On the 18th December 1997 Image-Line Software (the name of the company) created something small that should change the music industry year by year. They created FruityLoops. A very simple music production software that was easy to learn for beginners. In the 21 years of change a lot of stuff happened. New plug-ins, new designs, new user base.
I’m not saying it’s the best music software out there, but I know that you heard about famous composers that used the software themselves. To name a few: Avicii, Martin Garrix, Afrojack, Spor, Savant, Seven Lions and Deadmau5 of course.
All the versions out there:
FL Studio 20 Fruity Edition– 91-59,-€
FL Studio 20 Producer Edition– 195,00,-€
FL Studio 20 Signature Edition – 295,00,-€
FL Studio 20 All PlugIn Bundle – 799,99,-€
A unique UI that you won’t find in any other DAW:
There are probably 200 different DAWs out there. Some cost you a lot of money, some of them are free. Some feature certain basics while other are comparable with a Swiss Army Knife. In a big bunch of ’em you can use VST plugins. FL studio has the unique design out there. I swear on my life with this one. Write me or show me if you find something that might look even more unique.
Which is a big advantage but at the same time a big disadvantage. When I start with FL Studio, I’m finished with a track in 4 – 8 hours. I know the pros out there need 2 – 3 days to perfect the beat, but I also know that I lack the knowledge. I also don’t have high end gears like those producers, mixers, arrangers, DJs, remixers and all the people that make a solid living from this kind of business.
In theory I know how you can sustain an income with that profession, practically speaking I spent about 5k on music equipment I know how far back I still am. With FL Studio and it’s very minimalist design that you can design and save and re-load for every new pack or for every time you restart FL Studio.
This allows you insanely quick workflow. The only way to beat stuff like that, is if you know a lot about shortcut keys and tracker software and you can combine that insane knowledge in real time (you need to be some kind of savant³³³ to be able to perform such tasks). If you’re a beginner and you need a beginners tool set while yet sounding professionally, you wanna start with FL Studio.
A lot of people out there complain about the childish look and textures and cartoony UI. Frank JavCee, a great YouTuber, who uses FL Studio all the time, made it even a meme to change the background of the UI in every theme related video. For a “how to make Vaporwave” video he used a Vaporwave background. For a “how to make Ambient” video he used an Ambient background and so on and so on.
It’s kinda weak to say:”Hey man, this program looks funny. I don’t wanna use it because of that.”
Did you know that there are Hip Hop producers out there that just sample and program simple drums in FL Studio and make up to 20,000.00,-USD per beat? They even make tutorials on how easy it is to make such a beat and how to sell it. It doesn’t matter if you just want to toy around or experiment with complex stuff, FL Studio allows you all those things.
The main reason I stopped using it, was because of the workflow at a certain part of the tracks. Sometimes the UI is a curse and sometimes a relief. You got to decide for yourself if you enjoy it. I definitely suggest that you get yourself at least the demo version.
Combine it with other DAWs.
A very important option in my opinion. In my Cubase article I mention that you can use FL Studio in Cubase. Guess what. You can do the exact same thing vice versa. You’re able to use your Cubase version in FL Studio. This means that the complex software isn’t basically afraid to implement other complex software. I subjectively just enjoy the pure idea of that.
The plugins that come with these bundles are each a chapter of their selves.
If you guys are interested let me know which one I should elaborate more. I used a lot of those plugins and got a good feeling and a gist of what is what in the plugin library. Over the years FL Studio grows more on you. Even if you’ve used Ableton, Cubase, Pro Tools, Acid, Reason. If FL Studio was your first, you will always compare your first DAW with the newer ones you’ve been using. Ultimately you want to check out as many DAWs as possible to find the right one (or right ones) for you. It is physically not possible for you to disregard FL Studio. You might not use it as often, but it won’t lose its charm.
Great community and support aaaaaand….
A great community is somewhat a cliche at this point, but I needed to mention this for a clear conscience. The support team also helps you always as best as they can and here comes the veeeeery best part of it: Let’s say you bought 2005 a premium deluxe package of FL Studio (back then called FruityLoops, as mentioned before). A new version gets released. If you bought Cubase 5 or Reason 2 then you had to pay for the Upgrade / Update from Cubase 5 to Cubase 6 or from Reason 2 to Reason 3. With FL Studio you buy the stuff once and you get lifelong updates and the newest version UNTIL YOU DIE! The only other company that did the same thing is Pro Tools AFAIK. So once you bought it the deals done. You don’t have to worry to upgrade in the future and to consider if an update would be useful and necessary if you’re low on your budget at the moment. Nonstop livelong updates. You can even use the demo version for free as long as you want, including all plugins. The only downside in the demo version of the program and it’s plugins is that you can’t save any song and all the plug-ins generate a noise signal every one or two minutes (don’t remember the exact time right now). That is their kind of saying that you’re still running in demo mode and should consider purchasing the software. Other than that you’re good to go. More than a fair deal if you ask me.
What is left to say
Everything that needed to be said was mentioned basically. In the end you need to decide if you want to give it a try. I used the program over 11 years now, so I know one or two things about it. I don’t think Image-Line will screw up big time in the future and even if they did: You are always able to roll back to an older version that you liked way more and use it until your OS starts to glitch with it because if lacking compatibility. Even then you can use a virtual machine (a digitally created PC installed on a hard drive on your real PC) to re-try various older versions if you feel like it. FL Studio is also very stable. You need to really mess around to crash it, so you might even consider live-usage for this.