FL Studio 20 Tutorial: 12 important tips 

 May 4, 2020

By  Laurentius

​In this guide you will learn the basics of using Fruityloops Studio 20, also know as FL 20. I will show you how to add files/plugins and how to arrange them into a full song. We will also learn which button does what and how to use the builtin mixer of FL 20.

Let us begin!

Overview over FL Studio 20

Here's a picture of what FL 20 looks like from the inside:

​We will talk about the following options in the order shown in the picture:

​I. FL Studio 20 File System

In the left area you have a lot of options to load plugin presets, other presets and your own sample libraries as well as the free ones given to you by Image Line from the beginning.

You can also load saved projects from this area as well as your recored audio files.

If you possess a samplepack, then you have 2 options to load it into FL 20.

I. Add the Folder, where the Samplepack is located in, into the File System. To do this you have to click "Options", then "File Settings" and then add the folder from the toolbar on the left.

II Drag and drop your folder into the left area of FL 20. (the easier way)

II. General Song Options

This little area here has great power.

​"PAT" means playing a single melody pattern you created in the Channel Rack, which i will explain later to you.

​"SONG" means playing what lies inside the playlist, which i will also explain to you. It is the area where you arrange your different melodies to create your full song and with this button you are one click away from playing a single melody or the full song.

There is also a Start and a Stop Button.

The red dot is for starting audio recording.

With the number, which is set to 130 by default, you can change the Beats Per Minute (BPM) of both the single melodies and the full song in general.

Below all of this is a drag and drop bar from which you can play the melody or song forward and backwards quickly.

​III. FL Studio 20 Toolbar

With the toolbar shown below you have a lot of control over what to display in the foreground and what not. We start from the left and go to the right.

Every button in this area has only one function - toggle the area on or off for viewing and editing.


​First one is your playlist. In the Playlist you arrange your samples and/or melodies together to create your full song. You have complete freedom over where to place them and how long it should take for a melody or sample to play itself.

Playlist looks like this:

​This is how file arrangement works in FL 20 and almost every other DAW​, just drag and drop it into the right position.​

Piano Roll

Next one is the Piano Roll. In the Piano Roll you can arrange positions and lenghts of the sounds to be played at different key notes.

Piano Roll looks like this:

​Inside the piano roll you have a lot of options which you also have in the playlist toolbar​.

As you can see, you  are able through the Piano Roll to place exact positions and different lengths from which the specific sound you opened the Piano Roll for will being played.

In the bottom area labeled control you can decrease or increase the volume ​for every block.

Channel Rack

In the Channel Rack is where you select your instruments and sounds and samples to be played.

Channel Rack looks like this:

​Each pattern has a different Channel Rack. This is so you can divide drumloops or other sounds into several pieces and let them play alone or together at different positions in the playlist.

Channel Rack lists ALL your used sounds for ALL patterns, but only the ones marked with the green lines are the ones active in the selected pattern.

At the left side you can use the left button to play a sound on the right/left speaker. The right button increases/decreases volume of a single instrument.

On the very left you can mark an instrument as active or not.


Mixer is where you can add plugins to your sounds and your voice. In Fruity Loops you can choose between dozens of such plugins to get the best out of your sounds.

Mixer looks like this:

​On the right side you can add up to 10 plugins for each mixer slot and configure many more options.

File System, Project Picker, Plugin Picker, Tempo Tapper, Touch Controller

These options are easily explained. With "File System" you can toggle the Browser on or off. With "Project Picker" you can select one of the patterns you work with very fast. With "Plugin Picker" you get an overview over all plugins to pick one for your current pattern. With "Tempo Tapper" you can choose the Beats per Minute Value by tapping your tempo alone. With "Touch Controller" you open a visual ​selector of your Touch Pads.


Laurentius produces music in every free minute he finds. When not producing music or writing articles, he chooses to do meditation, MMA or book readings.

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