The Best Stock Plugins In FL Studio (and how to use them!)
THIS IS A LIST OF THE TOP STOCK PLUGINS TO USE IN FL STUDIO FOR MELODIES IN BEATS WITH DESCRIPTIONS AND EXAMPLES!
FL Studio is a go-to production software for music creators across the world. One of its biggest benefits is its vast collection of high quality stock plugins that come with every copy. There are many plugins for melodies, effects, drums, and anything you could need, all without spending a dime on third-party plugins. Today, we're going to look into the necessities of stock plugins in FL studio and go through the best ways to utilize these tools. Let's get into it!
In the first portion of this blog, we're going to talk about instrumental plugins that can be used to create melodies. There are many high-quality stock plugins that can be used to create industry standard samples for any genre.
Flex is one of the most powerful stock plugins across and DAW. With 18 free libraries ranging from 80s synthesizers, to acoustic guitars, to pianos, this plugin has almost everything you need to make melodies of any genre. Each library has a unique style that can be applied to your melodies to give the extra touch you need. In FLEX, you'll find hundreds of melodic instruments and drum sounds, including heavy 808s, trap drum machines, and accoustic drum kit sounds.
The Essential Pianos library is my personal favorite. Each piano choice is unique and sounds extremely high-quality. They are perfect for trap or drill melodies. Most presets come with a lite version which is designed to take up less CPU. This allows you to layer more instruments and create the best melodies you can. I used the preset "Steinway D lite" for the melody in the song "Check" by Lakeyah ft. Moneybagg Yo.
Sytrus is a synthesizer plugin with a wide range of sounds, from classic analog-synth to modern digital sounds. It comes with hundreds of presets that could be perfect for your next track, no matter what genre. Any producer can find value in this free plugin that comes with every copy of FL Studio. My personal favorite preset is the Dream bell, which can be used for peaceful or "dreamy" melodies. The softness of the bell can sound playful in major keys, and extremely eerie in minor keys.
This powerful VST comes with a large variety of sounds to fill out every element of a melody. You can use a bell or arp preset for your top melody, a pad for your chord progression, and a bass for your low end, all from Sytrus. One con of this plugin is that not every preset is going to sound good automatically, you may have to add some additional processing or skip to the next sound. Overall, it comes down to experimenting and searching through as many presets as you can to find the ones you love.
If you like asian sounding instruments, Sakura is the plugin for you. Although not considered a free plugin, any FL Studio user can access Sakura and export their melodies. While there are many folders in the plugin, most of the best sounds can be found in the Default folder or Eastern Dreams Bank. Here, you'll find an array of string sounds, basses, guitars, keys, flutes, organs, synths, and many others. As always, I recommend searching through these options to find the best presets that fit your production style.
Since Sakura is not a free plugin, it will mute itself every few minutes and delete any melodies created when a project is saved and reopened. Here is how to save your melody without fear of deletion or silence:
1) Highlight the pattern with your melody
2) Press ctr + alt + C on your keyboard
3) Click "start" on the popup
This will render out your melody as a waveform so you won't have to worry about the trial plugin muting or deleting it. The only problem is you cannot edit your melody once you have rendered it out, so make sure you are 100% finished with it before you do this step.
Harmor is another powerful instrument plugin that contains many presets to help your melody creation. Focusing more on synthetic sounds, this plugin will have the perfect lead, bass, or pad for your melody. I love the pads this plugin has to offer. They fit perfectly with any chord progression and melody and add a colorful and vibrant aura to any sample. If your melody feels thin or small, adding a Harmor pad in the background is sure to bring out a much fuller feeling.
This a free stock plugin, meaning there is no need to export your melody. You can keep your melody in the piano roll and not worry about being muted or losing your preset when you restart your project. You can simply pick your preset and create your melody!
One of the most simple but powerful plugins in FL Studio is FL Keys. This is a powerful and versatile plugin that can be used to create realistic piano sounds suitable for any music genre. This plugins responds well to velocity variation and can be used to create a human-like piano melody. If you don't like the presets, it comes with the ability to manipulate the sound design with the different knobs. FL Keys comes with nine unique piano presets ready to be used in your next melody.
This is one of the most unique plugins you will ever find. Autogun comes with over 4 BILLION presets! While these are pretty much all randomly generated and separated only by slight knob twists, there are so many hidden gems ready to be found with this plugin. Simply load it up and click the right arrow to skip to a completely new preset. Each preset even comes with a fun comment that often has nothing to do with the sound of the preset. Because there are so many sounds, they could not have a human write a unique comment for each one, so I am assuming they are randomly assigned.
Harmor can be used as a top melody, background chord progression, or simple ear candy that adds the finishing touches to your sample. Since it is a randomized plugin, you never really know what you're going to hear when you first open it up. This makes the user experience extremely unique because you must use what the plugin gives you, or continue clicking until you find a sound that you like.
These are all my go-to stock plugins when it comes to instruments. Now, let's look into some of the best stock effect plugins!
Fruity reeverb 2
Every producer has used a reverb plugin to emphasize their sounds. A select few producers will spend hundreds of dollars on reverb plugins or analog reverb devices, but if you're either just starting out or don't want to spend that much money, Fruity Reeverb 2 will do the job just fine. It comes with six presets and over a dozen knobs and faders to customize the perfect reverb sound.
Reverb can be used to widen the sound of a thin melody or add a layer of atmosphere to any melodic element. You can also use reverb to create a tail at the end of a sample. This can provide a more realistic feel so your melody fades out instead of stops abruptly. I would recommend experimenting with your reverb with the dry and wet knob to find the perfect mixture for your track.
FRUITY PARAMETRIC EQ 2
An equalizer (EQ) plugin is designed to allow the user to have full control over individual frequencies. You can cut or boost wide ranges of frequencies for creative or mixing purposes. Every producer should familiarize themselves with an EQ plugin and for most people starting out, it's the Fruity Parametric EQ 2. This is a very powerful EQ that comes with presets and many customization options. By scrolling the mouse wheel down over a band, you can hone in on specific frequencies. If you scroll up, you'll increase the range of the band and have a wider range of frequencies to manipulate.
Whether you are using it for mixing or creative purposes, the Fruity Paremetric EQ 2 plugin will get the job done. It comes with 12 presets designed to enhance, minimize, or manipulate different frequencies. A couple effects you can do with this plugin include a highpass filter, which is when you cut all low frequencies at around 150 hz, or a low pass filter, which is when you cut all the high frequencies around 2,000 hz. Each of these filters provides a unique sound that may spice up your melody.
Despite the name, fruity limiter can be used for limiting, compressing, and side chaining! This is one of the most versatile stock plugins for mixing. When you first open the plugin, it defaults to the limit function, which is used to completely cutoff any sound that go above a certain volume. You can adjust this limit with the green knob labeled CEIL (ceiling). By lowering this knob, you are lowering the limit of volume for a certain sound and anything above that ceiling will be completely muted.
The second option in the Fruity Limiter plugin is the compression. This is similar to a limiter but instead of completely limiting past the ceiling, it only cuts it a little. You can customize how much you want to cut past a certain point. For compression, this point is called the threshold. Everything that goes over the volume threshold will be compressed at a level that you choose, or the ratio. For example, a ratio of 2:1 will cut half of the volume that goes over the threshold. A ratio of 10:1 will cut 90% of the volume over the threshold. You can adjust this ratio to find the perfect comrpession for your audio.
Sidechaining is a technique used to lower the volume of one track when another volume is raised. For example, many people sidechain a kick drum to their bass so the lower frequencies are not clashing with eachother. In this scenario, the volume of the bass will be lowered whenever the kick drum plays. You can sidechain any sounds using the Fruity Limiter plugin.
Here's how to sidechain using fruity limiter:
Step 1: Route both of your sounds to two seperate mixer tracks
Step 2: Select the mixer track of the sound you want to pass through the other (kick drum in the previous scenario)
Step 3: Right click the triangle at the bottom of the other mixer track and select "Sidechain to this track."
Step 4: Open Fruity Limiter on the other mixer track, select the "Comp" option, right click the rectangle under "Sidechain" and select the other mixer track
Now you can adjust the settings to perfect your sidechain.
FL Studio comes with four stock flanger effects. These are Fruity Chorus, Fruity Flanger, Fruity Flangus, and Fruity Phaser. While they all provide similar sounds, their unique presets and customization options make them unique from one another. Fruity Flanger is the perfect plugin to add an extra layer of ear candy to your melody. It comes with 27 presets which is more than any of the other flanger plugins and each one provides a different effect for your melody. You can experiment with different presets and customization to get the perfect effect to bring your sample to the next level.
One of the most powerful stock effects in FL Studio is Gross Beat. This plugin manipulates your sample or melody and comes with hundreds of presets. You can use Gross Beat to chop samples, add flanging effects, create turntable effects, or use the famous 1/2 speed preset used by producers all over the industry. Gross Beat presets are amazing for adding variations in your melody throughout a track. If you don't switch up your sample, a listener or artist can get bored with the track. Use Gross Beat to create different variations of your sample to add switch ups and changes which will keep your listener more engaged!
Note: Gross Beat is not a free plugin. To save your sample, you need to render your melody as a waveform like we did for the Sakura plugin.
The idea that producers need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on plugins to get an industry quality sound is completely untrue. As you can see, there are dozens of stock plugins that come free with every copy of FL Studio. These plugins can be used to create the sample radio ready sound quality that expensive plugins can. It's not about how much you spend on plugins, but how you make use of them. Using the sounds you have access to when you first start out will give you better experience with customizing sounds and being creative with what you have.
In summary, here are the best stock plugins in FL Studio:
1) For melodies: FLEX, Sytrus, Sakura, Harmor, FL Keys, and Autogun
2) For effects, Fruity Reeverb 2, Fruity Parametric EQ 2, Fruity Limiter, Fruity Flanger, and Gross Beat
Thanks for reading and good luck!
Written by Jake Tompkins