In this article, you will learn if FL Studio is good for Making Rock and Metal music or not. Rock music is one of the few music genres that hasn’t faded with time. It is still as popular as it used to be. But the process of producing rock music has certainly changed over time.
Most of the production work is now handled within the DAW. As the leading DAW of our time, is FL Studio good enough to produce rock and metal? What are its advantages and disadvantages; keep reading to find out.
Is FL Studio good for making rock and metal music?
FL Studio is the best option for producing rock and metal music if you are planning to use just VSTs. Because of the flexibility and control of FL’s piano roll, working with VSTs is easy. However, it is not the best option if you plan to record multi-track instruments, drums, and vocals.
FL Studio is not optimized for multi-track recording and comping. There are much better options for this purpose. Avid Pro Toos and Reaper are the most popular DAW among rock and metal producers because they have a great recording and comping environment.
Producing Rock and Metal music in FL Studio
Let us look at some of the most important aspects of rock and metal music production and see if FL Studio handles those tasks with perfection or not.
One of the main reasons why FL Studio is not considered a good DAW for rock and metal music is its poor recording environment. Although the quality of the recording environment has greatly improved with the release of FL Studio 20, it is still behind other popular DAWs.
In FL Studio 21, the recording process is much easier with the help of individual recording functions in each playlist channel.
Recording in FL Studio often comes with latency. In rock and metal music, where we use multiple tracks, a little latency can introduce phase issues which are not good for the project. Lightweight DAW like Reaper is considered fairly good in this area. Furthermore, setting up individual recording channels is also a daunting task.
Instrumentation Using VSTs
Although FL Studio is not the ideal choice for recording drums and guitars, when it comes to using VSTs for production, it is the best option out there. FL Studio is known for the fluidity and functions of its piano roll. In addition, using guitar and drum VST plugins in FL Studio is easier than any other DAW.
FL Studio is well known for its piano roll. Its features and flexibility make it one of the best piano rolls in any music production software. Furthermore, controlling velocity, note pan, volume, and macro modulation greatly vary and humanizes the sound.
Furthermore, using the Edit Events function, you can draw your automation in the piano roll for each pattern.
Solos are the 2nd most used element in Rock music after drums. This is because they represent the musical essence of the record. Most solos are recorded live because there are a lot of pitch bends, articulations, and taps in them.
FL Studio is great for recording solo guitars. The FL Studio playlist channel allows producers to select the output position of the recording, making it easier to use all kinds of amps and effects. Furthermore, creating a solo using a VST is also very easy since the piano roll gives many more options to create articulations and event editing.
After the release of FL Studio 20, recording and processing vocals in FL Studio has become a lot easier. Rock music, in particular, uses lots of highly processed backing tracks. FL Studio has a great range of reverb, delay, compressor, and FX that can help process a great-sounding rock vocal.
The Fruity Convolver, Compressor, Blood Overdrive, Flangus, and Effector are some of the effect plugins that can help producers and vocalists produce great-sounding vocals.
Furthermore, using the Harmor Resynthesis engine, producers can create amazing harmonized vocal tracks that are not possible with any other effect VST.
Plenty of great features in FL Studio make rock songwriting easier. Plugins like Newtime and Edison make sample stretching and editing easier. While the playlist has definite time stamps, making it easier to structure the soundtrack based on reference.
The FL Studio piano roll has a great scale and chord configuration collection. This makes the creation of chord progression, top melody, and solos easier. On the other hand, tools like articulator, arpeggiator, strum, swing, and flam make the drums and guitar realistic.
Although FL Studio is good for mixing rock music, it is still not the best option. FL Studio has only 125 mixer channels which are not enough to deal with multiple guitar tracks and backing vocals.
FL studio also lacks an analog compressor, Equalizers, and VSTfx.
However, some plugins can step up the mixing game in FL Studio. Hardcore, Fruity compressor(with an LA2A unit mode), Maximus, etc., can help take the mixdown to the next level. Using Fruity Wave Candy’s standing wave function, all major and minor phase issues in multi-mic recordings can be easily aligned.
FL Studio gives a great mastering environment for rock music. FL Studio is great for both steam and mixdown mastering. The main frequency analyzer of FL Studio follows a pink noise profile by default, giving a great reference for checking the tonal balance.
Fruity Wave Candy can provide the most minute details about the phase, harmonics distribution, tonal balance, and levels.
However, there are some drawbacks as well. For example, FL Studio does not have a LUFS metering tool. There are no analog distortion or saturation plugins as well. There is also a problem with loading plugins separately in each mixer channel(like iZotope Relay) and communication between playlist and mixer.
Important FL Studio plugins for Rock & Metal music
Hardcore – FL Studio Guitar Amp
Hardcore has inbuilt guitar cabinets and special Stomp effects. There are 11 popular stompbox effects; Distortion, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Reverb, Delay, Noise Gate, Equalizer, Compressor, Modulator, and Tube Drive. Apart from this, there are 5 algorithmic and 15 convolution cabinets.
Hardcore is a very powerful plugin for rock and metal music. It can easily create realistic guitar amp and effect simulations of the most expensive hardware units.
There are also 98 guitar processing presets in hardcore that can make any guitar sound come to life. In addition, unlike real amp recordings, you can check your dry guitar using amps and still go back and change the amp settings.
The Fruity Compressor is a legacy plugin of Image-line. Unlike Fruity Limiter and Multiband compressor, it can be found only in the browser. The Fruity Compressor has a Vintage knee mode. It sets the knee value at 7dB. There is also a TCR mode that automatically sets the release time of compression.
The difference is, that the compressor ratio gradually decreases after a certain time to 1:1, allowing the entire signal to compress except for the loudest part. This simulates the classic LA2A compressor model, which is well known for mixing rock drums.
Fruity convolver is one of the most outstanding plugins in FL Studio. It represents the reverb family but can be used in other mixing aspects. The best part about Fruity Convolver is that producers can record their own impulses. This decreases the CPU load considerably and gives access to multiple studio spaces, amps, and cabinets.
Fruity convolver comes with 20 high-quality guitar cabinets and lots of real spaces, including halls and environment simulations. This can add a new dimension and source position to the multi-track recordings.
On the other hand, Fruity Convolver can also simulate a real environment for drums and guitars recorded through VSTs.
FL Studio Ogun
Metal guitars are one of the most iconic instruments because of their metallic and shimmering timbre. Generating this timbre is very hard with the synthesizers unless it’s Ogun. When it comes to rock and metal music, Ogun is the holy grail of synthesizers.
Ogun can generate more than 32,000 harmonics simultaneously, making a rich metallic timbre with synth quality. As a result, the plugin can generate sounds similar to legendary synthesizers like KorgM1 and Synclavier. But at the same time, most of its sounds will easily sit with any rock or metal music.
Fruity Pad Controller(FPC)
FPC is a drum machine made after the legendary AKAI MPC. It is specially coded and optimized for FL Studio. The plugin features two banks, each containing 16 pads. Each pad can load a multi-layer drum sample. Velocity is the trigger source of drum layers. FPC comes with many High-quality drum samples and patterns for Rock and Metal music.
The pads can be played through the piano roll, drum sequencer, midi controller, drum pad, or touch controller. You can tune, compress, pan, and edit each drum layer separately. There is a separate control for each pad as well. FPC is a one-stop tool for controlling all the drum samples.
Distructor is a collection of some of the most noteworthy distortion and cabinet models across the FL Studio plugins. There are 4 effect slots in the plugin that can feature either of the four effects: Distortion, Chorus, Filter, and Speaker.Distructor also has lots of great presets for rock and metal music.
The speaker FX of Distructor is especially useful for producing rock and metal music. There are 19 stereo, 6 mono, 10 Hardcore, and 20 Hardware cabinets. Apart from that, the Filter unit of Distructor has some essential filters often used in rock music: Phaser(1,2, and 3), Comb(+ & -), and Vowel.
Effector is arguably the best effect plugin for live performance. It is a multi-effect plugin with XY control. You can control the XY parameters via an XY Pad, Midi controller, or Touch Pad. Effector features 12 effects: Distortion, Lo-Fi, Flanger, Phaser, Filter, Delay, Reverb, Stereo, Grain/Stutter, Vox, and Ring Modulator.
There is a bypass option in the Effector, which only enables the effect unit during its use. You can also modulate the XY parameters internally using a tempo synchronized modulation source. There is also a Dry/Mix level and a Tempo controller.
FL Studio comes with a collection of amazing effects. Fruity Chorus, Flanger, Flangus, and Phaser are the main FX units. Other than that, the FL Studio 20.8 update also comes with a Vintage Chorus, emulating the Chorus effect of Roland Juno 6.
Thanks to a wide range of control parameters, it is very easy to create simple as well as complex effect chains using these plugins. The Fruity Flangus is capable of creating a modulated 360 surround panning. Fruity Phase Inverter is another simple yet useful plugin for rock music. It helps find the phase issues in Multi Tracking guitar and Backing vocals.
Flex is a free preset-oriented synth with a simple user interface and the best in the business sound collection. The sound engine also gives modifiers such as subtractive, wavetable, FM, RM, and multi-sample. In addition, there are 8 macro controls for each presets allowing users to control the expression, timbre, and sound modifier.
Flex has some very amazing libraries for rock and metal music. While Essential Guitars and Bass by Saif Sameer give authentic guitar and bass sounds, libraries like Drumful treasures have some of the best-processed drum samples. Unlike most sample-based plugins, The plugin comes with all essential guitar articulations and timbre controls.
From the above discussion, now you know that although FL Studio is good for making rock and metal music using VSTs, it is not the best choice for recording instruments, vocals, and guitar. Furthermore, it does not have enough mixer channels for mixing rock music.
However, as Image-line often comes with a new update of FL Studio, the future of the DAW looks promising. The next version, FL Studio 21, is already optimized for playlist recordings, audio, and sample editing.
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Shaurya Bhatia, is an Indian Music Producer, Composer, Rapper & Performer, who goes by the stage name MC SNUB, and is also 1/2 of the Indian pop music duo, called “babyface”. A certified Audio Engineer & Music Producer, and a practicing musician & rapper for more than 6 years, Shaurya has worked on projects of various genres and has also been a teaching faculty at Spin Gurus DJ Academy.