Plugins behaving badly?

This section contains information to help bring wayward plugins back into line:

First things first ...

Make sure FL Studio is updated and running smoothly before adding 3rd party plugins. Then update and or reinstall the plugin.

  1. Update FL Studio - Carefully follow the 8 steps listed in the Clean Install section. This will make sure you are using the latest FL Studio and so plugin wrapper and shared files which are critical to smooth operation of VST/AU plugins. There may also be an interim, bugfix update, of these components available from our Public Betas - Plugins & Components forum post.
  2. Optimization - Make sure you have worked through this page in the manual - Optimizing FL Studio performance.
  3. Update / reinstall the plugin - If there is a newer version of the plugin, download and re-install it using the latest installer. If not, reinstall it using the installer you already have. In both cases perform a fresh Verify Plugins scan and make sure 'Verify previously scanned plugins' is selected.

If you continue to have problems, then proceed below:

Options and Settings that can help ...

  • Known issues - Check the Knowledge Base article - Problems with VST / AU Plugins in FL and Solutions (Wrapper Settings) for problems with common plugins and the solutions.
  • Apple macOS - There are several issues to review:
    • Apple Silicon - The shift from Intel to Apple Silicon (M-Series) CPUs means that some plugins no longer work correctly. Check this Knowledge Base article to learn how to solve Intel vs Apple Silicon plugin issues.
    • VST vs AU Format Plugins - On macOS you normally have the option of installing both VST and AU versions of plugins. Try swapping format and see if that resolves the problem.
    • macOS Updates - It is common for macOS updates to break some plugins. Check carefully the plugins you are using are recommended or updated for the version of macOS you are using.
  • Windows (VST2 vs VST3) - If the plugin is available in both formats try swapping between VST2 and VST3, does the other format work?
  • Plugin Wrapper Settings can fix - Spiking CPU meter, crashes, no sound, rendering quality, rendering sync (timing), loop-playback issues:
    • Open the plugin wrapper 'Troubleshooting' tab and select 'Use fixed size buffers'. If this is not successful proceed below.
    • Open the plugin menu and see if deselecting 'Smart disable' fixes the problem.
    • Open the Audio Settings and try CPU options - 'Multithreaded generator processing' (try off), 'Multithreaded mixer processing' (try off) & 'Align tick lengths' (try on/off).

      NOTE: If 'Multithreaded processing' is the cause of problems, then permanently disable it for the plugin/s at fault. Do this by deselecting the Wrapper Additional Settings Menu 'Allow threaded processing' switch and saving the wrapper state. The options set will be remembered for that particular plugin next time it is opened. Enable the global, Audio settings, multithreaded processing options for the remaining plugins.

  • Sluggish Start/Stop or Playlist is glitchy - Try Audio Settings > Mixer > 'Reset plugins on transport', OFF.
  • MIDI, automation, GUI & patch-changing issues - Try the plugin wrapper 'Settings > GUI & Automation' options.
  • FL Studio 32 vs 64 Bit - Make sure you are using a 32 Bit version of the plugin with FL Studio 32 Bit or the 64 Bit version of the plugin with FL Studio 64 Bit. Note that FL Studio 20.8.4 was the last release that supported a 32-bit version.

IMPORTANT: Tell The Developer!

If you identify a problem with a plugin, and even if one of the steps above fixes it, please contact the developer. When problems are not reported, they don't get fixed. Developers need feedback to make their products better.