FL Studio, formerly known as FruityLoops, is a digital audio workstation (DAW), developed by Belgian company Image-Line. FL Studio was originally the creation of Didier Dambrin, who is now the lead programmer responsible for the overall development.
FL Studio features a fully automatable workflow centered around a pattern-based music sequencer. The environment includes MIDI support and incorporates a number of features for the editing, mixing, and recording of audio. Completed songs or clips may be exported to Microsoft WAV, MP3, and the OGG Vorbis format. FL Studio saves work in a proprietary *.flp format, inadvertently sharing the same extension as a filetype created by Adobe Flash CS3.
The program is acclaimed for its professional DAW features at an attractive price point. Scoring to video is possible using the video-player plugin, but there is no support for traditional music notation.
FL Studio is written in Borland Delphi and thus until recently, there were no plans to develop a native Linux or Mac OS X port. Recent changes, however, has gleaned on 64-bit support and a self-packaged ASIO driver for low end sound cards. As of September 2015, the Image-Line website indicates that the company is heavily developing a native mac version which can currently be tested by all registered forum users (alpha 0.4); similarly, several FL studio plugins are in development as native versions and can also be tested (alpha 11 currently). In May 2018, Image-Line finally distrubuted version 20 of FL Studio, which has native MAC OS support.
FL-chanEditInspired by the success of VOCALOID2 character Hatsune Miku, Didier Dambrin made a comment in an Internet forum that he also wanted a moe character like Habanero-tan for FL Studio. A Japanese artist by the name Uruido took the request and created a moe anthropomorphism of FL Studio called FL-Chan, and she became the official character of the DAW software since the release of ver. 8 in March 2008. Image-Line has adopted the character as a form of mascot, providing an array of purchasable merchandise and a dedicated page on the Image-Line website. You can find that here.
She has been featured in various Vocaloid videos, Meiko's Various Feelings being one.
She also can be given a voice, but no official voice bank has been made for her.
For the detail of the character and voicebank, visit UTAU wiki.
In the western Vocaloid (and also UTAU) scene, FL Studio is among one of the more popular DAWs used by some producers, it is not as widely used in Japan since they also have access to other popular DAW systems as well. It is mainly used to put all the components of the music together. FL Studio also recognizes Vocaloid as a Rewire plugin, and is able to actively feed their voice samples together, making the software overall more attractive to Vocaloid users.
Since the software was designed for a wide variety of uses and aimed to appeal to users of all music levels, many amateur musicians also use this software, and for the western Vocaloid fandom has proven to be popular because it allows even amateurs a chance to remix or make new songs that can compete with professional works. It has many tools that have abled to them to create work on level with more professional Vocaloid users and has been considered one of the more attractive software suites for purchase for this reason by new Vocaloid fans.
Some producers however prefer to prerender the voices from vocaloid into WAV files (which is also a necessary step for UTAU-based voicebanks) and insert it in FL Studio as an audio sample, instead of using ReWire. Alternatively, a whole prerendered voice in a WAV file can be articulated into sliced samples, for easy access to note segments and remixing, as well as for conserving system resources.
FL-chan's voice has also been successfully transferred into UTAU. Much like Acme Iku, Users need to own the original software to legally use her voice. It is not the most realistic of the UTAU voicebanks as its results came from a Vecoder and were made by artificial means.
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