Knowledge Base

views: 1281693

Yes, it's available!

Get FL Studio for Mac here.


Once upon a time, the answer was no. Now the answer is YES! Never say never we suppose.  This is a native 64 Bit macOS application that works on macOS 10.11 and later.  




How to use FL Studio on a Mac right now

There are two ways you can run FL Studio right now:

  1. Install the FL Studio native macOS version (requires macOS 10.11 or higher)
  2. Run Windows on your Mac using Boot Camp (you will need an official Microsoft Windows OS installer) and install the Windows version.


History of FL Studio on Macs...

A while back we started testing a FL Studio macOS version using CrossOver (discontinued), with direct installation on macOS. This was promising, but it was still a Windows program, wrapped by CrossOver, running on macOS. The interest in the wrapped beta, and the problems we faced supporting 3rd party VST plugins in it, lead the team to start work on porting our Windows-only VST plugins - Edison, Gross Beat, Harmless, Harmor, Maximus, Ogun, Slicex, Sytrus, Vocodex to macOS native VST format. You can get these plugins here.


The macOS VST plugin testing, was in fact, the stealthy beginnings of FL Studio native macOS compatibility development. These VST plugins use the exact same code-base as FL Studio itself, and if we could get these working to spec on v, then FL Studio would likely follow soon after. 


Well, the plugin testing progressed nicely, and so the team has turned their attention to FL Studio 12 itself. It's a long and slow process but work is indeed under way. Below are some of the issues we face porting FL Studio to native macOS and explains why this is taking 'so long':


  1. Delphi:

    FL Studio is written in Delphi with in-line assembly for much of the DSP (yes hard-core assembly, not for babies). This is one reason why FL Studio and its graphics are so fluid.

    Delphi only recently gained the ability to compile to macOS. So while this is great, it's a 1st-generation macOS compiler, it's cranky and sometimes causes problems of its own. But, before this came along, we needed to port well over 2 million lines of code to another language. We never thought that was a good idea, and it's why we never did it before. But, things have changed, so let's call this progress.

  2. Windows API:

    FL Studio is tightly bound to the Windows API that takes care of moving, minimizing, maximizing windows, detecting cursor position, drag & drop, opening windows dialogs, clipboard functions, decoding MP3s, ... so a port requires all operating system dependent calls to be isolated & replaced by bi-platform dependent functions. That's a major part of what the team are doing now, and it seems to be going great.  

    FYI, just getting all this system dependent code from Deckadance (which was created more or less with porting in mind) and replacing it with bi-platform versions took almost 6 months. FL Studio is many times the size of Deckadance, so please be patient. 

Will this impact on the development of FL Studio for Windows?


No, the core codebase is shared for both the Mac and Windows versions. Developing on one is developing on the other. The team responsible for the VCL (Visual Component Library) is not directly involved in FL Studio feature development, so we don't expect to see any issues here. 


Why didn't you do this before?


As noted above, before Delphi could compile to macOS, the job would have meant a re-write of over 2 million lines of code into another language (like C#). If we were going to do that, we would probably start over and write a completely new DAW application and the result would not be FL Studio. Even the change to vectorial FL Studio 12 ruffled enough feathers. Since we were, and still are, doing very well with a Windows only version (we get over 30,000 downloads of the trial per day) we decided to wait and see if technology solutions came along. And they did, first macOS was launched (a Unix based system), then Macs changed to Intel based (Win PC) hardware and finally Delphi came to the party with an macOS compiler, so it seems the long wait has paid off.


The FL studio Support Team