We asked some of our 'Power Users'
how they got involved in music and how they use FL Studio.



How did you get involved in creating music ?


I grew up with an interest in music.  Piano lessons early on, played in the high school band, tried out the songwriting thing in my late teens.

 

Closeup of Jimmy Hinson

 

At some point in high school I started playing around with MIDI notation software--there was this one program that came free with my family's computer, I think it was called Midisoft Studio if I remember, but I would spend hours and hours arranging songs (mostly from video games) and composing my own stuff.  Looking back it was a horribly primitive and grueling process.  I would select each kind of note and then manually click them all in one by one.  I must have been really patient back then.


How did you end up using FL Studio ?


Sometime around early '03 I was still trying to succeed at the songwriting thing. I'd purchased an 8 track digital recorder and used a Yamaha keyboard to lay down everything that wasn't my acoustic guitar.


For the drums, I'd usually just try to play them in with my fingers, and I was just never very good at it so I started looking around for something else I could rely on.


After browsing MPCs and Drum Sequencing hardware, someone told me about Fruity Loops.  So I snagged the demo and realized how easy it was to program drums and get them to sound really great, and that's all I used it for initially.

 

Jimmy Hinson's keyboard and monitors running FL Studio

 

When I started browsing through the included demo tracks and realized that I could actually write and produce entire songs with it, I bought the Producer's edition later that week--my 8-track has been alone and bitter ever since.  Shortly after that, I stumbled across OverClocked ReMix
(ocremix.org), which I could not believe was full of folks just like me--that is, people who share an interest in video game music as well as the marvels of modern music production.


Over the next few years I "ReMixed" (rearranged, really) several tunes from various video games I'd played over the years, and that's where I really grew into FL.  There's a huge base of FL users that hang out there, and because of OCR's fairly strict quality-control for accepting ReMixes, I really learned how to make the most out of my productions.


There's some serious talent in that community.  I definitely owe a huge portion of my success, especially working on Mass Effect 2, to many of the folks over there.


XBox 360 game - Mass2 Effect

 

Tell us about your involvement with the music on Mass Effect 2.

 

I was just one of four composers on the team, led by Jack Wall, who has scored some other great games and also conducts the Video Games Live concert tour.

 

The Mass Effect soundtrack has a very Sci-Fi feel to it.  I personally like to think of the music in the series so far as kind of a hybrid between Blade Runner and maybe Star Wars or something.

 

There's lots of synth stuff going on, occasionally layered with orchestral elements.  For me, automating parameters played a huge role in achieving that sound.  I've always liked the way FL handles automation clips, so that was a great feature to rely on.  Also, while I would play in a lot of parts with my keyboard, I did a LOT of writing and editing within FL's piano roll, which in my experience remains the best by far out of all the others out there.  I'm actually a bit surprised that the DAWs haven't outright ripped it off entirely.  It's so smooth and intuitive, I really love it.

Jimmy has also worked on the soundtrack to Cal of Duty Black ops II. The game sold more than $500 million in sales in the first 24 hours of release. More on that below.

 

Call of Duty


What does FL Studio mean in your setup, how do you use it in your productions?


FL has always been centric to my studio.  It's the cornerstone of my creative process, currently.  I can get ideas out quickly and as mentioned, the piano roll is crucial to me.  Automating and mixing is intuitive and thanks to jBridge I really have no memory restrictions, which is great since I tend to work with large sample libraries.  As of right now I think there's a little room for FL to grow for scoring to video, but it is still capable of getting the job done.


What do you think of the myth about FL not being a professional audio tool?


I worked for Guitar Center a while back, and one thing I learned is that 99% of the time whenever people complain about something like that, they're just closed-minded because they think that "their" way is the best way.  And crazier still is that many of them haven't ever even tried FL!


I really don't like that kind of perspective--it's like complaining about a kind of food you've never eaten before.  Besides, I think the musical results speak louder than the user, and good and bad music can come from any software program, whether it costs $200 or $2000.  All that aside though, I think that FL has continued to evolve over the years and is steadily getting away from those absurd assumptions.


I've been really happy with each new version, and as a long time user I can't help but be proud to see it gradually get more of the respect it deserves.  I can't wait to see what future versions of FL will offer.


What do you think about using hardware & software in the future?


As I said, I'm kind of a gear head, collecting software is almost a sickness to me--I probably have way too much of it already.  But what can I say?  Software has come such a long way, and it's clearly proven its merit in modern music production (and less wires and cables to worry about!)  Haha, I know some people will hate me for saying this, but half the time I'm just as content using virtual plugins as I am using "the real thing".  (That being said, if I won the lottery tomorrow, one of the first things I would do is go fill my house with every hardware synth I could get my hands on.) ;)


Can you tell us anything about your upcoming projects?


I've got a few different things I'm either currently working on or about to start work on, but nothing I'm allowed to talk about for now. EDIT: Such as Call of Duty Black Ops II 

 

 

Here's the tracks I wrote for the game, most notably, the multiplayer theme ("Adrenaline") is probably my most prominent contribution to the score. And iTunes tells me it's the 2nd most popular track on the soundtrack, behind Trent Reznor's theme song. So that's cool.

 

Do you have any beloved features or anything you would recommend our users?


Well, what can I say.  I think FL is pretty great already, not sure what else I can throw on top of that.  I guess part of the trick with FL is that there's so many ways to do any number of things, I recommend challenging yourself to actually break away from your habits once in a while.  Try to do something you already know how to do using an entirely different method.


That technique helped me further my knowledge of FL and streamline my workflow even more.  Also, (and I learned this from Andrew "zircon" Aversa), learn to EQ just about everything.  The Fruity Parametric EQ 2 is your friend. :)


I guess my last recommendation would be if you haven't already, then buy and play Mass Effect 2 (and Mass Effect 1) or Call of Duty Black Ops II, the games are both amazing!  And my colleagues at Wall of Sound, Jack Wall, Sam Hulick, David Kates, and Brian DiDomenico really did an amazing job with the rest of the music so be sure to pick up the soundtrack from Amazon or iTunes!


www.biggiantcircles.com

 

BGC @ Facebook

 

BGC @ Twitter

 

Jimmy.






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POWER USER LIST


Aryay (Mickey Karbal)
"FL means everything for my productions"

Polar Youth (Elisabeth)
"FL Studio means everything to my creativity"

Hellberg
"I've tried other DAWs, but none have suited me like FL Studio, it's something about it"

Heatbeat (Matias & Agustin)
"...we work 100% on FL Studio, we don't even need another software to master the track..."

Arno Cost (Vadim Constantin)
"With FL studio, everything is simple, intuitive but you can also push your mixing, your mastering, your editing very far."

Julian Jordan
"All my tracks are made in FL Studio and I still learn a lot from it"

Mightyfools (Jelle & Andy)
"As both of us know all the ins and outs of the program, a basic beat, sketch, melody or idea is done in minutes"

Billain (Adis Kutkut)
"FL Studio studio is my main operating system for music composition, it is where literally everything happens"

PIXL
"What I loved the most how intuitive the UI on FL Studio was and the ease of using the Piano roll..."

Tucandeo (Daniel & Kevin)
"FL Studio's slick, easy to use interface was most comfortable for us"

Zardonic (Federico Agreda)
"FL Studio means EVERYTHING to me"

David Morris (Boy 8-Bit, R ...
"The piano roll is miles ahead of any other DAWs out there"

WondaGurl (Ebony Oshunrinde)
"FL means everything to my productions."

SeamlessR (Stephen O'Leary)
"FL Studio is the center of everything I do."

Martin Garrix
"If I have an idea I want to be able to work it out really fast..."

Adam Szabo
"FL Studio popped up. After trying it out, my mind was blown..."

Aura Qualic
"I don't know how you folks at Image-Line made it so good..."

Sarom Soundz
"So you can say right now that FL Studio is my life and the main tool to my livelihood."

Ummet Ozcan
"I don't do any additional processing it's all FL Studio even my mastering."

eoslinz (Lindsay Hawkins)
"The interface made perfect sense to me immediately and allowed me to create music within a matter of hours"

Walden
"...once i started getting used to the program, well lets just say that I've never looked back!"

Louis La Roche (Brett Ewels)
"FL Studio: I found my workflow a lot quicker and so I stuck with it

Camo & Krooked (Reinhard & ...
"FL Studio...we have been hooked on it. It’s the only DAW we are using"

Cazzette (Alex & Sebastian)
"The workflow in FL is incredible"

Bare (Sean Rodela)
"There might as well be no BARE if there is no FL"

AaronicStuff (Aaron V)
"[FL Studio] really shows how flexible the software can be"

Savant (Aleksander Vinter)
"I work FAST, FL Studio is the only DAW that can keep up with me."

Maor Levi
"I could never have inspiration that quick if it wasn't for the amazing engine of FL Studio"

BT (Brian Transeau)
"FL is such a fresh approach to composition. It literally blows me away every time I work in it."

Project 46 (Thomas & Ryan)
"It is the cornerstone of our productions and without it we would not be able to make the music we do."

Dot Rotten (Joseph Ellis)
"It pushes me as a producer, it never fails me, its also a program that helps create success over the years."

Sacco (Matias Monteagudo)
"I have yet to find a software that is as cool and has such a fast workflow as in FL, and believe me I tried everything."

Ronald Jenkees
"...I don't really endorse anything, but spreading the word of FL Studio has been a no-brainer because it's given me so much"

Tritonal
"FL Studio has been the powerhouse behind many of our productions as Tritonal and remains a go-to production tool"

SoundTakt
"FL Studio helped us realize our creative potential and hone our skills"

Tom Swoon
"It's so addictive! There's too many awesome features to list"

Marcus D
"A fellow Seattle producer introduced me to FL Studio ... I grew up on the cusp of the digital production age and didn't have the money to buy hardware, so naturally software was my go-to move"

Synthetic Orchestra (Blake ...
"Not only did the patterns in the playlist feel just right, but the piano roll was more powerful than anything I had used before"

Seven Lions
"It has the best work flow and out of any DAW I have used"

Tristam
"The pattern/clip set up is amazing, I mean 'make unique' is just bliss!"

Phoenix (The Sound Killers)
"It's simple at the end of the day. Everything they [other DAWs] can Do FL can do better"

Naden (Daniel Taranger)
"Ever since i tried fl studio, the program and I just clicked"

Amir Acid
"FL Studio has a great environment and makes it so easy to be in touch with the tools"

Indivision
"we haven't met any other sequencer which would help us to lay down our ideas so quickly and simply"

Protafield (Jayce Lewis)
"[FL Studio] really has become a big part of what I am as an artist"

Dexplicit
"FL Studio is without a doubt the most important tool in my inventory"

Mick Gordon
"I use it [FL Studio] for scoring, sequencing, designing sounds, and musical sound design. It's just so easy to work with, and work with quickly"

Madeon
"...with the incredible depth of the software, I never feel like something isn't achievable"

Mehran (Mehran Abbasi)
"My dreams came true when I was introduced to FL Studio. This software has formed a big part of my life & I am so glad because of it I am enjoying my music."

Richy Pena
"Before you know it I was playing the keyboard, recording melodies on to FL Studio and creating songs"

Ephixa (James Leusink)
"I have never left FL because of my love for the piano roll"

Varien (Nick Pittsinger)
"I tried other DAWs like Live and Reason, but nothing got my ideas out faster and better than FL Studio"

Boi-1da (Matthew Samuels)
"A friend had told me about FL Studio, I ended up going out and getting a copy of it and using it ever since "

Danyella
"I loved the user-friendly layout. Just a few months later my tracks were already signed away to labels "

audiopeel (Kieron Gore)
"The fruit however struck a chord. It's interface and workflow, everything seemed logical."

Rodney Anonymous (Dead Mil ...
"I still consider Fruity Loops the most addictive substance I've ever been exposed to"

Cyriak Harris (animator)
"Most of my videos start months before I even realise it. That's when I make the music that will eventually inspire the visuals of the video"

Ajurika (Akitaka Tohyama)
"I am instantly able to achieve the desired result and also to create the sound I am looking for."

Veela
"I quickly came to realize how complex and beautiful the program really was"

Andrew Aversa (Zircon)
"Trying to use any other piano roll after working in FL was like having my mouse dipped in molasses"

Hitfinders (Andrew, Luca & ...
"We noticed it [FL Studio] while reading a producers forum, and were instantly hooked"

Pete Marriott
"When I realized how I could use it as a sound design and production tool I became hooked instantly"

The Flashbulb (Benn Jordan)
"Nuendo and Pro Tools wasted a lot of my time, and I started noticing that FL Studio was blossoming"

MdL (Mason Levy)
"FL Studio is the fastest and most inspiring piece of software in my workflow."

Afrojack (Nick van de Wall)
"Don't let people tell you that Logic or other programs are 'superior' "

Feed Me / Spor (Jon Gooch)
"Despite working on other platforms occasionally I still find FL the fastest and most powerful way to get my ideas down."

Porter Robinson
"At first, FL stood out to me just because it was vastly more intuitive and usable...there's way too many awesome FL Studio features to list"

Avicii (Tim Berg)
"It's so easy and quick to use ... I literally couldn't shut the program down."

Anurag Dixit
"I’ve used every damn thing that can make music, but nothing comes close to FL."

Alex Medina
"I was first drawn to FL Studio's when a friend introduced me to it and taught me how to make hip hop beats. To this day I have used FL Studio..we are one :)"

Matthew Dear
On FL Studio: "It came highly recommended through various artists I'd meet on the road. I finally gave it a shot, and it immediately enhanced my production techniques..."

Infinity
"It means Everything, without FL i wouldn't be producing."

Ripley+Jenson
"When I took a look at a FL demo version in order to understand it, I discovered that it was the software I always had been looking for."

Nely (Arma Secreta)
"For me FL studio is the easiest way to project your ideas and anybody can lay out any musical ideas."

Big Giant Circles (Jimmy H ...
"FL has always been centric to my studio. It's the cornerstone of my creative process"

Jay Frog (ex-Scooter)
"The fact to compose songs and quickly notate ideas on the road within FL Studio was a real innovation for me."

Secret Cinema
"I bumped into Fruityloops at version 3 and Immediately loved it!"

AudioJack
"We are known for having an individual sound to our music and FL Studio has been a key part to shaping that"

Tom Ellard
"It was the Fruity Scratcher that finally convinced me to use FL Studio... It feels like I'm using the hardware but I can save the whole patching system to hard drive."

Jeff Samuel
"Once Fruityloops started to use audio and sampler channels, I switched and never looked back! It was tremendously powerful just with those features but no one really realized it until years later."

Meg Hentges
"FL Studio (plus a wave editor) is the only software I ever use ...and since FL added audio recording, my rack mounted hard disk recorder rarely gets switched on."

Franchize Boyz
"Franchize Boyz and Fruity Loops"

Seismic Crew
"I used the demo of FL a lot back before I was making any real money with my music. I had been using the old software drum machine Hammerhead, but FL offered endlessly more flexibility and power."

Toby Emerson
"I found the demo while searching on the internet for a program that I could create drumloops with. I ended up finding FL studio and have been hooked ever since. It is more addictive than crack (not that I have tried that)."

Peter Presta
"A friend of mine introduced me to FL Studio and I instantly fell in love with the sounds you could create as they ALL sounded so BIG. I was Totally Hooked on FL Studio from there!"

Doug Lazy
"... stumbled across FL while surfing. I tried it and immediately Loved it. I was still into hardware at the time but slowly over the last few years have transferred my work to PC exclusively with FLS."

Mark Tinley
On Fl Studio: "It means I can create multi-track drum loops, music loops or even entire songs and dump them straight into Pro Tools for further mixing."

Steve Duda
"FL means a whole lot, if I were restricted to one item of music software on my PC, it would certainly be FL."

Justin Lassen
"Probably around '98, a friend showed me FruityLoops. I just thought it was the coolest piece of software."

Basshunter
"A friend of mine showed me Fruityloops when I visited his place for a LAN party, and I got hooked right away."

DeadMau5 (Joel Zimmerman)
"It’s ease of use and fast results are what get the ideas down as fast as they come to my head, and that’s really important for me"

9th Wonder
"The programs we use are Cool Edit Pro and FL Studio. Those are the two programs that we use, and that's what we did the whole album on."

Mike Oldfield
"It is very good to see a product like FL Studio which is available to all and doesn't cost $10000000000 of dollars"



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