FL Studio is a digital audio workstation that features a graphical user interface (GUI) based on a pattern-based music sequencer. It can also be used as a VST instrument in other audio workstation programs and can be utilized by hip hop and EDM DJs.
How to use the FL Studio Mixer
The Mixer Window
In order to start using the mixer in FL Studio, users can opt to press F9 or click the mixer icon on the toolbar. The F9 approach shows the mixer from its last location. The mixer is the master channel for FL Studio since the audio output passes through this mixer before they are relayed to the speakers or headphones.
The mixer channel consists of various tools to help users mix. Starting at the top, there is a peak meter for volume, followed by a pan control, followed by a mute switch, the volume fader, a stereo separation knob, phase invert, and stereo swap. The stereo separation knob can be used to either remove the centre from the stereo image or to make the channel truly mono. The phase invert and stereo swap are self-explanatory. At the bottom, there are a few icons namely FX, a clock, and a floppy disk. The FX icon enables or disables the effects of a particular channel. This is useful if users desire to temporarily disengage an entire FX chain. The clock icon activates the delay compensation for that channel and the floppy disk icon enables audio recording.
The IN section of the channel chooses which audio input from the sound card/interface needs to be recorded when the microphones are in use. Users can choose either stereo inputs or simple mono inputs. The dialog will reflect the options available for the sound card. On clicking on the pull-down box, it will reveal all the plugins that are currently loaded into FL Studio.
The quickest method of routing the mixer is to use the plugin picker to select the synth. In order to achieve this, either click the centre mouse button or press CTRL+F8 so as to view all the available plugins. Select and drag the plugin required and drop it on a mixer track. This will assign the synth to the selected mixer track while renaming it and coloring the track as well.
The alternate method is to manually load the synth and assign it to a channel. In this case, proceed to the step sequencer menu and right-click on one of the samplers or synths and select either insert or replace. In this case, the synth can be chosen. The synth automatically feeds itself into the master channel from where it needs to be assigned to a different channel. On clicking the synth, it opens both the synth and a separate Channel settings dialog box. On the top left corner of a routing box labelled ‘FX’, click and drag this box to choose between the various mixer tracks. When the synth is successfully routed into the mixer, a few internal routings in the mixer can be seen.
FL Studio mixer has a handy set of tools that are available on every track inside the mixer. There are a few useful shortcut keys that would help in navigating FL Studio mixer. The Alt + Left/Right moves the selected track, plugins and routing either to the left or right by one track. The CTRL + L key links the selected synth or sample to the selected mixer track. The F2 button changes the names and colors of selected tracks, whereas the key S denotes Solo for the currently selected track.