Soundtrap Vs Fl Studio 2022, We Compare & Discover The Best

Soundtrap Vs Fl Studio 2022, We Compare & Discover The Best

Last Updated on April 6, 2022

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You might love Soundtrap, but obviously there are plenty of great alternatives out there, including the much talked about FL Studio.

But how does something like FL Studio compare to Soundtrap? How does it differ? And what makes each Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) viable, and for what types of projects?

In this hands-on comparison, we look at Soundtrap and FL Studio to determine which is best for what situation.

Soundtrap

Beat making tool

Soundtrap has become a fast favorite among the broader musical community, and for good reason – it’s fun, it's easy to use, and it's great for collaboration.

Its history is still relatively short, as the company was founded in April 2012. But in 2017, Spotify acquired Soundtrap, suggesting that its presence will only continue to grow.

Both as an online DAW and remote collaborative recording environment, Soundtrap is more than competent and feature rich. Its easy-to-use interface makes it a viable option even for artists and musicians who don’t know much about the recording process.

Soundtrap puts recording, creation, and collaboration first, and all else (like social connection or distribution) second.

Interface / Recording Environment & Workflow

Online music collaboration

There are plenty of DAWs out there with a complex, graphically intricate, and high-gloss, polished interface. They often look powerful, feel powerful, and as result, can often come across as overwhelming an intimidating.

Perhaps inspired by the likes of Ableton Live, Soundtrap went in the opposite direction, opting for a minimalistic, user-friendly “flat vector” style design, with just enough color and flash to make it visually appealing.

It also makes sense based on system resources. Generally, you want an online app, especially one that allows for remote collaboration, to be as efficient as possible. To do that, you might sacrifice some graphical appeal for functionality.

This seems to have worked in Soundtrap’s favor, though, as it is still an attractive and pleasing environment to work in.

Beyond that, of course, is the feature set and functionality of Soundtrap (some of the details are covered in more depth below and others in this review).

And, “impressive” would be a good word to sum up what’s on offer here. There are tens of thousands of loops and sounds you can take advantage of, and hundreds of effects and virtual instruments too. Whether you’re a hobbyist, beatmaker, composer, or artist, there is no shortage of inspiring tools.

Whether it’s combining loops or creating a sonic bed for your new project, taking advantage of existing loops and samples is a great starting point for new projects.

Starting a new track (audio, MIDI, drum, or otherwise) inside Soundtrap is straightforward, and even better, new tracks come near mix ready, with effects and presets pre-applied. You can still tweak or add to the effects chain as desired, though, and it couldn’t be much easier to do.

Using the built-in Beatmaker is a ton off fun, and again, well thought out and user-friendly even for the complete beginner. You could have hours of fun with this feature alone.

Projects are automatically mastered via Soundtrap when they are saved. Although this means you don’t have any control over the quality of the mastering, your tracks will come release ready once exported. Nice feature for those who like to work fast.

Soundtrap’s workflow may take a little getting used to, especially if you’re a complete newbie or you’re more used to other DAW software. That said, if you have any experience, you should be able to adapt in mere minutes. The attention to detail and overall simplicity is noteworthy.

Loops, Samples & Sounds

You can take advantage of up to 19,540+ loops, 300 Splice loops, and 150+ sound effects from freesound.org with Soundtrap’s premium subscription. You get a little less in the free version or more standard subscriptions.

Virtual Instruments & Effects

Soundtrap offers up to an eye-popping 880+ virtual instruments and effects.

Compatibility

If you have an internet connection and a browser, you can basically take Soundtrap with you wherever you go. They also have mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Soundtrap does not purport to work optimally inside all web browsers. But even when we tried it with Firefox, which is technically not supported, it seemed to work without error.

So, regardless of device or operating system, Soundtrap should work for you.

Collaboration & Social Integration

Soundtrap is an online DAW, and it was built with remote collaboration in mind. You can invite your friends, band, or even session musicians to participate in your projects, and this is where it tends to shine the brightest.

If you’re a podcaster, you can create your content inside and even publish it directly to Spotify. This level of integration doesn’t exist for artists, but given that Spotify owns Soundtrap, could it be part of their plans?

Price Point

Soundtrap can be used for free, but to take advantage of the full feature set available, you’ll want to upgrade to a plan ranging from $7.99 to $16.99 per month.

FL Studio

DAW comparison

Upon its release, Image-Line’s FL Studio was simply known as Fruity Loops. The Digital Audio Workstation quickly exploded in popularity since its initial release in April 1998, especially among electronic music producers – pop, EDM, hip-hop, or otherwise.

Its workflow remains a staple, proving that the process of making music need not be complicated. Its influence is even felt in free DAW software like LMMS, whose interface and workflow are quite like that of FL Studio.

FL Studio has added more features and functionality to their DAW over the years, while maintaining the same ethos and essence of the interface and workflow that made it so appealing to begin with.

Interface / Recording Environment & Workflow

Electronic music software

FL Studio remains a classic. And although there have been some graphical upgrades (it still looks like a DAW from the yesteryear, though), after all these years, its workflow hasn’t changed much at all. As they say, why mess with a good thing?

It has had a lot of time to come into its own, though, especially compared to Soundtrap. Instead of changing what made FL Studio great in the first place, developer Image-Line seems to have kept the core essence of the DAW while adding new features based on user demand.

Included in FL Studio are multiple project templates, patterns, effects, instruments, presets, scores, demo projects, and more. And that means even those who aren’t up to snuff on their music theory or aren’t musically savvy can still get up and running relatively quickly and enjoy the process of making music.

Creating drum loops is as easy as it ever was, and that is probably one of FL Studio’s greatest strengths. Start your project off with an 808, set your tempo, and use the channel rack to create your patterns (all that’s required is a few clicks of the mouse). Of course, you can bring up the piano roll if you wish to fine-tune your beat or sequence more complicated patterns.

And FL Studio’s piano roll is quite nice. Again, they’ve had lots of time to work out the kinks, but I find it to be a smooth, fun, easy experience overall.

Adding a synth in FL Studio is as easy as choosing the plugin database from the browser, selecting “generators,” then “synth classic” or “synth special,” and dragging and dropping your chosen synth into the channel rack. Tweak the sound to taste (or use a preset) and bring up the piano roll to create your part. Rinse and repeat to create basses, leads, pads, and other layers.

Audio tracks can also be recorded and added to your mixes, but not in Fruity Edition (see pricing for each edition later). Years ago, I used to do quite a bit of recording inside FL Studio with a producer I was collaborating with. He didn’t seem to mind using FL Studio for electronic music and acoustic music alike.

But setting up a drum pattern and a few synths will be the starting point for most music producers. They’ll learn how to construct a basic beat, and over time, discover how to add and tweak effects, edit, mix their project, and so forth. With experience and practice, one can figure out their way around FL Studio. But it does require a commitment to spending plenty of time inside the DAW.

And that is perhaps the yin and yang of FL Studio.

The interface is busy, and its workflow is a tad cumbersome and visually complex, especially for the beginner or someone who isn’t used to it. The controls are well marked, but those starting new projects shouldn’t need immediate access to all controls built into the interface. So, overwhelm can quickly set in upon opening the program for the first time.

There’s plenty of menu surfing, whether it’s in the browser or the main menu. The browser probably isn’t your top concern, though.

FL Studio has been optimized for electronic music, and because of that, it has a different workflow compared to most DAWs. Many of the skills you learn will prove transferable, of course, but not to the same extent working in GarageBand would be transferable to Logic Pro, for example.

And that’s why I say FL Studio requires a commitment. You need to spend some time with it to be able to use it well, and it has a different workflow than most DAWs. You won’t be lost inside other DAWs after using FL Studio, but you probably won’t feel at home either. As well, you can only do so much inside the free trial, so it’s fair to say there’s a price to entry.

Loops, Samples & Sounds

This varies considerably based on the edition you purchase, and Image-Line has plenty of purchasable extras in case you’re looking for more.

But there are dozens if not hundreds of loops and sounds available inside FL Studio, even in the free trial.

Virtual Instruments & Effects

This varies considerably based on the edition you’re working with. Image-Line also has plenty of purchasable extras in case you’re looking for more.

But even in the free trial version, FL Studio comes with multiple effects – controllers, delays and reverbs, distortion effects, dynamics, filters, flanger effects, gains, and more. You also get access to dozens of presets.

On the instrument side of things, there are controllers, drums, patchers, samplers, classic and special synths, with presets of course, and a great deal more.

Compatibility

FL Studio is compatible with both Windows and Mac. But it is not an online collaborative music app like Soundtrap. You’ll be doing most of your work offline.

Collaboration & Social Integration

FL Studio lets you upload your files to the cloud, but that’s about the only built-in collaborative feature we’re aware of.

Price Point

The Fruity Edition costs $99, the Producer Edition $199, the Signature Bundle $299, and All Plugins Edition $499. These are one-time purchases.

Soundtrap Vs Fl Studio, The Verdict

Music recording apps

When it comes right down to it, Soundtrap and FL Studio are simply two different beasts. That makes it challenging – though not impossible – to compare the two.

Soundtrap is an online music collaboration environment, and this is its greatest strength. Being able to collaborate with other artists, musicians, producers, no matter where they might be located, is where the app shines.

But in addition to that, Soundtrap is beginner friendly. It has tons of loops, samples, instruments, and effects. Virtual tracks come mix ready, and mastering is automatic. It’s set up nicely for all types of recordings, whether band, EDM, podcasting, or otherwise.

To access all its features, you will need to go on a monthly subscription. That said, Soundtrap is still affordable.

FL Studio, on the other hand, is primarily for electronic music. This does not mean it doesn’t accommodate other styles of music. But its workflow is ideally suited to beat making and sequencing.

FL Studio is an offline DAW, and the only way to collaborate would be to save your projects to the cloud and share them with others.

FL Studio does come with plenty of loops, samples, effects, and instruments – and these are loved by many. Like Soundtrap, FL Studio also has demo projects.

Its biggest strength is probably its channel rack, which makes the creation of beat-based loops easy and fast, as well as its piano roll, which has a rapid workflow.

FL Studio only costs a one-time fee, and some will look at that as an advantage. But one would still need to purchase the version that’s right for them, based on whether they want audio recording capabilities and certain plugins.

Essentially, Soundtrap is a great choice for the casual user, for those who want to collaborate online with their friends, as well as those who want to do minimal editing and mixing and like instant results.

FL Studio is perfect for those with a heavy electronic music production schedule.

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