People are speedrunning FL Studio: meet extreme DAW sports

If you haven’t been following the FL Studio speedrun phenomenon, you’re in for a treat – and it’s had a big week with a new record holder on a song that was supposed to have begun as a joke. (Whoops.) So yeah, nerds, if you thought you could escape competitive sports by using DAWs – think again.

This is sort of what it looks like me using FL Studio over the course of … an hour, not half a minute. Here’s what claims to be a new world record for Soulja Boy’s “Crank That” via Nilay Patel over at The Verge (who was also an early CDM reader/friend, way back – proof that Nilay is always on the forefront of things):


Soulja Bot Crank Dat Speedrun New World Record

♬ original sound – simonservidamusic

And yes, of course there is a whole culture of people speedrunning FL Studio. Sometimes they’re making existing material – sometimes just entire songs, like a DIY, self-imposed “Against the Clock.” (Fact, you were ahead of your time.)

First, here’s another sub-twenty-second jam. DAWless? How about DAW-only, no controller?

Go go faster FL kill kill!

Be careful about what you joke about on the Internet, kids.

But yeah, people are making new songs, too:

If you’re wondering if this is mostly just an FL Studio thing – yeah, sorry, it is mostly just an FL Studio thing. But some Ableton Live users are responding – and maybe even more entertaining than watching the timed FL speedrun videos is this reality TV-style round-up DAW shoot-out:

No time? No problem. Album in a day. And there you go, Ableton Live fights back – even if Live users take a whole precious day and not just a few seconds.

Or three minutes?

Also, you know, FL users can say whatever but – Ableton Live has cats using it:

FL Studio users are apparently not only conquering time, but … uh, space. Here is the largest, most complicated FL project file I’ve ever seen? (And I did once get invited pre-show with Richie Hawtin who was for some reason ten years ago running something like a 120-track Ableton Live session, just so he could get every possible variation of his minimal hi hats on its own track – not exaggerating.)

There. None of us may be competing with this, but at least we can feel confident that our set is smaller and – slower – than … whatever these were.

I’m losing my edge.

But I was there – with Robert and Gerhard and Live 1.1 when you couldn’t turn looping off.

I hear you and your cat traded in your DAWless setup for a lifetime FL Studio license and you wanted to make an EDM record in 87 seconds.

I hear that you made a beat so fast it warped time and space and you released it on Bandcamp Friday two months ago.

I’m losing my edge to better producers who are younger and faster … yeah, actually really nice.

And I will always call it Fruity Loops.

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