FL Studio Mobile

FL Studio Mobile - Playlist

The playlist is the place to arrange and edit Note, Audio and Automation to create your song.

Parameters

The FL Studio Mobile interface is designed for touch so uses tap-and-hold (right-click), short-tap and long-tap commands.

  • Channel Menu - Long tap (Click) the Track Icon to open the menu and select. NOTE: The options visible will depend on the track type being used and the content on it.
    • Save Template - This option is available for Drum Channels (Stepsequencer) and allows you to save the custom set of drums.
    • Channel Settings - Change the track name by tapping on the name or slide the color selector to change the color of the track.

    • Hide/Show Tracks - Hide/Show any Sub-tracks to the selected Channel.
    • Reverse sample - Audio Clip tracks can be reversed.
    • Add Track - Add a Sub-Track to the selected Channel.
    • Import Sample (Windows only) - Opens a dialog to import samples from the device. After importing the sample, you will need to re-load it on the selected track.
    • Add StepSeq Track - This option is available for Drum Channels (Stepsequencer) and allows you to create a normal Stepsequencer Sub-Track.
    • Add Notes Track - This option is available for Drum Channels (Stepsequencer) and allows you to create a note-style Sub-Track. This treats steps like notes so you can extend durations by tapping on the step and dragging the right-side drag-handle and create complex timings such as triplets and 1/64th notes (video tutorial here). Note tracks are also the style created when you manually record into Stepsequencer tracks.
    • Delete Track - Delete the selected Sub-Track from the selected Channel.
    • Delete Channel - Deletes the Channel and any Sub-Tracks.
    • Import MIDI Tracks - Import MIDI (.mid) files. See My Files > My MIDI. The Tracks will be added to the selected Channel.
    • Import Sample - Load a sample from the file system available on your device.
    • Save as MIDI - Saves the current Channel as a MIDI (.mid) file. See My Files > My MIDI.
    • Sync All Samples - Sets all Audio Clips to SYNC mode. This locks the sample to the project tempo, so pitch remains constant as BPM or length is changed.
  • Track Mixer - Short tap (Right-click) to open.

  • Clip Controls - One short tap to open.

    • Copy - Copy the Clip. To place, long-tap where you would like to place and an option to paste will open.
    • Del - Delete the Clip.
    • Snap - Snap the Clip boundaries to the Grid. Snap options are on the upper-left of the Playlist (Magnet icon).
    • Edit - Open the Clip Editor. You can also double-tap Clips to open Editors.
    • More - Opens additional Clip options:
      • Cut - Cut the Clip.
      • Combine - When you have selected multiple (separate) Clips on the track, this will combine them into a single Clip.
      • Mute - The Clip will be remain silent when played.
      • Unmute - Play an muted Clip again.
      • Less - Show the first batch of Clip Control menu items.
    • Resize Clip - The center (height) handles on the ends of Audio and Pattern Clips allow you to resize the Clip (hold and drag). When the end of the data in the Clip has been reached, the Clip will Loop.
    • Stretch Clip - Only available for Audio Clips. This allows you to Time Stretch the Audio Clip. When SYNC is selected the Pitch will remain constant. When it is deselected the Pitch will change with length.
  • Clip Editor - 2 taps to open. Depending on the Clip type this will open the Piano roll (note entry), Automation Clip editor, Wave editor or Stepsequencer.

  • Time selection options - After making a time-line selection there will be a (+) icon, tapping this opens a menu. If the (+) icon is not visible, tap one of the bars of the selection:

    • Deselect - Remove time-line selection.
    • Insert space - Insert time equal to the selection length. Clips straddling the selection, will be sliced at the start of the selection and moved to the right. Time will be added equivalent to the length of the selection.
    • Duplicate - All Clips in the selection will be sliced at the selection boundaries and copied to the right.
    • Delete - All Clips in the selection, will be sliced at the Clip boundaries and deleted.
    • Delete space - All Clips in the selection, will be sliced at the Clip boundaries. Both Time and Clips will be deleted, Clips to the right will be moved left.
    • Trim selection - Clips will be sliced at the selection boundaries and everything outside the selection will be deleted (Time and Clips).

  • Add Track Button (+) - Tap to open. Choose from:
    • DirectWave - Sample player. From the Channel Rack tap the plugin menu to open the sample / preset browser.
    • Minisynth - Realtime synthesizer.
    • GMS (Groove Machine Synth) - Realtime synthesizer (Additional purchase required).
    • Transistor Bass - 'TB-303 style' bass synthesizer (Additional purchase required).
    • Drum Sequencer - Stepsequencer track.
    • Audio Clip - Creates a Playlist track and adds a wave sample to the track. You will see a Browser after adding this track type. See Your Files! for info on adding custom samples and where the Browser looks for audio.
    • Effect Track (AUX) - These are audio-only tracks designed to host FX plugins. Use the routing control at the bottom of Channel Racks and the Drum Sampler > Sample Tab > AUX control to send audio to an Effects Track (AUX).
    • Audio Record - Creates a Playlist track dedicated to Audio Recording. See Your Files! for more information where your recordings are saved.

Audio Recording

When recording audio from a microphone, make sure to wear headphones so audio from FL Studio Mobile isn't mixed in with the recorded source. To set up for recording:

Method

  1. Audio Inputs - The 'Recording Source' option will only be available if multiple inputs are detected on your device. For most mobile devices this will default to the internal Microphone. If you have an external audio interface attached, make sure on Android 'NATIVE' Audio Mode is selected and on Windows 'Multitrack' is selected. iOS will automatically show multi-input options as there is only one Audio Mode. Check the SETTINGS > Audio > section for the correct Audio Input.

    NOTE: In the case of Audio interfaces, you may need to test input options to find the correct one for your microphone or instrument (e.g. guitar) input you are using. Windows App users, see the NOTES at the bottom of this section.

    The 'Recording Source' option will only show if more than one input is detected.

  2. Tap the 'Add Track' icon and select 'Audio Record'.

  3. Calibrate the device (optional) - This is normally done once and remembered. Some devices will need to perform a calibration each time the App is restarted. The purpose is to accurately align recorded audio with the Playlist.
  4. Optionally open the Channel Rack to access the monitor control. Tap the microphone icon to mute/activate the live audio monitoring. When recording this should normally be OFF: The input is recorded but not audible through FL Studio Mobile while this is happening. When this is set to ON: The input is recorded and is also audible through FL Studio Mobile. This WILL cause a feedback-loop (squealing and screeching) if you select this option without headphones on.

  5. Tap the 'Record' button and start recording.

NOTES: On the SETTINGS tab, there are options including 'Audio Input', 'Enable count-in when recording', 'Metronome level' and 'Use 32 Bit format when rendering and recording audio' that may be useful to you. Additionally 'Sound mode: FAST' may improve the recording experience on some systems.

For Windows devices you will need to set your Settings > Sound > Input to match any custom Audio Interface you are using, for it to be visible in FL Studio Mobile.

iOS Inter App Audio (IAA) and Audiobus

See the section on working with IAA and Audiobus inputs/outputs.

Transport Bar

  • Mixer - Open the Mixer.
  • Keyboard & Scale Options - See below.
  • REC - Arm for recording. Press play to start. You can also engage and disengage Recording on-the-fly.
  • REV - Revert, returns the playhead to the start of the Song.
  • TMP - Tempo controls:
    • Metronome - Click track. The Metronome volume is set from the Home > Settings panel.
    • Set tempo - Drag around the BPM dial, use the +1/-1 buttons or use Tap Tempo.
    • Tap tempo - Tap in-time here to set the tempo to a real or imagined tempo.
  • CTRL - Link to CC, Unlink from CC or Create (automation) parameter track.

    To create an Automation Clip/Track - You can automate most movable control on FL Studio Mobile. All knobs and sliders. To manually create an automation clip for a target: Tweak the control you want to automate. Tap CTRL and choose Add Automation Track. .

    1. Tweak/move the target control
    2. Tap CTRL
    3. Select 'Add Automation Track'
    4. Tap the Automation Track and add an empty Automation Clip
  • Undo - Undo the last action. Only visible when a change has been made to the project.
  • Preview - Solo audio for the selected Track, Pattern or Audio Clip, depending on what is selected.
  • CPU - The CPU meter measures 'Buffer Health'. As the buffer health declines, the bar gets smaller. Think of it as a battery meter running low on power. When the meter fills with red, the audio you hear is likely to stutter or crackle as the buffer is empty.

    What is a buffer? - The live playback audio you hear from FL Studio Mobile is generated in small chunks known as 'buffers'. Normally these buffer audio-chunks are joined together into a continuous stream. The amount of time it takes your device to fill the next buffer is a measure of how 'loaded' the CPU is. For example; if the buffer is filled in 20% of the time it takes to play that audio, this indicates you have lots of spare processing capacity. If it takes 90% of the available time to fill the buffer, your device is very close to running out of time to complete the task. Once it takes more time than is available to generate audio for the buffer, the CPU falls behind real-time and there will be gaps in the audio. These are heard as glitches or stuttering as your device plays the audio when it becomes intermittently available.

Keyboard Options and Scale Tool

  • Key Signature - The Key Signature tool allows you to lock notes including the Piano roll, Preview Keyboards and MIDI Controllers to a musical scale. Scales are a set of notes that either sound good together when played in series, or create a particular emotional feeling. For example; Open the tool and preview a Major and Minor scale variation of the same root note. This will sound familiar even if you don't understand how scales work.

    On smaller devices such as phones, the Scale Tool will be shown in a linear layout, but the controls and features are the same:

    About Scales (Key Signatures) - You may have noticed if you play only the black keys on a keyboard, it's hard to make what sounds like a mistake. That is because you are playing 5 of the 7 notes from the scale of G-flat Major (within a scale or key signature). The tool allows you to play any scale with the same confidence. The advantage of locking to scale, means you will be able to more easily create musical pieces that sound good or harmonized as you won't play out-of-scale notes that are often the cause of disharmony in music.

    A Scale is a collection of notes, typically 5-7 out of the possible 12 notes used in Western music. Melodies built using the same scale share a certain sound, which can create a similar emotional feeling. For example, the Dorian scale gives a melancholic feeling, etc. Of course, your emotional response will depend on your cultural background and association of music with places and events.

    • Key Signature Options left to right:
      • Root Note / Tonic (C through to B) - Select the note name from the note dial. Western music contains 12 notes to represent pitches up and down the keyboard. You can also tap and drag around the ring to preview the scale in ascending or descending sequence depending if you move clockwise or anti-clockwise. NOTE: Root Notes are indicated by a colored bar along their lower edge. The color matches the selected Playlist Track.
      • Scale Presets (Major, Harmonic, Melodic, Minor) - Select the most commonly used Scales. Most of the modern pop music uses these scale types.
      • Scale Menu (Dorian, Ionian, Lydian, Mixolydian etc) - Choose from a large selection of Scales, ranging from common to exotic.
    • Option Icons left to right:
      • Play - Preview the scale on selection or when toggling the icon. You can also click and drag clockwise/anti-clockwise around the dial.
      • Mod/Pitch - Show the Modulation and Pitch Bend controls.
      • Dual Keyboard - Toggle a dual layer keyboard view.
      • Sharp/Flat - Show the black notes as Sharp or Flat to match your Key Signature.
      • Scale View - Show or hide out-of-scale notes. Out of scale notes are not playable on the Keyboard or MIDI Controller. See the related setting in the SETTINGS tab for more visual options.

    NOTE: Musical scales can seem incredibly complicated if you have no formal musical training, and often, even if you do. Consider the Scale Tool as a helper that allows you to explore scales and scale modes, to find an emotional feeling or tension you want to create. By locking to the scale you can keeping your music in key as you explore ideas. In other words; experiment with the scales and pick one you like. Continue from there.