FL Studio has worked on Windows very well for a long time. It had a very fluid interface with very nice graphics (and still does, even more so). Historically, FL Studio was pretty adamant that there wouldn’t be a Mac version of FL Studio, mostly due to the coding language’s incompatibility. Well, they’ve done a 360 and now they have one. FL Studio is one of the most popular software to date. If you are starting out with your music-making journey, FL Studio 20 is one of the best names that you may consider. It is a comprehensive package for composing, arranging, recording, editing, mixing and mastering professional quality music. The features of the FL Studio 20 are. Ampify Studio for Mac & Windows Make music in minutes. We know how hard it can be finding that spark of inspiration — that’s why we’ve made Ampify Studio. Create ideas easily and start building arrangements in a few clicks. You’ll be exploring your next musical idea in minutes.
The original version of FruityLoops (FL, for short) was developed for Image Line by Didier Dambrin in 1997. It was officially released a year later while it was still, reportedly, essentially only a MIDI drum machine.
Now, for those of who-who are awake and preferably sitting the right way, a MIDI drum machine is an electronic tool that creates percussion and rhythms. Drum machines create artificial percussion lines digitally in the absence of an actual drummer, and modern versions can create interesting-sounding and unique mixes on the fly.
Most drum machines even allow users to program their own types of types of rhythms - slow, fast, medium, staccato, etc. - as well as other sounds or prerecorded samples can. These machines significantly influenced the music of the 1980’s and popular artist such as Peter Gabriel, Fleetwood Mac, Prince, and Stevie Wonder have reportedly used them.
Drum Machines, DAWs, and, Finally, FL Studio for Mac
The drum machine soon evolved to become a software version that could be downloaded for home and personal computer, but, before it could get there, the technology had to undergo one more transformation. The digital audio workstation (DAW) is an electronic device used for recording sound, editing it, and producing complex audio files. Essentially it is a computer and soundboard the is pre-programmed with sound manipulating software.
More advanced than a drum machine, DAWs could be rolled out in a number of configurations, but most had a central sound interface and mixing station attached to the core percussion unit. The idea, of course, was that all of the sound recording and post-production work could take place all in one machine.
Today, DAW hardware is still used in professional studios for the production and recording of music, speech, pre-recorded radio, books-on-tape, and television. But, for the home user, DJ, and casual musician a DAW usually refers to computer software for laptops, PCs, Macs, and even mobile devices, with FL Studio being one of the most well-known.
FL Studio, though, has undergone a number of updates since its introduction 20 years ago, and, on]Ma 22nd of this year it even introduced a native MacOS-compatible version. FL Studio 20 includes many items that the Mac Beta version did not, including support for time signatures, freezing for clips (to allow for processing in the background), new recording options, a smoother workflow, and the ability to have more than one project going at a time.
This long-awaited release came after the application made is original Mac-friendly debut in 2013. But, at that time, the reception was cool at best, reportedly due to errors in the programing language, Delphi, which needed to be completely overhauld to support the 64-bit MacOS running environment.
Download FL Studio for Mac From the Image Line Website
The upshot, though, was that, after the long wait, your FL Studio license would cover the software versions for both your Mac and Windows machines. Moreover, if you owned a license for the PC variety, you could download the Mac version for no additional charge, and projects were now completely compatible with both operating systems, despite third-party add-ons.
You can get the most basic “fruity” version of FL Studio for Mac or PC for $99 on the company’s website, while the pimped out, full version goes for $899 and includes all of the instruments, a boatload of plug-ins, and music samples galore.
Offering the ability to effortlessly migrate projects between PC and Mac with one license is no paltry thing, and it only improves what was an already intuitive and easy to use editing layout. Plus, the list of features tops what you would find in many DAWS that cost twice as much. So, let’s have a closer look at what FL Studio for Mac really offers.
- Time signatures support.
- Adjust the number of measures in a bar for proper viewing.
- Clip consolidation for easy viewing
- Playlist arrangements and menu for multiple projects.
- Picker panel with queued up audio clips.
- Plugin delay compensation to help support mixer sends.
- New and Improved mixer menu with FX slots
- Continuous adjustment while you roll the mouse wheel over the time icon or latency display.
- Updated Toolbar
- Graph Editor displays note velocity, pitch, pan, etc.
- Sampler Channels offer precomputed effects on the fly.
Clearly, version 20 is a beast of an update regardless of the fact that the software now offers support for MacOS. And, with support is for both VST and AU plugins as well as third-party plugins, the Mac version is as robust as the legacy version, but you will also get Image-Lines's lifetime updates plan, which, in an of itself, might be a sound reason to jump aboard the fruity loops bandwagon.
Now, as if all of those reasons were not enough to convince you to download FL Studio for Mac, the fact that you can download it for free might just seal the deal. That’s right! Get a free, non-time restricted version of FL Studio from the Image Line download page and try the software out for as long as you like.
The trial version is a complete version of FL Studio 20, and, albeit with some crucial limitations, you’ll have access to all of the plug-ins and features we talked about here. Plus, when you do decide to buy, there is no need to reinstall. Simply download the registration code, and, boom, you are in.
FL Studio Plug-Ins and Third Party Software
Much like Mac’s proprietary Final Cut, when you purchase FL Studio for Mac, you’ll have access to many plug-ins and the option to download and install a vast array of third-party software. Of course, you can buy many of these a la carte off from the Image Line website, but let's take a look at a few in order to see what you are actually getting when you buy the premium version of FL Studio for Mac.
- FX Bundle
- Gol’s Bundle
- Maxx Bundle
- Synth Bundle
- Value Bundle
Keep in mind that Image line is offering FL Studio with all bundles for $899.00, while they estimate the value of their software bundles to be at $707.50. If you factor in a lifetime of updates, you are in for deep discounts indeed, although, curiously, we noted that if you buy the 99 dollar version and then add in the $708 dollars (rounding up) of plug-ins afterward, it will only cost $808.
We guess that may be where the audio recording feature comes in? Nevertheless, there still seems to be some added value there, and, plus the addition of third-party software makes the FL Studio product even more robust. Again, this alternative software are available at a la carte from the Image Line website and are not included in any of the FL Studio for Mac bundles.
Regarding third-party software, Image-Line has created an extensive links page with resources that include a Knowledge Base, a FL Studio Help Page, YouTube Videos, a Song Exchange, and content libraries. Find topics like Sample Fusion, where you can download a vast number of free samples, FPC kits, and FL Keys libraries, and you will also enjoy links to recognized partners which include the following:
- KVR, a site for plugin reviews, news, and links to plugins
- ASIO4ALL - a site offering 3rd-party device drivers for device troubleshooting.
- The Freesound Project - one of the world’s largest databases containing Creative Commons licensed sounds.
- LibriVox - a site full of public domain recordings and modulations.
Please note, though, that in order access many of these resources, you must first create an account here. Upon successful login, you can read posts, download files, access the knowledge base and even post in the forum.
FL Studio for Mac Wrap-up
After hearing about the history, the cross-compatibility, the added value, the resources, and the intuitive, user-friendly design, you might still be on the fence about FL Studio, and, to be fair, there are competitors out there.
However, consider that FL Studio also offers mobile versions of their software for editing on the go on your iPad or Android device. And the mobile version doesn’t skimp on features, either. You can use high-quality synthesizers and samples, the Step Sequencer, for fast percussion programming, and Touch Controllers with configurable virtual piano-keyboard and drum pads.
Plus, you will get all of the MIDI controls, the ability to live record sound, and a high-performance audio engine with a mixer and effects, like Auto Ducker, Piano Roll, Chorus, Limiter, Compressor, Distortion, Equalizer, Reverb, Flanger, and more.
Moreover, you’ll be able to export formats like WAV, MP3, and AAC, as well as sync to compatible devices and share with variously sized screens. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and download FL studio for Mac today.
It is difficult, but not impossible, to determine what the best DAWs are. The digital audio workstation, or DAW, is crucial for making music. It is the main piece of music production software that a producer or musician uses to create music. It is where all the recording, mixing, and editing is done.
Some people have certain preferences when it comes to what DAW they use, and some DAWs are better for certain music genres than others. This post will help you determine what the best music production software is. Let’s take a look at some reviews of the best DAWs that are available in 2021.
Here’s the best DAW music production software 2021:
1. Avid Pro Tools
The best overall DAW software
Pro Tools by Avid is probably one of the most well-known DAWs, and I would say it’s the best music production software overall. It’s an industry standard, mainly because it’s in the top music recording facilities in the world. It does not really have any fancy features that make it stand out over other DAWs, but somehow it remains the most popular.
There are three different versions of Pro Tools: Pro Tools First, Pro Tools, and Pro Tools Ultimate. Pro Tools is compatible with Windows and Mac, and will hold up to 128 audio tracks, 512 instrument tracks, and 1,024 MIDI tracks in one project.
Among Pro Tools’ features are loop recording, full mixing automation, MIDI and score editing, and cloud collaboration. Pro Tools has a bit of a learning curve but is easily navigable due to keyboard shortcuts and features like Quick Punch recording, which allows you to record with the touch of a button. It truly is top-quality music recording software.
Pro Tools also comes packed full with many virtual instruments, audio processors and plugins including EQs, reverbs, dynamics, and guitar amp emulators. The audio effects plugins are pretty good quality, but you may prefer other plugin suites like Waves or FabFilter over Pro Tools’ stock plugins.
|Image credit: AvidCheck Sweetwater|
Pro Tools is, in my opinion, the absolute best DAW software – a total beast! – and I highly recommend it for those of you who are intermediate or seasoned producers. A learning curve can be a bit steep and the amount of plugins and virtual instruments can be overwhelming to beginners. If you are learning, I suggest getting the free version and upgrading as you adapt to the DAW.
2. Apple Logic Pro X
The best DAW for Mac
Logic Pro X is Apple’s flagship DAW. Logic is actually one of the first DAWs I used when starting out, and it’s one that I still use to this day. Logic Pro X is very obviously only compatible with MacOS, sorry Windows users.
Logic features a ton of tools that are helpful for both beginners and advanced users. It offers smart tempo tools, a fair amount of plugins (including vintage EQs and reverbs, among other creative effects), Alchemy Synth, a large amount of virtual instruments and patches, an AI drummer, a large loop library, flex time/flex pitch, MIDI editing, automation, and multi touch mixing.
The editing tools in Logic Pro X are easier to use than the ones in Pro Tools, and the virtual instruments are decent sounding but it depends on the instrument as well. Logic Pro X can hold up to 1,000 tracks in one session, including stereo tracks, surround sound tracks, and instrument tracks.
Logic is good for live performance and it’s meant for creating many different genres. It is a very flexible DAW with a very small learning curve, especially if you are already familiar with Apple’s other DAW, GarageBand. If you like visual learning, Logic is a good choice as many of the plugins have a visualization so you can see how the compressors and EQs are working with your music.
|Image credit: AppleCheck Apple|
Because of the extensive loop library, rich visual plugins, and instrument patches, Logic Pro X is a great DAW for people of any skill level. The very small learning curve makes it easy for anyone to jump right in. Logic Pro X is the best DAW for Mac by far.
3. Ableton Live
The best DAW for electronic music
Ableton Live is my personal favorite DAW. After using Logic Pro X and FL Studio for quite a while, I decided to give Ableton a try and now it is my main DAW. It’s compatible with Windows and Mac and allows you to have an unlimited amount of tracks in each project.
Ableton has two main screen layouts that do different things. Arrangement View is mainly meant for making songs in a studio and is going to be where you do all your editing, MIDI writing, and things like that. In Arrangement View, you will be able to organize your tracks in groups and by color and you can even save project file templates to open every time you have a new session.
Session View is meant for live sessions. In Session View you can queue different audio loops on the fly and tweak their sound. In Session View you will also find the mixer.
As for features, Ableton Live includes MIDI writing, audio recording, many audio plugins and effects (and for stock plugins, they are quite good), automation, and track freezing to free up RAM and CPU.
Ableton’s instrument plugins are electronic based, so you’ll find a lot of synthesizers and plugins that are geared towards creating electronic music. The synthesizers and operator plugins can be a bit tricky to figure out if you are new at it, but experimentation is key, and Ableton definitely promotes experimentation.
Ableton Live is definitely good for live performance and it’s good for many different genres, but definitely the best DAW for electronic music.
|Image credit: AbletonCheck Sweetwater|
I suggest Ableton Live for everyone, even beginners. Although there is a learning curve, it is such a powerful DAW and it’s really easy to use once you understand how it works. I recommend it especially for DJs and performers because it’s easily the best DAW for live performance. If you are a beginner and plan to use the synthesizers, I would suggest taking a free online course about synthesis. I would also encourage you to check out any tutorials available on YouTube.
4. Image Line FL Studio
The best DAW for hip-hop
FL Studio by Image Line is another good DAW that just keeps getting better. FL Studio is compatible with Mac and Windows and it is the best DAW for hip-hop. A lot of hip-hop and trap producers use it, especially those who you call ‘bedroom producers’.
FL Studio is quite flexible but harder to use if you need to be extremely precise when it comes to time stretching or chopping tracks, as it can get tricky, especially if you are switching between bar marker sizes in the playlist area.
FL Studio features a step sequencer (perfect for beat-making), up to 500 tracks in the playlist (main window), 125 mixer channels, 125 audio tracks, and automation, pitch shifting, time stretching, and beat chopping tools as well as a window to write in MIDI plus a window for the mixer.
It also has plugins and virtual instruments but they are honestly not very high-quality (although some of the effects plugins like Effector and GrossBeat are decent), so I would suggest that you use a third party suite for those things.
The DAW definitely has a learning curve, and it can get unorganized in the project if you don’t make organization a priority. It is a bit harder to navigate through because of the many smaller windows that open up inside the DAW, but if you have a big screen it will work best on that. If you don’t, it shouldn’t be too big of a problem as you can resize the windows and minimize them until you need to open them again.
Fl Studio 11 Mac
|Image credit: Image LineCheck Sweetwater|
I would say leave FL Studio for the intermediate to advanced producers, but if you are a beginner and want to take a stab at it, make sure to watch tutorials. If you’re a hip-hop producer you will definitely want to use this DAW. A lot of bedroom producers start on FL Studio, so it’s not impossible to start out on FL, but I would personally suggest something a bit easier to navigate through first.
5. Cockos Reaper
The best DAW software for basics
Reaper is a very simple DAW that is capable enough to be a decent DAW for music production. Reaper is what I used when I first started wondering if music production was something I would be willing to get deeper into. For as simple and low-priced as Reaper is, it has a lot of features, and it’s compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
Reaper offers audio and MIDI routing with support for multiple channels (and supports up to 64 audio tracks in a single project file), 64-bit audio processing, and the ability to import, record, and render to a lot of different media formats at high-quality sample rates.
Reaper is compatible with MIDI hardware as well as MIDI software, and also allows you to use thousands of 3rd party effect plugins and virtual instruments. If you don’t want to use 3rd party plugins, Reaper has some fair quality effects built in.
It also features plenty of things you would find in your normal DAW, especially for live performance use, including automation, grouping, modulation, oscillators, surround sound audio processing, support for control surfaces, and macros for fine-tuning with your hardware.
Something else that is really great about Reaper is that it can be run from a flash drive because the files that comprise the software are small. This makes it portable and easy to use on any compatible computer.
|Image credit: Reaper by CockosCheck Reaper|
Reaper by Cockos is a great starting point for beginners, although I wouldn’t suggest staying with Reaper in the long run. It is more of a DAW to help you get from using bare-bones programs like Audacity to using something more polished like Pro Tools or Logic Pro.
6. Reason Studios Reason
The best DAW for synthesizer fans
If you are into analog synthesizers where you have to plug wires from one port to another among synths, you will enjoy Reason. Reason is a Windows and Mac compatible DAW that is really focused on graphics and keeping an old school feel with its virtual instruments.
It is a virtual rack-based DAW with a multitrack sequencer, so it definitely provides you a digital version of a throwback to tape decks and analog equipment.
Reason features 5 synths, 3 beat instruments, 3 players, 7 sample-based instruments, and more than 20 plugins, effects, and rack extension devices. Reason also comes with over 3 GB of drum loops and samples if you are not interested in creating your own drum patterns. It also is compatible with 3rd party plugins and has plenty of factory soundbanks and patches.
Reason also allows you to have an unlimited amount of audio and instrument channels in a project. As for editing tools, it is capable of stretching audio in real-time as well as transposing, which makes it good for live performance use. It’s suitable for any genre but I’d say it’s the best DAW for EDM and electronic music.
|Image credit: Reason StudiosCheck Sweetwater|
Reason by Reason Studios (formerly known as Propellerhead Software) is a really fun DAW that is best suited for intermediate and advanced producers and musicians who like to use analog synthesis, as well as hip-hop producers. As per usual, if you want to start learning music production with using it, watch tutorials. If you want a change of pace while still keeping things digital, try Reason.
7. Steinberg Cubase
The best DAW for Windows
Fl Studio Download Free Mac
Cubase by Steinberg is one of the best DAWs for Windows computers on the market. It is also compatible with Mac, is good for live performances, and you will easily be able to make any genre with it. Cubase is a great piece of software when it comes to recording audio, as it has some features geared especially towards recording.
Lane track comping allows you to choose the best parts from all your takes, so you can have a polished sound. There is a channel strip feature that integrates analog pre-amp emulators for tracks as well. Cubase also features some visual-rich plugins like a spectral comparison EQ and a multi tap delay, as well as a drum sequencer.
Other features include a MIDI composition window (with Retrospective MIDI Record), plenty of virtual instruments (analog emulators too), and Control Room that allows you to monitor your mix during live performances. Cubase allows you to have unlimited tracks in your project file so you can make big productions.
|Image credit: SteinbergCheck Sweetwater|
If you are looking for the best DAW for PC, then I highly recommend that you check out Cubase by Steinberg. It has everything you need whether you are a beginner or a pro, and the selection of plugins and instruments is balanced quite well. Anyone should be able to get the hang of Cubase quite easily.
8. PreSonus Studio One
The best DAW for song development
Studio One by PreSonus is one of the best-rated DAWs for PC out there. It is compatible with Windows and Mac and is good for all genres of music but not good for live performance use. The newest version of the software, Studio One 4, has a lot of high-quality features that assist with making your production efficient and fast, as well as help with developing chord progressions.
Studio One has similar page views to Ableton Live, a ‘project’ page and a ‘song’ page. The project page is where you do your arranging and mastering, and the song page is where you do your composing, editing, and mixing tracks. With the touch of a button you can switch between the pages so you can mix effortlessly.
Studio One also features Scratchpads, which allows you to A/B different arrangements of your song and rearrange its sections easily. Another top feature is Harmonic Editing, which enables you to test out and come up with interesting chord progressions as you compose.
Among other features of Studio One are MIDI composition, an easy to use mixer, the ability to group tracks, an unlimited amount of tracks in the project files, and several virtual instruments and audio effects plugins. The Pipeline XT plugin, for example, allows producers to use classic analog signal processors to change tonality of instruments.
|Image credit: PreSonusCheck Sweetwater|
Studio One by PreSonus is a great piece of music making software. If you are a producer who struggles to arrange songs or come up with good chord progressions and melodies, I would most definitely recommend that you try Studio One.
With all the different options for DAWs and how feature-packed they are, it can get overwhelming to choose one. I encourage you to experiment with multiple DAWs as they usually have a free trial period or a free, limited version for the ones you have to pay for. Make sure to test them out until finding one that best fits your needs and that you are able to work the most comfortably and efficiently in.
Please do not be afraid to use multiple DAWs as well. You can never use too many, and through trial and error, you may find that the set of music production software features you require are most effective across multiple DAWs.
Fl Studio For Mac Os
Jordan is a music producer, content creator, writer, and session musician. He has been producing music and engineering live performances for over 7 years. He is an experienced guitarist and enjoys listening to and playing many different genres of music.