10 Best FL Studio Alternatives in 2023

If you are looking for an FL Studio alternative, then this is the guide for you. Although FL Studio is a standout software, it does have some drawbacks.

That’s where FL Studio options available come in handy.

The best alternative to FL studio is Logic Pro. It comprises incredible effects and a user-friendly interface. Audacity also provides tons of recording and audio editing features.

And it’s compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux. We also recommend Ableton Live, which has a massive collection of effects and premium functionality.

It’s also a great option for live performances.

Ultimately, choosing the best FL studio subs depends on different factors. This guide will dive into what to look for when selecting an alternative for FL studio.

And we’ll dissect the best FL Studio substitutes to help you make the best decision for your music production needs.

What Is FL Studio? 

FL studio was more of a game than a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) from its initial launch. Fast forward a few years, and FL studio is one of the most popular DAWs on the market. 

What stands out the most is the intuitive interface. You can resize and rearrange your interface to fit your needs. And you can add loop-orientated features with ease.

While this might sound impressive, you can also combine Stamp tools. One of the most popular is the Piano Roll, which makes chords and loop compositions easy to use. 

But it gets better. FL Studio has full audio recording and next-level synthesizers. In addition, you can add virtual instruments and effects.

FL Studio also offers Visualizer for rendering 4K videos for your music. 

Another thing you’ll love is the free lifetime updates for any FL studio version you purchase. You’ll only have to pay for plugins and features from FL Studio Signature or the Platinum version.

But one of its most significant selling points is the editing features. It has an editor called Edison that enables detailed editing work.

Built for Mac, Linux, and Windows, it provides multitouch displays at no additional cost. While FL Studio has plenty to offer, it also comes with drawbacks.

The interface is more complicated, which clutters the workflow. 

In addition, it isn’t easy to find basic controls such as the base. You’ll find yourself wasting time trying to find something you need. 

Pros 

  1. Intuitive interface.
  2. Beginner-friendly tutorials.
  3. Robust functionality for professionals. 
  4. Easily customizable using project templates.
  5. Native plugins like compressors and parametric equalizers.
  6. It can be used for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
  7.  Supports VST plugins and instruments. 
  8. Great for electronic and EDM music production.

Cons 

  1. Need help inserting specific points in clips.
  2. Overcomplicated interface.
  3. Limited features in the trial version.
  4. Hidden basic controls.

What To Look for In an FL Studio Alternative

When choosing an alternative to FL Studio that meets your needs, there are a few things to look out for. The most important things to consider are:

1. Budget And Price

A vital factor to consider when choosing an alternative is your budget and the price. There are some free alternatives to FL Studio, but they typically have limited functionality.

And some also lack crucial features and a few input and output audio tracks. In addition, their VST plugins need more presets or sound to work with. 

It might come with a free trial if you choose to go with a premium alternative with all the bells and whistles. This way, you can decide before purchasing if it’s right for you.

But with any free trial, you only have limited time. And some have restrictions on exporting and saving audio files.

On the other hand, once you are ready to purchase, you can access powerful features you won’t find on a free alternative. 

2. Learning Curve 

A crucial thing to consider when choosing an FL studio alternative is how easy it is to master. Most options include editing, recording, mixing, and other features.

However, this may come with a bit of a learning curve, depending on which one you choose. 

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Imagine purchasing software and then spending several months figuring out how to use it. Look for an alternative that has editing templates to help you get started. 

It should also include detailed tutorials or manuals to learn the ins and outs. Try and find an alternative that has tutorials within the software.

This way, you can learn how to use the software as you work.

3. User Interface

Most FL Studio substitute are feature-rich, and it’s challenging for manufacturers to keep the interface simple while yet providing the best capabilities.

A user-friendly interface has an overview of all the tools and is thus simple.

But take your time if the software has an overly complicated interface. With time, you can get used to the software and its interface.

4. System Requirements

All Digital Audio Workstations have system requirements to function effectively. The most crucial requirement is a powerful computer.

No matter its features, you need to run a computer compatibility test. 

Check to see if your computer can handle basic tasks like processing audio. You must also ensure it’s compatible with your operating system.

Some alternatives, like Logic Pro, only work on macOS, while others, like Ableton Live, work on mac OS and Windows.

Next, check if you have the recommended processing system and sufficient RAM. And along with the CPU, ensure you have the correct audio plugins.

Best FL Studio Alternative: Top 10 Recommendations 

Several FL Studio subs offer similar features and capabilities. And they can match with what FL Studio has to offer and more. For those looking for FL Studio substitutes, here are a few solid recommendations: 

1. Ableton Live

Ableton Live is a fantastic alternative for FL studio. However, it is slightly different from FL Studio. First, Ableton Live has a session view.

It allows you to mix and match other audio tracks in one non-linear workflow. 

However, one main difference between the two is the plugins. Both offer several plugins and effects, but FL studio has a plugins bundle.

But Ableton Live more than makes up for this with superb audio products. In addition, another standout feature is the live performance.

Coupled with the session view, it is a fantastic alternative for live jamming. 

In terms of a learning curve, Ableton Live is harder to learn. But it has more learning resources like tutorials and manuals compared to FL Studio YouTube videos.

FL Studio has a piano roll easily compacted into the interface and better MIDI editing tools. On the other hand, Ableton Live piano roll is in the clip editor, so it’s less accessible.

However, it has multi-monitor support. 

2. Logic Pro

At first glance, Logic Pro offers an excellent intuitive workflow with an extensive sound library that is great for any user. However, you’ll notice there is some difference between these two.

Logic Pro is only compatible with Mac OS, whereas FL Studio runs on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. FL Studio also comes with mobile apps, whereas Logic Pro does not.

In addition, Logic Pro also has a steeper learning curve. But you can take advantage of online tutorials to get started in no time.

With FL Studio, you can start mixing and editing your music without prior experience. So there is no doubt that FL Studio is easier to use, especially for beginners. 

Another interesting difference is the workflows. Logic Pro has workflows in an arrangement view.

In comparison, FL Studio workflows run on a pattern editor.

FL Studio also has advanced side chain control, which makes it easier to use. Coupled with the automation and the mixer interface, it gives it a clean workflow for music production.

But Logic Pro has more plugins and live loops that let you change certain track sections in real-time. 

Both come packed with effects and samples to create unique tracks. And they also have virtual instruments. And they both run on Mac OS and offer MIDI editing features.

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In a nutshell, FL Studio is fantastic for electronic music producers.

It’s easy to grasp and has top-tier features for beginners and professionals alike. Logic Pro is better if you are more into making different music. 

3. Audacity

If you are looking for a free alternative to FL Studio, Audacity is a good option. In contrast, FL Studio costs between $99 to $499.

Audacity also has a user-friendly interface that is fantastic for beginners. It also has compatibility with 16-bit, 24-bit, and 32-bit Windows, Mac, and Linux, similar to FL Studio.

It also offers several features, including Track Selection and Project Rate. On the other hand, FL Studio has a complicated interface due to the extensive features and nested menus.

When makes Audacity easier to use compared to FL Studio.

Both support plugins and VSTs. However, Audacity has limited plugins and VSTs. And it also lacks pre-installed audio samples.

On the other hand, FL Studio has plenty of downloadable plugins and VSTs. 

Since Audacity is free, you don’t have to spend any money. However, FL Studio may be worth it if you want more functionality and features.

4. Studio One 

Studio one is a fantastic Digital Audio Workstation manufactured by Presonus Company. Both Studio One and FL studio run on macOS and Windows. 

In addition, they both have MIDI editing features and a horizontal timeline. And they are both compatible with third-party plugins.

Unfortunately, Studio one only runs on 64 bits compared to FL Studio, which runs on 32 and 64 bits.

As an added perk, it also comes with a GUI customization option. So you can personalize your interface to suit the appearance of your choice.

However, compared to FL Studio, it’s harder to grasp, especially for beginners than FL Studio.

But Studio One comes packed with extensive plugins, while FL studio has better virtual instruments. However, they have similar audio editing features like manual editing and time-stretching. 

5. Avid Pro Tools 

Avid Pro tool is a great alternative option for FL Studio for plenty of reasons. At first glance, they both have different features.

However, they are both created to allow unlimited ways to edit audio. 

While they have the same function, Avid Pro Tools and FL Studio have differences. Avid Pro tools are designed to be a “one-stop shop” for music producers to record and edit audio tracks.

At the same time, FL Studio is more geared toward producers who want to mix and master sounds rather than record.

Ease of use is also another differentiator. Avid Pro Tools has a slight learning curve. Part of the Reason is the tons of functionality.

At the same time, FL Studio is slightly slimmed down, making learning more accessible.

The most significant difference is sound editing. Avid Pro Tools makes sound editing more efficient than FL Studio.

However, FL Studio has a Piano roll and can automatically track sending to plugin instruments. This makes it an excellent choice for music production.

In a nutshell, if you are interested in electronic music production, then opt for FL Studio. On the other hand, Avid Pro Tools is fantastic for live performances and recording.

That’s why FL Studio is for professional recording studios.

6. Reaper  

Reaper and FL Studio offer recording, editing, and mixing audio functionality. In addition, they also allow you to mix media and MIDI inputs with natural and digital sounds.

And they run on Mac OS and Windows.

The main differences between Reaper and FL Studio are the workflow and price. Reaper allows almost unlimited customizations to the workflow.

It also accepts a range of VST plugins. And you can write your code to change the functionality.

In comparison to FL Studio, it allows tons of plugins that you can use to customize the interface for your preference.

And because of the drag-and-drop interface and in-depth tutorials, it makes it easy to use. 

Thanks to Reaper’s extensive toolset and unlimited customization, it’s fantastic for sound editing. And it also offers complete track editing, a huge perk if you want to make complex, multi-layer mixes.

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But FL Studio MIDI and Piano roll functionality are better than Reaper, which makes FL studio ideal for electronic track mixing compared to Reaper’s.

7. Cubase

Cubase is a good choice for recording vocals and instruments because it has an intuitive and simple workflow.

On the other hand, FL Studio is excellent for making electronic tracks, beats, and MIDI audio because it is easy to use and has more plugins. 

However, Cubase makes up for this with its clean toolbar design and customizable floating transport bar. The added assist tools like Chord Track and Harmony Generation are also a welcome perk.

It also has a MixConsole feature that replicates similar sounds from an actual mix console.

Unfortunately, it lacks the live performance functionality found in FL Studio, which makes FL Studio a better option for live jamming.

In addition, Cubase has an organized interface compared to FL studio. Unlike the FL Studio interface, the FL Studio interface is overly complicated and can be hard to learn for beginners.

But they both have plugin bundles and mobile versions. And both FL Studio and Cubase support VST plugins. 

8. LMMS

LMMS is one of the few free FL Studio alternatives that offers similar solid features. In comparison, FL Studio offers three price packages. 

Unfortunately, LMMS does not allow audio recordings. Instead, you can use samples and clips. But similar to FL Studio, it’s also compatible with Mac OS, Windows, and Linux. Plus, it runs on 32 and 64 bits. 

At first glance, LMMS is clean and minimalistic, which makes it great for beginners. The song editor is a game changer for creating and editing beats and melodies.

In addition, it also offers several synthesizers, whereas FL Studio specializes in making beats.

FL Studio also boasts live performance functionality, while LMMS has none. And FL Studio also requires more RAM compared to LMMS. 

9. Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition was designed for mixing music and adding vocal styles. One of its bestselling points is the library feature.

It allows you to quickly add several mixtures or tracks over vocal audio. 

Another standout feature is the compressor. It’s fantastic for speeding up your recording workflow, especially if you are bulk recording.

Both FL Studio and Adobe Audition have drag-and-drop functionality that allows you to move a track clip quickly. 

However, you can send audio through iTunes to another application or device with Adobe Audition. This is something FL Studio does not offer.

And Adobe Audition also has audio restoration support, whereas FL Studio has a frequency splitter. 

10. Garageband

If you are interested in live recording, then Garageband is for you. Unlike FL Studio, which is better for creating electronic tracks.

In addition, Garageband only runs on Mac OS compared to FL Studio, that’s compatible with Mac OS and Windows. But it makes up for this with its vast sound and instrument selection. 

Garageband also provides the option to create different audio tracks. And you can use the audio filters to improve the quality with several effects. 

In addition, if you are new to DAWs, the Garageband interface is easier to learn. The elements are labeled with beginner-friendly terms.

In contrast, FL Studio is geared towards someone with experience. 

Both FL Studio and Garageband support external plugins. However, Garageband does not include a dedicated mixer view.

FL Studio mixer view allows you to line up your audio tracks, making live recordings fantastic.

Conclusion

While FL Studio is technically a fantastic DAW, we recommend checking out the abovementioned alternatives. You can choose a free alternative to FL Studio like LMMS or a premium such as Avid Pro Tools.

But perhaps you are looking for a substitute for FL Studio with top-tier features.

In that case, Logic Pro and Ableton Live are good picks.