I recently wrote a review guide on the best audio interface for Fl studio 12 and 20, I also provided useful tips when buying an audio interface, but I was missing an important aspect in the review post linked above, which is installing and using an actual audio interface in Fl studio.

In this how-to guide, I will show you 2 ways of installing an audio interface in Fl Studio, I will be using the popular Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for this tutorial, but trust me, you can pretty much apply this to other audio interfaces provided it is of a USB audio interface, pack your bags, saddle up, and let’s nut it out 😉

    1. Prerequisites:

    2. You need an audio interface
    3. FL Studio installed

Method 1.) Install Focusrite Scarlett Driver Using A Driver Software

If you don’t want to mess with installing drivers manually or the hurdle of finding a compatible driver for your PC, then this is the recommended way of installing a USB audio interface driver, it would automatically check the device/hardware plugged into your system, and find the correct drivers for you.

Before, I show you the steps you need to take to install a driver automatically using a driver software, let me quickly give a very short explanation of why you need to install a driver anytime you buy a USB audio interface.

A driver is a software or files provided by a hardware manufacturer which tells your operating system how to best communicate with the hardware. Audio interface driver is necessary if you want your computer to know how to translate the signal from the computer to the sound card (Internal or external).

Now that you know why you need a sound card, let me work you through the steps of installing a driver automatically.

  1. Plug-in your USB audio interface (This would make the below steps detectable)
  2. Install DriverPack Online
  3. Run the program, and let it analyze your computer system, you should see something like this: installing scarlett 2i2 driver 1
  4. Let me save you from downloading additional software when installing your audio interface driver. Driverpack would normally show the below image, “Do not click install all automatically” as we only want to download an audio driver and no additional software that came bundled with DriverPack, click on the expert mode (look at the section the arrow is pointing to in the below image): Finding Scarleet driver in driver pack expert mode
  5. Having done that, click on Software on the left side, and make sure you untick all the ticked software listed in that section. Click on the Protection and Cleanup tab, again, untick all ticked boxes. Untick unnecessary software bundled with driverpack alt Doing this makes installing your audio interface manufacturer driver a breeze (Focusrite Scarlett in this case).
  6. This is what you are here for, to install your audio interface driver, click on the Drivers tab, in the left side, and you should be left with this option, untick Computer diagnostics — based on DriverPack Cloud,4. Drivers tab in driverspack alt and lastly, click on install to download and install the driver: (The obfuscate part is where you will see the version number, I blurred it out to avoid confusion)Install focusrite scralett 2i2 sound card driver
  7. Driverspack would create a restore point (in case of corruption, so you can restore to the previous state), and your audio interface would be automatically installed, once installed, I’ll recommend you restart your system, and that should get it up and running. (if the installation was unsuccessful, please jump to Method 2, if otherwise, proceed to the next step.)
  8. Open up Fl Studio, and select Options -> Audio Settings: Audio setting for audio interface driver
  9. Select Focusrite USB Audio,
    Select Focusrite USB Audio alt
    Selecting Focusrite Driver In Fl Studio 12
    Selecting Focusrite Driver In Fl Studio 20
    Selecting Focusrite Driver In Fl Studio 20

    voila! you just successfully installed and activated a USB audio interface driver for Fl Studio 12/20. Note: You can apply the same steps to any other USB audio interface, Good Luck!

Method 2.) Install Focusrite Scarlett Driver Manually

If you follow the steps carefully, and your computer wasn’t able to install the drivers correctly or it wasn’t successful, I will show you a simple method of installing the drivers manually, let’s go

  1. In order for you to install an audio interface driver manually, you would need to go to your manufacturer website, in this case, (Focusrite).
  2. You should see something similar to the below image when you get to Focusrite drivers download page: Focusrite website
  3. Go-to Pick your product by type section, you’ll see a dropdown of Focusrite audio interface drivers, select your product type, for this guide, I am installing Scarlett 2i2, so I’ll be picking Scarlett 2i2 from the dropdown, having done, that, let the page reloads and you should be presented with this: Expand sodtware section
  4. The next step you need to take is to expand the SOFTWARE section, click on the white arrow-down to do that, having done that, you should see the below image: Expanded software group in focusrite website
  5. The last step is to click download and follow the on-screen instruction to complete the installation: Download Focusrite Scarlett Audio Interface
  6. Once the installation is complete, you will receive a prompt to restart your PC, accept the prompt, or if you don’t receive a prompt, then I recommend you restart your computer.
  7. Once your PC has been restarted, connect your audio interface, – if you are on windows, you might see a message displaying “Installing device driver” this allows windows to properly assign the driver to the interface, nothing fancy is done here.
  8. Confirm if the USB led light on the front of the interface is on, if no, please try other USB port
  9. Open up Fl Studio, and select Options -> Audio Settings: Audio setting for audio interface driver
  10. Select Focusrite USB Audio, Select Focusrite USB Audio alt
    voila! you just successfully installed and activated a USB audio interface driver for Fl Studio. Note: You can apply the same steps to any other USB audio interface.

Troubleshooting

At the rarest level, the method listed above didn’t work for you, or you tried the steps to no avail, I understand the hurdle, and I have been on the same boat before, here are some steps you should take.

  1. Confirm if you selected the right driver for your audio interface, if no, please go through the steps carefully again.
  2. Carefully check, if the USB led light on the front of the interface is on, if no, please try another USB port.
  3. If everything is working as expected and you didn’t detect the audio interface in your DAW (Fl Studio in this case), Go into the control panel, press the Windows logo key + X together, and select Control Panel:
    Goto controlpanel
    When you get to the control panel window, search for “Sound” and select “Change SoundCard Setting”:Search for sound and select Change sound card settings image
  4. Select your audio interface as default in both the PlaybackRecording tab, if everything works as expected, you should see a green tick displayed beside the selected audio interface:
    Select Focusrite in the tab of Recording and Playback image
  5. Go back into Fl Studio, open settings -> Audio settings and then change the soundcard device to Focusrite USB Audio!
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