The Playlist

The Playlist sequences (plays) all elements of the project to make the final song. The Playlist window is a stack of multi-purpose 'Clip Tracks' that can hold Patterns Clips, Audio Clips and Automation Clips. Unlike most other sequencers, the Playlist tracks are not bound to a single instrument, audio recording or even Clip type. You can put any Clip type anywhere and even overlay Clips. Think of Clips as a little like notes in the Piano roll. When the play-head reaches a Clip, FL Studio plays whatever the Clip instructs it to do. This also means Clip Tracks are not bound to Mixer tracks, rather Channel Rack to Mixer routing of instruments used by Clips decides the Mixer track/s that are used. So Instrument Channels are bound to Mixer tracks, not Playlist tracks. For example, a single Pattern Clip on a single Playlist track, could trigger every Channel Rack instrument, and so all Mixer tracks if they were routed accordingly. If you want to simulate traditional sequencer workflow: Route each Instrument to a separate Mixer track. Use one Instrument Channel per Pattern Clip and use one song-length Pattern Clip per Playlist track.

NOTE: Pattern Clips can hold two types of data, MIDI notes and/or controller movements (stored as 'event automation'). Video tutorials are available on the Image-Line YouTube Channel.

Playlist Controls

Timeline & Time Markers

Time is displayed horizontally in the Playlist (in bars displayed along the top of the window). The grid resolution is determined by:

Playback can be controlled from the Main Transport controls or the Play button as indicated above.

Patterns, Audio Clips and Automation Clips

This section covers general editing and Playlist operations. For specific details on using Audio Clips, Automation Clips and Patterns Clips, please see the following pages:

NOTE: Audio, Automation and Pattern Clips can share the same Playlist tracks, as shown above and will overlap, with transparency, to aid with the grouping of related Clips.

Playlist Clip Focus

The Clip focus selector, below, is used to focus Clip types. This is particularly useful when Clips are stacked, the focused Clip is brought to the top for selection and editing. To select all clips in a layered stack, use (Ctrl+Left-click), then they can be moved together. NOTE: Use (M) to cycle modes when Typing keyboard to piano (Ctrl+T) is off.



Patterns (notes & events)

These control the color display for Pattern Clips.

Picker Panel

The Picker Panel (Alt+P) is a Pattern, Audio and Automation Clip manager / browser. It shows all Clips in the project, accessed with the filter switches at the top of the panel. Click and drag from this list to the Playlist or click to select, then click on the Playlist to place. Use it to rename and color Clips, auto-select and delete all unused Clips, freeze Patterns, reorder patterns etc. NOTE: Each Clip type has a comprehensive Right-click menu available on the Clips in the list.


Working with the Picker

Bouncing Patterns to Audio

You can (Right-Click) Patterns and select Quick render as audio clip or Render as audio clip to convert the selected Pattern/s to audio. This can be useful when manually 'Freezing' Instrument Channels and or Mixer effects to save CPU. Alternatively, to create samples to drop onto the Playlist as an Audio Clip or to Sampler Channels for further manipulation. Let's consider the Render Settings > Miscellaneous > Insert and Master FX combinations and how these can influence your workflow:

IMPORTANT NOTES: As the automation of Paterns can change with Playlist position, automation is not active during Pattern rendering. The song start, or Playlist selection, is used to set fixed automation values for the duration of the Pattern/s. If you want to bounce a Pattern Clip to audio, with in-situ Playlist Automation, use inline Playlist bouncing. Event Automation, will be included in the rendered audio. With some forward planning you can create projects with this limitation in mind. Only .WAV format is available with this function.

Project Picker

The Project Picker can be opened by (Ctrl+F8), Right-Clicking the Clip Source selector (indicated above) or Mouse X1 button on the Playlist, Piano roll or FL Studio background wallpaper. Plugin Picker video tutorial here.

Working with Clips

Take the time to learn the Playlist keyboard shortcuts associated with your most common Clip operations. In particular, the shortcuts that swap between editing tools are great time savers.

Selection Methods (while in Draw or Paint mode)

Most commonly you will be in Draw () or Paint () mode, if so holding (Shift) will swap between Paint & Draw modes, although the cursor does not change in appearance. Further, holding the ( Ctrl) key will temporarily enable Select mode:

Universal Clip Editing Methods

Audio Clip Specific Features

Audio Clips have a few unique properties, as discussed on the Audio Clip page.

Automation Clip Specific Features

Automation Clips have a range of unique properties, as discussed on the Automation Clip page.

Pattern Clip Specific Features

Pattern Clips have a few unique properties, as discussed on the Pattern Clip page.

Clip Menus

Under the menu icons at the top left corner of each Clip you will find a menu with the following options, depending on the Clip type selected:

Playlist Menu

The Playlist menu button has options and commands for managing the Playlist.

Multi-touch Gestures

See FL Studio User Interface > Multi-touch support

Playlist keyboard shortcuts

See the Playlist Keyboard Shortcuts page.