Here’s the Deal
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FL Studio. Hands down. Not saying it's "THE BEST". But it's a must have in your entire bundle of tools. FL studio is the perfect software for literal "music making" as the question suggests. The other options are all great, but as far as the actual composition of music, FL Studio is more inclined due to its "programmer-like" interface. My recommendation is based on 10+ years of use, and while I did run into issues here and there, it was merely my own error and not the program. For any DAW, do your research well ahead of purchase, and learn as much as you can during your initial start date. All DAW's have the same basic principals, study every feature, every knob, ever switch, and understand what each does. You will learn some fun things as you go and you'll be tempted to stop the training and start working on some projects. Don't rush! In the end, you'll end up learning how to perform certain tasks you thought you already knew, but much faster, and professionally. You don't have to listen to every word a user/producer tells you on one of their video streaming sites. But know the facts behind the DAW. My personal regret is not doing so, and as far as FL Studio being an excellent choice for those who just want to compose, you should do it on FL. It has gone through some amazing changes throughout the year. From what I read online, It's on the verge of "catching up" to those tools that out-perform the recording aspect of the entire industry. I don't know what that necessarily means, but if even if it's true, that could be a good reason to go with a tool that is "catching up" to what are supposedly "THE BEST" DAW studio's out there. I'm always seeing knew updates in FL. Acid just came out with a release this year, I'll give it a shot when the opportunity arrises. See More
Damian Gromek's Experience
Piano roll is an FL Studio's instrument step sequencer. It is considered to be among the most intuitive and flexible tools for quickly creating patterns and manipulating all aspects of each note. A single left click inserts a note, while a right click deletes it. It's possible to mute notes, splice them, stretch them, add shuffle, etc. quickly. The Piano Roll caters for those new to Music Theory as well, containing an array of chords from which to choose, be it a Major, Minor, Minor 5th, Minor 9th, what have you. See More
Not so much a con, but more of a harsh truth. Sure, it's easy to start making tracks. You might even become a famous producer and still not know advanced techniques that FL Studio is capable of. But someone who has the knack for computer science, and has that sound in their head that they can't just create with their mouth or hands, they could easily hack their way into the DAW world and FL Studio makes that easy. See More
FL Studio is a well suited DAW for those with a critical and technical thought process, similar to the way a programmer develops their ideas into front-end applications for their target audience. FL Studio is the IDE of Audio Production and comes with enough built-in packages to get the user started with new and easily up-gradable virtual instruments and effects. FL Studio is consistently updated with new methods, strategies, libraries, and overall performance that regularly get's boosted with each new version. FL Studio is built on the same frameworks of today's hot trending topics like Deep Learning and Automation which in-turn makes it readily compatible with these new techniques as we learn more about them. See More
Version 12 of FL Studio includes a new Generic ASIO driver that's capable of achieving same low latency performance as the native Windows version. Instructions on how to set up the DAW to run on Linux via Wine can be found here. See More
Without prior experience with DAW, you can install Reaper, set up ASIO drivers, connect to your amp and mikes, get the hang of recording/re-recording tracks, and render an mp3 in just a few hours. You can accomplish the basics very fast. See More
In Reaper, a track is a track is a track. There is no distinction among MIDI, stereo, mono, surround or any other tracks, and that means it's possible to put clips of all kinds on the same track. This approach makes the Reaper DAW seem a lot more intuitive than other DAWs. See More
For example: If you freeze more than the allowed number of plugins on a UAD DSP device, when you open your session, Ableton will open and close all the frozen plugins on every channel even though they are not active in the session. The UAD control panel application displays the DSP usage of the hardware. During loading the levels (bars) will fluctuate by extreme amounts and typically will produce errors once the Ableton session is loaded. After the session is loaded, UAD plugins that should be running are disabled because there wasn't enough DSP available during load. The user then has to open and look at each UAD plug in to see if they are disabled and turn them off and on again to enable them. This illustrates there is enough room for the DSP load for unfrozen plugins, but that the loading process was at fault. See More
Plugins on frozen tracks are loaded and unloaded as the session opens slowing down opening and creating DSP limitations.
Skeuomorphism is described as retaining antiquated aesthetic features on an updated version of a device. For DAWs, this happens when an interface is littered with analog nobs, wires, and other things that are reminiscent of older technology. While this can be considered a stylistic choice for some DAWs, it tends to block progress towards better practices in music production. See More
The browser lets users choose from live Sets, tracks, clips, devices, presets, samples, etc. There is also an auto-play function for audio clips that enables users to browse samples quickly. The search function is also handy, but only for clips that are labeled appropriately. See More
Ableton's session view gives a much quicker, more flexible way of experimenting with ideas than a typical linear interface. In session view, each instrument part is a separate entity that can be mixed and matched with other parts without having to rearrange anything. Any and every effect is consolidated into one clean looking interface. It allows users to experiment with effects and other manipulations very quickly. Because of this, Ableton is known as one of the most creative DAWs out there. See More
The Ableton DAW offers a great sampling experience, which can be approached in many different ways. Audio can be directly chopped, quantized, warped, and even chopped into MIDI clips. Ableton's built in sampler also allows clean pitching along with useful loop functions. See More
As the Pro Tools DAW was originally developed to be an audio-only system with recording, editing and mixing in mind, these core features have been the most developed over time. It can be argued that the Pro Tools DAW has the best editing and mixing capabilities of any DAW, and for these reasons is considered by many to be an industry standard. As such it is an excellent DAW for multi-track mixing and recording. See More
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