In order to limit the frustrations of the sometimes baffling playlist recording in FL Studio 12, there are some techniques to keep your recordings organized to a degree. The techniques vary based on whether you are recording Audio, Automation, or Score (MIDI Notes).
The playlist audio recording in FL Studio has been, and still remains, an odd experience where the audio file shows up in the topmost playlist lane that is empty for the length of the recording (note: that the audio recording will only be as long as the selected playlist area length, and if you continue to record in a loop it will create numerous recordings that could contain a bit of a hiccup at the beginning of the loop). Those are the known issues, so we must create a recording environment on the playlist that accounts for those nuances.
The first thing is to create at least a couple of empty playlist lanes at the top – you can name or color code them if you like. If you are starting from scratch and want to create a template, these lanes should already be empty; however, if you are working with a project with sequencing already in it, or a template with empty patterns already plotted out, you will want to right click on the Playlist Track indicator (the leftmost column) on the topmost track, and select “Insert One” (do this as many times as you want for the number of audio recording tracks you think you’ll need).
Next you’ll need to make sure that you have the mixer channel(s) that you want to record the audio for set up properly for recording.
I would suggest recording vocals dry (with no effects in the mixer channel).
You can route the mixer channel output to effects in a different mixer channel if you want to hear the effects while recording, but want the audio recording dry. In the mixer channel that you want to route to, right click and select “Route to this track only”.
A wire will show that the channel for recording is routed to the FX channel (below Channel 12 is the recording channel and Channel 13 is the FX channel that it is routed to).
Select your desired FX (e.g., choose FX for Channel 13). This allows you to keep the dry vocals and apply whatever effects you wish to the recording or while you are recording.
Make sure that you have the recording of “Audio” active in the transport panel.
This should get you where you need to be to start recording audio from an external source. One important thing to note: the 1st bar in some recording environments may have a hiccup or have a bit of time before it actually starts recording. If you notice that this is the case – there are a couple of solutions. One that Image Line suggests is to put a bar before where you want to record. While this may be an effective solution – it doesn’t work so well when you want to keep the groove and record in a loop. So if you experience this don’t record audio in a loop that will have that delay at the start each time – repeat the section you would loop record in for a couple of minutes and just put a lead in bar at the beginning. The other solution is to record in a loop that has an entry bar.