How to Effectively Use Channel States in FL Studio

One of the most overlooked features in FL Studio is the ability to save channel settings from the FL Studio channel rack.

This has many advantages over saving presets. To save your channel settings, click the drop-down menu from your selected channel and select “Save Channel State.” The first advantage is obvious when using the channel states from the “Channel Presets” folder in the browser.

FL Studio Channel Presets

For example, you’ll notice that 3xOsc actually has a larger number of presets available here than the ones located from the preset drop-down menu in the plugin. These are some of my favorite presets in FL Studio from any stock instrument plugin. Perhaps you’ve already noticed that when you make changes to your channel settings and switch to a new 3xOsc preset, this will keep the same channel settings from the previous loaded preset. Typically this mangles the new selected preset into something unrecognizable. For instance, if you select a pluck preset and then switch to a pad, the pad will maintain the pluck preset’s volume envelope. So instead of hearing the new pad preset you selected, it sounds more like a pluck. The way to prevent this is by saving these presets as channel states instead. Now, everything will maintain the proper channel settings when you load these channel states.

Another advantage has to do with saving the key of samples. It’s common to have bass or 808 samples that are out of tune and pitched to different notes. When these samples are tuned to anything other than “C,” they won’t play the proper notes within the piano roll or from your midi controller. For example, when you load up an instrument like 3xOsc and play the note “A,” it actually will play that note. However, when you play that same note with an 808 that’s out of tune, it might play “G” instead of “A.” A quick way to fix this would be to load the sample into Edison by right-clicking on the sample waveform in the channel settings and select “Edit In Audio Editor.”

FL Studio Edison

Now within Edison, right-click the waveform and in the “Regions” category, select “Detect Pitch Regions.” This will add an orange marker at the beginning of your 808 sample that’s labeled with the pitch. In the example above, it is labeled “D.” Now you can go back into the channel settings and tune the sample to “C” by selecting either the envelope or tools tab and right clicking “D” in the mini piano at the bottom of the window.

FL Studio Mini Piano

From there you can save this channel state and this will forever be properly tuned every time you load this sample. Another option would be to select “Edit in Pitch Corrector,” which will send the sample into Newtone instead of Edison.

FL Studio Newtone

There, you’ll immediately see what key the sample is pitched to and you would follow the same steps by applying that to the mini piano in the channel settings.

Another big advantage of using Channel States is the ability to edit your samples with any of the channel settings and still revert back to any of the previous settings. If you were to change the settings and render this as a new sample, you wouldn’t be able to undo the changes you’ve made. With a Channel State, you still have the original sample intact with the additional changes made in the channel settings. From there you can reset any precomputed effects, envelopes, filters, etc. to partially go back to the original settings and reshape the sample from there. Without that, it’s not worth the effort of trying to bring back any of the characteristics of the original sample. Once it’s rendered, those settings are basically embedded in the sample itself. It’s better to maintain the flexibility of the Channel State instead. At the very least, you could use the Channel State to create multiple new samples from adjusting the settings in the Channel State for each new render.

Hopefully, this will convince you to start using saved Channel States more often instead of saving presets. It’s a simple and effective way to maintain your channel settings for both your samples and virtual instruments.

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