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Audio and music software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

FL Studio 8 review

From $49

Manufacturer: FL Studio

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

FL Studio has moved from a strictly loop-based audio tool,(arranging looped samples into songs) into a far more versatile sequencing and editing package.

You've got to love a software company that would actually name a program Fruity Loops. It's now been renamed called FL Studio to rein in the more staid customers, as well as reflect the program's move from a strictly loop-based (arranging looped samples into songs) into a far more versatile sequencing and editing package.

But still...you've just got to admire them.

The first thing you'll notice about FL Studio is that it's one nice-looking program with an interface treatment makes you want to dive right in and explore. The interface mimics to a great extent an old beat box or step sequencer.

Depending on your background, it may take some getting used to. If what you're looking for is a great looping and step editing for dance music, you can't beat this program (except possibly with Ableton Live). You can force track-based arrangements, but that's not its forte. Those statements are a synopsis by the way - there's no possibility of covering the myriad of features in a short review.

Feature-wise, the $49 Express version of FL Studio lacks the Edison wave editor and Slicex beat editor, some of the more useful advanced arrangement features and the ability to act as a DXi/ReWire/VSTi client within other sequencers or DAWS (Digital Audio Workstation software).

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If you don't know what that last means, you won't miss the feature. The Express version still has plenty of step-sequencing features, a number of software synths, and the DirectWave sample player though output is limited to 16-bit/44.1kHz which is only a hindrance to pros.

The demo is a fully functional copy of the program; however, although you can output a final mix to audio, you can't actually save the project.

PCWorld.com

FL Studio 8 Expert Verdict »

2Ghz AMD or Intel Pentium 3 compatible CPU with full SSE1 support/Intel Mac with Bootcamp (running XP or Vista)
Windows XP & Vista (32 & 64 bit)
512MB RAM
130MB free harddisk space
Windows-compatible soundcard with DirectSound drivers. ASIO drivers are required for audio recording (FL installer comes with generic Asio4All drivers)
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

The thing we love about FL Studio is that you only buy once and every new version has addressed user wishes and added significant functionality. Not only does the company have a sense of humour, they have a sense of honour. Well worth the download (and it'll always be Fruity Loops to us).

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