Professional Workflow Suggestions by a Commercial Producer/Sound Engineer

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Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:01 am


Professional Workflow Suggestions by a Commercial Producer/Sound Engineer

Hey lovely people at Image-Line!

First off - FL 20.6.1 is amazing. I've been with FL since version 8 and after having tried every single other DAW out there, it still is my favourite piece of code in the world - hats off!

That being said, I work in professional Studio focused on Audio Production for Advertising/Commercials - we've been doing this for over 30 years now. The DAW mainly used here is Logic, and I am one of the few people that sticks to his original Gun of FL, though I still often need to use it. Heavily using it made me crave for some vital, professional features in FL that, although probably extremely painful to implement, are really necessary for a professional Workflow - and I think everyone using FL would benefit from it:

- "Consolidation"/Freezing
- The current implementation of Pattern consolidation is useful, but ultimately a bit clunky. The Ideal implementation would be the option to freeze, and unfreeze, patterns with maybe a symbol or colour shift indication that a pattern is frozen, and also becoming unmoveable as a result (together with the automation, so that stuff doesnt get messed up). It should also be chooseable whether the pattern is frozen without the mixer track (so only the plugin resources would be saved, awesome for stuff like Kontakt or insane Serum/Massive/Sytrus etc. Patches)or with the mixer track it is routed to (maybe indicated by a different colour shift / symbol of the pattern clip). This feature would be incredible for Massive Projects (and would be more intuitive and tidy way than the current consodation), but especially when collaborating with someone who doesn't have certain plugins or switching to a computer that lacks some plugins. Ableton Live and Logic have had this for years now, and it is a main reason professionals stick with it.

- Project Files management - I know that this is somewhat already implemented, but I feel that it could be improved. Like Logic, it would be a blessing to have an option to export a project as a folder, with the .flp and all the Sound Files (including the freeze Files, Sliced beats etc. from the whole Project) being copied into subfolders. The .flp inside should also know to immediately find the samples in this folder, and not have to search for them.

- Missing File Search - the current implementation is honestly very broken. When files are missing, e.g. not where they should be, FL starts frantically searching all folders like crazy. Only afterwards a dialog shows up, showing that some files couldnt be found. - They way it should be is: FL should notice that the file is missing (or misplaced), continue loading everything else, THEN show me a dialog with options like search manually, search automatically or ignore, on a per file basis. I have projects that search for over 30 minutes (on a 500GB PCIe SSD!) for 5 missing files because I moved a folder on accident. It is really annoying to be honest and can break the workflow.

- Missing Plugins - You guys almost have this nailed already. I'd only like for Mixer Track Plugins to be highlited in red as well, so that they too can be easily identified, just like the generators.

- Plugin Delay Compensation - the PDC algorhythm needs to be tweaked a bit. Although FL receives correct values from the Plugins, it still somehow sets different, often too short compensation times - Mastering and Mixing with heavy Delay inducing Plugins is really difficult right now.

- Video Playback - Importing Videos and Making the Music alongside the Picture is not ideal right now. Fruity Video Player is not easy to sync, it often gets out of sync randomly and is not responsive. Again, Logic has a great implementation, but I don't necessarily expect is like this. Having a better Fruity Video Player, that is more responsive, easier to sync with the timeline etc. would be awesome!

I know a lot of this seems like "copying" other DAWs, but I don't think it is a bad thing. Mac and Windows, iOS and Android, even Ableton live from Logic, have all been copying from eachother and it's only made everyone better. Besides, you guys are smart, and probably figure out a way to improve this stuff even further in ways that we, mere mortal consumers would never have been able to imagine.

I hope you guys consider some of this stuff, and feel free to give me a comment on some stuff. I'd really love to use FL for everything audio!

Lots of Kind Regards

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