To quickly lock any type of track in FL Studio, all you need to do is shift-click on the small green light on the desired track. Once done, you will notice a small lock icon appears in place of the light, which indicates that the track is locked in its current state.
Locking Tracks In FL Studio
If you are in the habit of soloing and muting tracks in FL Studio, you may find it annoying when you have to repeatedly mute and unmute the same channels over and over when you just want them to be in one state or the other.
Luckily you can achieve this through a feature called track locking, which allows users to keep a specified track locked in an enabled or muted state, depending on which you are looking for.
For this FL Studio tutorial, we will look at how you can do this in all areas of Fruity Loops, from the playlist view, sequencer, and the mixer.
Let’s get started!
Locking Playlist Tracks
One of the most useful scenarios where you can use track locking is when soloing and focusing on certain tracks within the playlist view.
In some instances, you may want to keep certain song elements from being muted or the other way around.
To do this, simply shift left click on the small green light indicator on the track that you want to lock, as seen above.
Once you do this, you will notice that a small lock icon appears in place of the green light on the selected channel.
If you want to lock the track in a muted state instead, simply follow the same steps but make sure that the audio track is already muted before shift left clicking on the indicator.
You can tell when a track is muted as it will be greyed out, and you will hear no audio from it when playing back.
Other Ways To Use FL Studio Track Locking
Locking tracks in the playlist view is not the only way to utilize this feature, as there are some other areas in FL Studio in which you can benefit from this tip.
For example, you can use it within the mixer view to have a specific mixer track muted or enabled permanently.
You can find the green light indicator just below the track name, which is where you will want to shift left-click.
You could also use this method with mixer busses to quickly lock a wide selection of tracks such as vocals, drums, or a MIDI clip.
Finally, you can also use the lock feature within the step sequencer tab, which can be handy when constructing a drum loop. It can help you focus on the essential elements.
To do this in the sequencer, simply shift left-click on the mute/solo button to the far left of the corresponding track.
Why Is a Track in My Playlist Greyed Out?
If you have a grayed-out playlist track, you likely have it muted. You can quickly unmute the grayed-out track again by clicking on the solo/mute button below the track name.
You can apply this to mixer tracks also, as whenever they are greyed out, it means they are muted. You can unmute them by following the same steps as with the playlist channel. If you have a grayed-out playlist track, you likely have it muted. You can quickly unmute the grayed-out track again by clicking on the solo/mute button below the track name.
You can apply this to mixer tracks also, as whenever they are greyed out, it means they are muted. You can unmute them by following the same steps as with the playlist channel.
What Is the Benefit of Locking Tracks In FL Studio?
As mentioned in the article, locking tracks can be a great way of saving time in any music production. It allows you to focus on a specific track or clips while still having locked tracks in a muted or enabled state.
It is an excellent habit to get into as you are starting in Fruity Loops, as you will find it saves you time and headaches when your projects start to get bigger.
Should I Always Use Track Locking In FL Studio?
If you are working on a smaller project with only a few tracks and want to focus on one or two tracks in a project, you might just want to use the standard soloing technique to right-click on the mute/solo button.
You could do this, as in these cases, you would not be saving yourself much time in the long run, as locking tracks is usually more helpful when working on large projects with big groups of instruments, drums, and audio clips.
Can You Lock Tracks in Other DAWs?
Locking tracks is not a feature in all DAWs, making it somewhat unique to FL Studio. For example, the popular DAW Ableton does not have this feature. In contrast, other DAWs like Logic has a similar feature called ‘protect.’
It is worth having a quick search to whether or not your DAW of choice has a feature similar to this, as it is not a universal feature between them.
How Do You Unlock Tracks In FL Studio?
You can unlock tracks in the same way as you lock them simply by using shift left-clicking on the small lock icon, which has replaced the green solo/mute button on the track. This also applies to both the step sequencer and the mixer.
What Does the Small Lock Icon Mean in Fruity Loops?
If you see the small lock icon anywhere in FL Studio, it means that track is currently locked. When locked, that track cannot be muted if you solo another audio track. This includes whether in the playlist view, mixer, or step sequencer.
If the lock is greyed out, it is muted, and if it is green, it is currently enabled.
Is There Any Downside to Locking Tracks in FL Studio?
The only real downside to locking tracks in FL Studio is that you may forget that you have locked them, especially working on a large project. This could lead to some confusion. However, for the most part, there are no real downsides.
Knowing how and when to utilize the track locking feature in FL Studio is an excellent technique for any music producer. It will save you lots of time when soloing and enabling specific elements like a plugin, synth, or group.
It may take some time to get used to if you have not used it before, but it is something worth making use of!
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