[fruityloops] Re: Wish list for FL 4.0

  • From: Andrew Ebling <andyebling@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: fruityloops@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: 15 Oct 2002 15:14:59 +0000

On Tue, 2002-10-15 at 14:29, xk wrote:
> 1. I would like the ability to put scores inside the playlist, like in Sonar
> or Cubase, not only patterns. A blend of the two would be great. Some sort
> of a mix between a tracker and a sequencer.

Possibly, but like you say with audio recording, this would add quite a
bit of complexity (and therefore bugs).  One of fruityloops great
strengths its its simplicity; once you have learned some fundamental
concepts you can get started making a track.  The more stuff you learn,
the more you are able to use to make better tracks.

Personally, I don't find it a big issue working in patterns and having
patterns limited to 16 bars, since I am not a proper keyboard player and
tend to record 4 bars at a time maximum... and even then I usually have
to go back and tweak stuff heavily afterwards before it sounds half

> 2. Markers. So I can quickly see were different parts of the song start.

Yeah that would be a definite plus.  At the moment I use empty patterns
to mark the start of sections of my tracks... markers combined with
locators (so Ctrl-Alt-1 to 9 can be used to take you straight to a
predefined position in the track) would bring about a big productivity

> 3. The ability to record I don't find so appealing. It would probably just
> bloat the program and introduce many bugs. It's much more easy to do it in
> Sonar or Sound Forge and then import the wav in FL. But it might be useful
> for people which can't afford buying some other programs.

The reason why I want audio recording is that I tend to sequence parts
using the MIDI out plugin which plays sounds from my keyboard.  So I
compose with my keyboard in multitimbral mode (one sound for each of the
16 MIDI channels) which means that the internal effects get shared
between all of the sounds... that makes for rather pants sounds, as Korg
synths tend to depend heavily on effects to make sounds special.  So
then I go back and record each of the parts separately as audio
(effectively re-using the internal effects unit on each part) and play
them alongside fruity inside n-track.

The problem with this arrangement is that using fruity as a VSTi inside
any other program uses up quite a lot of CPU power, particularly if you
use the multiple out version (I tend to do this so that I get a proper
mixer to play with).  That limits your options.

The other option is to use EZ-Editor (or some other sample editor) to do
the recording, but syncing everything up can be tricky and that wastes

Basically, it would all be much simpler and convenient if fruity would
just record multiple channels of audio.

> 4. An unlimited number of FX tracks might be usefull. 16 can seem too little
> these days.

I agree here too.  Sometimes I want to process each drum individually,
by the time you have used one fx channel per drum, you aren't left with
many for everything else.

I was involved in a discussion on this subject on the official fruity
forums.  Gol was saying that the CPU overhead involved in having more
than 16 channels would be unacceptable.  I thought this was rather short
sighted myself, as even todays cutting edge CPUs are going to look weedy
in 18 months time.  I'd rather see a setting inside Song Settings that
lets you set the number of effects channels manually, just as you can
vary the length of the standard pattern used by the step sequencer.

> 5. Folder tracks, like in Cubase SX. The present concept (channel display
> filter) is hard to use and counter-intuitive.

I have sometimes thought that it would be good to have another layer in
the hierachy of patterns and songs.  Perhaps
patterns->arrangements->songs.  That would mean that you could arrange
each section of the song once (verse, chorus etc) and arrange them in
the playlist as we arrange patterns currently.

Of course, its easy for us all to say "I think it would be cool to have
this feature and that feature".  Much of how possible it would be to
implement would depend on how fruity works internally.  As a software
engineer myself, I have a hunch that fruityloops is fundamentally based
around the concept of the pattern as the basic building block for
songs... therefore having free running sequences and multiple audio
tracks would be very difficult if not impossible to implement without
more or less starting again from scratch as far as the basic
architecture of the application as a whole is concerned.


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