FruityLoops is a piece of music composition software written by Didier Dambrin, under the corporate guise of Image-Line Software. It's my personal weapon of choice when it comes to sequencing.

With version 1.0 it began as a beat and simple melody compositional aid. Packed with a bunch of cheesy samples (and an equally cheesy TS-404 soft-synth) it was perfect for your average dork to slap together a reasonable tune in a couple of hours. Since then (and now approaching version 3.5) it has grown and matured into a fully fledged sequencer. Incorporating a piano-roll, plugin channels, external MIDI control, and VST instruments, it proved to be flexible as well as user-friendly, and most importantly useful.

It takes a similiar pattern-based approach like conventional trackers, with the added benefit of being able to layer pattern over pattern to allow more flexibility when arranging your tunes. (it's functionality in this regard is akin to Jesolka Buzz, but it is completely different visually)

A brief list of it's features: (believe me, it is much more exciting to simply download the demo from fruityloops.com and get your hands dirty)

  • Unlimited channels.
  • 4 to 64 notes per pattern. (includes every integer between, thus you can use interesting time signatures)
  • Built-in SimSynth. This allows you to create your own (albeit simple) soft-synth made up of up to three sine, saw, square, or noise waves.
  • A collection of other soft-synths including Wasp, BeepMap, and Plucked!.
  • A Buzz Generator and Effect Adaptor, allowing you to utilise the vast array of nifty sounds that can be created using the aforementioned package.
  • VST plugin support.
  • Full automation of all knobs and wheels. (extremely useful for recording live tweakings that couldn't be all performed at once)
  • Piano Roll, allowing pitch bends and polyphonies (ie chords).
  • A set of FX channels and FX plugins allowing you to group instruments together and subject them to Graphic EQ, a Flanger, a Phaser, and a lot more.
  • Export to wav and mp3.
  • Save as a Zipped Loop Package that contains all your samples, etc, that can be reopened with any compatible version of FruityLoops.
  • Both Randomisation and Humanisation of note pitch, volume, and panning.
  • A collection of useful (but lo-fi) samples to get your started.
The interface is simple enough so as not to be overwhelming for the beginner (as is the case for some with the likes of Cubase, Logic, or Buzz), but ultimately powerful for the expert user. On top of that, it's colour scheme is sombre and eye-pleasing (as well as skinnable, if you don't like it), so you don't get sick of looking at it for extended periods.

Overall, a highly recommendable product - or, as put so eloquently by the imperfect being: bitchen.

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