You are a music lover and your dream has always been to be an artist and to express your creativity in this way. Recently, you’ve discovered the existence of some solutions that allow you to make songs directly from your computer. You have been fascinated by this world and you are trying to understand all its “secrets”.
In particular, have you heard of the VST extension (Virtual Studio Technology), a plugin standard used by some well-known music software, and the many possibilities they offer. However, you just haven’t figured out how to get and install them in FL Studiothe software you use for your musical projects?
If this is the case, know that you are in the right place! In fact, in this tutorial, I will show you in detail how to install VST on FL Studio briefly explaining what this possibility consists of and I will get to the advanced features of these plugins, passing through their installation and activation. I wish you a good reading and I wish you a big good luck in your musical career!
Before going into the details of the procedure on how to install VST on FL StudioI think you might be interested in learning more about this possibility.
Well, as you surely know, FL Studio is one of the most complete and used programs for composing music in the world, much appreciated also by the new generation of the rap scene (so much so that it is often listed among the best programs for making beats).
FL Studio already has countless features but, to use it to its full potential, you need to use some pluginswhich are generally defined as VST extension (Virtual Studio Technology, which is actually the term for the plugin standard).
There are myriads of VST plugins, including synthesizers (synths), samplers (sampler), effects and MIDI effects. Without getting too technical, synthesizers and samplers are used for generate instrument soundswhile VST effect plugins allow you to “process” the audio.
Is everything clear so far? Well, then I’d say we can move on to practice.
How to install a VST in FL Studio
After having explained to you what the possibilities offered by this world are, I would say that you are ready to learn how to install VST on FL Studio 20. In my case I used this version of the software for Windows, but in reality the procedure is very similar also for the other editions of the software and also for install VST to FL Studio for Mac.
Well, there are essentially two types of VST plugins for FL Studio – those that you install through your own setup and those that need to be added manually to the program. In the first case everything is very simple: just download theinstallerstart it and follow the instructions that appear on the screen. In the second case, however, it is necessary place the file in the right folder.
To give you a concrete example relating to a plugin with setupI will consider Helixa synthesizer that you can try for free (it has a limitation that generates noise and goes out of tune; to remove it you have to pay 145 dollars, but in reality you can test everything without too many problems).
Well, to download Helix on Windowsyou must connect to its official portal and click on the button first Downloads and later on that Download for Windows.
At this point, start the file obtained, click successively on the keys I agree, install And Close and this will complete the installation of the plugin. If the installer doesn’t work properly, I suggest you right-click on the setup file and select the item Run as administrator.
If you are using macOSjust press the button Download for Mac and click successively on the keys Keep on, Keep on, Accept, Keep on, Install And Close. Finally, you will be prompted to enter the Mac admin password, to complete the installation. In short, in the case of a plugin with setup everything is very simple.
Greater doubts could derive from those plugins, perhaps a little “outdated”, which do not have a setup, but only a file to be copied into the FL Studio folder (e.g. i .dll files on Windows).
Well, actually there aren’t too many problems here either: just move the files inside the folder dedicated to VST plugins. If you don’t know where it is, just open it FL Studiopress on the entry OPTIONS present at the top and click on Manage plugins.
In this way, a window will appear on the screen and the will be listed on the left path used by the program to manage VST plugins. For example, on windows the path I followed is
C:\Program Files (x86)\VstPluginswhile on macOS is
How to activate VSTs in FL Studio
Once you’ve finished installing the VST plugins, you need to enable them directly through FL Studio.
To do this, click on the entry OPTIONS which is at the top and hit on the option Manage Plugins. At this point, click the button Find plugins present at the top left, and wait for the program to complete the scan.
Subsequently, scrolling through the list, you will see that the plugins that you previously installed, using the methods I listed in the previous chapter. At this point, press onstar icon present near the name of plugins involved and that’s it: you have successfully activated the VSTs.
Now you just have to close the window and click on the item Database plugins, which you find on the left. After that, press up Installedchoose the type of plugins (between Effects and Generator) and click on the option VST extension. Perfect, here you will find all the plugins you have installed (of the type you have chosen). To open a pluginsit is enough for you drag it to the right And that’s it.
Perfect, you have successfully learned to install and run VST plugins in FL Studio. Now it’s your turn to study the immense possibilities offered by this world, trying to understand how the plugins you have chosen work and how they can be useful for your music.
In case you need to adviceI advise you to consult my guide to the best free VSTs, where you can find various ideas to start from without even having to spend a cent.
For the rest, I advise you to take a look at my tutorials on how to use FL Studio and how to mix with FL Studio, guides that could be very useful for you in learning how to master the program.
Salvatore Aranzulla is the most read blogger and IT popularizer in Italy. He is known for discovering vulnerabilities in Google and Microsoft sites. He collaborates with computer magazines and takes care of the technological section of the newspaper Il Messaggero. He is the founder of Aranzulla.it, one of the thirty most visited sites in Italy, in which he simply answers thousands of computer-related questions. He has published for Mondadori and Mondadori Informatica.