This post contains affiliate links – Read affiliate disclaimer

Is FL Studio the best DAW? Well, this video will give you a comparison of the different DAWs for making beats, and their price models.

What is FL Studio? (The best DAW to make beats)

FL Studio is one of the most popular beatmaking software programs for making beats on a computer. It’s what I’ve used since 2009, and I couldn’t be happier with FL Studio as my DAW of choice. (You can hear my beats).

My motive behind this article to explain WHY FL Studio is one of the BEST DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) for making beats, and some background on what FL Studio is.

Here’s some quick resources for getting started with FL Studio:

You can try FL Studio for free with their trial just below:

The free trial is actually the full version of FL Studio. You can save projects, but cannot not re-open projects! You need the full version to open your saved projects!

A Bit of History About FL Studio

Image-Line is the company behind the FL Studio beatmaking software.

FL Studio used to be called Fruity Loops, but had to change its name because it was too similar to the Kellogg’s cereal “Fruit Loops”. So if you’re researching the difference of FL Studio to Fruity Loops, it’s the same program, just a new name (which has continued to be updated and maintained very well over the years!)

If you are brand-new to music production, there is A LOT to know, and many paths you can take. You must be careful, because if you select the wrong software or hardware when learning to make beats, it makes for a REALLY bad experience.

I highly suggest FL Studio for making beats!

Things to Know About ALL DAWs

Now you may ask.. what is a DAW?

A DAW is software we beatmakers use to make beats. It’s like photoshop for making music. There’s MANY DAWs out there, and they all vary in price and features. But the biggest thing you need to figure out is WHAT are you going to be using your DAW for?

In this article, I am specifically talking to someone who wants to make beats like they hear on the radio… being able to program their own melodies and drum loops.. MAKING THEIR OWN MUSIC FROM SCRATCH!

You see, beatmakers most often use MIDI and Virtual Instruments. Not to get technical, but FL Studio ACCELERATES with MIDI. It’s what it was initially built for, and that’s why using FL Studio to make beats is such a good choice.

Discover how easy MIDI has made it for us beatmakers on my podcast, and why MIDI is SO flexible! (MIDI been around since the 1980’s, so it’s VERY mature, and works VERY good!)

If you want to make your own dance beats or rap beats and record your voice, FL Studio handles these types of audio tasks no problem! You can make some AMAZING beats. Here’s a couple of my own beats!

If you are wanting to record a band (a little different than MIDI), you may want to look at another DAW that specializes in “audio editing” like Pro Tools. FL Studio can edit audio, and it’s totally capable of recording a band, but for beatmaking and creating songs with vocals it is a stand-out DAW in this industry is what I’m trying to say!!!

This is not because I’m an FL Studio Trainer.. I REALLY do like FL Studio on a personal level, and I hope it doesn’t change or “innovate” in a different way. It’s so powerful as is.

Now, to be fair, a DAW is just the program to make music. You still need to have sounds like drum kits and virtual instruments.. this goes for ANY DAW you’d purchase. These are called “Third-Party VSTs” or “Audio Plugins”.

You can read more about What is a VST, or watch this video:

What is a VST – Effects and Virtual Instruments

You may also learn a lot in these resources I’ve shared below:

One is a video about Effects and Generators (two things you’re going to use every day in FL Studio). And one is an article about buying good Drum Samples (it’s important to get high-quality drum samples to make beat making easier and hit harder).

READ: Generators vs. Effects in FL Studio.

The Price of FL Studio

FL Studio 20 Signature Edition - Image-Line

If you are wondering how much is FL Studio, you’ll be happy to know it’s very affordable!

FL Studio is probably the best-priced DAW upfront, as well as in the future, because Image-Line offers LIFETIME FREE UPDATES to FL Studio! (You pay once, and you’re in! Yes, updates for life to FL Studio.. it’s almost too good to be true!).

Surprisingly, FL Studio is priced more affordable than its competitors, but the biggest bonus of FL Studio is their LIFETIME FREE UPDATES.

Most other DAWs charge a $150+ upgrade fee for major updates!!!

Don’t think the price of FL Studio makes it worse. The workflow is PHENOMENAL, and the Image-Line developers and support team are extremely responsive, helpful, and ACTUALLY LISTEN to their audience!

You will discover their forums are full of users who care about FL Studio, like to make music, and provide valuable advice.

You can learn my recommended version of FL Studio.

Is FL Studio 20 Free?

So, technically FL Studio is free when you download FL Studio Trial, because the trial version is actually the FULL version of FL Studio!

However, the trial version of FL Studio does not allow you to OPEN SAVED PROJECTS. You can save projects, but again, in order to re-open those projects, you need the full version of FL Studio.

But this is a GREAT way to try out FL Studio to see if you like it.

Now, it doesn’t matter what DAW you choose in the beginning, it will all be confusing. However, once you understand the basics, you will see how simple FL Studio is to use, and that it provides great performance, and you can achieve radio-ready high-quality beats inside (if you know what you’re doing!!!).

Here’s my own beat made in FL Studio.. what do you think?
Song Name: Looking for My Love | Album: BEAT TAPES By GratuiTous Vol. 8

Again, you can download the FL Studio Trial for free below:

If you get stuck, I have many FL Studio training materials like:

What Can FL Studio Do?

FL Studio Playlist
An example of the Playlist where you arrange your song in FL Studio.

Like most DAWs, FL Studio can be used for

  • Making Beats / Beatmaking
  • Arrangement
  • Mixing / Mastering
  • Sound Design
  • Recording

It’s a full-fledged audio program, that tremendously excels in beatmaking. I personally use FL Studio for beatmaking, arrangement, mixing, mastering, sound design, and recording! So essentially, I use FL Studio for everything beatmaking and music production related!!!

Again, MIDI is something you will hear about A LOT. MIDI is a special language we use to “program” digital notes to playback music with different sounds!

Here’s an example of MIDI Notes:

MIDI Notes in the Piano Roll in FL Studio
These are MIDI Notes in the Piano Roll. (DAWs allow us to change these MIDI notes with TONS of flexibility.. like changing the note’s pitch, length, or even changing Velocity [how loud the individual note plays!]). FL Studio’s Piano Roll allows for a FAST workflow!

We first start making our beat inside a Pattern within FL Studio.

This Pattern can contain one instrument like a piano, or it can contain the sounds of your drum loop. (We literally click in each sound of a drum loop, making our own drum beat!). We then add Patterns into the Playlist to start arranging (from the Playlist image above!)

If you’d like me to teach you how to use FL Studio, view my FL Studio Beginner’s Course, or join the membership! (I’m a Recognized FL Studio Trainer with over 10 years of teaching new students how to make beats in FL Studio! I started beatmaking training in 2011!)

What Equipment Do You Need to Make Beats?

You’d be surprised, but beatmakers don’t need that much equipment.

While you can get started making beats for free, the best experience will be purchasing at least some beatmaking gear to allow you to be effective and creative.

The first thing I recommend new producers to purchase AFTER they purchase their DAW is a good MIDI Keyboard. You can view my recommended MIDI Keyboards for FL Studio!

What is a MIDI Keyboard? I’ll include a picture (and video below) so you can see. They are special keyboards that you plug into a DAW (like FL Studio), that allows you to play your sounds and control the music program (stop, play, record, etc).

M-Audio Oxygen Pro 49 - STRAIGHT ON
This is the M-Audio Oxygen Pro (Read my Review)
READ: How to Buy a MIDI Keyboard for FL Studio

But, I will list some beatmaking equipment and software required to get the best experience and sound as a producer.

Conclusion: What is FL Studio?

Now, that pretty much summarizes what FL Studio is.

Again, I can also teach you how to use FL Studio with my beginner course.

FL Studio is a DAW that allows us to make professional beats by creating melodies and drum loops using MIDI. We can then further fine-tune our beat with audio effects like EQ and Compression within the Mixer. I think FL Studio is easy to learn, and it works on both Windows and Mac now! FL Studio is not only a great DAW for beginners, but also advanced users alike!

FL Studio does sometimes go on sale, like on Black Friday, but honestly, with the LIFETIME updates you are given, paying full price is totally fair for what Image-Line offers.

If you’d like to try my FL Studio Course Membership.. here’s a link:

As always, use my contact form if you have FL Studio questions!

If you don’t know where to buy FL Studio, watch what version of FL Studio to Buy!