When comparing FL Studio vs Ardour, the Slant community recommends FL Studio for most people. In the question“What are the best DAWs?” FL Studio is ranked 5th while Ardour is ranked 11th. 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 Easy to install
No complex activation shenanigans. No dongle and such.
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 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 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.
Pro Easy to learn DAW
The FL Studio DAW utilizes drag and drop, and can generally be learned quickly without any prior knowledge.
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 Each update is major
When Image Line releases an update, it's safe to assume that there are major improvements in there.
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 Smooth UI
Compared to other DAWs, FL's UI moves at full monitor refresh rates while others are somehow laggy.
Pro Supports resampling
Supports resampling (non stretch) which is something some DAWs don't support.
Pro Very comprehensive plugin suite included
You have basic and advanced plugins right out the box.
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 Flexible internal linking engine
It's linking engine and controller plugins are very flexible and useful all across the software. For mixing and also for performance mode.
Pro Fully vectorial UI that will scale to virtually every screen
Because most DAWs don't scale well yet.
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 Inbuilt cross 32/64bit plugin bridge
Because you don't need to install/configure a third party bridge.
Pro It comes as VSTi and Rewire
So you can use it inside another DAW....AFAIK there's no other DAW capable of doing that.
Pro Reasonable and liberal license
Buy once, and you're allowed to use it on every computer you own.
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 The only DAW with a VJ graphic generation suite (ZG Editor Visualizer)
No other DAW has that.
Pro Imports video for scoring
You can open several video players.
Pro Patcher: Modular environment
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 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 Can import/export 32bit audio
Just as the internal engine bit depth, there's no loss in quality. Go and try opening 32bit files in Logic....impossible.
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 Very flexible timeline
Pro Best stretching algorithms in the market
Pro Open source
Ardour is open source, so it can be downloaded and modified without restriction.
Pro Compatible with Linux, Windows 7/8.1/10 and macOS
Ardour is cross-platform and works on Windows & macOS.
Pro Clean linear interface
Pro Linux version has JACK support
On Linux, you can use JACK to freely route audio and MIDI to and from other software as hardware.
Pro Multi-display support
Pro Free version with minimal limitations
Unlike some other DAW's which often limit saving, exporting, or advanced features, Ardour permits you to try all the features for free, with the only limitation being ten minutes of project length maximum.
Pro Inline mixing console
You can view and edit plugins directly from the console's mixing channels.
Con Native Mac version is in beta
FL Studio for Mac is still in beta. It doesn't even yet support Yosemite or El Capitan.
Con No native Linux version
No native Linux version available. It's possible to run it using WINE with native performance. Instructions on how to set it up can be found here.
Con Not intuitive for track based recording approach
Con Has the tendency to crash
Always save before loading a new VST or doing something important: FL is extremely prone to crashes.
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 No support for VST plugins for OS X
Plugins can be used on OS X only if they are downloaded in AU format, which is supported.
Con Not user friendly
Ardour is very difficult to install and use.
Con No 'scenes'
Ardour doesn't have 'scenes' like Ableton does (would be very handy for live-preformances).