Imported audio from FL studio, problem


I’ve discovered that importing wav files that originated from FL studio results in the parts imported are transposed up 2 semitones in the Cubase project window, since Cubase 12. I mix for clients for a living and this was happening every once in a blue moon and it was driving me crazy trying to figure out why. Now I’ve realised that it happens only when the clients use FL studio and bounced their tracks from there. What can cause this? They are 48k, 44 .1k, 24 bit, 16bit, doesn’t matter. Please note that this isn’t a sample rate thing, I’m talking about the transpose function in the project window info line. The parts by themselves automatically will be transposed upon being dragged into the project. Yes, it’s crazy.

Without knowing for sure it sounds to me as if FL writes meta data into the audio file that Cubase interprets as transpose data.
I wouldn’t know what that data is. It might also be a wrong guess.

It happens every time so there is no way that every user embedded the same pitch information in file meta data but thanks anyway for the response and idea

Bump. This is driving me crazy. How could even a wavefile be able to tell Cubase that it should activate a transpose function on the audio? Can anyone please give me an informed or educated guess? I work every day mixing and many clients use FL, it’s literally the bane of my existence. It’s always 2 semitones up.

Gonna sound silly, but you haven’t got something resting on a midi controller pitch bend wheel or something?

(probably not, but worth checking lol)

Can you get a client you are pally with to upload an audio clip of a single note. Then after checking it is pitching it up for you, upload it here so I can try my end and see if it does it for me too? It will narrow down where the issue lies depending on if it happens to me too, or not.

Sure thing, I will upload some audio here for you


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Oh I just had a thought! Depending on your pitch/time stretch options, it could be so, than upon importing audio that is say 110bpm, if the file contains tempo information, a fresh project of 120bpm may automatically time stretch the imported audio clip causing a rise in pitch if you have the settings set a certain way both for how Cubase deals with importing audio and with how it applies time stretch.

If you have it set to musical mode and some other options (I forget exactly sorry) like “make imported audio match project bpm” (that’s far from it’s real name, but that’s what it essentially does). Mixed with a tape style time stretch setting could cause the issue you are explaining IF fruity loop’s default tempo differs from Cubase slightly and it automatically adds tempo definition to exported wav files.

It would then pitch up the imported audio by a bit to match the BPM you have as default, by shortening and speeding up the track slightly with time stretch.

Here is someone else who had the same issue from another thread (they also point out an issue specifically with importing FL files they had too)…

"It seems to depend where the file comes from. I had a bundle of files from Fruity Loops to incorporate into a project and they were all warped. Fairly easy to see the little logo on the region and also check in the Pool.

"Should be an option somewhere like “Auto warp audio files on import”


“By any chance is your root key selected? That might be causing your problem?”

Look the most promising! …

There’s also some stuff about ACID files with tempo and key data that appear as .wav files and if left on default by the user printing them can throw off your project when opening them as cubase thinks it needs to change the key or the tempo of the track. That may be it too … lots of interesting stuff on that thread that could all well be something to do with what you are experiencing. I’d read the full thing…

Hopefully this is the fix for you!

Thanks for a great attempt at solving it but no, since firstly I know exactly how musical mode works, which is never on, and secondly since the audio from FL is never just raised in audible pitch or something like that; it’s literally transposed two semitones up in Cubase’s transpose section on those parts in the project window. Audio example coming soon, I’d really appreciate anyone having a look and see if you recreate the problem. I’d assume since it’s going on since Cubase 11 came out for me.

Yeah that sounds exactly like ACID files. They are basically sliced inside the file, and you could, if you wanted, quantize every note in them for example, or transpose the entire piece, think of them as an audio extension to midi in a way.

If a file is “acidized” by the person printing it, it will hold a whole bunch of other info like what key the piece is supposed to be in among a ton of other stuff, and if that key doesn’t match the key of the program, and as every note will be a slice with markers defining the notes place in time, it’s pitch, length etc etc. opening them in a program that can read them will shift the notes to what it thinks IS in key, and this would produce the exact behaviour you describe.

I’d strongly suggest looking into at least that part further, as it seems fruity loops is one of the few DAWS with built in capability to acidize files, and would easily explain what’s going on.

Ask your guy if he’s “acidizing files” and see what he says. :wink: It could be that a bunch of people just have this setting turned on and don’t even realise though tbf.

In the mean time I’ll look into how to find out if a file has been saved in acid format (as they appear as just plain .wavs on the surface).

Thanks. In the meantime I’ve had a revelation, because I tried to open one of these files in a “create empty” project in cubase. Its set up to 44.1/24, standard framerate. Then the part has no transpose on it there! Only, when I load files into my standard template. So now I know that it’s something in my template that creates this issue. “The project settings” are identical though. Is there any other place/setting that is project specific, that could make such changes happen?

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Hmm interesting … let me boot up my other install and load cubase and have a look.

Is musical mode active in the empty project? Or is it still linear?

I’ve discovered something that I never knew existed in 20 years, in my project template I had a “root key” selected at “D”. Normally this should be set to nothing. I don’t know how that relates to importing certain audio and automatically attempting to transpose it on import, but in any case it’s not helpful and should be abolished :wink: Thanks for the help! -Note to anyone: Avoid setting a root key because it will mess up your audio


That sounds like it! If you have a root key set, and the audio file has a root key set that’s different, it will transpose it for you!

Glad you figured it out anyhow, sounds like a super annoying problem to have.

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Appreciate it :slight_smile:

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