Image-Line has dropped the newest beta of everyone's favorite yet too shy to admit digital audio workstation or DAW, the FL Studio. This beta is intended for existing IL customer's only (unfortunately), and includes important features that should make it to the next incarnation of FL Studio in the future.
One of the biggest features, and the highlight of this beta release is the Performance Mode. The Performance Mode consist of a series of track clips where each clip can either be of the audio, midi, or automation clip type. These clips can then be triggered in real-time using your mouse, keyboard or your MIDI controllers. Popular controllers such as Launchpad and Akai APC are supported, i.e. the buttons will light according to the state of the clips in the software (e.g. disabled, playing, etc). It is also possible to connect multiple controllers simultaneously to allow controls of more clips at once.
FL Studio is one those DAWs whose strong points lies in it's easiness of getting your idea down from your brain and into the software. We can certainly see the potential of FL Studio Performance Mode, which can both act as an idea sketchpad as well as a instrument capable of serious live performances. Of course it would be totally unfair to judge what the current performance mode can and cannot do, given that the very first release has just been released about a day ago. But, from a few hours of trying it we think that it has got the important foundations right.
On an entirely different aspects of the software, the content management of a music project is one area that needs some serious rethinking in my personal opinion as a FLS user for a couple of years. As the project goes and gets larger, things like patterns and clips can grow very large in numbers and become unmanageable and distracts you from getting your ideas down while you struggle to clean up the mess in your project file.