FL Studio appears to be constantly moving forward. Image Line have a great relationship with their community of users and push out enhancements and updates whenever they can. Version 12.3 brings a whole bunch of goodies that are getting excited about including a fix for a problem I pointed out to them just a couple of months ago.
Real-time audio stretching
FL Studio treats audio a bit like a sampler would. This makes it great so pulling out bits of audio and using them as sample instruments, but less good for independent time and pitch stretching. This has been sorted out in 12.3 but not in the normal way. You can now stretch audio while keeping the pitch the same – which most DAWs can – but you can also stretch or squash the entire project. With the use of a simple macro command all the audio tracks can be time-stretched together in the same way which I had not come across before.
They’ve also used the audio stretching function to build in something a bit like a Melodyne type pitch correction, but again in an unusual sampler style. You can open a piano roll across a piece of audio and add notes to pitch shift parts of the audio around. It doesn’t detect the pitch but rather moves the pitch relative to an assumed C5 for the current pitch. This allows you to “play” the audio and even create harmonies just by adding notes to the piano roll.
Image Line’s approach always seems to come from a different place to any other DAW. It makes for a feature set that’s full of fun as well as being very creative when many other DAWs seem to believe that looking serious is all that matters.
FL Studio Vectorial UI
With FL Studio 12 Image Line introduced a new vectorised interface. It could be resized all over the place which is ideal for high resolution screens and tablets. However, some of the long list of plug-ins that came included hadn’t received the same treatment. They ended up looking very dated. 12.3 brings updates to 12 of these plug-ins to support the Vectorial UI along with expanded presets and other tweaks. The extra size has allowed for a lot more focused display of information and makes adjustments a whole lot easier.
There’s been a lot of underlying improvements to the handling of MIDI. You can now lock notes to channels, so certain keyboard ranges can be routed independently. You can now map MIDI through plug-ins to other destinations. The piano roll features locking to scales and keys so that only the notes you’re after are highlighted. They’ve also added three different versions of the piano keyboard displayed on the left – just to sooth the minds of the users who objected to the original one.
There are a lot more tweaks and changes going on that are best explained in their update video below.
FL Studio 12.3 is available from August 2nd and is free to all users. For more details and the download link follow this link.