12
  24. ^ "FL Studio 10 is here!". Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  25. ^ "FL Studio 11 Out Now!". Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  26. ^ "Announcing FL Studio 12". 22 April 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  27. ^ "FL STUDIO 20 Released!". www.image-line.com. 7 May 2018. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
  28. ^ "Mixer Explained". www.image-line.com. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  29. ^ "FL Studio 12.9 BETA 1 [Expires 15th Jan 2018] - Image-Line". forum.image-line.com. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  30. ^ "Version Features". www.image-line.com. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  31. ^ Kirn, Peter (31 March 2010). "Image-Line FL Studio 9: Creative Jump-Starter Like No Other". Keyboard Magazine. Future Publishing. Archived from the original on 2011-05-12.
  32. ^ "Sytrus - Instrument". www.image-line.com. Retrieved 2022-09-27.
  33. ^ "MIDI Controllers". FL Studio. Retrieved 2022-09-27.
  34. ^ Truss, Si (2019-02-04). "Akai Professional Fire review". MusicRadar. Retrieved 2022-09-27.
  35. ^ Jones, Hollin. "Novation FLkey 37 & FLkey Mini review: Excellent controllers for FL Studio with deep project integration". MusicTech. Retrieved 2022-09-27.
  36. ^ "How FL Studio changed electronic music forever". DJMag.com. 2020-04-20. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
  37. ^ "How to Use FL Studio | Sweetwater". inSync. 2020-04-23. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
  38. ^ "Image-Line FL Studio Review". PCMAG. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
  39. ^ August 2018, Si Truss 19 (19 August 2018). "Image-Line FL Studio 20 review". MusicRadar. Retrieved 2020-05-12.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  40. ^ "Image Line FL Studio". www.soundonsound.com. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
  41. ^ Fox, Toby. "UNDERTALE Help, FAQ and Troubleshooting". undertale.com. Retrieved 2024-04-17. FL Studio. I often write the melodies and chords using a keyboard first.