Ghost Notes in FL Studio

FL Studio is know for it’s awesomely user-friendly Piano roll functionality, among other things. One way to make your Piano roll workflow more efficient is by using ghost notes in FL Studio.

Ghost notes are transparent notes from one channel in the Channel rack that show up in another channel when working in the Piano roll. They make it easy to see what notes another instrument is playing in the same pattern, and can help when layering instruments together.

fl studio ghost notes

Here we can see two Sytrus channels in the Channel rack. One channel has notes programmed into the Piano Roll, and the other is blank. When ghost notes are toggled on in FL Studio’s settings, we can see the notes from one Sytrus channel in the other blank channel’s Piano roll.

How to Turn on Ghost Notes in FL Studio

Toggling ghost notes on and off is really easy! As with many features in FL Studio, it’s usually just a matter of finding where the setting is located or knowing the keyboard shortcuts.

This is a Piano roll setting, so navigate to the Piano roll first. Then click the arrow at the top left of the Piano roll window. In the drop down menu, go over to Helpers, and then from that menu just click on Ghost channels.

Another quick and easy way to toggle the setting on and off is by just hitting ALT+V on your keyboard.

toggle on ghost notes

Also notice that this setting isn’t just limited to notes. Other note properties such as velocity, panning, release, x and y modulation, and fine pitch will have ghosts too.

How Else Can We Use Ghost Notes?

We can even ghost note entire scales to help when making melodies and chord progressions. You can mark the notes of the scale you are using in an unused/muted Sampler channel, and then toggle on ghost notes to see which notes to use in your melody on another channel.

FL Studio’s Piano roll also makes it really easy to pick a scale. Just click the Stamp button in the Piano roll, and select the scale you want to use for your track. Then, click the root note position in the Piano roll to stamp the scale there.

I like to extend the scale ghost notes out a few bars and cover at least 3 octaves of notes. Now, when you navigate to another channel, your scale will be ghosted in the Piano roll for reference. Very helpful!

ghost note scale

Alternatively, you can toggle on Scale highlighting also located under Helpers to achieve basically the same thing. Just keep in mind that Scale highlighting is a global setting, meaning it is applied to all channels on all patterns. Ghost notes only show up on Piano rolls that share a pattern.

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  • Breachey

    Definitely a few good tips in here, and overall helped my understanding. Cheers, keep it up

  • kwame

    Great information here! Thanks a lot. Been using FL for years but still learning new things. Powerful daw.

    • Nick Madaffari

      Hey no problem! Yes FL has grown so much in the past years, and always improving. Gotta love it.

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