Transport Panel

The Transport Panel contains controls for playing, recording and setting song position and tempo.


Panel icons as shown:
Metronome ( Ctrl+M) - When selected, a short 'metronome' sound will play at the beginning of each beat, accented at the beginning of each bar. This feature is especially useful when you need to keep performers 'synced' with the song tempo.
  • Change metronome sound - Right-click the switch and select from the menu.
  • Customize metronome - Replace \Program Files(x86)\Image-Line\FL Studio\Data\System\Metronome.wav, Metronome2.wav and/or Metronome3.wav with your own samples. If you do, make sure to back up the originals since you are likely to suck at making good metronome sounds, unlike us of course. NOTE: This folder is normally hidden, so you will need to display hidden folders to access it.
  • Set Metronome Mixer channel - The metronome is routed to the 'Preview mixer track', set in the Audio Settings. The default preview mixer track is the Master (--). Re-routing the Metronome sound can be useful to adjust the metronome volume or send a separate click-track to performers via a Mixer track external mixer output (requires ASIO).
Wait for Input (Ctrl+I) - When selected, pressing the play button will set FL Studio in waiting mode. Playing/recording begins at the moment input data is received (e.g. when a key is pressed on a MIDI keyboard). Right-click the LED to select whether you want this option active when playing or recording only.
Recording Count-in (Ctrl+P) - The metronome will ticks before the start of a recording session. Right-click to select the number of bars to countdown.
Blend recording (overdub) (Ctrl+B) - When selected, recorded notes will blend with existing notes, otherwise recorded notes will overwrite the old ones. Recorded audio in the Playlist will be layered into new tracks (works in conjunction with 'Loop record' below).
Loop Recording - Enable this option to loop-record a Pattern, Piano roll (or Piano roll time selection), Playlist (or Playlist time selection) indefinitely until the stop button is clicked. Overdub MIDI/Note or Audio data on each loop. For detailed instructions on audio overdubs see Loop Recording
Pattern/Song mode (L) - Switch between pattern and song mode. In pattern mode, only the current pattern is played, while in song mode the whole sequence in the Playlist is played. Right-clicking this control toggles the Playlist window. For more on working with Patterns and how they are used, see the section in the Channel Rack about managing patterns and Arranging Workflow.
Play/Pause (Ctrl + Space) - Press the button once to play, again to pause. To Play/Stop use (Space). When the record button is armed, pressing Play starts the recording process. NOTE: There are also play buttons on the top bar of the Piano roll, Channel Rack / Step Sequencer and Playlist to aid workflow.
Stop (Space) - Stops playback or recording. To pause playback use (Ctrl + Space). Right-click the Stop button to show the start location option:

  • Remember seek time - After pressing stop or (Space), Play will start from the selected position (click on the Playlist time-line to select).
Record (R) - Switches between record and play mode. Right-click the Record button to show the Recording Filter options (all items with a tick will be recorded, Left-click to select items):

  • Automation - Record movements of knobs, sliders and switches by the mouse or from controllers. Turn this off if you want to adjust mixer track volumes, generator settings, etc. while recording external audio and you don't want those movements recorded.
  • Notes - Record note data from keyboards and drum-pads, etc. Turn this off if you want to accompany a vocalist, for example, but don't want to record your keyboard performance.
  • Audio - Record audio.
  • Clips - Record Playlist Clips as triggered when in Performance Mode. These will be saved after the 'Start' Time Marker.
  • Recording starts playback - Pressing the record button will start the project playing.
Tempo (larger digits) - Shows/sets song tempo (10 - 522 BPM). To change the tempo of individual patterns, edit the Piano roll data and or number of Stepsequencer steps for that Pattern so the new tempo is achieved. To set the Time signature use the Project General Settings.
  • Tempo fine tune (smaller digits) - This control lets you fine tune the tempo of the current project in units of 1/1000 bpm. The value set here will be added to the base tempo. Note that it's not recommended to use that setting when starting a new song (it is better to use a whole number for your tempo). However, it can be used to match the exact speed of another song to be mixed in a FL Studio project (for making using existing sampled loops, 'cover songs', etc).
Right-click the LCD screen for some tempo presets & commands:

  • Automation and linking - The usual automation controls such as Edit events, Create automation clip, Copy and Paste value etc.
  • Tap - The project can be playing when you launch the tap tool. Click the tap icon repeatedly with the desired tempo in mind. The tempo will start to adjust after the second click with a bar indicator showing the ideal number of taps.

    • +/- nudge - Hold the buttons to temporarily speed or slow the project tempo to sync with some other live source. On release the tempo returns to the set speed OR with the Tap Tempo open pitch bend from your MIDI controller will act as a smooth nudge. Nudge is most useful where you know the tempo of the other audio source but the beats are out of sync or phase. Simply nudge to sync/phase.
    • Sync - With 'Sync' on each tap will reset the downbeat, so audio clips are repitched to allign their time. One tap alone can be used to reallign FL playback to external audio for example. This only works if your Audio Clips are already synced/locked to the grid beforehand. When enabled Audio Clips will repitch to align their beat to the grid as the Tap Tempo changes. Turn off 'Sync' in the Tap window if you dont want it to alter the playback of whats currently in the playlist. For example you can drop an unsynced Audio Clip onto the Playlist and tap along to find its tempo with Sync off.
    • Mute - For use with Performance Mode, the project will be muted when tapping starts then automatically fade in over the next few taps when (presumably) the tempo is more stable and at the desired speed. The fade-in allows you to clearly hear the other live source to get your tapping in sync and avoids the worst case out-of-sync live playback.
    • Now - Mute now, for a few bars.
  • 80bpm-160bpm - Some commonly used tempo presets.
  • Half speed - Play the song at half the current BPM setting. The value shown in the Tempo field does not change when 'Half speed' is set. This is a temporary state to make it easier to record difficult note/event performances, making it easier to switch back to the original tempo was after you are done.
  • Song position slider - Shows/sets the current song position. Click and drag to move.