FL Studio is a full-featured DAW that is popular with at-home producers and professional recording artists alike. FL Studio is available in four different formats: Fruity, Producer, Signature, and All Plugins Edition. A simple tiered pricing system allows customers to pick a plan based on their needs.
Which Version Of FL Studio Should You Get? If you don’t know which plan to choose, the best option for most users will be the Signature edition. This will give you many more features than the bare bones Fruity version, while saving you money by avoiding the higher-priced choices.
In the following sections, we will survey the different iterations of FL Studio, educating curious beat-makers on the similarities and differences of each product.
A Brief Overview of the Four Editions: Which One is the Best?
Let’s start our FL Studio software exploration with a few of the notable differences. Take a look at the table below to compare and contrast the various licenses. Aside from those mentioned in this chart, most of the software’s features are shared between all of the versions.
|Fruity||Producer||Signature||All Plugins Edition|
|Instruments & Effects||81||85||91||102|
|Use Audio Clips||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Multi Effects||Partially Included||Partially Included||Yes||Yes|
|Lifetime Free Updates||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
How Much Does FL Studio Cost?
As you can see in the chart above, the four editions of FL Studio increase in price $100 at a time. The entry-level version, Fruity, costs $99, while the premium version, All Plugins, costs $399. Most beginning and intermediate producers should consider the $299 Signature edition, as it has the best feature-to-dollar ratio.
The table above only covers a few of the features that differ between the editions, but they are the most important to discuss. This chart clearly shows that the Fruity edition is missing the most basic features, such as audio recording and the use of audio clips. This fact will immediately eliminate the Fruity option for most producers, as audio recording and clips are invaluable tools. Not to mention, an audio editor is not even included. The Fruity edition is a simple drag-and-drop experience without much customization.
Producer adds the essential features lacking in Fruity, and should be considered the bare-minimum FL Studio edition for all but the most frugal audio engineers. This edition includes two of the three audio editors found in the software. Most importantly, the ability to use audio recording and audio clips has been restored at this level. The main feature missing from this version is the ability to add multiple effects to a track.
If you require the use of multiple effects, you’ll need to upgrade to the Signature edition. The Signature edition is the best version of FL Studio for most producers It contains the essential features of FL Studio, only missing a few instruments and effects. If you choose a lower-tiered edition, the lack of features will likely catch up with you at some point.
In addition to the features mentioned above, the Signature version includes:
- Playlist Features
- Midi Support and Scripting
- Lifetime Free Updates
- 23 Virtual Instruments
- 68 Digital Effects
Is FL Studio All Plugins Edition worth it?
The All Plugins Edition, at just $100 more than the Signature, may seem tempting. However, if you are a beginning producer, you will likely not notice the difference between the two editions. The differences are small, and just involve the All Plugins Edition having a few more effects and instruments. Unless you know you need something from that version, you will have more than you can handle with the Signature edition.
Instruments found only in the All Plugins Edition include Ogun, Sakura, and Sawer, among others. These are synthesizers that each produce unique sounds, like the string modeling of Sakura, or the tinny, metallic sounds of Ogun. Audiophiles will appreciate some of the more refined tools, such as the Poizone synthesizer:
Poizone is a subtractive software synthesizer designed to bring you professional quality results, without a learning curve that hinders your creativity.
Tools like these will prove useful, but unless you know you need them, your experience will not be hindered without them. One way to test out which plugins you enjoy is through the use of FL Studio’s free trial.
A Fifth Version… The Free Trial
FL Studio offers a fully-functional trial period for an unlimited amount of time. That may sound great, but any projects created are not able to be reopened without upgrading. Your music still gets saved, but you’ll have to purchase at least the Fruity edition to edit and export your work. This is an excellent way to see which features you require before choosing to purchase a license.
Is FL Studio Worth the Money?
FL Studio is worth trying out, especially because they offer a free trial period. The plans become extra affordable when compared to other top recording software. For instance, a lifetime license for Pro Tools is $2,599, and a license for Abelton Live 10 is $599. FL Studio offers lifetime updates, while Pro Tools charges $99 per year. You won’t find a better-priced DAW with FL Studio’s level of quality.
Being one of the cheapest options, FL Studio is definitely worth the money. While it may lack a few features that other DAW software has, it will still provide users with everything they need to produce high-quality music.
Are older versions of FL Studio free?
No, older versions of FL Studio are not free. The company, Image Line, offers a “Lifetime Free Updates” policy with every FL Studio purchase, meaning purchasing or giving away an older version would also result in customers receiving the current version for free. For this reason, they only have the latest editions of the software for sale. However, if you purchase the current version, you do receive access to FL Studio versions 9-12.
Mobile Versions of FL Studio
If you have a mobile device, such as an iPad or iPhone, you may be able to use the FL Studio Mobile software. This is a much cheaper option, only running $14 on Apple’s App Store at the time of writing. The mobile app will obviously come with some limitations, but it is a cheap and easy way to get started with FL Studio.
You can essentially do more with FL Studio Mobile than the Fruity edition. Potential producers with access to an Apple device may enjoy the simplicity and all-inclusiveness of the mobile version. Audio recording, a basic necessity for music production, is available in the on-the-go edition. Songs can be transferred to other devices over WiFi, so you can decide to upgrade later and still retain access to your music.
Which FL Studio version should you buy?
By now, you should see that choosing the best version of FL Studio for you will largely depend on your budget and needs as a music producer. If you have the budget, most producers will be endlessly entertained by the feature-rich Signature edition. If you are strapped for cash and have access to an iPad or other mobile device, the portable version may give you everything you need. In any case, start with the free trial to give the software a test drive.
Once you choose a version, you’ll have to decide whether to produce digitally or with the use of a controller. As you begin to record your own audio and use other outside sounds, the use of peripherals (extra hardware like microphones, audio interfaces, and MIDI keyboards) will become increasingly necessary. Using a phone or tablet allows you to perform music on virtual keyboards and drum machines, eliminating the need for hardware.
What is the latest Fruity Loops version?
On 2018, FL Studio 20 was launched to celebrate 20 years since it was first launched. The latest build is 20.8. FL offers lifetime of free updates so you can always have the latest version of the software.
Is Fruity Loops good for beginners?
FL is a great DAW for beginners as it offers the best feature-to-dollar ratio of all other DAWs. Its entry-level version is offered at only $99, making it an affordable choice for beginners.
Do pros use FL Studio?
Many professional music producers are using FL Studio to create their tracks. Among them you can find Martin Garrix, Afrojack, DJ K.i.D, Lex Luger, In The Mix, TM88, and many more.