One of the most important tools of any DAW is the Browser. This allows users to navigate between samples, instruments, project files and more.
The most common use of the browser in FL Studio is to add drum samples into the Step Sequencer. For those who have large sample libraries, it’s important to keep everything organized. Sometimes, you might have important folders in various locations on your computer. If so, go to Options and select the File Settings tab. There you will have the option to add additional folders into your browser.
Simply, click the folder icon under the Browser Extra Search Folders section and locate the folder you would like to add. Your added folders will be highlighted green in the browser.
You can quickly navigate through the browser folders with the directional arrows on your keyboard. The up and down arrows will change the selection. The left arrow will close the folder, while the right arrow will open the folder or preview your sample. Each sample will be played through the mixer track selected in your audio settings. I have mine playing through track 2 in the example below. This is useful for balancing the volume between your sample previews and your project by adjusting the fader on the mixer track it is being playing through.
You can drag and drop samples, instruments or effects into the step sequencer (or mixer for effects), or load them directly by middle-clicking the mouse on the item you want to load after you’ve selected the channel in the step sequencer or effect slot in the mixer rack. In FL Studio version 20.1, you can now directly drag browser items into the playlist where the tracks are labeled and it will rename and color the track for you.
A great way to quickly find instruments in the Browser is with the thumbnail preview option.
This only works if your browser size if set to small or larger. You can check this setting by clicking the dropdown arrow in the browser and selecting “size.” You can also add additional thumbnails for new plugins by going into the dropdown menu of the plugin and selecting “Make Editor Thumbnail.”
Next, to the dropdown menu of the browser, you’ll see an arrow pointing up, which will cycle you back to the main folder as you click. The curved arrow will refresh the browser. The magnifying glass will search for anything you type in case you lose track of an item. You can also save browser states by selecting the menu next to the magnifying glass and clicking any of the snap options and adjusting the browser from there. Now, every time you select that snap setting, the browser will revert back to that form.
My favorite settings for my browser is having it show only opened folders and only showing one folder at a time. Both options are located in the dropdown menu of the Browser. This is useful to keep the browser focused on what you’re searching for.
Finally, there is the option for improved visuals as you scroll through the browser.
Under Options, select the General tab and select “Ultrasmooth”. This will make the file names easier to read and you rapidly scroll through the browser. Also in this tab is the option for “Fast Sample Preview,” at the bottom. This will play the samples more quickly when you select them.
Hopefully, these tips and tricks will allow you to navigate the FL Studio Browser with ease so you can start and finish your projects even faster than before.