Basically, everyone you know who’s dabbled with recording, arranging, chopping, looping, mixing or remixing music has tried Fruity (now known as FL Studio Beat Maker) too, which makes you wonder if it can be any good – ’cause they sure ain’t.
Although FL Studio beat maker or Fruity Loops (depending on how you roll) is well known amongst beat making scene beginners (which probably has more to do with its generous, mostly unrestricted free demo version and quirky former title than anything else), it’s actually been considered a respectable addition to any self-respecting beat producer’s workflow since the late 90s, when Belgian software outfit Image-Line first introduced it as a basic MIDI drum-machine.
And the reason that you’re kid sister or whoever tried it one and final time, probably has something to do with the fact that today FL Studio beat maker is a professional level DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), rivaling the most popular (and expensive) industry standard beat/music production toolsets, such as Pro Tools, Sonar, and Cubase.
In fact, according to the official FL Studio website, one of the reasons the software’s irreverent Fruity Loops title was replaced, was to allow the product to gain credibility amongst serious producers and artists who might have written it off as a “looper,” or as just plain “too fruity” for their hard hittin’ brand of rap, house, reggae or whatever. And still, in spite of what some might call a naming mishap, FL Studio beatmaker has a long list of dedicated pro
users (found in the “Power Users” section of its website) who’ve graduated with it from its simple looping days.
From the time you start checking out its panels, you know that FL Studio beat maker wasn’t designed for the same people that your standard “in thing” free online one-bar looper or pre-canned MP3 loop assembler was put together to suck in. If you don’t know what a sequencer, mixer, piano roll, graph editor, drum pad, synth or string modeler (just to list a small handful of the windows you may see) is, you might think you mistakenly downloaded a flight simulator called FLIGHT Studio.
For its collage of tools, which make a vexing question of, “where to start,” FL Studio’s industry standard execution of efficiency-inspired workflow and workspace customization, depends on its ability always to offer a producer more than one option for any given task. Factor in its intuitive and extensive MIDI controller linking options and 104 track mixer with sidechaining and multi-track recording input/output, and it’s not hard to see why this sound design suite is frequently in the conversation with blinged-out $500+ DAWs it best compares to, especially when the topic is ease and speed of recording, editing, composing and sequencing.
Although its lower-end versions, like FL Studio Express (the US $49), don’t include all of them, FL Studio beat maker – which supports all open standards plugin formats (namely, VST 1,2,3, DX and Buzz) – is truly tricked-out by every imaginable kind of plugin or add-on, which you can also accessorize your version with on a one-by-one basis. These include a wide variety of advanced software instruments and synthesizers and effects. FL Studio Express, quite impressively, does come with over 25 effects filters and 15 generators, plus the synths you’ll need to make or match virtually any sound.