FL Studio and Ableton are two of the leading DAWs on the market today. Most newcomers to the music production industry are hesitant to choose one. That is why in this article we will tell you about the main advantages and disadvantages of both software.
It should be noted that both programs are excellent and have a wonderful ability to create music. But before you start trying each one, here is a quick guide with the highlights of each tool. Let’s compare the latest versions, Ableton Live 10 and Fl Studio 20.
In the case of automation, both softwares work well. Ableton looks a little more intuitive because all your animations are shown on each track.
Whereas in FL Studio you have to navigate the interface more again, so you end up with a very saturated view of your tracks. One plus point, though, is the greater number of animations available.
Winner: Fl Studio
FL Studio has a pattern-based design, a mixer window that right-clicks on tracks and puts the piano roll window where you can draw your arrangements of melodies. All well placed…
However, it has a very important problem that bothers a large part of its users. It takes a long time to navigate through the windows of your interface to create music.
On the contrary, Ableton has a more direct and minimalist design. Some tools are already assigned to the mixer and you can place your looping instruments in any plugin on the same screen and you don’t have to worry so much between screens that makes it a little more intuitive in this matter. In conclusion, if you want software with few design complications when it comes to viewing and mixing your entire playlist, Ableton Live 10 is the one for you.
FL Studio was available for Windows only until 2018. Since that date and for its 20th anniversary, it released a version for MacOS. Meanwhile, since its release, Ableton Live is available for both Windows and MacOS operating systems.
Ableton in this case allows only 64-bit plugins. But there is a solution to install 32-bit plugins and that is to use a third party software, called Jbridge. Additionally, as a good music production tool, Ableton has a variety of very useful native plug-ins.
In turn, FL Studio supports 32 and 64 bit and has a larger number of plug-ins that come by default compared to Ableton, due to its greater experience in the digital audio station market.
Winner: Fl Studio
Ableton has several advantages when used in a live environment. FL Studio can also be used live, but Ableton tends to be taken as a reference in terms of using a live DAW because of its session view.
Both sequencers will use their favorite VST instruments, so there is no need to worry about plug-ins. When it comes to choosing Ableton or FL Studio, both are very powerful even with integrated plug-ins.
If we make an Ableton vs FL Studio we cannot avoid comparing MIDI controller support.
Again Ableton has a less complicated way of setting things up, whereas in FL Studio you have to go back to the page to set everything up. Also, that not all MIDI controllers work in the Image-Line model product.
Now the part that affects our pockets… They both start at for their last version at $99, but offer different options.
The total price of FL Studio is a little more expensive, but one important thing is that it offers you after your purchase free lifetime upgrades.
Winner: Fl Studio
We have some of the top 100 DJs in the world using both software. Many DJs upload on youtube their masterclasses on how to produce music, how to make a track from scratch, with these tools as a reference product.
Here is a list of the professionals who use these programs
We have finished this vs. Ableton vs. FL Studio and it is time to render our verdict. This time we’ll end up awarding Ableton. A simple interface, all lined up on one screen, makes the workflow much more intuitive. The design is more professional, all add-ons are the same color. That said, FL isn’t that bad, but it’s still one level below professionally speaking Ableton Live.
Overall, we think both are really good digital audio workstations and have a lot of potential.