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In our modern day where music is produced mainly by digital means, which of these two production studios is better?... and for what kind of music?

Propellerhead Reason is a virtual studio consisting of emulated racks and synthesizers and such. It is widely used, as is FL Studio. Which is better and for what style of music?

illusivemind's picture

Users of both will swear by their software, I think the reality is that the best software all things being equal is the one you use the best.

I learned on FL Studio so when I tried Reason the interface seemed horrendous and incomprehensible to me. Equally, some Reason users find FL's interface to be wildly counter-intuitive.

As to which is more wildly used, it's an interesting popularity contest but not much more than that. It's the sound of the track that matters, as Ian Van Dahl puts it:

Everybody is laughing with us because they say you need a ProTools system, but we disagree. Sequencing is horrible on Protools!

So that leaves us with Logic and Cubase SX2, and they are the same but one is Mac and one is PC, but what's the difference? Software-wise, yes, you can buy plug-ins for your Mac, there are two hundred plug-ins, but for your PC there are four hundred and fifty, so we made that choice.

So we mix everything and then we put it on a ProTools system and have a mix engineer do their thing, so at the end it stays the same. My first records were made on an Atari 1040, and I still made the top ten with it, so nobody really cares what software you use as long as the song is good.

Also if you like the software you're using, your time will be much better spent becoming a master at it, than learning to use three other sequencers to because you think they might be better.

-just a thought-

david275's picture

That's real! I just wanted to know because alot of people argue that Cubase is better the Logic, and that Reason is better than FL Studio. What you said is how I actually feel. I had to know from another persons perspective. Thanks.

illusivemind's picture

No worries dude, I trawled through a number of forums looking for the answer too until I arrived at this one.

I think many FL users wonder this because they don't understand why their sequencer get's bagged so much!

The answer is that one, it's newer onto the scene than the other mainstays. Two, it's cheaper and easier to use than other ones so a lot of novices use it and as you'd expect create very simple tracks with it.
-just a thought-

matt's picture

Some good points there.

I think even some things such as the name and "company image" can also influence peoples impression of various software. Especially those who haven't used it.

For example,

PRO Tools (Professional Tools - big industry names associated with it)


Fruity Loops (old name I know, but sounds like a cheesy shareware package - presumably that was the reason for the name change to FL Studio)

itnocab's picture


MaSteR BeAtS's picture

I like FL studio cause basically its easier, and let's you use the key-board as piano keys!! How Kool is That?!?!?....Reason Hands down has better quality(when it comes to punch & "crispiness"), Plus the Fx is clear & clean. FL tends to LAG in latency compared to reason but.............FL Studio is Magic because you can just drag sounds to your sequencer, chop-it-up, hits them notes, And record!!!!!! All on the same sequencer, however in Reason one would need to open up "Red-Drum", then independently add sounds(file style)....Anway...
FL STUDIO 4 ME!!!!!!

$$$ Ma$teR At WorK $$$

matt's picture

The added flexability of being able to load VSTi's into Flstudio seems like a pretty big advantage also.

MaSteR BeAtS's picture

yea, Its an amazing program...but Reason comes built with INCREDIBLE sounds, very clear. Buffer never cracks or pops!! if only they incorporated both programs,woWWW it would have to be considered the best music making software in the world(if it were true)

$$$ Ma$teR At WorK $$$

Amittai's picture

I never had a program crack or pop until I got Cubase... Reason, Garageband, and Protools have never done that to me.
I also disagree about the Protools sequencer sucking. In my experience the sequencer in Protools can seemlessly handle anything you throw at it.
As for the original question, I'm a Reason user... BUT if it's either Reason or FL for all your production needs, I'd go with FL because you can record live audio in it. I feel obligated to mention that Reason, however, has much better compatability than FL... especially considering that you can't run FL on a Mac unless its running Windows!
For that same reason, I'd also choose Protools over FL. Protools is compatable on mac or pc and therefore is more universal.

Amittai's picture

Master- I thought you could run Reason in FL as Reason Rewire, you can't?

MaSteR BeAtS's picture

woW probably, But I didnt wait long enough to find out cause......I deleted Reason before I really put it to work, it could have been the size of the program and the lack of space I had left on my hard-drive that presueded me to get rid of it. But Im realizing NOW that FL can incorporate numerous programs as "slaves"(FUCK why coudn't I realize this sooner!!!!! :(

$$$ Ma$teR At WorK $$$

Amittai's picture

I know what you mean... Sometimes you gotta clean house on a hard drive to keep things working clean. Oh well right?

A-Z Production's picture

i personnaly like fl studio and reason they both have great things,there are some sounds that fl studio doesnt have and there are some who reason doesnt have like acoustic sounds i think they are better in reason but in fl studio the synths are da bomb u just have to know what you want and make the best what you can do

MarCoast Beats.'s picture

yea personally, i use fl studio for all the major stuff, and i rewire reason into fl to get the malstrom and the dr. rex...

the mixing board is so much better in fl, first of all because the meters are faster & more responsive than in reason, and fl has better effects... and that one little window called "channel settings" has more knobs just on that than anything in reason..

but so far, my favorite thing(things actually) about fl is the time stretch feature, because basically i can throw an off tempo loop in the mix and eventually make it sound right... my other favorite thing is the fine tempo offset in the channel settings window... i use that to get my custom grooves going on, better than that of reason, where the shuffle is basically the only groove... most of my beats land after the downbeat because of this...

but yea, fl is the ish!! reason is an accessory now!!
Check out all of my BEATS

almighty_pattern's picture

I don't wanna go off the main studios of this thread, but what about ableton people? Not only does it handle loops really well with all its timestretching, but its pretty good in routing channels too. Not to mention that the pallet view is awesome for building up sound. Honestly i've had my reason, fl and cubase times, but this ableton is actually "fun" and almost an instrument. Oh yeah, midi control is absolutely beautiful.

Amittai's picture

Yo TooGood, if you're using Reason 4.0 then it's got a serious regroove mixer that you can customize fully.

Amittai's picture

I haven't messed with Ableton yet, but all the functionality you're talking about is because it's geared towards being a "live" application. That's why it can seem like an instrument... It's for the stage.

Doctor Ryzl's picture

I've used vst production software... But I got tired of getting all these vsts but only using one or two sounds in each. With reason I use TONS of sounds from ONE refill... because I can tweak the sounds to my liking much more fluidly and easily than in any of the vsts I used to use. As for the fx in FL being better... thats not true, you just haven't figured out how to set up and chain together fx in the combinator.

It'll do what it do till it done
You keep it pimp... I'm a keep it gangata!

Dhani Ali's picture


Amittai's picture

FL or Reason??? For best results, Amittai says use them at the same time!!!!!!! That's what Reason's for - it plugs into your DAW. Integration is beautiful.

mortalengines's picture

I have to agree with Amittai. Fruity will probably be easier to get into. It is cheaper and more intuitive. Reason is very straightforward though and will add a great arsenal of instruments to your setup. It will also run about a billion times more stable on your setup than most VSTs out there when you want to add instruments to your Fruity mixes. It will run in conjunction with Fruity as a rewire slave so what the hell...use both.

Teddy Brazello's picture

I've always used reason. It does take awhile to get used to. I was pretty confused about what to do with it when I first used it but now I can work it like a pro. The good thing about reason is customization. If you think of a sound you want on the track but dont have it you can always make it if you know all the ins and outs of the program.
Heres one trick for reason users on how to get filtered delays (I talk about thoses alot dont I) If you want to get a filtered delay on a sound open a splitter route the nnxt or whatever it is into the splitter side, route one set of outputs to the mixer and the next one to the a digital delay with and eq rack with your desired eq then to the mixer.
and like almighty pattern said Ableton live is real good for making beats to and the customization is endless with it as well. People just look past it but it really is alot better just off its organization skills than all the other programs I tried.

MarCoast Beats.'s picture

man im still stuck on Reason 2 lol but got fl studio7 -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Check out all of my BEATS

veno's picture

i just wanted to add that FL vs Reason is probably one of the longest debates ever (along with Cubase vs Protools)...i've been with Reason since it came out and it was love at first sight ;p , but I've also tried every version of Fruityloops that's been released as well, hoping to find a "reason" why so many people prefer the latter. In the end, I stuck with Reason (especially since version 4 came with the Regroove!) because it's familiar to me already, and even though I found FL confusing, it only reiterates the amazing fact that people have their own preferences. FL is a great program, but it's just not for me...but I'm still going to try out its future releases just for the fun of it. I recently started toying with Ableton as well, and as people have previously stated, it's a great tool to use for live performances (I usually use it as a scratchpad though); I just wish the interface was more like Adobe Audition (which i constantly depend on and use to edit samples ever since it was Cool Edit!) where you can detach the windows so that it's dual monitor friendly.In the end, i guess my two cents into this whole matter is not to worry too much about what people have to say about the programs (although it is VERY helpful)...i suggest to just try it and see if it works for you :)

as for me, i'm going back to the MPC...

roulettescars's picture

I'll tell you, I started out on fruity loops and it was more than enough for me for years. Then I came upon reason for the first time. Once I got over the much steeper learning curve I was very happy with it, and almost stopped using fruity loops entirely, except for the occasional rough sketch that I just wanted to get down quickly. I've now mostly moved to ableton with an occasional reason rewire, mostly using native instrument plugins. All of them get the job done, it just depends on what you want to do.

I will say this about fruity loops... I miss its sequencing playlist a lot. Life was so much easier when all I had to do was make a part and then paint blocks in a row, but it was a total memory hog.
Reason ran much smoother, but won't allow you to use third party plug-ins... and half the fun of digital music is playing with new toys, but the built in sounds were so much better than fruity loops... as was the real instrument rack look and feel.

Its all preference really. Reason can do more out of the box, but fruity loops can be made into a pretty powerful beast.

deeyou's picture

Well I have tried both... And Reason definitely isn't for me... The deal-breaker was the sequencer for me. Reasons sequencer is just plain ugly and an eyesore to work with. It's understandable that a good amount of folks re-wire but even that isn't for me. The sounds you can get in the combinator by chaining is not even worth the time as you can get just as many tweaks with a good soft (or hardware) synth in regards to tweaking. Plus, I have a beast for a PC and I have a streamlined install of XP which was installed with less than 190 mb... My PC can handle a FL session with maxed out channels, all fx slots used and a load of vst's running and not break a sweat... FL is just so comfortable for me

FUNKBASE's picture

Like its been said already, the best is the one you know how best to manipulate. Its good to be a master of one to a high level of confidence, but its better to be the jack of all trade, master of most as this permits flexibility. As long as you know the ins and outs of any software or turn "A GURU" then the sky is the begining. LOL.

Q Riddim Productions's picture

it's funny cause i've been using reason for about 4 years now and found it to be very versatile so i haven't thought of switching programs since i got it but i see these new producers coming into the game and there using fl studio with no keyboard (lex luger, not saying there as talented as producers like the justice leage who use logic) so that makes me wonder if fl studio is better or not, this is actually the first time i even thought about fl studio program being comparable to reason. i guess fl studio goes allot farther then the free version i got years ago

Q Riddim Productions's picture

to tell you the truth i'm with reason all day and they just made the record program so you can record vocals with reason

Jesse Ratterree's picture

I wouldn't really compare Reason with FL Studio. Unless Reason has been massively improved in the last 2 years, FL Studio is a much more comprehensive product, where Reason is mostly a synthesizer. Its not bad or anything, but not a full blown studio product either.

I have the most experience in Cubase, but find FL Studio at higher overall quality. I still use Cubase for a lot of things though, it is better in some ways.

I've yet to try out Ableton or Logic Pro, from what I've seen Logic Pro looks like the best of the bunch to me.

Check out my iPhone/iPad game RoboHero

Jesse Ratterree's picture

Deeyou, I agree with you about the sequencer. I actually use about 10 differnet programs, some on my iPod (iSequence, MusicStation, Music Studio, Pro, Beatmaker, SoundPrism), Cubase is still my main mastering tool, FL Studio I use to power some of my high-end vsts and sample systems like Wusikstation.

As lame as it sounds, I still use old 16 bit 10 year old Noteworthy Composer to construct my MIDI Sequences. The way it treats notes like text and lets you easily move, cut, copy and paste them and also add parms to individual notes just can't be beat. When you're done, just export and then import into whatever system you want. iSequence is my favorite mobile iPod sequencer, although I hear there is a FL Studio mobile now too, gotta check that out!

Check out my iPhone/iPad game RoboHero

mhuntingford's picture

I started out using Cubase, cause it was free. But I moved on over to Reason 5.0 and Record 1.5. This is a seamless combination that gives you the VSTs, sampling capability, sound structuring, and now unlimited audio track record capability. Love it.... and the recording is always so pristine.... IMHO.


Mike Huntingford
Composer/Performer - Since 2007
Easy Listening / Jazz / Ambient / Acoustic
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saikiranmjj's picture

i think FL rocks ... complete creative kit. and ppl who strt composin usin Fl , its very difficult to get accustmd to any othr software.....

markush's picture

I think the FL Studio give you more freedom to create music from scratch and not be dependent of using loops and samples. With some good VST and certainly with TALENT you can create music with a professional sound.

FL Studio Sound Packs
Download Loops

Jesse Ratterree's picture

After spending full time hours doing music, I have to say Logic Pro is now my favorite. If you want to sound professional quick without investing in tons of third party tools, Logic is the way to go. I still occasionally pop open FL or Cubase when I need a VST (Logic doesn't support VST, probably it's biggest fault) but than I bounce that over to logic for mixing. Logic's built in mastering tools are as good as you can get without buying Ozone or something more powerful. The automation and hyperdraw make it easy to do all kinds of stuff quickly and with a great sound.

Check out my iPhone/iPad game RoboHero


They are both good, it's mainly about personal preferences...

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