Fruity Loops VS. Reason – Which is Better?

This article is geared towards the novice producer and not the $250,000 per track music producer. The bottom line is, it depends what you're more comfortable with and what works best for you.

Let’s get into the Fruity Loops vs Reason debate!

Note: Some of the information in this article was pulled off of Propellerhead and Fruity Loops websites to give beginners a general idea of the two products compared side by side.

Hopefully, everyone can put in their 2 cents and finally kill the debate


The Question has been asked again and again, Which is better Reason or Fruity Loops?. Well, this depends on a few things…

  • What type of Music you’re doing?
  • What’s your Work Flow like when creating music?
  • What type of compatibility you’re looking for with other software / plugins on the market?

Hopefully after reviewing the product specs of Fruity Loops vs Reason you will become a little familiar with what they both have to offer.

What is FL Studio?

FL Studio is a full-featured sequencer perfectly suited for creation of complex songs and realistic drum loops, with 32 bit internal mixing and advanced MIDI support.

The resulting song or loop can be exported to a WAV/MP3 file and all MIDI events can be exported to a standard MIDI file. FL Studio is a pattern based sequencer, which means you create your songs in pieces (patterns) using the Step Sequencer and the Piano Roll view and then weld those pieces together using the Playlist window (the Playlist also supports full-featured audio tracks with hard drive streaming). Then you can add a wide range of effects to your instruments (reverb, phaser, flanger etc.) and route the resulting mixer tracks in any way you like to create complex mixing chains with ease.

Fruity Loops Main Features:
• Internal 32 bit floating point mixing, up to 96kHz stereo.
• Supports DirectSound and ASIO enabled sound cards for audio output.
• Ability to function as a VSTi, DXi and a ReWire client.
• Ability to host ReWire clients itself.
• Realtime linear interpolation & sophisticated interpolation algorithms at rendering time.
• Open architecture allowing third-party instruments (enhanced proprietary FL instruments standard, VSTi and DXi2) and effects (enhanced proprietary FL effects standard, VST, VST2 and DirectX).
• A full set of high-precision mastering and special effects filters: reverb, compressor, procedural equalizer, distortion, phaser, flanger, bass boost, delay line and other.
• Advanced sequencing methods allowing quick entering of realistic drum loops (step sequencing grid) and composing complex instrumentals (advanced piano roll, arpeggiator, keyboard tracking, real-time gate).
• Unique note properties morphing ability (pitch, cutoff, resonance, panning).
• Advanced mixer: 68 mixer tracks (64 insert and 4 send tracks) supporting up to 8 filters each; mixer tracks rerouting for creating of complex mixer chains; track recording with ASIO input support (for recording MIDI, vocals etc.); integrated procedural equalizer, volume and panning for each mixer track.
• Integrated instruments: Sampler, TS404 (the popular bassline engine), 3xOSC (subsynth), Plucked! (plucked strings), MIDI Out, DX10 (FM synth), Scratcher (turntable emulator), WaveTraveller (wave bend synth), Wasp (demo), SimSynth Live (demo), and more.
• Advanced playlist & full-featured audio tracks.
• Live recording of control movements & integrated automation events editor.
• Easy MIDI remote controlling of most parameters (VST plugins supported as well).
• Procedural control over parameters by using special controller plugins.
• Click removal & volume ramping to avoid pops.
• Imports *.WAV, *.SYN (SimSynth 1 & 2), *.DS (DrumSynth) files, with effects applied.
• Imports MIDI sequences and controller events.
• Exports audio to 16Bit or 32Bit *.WAV file, *.MP3.
• Can export MIDI notes & controller events to a standard MIDI file.

Propellerhead Reason 3.0 gives you one-step loading of complex, customizable instruments and effect setups, a new instrument-packed soundbank, instant integration with MIDI keyboards and controllers, a new intuitive file eakowser, plus a suite of mastering tools. For a pleasurable, performance-friendly Reason experience.

It’s not an effect unit. It’s not a synth. It sure isn’t a sampler. It’s… all of it. And more. The all new Combinator is a sophisticated device that allows you to build elaborate chains of Reason units – instruments, effects, pattern sequencers, you name it – and save as Combi patches.

Want big, tight, loud sounding tracks? Need extra stereo width, increased clarity, punchier bass? Say hello to MClass, the new mastering suite in Propellerheads Reason 3. MClass brings you four separate pro level mastering units designed to add power, presence and an overall professional feel to your Reason mixes.

As a Reason user, you can forget about the downsides of music production. Forget malfunctioning modules and confusing connections. Reason’s cables don’t tangle. Forget about steep learning curves and menus within menus. Reason is so direct you’ll learn it in minutes. And forget the tedious process of gathering all the different disks and soundbanks needed to load up a song.

And so is the sound. The audio quality is everything you would expect from the people behind ReCycle and ReBirth. But pristine sound quality is only half the story; the instruments and effects in Reason are loaded with character and attitude. Reason will not just impress, but inspire you.


New in Reason 3.0

Propellerhead Reason The Combinator
It’s not an effect unit. It’s not a VST synth plugin. It sure isn’t a sampler. It’s… all of it. And more. The all new Combinator is a sophisticated device that allows you to build elaborate chains of Reason units – instruments, effects, pattern sequencers, you name it – and save as Combi patches.

Propellerhead Reason 3.0 MClass Mastering Suite
Want big, tight, loud sounding tracks? Need extra stereo width, increased clarity, punchier bass? Say hello to MClass, the new mastering suite in Reason 3.0. MClass brings you four separate pro level mastering units designed to add power, presence and an overall professional feel to your Reason mixes.

Propellerhead Reason 3.0 Remote
For those of you with a more hands-on approach to making music, the revolutionary Remote technology in Reason 3.0 will be a welcome new feature. Reason now easily controls motorized faders and control surface displays. And then some. This is true hardware integration! Remote gives Reason smooth, seamless, out-of-the-box communication with external MIDI controllers and hardware control surfaces, giving you plenty of scope for real-time tweaking of Reason’s functions and features – on stage or in the studio. Because Reason 3.0 comes prepared for a majority of the controllers on the market, all you have to do is hook up your hardware and fire up Reason – no tedious configuration required. Reason 3.0 comes with complete Remote mappings for each of the supported controllers. The preset Remote mappings link your controller’s knobs, buttons and faders to the parameters within Reason’s devices, giving you instant, tactile control over any function in any Reason unit. Support for multiple control surfaces lets you dedicate one control surface and its faders to Reason’s mixer, while using your master keyboard for playing and controlling other Reason devices.

Reason 3.0 Browser
To allow you to access and organize the contents of your sound bank in the quickest, most natural way possible, Reason 3.0 features all new browser functions; you can now free-text search the entire library, preview-play sounds directly from the browser, and increase your efficiency in general. With the Reason 3.0 browser, the task of finding and loading sounds and patches becomes just as smooth and intuitive as the process of making good music in Reason.

Propellerhead Reason 3.0 Soundbank
Reason’s sound palette is getting bigger, better, wider and wilder. The new sound bank in Reason 3.0 adds huge quantities of instruments, sounds and patches to Reason’s already massive library. Focusing on carefully sampled musical instruments and useful Combinator setups rather than loops and beats, the new soundbank takes a more playable, more performance- friendly direction. Load up any of the multisampled guitars, bass guitars, flutes, mellotrons, strings or melodicas and play away. Or try the mass of patches developed for Reason’s new Combinator: load up complete instruments running through chains of effects in one single click, or get into some heavy-duty post-processing with the Combi FX patches. And then there’s the pattern based patches, the weirded out Glitch category, the chromatic percussion section, a brass section… we could go on and on here.

Propellerhead Reason Line Mixer 6:2
Line Mixer 6:2 is a simple but effective 6-channel stereo line mixer. Built primarily for use in the Combinator, the Line Mixer 6:2 handles basic mixing and panning of Combi devices, but can of course be inserted anywhere in Reason: use it for submixing large drum kits, or to add extra mixer channels when Reason’s main mixer is starting to fill up. Each of the six channels feature level and pan controls, mute and solo buttons plus an AUX send level control. Need more sends? Extra channels? Just create another Line Mixer.

Propellerhead Reason 3.0 More Features

  • Record automation on multiple tracks;
  • Copy automation between lanes and tracks in the sequencer;
  • New and improved Mute and Solo features in sequencer;
  • Faster loading of samples. Sample playing devices now load five times faster;
  • Improved sample playback timing and quality.

Propellerhead Reason NN-XT
When Reason 2.0 arrived, it had a new sampler screwed into the rack. We call it the NN-XT. This is a highly advanced sampler with an impressive list of features and functions squeezed into it. Where the NN-19 is a “fast-track” sampler, this machine is for more demanding sampling tasks. The NN-XT is bursting with detailed programming options, but comes with an intuitive user interface, making it the perfect tool for both sound design and life-like instrument emulation. Just load up one of the included orchestral library patches, and you’ll know what we’re talking about.

Propellerhead Reason Malstrom
Malström, now an integrated part of Reason, creates its otherworldly sounds using Graintable technology. Never heard of it? Neither had we, we had to invent it. This technology is a cross between granular synthesis and good old wavetable synthesis. And the result? You’ll just have to hear it to believe it. The Malström Graintable synthesizer features all imaginable filtering and modulation options, and a couple of unimaginable ones too; Try some real-time waveform stretching, some spectral modulation, or some awesome wavetable sweeping.

Propellerhead Reason Subtractor
Subtractor is an analog type polyphonic synthesizer based on subtractive synthesis, the method used in analog synthesizers. This close-up will show you the details of Reason and tell you about some of the goodies in it.

Propellerhead Reason Redrum
Redrum is a drum machine with a built in pattern sequencer. It has ten channels that plays samples loaded by the user or sounds from a preset drum kit. In addition to the pattern sequencer, Redrum can also be played from Reason’s main sequencer or via MIDI. By combining the pattern sequencer and the main sequencer you can easily create fills and variations to the patterns without having to create new patterns for every variation

Propellerhead Reason Dr. Rex
The Dr-Rex Loop Player is a truly unique machine and will probably be one of the favorites in the Reason rack. It plays loops treated by Propellerhead Software’s ReCycle and it’s design enables some truly new and innovative ways to use ReCycled loops.

Propellerhead Reason NN-19
Since the first digital samplers started to appear during the early 80’s, samplers have evolved from primarily being used to reproduce existing instruments to becoming instruments in their own rights. In fact, the sampler has been one of the main influences on modern music during the 90’s and producers have used them for such diverse tasks as spinning in vocals, create drum grooves, play music loops, emulate acoustic instruments, create unique sounds, remix and….. Well the list goes on and on.

Propellerheads Reason Matrix
The Matrix is an analog style sequencer with a maximum of 32 steps per pattern and is really the part of Reason to use for ReBirth style sequences. Just like ReDrum, Matrix has 32 patterns and each can be freely sized regardless of what time signature has been chosen in the sequencer. So for instance a simple 5 step pattern played back as 16th notes in a 4/4 song would only repeat itself at the original starting position every 5th bar. (No, we didn’t use a calculator to work this out, keep reading and the answer will come later).

Propellerhead Reason Spider Audio & Spider CV
No knobs, no buttons and no display. Spider Audio may not be much to look at, but if you’re a seasoned Reason producer, it might be just the thing you’ve been searching for. The Spider Audio utility has two purposes in life: to merge and to split audio. All this splitting and merging brings more of the hardware studio’s patching capabilities into the software realm. Try merging multiple audio signals and process them with the same insert effect, as in sending three of Redrum’s toms to the same compressor. Or try splitting an instrument’s output into four, and send them to four different effect processors.

Propellerhead Reason 3.0 System Requirements
PC: Intel Pentium 2 or better, 233 MHz or faster, 64 Megabytes of RAM, CD-ROM drive, Windows 98, ME, 2000 or XP (or later,) 256 color monitor (or better), 800×600 or larger, A 16 bit Windows compatible audio card, preferably with an ASIO or DirectX driver, Microsoft DirectX (if supported by the card), A MIDI interface and a MIDI keyboard (or similar);

Mac: For Mac OS X: Any computer that runs Mac OS X version 10.1 or later, For Mac OS 9: A Power Macintosh with 604, 604e, G3 or G4 processor or better, 166 MHz or faster, 128 Megabytes of RAM + Mac OS 9.0 or later, CD-ROM drive, 256 color monitor (or better), 800×600 or larger, A MIDI interface and a MIDI keyboard (or similar).

Hopefully this breaks down the specs for you and you get a better idea of the differences between Fruity Loops and Reason

Here is Part 2 of Fruity Loops vs Reason – (Practical Differences , N Real Life Hip Hop & R&B Production)

  1. If you would like to use VST Plugins you can not do so with Reason 3.0 because its not supported (at the moment)
  2. Reason, has synthesis technology that allows one to “shape” sounds into whatever the producer wants the sounds to be like.
  3. Fruity Loops does not have all the built in Hardware Racks and the flexibility to Route / Re-Route Devices to on another or even combine multiple devices.
  4. If you creating “Techno / Dance” music Fruity Loops pre-package sounds will suffice. FRUITY LOOPS doesn’t come with any patches for
    “REAL” urban Hip Hop producers & R&B.
  5. Reason 3.0 has a set of sounds that ship with the product that make it easy for u to open the box and start producing Hip Hop & R&B music immediately. Sounds such as there HyperBottom Bass is infamous in Hip Hop tracks today idiot.
  6. Reason 3.0 has Samplers that do so much , i can’t even explain it all in this 1 thread and the game is to be sold & not told
  7. Reason 3.0 has a “Browser” feature that allows one to quickly access there samples / preview the files before loading in Devices (Samplers)
  8. Fruity Loops has pretty basic sounds that it ships with, but you can easily just add your own custom sounds.
  9. And you can render in MP3 FORMAT. REASON DOES NOT SUPPORT MP3 Format.
  10. Quantization in Reason 3.0 Functions a whole lot easier then in Fruity Loops.

I not going to even break it down any further right now, I’m tired. lol

P.S. The Product Specs were posted in this article so that people could follow what i was going to kick to them.

Part 3 of Fruity Loops vs Reason

Okay the Question is

Do I need a Keyboard to use with these Music Software Programs?

Not neccesarily!

You could use the computer keyboard.

But, “It is a lot more elegant to use a hammer to drive in a nail
than the flat side of a wrench.

Just because it can be done,
doesn’t mean it should be.”

(Quote Resource Sound On Sound Magazine, May 2005 Issue, lol)

Basically, you want to look at coppin a “Midi Controller” to play/control the Instrument Sounds

And look at getting possibly the AKAI “MPD16” or M Audio “Trigger Finger” to program yo drumz

(I am a AKAI fan working with a MPC 2000XL and all, but i must admit the M AUDIO “Trigger Finger” is way hotter! Do a google for the product promotional video on M-Audio website) Ya dig, look up more on those products at to get idea how much it would run to get this setup (Don’t buy everything from here , just get an idea what the prices are, do your homework, shop around)

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