MIXING & EFFECTS

Mixer Functions

All audio in FL Studio passes through the Mixer. Unless specifically directed, newly added Channels are routed to the Master Mixer track. There are 103 x Insert tracks for receiving input from plugins and external audio inputs, 1 x Current track for hosting tools like Edison and Wave Candy and a Master track for master effects processing. The Mixer has three docks for tracks (left, middle and right) and can be stretched horizontally or vertically by clicking the edges and dragging. In combination with the layout options (on the Mixer layout menu), the controls visible will change to suit the Mixers size. To see tracks outside the current view, use the Track Scroll Bar below the 'Send' switches OR roll your mouse wheel over the track names. Select a track by Left-clicking the pan or fader controls. Select multiple tracks by holding (Ctrl+Shift). Selected tracks are highlighted with green faders (track 1 below is selected). For a detailed description of recording audio from internal and external sources see the Audio Recording page.

Mixer video tutorials.


NOTES: If your Mixer looks different to the above, choose the Compact view and stretch the Mixer height to match (some features will not be visible if the height is too small). Mixer tracks vs Mixer channels - The terms Mixer Tracks and Mixer Channels are interchangeable, we use 'Tracks' to differentiate them from plugin 'Channels' in the Channel Rack. FL Studios Playlist is not bound to any 'Instrument' or 'Mixer' Track.

Mixer Controls

NOTE: Most controls on the Mixer are automatable (Right-click and select 'Create automation clip', 'Link to controller' or 'Edit events').

Routing Instrument Channels to Mixer Tracks

Instrument Channels and Audio Clips are routed to the Mixer insert tracks via the Channel settings Routing selector, as shown below:

NOTE: Unlike 'traditional' DAW applications, Playlist tracks are not bound to Mixer tracks. The Playlist sequences Audio, Automation and Pattern Clips but Mixer track routing is direct from the Channel Rack (Channel Settings) directly to the Mixer.

Basic Routing

  1. Left-click the Channel's button to open the instrument interface.
  2. Click the Channel Settings icon to open the Channel Settings (if not already open).
  3. Assignment options:

Multiple Instrument Routing

  1. Select Channel Selector/s to the right side of each Instrument Channel's button that you want to route (Right-clicking allows multiple selections).
  2. Right-click the target Mixer track and select 'Channel routing > Link selected channels to this track' (Ctrl+L) from the pop-up menu OR use 'Channel routing > Link selected channels starting from this track' (Ctrl+Shift+L) to assign multiple Channels to multiple Mixer tracks.

NOTE: Learning the keyboard shortcuts for these two link methods is recommended.

Drag and Drop Routing

  1. Drag and drop instruments from the Browser Plugin Database (Shift+F8) or Plugin Picker (F8) and drop on the Mixer Track of choice. NOTE: This method auto-names the target Mixer track to that of the Instrument.

External Audio Inputs & Outputs

Each mixer track can receive one stereo input from and send to one stereo output to your audio interface (see the note below). For example, if you have an audio interface (soundcard) with 16 microphone inputs, then you have the option of setting 16 unique Mixer channels to receive each of these audio interface inputs. It is even possible to set two or more Mixer tracks to receive the same input or send to the same output.

NOTE: You MUST have an ASIO Driver selected in the Audio Options to record external audio and for any options to show in these menus.

Internal Mixer Track Routing & Sidechaining

Standard Sends

Insert Mixer tracks can be routed (sent) to as many other Mixer tracks as required. The Send-level knob above each Send switch appears after the switch is activated on the destination Mixer track.

  • Send from one track to another - Select the source track and then click the Send switch on the destination track. Optionally, adjust the send volume with the knob that replaces the Send switch to change the audio level sent to the destination. This can be useful if you run out of FX slots on one Mixer track or want to use 'Send' FX to lower the CPU load.
  • Remove a send - Click the Deselect Switch above the send volume knob, shown left. You can also turn the Send volume to 0 if you want to keep the link, but stop the audio.

Pre-fader Sends

The send switches in FL Studio's Mixer take the audio after the Mixer track fader, so this is known as a Post-fader send. To create a pre-fader send you need to extract the audio from a point before the fader, a pre-fader send, in this case, one of the FX slots.

  • Pre-fader sends - If you need to create pre-fader sends, use the Fruity Send plugin.

Sidechain Sends

Sidechaining is the process of sending Audio from one track to another without the audio being heard at the destination Mixer track. The purpose is for a plugin on the destination track to make use of the audio for some aspect of its operation. A typical example is to sidechain a kick track to one or more compressors on destination 'sidechain' tracks, to trigger the compressor, and 'duck' the level of the audio of the destination in time with the kick. The Fruity Limiter can do this kind of sidechaining. Vocodex can accept a pair of sidechain inputs, one for the Modulator and one for the Carrier processing sections.

Multiple Track Routing

You can route multiple tracks at once. Notice the first track you select, or a member of the selected group you Right-click, is highlighted slightly lighter than the rest (e.g. track 17 below). 'This track' is now the target for subsequent Mixer Menu > Track routing options.

How to route multiple mixer tracks:

  1. Hold (Ctrl+Shift) and Left-click (or Left-click and drag) all tracks involved in the multiple routing, including the target track. Don't let go of (Ctrl+Shift). NOTE: Don't use the faders to select tracks, use the number & label area (shown above).
  2. Still holding (Ctrl+Shift), Right-Click the target track (Insert 17 in this example) and the context Menu will open. Notice 'this track' (Right-clicked) is highlighted lighter than the others to indicate it is the target, otherwise referred to as 'this track' in the menu options.
  3. From the Track Routing > option select the desired action to perform with 'this track'.
Routing NOTES:

When one track is routed to another there are two independent audio paths. A regular audible send path that responds to the send volume level. A sidechain path that is NOT audible on the destination Mixer track UNLESS it is picked up by a plugin with a sidechain audio input capability loaded on the destination Mixer track. For more information on how to use sidechain audio sends, see the Audio Input/Output Routing section.

In this way it is possible to have simultaneous send and sidechain signals from one track to another. The 'Sidechain to this track' option on Right-clicking a Send Switch (shown left), is just a macro to creates a send link with the send volume set to 0. So, you can change any 'send' into a 'sidechain' (only) link by manually setting the volume to 0. Remember the sidechain source Mixer track will remain routed to the Master Mixer track, so deselect its send to master switch if you don't want the sidechain source Mixer track to be audible.

In the example above, the selected Mixer track 1 (Send FROM), is sending audio to three other Mixer tracks, the Master (not shown), Track 3 (a 'Sidechain' type send) & Track 5 (An 'audio' AND 'sidechain' type send). All audio sends are ALSO sidechain sends. Remember, you don't hear the sidechain send on the destination track unless some plugin on the destination track is receiving it and routing it into the regular audio path. For more information see this video tutorial on compressor Sidechaining.

Mixer Docks

There are Left, Middle and Right docks. These are organizational and workflow related, tracks behave the same no matter which dock they are in. The Left and Right docks remain fixed while the Middle dock will scroll (roll your mouse wheel over the name area). You can dock any Mixer track/s to any Dock. Select one or more tracks, Right-click a track and choose Dock to (Left, Middle or Right) from the pop-up menu. For a demonstration see this video.