A MIDI controller is used to provide an interface between you and the FL Studio program. The most common MIDI Controller is a keyboard controller. FL Studio supports almost any type of MIDI controller at a basic level. In rare cases, there may be some controllers that are very specific that are not useful in FL Studio.
For the purposes of this tutorial we will assume youhave a standard MIDI keyboard controller.
The first thing you must do is install any drivers and software that come with the MIDI controller. Drivers are required so that the Windows Operating System can recognize the device and allow programs like FL Studio to use it.
Often times these MIDI controllers, will also have a configuration program or some way for the system to test if the drivers are functioning properly. Be sure to use any tools provided by the MIDI keyboard controller manufacturer and verify that the MIDI keyboard can be identified and enabled.
Failure to install and configure the controller is the most common problem issue when trying to use a MIDI device in FL Studio.
After you verify that the MIDI device can be seen and enabled by Windows, then you can start FL Studio. If you had FL Studio running during the MIDI driver installation, please exit and restart FL Studio.
Once in FL Studio, you can press F10 or select Options > MIDI Settings:
Once you do this FL Studio will present you with the MIDI Options dialog.
From this dialog, you should see your MIDI device listed in the area labelled Input in the middle of the window. In the screen shot above you can see my device the Axiom 49 listed. If for some reason you don't see your device, try clicking on the Rescan MIDI devices button. If this still fails, go back to Step 1 and/or contact the MIDI device maker for technical support.
Click on your device. If you see more than one - as I have in my screen shot - just pick the first one. In the dropdown menu to the right of the Enable checkbox where it saya Controller Type, select the controller you use if it is listed, otherwise just use the (generic controller) setting.
With your MIDI device selected and the proper Controller Type selected, you can now click on the Enable checkbox. It should now glow orange (like in the screen shot) to indicate you have enabled the device. There are more options on this dialog, but we will not cover them in this tutorial.
Close the Settings dialog.
To test your MIDI device, press and hold a key on the MIDI keyboard and look at the Info Area below the main menu in FL Studio. You should see something like this:
Notice how it tells you what note (D3) is pressed and the velocity (90). Your values may vary, but if you see this, your are golden.
Congratulations! You have set up and and enabled a MIDI Keyboard in FL Studio!