FL Studio 20 is here and Fruity Loops is on Macs at last

FL Studio have just jumped from version 12 to 20 and with it their bringing their acclaimed music software to Apple computers for the first time.

To celebrate 20 years of their acclaimed Fruity Loops music production software and digital audio workstation (DAW), Image Line have skipped 13-19 and launched FL Studio 20. The launch brings a bunch of wicked new features to play with and also sees Apple Macs gain access to one of the world’s favourite music software.

What’s new and improved:

Advanced Audio: Multi-track audio recording Time-stretching and pitch shifting pristine audio editing.

Sequencing: Industry leading Piano roll editor MIDI recording and control Pattern or Linear workflow.

Mixing & Effects: Multi-track mixer Automation control VST plugin support.

The Mixer

Mix and master music to the highest professional standards. All the features you need to create today’s most complex productions including, effects chains, audio sends, side-chain control, advanced automation, plugin delay compensation and more…

Piano Roll

FL Studio’s Piano roll has the well deserved reputation as the best Piano roll in the business. The Piano roll’s is used to send note and automation data to plugin instruments (sequencing). It includes a wide range of tools to aid complex score editing and manipulation.

Browser and Playlist

No other DAW matches the flexibility of FL Studio’s Playlist. Sequence all elements of the project to make the final song. Tracks can hold notes, audio and automation. Place any data type anywhere and even overlay them. Use the Browser to organize all the data in your project. Free your workflow and your mind!

Over 80 plugins included

FL Studio Producer Edition includes over 80 instrument and effect plugins covering automation, sample playback/manipulation, synthesis, compression, delay, equalization filtering, flanging, phasing, chorus, reverb, distortion, bit-crushing and more. With FL Studio you will be ready to create just about any style.

Instruments & FX

If the huge array of native instruments and effects are not enough for you, FL Studio supports all VST standards 1, 2 and 3. VST gives you access to the wisest range of 3rd party plugins currently available. You can even use FL Studio itself as a VST plugin in another VST host.

  • Vectorial Interface
  • Automation Recording & Editing
  • VST & ReWire Support
  • Multi-Touch
  • Live DJ Control
  • Advanced Help System
  • MIDI Learn
  • Visualizer effects Plugin
  • Lifetime Free Updates

FL Studio 20 is available for free to existing Fruity Loops users thanks to Image-Line’s lifetime updates policy. New users can download FL Studio 20 for as cheap as $99/€89 for the entry-level ‘Fruity Edition’. Purchase here: support.image-line.com/jshop/shop.php

Get “awe-inspiring” stereo width with this free plugin

Getting width in your mix can bring a whole new level to your music and this brand new plugin does it incredibly and for free.

A new plugin from Infected Mushroom and Polyverse promises true stereo width effects and is being released completely free to download. The plugin is based on the stereo section from the two company’s massively popular Manipulator plugin.

The plugin, aptly named Wider, gives you the ability to expand the stereo image of any signal to an awe-inspiring amount of width. However, Wider is a unique stereo plugin in the sense that it is completely “mono-compatible”, meaning that any signal that has been extended will always remain in phase with itself, even if summed to mono.

Many stereo effects currently in use have the nasty habit of knocking signals out of phase, which can quickly make mixes sound muddy and unbalanced, or make sounds seem flat and lacking dynamics if one isn’t mindful of the effect. Thanks to Wider’s one-of-a-kind all pass and comb filtering algorithm, no phase in any mix or affected audio will be compromised, even at its broadest setting! Instead, Wider cancels itself out when summed to mono, so the original signal is left intact:
a feature you won’t find in any other stereo plugin.

Wider can be used to increase the stereo image of any signal up to 200% of full stereo for an extra wide, exaggerated effect. No matter how far out and experimental Infected Mushroom’s sounds get, they always keep their mixes clean, crisp, and translatable without sacrificing power. Now you can achieve the same depth and clarity, absolutely free.

You can check out Wider and download it completely for free here: polyversemusic.com/products/wider

Get 16,000 of the BBC’s sound effect samples for free

As you can imagine the BBC have a massive collection of sound effects for use in all of their shows, now they’re free for you to download and do anything you like with.

The BBC are releasing 16,000 samples to everyone for free WAV download out of their giant library of sound effects. They are releasing them under a RemArc license which means that they can be downloaded and uses for “personal, educational or research purposes”.

The archive is available on their website and can be easily searched by keywords to look for the sounds you’re after. There is a massive variety to the samples, as you can imagine with 16,000 of them, ranging from simple sounds of the sea to parrots talking to a creepy doll saying ‘Mama’ over and over again for a minute. You’re sure to find something interesting you can use.

The samples range from anywhere to the past year to nearly 100 years ago so you can even access some archaic, archive sounds from the BBC. You can play any of the sound effect samples on your page and download them all individually for free.

The website is currently in beta and unfortunately doesn’t seem to work very well at all. It’s slow to load, hard to access and once you do it’s luck whether the samples will play or download but hopefully the BBC will work on making the site usable as this could be a great resource for musicians, filmmakers, and beyond.

If you have a minute for it to load, you can check out the giant list of samples here: bbcsfx.acropolis.org.uk

How to create your own iPhone ringtone on GarageBand

Bored of your iPhone’s plain ringtones? This guide will show you how to make your own straight from your phone for that custom touch.

If you’re not familiar with GarageBand then you’ve been missing out. It’s a free music creation and production software that has been a staple of Macs for years and has since found it’s home on iPads and iPhone’s as well. It’s super easy, super intuitive, and super-free.

There’s lots you can do with GarageBand, including making your very own custom ringtone on your iPhone which is then right there on your phone after creation. AppleInsider created a great guide to doing this which you should check out: appleinsider.com/articles/18/04/10/how-to-create-custom-ringtones-on-your-iphone-with-garageband-for-ios

If you already have reasonable grip on GarageBand or even have some tracks you’ve made already that you’d like to add we’ll give you a quick run down on how to export your music for a ringtone.

First you have to select what track/project you would like to use. Then get up the ‘Share’ button which will present you with a set of options: Export as a song, a ringtone, or a project.

Of course you want to select ringtone which will bring up the export screen where you can change the name of the project for it’s export by tapping on it. Then press export to start the process.

Once it is done  a notification will pop-up on your screen allowing you to select okay and now it’s in your ringtone library, or you can choose ‘Use sound as…’ and set it as your ringtone straight away.

If you select ‘Use sound as…’ then you choose to set it as your standard ringtone, your text tone or put it as a custom ringtone for one of your contacts for that personal touch.

Either way your track will now be available in your tone library for use whenever and however you like.

FL Studio Celebrate 20 Years With Anniversary Edition

To celebrate FL Studio’s 20th anniversary Image-Line are skipping version 13 and the 6 after to launch FL Studio 20 later this year.

After rumours Image-Line have confirmed that they will be releasing their first full version update for 2 years in 2018. In celebration of 20 years of the famed music production software FL Studio they will be releasing an anniversary edition which promises to be the best FL Studio yet.

Whilst it will continue to look much like the same FL Studio we know and love it’s optimisation under the hood and expanded features look to make it the smoothest experience yet. Image-Line have been beta testing the new version secretly under the guise of FL Studio 12.9 so we have some idea of what’s to come.

DirectWave means that a Zone’s loop type can now be set for every selected Zone at one time. The Mixer has been increased to 125 Mixer tracks which can be added to with a new system that dynamically adds them as you need. They’ve also improved visibility of Clip borders in Solid view mode which they are looking into enhancing further.

Here’s the whole list of what we know is coming new to FL Studio:

  • Automatic PDC – Automatic PDC should now work for all normal use-cases (please report issues). We still need to fix these cases: Multi-out plugins, Multiple generators feeding a single Mixer track, each with different latencies and the wet/dry mix knob on FX slots. These should be resolved in coming betas.
    • Automatic PDC now works with Generators.
    • APDC applies to inter-track routing and side-chains.
    • Manual and Auto-PDC can now co-exist. Manual PDC is applied as an offset to Auto PDC.
    • Manual PDC – Negative values – delay the selected track, positive values – delay all other tracks.
    • There’s a new audio input delay control on the INPUT menu to fix latency issues with individual audio inputs.
    • PDC icons now light orange when a track reports latency, not when it’s delayed (as before). This will help you to quickly identify PDC inducing plugins.
  • DirectWave – A Zone’s loop type can now be set for all selected Zones at once. New ‘Copy to selected zones‘ option for some Zone parameters
  • Fruity Reeverb – Is now a 64 Bit FL plugin.
  • GUI – The ‘Song/Pat’ switch is a placeholder. The main purpose at the moment is to show you are using the FL Studio Beta. We are working on converting all tool panels to 1-unit high to allow for a more streamlined tool-bar for those who want it. More later…
  • Help – FL now uses the online version of the help file. You can download an offline version here (although FL 12.9 won’t open this anymore).
  • Mixer – Increased to 125 Mixer tracks. You will get a lot more later, if you are good. Rather than fill the mixer with 500+ tracks, we need to implement a system to dynamically add-as-you-need.
  • Patcher – Reduced memory usage.
  • Playlist – Improved visibility of Clip borders in Solid view mode. This one’s for you Kaitav…guys are we overselling this? I had a look and I think we need to turn it up some more.
  • Time Signature Support – PlaylistPiano rollProject Settings and Time Markers. Right-click Time-markers and select ‘Time signature’. Shift+Alt+T to set time-signatures over a selected time-range. Use the on Pattern Clip Menu ‘Use current time signature’ to set a time-signature based on Playlist position.
  • Plugin manager – Locating plugins is faster, in some cases
  • Sampler Channels – Legacy precomputed effects are back. New: Playback – ‘Start offset‘ (automatable), will get a position visualization in the next update. Precomputed – ‘Sample start‘, and ‘Length‘ effects.
  • Tap tempo – Sync option for tempo tap is now off by default.
  • Unicode Text – Most FL plugins now support unicode characters when exchanging filenames and other text with FL Studio.
  • ZGE Visualizer – Layers can be collapsed. Buffered layers are more obvious now. New ‘SplinePeaks’ effect.

Image-Line haven’t talked an exact release date yet but have confirmed FL Studio 20 will launch sometime this year in 2018.

Internet gets first authentic TR-808 added to Roland Cloud collection

The Roland Cloud is home to over $4000 worth of amazing synths, drum machines, samples and now they’ve got the legendary TR-808 drum machine.

Earlier this month Roland updated their online subscription service which gives members access to a whole host of digital versions of their legendary history of instruments. Their latest update brings a legend in drum machines to the service with the first fully authentic software reproduction of their original TR-808 Rhythm Composer.

For their digital recreation of the TR-808, Roland have done everything to make it the most authentic 808 experience ever – emphasising that it’s no “sampled, lossy, TR-808 imitation – This is the real deal”. Roland have used the 808’s Analog Circuit Behavior technology to recreate the machine’s original analog circuit connections to maintain and faithfully replicate the nuance and feeling of the original.

The new digital TR-808 software also comes with some new features to bring the legendary machine into the modern day:

Each pattern has eight variations, allowing creators the ability to define evolving sequences with limitless possibilities. The classic 16-step “TR-REC” sequencer can be expanded to include a sequencer lane for each drum instrument so users can program faster and more fluidly. The built-in sequencer has adjustable flams and sub-steps so that detailed fills and ratcheting sequences can easily be created. Each instrument has its own “last step” and shuffle settings for atomic timing control, experimentation with polyrhythms, and to dial in just the right groove for a track. Musicians and producers can even drag patterns from the TR-808 directly into their DAW as MIDI or audio clips.

Roland’s TR-808 Rhythm Composer is the latest exciting addition to Roland Cloud but there is much more to be excited about within their service. When you sign up you gain access to a cloud-based suite of high-resolution software synthesizers and sampled instruments, connected services and software.

Roland are constantly rebuilding their quality products of yester-years and bringing to Roland Cloud in new and exciting ways so that there’s always something to look forward to with Roland Cloud. Each subscriber also gets immediately enrolled into their ‘YOURS’ loyalty program which lets users keep any software instrument from their library to use forever after paying for 12 months of Roland Cloud.

Find out more and sign up here: rolandcloud.com

You can get this $139 equaliser free

Overloud have released an emulation of the legendary API 550 equaliser and are giving away free copies until the 18th.

Overloud’s EQ550 takes the best features from the renowned API 550 EQ and enhances upon it in an incredible $139 package. But the awesome people at Overloud are giving away 1000 free copies of their equaliser plugin a day until the 18th of March.

Modelled from the American API 500 with custom op-amps the EQ550 is a powerful equaliser that will bring a lot of power to your mixes. It emulates what made the original amazing and even expands upon it to make it more appropriate for modern processing. The EQ550 adds a Band Cue, continuous frequency selection, and an additional mid band.

Beyond it’s new additions it retains these incredible features from the original:

  • Hyper-realistic simulation of the original Proportional Q equalizer, thanks to the 4th generation DSP technology
  • 5 bands eq: 2 shelving/peaking, 2 peaking, 1 bandpass
  • Individual band Cue
  • Continuous frequency selection
  • Simulation of all transformers in the original unit
  • Low CPU usage: more than 1500 instances on a Macbook Pro Retina
  • Multilevel undo-redo
  • A/B Comparison
  • Lots of presets designed in real mixing sessions
  • Scribble Strips: take notes anywhere on the plugin panel

It has a Proportional-Q design, meaning that the bandwidth of the filters becomes narrow when the gain of the  filter increases. For low gain settings the EQ delivers a smoother tone: its character becomes more and more aggressive when the bands gain band is raised. This design makes the EQ550 unique.

EQ550 exactly reproduces the original frequency response even in the highest-end of the spectrum, near the Nyquest frequency, which is the point where most of the digital simulations fail. Thanks to a proprietary DSP technology, Overloud has been able to achieve this result with no phase distortion and without using oversampling.

There’s only a couple of days left to try and get your free copy so don’t wait around and go get yours now: overloud.com/products/eq550

8 of the best and most popular Hip-Hop sample packs

Hip-Hop and R&B is now the most popular genre in the world, here are some of the greatest sounds that are making the hits of this generation.

Last year Hip-Hop/R&B overtook rock as the most popular genre in the world for the first time ever. To celebrate the rise of a new genre Producer Loops have compiled the most popular packs of samples that are helping to make Hip-Hop the landmark genre it is now with sounds from soulful modern hip-hop to the 808 days of old – and they could all be yours!

8. Bang Bang

These Kits are filled with ambient arps, heart-stopping chords, booming 808’s and ear-grasping snares. The pack contains five booming Construction Kits made in the style of up-and-coming rapper, Chief Keef and super producer, Young Chop.

7. Cinematic Hip-Hop Vol 1

Next up is ‘Cinematic Hip Hop Vol 1’ from Producer Loops. This is the first in a Block-busting series of deep, dark and brooding Construction Kit libraries fusing the very best in modern Hip Hop with epic soundtrack vibes. Combining traditional Urban instrumentation with ethereal textures, emotive sound design and dramatic overtones, this genre-defying release is perfect for everything from advertising campaigns that need a serious Urban edge, through to soundtracks and standalone Hip Hop releases.

6. Hip-Hop Soul Piano Melodies

Coming in at number six is ‘Hip Hop Soul Piano Melodies’ from Strategic Audio. This pack features five authentic, piano-driven Hip Hop Construction Kits inspired by the music of artists like Common, Alicia Keys, The Roots and Melanie Fiona.

5. West Coast Wave Vol 1

‘West Coast Wave Vol 1’ is next, the debut sample pack from Diginoiz. It features 10 great Construction Kits inspired by the hot climate of West coast America. High quality loops, hits, and percussion samples in tempos from 89-97 BPM will satisfy even the most demanding producers.

4. Cinematic Hip-Hop Vol 2

‘Cinematic Hip Hop Vol 2’ is the second instalment in this epic, silver screen-esque series of Construction Kits from Producer Loops. Following in the footsteps of its immensely successful predecessor, this Volume features all the dark instrumentation you need to dominate the dark Hip-Hop scene.

3. Lo-Fi Vol 1

Just making it into the top three is ‘Lo-Fi Vol 1’ from Kryptic Samples. It is the first release of this soulful, laid-back Hip Hop series,made with hand crafted nostalgic and dusty samples. Authentic and old school.

2. Urban Legends Vol 1

At number two, ‘Urban Legends Vol 1’ from Producer Loops fuses elements of EDM, Pop, RnB, Trap and Hip Hop to bring you five highly polished Construction Kits with an authentic Urban undertone.The loops in this pack have applications far outside of strictly Urban music and can be re-combined in a near-limitless number of ways.

1. Symphonic Hip-Hop

Our most downloaded hip-hop sample of all time is ‘Symphonic Hip-Hop’ from Bunker 8. A huge 5.4 GB Construction Kit that merges powerful symphonic arrangements and orchestrations with block busting hip-hop rhythmatics. There are 347 seriously hot loops here, waiting for your next urban blockbuster.

You can find many more great sample packs at www.producerloops.com

Create entirely new sounds with Google’s open-source synthesiser

Google are creating entire new sounds with their new synthesiser created using machine learning technologies.

The NSynth Super is a new algorithm based neural synthesiser created by Google using their powerful machine learning technologies. The NSynth Super is capable of creating over 100,000 new sounds which can be played from any MIDI source.

The NSynth Super works from a source of 16 original sounds at a range of 15 pitches. It’s machine learning is then capable of re-imagining and combining these samples in entirely new ways to create thousands of different possibilities. It works as simply as selecting the source sound and then dragging your finger across the touchscreen to navigate through new sonic possibilities as the synth alters various elements of it’s parameters.

The synthesiser has been created as part of Google’s machine learning research project Magenta which created the original NSynth last year. The original made use of their past research in machine learning and music to create an unparalleled understanding of sounds based on deep neural networks. The NSynth Super brings this power into the hands of musicians everywhere, making it capable of being used as an instrument.

Google say: “New sounds are powerful. They can inspire musicians in creative and unexpected ways, and sometimes they might go on to define an entirely new musical style or genre. It’s impossible to predict where the new sounds generated by machine learning tools might take a musician, but we’re hoping they lead to even more musical experimentation and creativity.”

The NSynth Super has been created with an entirely open source library so that creators and musicians alike can access all of the schematics, source codes, and design templates free for download on GitHub.

Find out more here: nsynthsuper.withgoogle.com

Orb AI is your newest bandmate, helping you write songs

Artificial Intelligence reaches new heights every day, and the latest software writes your tracks with you.

Orb Composer is a new Artificial Intelligence software that gives you tips and templates to help create tracks like a band-mate whose musical theory is on point. It might sound like a breach of creativity, and maybe it is for you but Orb could be a big tool in helping certain artists transform their ideas into full songs.

It’s creators, Hexachord, call Orb “the most accomplished music composition Artificial Intelligence in the world”. More than 5 years of research went into creating the AI which takes musical ideas and transforms them into new possibilities with it’s deep knowledge of musical standards and ideas.

For those worried about it taking away from the pure creation of music, it’s creators say: “Orb Composer doesn’t replace the composer and doesn’t write music automatically. You have to feed Orb with your own choices. Orb creates music mock-ups based on your creativity and only with your musical ideas.” Like a glorified cheat code it sounds.

What is it capable of:

Music templates

We propose 6 «basic» music templates to help you pre-select a musical environment: Orchestral, Strings, Piano, Electro, Pop-Rock and Ambient.

Own music structure

Structure your song as you want! You can add as many block and bar items as you wish, it’s fast and easy!

Chord Progressions

With the chord diagram you can drag-and-drop all different chords, from simple to complex ones, and create your own harmony.

Instrument Combinations

Choose the instruments you want to use for your composition, and for each instrument fine tune settings easily.

Import melodies (MIDI)

Import your melodies and use Orb to create your own musical arrangement or orchestration.

Full Compatibility (VSTi, AAX, DAW)

Use your favorite sequencers and sound machines to exploit the full sound potential of Orb composition

After more than 5 years in the making Orb Composer is set to finally launch on April 2nd next month. You can pre-order Orb now for €349 or €649 for an enhanced edition with more capabilities, most notably the ability to create songs with a wide variety of time signatures, whereas standard just comes in 4/4.

Pre-Order or find out more here: www.orb-composer.com/shop