Fruity Loops aka FL, Studio has become a front runner for one of the best options when producing music. Especially as hip hop and rap music continue to rise in popularity.
Still if you’re looking to get going recording what you came up with in the past 24 hours, working with FL Studio will take you some time to implement and likely $200 to get going.
FL Studio Alternatives Highlighted
- Soundtrap – Best for online & pricing (Free Trial)
- Logic Pro X – MacOS users & built in VSTs
- Acid Pro 10 – Windows users
- Pro Tools – Best for leveling up
FL Studio Quick Overview
FL Studio has grown to become one of the most popular DAWs in 2020, due to its ease of use, adoption with popular producers, and the style of music that dominates the charts these days.
Why Users Like FL Studio:
Over 80 Included Plugins: Core to any DAW is the ability to utilize plugins to enhance sound, master tracks, and simply explore. Plugins can become expensive, so having over 80 available just by purchasing Fl Studio is a big value add.
Forever Pricing: Once you buy your version of FL Studio, you only need to purchase it once. Other DAWs typically have some sort of upgrade fee, or monthly subscription fee in order to keep your software running smoothly and with the latest features.
Made For MIDI: FL Studio was built with MIDI support in mind. And actually they have their own AKAI MIDI controller built specifically for FL Studio. The FL Studio Fire is also only $99.
FL Studio provides support for both MacOS and Windows systems. OS versions do play a role, check out the downloads page for more details.
Additionally FL studio does have a mobile application for iOS, Android, and even Windows phones.
Overall FL Studio has excellent compatibility for the broad user base. This may of may not be important to you depending on your system.
FL Studio has some of the most transparent and appealing pricing. Starting at $99, you get their entry level version. The most popular to get started is the producer edition which is priced at $199.
From there you can add additional costs depending on plugin bundles and specific configurations.
What is great about FL Studio’s pricing is that the license is good for life. Not many other DAWs can provide that type of value. Although plugins/VSTs are can still add up, and you will likely still make purchases over time.
Here are the best fl studio alternatives available today.
Soundtrap stacks up to FL Studio in almost every way. It’s a very simplistic DAW, it’s affordable (even free with their limited version), and it’s brought to you by Spotify.
Features Comparable To FL Studio
Excellent Built In Plugins: Soundtrap has a number of excellent plugins built right into the DAW, including one of the most popular and what some would call industry standard, Antares Autotune.
Splice user? Maybe you’re not, but Splice is one of the go-to spots on the web for finding unique sounds. Soundtrap has their sounds built right into their DAW.
Simple Pricing: Soundtrap pricing isn’t a forever license, but it’s very affordable, and you can even start for free.
Where Soundtrap beats FL Studio is the continued efforts to build in more functionality. When you subscribe to Soundtrap you get all of their plugins, features, community aspects all rolled into one price.
With FL Studio, you would have to buy plugins individually or in bundles as they come out.
This is really where Soundtrap shines. Mac, PC, system requirements all go out the window.
Soundtrap runs in a browser, so as long as you are running a modern one, you can stop worrying about compatibility and focus on recording music.
- Mac – Safari, Chrome, Firefox all work great.
- Windows/PC – Edge, Chrome, Firefox all work great.
- Mobile – Along with general desktop support via the browser, they also have apps for both iOS and Android.
Pricing (Free Option Available)
Soundtrap’s pricing model is subscription based. However, there is a free version available which is quite powerful — and you can always test out the paid version on a 30 day free trial.
- Get started for $7.99/mo billed annually or $9.99/mo billed monthly.
- Premium packages range as high as $13.99/mo billed annually or $17.99/mo billed monthly.
Who’s It For
- New to music production — looking to get started.
- Experienced musician wanting to independently record music.
- Podcasters. Soundtrap also has excellent built in podcasting tools.
- Genre’s focused on Rap, Pop, or Minimalistic
2. Logic Pro X
Logic Pro stacks up to FL Studio well as a DAW choice and in terms of pricing.
Logic, which is reserved for MacOS users specifically, is extremely popular and easy to learn.
Features Like Ableton
Pricing :Both FL Studio and Logic Pro are $199 (for the producer bundle). On top of that they both offer lifetime pricing. Buy it once, and it’s yours.
Of course if you’re purchasing a Logic Pro license, you’ll only be able to use it on MacOS software. It’s unlikely that Logic will ever become a windows compatible DAW.
Again, Plugins: Logic has excellent built in plugins out of the box, including Autotune.
Logic is definitely geared more towards mixing and mastering where FL Studio is primarily for electronic or hip hop music production.
In fact a number of FL Studio users will mention they will use another DAW when it comes to the mastering phase of production.
Logic Pro X is a MacOS only DAW, straight from the Apple store.
Logic’s pricing is dead simple. For $199 you have a professional grade DAW and currently upgrades are free.
Who’s It For?
- Intermediate to advanced producers working with artists
- Bands & artists looking to self produce
- Producers mixing and mastering tracks
3. ACID Pro 10
If you’re a windows user and looking for a well supported professional DAW, Acid Pro by Magix is a quality choice.
They are constantly advancing their product and offering more and more loop, samples, and plugin bundles.
Features Like Fl Studio
Samples & Loops: ACID Pro is made for sample and loop based production, which caters well to hip hop, pop, and electronic music.
You will find similarities in learning curve with ACID Pro, and start using more of the advanced features sooner.
Pricing: ACID Pro is currently on sale for $149, but is typically $199 — just like FL Studio.
MIDI Configurations: FL Studio has their own designated MIDI from Akai, and is built to have simplistic MIDI control allowing for ease and implementation of MIDI based sounds.
ACID Pro is comparable for MIDI. The MIDI Playable Chopper is well suited to help with producing complex drum beats.
If you’re a Mac user, look the other way. Acid Pro is a Windows only DAW.
There has been some chatter that a Mac version is in the works, but nothing concrete yet.
You have two options for purchasing:
Who’s It For?
- Windows users looking for a well priced DAW
- Loop and sample based producers
- Beat makers using MIDI
4. Pro Tools
You’ve probably already heard of, or even considered Pro Tools. It’s been the industry standard for production.
If FL Studio has become something you’ve outgrown and you’re looking to level up — Pro Tools is a good option.
Avid Pro Tools pricing has also come a long way and it’s absolutely affordable with their monthly subscription plan.
Features Like Fl Studio
Pro Tools sets itself apart from FL Studio in many ways. As an alternative Pro Tools should be considered as a step up in complexity and in function of how you might use the DAW.
If you’re looking to get started with Pro Tools, take a look at some of the courses you might take.
Pro Tools is available on both Mac and Windows, and also has some excellent mobile apps you can use in unison.
With Pro Tools first, there is a free option to get you started. It’s really just a boilerplate that you can grow your knowledge of production from, without having to spend money upfront.
Historically, and even still currently, outright purchases for licenses were made available. Today, Avid is offereeign subscription based access to Pro Tools in a few varying levels.
- Essentials: $29.99/month
- Ultimate: $79.99/month
Who’s It For?
- Professional producers & audio engineers
- Producers looking to take their production skills up a notch — Get certified