Basics: Better Performance & Sound

The first thing you’re going to want to on FL Studio is switch from your ‘Primary Sound Driver’ to ‘ASIO4ALL’. ASIO sound drivers will lower latencies while eating less CPU compared to DirectSound Drivers. To do this click: Options > Audio Settings, or press the F10 key.

FL Studio Audio Settings

Popping and Clicking?

No I’m not taking about your Dads best dance moves, if you’ve used FL Studio on a PC with around 2GB RAM the chances are you know exactly what I’m talking about. When your PC begins to struggle with the amount of memory your using, your sound will begin to pop, click and even slow down. This can be avoided by adjusting the buffer length.
The buffer stores audio data waiting to be sent to the soundcard. This allows Fl Studio to control and even out your CPU (In other words stop it hitting the roof and causing lots of pops and clicks). But a longer buffer time means any midi devices your using will have a slower response time. Ideally your buffer length should be as close to 10 ms (441 samples) as possible but if you’re experience these nasty sound intrusions, increase your buffer until it stops.
Heres a few steps recommended by Image Line to follow when trying to improve your FL Studio performance:

• Adjust the buffer size. (For ASIO drivers, settings of 1-4 ms (44-176 samples) are ‘cutting edge’ and unnecessary, 5-10 ms (220-440 samples) are ‘excellent’ and 11-20 ms (485-882 samples) are ‘very good’)

• Set Mixer Interpolation to Linear

• Set the sample rate is 48,000 Hz or less.

• Turn on Multithreaded generator processing, Multithreaded mixer processing and Smart disable (some external plugins don’t like multi-core CPUs so these options can cause issues)

• Turn the audio thread ‘Priority‘ setting to ‘Highest’.

• Turn the ‘Safe overloads‘ switch off

• Disable inactive plugins, go to Tools > Macros > Switch smart disable for all plugins. This turns off effects & instruments when they are not in use and so decreases CPU significantly. (Beware that this can sometimes cut your reverbs and delays short on playback)

Decrease polyphony of the instrument channels.

• Turn off ‘Keep on disk‘ for Sampler and Audio Clip channels. This loads samples into memory which is faster.

• Turn off any wimpy energy saving/CPU throttling mode engaged on your PC. If you are serious about your music production then you will be prepared for, at least, some melting of the polar ice caps. See the Windows ‘Start > Settings > Control panel > System & maintenance*** > Power Options’. *** Whether or not this sub-menu shows depends on your windows settings.

NOTE: If your Buffer length setting is greater than 50 ms and your CPU usage meter peaks over 80%, it may be simply be your computer is not fast enough to play the project. Welcome to the never ending cycle of PC upgrades!


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