When comparing FL Studio vs Studio One 4, the Slant community recommends FL Studio for most people. In the question“What are the best DAWs?” FL Studio is ranked 2nd while Studio One 4 is ranked 3rd. The most important reason people chose FL Studio is:
With the producer or signature bundle, updates are free forever.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Free lifetime updates
With the producer or signature bundle, updates are free forever.
Pro Excellent for visual learners
All the stock plugins look really nice and really show users what is being done, it's a great way to learn mixing theory for a beginner. This approach makes FL Studio easy to learn compared to other DAWs.
Pro Easy to install
No complex activation shenanigans. No dongle and such.
Pro Perfect for engineering because of the production style workflow
The workflow for creating beats in FL Studio is among the fastest which make mixing and mastering a breeze inserting plug-ins and routing on the mixer.
Pro Easy to learn DAW
The FL Studio DAW utilizes drag and drop, and can generally be learned quickly without any prior knowledge.
Pro Good for the studio
Some DAWs are good for live shows, some DAWs are good for production, but the FL Studio DAW has carved its niche in the studio recording arena.
FL Studio has a very unique sampler which allows all kinds of sounds to be experimented with, be it a siren, a water drop, or more commonly, the infamous "Progressive House" Kick. The Sampler also allows the user to retune a sample to any key he/she desires
Pro Scalable interface
The interface adapts to the screen size it's used on.
Pro Intuitive piano roll
Piano roll is a 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.
Pro Very comprehensive plugin suite included
You have basic and advanced plugins right out the box.
Pro Fully open: accepts a variety of formats
Accepts VST/VSTi (v2,v3) Wav, Aiff, Rex, Acid, Apple Loop, Ogg, Mp3 as well as almost every video format including Mov and Mp4.
Pro Each update is major
When Image Line releases an update, it's safe to assume that there are major improvements in there.
Pro Sample/MIDI Manipulation in the Playlist Mode
The Playlist mode comes with various tools for cutting out sections of a sample, midi arrangement, or otherwise. One can also clone, mute, solo out, and stretch a sample by any degree, although the sample's key will change.
Pro Fully vectorial UI that will scale to virtually every screen
Because most DAWs don't scale well yet.
Pro Inbuilt cross 32/64bit plugin bridge
You don't need to install/configure a third party bridge.
Pro Supports resampling
Supports resampling (non stretch) which is something some DAWs don't support.
Pro Smooth UI
Compared to other DAWs, FL's UI moves at full monitor refresh rates while others are somehow laggy.
Pro Can import/export 32bit audio
Just as the internal engine bit depth, there's no loss in quality.
Pro Unlimited creativity
With tools in the piano roll like the "Riff Machine", and the "Randomize" tool, you can literally let the computer automate the production if you want. In addition to plugins like "Gross Beat", Slicex, DirectWave, the ideas can be limitless.
Pro The only DAW with a VJ graphic generation suite (ZG Editor Visualizer)
No other DAW has that.
Pro It comes as VSTi and Rewire
So you can use it inside another DAW. There's no other DAW capable of doing that.
Pro Flexible internal linking engine
Its linking engine and controller plugins are very flexible and useful all across the software. For mixing and also for performance mode.
Pro It is the only DAW where you can program real scratching sequences (Turntablism)
You can make your own scratches with the "Fruity Scratcher" or "Wave traveller".
Pro Reasonable and liberal license
Buy once, and you're allowed to use it on every computer you own.
Pro Imports video for scoring
You can open several video players.
Pro It's possible to run FL Studio on Linux via Wine without a noticeable performance impact
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.
Pro Patcher: Modular environment
Pro Complete control over multiple Launchpad Pro animation lightshow projects
Live can, but working with more LPs is a pain.
Pro Non-invasive DRM
Forget copy protection USB-dongles and phone-home activation. Just import a reg key file and your license is activated.
Pro Powerful Sound Editor
Edison is a great way to record and edit samples, sound effects and is a very easy way to create sample packs and sound libraries.
Pro Very flexible timeline
Pro Best stretching algorithms in the market
Pro Easy to use DAW interface
All components are laid out in an understandable fashion and almost everything is drag and drop.
Pro Efficient DAW workflow
The Studio One DAW doesn't expect users to deal with a lot of windows, answer questions, or use the mouse excessively. This DAW is known for lettings users be creative without getting in the way.
Pro Dedicated mastering page
Studio one has a page dedicated specifically to mastering which can be very useful when trying to finish your song
Pro Very stable DAW
Performance is rock solid and very efficient, even on lower spec computers.
Pro Automatic delay compensation
When a plugin takes time to process a sound, the Studio One DAW detects the gap and compensates.
Pro Creative songwriting and arrangement tools
Use the 'scratch pad' work on multiple versions for your song without leaving the main window.
Pro Awesome smart tool
Hovering over different parts of the events in the arrange window activates different tools.
Pro Bounces MIDI in place
When bouncing from MIDI to audio, a new track won't be created, the clip will stay in the same place. When bouncing a specific part of a MIDI clip, it will be placed in a new track.
Pro Insert plugins on actual events, not just tracks
Have you ever wanted a delay on just a word or so. No need to automate or move to a separate track. No need to print it to the clip and run out of room on the audio file. Simply amazing feature.
Pro Melodyne built-in
The Real Melodyne is integrated in the actual DAW. No other DAW is set up to streamline Melodyne.
Pro Multiple key command templates
Possible to use key commands from Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, etc.
Pro Good interface compatibility
Works great with interfaces, and doesn't fight with ASIO drivers.
Pro Vocalign built in
Vocalign Project is can be integrated with the option to upgrade to Vocalign Pro.
Pro Drag and Drop feature is quite flexible and allows for massive free form modification on the fly
Con Not intuitive for track based recording approach
Con Most controls are hidden
in the mixing console, mid, bass, and treble are not explicitly stated as they should be.
Con The soundfont player will trash your projects, no 64-bit version available
Remember that nice project with a soundfont in it ? Yeeeah, load it again and prepare to face stuck MIDI notes and a trashed project.
Con Has the tendency to crash
Always save before loading a new VST or doing something important: FL is extremely prone to crashes.
Con No real support for synth hardware
SO3 cannot control your synth. You cannot see/control or access patches, their names, or SysEx. It seems that everything is centered around use of virtual instruments, and not hardware synth.
Con Bad customer service
Con Poor waveform drawing
The waveform drawing looks like something from a much cheaper or free DAW from the 1990s.
Con No snap to zero crossing
Snap to zero crossing lines up audio's waveform at the optimum position so it won't sound glitchy. The Studio One DAW does not directly offer this feature.
Con Interface signal selection is obtuse and not as intuitive as other DAWs
Con Works out quite expensive
The full version of this DAW may justify its price by including VST and VSTi plugins, but the 'affordable' version does not support VST plugins out of the box. So you can't purchase the affordable version of this DAW and simply add VST plugins, either freeware or purchased ones.
Con The DAW can't be used as a ReWire component
The DAW can be used as a ReWire host, but cannot be used as a ReWire component. This is frustrating if you like some of the instrument sounds and virtual synths in Studio One, but prefer another DAW to do your main work in.
The interface Graphical is comic bookish. While the DAW is useful there are better interfaces out there. One of the biggest issues is how the signal path is selected. Other DAW's work more like a patchbay allowing for a more visual interaction with the program. Studio One is different and a little obtuse. For example, Digital performer 11, Protools 11, Sonar Producer provide a better experience.