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



 

Zardonic (Federico Agreda) has toured all over the world, awarded as Best Keyboardist, Best Metal Artist, Best DJ and Artist of the Year in his native Venezuela, voted the #1 DJ in Venezuela by The DJ List, reached #1 in Beatport's Drum & Bass and Hardcore charts, #1 in Amazon.de's Hard Rock & Metal Bestsellers, millions of plays on YouTube and his album "Antihero" got into three Top 5 charts in Tower Records Japan. When we heard he was using FL Studio, we were scared! We'd better get Zardonic on the Power User page before he comes looking for us...

 

 

Tell us about how you got into music ?

 

I think it's something that was pretty much born with me. I was already fiddling with toy keyboards when I was little and was fascinated by synthetic sounds. To me it was a completely different world because they were sounds you couldn't hear in nature. So you could say I was born with electronic music before I even knew about it! My parents also had a very exquisit taste for music. All I could hear in the car when I was 4 years old was Classical Music and Nu Jazz. And when I was 13, my brother played me "The Great Southern Trendkill" by Pantera. So I had access to a lot of different styles and loved them all. I think that's what Zardonic is, a combination of all the music styles I love.

 

Tell us about the mask, how did that come about?

 

 

It's based off my logo which is based off my face. At first it didn't even have the cable hair you see there, it was meant to look more like a lucha libre character. And it slowly evolved into something more like a hybrid of Mortal Kombat and Spawn and Predator and a bit of Cyberpunk. As my music is pretty industrial sounding, it absolutely fits. Nowadays I would say it's a thing of its own though, sort of larger-than-life. It kind of grew to become its own personality, which makes me think that in the next two decades I should start thinking about who to train to become the next Zardonic. Somebody has to keep that thing alive after my journey ends here!

 

How did you start using FL Studio & what does it mean to your productions?

 

I started when I was 18 when my friend got me FruityLoops v3.0. And ever since, FL Studio means EVERYTHING to me! If it wasn't for FL Studio I wouldn't be making music, and if I wasn't making music I wouldn't have this insane rollercoaster of a career that I am blessed and thankful every day for. So thank you.

 

 

So you're from Venezuela, how did you buy FL Studio?

 

I'm glad you asked. The situation we have endured is extremely unfortunate. However, I have been out of the country since 2014 and lived in both the United States and the European Union, so I guess I am safe from the worst. But it's true. It is impossible to buy anything online in Venezuela because we have very strange economic policies that only allow us to get $400 dollars per year to spend on the internet if they even still allow that much. Might be less or just nothing by now. I guess the government was trying to reduce imports and motivate people to produce their own stuff and start exporting and improve our economy. While that's a noble cause and I agree with it, I don't think it's the right method. And it sure didn't help the economy at all if you look at the disaster the country became these days.

 

So well, it was only when I started getting gigs outside of Venezuela, and finally got paid in dollars, that I could start paying for my software which is when I bought FL Studio Signature Edition and additional plugins. I wanted to purchase everything you had to offer because each and every single thing you have developed has somehow made it into my music. I felt bad in the beginning because I love your software and only was able to pay for it later, but I'm happy to be part of the Power User family now and a loyal soldier of the FL community. It means the world to me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tell us about how you use your FL Plugins. Any special tricks or techniques?

 

The first thing is to not be afraid of any of them. Even when you have no idea of what you're doing, you will get something if you try. I always believed practice must come before theory. I learned synthesis by fiddling with random knobs until I understood what each of them did and slowly the whole theory was unfolding itself in front of me. Not to mention the first happy accidents that make you discover sounds you will never ever get after you've learned too much. Whenever I would hit a wall with my sound I would resort to online forums, but I was never a fan of the Pendulum snare tutorial or Skrillex bass tutorial type videos, because they will only teach you to sound EXACTLY like that, as opposed to teaching you how to develop your own signature sound.

 

I am a big fan of Sytrus and its capability to design waveforms, as well as the integrated filter waveshaper. That thing is AWESOME. It reminds me a lot of the tones I would get from overdriven Nord Lead filters. Sytrus has been responsible for most of the leads and pads heard in my tracks so I have a very special place for it in my heart.

 

For an analog-ish sound on virtual synths and sampled waveforms, use Fruity Fast Dist with just about enough to get some flavor in the high range, and then a highpass filter on Fruity Parametric EQ2 with open Q around 22khz. Alternatively, Blood Overdrive will work for this too.

 

 

For vocals, Fruity Compressor and Fruity Blood Overdrive are my go-to plugins. Compressor settings: -30db threshold, full ratio, 30db gain, fast attack and not-so-fast release. You have to make sure the vocal take is as clean as possible though, or else all that noise is going to kick you in the face! Then add a bit of Blood Overdrive for extra aggression if needed. I know that's an old plugin and we now have Maximus, but that thing did a LOT for me. I hope it gets a revamp!

 

Harmor is another beast I have used to design a lot of bass hits and leads heard in my Reinventing The Bass samplepack. I would record myself doing any vocal random nonsense, analyze it in the IMG section, set Scale to 0 and set Unison to 4 and up. Then click and hold over the spectrum and move it randomly, slowly or faster depending on what you're looking for. Once you get something that makes sense you can then assign an envelope to your liking, but honestly that's too tedious for me. I'd rather just open an instance of Edison and record whatever happens. I get at least 9 out of 10 quality sounds.

 

3xOsc is what I used for most of my subs in the past. It's a pretty straightforward plugin so for bass that's all you need. Anyone telling you otherwise is selling you smoke. Simplicity. Sinewaves. Lowpassed Saws or a combination of basic waveforms. There's a reason why the Minimoog, as simple as it is by today's standards, was known for having an earth-rattling bass. All you need for that is 1, maybe 2 oscillators and a filter. I also used it for a lot of prog rock style classic leads.

Maximus on the Master channel for me is essential to control the subs. I keep the mid and the high band turned off but I try to compress anything below 100hz to keep the lows under control so it doesn't distort the master. The stereo separation knob helps a lot to make the bass Mono, as it should be. Short attack and release times are good here, but not so much to turn all subs into one big square wave. Just about enough to keep some dynamics without letting the bass get too crazy, especially with bass heavy music, this is a must. Granted of course that you're getting rid of nonessential sub 100hz content in the rest of your tracks.


Tell us about your production environment & toys?

 

 

Pretty much FL Studio and all its synths and effects. Fruity Parametric EQ might be the best plugin for clinical EQ I've had. For mixing and mastering I'm a big fan of Slate Digital plugins and it's pretty much all I use now. Native Instruments Komplete is great for my production as well as Nexus when I need my orchestral sounds. I also recently got the LogicKeyboard for FL Studio 12 which helps my workflow A LOT. That alone is something everyone should get if they're serious about using FL Studio. Thank you for this!

 

My favorite hardware synth is my Dave Smith Pro 2. It is truly the most powerful monosynth ever created! For analog oscillator goodness I have a Studio Electronics Boomstar SE80, an Arturia Minibrute and the Desktop version of the legendary Polivoks synthesizer. I know you guys are big fans of this one and I love how you took that idea to the next level with Sawer! Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol complements my software instruments. Hands on control are a must and I think Native Instruments excels at this. Then there's the fun Bastl Instruments BitRanger, KORG Monotron and Monotribe. I could spend days in my studio discovering sounds and never get bored of it!

 

Then there's an insane effect chain I have on an FX send on my mixer which has, in the following order, an Erica Synths Acidbox II (because one Polivoks filter is not enough!), Ibanez TubeScreamer, EHX Metal Muff, Behringer HM300 for that Swedish tone, AMT Pangaea CP-100 which is a cab sim that works with user loaded Impulse Responses, a Rowin Flanger, EHX Stereo PolyChorus, EHX Cathedral Stereo Reverb, JOMOX T-Resonator II, DigiTech Supernatural Ambient Verb and a KORG Kaoss Pad KP3+.

 

For monitoring, currently Focal CMS65 are my go-to Studio Monitors for Mixing, paired with an Avantone MixCube and Beyerdynamic DT-880 for reference. And I suggest anyone who wants to produce to not invest less than 2000 US dollars on a pair of monitors as well as acoustic treatment in their home studio. There's a reason they exist. Trust me. I also had subpar monitors in the past and I thought I was doing fine because I liked what I heard. But serious monitors are a must.

 

Do you have any links you would like to share?

  

My official website is http://www.zardonic.net and that's where you will find pretty much everything you need to know. I also post a lot on my Facebook page. Come and leave a comment. I usually try to reply as much as I can although it keeps getting busier and busier these days, but I'll do my best to keep up with anyone who supports me!

 

facebook.com/zardonic

 

twitter.com/zardonic

 

instagram.com/djzardonic

  

soundcloud.com/zardonic

 

youtube.com/djzardonic

 

plus.google.com/+djzardonic

 

itunes/zardonic

 

beatport/zardonic

 

Federico.

 






POWER USER LIST

Bassjackers
"FL was the one DAW which was best at visualizing music production and all it's processes"
GRGE
"FL Studio is vast as the universe, is the place where I can express my imagination without limitations"
Curbi (Toby)
"Over the years I tested other DAWs, but always returned to FL for the sake of workflow efficiency and creativity. FL is perfect for my productions, I pretty much know FL inside out..."
Owsey (Owen Ferguson)
"Over the years I tested other DAWs, but always returned to FL for the sake of workflow efficiency and creativity. "
Spanker
"[FL Studio]...blew my mind how you could make a drum pattern within seconds."
Badd Dimes
"[FL Studio]...improves the quality of my tracks and it cleares my mind..."
Miavono (Brad & Mike)
"FL Studio stood out as the most intuitive..."
Jason Taylor (Aether)
"I'm so familiar with it at this point, it's a powerhouse for getting my ideas down."
Sandro Silva
"...it is so much easier for me to put ideas on the computer, and finish tracks much faster than I did before."
Alex Moukala
"FL Studio is a godsend as it allows you to write music tremendously fast, even with just a keyboard and mouse,"
Mesto
"After I put some music online and got a great response, I started to make music in FL Studio on daily basis"
Groundbreaking (Sean H)
"from first glance at the piano roll to the playlist, I knew I had been introduced to something special"
Draft (Liam Tallon)
"free lifetime updates, and unrivalled forum interaction felt like home to me"
Maddix (Pablo Rindt)
"During the years I have tried out some other DAWs but always came back to FL"
Lex Luger
"...my Love for music and FL studio being my pen to the paper I get to tell my story and show the world my vision."
Daniel Ferri
"I was immediately hooked and shortly started using FL Studio not just for fun but for my job"
CloZee (Chloé Herry)
"I do everything with FL: recording, production, sound design, mastering"
Bounce Inc. (Max & Hubert)
"after all these years we still discover new abilities"
Eric Kauffmann
"FL Studio is like this magical universe where I get lost every day, I wish that my ears could just keep going all day without needing a rest"
Johnny Pepp
"The workflow in FL Studio is very good. I still haven't found out what every button is for, you never stop learning."
The Living Tombstone (Yoav ...
"If it wasn't for the friendly fun approach FL Studio has, I don't think I would have been attracted towards making so much music in the start."
Alvaro (Jasper Helderman)
"Actually I don’t use any hardware at all. With all the plugins nowadays, you can easily create a song"
Grouch (Oscar)
"I love how there are so many different ways to do one thing and how many hidden secrets there are lying beneath the surface"
TM88
FL Studios has always been the foundation of my production and how I create my sounds
Matthew Burnett
"The piano roll editor is unprecedented in FL"
Joznez
"I've produced over 111 Releases from 45 artists on several albums with FL Studio"
Niza
"You can do anything with FL Studio"
Tez Cadey
"I’ve tried other DAWs after that but none come close to it in terms of creativity and spontaneity"
Arty
"The fact that you can drag and drop Audio files, Automation and MIDI Clips onto the same dashboard is amazing"
Le Youth (Wes James)
"FL Studio is my bridge from an idea to a song"
Yoann Feynman
"FL Studio is like an extension of my brain"
Just a Gent (Jacob Grant)
"You don't have to worry about neatly placing each sound in their own tracks in the playlist, you can just throw it wherever, its great"
MDK (Morgan King)
"It's the perfect balance of a sleek, user-friendly program, and a truly badass piece of audio software."
KhoMha
"The software goes right to the point and every version gets better"
LeJad
"...all my records, all my productions, everything was made with FL"
Dyro
"[FL Studio] I got my hands on it and here I am today"
Epikh Pro
"...FL Studio is the main DAW I run everything out of. Wouldn't be where I am without it"
Bombs Away
"FL is almost an extension of our imagination"
BAMBOUNOU (Jérémy Guindo)
"FL Studio is a very approachable and once you start to have a thorough knowledge of it, it is limitless"
Kyle Simmons (A Skylit Drive)
"FL studio really helps me translate my ideas to reality without headache and each version just amazes me"
BounceBrothas
"...you won't find any other daw with a workflow combined with the stepsequencer and sample browser"
Drumz N' Roses
"The community is big and you will find FL Studio users in every genre"
banvox
"If I didn’t have it banvox would have never existed"
Abaz
"You can learn the use of FL in a short time and work with it up to every level"
Bastian Salbart
"Really love the pattern/clip set up. It's amazing how very simple and intuitive everything is."
Oliver Heldens
"I like how I can draw my idea's in it really quick"
Chris Noxx (from Tha Piece ...
"I found myself glued to FL studio for days at a time"
Andrew Maze
"FL Studio ... can help you to create every kind of music in absolutely every genre, the only limitation is your imagination"
K-391 (Kenneth Nilsen)
"I released a song called 'Electro House 2012' which passed 500k in just some weeks"
Rich Kidd (Ritchie)
"makes the work flow quicker"
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"
Amirhossein
"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"
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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