FL Studio Review [2020]: Is It The Best For Your Needs?

If you’re in the market for a new digital audio workstation, or DAW, there can be a lot of new information and details to wrap your head around. One of the biggest challenges is understanding new lingo or verbiage.

These include reverb unit, compression, parametric EQ, side-chaining, and many others. This type of information can be overwhelming to those new to using a DAW. However, using FL Studio, which used to be known as Fruity Loops, can help make that transition smoother.

Overall, FL Studio is a solid program, but is it the DAW you need? Let’s take a closer look at the features and functionality this software offers.

Should You Buy The FL Studio DAW?
$199.00

FL Studio features a friendly user interface that's fairly easy to use for both beginners and more advanced users. It's packed with great features and plugins designed for the ultimate user experience you'll surely love.

09/27/2020 08:11 pm UTC

Features

FL Studio has plenty of features, which means you’re getting more for your money. Here are just a few of the features you can expect to encounter when using FL Studio.

Design and Interface

Arguably FL Studio’s most important feature, the design and user interface of the platform involves using a feature called step sequencer. This is one of the most commonly used tools in the FL Studio DAW. It serves as a beat-grid for users.

With this feature, users can use a sample or sound and place it on the grid. It’s then triggered when the user wants it to be part of the sequence. Users can choose the length of the grid. It can be anywhere between 2 and 64 steps. Once that’s done, the sample is double-clicked, which opens up the attack, decay, sustain, and release (ASDR) functionality.

At this point, the user has access to a host of features, including pitch shift, time-stretching, and reversing. These and other interesting effects are all accessible through the step sequencer.

FL Studio’s interface is visually appealing and intuitive. The software focuses on how it interacts with native plugins, which is one of FL Studio’s strengths. This is primarily because there are plenty of native plugins available within the platform.

Additionally, since FL Studio tends to be heavily visual, users have to use both their eyes and their ears in tandem. As a result, if you happen to be unable to pinpoint the reason a sound is off, you may discover that the fix is a visual adjustment and not an audio one.

FL Studio Review

Sounds Libraries and Plugins

Another great feature that FL Studio offers is its full library of synths. Examples of these include Sakura, Harmless, Sawer, Toxic Biohazard, PoiZone, and Harmor. These synths are all available through the FL studio software, which many argue are some of the best on the market.

With these production quality synths, users will be able to create amazing immersive and rich sounds, building them from the ground up. For example, one of the more robust synths is a bundle called Sytrus. This hybrid synthesizer can handle frequency modulation, subtractive synthesis, and ring modulation.

Sytrus also offers various independent filters, a range of presets, depth-charge presets, 13 filter types, and along with many additional options. The vast array of high-quality plugins you’ll find in the FL Studio software are available for users either within the program itself or through purchasing from a different DAW and installing them into FL Studio.

Learning Curve

When you launch FL Studio for the first time, you might discover that it’s a little intimidating and overwhelming. This is a good thing, so don’t worry. All the features you need are right in front of you and arranged in a linear manner. Plus, the paid version comes with a finished file that you can pull apart to get a better idea of how the software works.

Additionally, it’s very easy to record instruments using the FL Studio DAW. Of course, you do have to have a basic understanding of how audio interfaces work. However, it is very easy to set up and create channels that allow you to record right to the software through a mixer window.

Customizable Workflow

FL Studio provides users with a very easy to use and customizable workflow. This is accomplished by providing functions like ‘copy to next pattern’ which exist to allow users to quickly establish a beat progression. This feature, along with the playlist window, are both integral pieces of the FL Studio software.

Users can literally drag any sample or sound they want right into the playlist and place it anywhere along the step sequencer timeline. Plus, the tools listed on the top of the playlist window are available to use directly with the audio sequence. This includes tools like slice which can chop up samples, sounds, or patterns you might be working on.

The tools on the top of the interface are easy to use as well since they behave in a manner similar to what you’d find in the software used to edit images. The design is intuitive and it’s clear that FL Studio has designed its DAW with the end-user in mind.

One last item that’s worth mentioning is the fact that FL Studio offers an application for iOS devices. With this app, you can move your files between your computer and your device. As a result, you can work no matter where you are. The touch screen interface is intuitive and you can achieve the perfect organic or natural sound while you’re on the go.

Should You Buy The FL Studio DAW?
$199.00

FL Studio features a friendly user interface that's fairly easy to use for both beginners and more advanced users. It's packed with great features and plugins designed for the ultimate user experience you'll surely love.

09/27/2020 08:11 pm UTC

Alternatives

While FL Studio is a quality DAW, it’s not going to be the right solution for everyone. If you feel the need to go in a different direction, here are some solid FL Studio alternatives.

Avid Pro Tools – Best for Powerful Engine

Avid Pro Tools

When it comes to editing and composing audio, Avid Pro Tools is one of the best on the market. If you discover that FL Studio isn’t getting the job done, be sure to keep this top-notch DAW in the back of your mind. The platform offers a variety of tools that allow users to edit, mix, and record audio to their heart’s desire.

With a robust 64-bit architecture designed to support audio and video engines, Avid Pro Tools is designed to handle any type of demand no matter how intensive. Users will also enjoy a user interface that’s as impressive and easy to use as FL Studio’s.

Keep in mind that there is a steep learning curve with Avid Pro Tools, but don’t let that deter you. Once you move past the initial learning phase, you’ll realize just how much you love the software. For example, Avid Pro Tools offers a wonderful feature that lets you import HD video workflows, adding an element of flexibility and fun.

Avid Pro Tools provides its users with multiple tools used for collaboration. With these tools, users can stay in touch with their team while working together on a project. Additionally, this high-quality DAW offers features that allow users to work more efficiently by tracking record inputs.

Pros:

  • Incredibly fast 64-bit mixing and recording engine
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use interface
  • Free version of the software is plenty for those new to the industry
  • High-quality collaboration tools for seamlessly working on projects

Cons:

  • New users may experience a steep learning curve
  • Very expensive if you need the paid version

Ableton Live – Best for Top of the Line Tools

ableton live

If you’re the type of person who has to have the best tools available, then Ableton Live might be the DAW for you. This platform offers its users a massive library of tools, which means you’ll have all the features and functionality you need to edit your music in the ways you see fit.

While the interface with Ableton Live is straightforward, it’s not quite as easy to use as FL Studio. However, getting the hang of the basic functionality and features won’t take long if you’re familiar with audio editing software.

The info-view window is an especially handy feature to have as it provides quick descriptions about available components as well as the role they play in the editing process. Plus, there are plenty of plugins to play around with until you find one that you like.

While Ableton Live doesn’t offer the number of MIDI tracks that FL Studio provides its users, it’s a high-quality DAW that can produce top of the line tracks. Plus, the paid version of Ableton Live is much more affordable than FL Studio. Check out our full Ableton vs FL Studio comparison here.

Pros:

  • Plenty of plugins to choose from
  • Massive library of tools for users
  • Interface is flexible and customizable

Cons:

  • Users can only record four sources at the same time
  • Does not offer as many MIDI or audio tracks as other DAWs on the market

Logic Pro X – Best for Professionals

Logic Pro X

If you’re a professional in the music creating industry, there’s a pretty good chance that you are already familiar with Logic Pro X. Whether you’re using high-end features or need a DAW that offers the best in efficiency, it’s tough to beat the Logic Pro X.

From an interface perspective, Logic Pro X doesn’t lag too far behind FL Studio, but it’s safe to say the latter is easier to use. However, what it lacks in ease of us, it more than makes up for with its amazing collection of tools that allow users to create high-quality sounds.

The feature that really sets Logic Pro X apart from everyone else is its speed. Some DAWs struggle and bog down when assigned multiple tasks, which results in slower production. Logic Pro X, on the other hand, handles these types of concerns flawlessly.

Additionally, Logic Pro X comes with a wide range of professionally recorded loops featuring various instruments. This collection could be just what you need to give your latest creation a boost. And don’t worry. If you’re new to DAWs, Logic Pro X provides tips and tricks that help you quickly grasp the software’s editing tools.

Lastly, Logic Pro X is expensive. However, it can be argued that its price tag is worth it because of all the tools and features you get. That’s for you to decide since it’s your own money you’ll be using to purchase the software. The biggest downside to Logic Pro X is that it only supports macOS. So if you use Windows or Linux, you’re out of luck.

Pros:

  • Offers professional recordings of instruments
  • Excellent, high-quality features
  • Efficient option when it comes to creating music

Cons:

  • Only available on macOS

Audacity – Best if You’re On a Budget

Audacity

If you’re not comfortable with spending a lot of money on music production software, then you should take a close look at Audacity. This amazingly handy audio editing and composing DAW offers plenty of features without costing you an arm and a leg.

The Audacity app itself isn’t as elegant or refined as some of the other DAWs on our list, but it does have plenty of tools available for users. It’s not perfect but will serve as an acceptable alternative for FL Studio.

Audacity makes the entire editing process seamless and simple. Even if you’re a novice, you’ll have all the tools you’ll need at your disposal to create audio and music files. It’s not hard to get started and the interface is intuitive and self-explanatory. With Audacity, you can quickly and easily record audio through a mixer or microphone.

The software is as efficient as FL Studio at converting formats and sample rates, plus you’ll have access to a library full of plugins to complement your music. These include popular options like LADSPA, Nyquist, LV2, and VST. Overall, if you’re looking for a free DAW option, Audacity is your best alternative.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Offers a wide range of plugins
  • Free alternative to FL Studio

Cons:

  • User interface leaves you wanting more
  • No advanced editing tools available

FAQs

Here are a few of the more frequently asked questions surrounding FL Studio’s DAW platform.

Are there any famous artists that use FL Studio?

FL Studio DAW is a platform that has been used by many high-profile products and artists. These include Madeon, Martin Garrix, Porter Robinson, and Deadmau5.

Is FL Studio and good DAW for novices?

If you’re a beginner who is not familiar with how to use a DAW, FL Studio is a good place to start. The software is simple and the workflow is friendly. Tools and utilities in FL Studio and straightforward and easy to understand.

Does FL Studio support Windows 10?

Yes, FL Studio is designed to operate on any device powered by Windows 10. Additionally, the more powerful your hardware set up, the more features you’ll be available to utilize.

Does FL Studio require a monthly payment?

It does not. FL Studio does not require yearly or monthly payments. To use the software you need to make a one-time payment. This payment covers the fee for the license and unlocks the software for life-time access. You’ll get unlimited updates and plugins as long as you own FL Studio.

Is FL Studio the RIght DAW For You?

Overall, FL Studio is an intuitive and straightforward DAW for users of all levels. Its interface is easy to use yet none of the tools and technical aspects are dumbed down. While you may find this in other DAWs, FL Studio believes its users are fully capable of handling their software design the way it is.

Additionally, the software maintains a specific level of professionalism that doesn’t make new users feel overwhelmed. FL Studio offers its users plenty of possibilities through its use of visual tools and applications that keep editing fun and exciting.

With a balance of functionality and aesthetics, FL Studio is a DAW that seeks to provide a welcome environment for beginners while delivering everything you would expect to get from high-quality sound editing software.

See how FL Studio compares to others:

Should You Buy The FL Studio DAW?
$199.00

FL Studio features a friendly user interface that's fairly easy to use for both beginners and more advanced users. It's packed with great features and plugins designed for the ultimate user experience you'll surely love.

09/27/2020 08:11 pm UTC

Justin Caldwell

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Comment: