System Settings - General
To open the General Settings choose 'Options > General settings' from the main menu or press the F10 function key on your keyboard. The General Settings page contains various general settings of the working environment in FL Studio.
These settings allow you to rescale FL Studio's vectorial Graphical User Interface (GUI), including separate options for pop-ups, menus and the cursor. GUI up-scaling is intended for use with high resolution displays. NOTE: Native and VST plugin GUIs can also be rescaled as described below.
- Main GUI Scaling (requires FL Studio restart) - Normally leave this set to System and all other related controls set to Main, so they follow system scaling too. If you have set your Windows 'System scaling' to work correctly on your monitor, say 200%, then FL Studio will be scaled correctly to 200% also. To adjust Windows system scaling open the Windows Control Panel, click on Display > Custom Sizing Options. From there adjust GUI zoom percentage selector. You can also click 'Custom resizing options' and type a value in percent. However, because we know you like to fiddle with things, you can manually rescale the FL Studio interface and plugins with the options provided below. At resolutions between 3840x2160 (UHD 4K) and 5120x2880 (5K) zoom settings between 125% and 200% should work. Optimum scaling factors are a matter of screen resolution, monitor size and your eyesight.
Plugins - Native (FL Studio) and VST plugins can be rescaled as follows:
- FL Studio native plugins - Use the Legacy scaling option, in the 'Advanced settings' section below. Usually this is set to 'Main' and should follow the setting above. This will apply to all native plugins.
- VST Plugins - See the Wrapper section on Rescaling VST Plugins. There are different settings to use depending if the plugin has native rescaling (Bridged + DPI aware when bridged) or no native rescaling (Bridged + External window). Bridging opens plugins outside FL Studio they can respond to Windows System scaling. You have probably already set Windows scaling to work on your high resolution monitor, and so the plugin will be scaled appropriately. If not, open the Windows Control Panel, click on Display > Custom Sizing Options. From there adjust GUI zoom percentage selector. All bridged plugins with the correct settings will use this scaling value.
NOTES: If you are using a high resolution (e.g. 3840x2160) on a relatively small display such as a laptop, you can set the screen resolution to something like 1920x1080. You probably won't notice a reduction in image quality, and plugin scaling issues will be solved. Alternatively, there are a pair of additional executable files in the FL Studio installation folder, FL64 (scaled).exe and FL (scaled).exe. These will submit FL Studio and VST plugins to the Windows scaling and should simplify plugin management. The tradeoff is FL Studio may look slightly blurry, particularly on large displays. Similar to before, this method will work best with smaller laptop-sized displays running a QHD or 4K display.
- Pop-ups scaling (requires FL Studio restart) - Applies to pop-up menus and interactive dialogs (like Piano roll tools). When set to 'Main' Pop-ups will follow the Main GUI scaling, otherwise make an independent setting here.
- Toolbars scaling (requires FL Studio restart) - Applies to tool-bars. This can be useful for smaller tablets, so instead of hiding toolbars that use too much of the screen, you can make them smaller. When set to 'Main' Toolbars will follow the Main GUI scaling, otherwise make an independent setting here.
- Thick lines - Purely aesthetic, affecting how things are scaled at 200% and above.
- Transparent windows - Options include:
- Off - No transparency for inactive windows. Real-men don't do transparency, this is the option you want. The other options below are for the weak!
- Attached only - Transparency for inactive windows that are attached to the workspace.
- On - Transparency for inactive windows, both attached and detached.
- Transparent menus - Transparency is applied to Menus. Don't do it, it sucks!
- Define 1 inch / 2.54 cm - This is a calibration to ensure touch-screens work optimally. It does not change the appearance of the GUI. Set once, correctly, and forget. From Windows 8.1 onward the screen PPI is automatically detected. Otherwise, if you know the Pixels Per Inch (PPI) of your monitor then drag the bar and set it to that value OR
use a ruler on the screen to set approximately 1 inch or 2.54 cm.
- Animations - Controls menu, mouse related, overlay and pop-up animations. At the lowest level (Don't distract me) all animations are off, at the highest level (Entertain me) prepare to be 'entertained'. NOTE: Animations generally don't increase CPU load, sometimes higher animation levels use less CPU.
- Smoothing - GUI/control motion smoothing factor, slide left for less smoothing and right for more smoothing.
- Ultrasmooth - Increases smoothness (frame rate) of all animations.
- Force refreshes - Forces the Desktop Window Manager to update, changing, windows on-time. This may reduce 'ghosting' on fast moving animations and help with some graphical glitches. It also forces all visible windows to be refreshed rather than just the portion that has changed. This can increase CPU load with certain plugins.
NOTE: Set the scaling of the mouse cursor under the 'Advanced' section. Yes the cursor size is an advanced feature.
- Optimize for - These are pointer-device options.
- Multi-button mouse - Standard settings when working primarily with a mouse.
- Pencil - Use when working with knobs and up/down controls on a pencil-based tablet. After touch, horizontal position changes target control sensitivity. To make course changes stay in the vertical axis of the target control. To increase sensitivity click, hold and move to the left or right and then drag vertically.
- Multi-touch monitor - Multi-touch generally assumes finger control, so touch 'hot-zones' are made larger. Horizontal position after touching a control will change sensitivity/accuracy (as per pencil interfaces above). NOTES: See the section on Multi-touch gesture support. Tweak 'Smoothing' as shown above to optimize the responsiveness of controls.
- Click-and-hold & special gesture functions - Piano roll functions include:
- Copy note: Hold a note to copy it.
- Cycle slide/porta: Click and hold when adding a note to cycle through slide & porta event modes.
- Glue notes: Place the cursor between 2 neighbor notes, so the resize cursor appears, then click and hold to glue them.
- Snap note sides: Snap either side of a note to the grid.
- Cycle tools: Right-click a tool and use the mouse wheel to select other tools.
- Mouse wheel velocity: Use mouse wheel while holding notes to change velocity.
- Mouse wheel tools: Change tools by holding right click and rolling the wheel.
- Other functions: Middle mouse click (zoom out full).
- Use both mouse buttons in Step sequencer - Left-clicks activate steps, Right-clicks deactivate them. When disabled, use the Left mouse button to activates and deactivates steps.
- Associate project files with application - Associates FL Studio project files with FL Studio so that if you double-click on a .flp file, FL Studio will open automatically. NOTE: If you are using more than one version of FL Studio, use this option to associate files with your preferred version, or to change it as needed.
- Maximum undo levels - Sets the maximum undo steps kept in the edit history.
- Undo knob tweaks - Enables undo of all automatable controls (sliders, knobs and check boxes) in the edit history. It can cause some performance problems with certain plugins, like X-Y Controller and Scratcher so the default value of this option is off.
- Auto name channels - Automatically assigns names to instrument Channels. Sampler Channels will automatically take the name of the sample. Instrument & generator Channels take the name of the plugin. Where names are repeated FL Studio will number Channels with the same name (e.g. "Kick", "Kick #1", "Kick #2", etc).
- Auto name effects slots - Automatically assigns names to effects slots as the preset is changed.
- Auto zip empty channels - FL Studio will automatically collapse empty Channels and expand non-empty Channels when switching between patterns. Empty Channels are those without active steps or note data.
- Auto select linked modules - Depending on state:
- ON - 1. Plugins close & 2. Mixer track auto-focus:
- 1. Plugins close - Opening a plugin closes any open plugin interfaces. This keeps your desktop free of plugin window clutter.
- 2. Mixer track auto-focus - When selecting plugins (click on the UI or Channel button) the Mixer will select the linked Mixer track for that plugin.
- OFF - 1. Plugins stay open & 2. UI/MIDI is separated:
- 1. plugins stay open - Instrument & effect interfaces stay open until manually closed. If this gets messy, use the Close all unfocused windows (Ctrl + F12) function.
- 2. Separate MIDI control and interface editing - Channel buttons open plugins for editing and the Channel selector LEDs select Channels for live MIDI control. This allows you to play one instrument channel live and edit another.
- Auto zoom in piano roll - The Piano roll vertical and horizontal zoom is automatically set to fit the note data.
- Small scrollbars in editors - The horizontal & vertical scroll-bars (Piano roll, Playlist & Event Editor etc.), are set to half their normal height/width.
- Detach all plugins - Plugin windows are detached from the FL Studio desktop so they can be moved anywhere over it or onto a monitor without the FL Studio desktop. NOTE: Detached plugins now are seen by Windows and FL Studio as separate applications. This means the plugin will stop responding to MIDI input if you tweak the FL Studio UI AND the plugin can steal the Audio Interface. One way to avoid this is to select the 'FL Studio ASIO' driver (as it is multi-client) and turn off 'Auto close' on the Audio settings.
- Alternate meter scale - Changes the peak meter scaling to display a narrower band above and below 0 dB. To read a peak meter value hold the mouse pointer over the peak meter, the value displayed in the Hint Bar will be the level at the position of the pointer. To read an actual peak value place the mouse pointer over the peak position on the meter.
- Show startup splash screen - The startup splash screen shows the FL Studio version you are using. It is also a cunning marketing strategy to imprint the FL Studio logo and branding onto your brain. All your brain belongs to us! Unless you turn it off, don't do that.
- Restore previous state after solo - When a Solo command is done and then undone (Ctrl + Left-Click), this option will restore the pattern of soloed and unsoloed items prior to the Solo. This affects the Channel Rack, Playlist and Mixer solo/unsolo behavior.
- Hide plugin window toolbar by default - Hides the Plugin Wrapper Controls, as noted.
- Don't limit windows to screen - Allows FL Studio windows to be moved completely outside of the screen. Turn this OFF if you lose a window outside the monitors field of view.
- Fast sample preview - Samples previewed in the Browser are 'streamed' rather than FL Studio waiting to load the entire sample before playing. This reduces preview latency for very large samples and when using slow media devices such as a CD player or USB drive.
- Auto keep long audio on disk - Enables 'Keep on disk' (located on the 'SMP' tab) automatically when loading
large samples (>30 seconds) as Audio Clips or Sampler Channels.
NOTE: The sample data must be 16 or 32 Bit format (24 Bit and .mp3 will not work with this option). Auto keep on disk applies only to projects or samples loaded after selecting this option. When used, the maximum memory available to each Audio Clip / Sampler Channel will be at least 2 GB for 32 Bit Windows and up to 4 GB depending
on your version of 64 Bit Windows.
- Read sample tempo information - When selected FL Studio will use tempo & tempo-sync meta-data that may be saved in wave files. This
affects Browser preview, Playlist and Channel sampler 'Time
stretching' behavior. If you find samples are incorrectly stretched or play off pitch, you can turn this option off or correct the tempo/pitch
meta-data saved with the sample using the File properties dialog in Edison.
- Don't initialize controls automatically - Prevents automatic initialization of automated controls when automated. 'Initialization' sets the current value for a control at song start. See Initialized Controls for more details. To manually initialize a control - Right-click and select 'Init song with this position'.
- Force high performance power plan - When you are making music with FL Studio, you need 100% of your CPUs power, all the time. Many modern CPUs have aggressive CPU clock-speed throttling that causes audio glitches and underruns. This option should force your CPU into high-power mode. See how to manually set your Power Options here. While we like Polar Bears as much as the next guy, we are sorry, those icebergs are just going to have to melt, just a little, for the sake of art. Don't feel so bad, Polar Bears would eat your head if they had the chance, which they will if the ice-caps move any closer to the equator. Consider this 'insurance' against Polar Bear plagues sweeping down from the north eating your loved ones.
- Cursors scaling - Choose a magnification factor for your mouse pointer.
- Legacy scaling (requires FL Studio restart) - Normally leave this set to 'Main' to follow the System Scaling. This option magnifies FL Studio native plugin GUIs for use on high-resolution monitors. For VST plugins see 'Main GUI Scaling' above for details. NOTE: Legacy scaling will apply 100%, 200%, 300% and 400%. Fractional scaling is not possible.