FL Studio is one of the best-known Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs), and is considered one of the best for getting started in music production, thanks in particular to its feature-rich yet intuitive interface. In fact, it allows you to create loops and beats in a very natural and methodical way and to implement a series of standard operations without resorting to particularly complex procedures.
All thanks to the engine of this software: a sequencer capable of automating all adjustments and settings through a very orderly and immediate structure which, in the latest versions, has reached operating levels compatible with that of the most acclaimed DAWs. New exceptional functions and tools have been included and, last but not least, the possibility of integrating a large number of plugins with enormous potential.
Especially as regards the choice of the latter, in fact, one could feel a little lost, especially if you are a beginner. I guess that’s what brought you to this page, isn’t it? Luckily you’ve come to just the right place! In fact, I have prepared for you a selection of the best FL Studio plugins , so you don’t waste too much time doing tiring searches. All you need to do is dedicate some of your time to reading the next paragraphs and you will immediately feel ready to experiment with new sounds and features, without fail. All I have to do is wish you happy reading and good music!
Best FL Studio plugins
I suppose you already have the DAW we are talking about, but if you haven’t already I can help you with this too: just read my article on how to download FL Studio, which will guide you step by step in the procedure program download to your PC. If you still have any doubts about how it works, you can definitely clear your head by reading my guide on how to use FL Studio.
Before going into detail, it is essential to make some assumptions that will help you choose the best FL Studio plugins . First of all, it is good to make a distinction on their typology. Even if lately they are defined with the generic term VST , it is good to make a first distinction between VSTi and VST : the former, acronym of Virtual Studio Technology instrument , are in all respects virtual instruments that recreate the sounds of synthesizers, samplers or analog instruments . The interaction of this type of plugin with the musical instrument (keyboard or drum machine, for example) is entrusted to the MIDI protocol.
VSTs ( Virtual Studio Technology ) are instead software extensions that are activated directly by the DAW and can be divided into two families: effects (for example compressors, delays, modulation, amplifier emulations) and tools , which consist of utilities characterized by a series of accessory features. In the following paragraphs I will use the three categories VSTi, effects and tools to give you a more detailed view of the type of plugin that I am illustrating, in order to facilitate you in identifying the most suitable one for your needs.
Best plugins for FL Studio
You should know that FL Studio is available in various paid versions, each of which combines different features and plugins to meet different production needs. However, I have excellent news for you: there is a trial version which can be downloaded for free and already includes all the native plugins , so you can immediately test some of the ones I will suggest in the next paragraphs. To download it, read my dedicated guide, in which I also explained how to check software and hardware compatibility with this program.
If, on the other hand, you already have FL Studio and you simply want to integrate some VSTs, I’ve prepared a guide on how to install plugins, where I also explain how to proceed with activating them (if you’re not yet familiar with the subject). Well, now all you have to do is take action, choosing the plugins that best suit your needs from those I’m about to offer you.
The best VSTi plugin for FL Studio
VSTi are among the most popular plugins among musicians. The possibility of drawing on sounds from the past or inserting the latest generation of synths by choosing from an infinite number of virtual instruments is one of the most stimulating activities for a musician looking for the perfect sound for their creations.
- Nexus 3 . It is one of the most sought-after choices among dance and house producers, genres for which FL Studio lends itself perfectly. It is a rompler , i.e. a virtual instrument that generates pre-fabricated sounds by drawing from a library of sampled sounds. It has 2,799 sound-presets divided into 22 categories and 2,238 samples. In this new version the arpeggiator has been revised , a fundamental component for a self-respecting virtual instrument, which is now able to play even very complex patterns and scales, up to 256 steps . The sequencer toohas been renewed compared to the previous versions, making it more intuitive and providing it with a series of new effects and filters, as well as very advanced equalization possibilities.
- Sylenth1 . Historical product of Lennar Digital , it is considered by all as an indispensable VSTi for what concerns synths. It is able to produce particularly full-bodied sounds thanks to its oscillators , which generate analog waveforms rich in nuances, which can be modulated through an excellent set of effects and the possibility of acting on various parameters to further customize the final result. Other strong points are the filters , which allow you to make the sounds warmer and more realistic, and the indispensable arpeggiator. Last but not least, it is specifically designed to use as little CPU resources as possible during its operation.
- Kontact6 . If you’re looking for software that allows you to access a complete and satisfying sound library in every aspect, but also to modify them if necessary to create your own personalized sound, you won’t be able to do without Kontact6. It is a VSTi with enormous potential, which guarantees, through an extremely advanced sampler , the loading of samples that contain the sound of real instruments (acoustic, electric and electronic), which in turn can be managed through filters, effects, dynamics processors and the wave editor. The latter allows you to intervene directly on the waveform of the chosen sound, configuring it to your liking to characterize every aspect. Overall we are talking about a truly comprehensive plugin, with over 1,000 sounds to which a particular selection of instruments have been added in the latest version: Analog Dreams , consisting of a new generation of synthwave, Ethereal Earth , or a fusion between ethnic instruments and electronic and Hybrid Keys , with keyboards sampled in a very original way.
- Ample Metal Eclipse . It is a virtual instrument born from sampling the ESP Eclipse electric guitar , which is widely used in the metal genre. The growing tendency to merge electronic music and distorted guitars is forcing producers to equip themselves with increasingly sophisticated emulators, especially for what concerns the 6 strings, one of the most difficult instruments to reproduce. Ample Sound has succeeded in recreating sounds that are extremely faithful to the original, inserting the possibility of intervening on parameters such as direction and type of picking, creating powerful rhythms using the functionality of Riffer and suggestive accompaniments using that of Strummer . The integration of aamp simulator and an excellent set of effects similar to those produced by pedals allows you to obtain extremely realistic sound combinations.
- Ample Bass . These VSTi instead fill an important gap in the field of virtual electric and acoustic basses. Ample Sound wanted to produce a series of virtual instruments with characteristics that are difficult to find in other software on the market. It is a selection of instruments suitable for genres such as pop, rock, metal and jazz, but still adaptable to various types of production. In detail, the emulation regards the best of this instrument, i.e. the Fender Jazz and Fender Precision models , the Yinyang Lining and the Jaco Pastorius Relic Fretless , while the Guild B-54 was chosen for the acoustic ones. Particularly intriguing are the possibilities of acting on the virtual strings to reproduce the techniques of legato and slide , as well as the endowment of compression, echo and reverb effects, essential for making the sound more full-bodied and alive.
Best Effect plugins for FL Studio
Almost always the instrument alone is not enough to create the right atmosphere for the piece and it is essential to resort to one or more effects to create depth, attributing the right characteristics to the sound. Reverbs, delays, choruses, compressions, distortions and so on are essential elements, which combine to define the various qualities of the sound, often going so far as to distort it. Below you can find a selection of the best effect plugins for FL Studio .
- HRerverb . One of the most popular effects is certainly the reverb, essential for giving space and depth to any sound. H:Reverb by Waves can be considered as a complete product, as it allows you to operate on numerous parameters, from the most classic and familiar to other more innovative and evocative. It was developed on the new FIR (Finite Impulse Response) technology that allows you to customize the sound while always maintaining firm control of its waveforms, so as not to generate confusion or excesses, especially in the tails of the effect. Another important feature is the presence of numerous presets elaborated by artists and sound engineers of the music industry, with both vintage and modern characteristics.
- ValhallaDelay . Another effect that is often abused is delay, which allows you to give the sound such a delay as to generate that sense of spaciousness that is indispensable in many musical genres. ValhallaDelay is absolutely one of the best, thanks to the multitude of algorithms that are loaded in this plugin, on which it is possible to intervene by managing different parameters. In the latest version, the more classic modes Tape (simulating Roland effects), Digital (inspired by the digital delays of the 80s) Ghost (which gives a distant and ghostly sound to the instruments) have been added the new BBDUCK to emulate the pedalboards of guitarists, CLARITY, which always allows you to obtain a clear delay without distortions and DUCKTAPE , which reproduces some typical sounds of the 70s. On some presets it is also possible to intervene on parameters such as pitch and reverse , to create extravagant effects
- FabFilter Pro C2 . If you need a level compressor, you cannot fail to consider this FabFilter product , which represents one of the essential equipment of many music producers. Sound compression is an art in itself, as it is not easy to be able to compress sounds in a balanced way, giving the sound the right power without intervening too much on the dynamics. Each sound needs one or more levels of compression and even the final mastering is not exempt from this operation. This is why it is important to be able to use an instrument such as the Pro C2 which, thanks to the presence of 8 different compression stylescustomizable, it makes all the processing more natural, thanks also to an interface that helps you visually control the way the compression is operating. It is available in a free trial version at this link: try it!
- FabFilter Pro DS . Also from FabFilter, here’s another must-have product for your music productions. It is a De-Esser, i.e. a plugin capable of reducing all those frequencies that disturb listening. A concrete example is represented by some emphases of the pronunciation that are systematically picked up by the microphones during the recording of the voice. The behavior is therefore similar to that of a compressor, with the difference that the DE-Esser acts only on a smaller portion of the frequencies. Pro DS is able to eliminate, or at least significantly limit all these imperfections, thanks to its excellent filtering technologiesand a particularly transparent and intuitive interface, which helps you to complete the task without too much delay
Best Tools plugins for FL Studio
The last section of this guide is dedicated to all those plugins that play an extremely important role, integrating additional features that enrich the expressive possibilities of the DAW and utilities that simplify the work of song production and post-production. I have prepared a selection of the best Tools plugins for FL Studio for you .
- Edison . It is an additional audio editor that allows you to manage and optimize the use of samples , cutting the portions of files you intend to use into regions and associating effects of various kinds in a very intuitive way. It also allows, for example, to intervene on the manipulation of the tempo and the sound wave of the execution, guaranteeing a wide possibility of customizing the final result. This tool is also extremely convenient and represents a valid alternative to the standard audio recording interface, especially when dealing with samples, which can be recorded directly or imported from your library.
- L3-16 Multimaximizers . Once you have reached the mastering phase of your songs, you will certainly need a tool that can support you in this delicate phase. This Waves product can definitely be for you. It is a Limiter , i.e. an instrument capable of guaranteeing that the output level never exceeds certain thresholds, beyond which the much unwanted clipping would be produced (noises due to the processing of the audio signal on unmanageable frequencies). L3-16 Multimaximizer also integrates an equalizer, which makes it a truly complete plugin to operate at various levels in defining the final sound. It is not very easy to assimilate and requires CPU resources to be evaluated carefully, but with a little attention and practice it can certainly become a reliable partner for perfecting FL Studio.
- iZotope Ozone 9 . It is a very powerful tool that integrates everything necessary to complete the delicate mastering phase . The difference with other tools of this type lies in the fact that it can be integrated into FL Studio, but it can also work stand alone , operating as a sort of DAW dedicated to mastering . Inside there are a series of modules that allow, through particular plugins, to manage equalization, saturation, compression and limiter-type control on frequencies, also emulating the evocative effect of various vintage instruments used in the past for the mastering. The Master Assistant functionalitywith which this interface is equipped, then allows you to define a set of customized combinations that can be used for future jobs. With the Reference and Tonal Balance Control functions, on the other hand, it is possible to make a comparison from a tonal point of view by taking a selected piece or the latest productions as a reference, in order to guarantee uniformity of the result. Last but not least, the possibility of taking advantage of an intelligent optimization that allows not to degrade the sound quality when the song is uploaded to the main streaming platforms .
- FL Studio Mobile . One of the most interesting features of FL Studio is given by the availability of its mobile version , which can, if necessary, become an original plugin of the main DAW. Basically, thanks to the app, it is possible to continue working on a project already started with FL Studio on the computer, for example using a tablet or smartphone while on the move, and then resume it again in the main version. All this happens thanks to the special functions that connect the app with the FL Studio software and allow the import/export of the productions in a very immediate way. FL Studio Mobile integrates a good range of plugins of various kinds with excellent potential, such as DirectWave(a selection of virtual instruments such as pianos, orchestra and guitars), various Synths , effects and controllers. A really interesting synergy for those who need a certain mobility, but still want to be able to apply their creativity in any situation.