FL Studio Plugins: The 7 Best Built-in Tools in FL Studio 20
FL Studio plugins are some of the most sought after stock DAW plugins. Especially when you’re considering which DAW to start using to make music.
There’s no question that FL Studio plugins like GrossBeat, Vocodex, Edison and Fruity Parametric EQ 2 make FL Studio an extremely attractive bundle to start making music with.
Depending on the edition you buy, you’ll gain access to a range of FL Studio plugins. The lower entry editions like ‘Fruity’ and ‘Producer’ contain entry level plugins.That being said, the ‘Signature’ and ‘All Plugins Edition’ contain several more.
In this article I’m going to round up the best FL Studio Plugins. I’ll also list any notable free plugins and paid alternatives you should consider.
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Grossbeat is one of the most popular FL Studio plugins that’s shaped tons of producers’ sound and styles. It allows you to create beat-synced glitch, stutter, repeat, scratching and gating effects. It’s perfect for adding in creative grooves or pumping effects on any track in your session. Sadly, Grossbeat is only available in the ‘Signature’ and ‘All Plugins’ editions of Fl Studio.
A notable alternative to GrossBeat is the legendary Shaperbox 2 plugin by Cableguys. With Shaperbox, you’re able to design modulation shapes and use envelope followers that react to audio. Shaperbox 2 comes with 8 different modules that control different effects. Their time module replicates the sounds of GrossBeat.
Grossbeat is one of the most popular FL Studio plugins that’s shaped tons of producers’ sound and styles.
Hot tip: If you’re looking for a GrossBeat alternative, Shaperbox Time is included with yearly subscriptions to LANDR Studio—opening access to everything LANDR has to offer including samples, mastering, premium plugins, distribution and much more.
Harmor might be one of the most unique and powerful soft synthesizers out there. You’ll find this FL studio included in the ‘All Plugins Edition’ or available for purchase for just $100.
Harmor is the predecessor of the more simple subtractive synthesizer ‘Harmless’. It’s powered by an additive synthesis engine, and is capable of making otherworldly sounds.
Additive synthesis is based on the principle that any sound can be expressed as a sum of simple sine waves. Harmor can generate up to 516 sine waves per note, per unison voice. It can modulate these in real-time to resynthesize any continuously evolving sound.
There aren’t many alternatives to Harmor out there. It truly is a one of a kind synthesizer. If you’re getting started with additive synthesis, ‘Harmless’ is a great place to start. It’s a simpler version of Harmor and is available in the ‘Signature’ edition.
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Soundgoodizer is a one knob version of their multiband compressor plugin ‘Maximus’. It’s available on all editions of FL Studio.
Soundgoodizer makes it easy to get a refined sound, with more body and quality.
It passes the signal through processes of compression and saturation. Then, you can blend in the processed signal with one knob. It sports four different presets to accommodate varying sounds.
There are plenty of alternatives if you’re looking to expand on your one knob plugin collection. LANDR FX is a five plugin suite organized by sound and instruments. They’re perfect for bus or single channel processing. Where LANDR FX stands out is the insane number of professionally curated presets. Each category of presets are listed by effect.
Newtone is Image Line’s answer to Melodyne-style pitch correction. Like most manual pitch correction plugins, you can slice, correct and edit vocals. Instrumentals and other recordings can be drastically altered as well.
Efficient integration with FL Studio allows you to drag and drop audio to and from Newtone. It syncs with the FL Studio transport. This means you can completely edit your audio without leaving Newtone.
To edit the audio, all you have to do is move the MIDI-like blocks to change the pitch of whatever it is you’re correcting.
If you’re looking for a more automatic pitch correction like Auto-Tune, Pitcher might be for you. Both Newtone and Pitcher are in FL Studio’s ‘Signature’ and ‘All-Plugins’ editions.
Unless you’re going for an Auto-Tune type effect, tuning vocals can often sound unnatural.
Unless you’re going for an auto-tune type effect, tuning vocals can often sound unnatural. Synchroarts RePitch is one of the most natural sounding pitch correction plugins. It comes at a similar price point to Newtone and Pitcher.
Synchroarts RePitch uses advanced musical note detection technology. This makes instant automatic pitch correction possible in seconds. It also sports manual tools which help you get specific when editing vocals.
If you’re looking for a free version of pitch correction, Graillon 2 Free Edition by Auburn Sounds is a great way to get started.
If you’re looking to chop samples, Slicex is a must have for FL Studio. Luckily, it comes in most editions, excluding the ‘Fruity’ edition.
If you’re looking to chop samples, Slicex is a must have for FL Studio.
Slicex allows you to import audio files and slice them up with different parameters. You can slice by beat, manually, or by auto slicing by transient. Afterwards, you can play those slices using your MIDI controller or draw them in as MIDI into the piano roll.
This FL Studio plugin has the unique ability to load two audio clips at the same time in two separate decks: Deck A, and Deck B.
You can also assign different effects to single chops, or set specific chops to different articulation groups if you’re looking for more grouped control.
If you’re coming from or considering Ableton, Slicex is a great alternative to Simpler. Serato Studio is a comparable third party plugin that has similar functionality.
Vintage Chorus is a Juno 60-modeled chorus that’s part of the ‘Signature edition of FL Studio. If you’re looking to widen your synthesizer sound or thicken up a guitar tone, this plugin has you covered.
There are a ton of alternatives available as well. A notable contender is the free TAL-Chorus-LX. It’s modeled after the slightly dirtier Juno 6.
What Vintage Chorus has that many of the alternatives don’t, is the ability to define delay times, LFO speed, LFO waveform, and the polarity of the wet signal.
The sound of this FL Studio plugin is timeless, and is always a useful tool to have in your plugin arsenal.
Poizone is one of the most simple looking subtractive synthesizers out there.
It’s designed with simplicity in mind, making sure every knob counts. Poizone is a must have if you’re getting started with synthesis. It’s only available in the ‘All-Plugins’ edition,
Poizone sports 2 oscillators that produce the two most popular shapes for subtractive synthesis: fat, bright saw and pulse waves, with adjustable pulse width.
With 385 presets and built in effects such as delay and chorus, it’ll be a while before you get bored with this one!
A free alternative to Poizone, is Matt Tytel’s ultra popular subtractive synth Helm. Helm doesn’t nearly cover the 385 presets featured in Poizone. But, it’s easy-to-use interface is a sizeable alternative to the simplicity of Poizone.
DAW plugins are still plugins
Just because they come with the DAW, doesn’t mean they’re any less of a plugin than notable third party plugins.
Plugin offerings by DAW developers just keep getting better. Image Line’s affordable DAW bundles with free lifetime updates makes it a no brainer if you’re looking to get started with FL Studio.
Anthony is a composer and producer at RVRSPlay and founder of the jazz pop duo Elluisoir.
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