FL Studio 64 Bit vs 32 Bit

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Image Line FL Studio 64 Bit vs 32 Bit

 

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 AdapterFL Slayer, Fruity Soundfont Player*, Synthmaker/Flowstone*, Wasp/Wasp XT. All other plugins in the 64 Bit version are full native 64 Bit.

 

*Planned for a future FL 64 Bit update.

 

 

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 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 this release 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? Ė 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 donít 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 make sense, is no problem at all. But 20 x 64 Bit plugins in a 32 Bit project or 20 x 32 Bit plugins in a 64 Bit project is just wasting CPU and can also compromise 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. 

 

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, itís probably a good idea to use the 32 Bit version of FL Studio. Generally, try to minimize the number of bridged plugins regardless of the FL Studio version. 

 

Original Image Line FL Studio Knowledge Base:

https://support.image-line.com/knowledgebase/base.php?id=34&ans=415

 


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