Many were reluctant to record within FL Studio in its earliest versions as it lacked a solid recording setup.
Fast forward to today, anyone using FL Studio can easily record within FL Studio with the many improvements Image-Line rolled out.
In this article, I’ll guide you on how to record audio in FL Studio. I’ll also share tips on how to process the audio to get better quality.
Recording Audio in FL Studio – The Process
Whether you want to capture vocals, instruments, or any other sound source, FL Studio provides a straightforward method to achieve high-quality recordings.
Remember, to record external audio, you must have the Producer or higher edition of FL Studio, as the most basic edition lacks this feature.
Here’s how to record audio on FL Studio.
Step 1: Selecting the Recording Channel
First, open the FL Studio mixer and select the channel you want to record.
Then in the insert section, click on “none” to choose your recording interface.
If your interface has multiple inputs, select the appropriate input for recording. For stereo recording, you can choose two inputs.
Step 2: Setting Up for Recording
Once you have selected an active input, you will see volume meters respond in the channel and master sections, indicating that FL Studio is receiving audio from the source.
By default, when you add an input source, FL Studio arms the channel for disc recording.
If needed, you can manually arm a channel by clicking the small button associated with it, turning it red.
Step 3: Configuring Recording Options
Before recording, set the tempo and enable the metronome for a synchronized performance.
Also, you can select a specific range if you only want to record within that range.
Step 4: Recording the Audio
Click the play button to start the playback and begin recording. If the metronome is enabled, it’ll play for a bar before recording.
Once the recording starts, perform your vocals or play the chosen instrument.
You can assign a track to the input mixer for FL Studio to automatically create new tracks for each takes you to record, organizing them under the initial track.
To do this, right-click the track you want to assign to the mixer and follow the following path.
Track Mode > Audio Track > Choose your preferred mixer insert channel.
For multitrack recording, where you want to record multiple audio sources simultaneously, repeat the same process for other channels.
Select the desired input for each channel, such as vocals, guitar, or bass, and ensure the correct levels are displayed.
If your audio interface has more inputs, configure the routing for each channel accordingly.
Step 5: Managing Recorded Takes
To differentiate between the recorded takes, rename and color code the top tracks differently.
Turn off the countdown and metronome, and turn off the record function (arm) when you have finished recording.
Use the mute tool to listen to individual takes or mute/unmute different sections for comparison.
For a quick check, I recommend you use the playback feature. It lets you listen to each take with just one mouse click.
Step 6: Consolidating Takes
If you want to merge specific parts of different takes into a single cohesive track, unmute all the recorded takes you want to include in the consolidated version.
Use the slice tool to trim and select the desired sections from each take.
Arrange the selected sections to create smooth transitions and align them in a single or grouped track.
To consolidate the selected takes into one track, follow these steps: (screenshot provided below)
- Select all the audio clips from the recorded takes.
- Go to Playlist Options > Tools > Consolidate Playlist Selection.
- Choose the appropriate consolidation option based on your selection.
- Click Start to create a new track with the consolidated version of the clips.
You can also do the steps in the following screenshot to consolidate a single or group track.
Right-click on the track you want to consolidate, go to the Consolidate track(s) option, then choose from song start, track start, or selection.
There are many different ways to record audio in FL Studio. Depending on your production style, you can mix and match different techniques.
For example, I like recording the main vocals directly on the Edison plugin, editing it from there, and then dropping it into the playlist.
But when recording ad-libs, I record on a playlist track as it’s easy to manage multiple takes from there, and I can easily playback the recordings with the rest of the sounds in the project.
Similarly, when I’m making beats, I follow a different path. As you explore FL Studio more, you will find many ways to record audio.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is FL Studio not recording into the playlist?
FL Studio may not record into the playlist if the Playback Tracking option is set to Driver instead of Mixer. To fix this, go to Options > Audio Settings and change the Playback Tracking option. Also, check if you have the song mode enabled or if you have any open plugins like Edison armed to record.
How to record vocals over a beat in FL Studio?
To record vocals over a beat in FL Studio, you must load the beat in a track and record your voice in another track.
What’s the best audio recording setting for FL Studio?
The best audio recording settings for FL Studio depend on your audio interface and your computer performance. However, for a better experience, use an ASIO driver for low latency and high quality, set the sample rate and buffer length according to your project needs and CPU load, and use direct monitoring if your audio interface supports it to avoid hearing yourself with delay.