PLAYLIST PERFORMANCE MODE

The Playlist - Performance Mode

Performance Mode is saved per-project and allows you to trigger Clips from the Playlist. When the project is playing you can use a mouse on the Playlist, the typing keyboard or a controller to trigger Clips. The purpose is to create new performances or remixes of a projects Clip content (Audio, Pattern & Automation). Performance mode works by treating the area before the Start Marker as a 'Performance Zone' that allows Clips to be triggered out of sequence between tracks. One Clip can play per track, so if you need more simultaneous Clips, use more tracks. Record mode determines whether performances are recorded and laid out after the Start marker for later rendering.

See the Performance Mode Video Playlist here.

The main areas covered are:

Playlist track header - Right click Menu > Performance settings - These options are per Playlist track (not per Clip) so track settings will apply to all Clips on that track. Each track have any unique combination of the following:

Working with performance mode

Performance mode works by triggering Clips from the Performance Zone. The following rules and principles apply:

You can trigger Clips from your Typing keyboard, a MIDI keyboard or other controllers. Most popular 'Clip-launching controllers' controllers are supported.

Setting up a performance mode project

From an existing project:

  1. Save your project (the following steps will make destructive changes to the original layout).
  2. Select Tools > Misc macros > Prepare for performance mode
  3. Add or delete Time Markers as required. Remember, the time markers are used to define columns/rows of buttons, depending on your controller.
  4. Place Clips in the Playlist tracks in related rows aligned with Time Markers as needed. For example; Melody progressions on one track, Bass progressions on another, percussion on yet another.
  5. Per track, set the Performance settings as desired.

From a new project:

  1. Select Tools > Misc macros > Prepare for performance mode.
  2. Add or delete Time Markers as required. Remember the time markers are used to define columns/rows of buttons, depending on your controller.
  3. Place Clips in the Playlist tracks in related rows aligned with Time Markers as needed. For example; Melody progressions on one track, Bass progressions on another, percussion on yet another.
  4. Per track, set the Performance settings as desired.

Useful Options and Settings

The following options & settings are useful for Performance Mode:

* Set automatically by the Tools > Misc macros > Prepare for performance mode macro.

Scenes - Clip Groups, Marker Groups, Track Groups & Sub Clips

A 'Scene' is any group of Clips, on independent tracks, that can be triggered to start playing together. There are three ways to group Clips:

  1. Marker Regions - These automatically group the first Clip on each track following the Marker position. Any subsequent Clips, within the region defined by the marker and the next, are treated as 'Sub Clips'. Trigger a Marker Scene/Group - Click anywhere along the Marker region defined by two Markers.
  2. Clip Groups - Clip Groups don't need to be time-aligned as you can group any collection of Clips by holding (Ctrl + Shift) and click on Clips to be included in the group, then press (Shift + G) to group them. Trigger a Scene/Clip Group - Hold (Ctrl + Left-click) any member of the group.
  3. Track Groups - To create, click on the track divider, below the track you want to group with, then drag upward until a Track Group is created. To Ungroup Tracks repeat the process dragging up until the group is undone. Trigger a Scene/Track Group - Hold (Ctrl + Left-click) any Clip in the Folder group. Track groups are a good way of creating Scenes that span a limited number of tracks s opposed to Marker regions that trigger all Playlist tracks.

Using Scene & +Scene functions on controllers - For example:

In the following case:

Scene button - If Scene 1 is playing (Bass A, Drums A & Vocal A) and Scene is used to trigger Scene 2, FL Studio will replace Scene 1 with Scene 2 and play Bass B, none & Vocal B. No surprises there.

+ Scene button - If Scene 1 is playing (Bass A, Drums A & Vocal A) and +Scene 2 is triggered FL Studio will play Bass B, Drums A & Vocal B. Since, Drums A (track 2) is not replaced by anything in Scene 2. Remember only one Clip per Playlist track can be triggered at a time, so +Scene will replace playing Clips with any new Clips on the same track in the next Scene but leave any Clips on unused tracks (in the new scene) playing.

NOTE: Sub Clips - are any grouped Clip/s, following the first Clip on a track, that follow in the same Scene/Group. Sub Clips can be triggered by repeated presses OR by velocity if the controller supports it (velocity triggering auto-mapped by the number of Sub Clips into the MIDI velocity range).

How to

MIDI Controllers

All MIDI controllers can be used with Performance mode, however 'Pad' style controllers are particularly well suited to live performance.

NOTE: If your controller has been auto-detected by FL Studio it's best to use the default MIDI port settings as this will allow you to share your projects easily with others using the same controller/s. The port number is just a unique internal 'address' used to differentiate one controller from another, including two or more of the same type.

Setting up a MIDI Controller

Any MIDI controller can be used to trigger Clips, so long as it can send MIDI notes.

MIDI Setup

  1. Select your controller - Make sure your controller is selected and enabled in the F10 > MIDI options.
  2. MIDI Channel - If your controller is not specifically supported as a Performance Mode controller, set your MIDI controller and MIDI options 'Playlist performance mode MIDI channel' to the same channel. Any additional controllers not on this channel will still be available for normal controller duties on Instruments, Effects & FL Studio parameters. Remember the lowest MIDI channel controls the upper-most active Instrument Channel.
  3. MIDI Ports- If your controller is specially supported as a Performance Mode controller (and has visual feedback), set your MIDI controller INPUT and OUTPUT ports to match (something other than the default '---'). Set one and double-click to set the other port.
  4. Multiple controllers - Set each controller's INPUT and OUTPUT ports to matching and unique values for each controller.

Pre-configured controllers

There is a list of controllers dedicated to Clip launching, typically feature more pads (often 4x4 or 8x8) and usually include controller feedback and full functionality:

Mapping your own non-configured controller

MIDI notes pre-map to the first 10 Playlist tracks. Starting from C0 each octave maps to a row of 12 Clips/Groups per Playlist track. The lowest octave C0 to B0 maps to 12 Clips on the first Playlist track, C1 to B1 on the second and so on up to C10 to B10 mapping to 12 Clips on the 10th Playlist track.

Where no Time Markers are used, the 12 Clips-per-track are defined by the first 12 bars OR if Time Markers are used they will be defined by the bar starting with each marker.

NOTES: For keyboards, use the octave switch on your controller to access Playlist tracks outside your controllers range. Most pad-style controllers can be configured to send any MIDI note from any pad.

Playlist Menu - Performance Related

Performance Mode Guidelines

The following suggestions will minimize the probability of audible glitches during a performance: