If you already mastered the best workflow to seamlessly make beats in FL Studio, then the next step you need to go further is to learn how to apply effects to audio in FL Studio mixer channel for pro sounding mix. First things first, you don’t just start slapping effect plugins on the Mixer tray anyhow in order to make your music sound better. You ought to have the knowledge of the basic effects used in music production and mixing and what they do before venturing into mixing. If you’ve once read the above or already really know how to make beats, then you should know how to assign audio to mixer tracks. So how do you add effects to your music in Fl Studio?
To process an audio with effects on the the mixer, you will have to first assign the audio to a mixer channel. Next is to select the mixer track(it gets highlighted in green), then the effects slots tray/rack for the channel shows up on the far left part of the Mixer. Here, you can add effects as much as you need on the slots.
On each effects slot is a green led/button by the far right which is used to activate\bypass inserted effects. Next to it is also a knob-like circle which serves as a dry/wet mix knob to determine how much of a given effect is blended in with the original audio. This often work best for stock plugins. At the lower part of the screen, right under the rack is the default inbuilt EQ for each channel, which can be used for quick equalizing tasks. As you should already know, in FL Studio there are often numerous ways of making a single move. In this case, there are actually three different ways to add effects to a mixer channel.
The first obvious way is to access the default plugins menu by clicking the little arrow by each effects slot as pointed in the image above. On the window that pops up, the stock plugins are nicely arranged under different sections according to the category of plugins they belong. All grouped from compressors, to filters, to distortions, and synth types; making it easy to locate the needed plugin quicker. Locate the one you need, and click on it to Insert into the selected slot. So easy! Third party effects can also be accessed from here if you know how to put installed plugins on the default plugins menu in FL Studio. To remove a plugin from a slot, just click the little arrow next to it, replace effect, then select ‘none’ as pointed in the image below.
The second method is to access the plugins from the browser section of the interface. This is my most preferred medium of access, because I use mostly some of the best third party plugins around. Though I place my frequently used ones on the default plugins menu described above. To use this method just go to FL Studio’s browser section on the left, locate the Plugins folder, open the effects folder, and locate your needed effect. Then you can click, drag and drop it on the desired effect slot. If you already know how to install third-party plugins, and you want to locate an installed one, just open the ‘Installed’ folder, and then ‘effects’ folder to locate your plugin.
Note that the folder named ‘generators’ contains VSTIs, which are virtual instrument plugins meant to be used on the channel rack/piano roll for composition. Even though you may find your effect in the ‘generators’ folder, placing it on an effect slot on the mixer will give you an error – “you tried to load an effect plugin into a channel. Load the plugin … into a mixer instead”. So always make sure you are selecting your effects from the appropriate folder.
Quick Tip: In case you locate your needed effect in the effects folder and the Mixer window is not in view, just drag the effect from the folder to the mixer icon on the toolbar, which is located at the upper part of the interface. This will automatically bring up the mixer interface, then you can drop it on the desired mixer channel. To change a plugins position on the effects slots, click the little arrow by its left side and select move up or move down.
Finally, to the last method. Just go to the toolbar, locate and click the plugin picker icon(the plug icon on the pointed toolbar in the image above), then a window pops up displaying the thumbnails of the plugins available. They are categorized at the bottom of the screen as they are placed in the various plugins folders. There you can locate and select the one you need.
That’s it. Now you can use effects to give your music a professional touch. For more advanced use of the mixer and its amazing routing features, read this article explaining auxiliary sends, routing, and bus grouping in FL Studio. Happy mixing.