How to Record MIDI in FL Studio

MIDI stands for musical instrument digital interface, and it’s a way for computers and digital instruments such as keyboards to talk to each other. It’s used in pretty much every DAW out there today, including FL Studio. One of the great things about digital audio is its ability to replicate things that were traditionally done with tons of outboard analog gear. Technology has progressed to the point that we can now record a live performance digitally using MIDI. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to record MIDI in FL Studio. Let’s get to it.

Step 1: Set the Recording Filter

First, we need to tell FL Studio to record MIDI notes. Just right-click the “Record” button on the top toolbar and make sure you have “Notes” checked.

midi recording filter

Step 2: Quantization Settings

You can also automatically quantize your MIDI recordings in FL Studio. Right-click on the “Record” button again and you’ll see on the right-hand side that there are some MIDI quantization options.

  • Note start time – the note start time will be quantized to the nearest grid interval
  • Note end time – the MIDI note end time will be quantized to the nearest grid interval
  • Leave note duration – FL Studio will preserve the length of the note
  • Record to step sequencer – notes are quantized to steps and appear in the Piano roll as zero-length notes
  • Automations – quantize automation clips (not relevant for MIDI)

To set the quantization resolution, you need to change the Main Snap settings. You need to set the snap to any of the Step, Beat, or Bar settings to activate input quantization. If you don’t want to quantize your MIDI recordings, set the Main Snap to (none).

Step 3: Arm and Record MIDI

Make sure you’ve armed the “Record” button (just click it once). It turns red when armed. Then select the instrument channel you want to record to from the Channel rack. You can even open the Piano roll to see it in real time.

Next, press the space bar. You should hear the metronome in the background begin counting down. Play the notes on your MIDI keyboard or your computer keyboard. When you’re done, hit space bar again to end the recording.

You’ll notice that FL Studio will automatically quantize your recorded MIDI data based on your specifications after you hit the space bar to end the recording. This is a great feature and a real time saver. And that’s it. You’re all done.

recording midi in fl studio

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