FL Studio Crackling: How To Fix It (With Examples)

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Few things are more annoying or distracting than hearing crackling over your audio while working in FL Studio.

Not only are these noises distracting, but they also make it counterproductive to any work with audio.

Thankfully, you can try some quick, easy solutions at home to fix your audio crackling in FL Studio

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most tried and tested ways to fix your audio crackling in FL Studio.

All of these solutions can be done within the DAW itself and don’t pose any significant risk to the performance of your software or PC. 

What Causes Audio Crackling in FL Studio?

Most crackling issues in FL Studio can be traced back to an overload in processing or CPU.

When you overload your processor, it can cause disruptions in the audio playback feed, and this is what causes the crackling, hissing, or blip sounds you hear while using FL Studio

Below is a list of some of the primary causes of CPU overload in FL Studio:

  • Buffer Issues  – The most common cause for crackling FL Studio is caused by buffer underruns from your audio interface. This issue can be solved by changing the buffer length in your audio settings in FL Studio
  • Sample Rate Too High – This can also lead to audio crackling if your audio interface is set to an incorrect sample rate. Sample rates can be changed in the audio settings in FL Studio
  • Incorrect Timebase (PPQ) – The timebase resolves your audio playback within a particular project. Turning down the pulse per quarter in your Project settings can reduce the load on your CPU and possibly fix your audio crackling. 
  • Third-Party Plugins – Using third-party plugins in FL Studio can often cause an overload in the CPU, leading to crackling in audio. This problem is more likely to occur if your plugins aren’t optimized in FL Studio and also if you use several plugins simultaneously. 
  • Running outside programs – Using FL Studio alongside other programs like Zoom, OBS, Chrome, or other audio-intensive programs like Spotify or Traktor. 

Fixing Buffer Issues In FL Studio

  • Increasing the buffer length on your audio interface is a very simple process. Begin by selecting the options menu in FL Studio and then click on the Audio settings menu. 

  • A window should appear with your Audio Settings for FL Studio. Look for a dropdown menu labeled ‘Device’ to its left. Click this dropdown menu to ensure your device is set to ASIO4ALL or FL Studio Asio. 

  • Next, you must increase your buffer length to reduce the CPU load. Increasing the buffer length will introduce latency when recording audio but will reduce your CPU load considerably.
  • Click on the Buffer length panel in your Audio Settings to open the Asio Panel and set your buffer length appropriately. The general rule for appropriate buffer lengths for most users is 256 smp while tracking. You can change this value to 2048 while mixing, but lower it back down when tracking. 


  • Finally, be sure to set the Priority of your device to Highest in your Audio settings. Check off all the CPU boxes in this menu. Including ‘Multithreaded generator processing, ‘multithreaded mixer processing,’ and smart ‘disable.’

Changing The Sample Rate In FL Studio

  • FL Studio’s audio crackling is likely due to an incorrect Sample rate. Sample rates set too high cause unnecessary strain on your CPU. Start by selecting the options menu in FL Studio and then click on the Audio settings menu. 
  • An Audio Settings window should appear, and the first panel you should see in this Window is labeled ‘Input/Output. 
  • Locate the Sample Rate dropdown menu at the top right corner of the Input/Output Panel. Click on this menu to set the appropriate Sample rate.

  • It’s generally encouraged to set your Sample Rate to either 44100 or 48000 Hz (44.1 and 48 kHz, respectively). Any value above this will begin to overload your CPU and can cause crackling in your audio. 

Changing The Timebase (PPQ) Settings in FL Studio

  • Reducing the Timebase or pulse/ticks per quarter can also lessen the load on your CPU. Open up the Audio Settings menu in FL Studio and Select the Project tab in the menu.
  • Locate the Timebase (PPQ) dropdown menu in your Project panel and select the menu. You can use this menu to increase or reduce the PPQ of your current project. 

  • The default value for PPQ in FL Studio should be 96. You can lower it to either 72, 48, or 24 to help fix audio crackling issues. 

Plugin Optimization in FL Studio

Third-Party VSTs and plugins can often cause CPU overloading in FL Studio.

There are a few precautions and steps you can take to ensure that your plugins are set to their optimum performance parameters to help avoid audio crackling. 

  1. First, ensure you use the latest updated versions of your desired plugins. The later your plugin version, the fewer bugs will likely have, and the smoother it will operate in your DAW. 
  2. In FL Studio, open up a plugin and locate the VST wrapper settings. Open the Processing Tab in these settings and check the boxes marked ‘Use fixed size buffers’ and ‘Make bridged’. Under the ‘Use fixed size buffers’ dropdown menu, select Process Maximum size buffers. 
  3. Certain plugins offer downsampling options in their processing settings. Check your respective plugin’s user manual to see if it offers this option, as it can often help take some workload off your CPU. 
  4. Lastly, alternate between VST2 and VST3 versions if you are on Windows, and VST and AU versions if you are on Mac to see which format works best in FL Studio

Final Thoughts

Experiencing crackling on your audio in FL Studio can often cripple your creativity and leave you feeling unmotivated to continue recording or making music.

Thankfully, you can use the above-listed steps to safely seek and solve any CPU issue that causes crackling in your DAW. 

The guide above will help remove any crackling, hissing, blips, or pops from your audio in FL Studio, and it will also help optimize your DAW and hardware for more efficient creative sessions.

If you still hear crackling after you’ve checked all these steps, try contacting a qualified technician for hands-on assistance. 


How much RAM is needed for FL Studio?

Image-Line (FL Studio’s developers) recommend using FL Studio with no less than 8 GB of RAM for seamless operation, alongside 8-16 cores of CPU.

Image-Line also recommends using a solid-state drive (SSD) as the primary host drive for running FL Studio

What buffer size should I use in FL Studio?

It is generally recommended to use a buffer size of 256 SMP while tracking in FL Studio for smooth and safe operation.

This value can be pushed all the up to 2048 SMP if no recording is taking place.

Up next check out our ultimate guide to Autotune in FL Studio!