FL Studio 64 Bit is available as a free option for existing and new customers. FL Studio 64 and 32 Bit are included in the single FL Studio installer. FL Studio 64 Bit was introduced at FL Studio version 11.1 on July 2014. FL Studio 12 reworks 64 Bit plugin support to significantly improve compatibility and stability.
FL Studio 64 Bit features
- Access up to 512 GB RAM and 8 TB virtual address space, depending on your Windows version.
- 32 Bit bridged and 64 Bit native VST plugin support.
- Two-way project compatibility between 32 and 64 Bit versions.
- FL Studio available as a 64 Bit VST plugin for use in 64 Bit VST hosts.
Limitations & Missing Plugins
The following features & plugins rely on 3rd party code that is not available in 64 Bit at this time - Buzz Adapter, FL Slayer, Fruity Soundfont Player, Synthmaker/Flowstone, Wasp/Wasp XT. All other plugins in the 64 Bit version are full native 64 Bit.
Most of these plugins are not for sale anymore. Only legacy users are still supported.
FL Studio 32 vs 64 Bit @ YouTube
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Installation & System Requirements
What installer do I need to get FL Studio 64 Bit? - There is a single unified installer includes both FL Studio 32 and 64 Bit. Get it here. After installation you will have a desktop icon for each version, FL Studio & FL Studio (64 Bit). FL Studio is 32 bit (FL.exe) and FL Studio (64bit) is FL Studio 64 Bit (FL64.exe). Make sure you are using the correct icon to start the version of FL Studio you want to use.
What CPU or other computer hardware do I need to use FL Studio 64 Bit - You will need a 64 Bit version of Windows. Either Windows XP 64 Bit, Windows Vista 64 Bit, Windows 8 64 Bit or higher. To find out if your computer is running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows in Windows 8 from the metro (tiled) interface type 'Windows Version' and enter. Click 'See if you have a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows. In Vista or 7: Open System by clicking the Start button, right-clicking Computer, and then clicking Properties. Under System, you can view the system type. If your computer is running Windows XP, do the following: Click Start. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties. If you don't see "x64 Edition" listed, then you're running the 32-bit version of Windows XP. We recommend a minimum of 4 GB of RAM, preferably more. 8 to 16 GB is usually enough, very few projects will use more than 16 GB. You may also like to check the 'What computer should I get for music making' article.
Why does the 64 Bit version install into Program Files (x86)? - Both the 32 and 64 Bit versions of FL Studio are installed to C:\Program Files (x86)\Image-Line\FL Studio. FL Studio 32 Bit = FL.exe and FL Studio 64 Bit = FL64.exe. This really, absolutely, doesn't matter, but people seem to fret about it, so let's just keep this between us and not start a global panic, OK? Program Files (x86) and Program Files(x64) folders are not really important, you can point installers anywhere. A future release will probably install to the standard Windows locations. We are doing this for two reasons 1. To minimize the FL Studio footprint when both versions are installed as they share a lot of content which takes up disk space. It's an additional 140 MB when combined vs an additional 950 MB if installed separately. 2. For the FL Studio 12 series of releases we want people to have both 32 and 64 Bit version installed, for technical support & testing purposes.
About FL Studio 32 vs 64 Bit
Should I use FL Studio 32 or 64 Bit? - The answer depends mainly on your 3rd party VST library. 32 Bit plugins work best in FL Studio 32 Bit and 64 Bit plugins work best in FL Studio 64 Bit. Because of this, we recommend you load projects made in FL Studio 32 Bit and 64 Bit in their respective native versions. Loading a 32 Bit project in FL Studio 64 Bit (and vice versa) before you have updated your plugin library to 64 Bit will result in many bridged VST plugins. Bridging uses more CPU and can reduce stability of FL Studio when plugins behave badly (if they do, please report it to Techsupport). If you still use lots of 32 Bit plugins, perhaps 64 Bit versions are not available, then we recommend you use FL Studio 32 Bit with those plugins. Remember, you can use both FL Studio 32 and 64 Bit depending on your project and the plugins it uses. If you want to make a permanent switch to FL Studio 64 Bit you should update ALL your 3rd party VST plugins to 64 Bit format and make sure you use 64 Bit plugins moving forward with new projects.
What's the difference between FL Studio 32 and 64 Bit? – It's all about the maximum memory avaiable to FL Studio. 32 Bit applications can access a maximum of 4 GB while 64 Bit applications are limited to 8 TB. However, FL Studio 32 Bit includes several memory management tools that allow it to bypass the 32 Bit 4 GB limitation by loading samples and VST plugins in separate processes that don’t add to FL Studios total memory count. So does that mean there is no difference? No, while FL Studio 32 Bit can access as much memory as a 64 Bit application, the core FL Studio 32 Bit process is still limited to 4 GB, and so out-of-memory errors can occur when editing very long audio files in Edison, or when the memory management techniques are not used. This won't happen with FL Studio 64 Bit. Additionally, FL Studio 64 Bit also includes a complete update of most plugins to native 64 Bit format. Finally FL Studio 64 Bit can run 64 Bit VST plugins without 'bridging' them and this saves CPU relative to FL Studio 32 Bit running 64 Bit plugins.
Are FL Studio 32 and 64 Bit projects compatible? - Yes. You can load projects made with FL Studio 32 Bit in FL Studio 64 Bit and vice versa. For example, when you load a FL Studio 32 Bit project in FL Studio 64 Bit, all plugins are automatically loaded with 64 Bit versions, so long as the 64 Bit version exists and has the same name (for VSTs this may not always be the case, but you can usually rename the .dll). When loading 64 Bit projects in the FL Studio 32 Bit the reverse is also true. If the bit-equivalent plugin is not available, then the bit-original plugin is loaded and bridged. Where a project contains plugins mentioned in the 'Limitations' section, you will get a missing plugin error message, but the project will still load. NOTE: Loading older 32 Bit projects in FL Studio 64 Bit, where 64 Bit versions of your plugins are not available, will result in lots of 'bridged' plugins. This can result in higher than normal CPU usage. In some cases this can also cause stability problems - if this happens please report it to Techsupport.
How many plugins can I bridge? - Bridging plugins uses about 2% CPU extra per-plugin. So 2 or 3 x 64 Bit plugins in a 32 Bit project, where it makes sense, is no problem at all. But using 20 x 64 Bit plugins in a 32 Bit project or 20 x 32 Bit plugins in a 64 Bit project is just going to wasting CPU and can also compromise program stability. Only bridge plugins where the 32/64 Bit version is not available OR in FL Studio 32 Bit where you want to bridge a Sampler plugin (Kontakt for example) to free up memory. Some 'common sense' and a little planning goes a long way to creating a smooth experience.
I have Windows 64 Bit should I use FL Studio 64 Bit? - Windows 64 can run both 32 and 64 Bit applications. We recommend existing FL Studio users, with a large library of 32 Bit VST plugins, stick with FL Studio 32 Bit and use FL Studio 64 Bit for those projects where the extra memory capacity is actually useful. If you can also switch your VST plugins to 64 Bit versions then certainly FL Studio 64 Bit is recommended. Windows 32 Bit can't run 64 Bit applications, so here you must use FL Studio 32 Bit.
Can I use 32 Bit plugins in FL Studio 64 Bit - Yes you can. You can also use 64 Bit plugins in FL Studio 32 Bit. This is possible with a 'bit bridge'. This is code that allows 32 and 64 Bit applications to share data. There is about 2% CPU hit per plugin when bridging, so we recommend minimizing the number of bridged plugins in your projects. As you can see, a few bridged plugins won't matter but bridging 20 or 30 plugins will waste a lot of CPU. Bridging is automatic, so you don't need to do anything special to make it happen, so spend a few moments to check what plugins are bridged (look at the Wrapper > Settings tab).
Does FL Studio 64 Bit sound better than FL Studio 32 Bit? - No, both FL Studio 32 Bit & 64 Bit produce the same output, the difference is in memory access not audio processing. Both FL Studio 32 and 64 Bit, use extended precision (80 or 64 Bit) where necessary. For more information about audio quality see the Audio Myths and DAW Wars white paper.
Is FL Studio 64 Bit faster than FL Studio 32 Bit? - In theory 64 Bit code on 64 Bit CPUs can be faster, but there are many factors influencing the speed of DAW software AND FL Studio has always been highly optimized, to the point there is not any meaningful difference in processing between FL Studio 64 and 32 Bit. As usual 'marketing' has overstated and oversimplified the case. Don't expect any difference between 32 Bit plugins on FL Studio 32 Bit vs 64 Bit plugins on FL Studio 64 Bit. Either version is certainly more CPU hungry when processing 'bridged' plugins however.
Memory Address Space and RAM, aren't they the same thing? - No. The amount of physical RAM your PC has does not restrict how much memory programs have access to. Each program is allocated memory address space by the operating system, where it can save and retrieve working data. 32 Bit programs max out at 4 GB per program. 64 Bit programs, under Windows, can access up to 8 TB. If there are 4 programs running, there could be 16 GB (32 Bit applications), and up to 32 TB (64 Bit applications) of memory in use between them. If there is not enough physical RAM to accommodate the memory allocations, the Operating System makes up for any shortfall with a special file on the hard drive acting as an extension to the RAM. Swapping data on and off the hard disk memory-cache file slows down your PC and that's why having lots of RAM is a good thing. The slow cache file isn't needed.
WAV files, maximum size - The maximum size of WAV format files FL Studio can load and create is currently 2 GB. The WAV format is limited to files that are less than 4 GB, because of its use of a 32-bit unsigned integer to record the file size header. We plan to support the W64 format in future to solve this problem.
Why is this so complicated? - It's actually not so complex. If you switch to FL Studio 64 Bit then you should also update your VST library to 64 Bit. If you are working on older projects made in FL Studio 32 Bit, it’s probably a good idea to use the 32 Bit version of FL Studio. Generally, try to minimise the number of bridged plugins regardless of the FL Studio version.
Problems and troubleshooting
How do I associate FL Studio projects with the 32 or 64 Bit version - Open FL Studio 32 or 64 Bit, depending on what version you want to use as the default with projects, and select Options > General Options > Associate project files with application
Audio files (wav) are missing - It's likely the 64 Bit Ogg codec has failed to install. Some of the samples are compressed in Ogg format, so if they can't be decompressed they will be listed as missing. Solution: Browse to ..\Program Files (x86)\Image-Line\FL Studio\System\Installers\VorbisACM_x64 where you will find 'install.bat'. Right-click it and 'Run as administrator'. That should reinstall the 64 Bit ogg codec. If that doesn't work please contact Techsupport here.
My 32/64 Bit bridged plugin is crashing - Please report it to Techsupport here, we always fix reproducible bugs with the 32 and 64 Bit bridges. BUT we can't fix what we don't know about, so please report it. If a bridged plugin crashes you may see errors associated with ilbridge.exe rather than the plugin itself. Example errors are Exceptions, Access Violations etc.
When I edit the controls of some VST plugins FL Studio stops playback - This can happen when you edit the controls on a bridged plugin. Since the bridged plugin is a separate process (program) 'Auto close' kicks in and FL Studio releases control over the audio interface to the plugin and playback stops. You have two options, 1. Disable 'Auto close device' on the Audio settings OR 2. Make sure there are no bridged plugins being used in your project (update the plugin/s in use to match the version of FL Studio you are using).
After closing FL Studio I see instances of 'ilbridge (32 Bit)' in the processes list - This is the FL Studio bridge. There is one instance per bridged plugin. They should all disappear when FL Studio is closed. If these remain AFTER FL Studio is closed you can kill them (its a bug). Make sure you update to the latest version, here. If you already are, please report it to Techsupport.
I can't run my old 32 Bit projects without CPU overload, skipping or underruns - It's likely that: 1. Plugins - FL Studio 64 Bit is loading your old project and can't find 64 Bit equivalents of the plugins. This means 32 Bit plugins are bridged to 64 Bit mode and this uses more CPU than 32 Bit plugin on FL Studio 32 Bit or 64 Bit plugins on FL Studio 64 Bit. It's about 2% extra per plugin, so a couple won't matter but 10+ definitely will. So, make sure to install 64 Bit versions of ALL plugins you are using and try again. It's also possible you have one or more plugins behaving badly either due to being bridged to 64 Bit or just in general. Try to identify the plugin by disabling them until the problem resolves. If you find a problem please report it to Techsupport and we will fix it. 2. Settings - Make sure FL Studio optimization settings have not been changed during the upgrade/update. 3. Update components - Install the latest installer here then download and install the latest Wrapper & Shared Files from here.
How can I make sure 64 Bit versions of plugins are used when I open old projects ? - 1. Download the 64 Bit installers for your plugins and install them. 2. Scan for new plugins in FL Studio (this will identify the 32 and 64 Bit versions). 3. Load your project and check what plugin are bridged 32 Bit (open the 'Options > Debug' log and search for "Bridged effect" and or "Bridged generator") . 4. ONLY for the plugins that have different .dll names for the 32/64 Bit versions, match the 64 Bit dll to the 32 Bit dll name. FL Studio 12 will make this easier, but for now, if you are loading a 32 Bit project and some 64 Bit plugins are not being detected it will be due to dll name differences.
Projects take longer to load VSTs than before - Most likely, FL Studio 64 Bit is loading your 32 Bit project and can't find 64 Bit equivalents of the plugins. This means 32 Bit plugins are bridged to 64 Bit mode which adds to the load time. The project will also consume more CPU than necessary with lots of bridged plugins. Make sure you have installed the 64 Bit versions of ALL plugins (they must have the same name as the 32 Bit versions for this to work) and they will be used instead.
FL Studio plugins are missing - The following features & plugins rely on 3rd party code that is not available in 64 Bit - Buzz Adapter, Edison 'Clean Audio' function, FL Slayer, Fruity Soundfont Player, Synthmaker/Flowstone, Wasp/Wasp XT. All other plugins in the 64 Bit version are full native 64 Bit.
FL Studio 11, the memory meter stops at 9999 MB - This is normal (for now), and is a CPU & Memory panel display size issue not a technical issue, FL Studio 64 Bit can still use 8 TB of memory. This is fixed in FL Studio 12. Note: The Memory meter in FL Studio 64 Bit does not show Available memory since there is 8 TB, so you don't care. Tracking used memory is useful because FL Studio can become slow (with audio glitches) if used memory exceeds the total installed RAM. Watch this video to learn more.
I am getting various errors and crashes - 1. Reboot your computer. 2. Download the latest installer here and re-install FL Studio. 3. Get the latest 'Shared Files' here and latest 'VST Wrapper' here. Install those AFTER reinstalling FL Studio. 4. Try FL Studio. NOTE: FL Studio 12 introduced a new and updated VST wrapper. It significantly improves compatability and stability.
Image-Line Support Team