System Settings - Audio

To open the Audio Settings choose 'Options > Audio settings' from the main menu or press the F10 function key on your keyboard. The Audio Settings page contains options and settings for your audio interface. The settings chosen here can have a big impact on CPU load, so it is worth taking the time to learn what options are available. Note that some options change depending on whether an ASIO or Direct Sound driver is selected in the Output selector. If this is your first time to adjust the Audio Settings you may like to view the audio setup pages from the 'Getting Started' section.

Above left shows the Audio Options with the ASIO4ALL 'ASIO' driver selected (your card may have native ASIO drivers, if so use them), above right the less efficient 'Primary Sound Driver', standard Windows driver.

A word about Soundcards, Audio Interfaces & Drivers

Soundcard: The term 'soundcard' is used rather loosely, you may have a soundcard in your PC, a chip on your motherboard or it may be an external device connected by USB/FireWire/Bluetooth. The term Audio Interface is better used. An audio interface is any device that makes the sound you hear from your PC speakers. Audio Interface Driver: The driver is the software interface between the Windows operating system and the audio interface hardware. The driver tells Windows, and so FL Studio, what inputs/outputs the interface has and what sample rates it can support. Primary Sound Driver drivers place a layer of 'middle-man' software handling communications between the audio application (FL Studio for example) and the audio interface hardware while ASIO drivers allow direct communication between the audio application and the audio interface. This is why ASIO drivers are faster and more efficient than Primary Sound Driver drivers.

NOTE: The default FL Studio installation selects the Windows Primary Sound Driver (DirectSound) to ensure maximum compatibility. Frankly, the 'Primary Sound Driver' sucks the life from your CPU, so switch to your audio interfaces native ASIO driver, ASIO4ALL or FL Studio ASIO.


Audio Input / Output

The options selected here will determine what audio INPUTS and OUTPUTS are available to be used by FL Studio. Select the audio inputs and outputs from the Mixer IN/OUT menus.

ASIO Properties

Visible only when using ASIO driver.

If your audio interface does not natively support ASIO, the FL Studio install includes FL Studio ASIO (see below) and 3rd party driver ASIO4ALL. NOTE: that ASIO4ALL is a generic ASIO driver that works with most audio interfaces, your experience may be different. ASIO4ALL allows you to select inputs and outputs from different audio interfaces/audio-devices. The help section on ASIO4ALL advanced settings covers the options.

FL Studio ASIO

FL Studio ASIO has the advantage of being fully multi-client on most machines. This will allow you to hear the audio from FL Studio and other applications (such as YouTube, SoundCloud etc) at the same time.

NOTE: While your experience may vary, in situations where low latency performance is critical, we recommend you preference drivers in this order - Native ASIO driver > ASIO4ALLv2 > FL Studio ASIO. A Native ASIO driver is one that comes from the manufacturer of your audio interface.

Primary Sound Driver Properties

Visible only when using Standard drivers (Primary Sound, WDM, Primary, etc).

Audio Mixing Thread

Plugin output

Visible only when using FL Studio with the VST connection plugin or as a ReWire client.

Playback tracking

Can solve jittery/incorrect playback position indicators OR solve Audio recording alignment problems with the Playlist. NOTE: Low Buffer Length settings can also improve positional accuracy.


These options are intended to reduce CPU load and maximize FL Studio performance on your PC.


  1. For a plugin to be multithreaded there are 3 places where the option must be selected, here, the Wrapper menu 'Allow threaded processing' and Wrapper Additional Settings Menu 'Processing > Allow threaded processing'. All three are selected by default.
  2. Some of these options may cause problems with VST plugins. What plugins? It all depends on how closely they conform to the VST design standard, don't look at us, we are not the 'VST police'. What sort of 'problems'? We are not prophets either, but possibly plugin-crashes, audio glitches, out-of-sync playback or CPU spikes. See plugins behaving badly.