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"Rehab" from FL


ambermonke
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I have a confession to make...

I've used FL Studio as my primary music production tool since July 2003. Figuratively speaking, it might be time to pull the plug for good. Getting sick of just looking at the same screen every time I attempt to start up my next track. Probably explains why the past two years I've been in such a production slouch.

So I'm open to suggestions for alternative software - preferably one that's tracker/sequencer-based and is flexible in terms of synthesis, but also not super complex to use. If that means getting a harsh reprimand for having used FL Studio for more than twelve years, so be it.

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FL studio is a great DAW. Just because it's pirated most often and is the source of some truely horrible music advertising 'MADE DIS w/FROOTY LOOPZ 1234' doesn't mean it sucks or people here will berate you. I'm pretty sure Wisp still puts together his tracks in FL studio.

 

That being said, have you looked into running a tracker as a VST in something like Bitwig or Reaper? I personally love bitwig as I started using Live to put together tracks. I run maschine in the DAW for drum paddin' and sometimes bounce things from renoise to the program as needed as my tracker skills are pretty low.

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I have a confession to make...

 

I've used FL Studio as my primary music production tool since July 2003. Figuratively speaking, it might be time to pull the plug for good. Getting sick of just looking at the same screen every time I attempt to start up my next track. Probably explains why the past two years I've been in such a production slouch.

 

So I'm open to suggestions for alternative software - preferably one that's tracker/sequencer-based and is flexible in terms of synthesis, but also not super complex to use. If that means getting a harsh reprimand for having used FL Studio for more than twelve years, so be it.

 

 

 

reaper can do "it all" pretty much. 10 megabyte installer and your fate is sealed. if you dont like it, you can move easily to cubase or presonus, etc.

you can use FL as a plugin inside reaper, you will probably want to because reaper does come with very good effects, but quite basic instruments.

 

bonus reaper tip: regions! (shift+R is the key combination for that I think, but you can change most of the shortcuts, thats called "actions")

you can do per-clip FX as well as pitch bends. also it's now a video editor, not only a scoring tool. those guys are meentul!

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Yeah there's nothing wrong with FL per se. But if you're not satisfied with it, you should think deeply about why that is before trying something else. What is it missing? What's it getting in the way of, for you? What would you like to be able to do that it doesn't allow you to do? What about its workflow is not conducive to your style, taste, and goals?

If you use a tracker, it's going to be very keyboard oriented. That means you can move around very quickly once you get the hang of it, but that also means that you will need to memorize the keyboard shortcuts, so there's going to be a bit of a learning curve. Nothing that commitment and practice can't overcome but be prepared for that.

If you really want to use a tracker, Renoise is an excellent choice. It comes with most of the features you'd expect from a DAW (automation, VST/AU, good native effects, solid MIDI support) and some additional fun stuff (easy and precise recording and rendering, metacontrol devices, scripting, and new 3.0 features like instrument phrases and advanced parameter modulation). But you WILL need to spend time getting your bearings with it. I actually use Renoise more as a sample editor than anything now (working mostly with hardware and some Max) because the built in one is so good. Combine Renoise with something like Reaktor and you're working with something very powerful.

 

Speaking of, I might recommend something like Reaktor or PD. It's going to have even more of a learning curve than Renoise but it's not necessarily as steep; in Reaktor's case you can get started playing with other people's ensembles and plugging random modules into each other. It will make you think about sound differently - new possibilities will occur to you and you'll learn a lot. And even better you'll be able to build instruments and tools that do exactly what you want.

There are a ridiculous number of choices now which is great but it can be daunting so be sure you have a pretty clear idea of what you're looking for or you might waste a lot of time and get frustrated.

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Re: Reaper - it's also a nice environment for both MIDI and audio and it too has a scripting engine. I've built effects and MIDI processors in it and while I much prefer Max, Reaktor, or even a "real" language like C or Python for those purposes, it's nice having it built in and ready to go right there in the DAW.

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Did actually try Renoise once, but as I understand it's more engineered for sampling than for virtual synths. But I think I'll play around with it more anyway. I'll look into Reaper and Reaktor as well.

Cheers for all the recommendations. Maybe I just need a change of pace or a little more variety.

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Did actually try Renoise once, but as I understand it's more engineered for sampling than for virtual synths. But I think I'll play around with it more anyway. I'll look into Reaper and Reaktor as well.

Renoise like most trackers is designed for working with samples first and foremost. But it overcomes that in 2 primary ways.

 

First, the instrument modulation and processing is flexible, powerful, and high quality. You can pretty easily sculpt samples into whatever you want with filters, envelopes, LFOs, and effects (both per-track and as of 3.0, per-instrument).

 

Second, it can host VSTs and AUs, so you can get whatever plugin you like and load it in and sequence it. This is where Reaktor can come into play, or if you want to keep it simple you can get something like Synth1 for free which will get you off to a good start. This also lets you use whatever effects you want right inside Renoise.

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renoise is great software, but I find it "#¤%&//(())= difficult. it IS difficult, no two ways about it, unless you are JTPE or Trackermatte, then it is easy. basically, if you have been using trackers since they were actually necessary, then your brain is in the right shape to use it and you'd already know about renoise.

Edited by skibby
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ambermonk I also happen to know that you used to make drill and bass tracks using Cool Edit 95, Stomper drum synth, and a calculator. Compared to that anything mentioned in this thread is a piece of cake :)

All that before I was even old enough to drive...

 

Is that version of Cool Edit even available online anymore?

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Still using Cooledit Pro here after 15 years here. The only reason I moved to REAPER was because stereo-mix recording doesn't work for me anymore in Cooledit.

 

Asides from being a CPU hog there's nothing wrong with FL Studio. Maybe back when it was fruityloops 7.0 it was a bit of a joke DAW but now its professional level and if you know how to use FL Studio and are good at it you should stay with it.

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Just download a few DAW demos, Ableton, Reason, Logic, and try to make something on them. Pick the one you like most. You might find that a lot of daws are very similar and not much will change, who knows. Sometimes daws can suggest things based on how their set up so making music on another daw will change your music

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I wanted to add another thought I had. As long as you're feeling kind of explorative, it might be a good time to entertain ideas that don't require you spending any money or lusting over stuff you don't have. Maybe research/try things about FL that you're haven't used before or for a long time - this can really be like getting a brand new tool/toy and open up new possibilities.

Or try some exercises for fun. For example, make a track using just one monophonic instrument. Make melodies using only drum sounds. Stuff like that sounds dumb but it can be surprising how much perspective it gives you. It forces you to try things you didn't even know you could do and think at weird angles. It can make the musical experience a lot more fun and game-like.

Sorry I'm kind of invading this thread. I'll chill out for a bit.

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Long time Renoise user here that used to use Fruity Loops. I've been going through other DAWs recently and the most fun i've had has been with Reason. Absolute fun, but the sampler is too lacking for what I'm after, which isn't much, actually, just the usual basic functionality that basically any sampler has had since 1990. If it had that I'd hand them money. Reaper is a bit of a pain in the ass when it comes to sequencing midi. Also, you'll need to get plenty of plugins for sounds. Logic looks pretty good, especially for midi stuff, but there's no demo available. Pretty fuckin' stupid of Apple not to have a demo. I was really interested in checking it out.

 

As for Renoise, I think it still lacks some basic features and decent effects. The filters don't sound so hot, for instance. Another thing is side chaining, say goodbye to it because it isn't there. Automation is lacking in areas as well. I guess the devs at Renoise would rather work on creating a vsti sampler instead of improving on the basics of their DAW. Not unlike Propellerheads spending time on stupid shit for your phone or tablet and horrible marketing.

 

My advice to you is to save yourself a lot of frustration and stick with Fruity Loops. Pick up some hardware or learn some audio synthesis environment like Reaktor, PD, SuperCollider, Csound, etc. if you're looking to do something new.

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Guest cult fiction

renoise is great software, but I find it "#¤%&//(())= difficult. it IS difficult, no two ways about it, unless you are JTPE or Trackermatte, then it is easy. basically, if you have been using trackers since they were actually necessary, then your brain is in the right shape to use it and you'd already know about renoise.

There really is no reason to be entering hex values. It's pretty ludicrous. The tracker model(vertical layout of events w/ tracks, where each event can have loads of modulation/metadata ssociated with it, events are at a fixed, short distance in time for simplicity) is pretty decent but the hex stuff is just as lame as the horrible knobs and hardware skeuomorphic skins every other DAW has.

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Guest cult fiction

As to how to rehab from FL, I'm going to take the potentially dangerous route of recommending investing in some hardware to break up your flow. Hardware is fun, it gets your eyes away from the screen, it constrains your creativity(which can absolutely be a positive thing), and most of all it keeps its value remarkably well so if you tire of it you can sell for nearly the same price or more if it's vintage.

 

Logic, ableton, cubase, fl, etc are all pretty much the same so you're not going to find relief going to any other standard tracks mixer & piano rollz daw. Max or reaktor or something would be a better option.

 

Edit: basically what Oscar said :catrecline:

Edited by cult fiction
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the most fun i've had has been with Reason. Absolute fun, but the sampler is too lacking for what I'm after, which isn't much, actually, just the usual basic functionality that basically any sampler has had since 1990.

This surprises me because a while back I asked Meatbingo what he used to do his expert sample mashing and he said he was using Reason for everything. Granted this was a long time ago, but surely they wouldn't take out such a core feature?

 

I've never used it myself but it looks pretty damn sweet. I don't know why I never did either because Rebirth blew my mind as a teenager.

 

As for Renoise, I think it still lacks some basic features and decent effects. The filters don't sound so hot, for instance. Another thing is side chaining, say goodbye to it because it isn't there. Automation is lacking in areas as well. I guess the devs at Renoise would rather work on creating a vsti sampler instead of improving on the basics of their DAW.

I actually really like its filters because they're so precise and consistent but that's probably a matter of taste.

 

Side chaining can actually be done but naturally you have to do it in a funky trackerish way, which is to use an envelope follower device from the controlling channel to modulate the volume of the target channel. I'm sure someone will be disgusted by that idea, but hey, it works.

 

And yeah Redux looks cool but I don't really get who it's for. It's almost like their target market is people who have years' worth of Renoise instrument libraries they want to use but but who stopped using Renoise. It seems like it would be fun to host something like that in, say, Max though. That could get pretty bonkers in potentially nice ways.

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I wanted to add another thought I had. As long as you're feeling kind of explorative, it might be a good time to entertain ideas that don't require you spending any money or lusting over stuff you don't have. Maybe research/try things about FL that you're haven't used before or for a long time - this can really be like getting a brand new tool/toy and open up new possibilities.

 

Or try some exercises for fun. For example, make a track using just one monophonic instrument. Make melodies using only drum sounds. Stuff like that sounds dumb but it can be surprising how much perspective it gives you. It forces you to try things you didn't even know you could do and think at weird angles. It can make the musical experience a lot more fun and game-like.

 

Sorry I'm kind of invading this thread. I'll chill out for a bit.

Not invasive at all. I'm considering doing more remixes actually. Lately, any time I try to make something original it comes out bland, formulaic, and boring. Maybe the inspiration just isn't there yet. Either way, remixes might be an opportunity to take a break from trying to think too much about composing something from scratch.

 

 

Long time Renoise user here that used to use Fruity Loops. I've been going through other DAWs recently and the most fun i've had has been with Reason. Absolute fun, but the sampler is too lacking for what I'm after, which isn't much, actually, just the usual basic functionality that basically any sampler has had since 1990. If it had that I'd hand them money. Reaper is a bit of a pain in the ass when it comes to sequencing midi. Also, you'll need to get plenty of plugins for sounds. Logic looks pretty good, especially for midi stuff, but there's no demo available. Pretty fuckin' stupid of Apple not to have a demo. I was really interested in checking it out.

 

As for Renoise, I think it still lacks some basic features and decent effects. The filters don't sound so hot, for instance. Another thing is side chaining, say goodbye to it because it isn't there. Automation is lacking in areas as well. I guess the devs at Renoise would rather work on creating a vsti sampler instead of improving on the basics of their DAW. Not unlike Propellerheads spending time on stupid shit for your phone or tablet and horrible marketing.

 

My advice to you is to save yourself a lot of frustration and stick with Fruity Loops. Pick up some hardware or learn some audio synthesis environment like Reaktor, PD, SuperCollider, Csound, etc. if you're looking to do something new.

Might look into Reaktor as my next DAW, but I've used FL for so long it's gonna be difficult to venture outside that comfort zone. I even still have my Nintendo DS Lite as a music platform, specifically for Korg DS-10. Good for quick jam sessions.

 

 

As to how to rehab from FL, I'm going to take the potentially dangerous route of recommending investing in some hardware to break up your flow. Hardware is fun, it gets your eyes away from the screen, it constrains your creativity(which can absolutely be a positive thing), and most of all it keeps its value remarkably well so if you tire of it you can sell for nearly the same price or more if it's vintage.

 

Logic, ableton, cubase, fl, etc are all pretty much the same so you're not going to find relief going to any other standard tracks mixer & piano rollz daw. Max or reaktor or something would be a better option.

 

Edit: basically what Oscar said :catrecline:

Some of my most fun jamming experiences have been with hardware actually. I've got a generous stipend on the way next month. Korg Electribes look appealing...

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the most fun i've had has been with Reason. Absolute fun, but the sampler is too lacking for what I'm after, which isn't much, actually, just the usual basic functionality that basically any sampler has had since 1990.

This surprises me because a while back I asked Meatbingo what he used to do his expert sample mashing and he said he was using Reason for everything. Granted this was a long time ago, but surely they wouldn't take out such a core feature?

 

I've never used it myself but it looks pretty damn sweet. I don't know why I never did either because Rebirth blew my mind as a teenager.

 

As for Renoise, I think it still lacks some basic features and decent effects. The filters don't sound so hot, for instance. Another thing is side chaining, say goodbye to it because it isn't there. Automation is lacking in areas as well. I guess the devs at Renoise would rather work on creating a vsti sampler instead of improving on the basics of their DAW.

I actually really like its filters because they're so precise and consistent but that's probably a matter of taste.

 

Side chaining can actually be done but naturally you have to do it in a funky trackerish way, which is to use an envelope follower device from the controlling channel to modulate the volume of the target channel. I'm sure someone will be disgusted by that idea, but hey, it works.

 

And yeah Redux looks cool but I don't really get who it's for. It's almost like their target market is people who have years' worth of Renoise instrument libraries they want to use but but who stopped using Renoise. It seems like it would be fun to host something like that in, say, Max though. That could get pretty bonkers in potentially nice ways.

 

 

Reason's samplers (NNXT and NN19) do not have a modulation matrix. For example, you can't link the filter resonance to velocity, even though you can link the filter cutoff, pitch, and sample start from a couple of knobs available. A bipolar modulation matrix would clear something like that up quite easily and it's a basic feature of damn near every sampler made since the Akai S950. That's what I mean about basic functionality, just to clear that up. Also, a step filter would be another nice addition to lfos available. Kontakt has this, Shortcircuit has this, Renoise has this, probably damn near everything has this. Another thing is if you have a sample that has a basic loop point you've created in another audio editor then you're going to have to recreate it inside the sampler because NNXT disregards it. That's a pain in the ass if you've created any multi sampled instruments that have looping. I think it has something to do with Recycle, but I don't know for sure why it is that way.

 

The only thing I really like about Renoise's filters is the inertia feature. I've never seen that in any other anything. The filters just don't seem to sound right in the modulation section and I don't know why that is because they're the same damn filters. They're not so bad if you're just automating them on a track or clearing up some mud.

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Might look into Reaktor as my next DAW, but I've used FL for so long it's gonna be difficult to venture outside that comfort zone. I even still have my Nintendo DS Lite as a music platform, specifically for Korg DS-10. Good for quick jam sessions.

 

 

Try not to think of Reaktor as a DAW. It's more of something you would use along with a DAW. Just a deep modular toolkit to create all sorts of different musical gadgets.

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I have a confession to make...

 

I've used FL Studio as my primary music production tool since July 2003....

 

.....So I'm open to suggestions for alternative software

 

Imo stick with Fl Studio, but mix up the playing with other tools. If you want to try out a tracker, I'd recommend using Redux inside FL instead of ditching FL for Renoise.

 

Did actually try Renoise once, but as I understand it's more engineered for sampling than for virtual synths.

 

As has already been mentioned, it can do Vst(i)'s just fine. You can even layer up a vsti, hardware synth & sample based modulated sound all in one 'instrument'. Personally I like the instrument grabber, which automates the process of sampling a vsti into a multi-sampled instrument (auto-spreads / layers the grabbed sounds across the keyboard), so you can for example use the pattern commands to manipulate the samples & stack new vst on top. You'll loose the possibility to automate the vsti's individual parameters, but through adding new dsp, using the modulation envelopes in the instrument editor can achieve moar original sounds imo. The sample editor opens up a lot of sounddesign possibilities using the 'fx' button to render in effects and/or using the CDP tool.

 

renoise is great software, but I find it "#¤%&//(())= difficult. it IS difficult, no two ways about it, unless you are JTPE or Trackermatte, then it is easy. basically, if you have been using trackers since they were actually necessary, then your brain is in the right shape to use it and you'd already know about renoise.

 

Skibby please :) , depends on what you wan to do in most cases, I wouldn't record a band, multi-track with it. Jamming also needs preparation, although more and more tools try to address this, make it more natural.

 

As for Renoise, I think it still lacks some basic features and decent effects. The filters don't sound so hot, for instance. Another thing is side chaining, say goodbye to it because it isn't there. Automation is lacking in areas as well. I guess the devs at Renoise would rather work on creating a vsti sampler instead of improving on the basics of their DAW.

 

I have a feeling this is being worked on atm, we already know all of Redux will be inside the new Renoise, so new filters will be there. I also suspect sidechaining to make it inside 3.1 as every request thread in the suggestion forum deals with it :)

 

Side chaining can actually be done but naturally you have to do it in a funky trackerish way, which is to use an envelope follower device from the controlling channel to modulate the volume of the target channel. I'm sure someone will be disgusted by that idea, but hey, it works.

 

I think a lot of the requesting people would like to use the side chaining options in (bought) compressor vsts, be able to route a signal to the particular inputs. Signal follower hooked up to a gainer is fine for me as well.

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