Record and Create Music With FL Studio

FL Studio 9 offers many improvements, new instruments and plugins, but remains the same solid product.

FL Studio 9.1 is the latest version of the long-time sequencer and recording app formerly known as Fruity Loops. Despite a slightly non-standard user interface, FL Studio is one of the easier digital audio workstations to use--if you come from a step/pattern-based recording background.

If you're used to Ableton Live, you'll adapt to FL Studio in a heartbeat. However, users of track-based programs such as Cubase, Sonar, or Pro Tools will have a steeper learning curve. You record audio into the playlist for use as parts, or the Edison audio editor insert (added to a track like and effect) to create ad hoc audio tracks. Once you're used to it, there's a certain elegance to this marrying of step- and track-based approach to music creation.

At first glance, you might not notice much new in FL Studio 9.1, but there are literally hundreds of refinements and improvements. Most address bugs and user suggestions to enhance usability, but there are some new features such as the Drumpad instrument, Fruity Convolver reverb, Harmless additive synthesis instrument, Stereo Shaper, and Vocodex vocoding plugin. There's also welcome support for VST3 instruments and plugins as well as multi-core CPU support.

FL Studio is available in four flavors: the US$49 Express Edition, $99 Fruity Edition, $199 Producer Edition, and the $299 Signature Bundle. There are some significant differences, and too many to get into here, but you'll find them listed in a document that appears when you close the demo or at vendor Image Line Software's Web site.

All in all, FL Studio is a worthy program that will suit many user's work styles--especially those into electronic or dance music. 9.1 is a nice upgrade, and as always, is free to owners of any version of the program. You buy this program only once, a policy we'd like to see more often in an industry full of companies more concerned with maintaining revenue stream than getting it right the first time.

Note: The demo will let you save a song, but not reopen it.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Audio ToolsapplicationsmusicAbletonsoftwaremultimedia software

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon Jacobi

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?