FL Studio
The logo for FL Studio. This is seen on latest versions and while the workstation is on.
The logo for FL Studio. This is seen on latest versions and while the workstation is on.
Original author(s)Didier Dambrin
Developer(s)Image-Line Software
Initial releaseApril 26, 1998; 24 years ago (1998-04-26) (as FruityLoops)
Stable release
20.9.2 / March 11, 2022; 2 months ago (2022-03-11)[1]
Written inDelphi, Assembly Language[2][3]
Operating systemmacOS, Windows
Available inEnglish, Dutch, Chinese
TypeDigital audio workstation

FL Studio (previously known as FruityLoops before 2003)[4] is a digital audio workstation (DAW) developed by the Belgian company Image-Line.

FL Studio features a graphical user interface with a pattern-based[5] music sequencer. The program is available in four different editions for Microsoft Windows and macOS.[6]

Image-Line offers lifetime free updates to the program after one-time purchases, which means customers receive all future updates of the software for free after their purchase.[7][8] Image-Line also develops FL Studio Mobile for Android, iOS, macOS and Universal Windows Platform devices. [9]

FL Studio can also be used as either a virtual studio technology (VST) or Audio Unit (AU) instrument in other audio workstation programs and also functions as a ReWire client. Image-Line also offers its own VST and AU instruments and audio applications. FL Studio has been used by numerous highly visible hip hop and EDM producers, including Porter Robinson, Alan Walker, Madeon, Soulja Boy, Southside, Martin Garrix, Avicii, Imanbek and Deadmau5.[10][11]


The first version of FruityLoops (1.0.0) was developed by Didier Dambrin and was partially released in December 18, 1997.[12] Its official launch was in early 1998, when it was still a four-channel[13] MIDI drum machine.[14] Dambrin became Chief Software Architect for the program,[8][15] and it quickly underwent a series of large upgrades that made it into a popular and complex digital audio workstation.

FruityLoops was renamed "FL Studio" in 2003, after the threat of a lawsuit from Kellogg's and to improve the software's marketability.[4] 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.[10]

On May 22, 2018, a macOS-compatible version of FL Studio was released.[16]



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, and OGG.[6] 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 will cut out momentarily every few minutes until the program and its plugins have been registered.[17]

Fruity Edition

The Fruity Edition allows users to access the playlist, piano roll, and event automation features, which allow for 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 20.8.3 this edition includes 82 instruments and effects. It does not support audio recording and the use of audio clips.[18] See more details about its features and limitations on the official website here. °°–—§

Producer Edition

The Producer Edition includes all of the features of the Fruity Edition, as well as full recording for internal and external audio and post-production tools. It allows for 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 for waveform viewing of audio clips and the ability to add cue points.[19]

Signature Bundle

This edition includes the Producer Edition as well as a series of plugins such as the Fruity Video Player, DirectWave Sampler, Harmless, NewTone, Pitcher, Gross Beat and the Hardcore Guitar Effects Suite.[19]

All Plugins Edition

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


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,[9] Android 2.3.3 and higher smartphones and tablets.


On September 2, 2013, a new standalone app for Windows 8 was released. It is a Groovebox-style application optimised for touch-based music creation.[20]

System requirements

FL Studio 20 works on Windows 7/8/10 (32-bit or 64-bit versions) or on macOS 10.13.[7] FL Studio requires a 2 GHz AMD or Intel Pentium 3 CPU with full SSE1 support. It requires 2 GB of free disk space and 4 GB of RAM is recommended.[7] The website states that "the more powerful your CPU, the more instruments and FX you can run."[21]

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.[8]

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.[27][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.[28][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.[8]

The trial allows users to save projects, but does not allow re-opening them. Tracks may be exported to any of the available file formats.[29]


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.[30] The API has a built in wrapper for full VST, VST2, VST3, DX, and ReWire compatibility. Many of the plugins also function independently as standalone programs.

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.[15]


FL Studio is bundled with 32 generator plugins (October 2011). Some are demos while some are full versions.


FL Studio has been praised for its simplicity, power, and ease of use.[10][31][32] 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."[33] Criticisms include a difficult audio recording system.[34][35]

Notable users

See also


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