In the last 5 to 10 years, Fl Studio has proven to be a good investment if you are interested in creating original music, recording instruments or vocals, and using all the samples and tools the professional music producers are using out there nowadays.
But without a doubt, it is an investment, meaning that it costs a certain amount of money, and purchasing a daw is sometimes a hard choice to make, especially for those who are starting with their music production careers.
Today we're going to try and help you decide which version is the best for you, and avoid wasting money buying something you don't need.
There are 4 main versions, Fruity edition, producer, signature, and all plugins bundle all priced differently. And long story short we highly recommend you to start with the producer edition,
Every version of fl studio comes with lifetime free updates, which is an amazing policy by image line (the creators of fl studio). So whichever one you get, you're still getting all the latest versions that would come after the one you've bought.
FL Studio Fruity Edition
On the Fruity Edition, for $99, we can say that there are some things left out. Being similar more to the trial version, only that you can use this version for as long as you please. If you are interested in getting a MIDI controller compatible with the Fl Studio DAW, you can look for the AKAI FL Studio Fire. That not only is a great controller, fully integrated with Fl studio, but it also includes the Fl Studio Fruity Edition for Free. You'll be getting a great midi controller, that can help you and your creativity a lot, and also buying the DAW for you to use and consider if you need an upgrade, you can purchase a more expensive version anytime on the site.
FL Studio Producer Edition
If you get the Producer Edition paying $199, for example, but later you want to upgrade to the signature, or the all plugins bundle, you can pay the difference, and upgrade right away. It's not like you've bought a version that wasn't what you've expected, then you have to buy the other one as well.
The only thing you should have in consideration is that if you are buying a more expensive version, and then realizing your needs were covered with a cheaper one, there is no downgrade or return policy.
That's why we recommend you to get the Producer Edition, this way you get a good look at the full experience, and also you can upgrade in the future if needed. Given that the Fruity version is very limited, and in the Producer version you'll be getting everything you need to start and finish your projects. Being able to produce, mix and master your songs entirely.
👉You'll have all the effects you need, equalizers, delays, reverbs, compression, distortion, and more. 👌
This edition is, without a doubt, the safe bet for those more encouraged in making music on the FL Studio DAW. ✔
FL Studio Signature Bundle
But you can also have in mind purchasing the Signature Edition for $299, which is the next version on the list, that includes some more plugins that are quite useful and very appreciated by the more experienced Fl Studio user community. The New tone and the Gross Beat, let's do a quick review of them:
This Plugin is included in the All Plugins Bundle version as well, but not included in the cheaper editions (Fruity and Producer). It is a Pitch Correction tool, similar to Melodyne in some of the features. It enables you to fix the pitch of some vocals, for example, and it also works with instruments like, let's say, a guitar, synths, 808s, helping you keep everything in tune.
This is a time and volume manipulation plugin that is indeed helpful, but not essential. It can prove to be a significant tool for some genres more than others, since it works as a sidechain (similar to Kickstart, one of the favorites of the FlpStudio Team), with the ability to make different patterns, stutter, and gate the sound, for example. Which is a very used resource on synths and pads, for modulating movements, to help provide some extra rhythm or a different bounce to your instruments.
If you think you won't be needing both of those plugins, or that you can replace them with others you are more used to, you should most definitely go with the Producer Edition as we mentioned.
Being the edition that includes all the essentials you need to start making music right away and giving the best value for the money you are paying.
FL Studio All Plugins Edition
Last, there is the All Plugins Bundle Edition for $499, where you get all the FL Studio native plugins there are. It's the most expensive version, but it is a good choice if you are after a professional, advanced use of the DAW, or if you open projects send by your clients, for example, you won't be missing any of the stock plugins.
It is the most expensive, but if you feel that you will need all the plugins and get the complete, full Fl studio experience, more professionally. Then yes, we encourage you to go for it!
So, summing things up, and keeping all the advices and recommendations we've metioned in mind, we can say that
✔ If you are only interested in making EDM music, using your libraries, same as producers that are used to our projects, for presets, samples or making your own libraries out of the songs you like, then the best for you is to go with the Fruity Edition (for $99).
✔ If you are after using the more known stock plugins, recording vocals, and working with audio clips more, then you should pick the Producer Edition (for $199).
✔ If you are interested in using all the synth instruments, the effects, and all the options enabled, then the Signature Edition (for $299) is best for you.
✔ And if you are not on a budget at all, and you don't want to worry about having any option unavailable. For more advanced and professional uses, then the All Plugins Edition (for $499) suits your needs the best.
The first thing you can do to help you make a decision, also if you are not familiar with the DAW at all, is to check the Fl Studio's site (Imagie-line.com).
Go to Fl Studio, and then download, or just click on Try for free, on the upper section. It'll take you to the Download section where you can choose between Windows and macOS, also there are the developer's recommended system requirements, so give them a look and if check your hardware can run it without issues.
When using the Trial version, you won't have all the features available, of course, but you will certainly be able to see if Fl Studio runs properly on your computer, and try the workflow, and also the stock instruments and plugins.
This should help you figure out if you like the DAW and how many of all the features they offer, you really need!
📀 Bonus Tip 👌
FL Studio Mobile
FL Studio Mobile is a complete music production studio on your mobile, a great option to start projects on the go, on vacations, or any situation when inspiration hits you, and you are far away from your studio and your gear to be able to translate that idea into audio and not miss it completely.
It's designed to work on any screen from the size of a phone to TV-sized touch-monitors. Each FL Studio Mobile 3 Playlist track has an associated 'Rack' and it can contain any number of instrument AND effects plugins. The only limit is the CPU power on your mobile device (phone, tablet, chromebook, whatever you choose). There are now also automation-clip style tracks that can be edited just as you can now in FL Studio for the desktop, making it easy to start an idea on the App, and then move on with it on your desktop version.
It's not a replacement for the desktop version at all, but it's a handy tool, considering all that includes and the price being so low ($13.99 on mac store, and $14.99 on Google Play and Windows App Store).