The FL Studio Fruity Edition is an excellent beginner's tool for making your own custom beats. The interface is designed to lessen eyestrain during extended music-making sessions, plus the copy and paste function is something you won't see often in beat making software. You can drag and drop your loops onto the editing track where you can further shorten or lengthen the sound, depending on your needs. Unfortunately, FL Studio was not made to be an audio editing program, so if you want to do any sound correction you will have to upgrade. This is the most innovative software in our lineup – not to mention the easiest to use – so we gave it our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award.
The one thing that sets FL Studio apart from all other beat making programs is its interface. The dark layout is different for a reason: it puts less strain on your eyes. The makers of this software knew that putting together a mix or beat can take hours, and darker tones are easier on your eyes. We love that the designers took this to heart when putting together FL Studio.
FL Studio only has 99 tracks, or lanes, but this is honestly all you will use with software of this caliber. Anything more and chances are you need more powerful software for the work you are doing. Once you drag and drop your loop onto the track, you can double-click on it and it will open up the loop for you. Here, you can adjust the timing, move the sounds around or even shorten the beat. FL Studio also prides itself on keyboard shortcuts. Control, Shift and Alt pair with keys and mouse clicks to make the creative process fluid.
It's true that FL Studio is one of most navigation-friendly pieces of software we found, but if you do have trouble finding what you need, there is help. In the upper left corner is a Hint bar that will tell you the function of any knob, button, wheel or control. Every track also has its own mixer so you don't need to open up a separate plugin every time you work on a track.
FL Studio is home to a full lineup of excellent synthesizers, amps, loops and other effects. The Fruity Stereo Enhance feature contains various filters to alter and enrich the input of sound. You can use this effect to pan, or position, the sounds of the instruments you are using. The multiband compressor allows you to select a particular frequency of sound and compress or expand it, rather than compressing the entire signal. The compressor splits the audio signal into three parts and compresses each part at its own rate. So if you have a warm bass line, this feature compresses that more than the midrange so you can hear it better.
FL also has a drum-synth plugin which has 24 programmable drum patches. You can assign each drum to a separate key so your creation process is unhindered by the mouse. You can use the mouse for the drum pad as well, but we found it easier to assign each pad a certain key. This synthesizer also works well with the percussion VST included with FL Studio.
There is also a piano roll built into this software. Imagine a self-playing piano that reads the notes as the roll moves around; this is how the piano roll feature works with FL Studio, and it's the most user-friendly one we found. Everything from chord generators to quantizing is in the piano roll, and it's where you add any notes or loops.
There are plenty of other loops, especially for guitars, included with Studio. It supports third-party plugins in addition to the many extra sounds you can get from the FL website.
This beat making software supports output of WAV, MP3 and OGG files. Each rendition has a quality of up to 450 kilobits and you can render separate stems for each mixer track. There is also support for ASIO, or Audio Stream Input/Output. This expands on the basic capabilities of standard computer sound cards, most of which only provide two-channel stereo input and output. It allows you to record more tracks simultaneously than the previous limitation of two channels.
FL Studio gives you a lifetime of free updates whenever you purchase any of their software, Fruity Edition included. Their video tutorial page links you to their YouTube channel where you can find help on almost every aspect of FL Studio. Each of their plugins also has help videos so you can learn to install and use them properly.
FL Studio is the biggest name in custom sound and beat making software. Their Fruity Edition gives you all the tools you need to create your own custom beats without forking out hundreds of dollars for extra equipment and software. There are numerous beats, loops and effects with the option to add more from third-party plugins. And the unique interface reduces eyestrain and makes beat creation as smooth as possible.
This beat making program is easy to understand and use, even if you have no prior experience with audio software.
The Fruity Edition is not for audio editing, so you will need to upgrade if you want audio editing capabilities.
This go-to software is the key to helping you produce quality beats and even custom sounds. We recommend it whether you are a beginning music maker or a veteran.