FL Studio is an ideal digital audio workstation for creating beats and building music. FL Studio comes in three different editions, which include varying plug-ins, sounds and features, so it's a great option for any musician or business owner regardless of one's experience level. The Producer version, the second tier FL Studio edition, is ideal for small studios and businesses looking to expand their music-making capabilities with a full-scale DAW.
FL Studio started as a drum sequencer, and it remains a core function of its service. It's an easy-to-use program that offers intuitive drag-and-drop beat creation on multiple different channels and lifetime free updates.
There are three versions of FL Studio: Fruity, Producer and Signature. The $199 Producer version is an ideal DAW for small business owners or small-scale musicians. In this version, users have access to FL's online support system, lifetime free updates on the product, and FL Studio's music library and effect tools. FL Studio offers an unlimited free trial so you can see how you like the program. There are some limitations on features, but users can save and export work using the trial version so you can test the lifespan of your project from start to finish.
The FL Studio Producer edition comes with all the typical features of a full-scale DAW: You can record, edit and mix music. What sets FL Studio apart from other DAWs, however, is its simple music creation formula. Different drum notes can be broken into separate channels so you can easily mix and edit audio.
It features an intuitive design and a platform layout that's on par with other industry DAWs. This DAW comes with a solid sound library and list of effect plug-ins, but you can download more plug-in options through the FL Studio store.
- Ease of use. FL Studio's user experience measured up with its competitors. It has a simple user experience that mirrors other big industry players. Creating beats and drum loops is simple in FL Studio. The program divides up instrument sounds into individual channels. So, a snare drum and a kick drum would be separated, and each channel would correspond with a single beat or note within a measure. This set up makes it quick and easy to build beats for songs.
- Sound library. The overall sound library features a good list of instruments and sounds for creating music. FL Studio's comparison page provides a breakdown of what instrument is provided in each edition, and users can download more sounds and instruments or purchase them through FL Studio's store. Since it's a full-scale DAW, users can also record their own sounds using FL Studio.
- Plug-ins and effects. Like the sound library, the effect tools for FL Studio include a bunch of different effect plug-ins, synthesizers and other modulators. Users can purchase additional plug-ins and effect tools, which range in price from $35 to $179, through the FL studio store. FL Studio integrates with all VST plug-ins.
- Support. FL Studio offers a user forum for troubleshooting problems, a knowledge base with frequently asked questions and a YouTube channel with video tutorials. FL Studio does not offer phone support or courses provided by the company on the software.
- FL Studio is only available on Windows. The company is currently working on a Mac OS version and a test version is available for Mac users, although there's been no official Mac release though.
- It doesn't support AU plug-ins.
- FL Studio doesn't offer phone support.
FL Studio comes with all the great features of a DAW and an intuitive way to create beats and mix music quickly. The $199 Producer version is ideal for business owners and small studio musicians looking to add a powerful tool to their arsenal.
While there are a lot of features and sound options, additional plug-ins through the FL Studio store can be expensive, and the company doesn't offer technical support over the phone. Also, FL Studio is limited to PC users, which means it's a great option for musicians and business owners, as long as they aren't using Mac.
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