The FL Studio Arcade, a collaborative creation by Bespoke Arcades and Image-Line, has developed much curiosity within the FL community.

This one-of-a-kind device blurs the boundaries between music production and arcade gaming, prompting the question: Is it designed for music creators or retro gamers?

Well, let’s find out!

Music Production Powerhouse Cab

The FL Studio Arcade is primarily powered by the acclaimed FL Studio DAW, granting users access to professional-level music production tools.

This arcade cabinet is pre-loaded with FL Studio’s signature step sequencer, piano roll editor, an array of virtual instruments, and versatile mixing capabilities.

For musicians, the FL Studio Arcade presents an exceptionally hands-on approach to music creation.

It features a 25-key velocity-sensitive keyboard with an aftertouch for expressive playing.

The 64-step sequencer features touch-sensitive trigger pads, simplifying beat and melody composition.

Step sequencer, keyboard, touch mousepad, and other controls on FL Arcade
Step sequencer, keyboard, touch mousepad, and other controls on FL Arcade

Besides, it offers twenty rotary knobs for manual control of FL Studio’s mixer and a 9-point touchpad for dynamic parameter adjustments.

The arcade format is conducive to spontaneous experimentation in music production.

Users can swiftly craft beats, melodies, and basslines, accessing synth leads, vocal lines, and various instruments directly from the machine.

The FL Arcade experience promises to stimulate creative flow in musicians through its interactive and performance-oriented design.

Priced at £6,999,999 (~$86,62,498), the FL Studio Arcade is tailored for professional musicians and well-equipped studios rather than casual hobbyists.

However, for serious music producers familiar with FL Studio’s workflow, the Arcade introduces an exciting and interactive approach to music creation.

Its optimized controls facilitate rapid music ideation and real-time manipulation of virtual instruments, offering a substantial advantage in workflow efficiency.

Retro Arcade Gaming Nostalgia, For Sure

In addition to its music production capabilities, the FL Studio Arcade taps into retro arcade nostalgia, offering an authentic old-school gaming experience.

The unit’s design pays tribute to classic arcade cabinets, complete with vibrant marquee lighting and FL Chan anime graphics.

Equipped with emulators like MAME, the FL Studio Arcade provides access to a vast library of retro titles, from Pac-Man to Street Fighter II.

The familiar joystick and concave control buttons deliver a genuine old-school gaming experience.

Gamers can immerse themselves in high-score pursuits and multiplayer battles, just like in their youth.

While suitable for home use, the FL Studio Arcade is particularly well-suited for retro arcades, pubs, and other music artists and producer-targeted entertainment venues.

Its striking design is bound to catch the eye of passersby, enticing them to pause for a quick game of Galaga or a round of Mortal Kombat.

The unit’s nostalgic graphics, coupled with arcade sounds and controls, make it a real crowd-pleaser.

For gamers with a deep passion for retro titles, the FL Studio Arcade resurrects the golden age of arcade gaming in a unique package.

It rekindles the novelty and excitement of inserting quarters into a cabinet, updated for today’s audiences.

A Multi-Purpose Machine

FL Studio Arcade

Undoubtedly, the FL Studio Arcade stands as an ambitious and feature-rich system designed to cater to both music creators and retro gaming enthusiasts.

Nevertheless, its substantial price prompts the question: Who is the intended customer for this specialized device?

The most probable buyers are music producers who have a deep appreciation for 80s and 90s arcade culture.

The FL Studio Arcade is particularly appealing to artists in genres like electronic or hip-hop who grew up during the arcade’s golden era.

For this demographic, the machine adeptly combines music production tools with gaming nostalgia.

However, the unit’s professional pricing places it out of reach for more casual users on either side.

Novice beatmakers are unlikely to invest in the machine purely for its novelty as a music-making toy.

Similarly, the average retro gaming enthusiast may struggle to justify the cost.

That being said, the FL Studio Arcade holds a strong allure for serious musicians who fondly remember the arcade’s glory days.

If I were Martin Garrix, I’d definitely add an FL Arcade to my studio.

Room for Improvement?

The current version of FL Studio Arcade has room for improvement.

It lacks necessary connectivity options like MIDI ports and audio jacks, making external gear integration difficult. Additionally, it’s not portable due to its size.

Some may find the anime graphics distracting or off-putting, suggesting that a more subtle or music-focused design could broaden its appeal.

Also, streamlined controls and an optimized music production interface would push it further toward the mainstream.

Final Thoughts

The FL Studio Arcade carves a unique niche by combining music production and retro arcade gaming.

It targets professional music creators with nostalgia for vintage gaming due to its specialized design and premium pricing.

For FL Studio users looking to relive retro gaming moments, the FL Studio Arcade is a compelling choice.

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