FL Studio almost started as a game — many of the early adopters certainly produced on it rather like they were playing a video game. Its always been the easy sequencer to make tunes on quickly. However just like its competitors FL Studio has become a production powerhouse over the years while sticking to the simplistic ethos that won it so many fans. That’s why FL Studio is a favourite among music-makers worldwide, including some of todays biggest stars in hip hop and trap, like Metro Boomin, Hit-Boy, and Murda Beatz.
The 411 on FL Studio
The main crux of FL Studio is to compose short loops in channel racks and then arrange these on the playlist to make a song. The beauty is that you can have anything in a channel rack: beats, synths, instruments and a mixture thereof, and you can line up enough instruments to make a complete song in one sequence if you want. Even better, when you come to arrange these sequences, you can throw them at whatever ’track’ in the Playlist you want. It turns conventional sequencing on its head.
A piano roll editor allows you to record complete melodies with the many instruments in the software. The instruments and effects add up to over 80 instrument plug-ins in FL Studio 20 Producer and there are more than enough effects to carry out most tasks, The Browser is another FL favourite. It’s easy to use this to aid your workflow by linking folders, and organising data within projects.
And it’s this easy workflow that is – and has always been – the standout feature in FL Studio, and is maintained in v20. You are just one very shallow learning curve away from great sounding tunes and easy arrangements.
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It might not turn you completely away from Logic or whatever, but even considered as just a plug-in within whatever you use FL Studio 20 is a fantastic idea, and as a complete DAW, well, there’s yet another great contender on the market for both platforms. As I said at the start, there really is no better time to be making music.
Start with the Demo version, Image-Line offers access to all features included in the full version, but you will not be able to open any saved projects. If and when you do choose to purchase a copy, however, you never have to pay again for a newer version thanks to Image-Line’s ‘Lifetime Free Updates’ policy. FL Studio is available in several editions:
- Buy the Fruity Edition ($99) to get the bare minimum; only for composition and arranging. If this is your first time producing electronic music and you simply want to learn, I’d recommend you start here.
- Buy Producer Edition ($229) – this edition comes with the ability to record audio and includes many post-production features.
- Buy Signature Bundle ($319) which includes the Producer edition + a collection of limited edition plugins.
- Mac and PC DAW with easy to understand interface for easy song creation
- Multitrack audio recording, time stretching, pitch shifting, audio editing.
- 80 plugins with the producer version
- Supports VST standard for more plugins
- Customize interface by resizing and rearranging
- Record and edit Automation
- Lifetime free updates! Yes, never pay for DAW updates again!
Packed with Plugins
- Bass Drum: A kick synth capable of creating that deep kick sounds.
- Groove Machine Synth: The radically superior successor to Groove Machine.
- Patcher: With a refined interface, this plug-in will let you save and recall effects chains.
- Effector: Includes 12 effects to add a little depth to your sound.
- Newtone 2: Use this plugin to slice and quantize drum-loops and vocals.
- Harmor: Undoubtedly a versatile synth, capable of creating trembling bass lines and some intricately layered sounds. A large user base contributes to the ever-growing collection of Harmor patches.