One of the best things about FL Studio is that they really listen to the community when making changes, so every update is an improvement. With the recent update to version 20 a lot has changed and now version 20.1 brings more workflow improvements. I’ve used 20.1 for 2 days now and here are my first findings.
To start off, I would suggest to watch the update video from FL Guru (it will also help you understand the article better). I recommend to always check the update videos since they show you the most important changes, which you may not know about when you don’t watch the video.
Automatically link playlist tracks to a channel and mixer track
The biggest feature Image Line added is the ability to add instruments and samples to the playlist track headers (in the song-view), which will create a link to the mixer and pattern. So now changing names and color will respond everywhere whenever you change it at one of the sources. At first I thought this would be my favorite new feature. However, I usually start by dragging a lot of samples in the channel rack (pattern). Then pick the ones I want to use and build my first pattern. When I have made a solid basic pattern, I assign all to a mixer track and use the “split by channel” option to split the whole pattern into different tracks on the playlist / song view. Now the new feature of automatic linking is impossible (as I started from the pattern and not from the playlist track headers in the song-view) so I can’t use it as shown in the video. But I can still link the different header tracks in the playlist to the corresponding mixer track manually by right clicking the track header and selecting “Track mode -> Audio Track”. Now I can organize my track and mixer at the same time, which is very useful in larger projects.
Awesome Channel Rack Update
Another update that will boost my workflow is the changes Image Line made to the channel rack. As said, I usually start with creating a basic pattern by throwing in some samples and just messing around with some settings and placements. Most of the time I start with a 1 bar channel rack and will expand later to a 2 bar to create variations in the drums. This wasn’t hard to do in previous versions, but now FL Studio will create ghost notes and let you “burn” them if you want to use them. (Select “Loop all channels” in your channel rack, see image below) This will speed up creating patterns and putting down some drums to get you in the flow.
My favorite FL Studio 20.1 feature
In my opinion the best thing Image Line added is the automatic group feature when creating automation clips. It’s a small feature and I think this will make me use more automations. Probably boosting the end results of my productions. I still think Ableton is better when it comes to automation clip management, but FL Studio is going into the right direction with this. I’m sure future updates will improve the use of automation clips in FL Studio even more.
FL Studio 20.1 is a great update and free for all users (who paid for the software of course). There are a lot more features added like “pre/post effects recording” which will definitely give you more creative freedom and enhance your workflow. Check out this link to see the patch notes.
What do you think of this update? Let me know in the comments below!