INSTALLING VST(i)/DX(i) PLUGINS

Installing VST and DX Plugins

This page provides step by step instruction on installing VST or DX instruments and effects. The following topics are covered:

VST Plugins

Plugins allow you to add (plug in) additional instruments and effects to FL Studio. VST (1,2 & 3) is a plugin format that uses a 'dynamic link library' (.dll) file to contain the plugin's program code. Installing plugins, instruments and FX, is usually a very simple process including -

The Shared VST Plugin Folder/s

Things have gotten a little complex, there have been three VST standards (1, 2 and 3) plus 32 and 64 bit Windows. Fear not, FL Studio will search for VST plugins in a number of possible locations, including:

VST 1 and 2 plugins:

  1. The '..Plugins\VST' in the FL Studio installation folder (32 Bit plugins).
  2. The '..\Program Files\Common Files\VST2' (64 Bit plugins on a 64 Bit Windows only).
  3. The folder set as the Extra search path in the File settings window (32 Bit plugins).

VST 3 plugins:

  1. The '..\Program Files\Common Files\VST3' & '..\Program Files\VST3' folders (32 Bit plugins on 32 Bit Windows OR 64 Bit plugins on 64 Bit Windows).
  2. The '..\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\VST3' & '..\Program Files (x86)\VST3' folders (32 Bit plugins on Win 64 Bit Windows).

NOTE: If you use the default installation location suggested by the installer you should have no problems.

Extra VST Folder

You have the option of installing VST (1 & 2) plugins into a folder of your choice. If you want to create your own VST plugin folder you must set its location in the (F10) File Settings VST plugins extra search folder field. This can be a good way of keeping your VST plugins in a location you frequently back up. You can install VST3 & or 64 bit plugins here but FL Studio won't display information about the plugin type. The plugins should still function correctly as the wrapper detects bit-depth and plugin type on loading.

Installing VST Instruments & Effects

  1. Install the Instrument plugins (.dlls, etc) to the appropriate directory created in the previous section (above). NOTE If installation uses an installer, override the default install directory and point it to your Extra VST Folder if you have set one.
  2. Scan for the new VST plugin:
  3. Optional - Place a check mark before the plugin name if you want it listed in your favorites AND/OR add the plugin to the Plugin Picker.
  4. Now the plugin is installed and can be used as a standard FL Studio instrument or effect.

Related Instrument Links:

Related Effects Links:


DirectX Plugins

Installing DXi Instruments & Effects

  1. To be able to use DirectX plugins you should have the latest Microsoft DirectX installed.
  2. Install the DirectX plugin by running its setup file. DirectX plugins can be installed in any folder of your preference (for ex. "C:\Program Files\MyPlugin\"). Since those plugins are registered directly in Windows as a part of the DirectX system, FL Studio will detect them and use them no matter where they are installed.
  3. Start FL Studio (if it is not already running).
  4. In the Channels menu, select Add One. In the submenu that opens, select More...
  5. You will see a window listing all instrument plugins available in FL Studio. At the bottom of the window, click the Refresh button and select Fast Scan.
  6. The plugin you have installed should appear in the plugin list in red color. If this does not happen, please make sure you have followed the previous steps properly.
  7. Place a check mark before the plugin name if you want it listed in your favorites and close the window.
  8. Now the plugin is installed and can be used as a standard FL Studio instrument/generator. To add an instance of the plugin to the current project, open the Channels menu, select Add One and in the submenu that appears select the name of the plugin. An instance of the plugin appears in the Step Sequencer window.

Related Links:

Installing DX Effects

  1. To be able to use DirectX plugins, make sure you have installed the latest DirectXMedia (now part of DirectX) on your machine. The latest DirectX setup can be downloaded for free at www.microsoft.com.
  2. Install the DirectX plugin by running its setup file. DirectX plugins can be installed in any folder of your preference (for ex. "C:\Program Files\MyPlugin\"). Since those plugins are registered directly in Windows as a part of the DirectX system, FL Studio will detect them and use them no matter where they are installed.
  3. Start FL Studio (if it is not already running).
  4. If the Mixer window is not visible, open the View menu and select the Mixer item.
  5. In the Mixer window, click the menu button for any of the plugin slots and click the Select item. In the submenu that appears, select More...
  6. You will see a window listing all effect plugins available in FL Studio. At the bottom of the window, click the Refresh button and select Fast Scan.
  7. The plugin you have installed should appear in the plugin list in red color. If this does not happen, please make sure you have followed the previous steps properly.
  8. Place a check mark before the plugin name if you want it listed in your favorites and close the window.
  9. Now the plugin is installed and can be used as a standard FL Studio effect. To add an instance of the plugin to the current project, select a slot in the Mixer window, open its menu and pick the plugin from the Select submenu. An instance of the plugin appears in the selected mixer slot.

Related Links: