FL Studio – Linking a MIDI Controller to any Parameter [VIDEO]

In this tutorial I explain how to set up a new MIDI controller device and quickly link it to any available parameter in FL Studio 12. I’d recommend watching full screen at 1080 resolution. There is a written guide below the video in this post.

 

This tutorial applies to any external MIDI controller. The MIDI controller I’m using on this occasion is a Line 6 Pod FBV Express MKII Usb which is a great little expression pedal which works like a ‘wah’ guitar pedal and as such it is perfect for controlling expression pedals in amp sims such as IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube 3. In this tutorial I use Synth1 by Ichiro Toda, currently my favourite free VST synthesiser. You may also find my guide to recording automation via a MIDI controller in FL Studio useful.

Setting up a MIDI controller in FL Studio

  1. The first thing to do is to plug your controller in. In most modern PCs it should automatically detect the new device and set up any required drivers. Please refer to your MIDI controller’s documentation if you have any issues connecting.
  2. Once connected, go to the Options menu and select MIDI Settings. This will bring up the MIDI Settings window where you should be able to find your MIDI device in the input list. If you can’t see it, click reset devices list at the bottom left of the window.
  3. Once you have located your MIDI device in the input list, click Enable so that the green light next to it comes on to show you that it is enabled.
  4. Check the controller type list to see if your specific controller is on there, and select it if it is. If your controller is not one of the choices then choose [generic controller]. By now, if the controller is connected and working properly, you should be able to move it and see the Sync indicator beneath the menu bar lighting up (green if it’s unassigned) as you do.

Assigning a MIDI controller to any Parameter in FL Studio

There are three ways of doing this and not every method will work for every parameter, so try them all in the order I explain them. If none of these options work then refer to your plugin’s documentation. In some plugins you will need to enable DAW control or assign variables to parameters that FL Studio can see before you can link a controller.

Method 1 – works for most native FL Studio plugins as well as any parameters in the mixer and channel settings windows
  1. Right click on the parameter knob or slider you wish to link to the controller. Click Link to controller… 
  2. Ensure the light next to auto detect is lit by clicking on it
  3. Move the controller and the window should disappear, meaning the controller is now linked. Test it by moving it
Method 2 – use this if you have no option to link to controller when right clicking on the parameter knob or slider
  1. Use the mouse to tweak the parameter you want to link to my adjusting it up or down a bit
  2. Click on TOOLS in the main menu bar
  3. Highlight Last tweaked. The menu that appears should show the plugin and name of the last tweaked parameter at the top. If it doesn’t then try method 3 below
  4. Select Link to controller…
  5. Ensure the light next to auto detect is lit by clicking on it
  6. Move the controller and the window should disappear, meaning the controller is now linked. Test it by moving it
Method 3 – use this if last tweaked doesn’t recognise the parameter you’ve tweaked
  1. Click the plugin menu icon in the top right of the plugin’s wrapper
  2. Select Browse parameters. This will pull up a list of all the plugin’s parameter in the browser on the right
  3. Look for the parameter you wish to link to a controller then right click on it
  4. Right click on the parameter and select Link to controller…
  5. Ensure the light next to auto detect is lit by clicking on it
  6. Move the controller and the window should disappear, meaning the controller is now linked. Test it by moving it

And there you go!

Those are the three simplest ways to link a MIDI controller to any parameter in FL Studio and they should work in most cases. As mentioned there are some plugins that need a bit more setting up before they work this easily with FL Studio and  you should refer to your plugin’s documentation if you have any problems. You may also find my guide to recording automation via a MIDI controller in FL Studio useful.

Please post any comments or questions below and please like my Facebook page to keep up to date with new posts and join our FL Studio Q&A group to ask for advice and help each other.

I hope you find this tutorial helpful. Please check out my other FL Studio articles and feel free to comment and share.


If you’ve not tried FL Studio you can download a fully functional demo from Image-Line. The only restriction is that you cannot re-open saved projects. To do that you have to buy it.

If you like it, you should definitely buy it. And I can offer a ten percent discount to first time buyers as part of their affiliate scheme. Once you’ve bought it you are automatically eligible for a lifetime of free upgrades. So you never have to pay for the latest version. Ever.

Now that’s a great deal.


 

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