Ableton Live 11 Vs Fl Studio

The Ableton vs. FL Studio argue has raged for years with no clear winner.

Both are incredible tools for anyone making Hip-Hop or EDM. But they have different strengths.

Today we’re going to go over everything you need to know to decide which one’s right for you.


  • Go industry-quality every time (steal this framework)
  • Songwriting: Ableton Vs. FL Studio
    • FL Studio
    • Ableton
  • Stock Sounds and Synths
    • FL Studio
    • Ableton
    • If You’re Having Problem with Synths
  • Recording
    • Just Ableton has a leg up here.
    • IMPORTANT Annotation:
  • MIDI
    • FL Studio
    • Ableton
  • Editing
    • FL Studio
    • Ableton
  • Manipulating Samples
    • FL Studio
    • Gross Trounce
    • Ableton
    • Time Stretching
  • Automation
    • FL Studio
    • Ableton
  • Mixing
  • User Interface
    • FL Studio
    • Ableton
  • CPU
    • Ableton
  • Ingenuity
  • Tools Only Available in FL Studio
    • Lifetime Free Upgrades
    • Gross Shell
    • Tape Scratcher
  • Tools Only Available in Ableton
    • Ableton’s Session View
    • Automatic Fourth dimension Stretching
  • And then Who’due south the Winner?
    • Our Take
  • Adjacent Steps

Get manufacture-quality every time (steal this framework)

I’m guessing y’all’re hither considering y’all want to make your mixes audio professional. Well, you don’t need expensive gear or software to do that – you lot merely need the right noesis.

Nosotros put together a brief preparation that covers a totally new approach to music production. Until now, everyone has been teaching production totally backward.

Merely click beneath to sentinel.

But if you lot simply desire to learn nigh Ableton and FL specifically, keep reading.

Songwriting: Ableton Vs. FL Studio

Ableton and FL are both great tools for anyone looking to write their ain music. The makers of these DAWs have gotten rid of decorated work that distracts y’all from what you really want to do: write music!

Just there are some important differences that ready them apart.

FL Studio

FL Studio helps you get ideas down quickly. It’s
and then easy
to make catchy loops in FL.

FL’s sequencer is actually intuitive. Writing a drum part is as easy as loading your samples and clicking a couple buttons.

You can turn a single tune idea into a fully fleshed out chorus in a matter of seconds.

Plus you lot can save templates of all your favorite instruments and plugins. Loading all of that into a projection can take

So a template lets you hit the ground running on the artistic stuff without getting bogged downward.


Ableton has made it extremely easy to experiment with different arrangements. The session view lets yous endeavour out unlike combinations of the parts yous’ve written quickly.

Finding a structure for your song takes a lot less time in Ableton!

And Ableton recently improved the ability to create custom templates. And so you can create your own sessions in Ableton as well.

Then which one you should get kind of depends on what you need.

For example, I can write small sections easily, merely I have a harder time shaping those into finished songs. I’d do good from how easy Ableton makes it to experiment with different arrangements.

But if you desire more help turning sketches into loops, FL might be more than upward your alley.

Ask yourself where you could use some help from your DAW: in writing or arranging?

There’s no clear winner because both are terrific for songwriting. It just depends whether you would benefit more than from FL’s intuitive writing tools or when experimenting in Ableton’due south session view.

Stock Sounds and Synths

Both programs come up with
of samples. Some of the drum sounds are pretty good, simply the other default samples aren’t much to write habitation about.

All in all, the stock samples in either DAW are pretty comparable. If you rely on samples, get some premium ones from somewhere similar or Loop Masters.

But the synths are a whole other story.

FL Studio

FL’southward synths are really cluttered.

FL Studio Harmor

Fifty-fifty someone who’south spent years working with synths would have trouble figuring out what’s going on here.

Sure, they have plenty of great presets. Merely making your own sounds in them takes way as well long. And they’re not very friendly for beginners who are trying to acquire how synths works.


Ableton’s synths on the other paw are super clear cut.

Ableton Live Synthesizers

Ableton’s synths are well organized and easy to understand.
If you know how synths work, you won’t have any trouble making your own sounds in Ableton.

Unfortunately y’all have to purchase the most expensive version of Ableton to get most of its synths. So if you’re on a tight budget, FL might be your best bet.

I don’t care for how FL’s synths are laid out. Only if yous’re strapped for greenbacks, it’south worth considering how many more synths you’d get with the cheaper versions of FL.

Winner: Abletone for Quality FL for Quantity

If You’re Having Trouble with Synths

Be sure to catch our FREE Synth Cheat Sail! It covers everything you demand to know to start making custom sounds in your synths.

Grab it here:


Whether you’re working with sound, MIDI, or both, you’re going to need to record stuff. So let’s go over the pros and cons of recording in Ableton and FL.

If your music has vocals or guitar, you’ll need a DAW that lets you record sound.

person singing into a microphone

to have some major issues when it came to recording. Despite working out a lot of those kinks, FL still gets a bad rap.

Then let’due south dispel a common myth real quick:
You’ll become the aforementioned quality of recording in either DAW.

Just for those of you who plan on recording a lot of audio tracks…

Just Ableton has a leg upwardly here.

Let’s say y’all’re recording multiple takes with an instrument. Afterwards, you’ll want to cutting together the all-time parts of each accept.

Ableton recently added an update that allows for quick and like shooting fish in a barrel comping. This was sorely missing before, so information technology’s great to see information technology added at present.

To be fair, FL allows you to record multiple takes easily in the Edison Editor. But editing those takes together it however a hurting.

So for the time being, Ableton is a bit more than useful when recording audio.

Important NOTE:

The cheapest version of FL doesn’t come up with the ability to record. If you want to record, yous’ll demand to get either the Producer Edition or the Signature Parcel


midi sampler and sequencer

Neither DAW is cracking for recording audio, but they’re
for MIDI.

Both come up with MIDI effects. You can brand interesting melodies, chord progressions, and arpeggiations in a heartbeat.

But there are still some tools that gear up them apart.

FL Studio

First of all, FL’s piano ringlet is
much nicer to await at.

ableton's piano roll side by side with fl studio's piano roll

Ableton’south piano roll looks really scrunched, making it hard to understand.
It’s much easier to write out MIDI parts in FL.

On the other hand, plugging your favorite MIDI controller into FL can be a scrap of a process. And so if you want to use a drum pad or MIDI keyboard to write parts, you might accept a hard fourth dimension getting your gear to work


Ableton has improve MIDI controller support.
So you lot’ll be able to play whatever MIDI musical instrument without hassle.

midi keyboard

Both DAWs a cool option called Capture MIDI.

Permit’s say you’re playing effectually on your keyboard and come up upwards with a melody that sounds really cool. But yous weren’t recording!

Capture MIDI will put the MIDI office you merely played into the session
even if yous weren’t recording.
It’s super handy when you want to make sure you don’t forget an idea.

FL has something similar. In the Tools menu, you can “Dump score log to selected pattern.” This will load any contempo MIDI performances into a pattern.

Yous tin choose to call back the MIDI from the last ii, five, 10, 20, or thirty minutes.

So when deciding between Ableton vs. FL Studio, think near how yous write your MIDI parts.

If you plan on using a MIDI controller to write with, Ableton volition exist better. Only if you prefer to write your MIDI in by hand, FL’s easier to use.

Winner: Ableton for using a MIDI controller, FL for writing MIDI in by hand


FL Studio

A lot of people presume FL is a hurting to edit with, simply the Edison Editor is a lot handier than you might remember.

FL Studio Edison

Whether you want to add fades or go rid of excess noise, Edison puts a lot of editing power at your fingertips.

Yous can do some bones editing without opening Edison. Only for more detailed editing work in FL, you lot’ll have to load the file into Edison, make your changes, and add it back into the regular project afterward.

This isn’t a huge bargain if you’re just editing one song runway. Only if you’re editing a lot of tracks, you’ll end upward wasting a lot of time moving them in and out of Edison.


Ableton makes it a lot easier to edit quickly.

Information technology doesn’t load recordings into a dissever plugin to edit them. Ableton lets yous edit tracks right in the system view.

Being able to edit all of your tracks in Ableton’s organisation view can be a real time saver.

Winner: ableton is better for editing

Manipulating Samples

Nowadays, music production isn’t just well-nigh recording and mixing your ain sounds. Being able to take a sample and turn it into something totally new is another marking of a great musician.

dj on stage in front of a large crowd

But well-nigh DAWs make it
pretty hard
to get creative with samples. Fourth dimension-aligning a sample with your projection can take forever.

Fortunately Ableton and FL make information technology a lot easier to flip a sample.

FL Studio

FL has a bunch of unlike samplers. For case, Slicex lets you chop upward a sample in an instant.

Slicex in FL Studio

Want to rearrange the hits in a drum loop? Merely drop it into Slicex, and it’ll exercise the hard piece of work for you, mapping all of the hits to different MIDI notes.

At present you tin can play the drums from the loop in any order you want!

For more advanced sampling, like having the
trigger different samples, you can use DirectWave.

DirectWave in FL Studio

You tin practice the same things with Ableton’s samplers, which we’ll become into in a moment, only commencement let’s talk about something Ableton

Gross Beat

FL Studio Gross Beat

FL Studio’s Gross Beat makes information technology
easy to make cool rhythmic effects.

Let’s say y’all want to make the pitch of a hi-hat run slide up or down. You could do that in a matter of seconds using Gross Beat.

You can even gate a sound, giving information technology a glitchy, chopped sound.

The Ableton vs. FL Studio fence has raged for years with no clear winner. Both are incredible tools for anyone making Hip-Hop or EDM. But they accept dissimilar strengths. Today we’re going to get over everything you need to know to decide which one’south right for you lot. But if you just want to learn about

Practice you make trap, glitch-hop, or anything that has lots of intricate rhythmic editing? Gross Beat will brand your life ten times easier.


Like I said earlier, Ableton as well has some powerful samplers that permit y’all do the aforementioned things as SliceX and DirectWave.

To chop upwards a sample rapidly and easily, you tin drop it into Ableton’s Simpler.

Simpler in Ableton

And Ableton has Sampler for all of your complex sampling needs.

Ableton's Sampler

Just like with the synthesizers,
I think Ableton’south samplers are easier to empathise.
Their designs aren’t as busy, which I think makes them easier to use.

And while Ableton doesn’t accept a plugin similar FL’s GrossBeat, information technology
better at time stretching.

Time Stretching

Ever had a loop that you
wanted to use for a vocal, just it wasn’t the right tempo? Time-aligning samples to match the vocal you’re working on can take a really long time.

But Ableton has made it a cakewalk! When you load a loop into a projection, it’ll automatically time-align it with the projection.

time stretching in ableton

This sample was originally 174 bpm, but it still sounds natural now that Ableton has slowed it down to 128 bpm.

FL will besides marshal samples, but it tends to audio less authentic. So time adjustment past hand is unremarkably better.

The fact that Ableton does a keen task automatically is a big time saver.

Winner: Both FL Studio and Ableton


Automation is
in Hip-Hop and EDM production.

Fans of these genres expect mixes to evolve over fourth dimension. And then the easier it is to automate in your DAW, the ameliorate!

Ane of the biggest pains of automation is how long it takes. FL and Ableton take different approaches to making information technology easier.

FL Studio

FL Studio comes with a handful of preset automation curves.

FL Studio Preset Automation Curves

You can add some nice development to your mix in an instant. Just add together these preset automation curves to any part of your aqueduct you want to take alter.

Only if you aren’t careful, your automation can rapidly become disorganized.

When you create an automation clip, FL puts information technology at the bottom of the session non under the rails it’s automating.

You’ll have to create a track under the one you’re automating and drag the clip up to the new rails. It isn’t a
deal, but most DAWs go on your automation organized by default.


Ableton on the other hand has Macros.
Macros let you automate a agglomeration of different things at once.

Let’due south say you desire to plow upward the volume, reverb, and chorus all at once. Instead of automating them individually, you can group them in a macro.

Ableton Macros

Past automating the macro knob up, you’ll plow up all the different effects assigned to information technology. And then y’all do some actually complicated stuff without spending much time on information technology.

Ableton automatically organizes automation lanes under their tracks.
So it doesn’t get cluttered equally easily every bit FL.

Winner: Ableton


The debate over which DAW is better for mixing is

Some people say FL is easier to mix with, some people say Ableton is. But honestly I think that’southward just a personal preference.

If you apply 1 DAW for a long time, y’all’re naturally going to adopt its workflow. And then people who don’t similar mixing in FL often merely wish it worked like their preferred software, and vice-versa

At the end of the day
you can create incredible mixes in either program.

They both come up with a ton of bully plugins, and so you can’t really go wrong.

The main divergence is that Ableton doesn’t support 32-bit plugins.

So if your favorite compressor is but bachelor equally a 32-scrap plugin, you lot won’t be able to use it. Only that’s not a totally bad affair, cause information technology’ll help keep CPU usage down.

Winner: Both FL studio and Ableton

User Interface

User interface or UI sounds super boring, but information technology’due south actually i of the almost fun parts of a DAW. The UI is how the software looks.

The way a DAW looks is really really important! Y’all want to experience inspired when you’re working.

And so you lot want to pick a DAW that yous think looks nice.

FL Studio

About people agree that FL looks better than Ableton.

Ableton vs. FL Studio Interface and Layout

FL’s nighttime background is a lot easier on the eyes than Ableton’due south default look.

I’grand personally a fan of Ableton’s sleek, no nonsense vibe. Only I tin definitely see why most people prefer FL’due south way.

But in that location’south more to the user interface than how a program looks. We besides need to look at how the layout affects your work.

In FL in that location are 10 ways to do only about annihilation.

This might sound similar a good thing, but it means yous might miss out on the near
manner to do things. Some solutions accept more time and CPU.


Ableton’s actually streamlined. Information technology makes up for its bland aesthetic past having a clear layout. If you’ve used other DAWs, you’ll find everything’s pretty much where you expect it to be.

This also means y’all’ll have an easier fourth dimension using
DAWs later using Ableton.

FL, on the other hand, volition exist pretty confusing for anyone who’s used other DAWs. At that place are a lot of modest differences in how things work.

So if you plan on using other programs, Ableton might make more sense for yous.

Winner: FL Studio for Looks, Ableton for Functionality


CPU is your figurer’s processing power, and it’s really a
super important
part of your DAW.
If your DAW is using also much CPU, your computer won’t be able to run it very well.

You don’t want your session to crash in the heart of a mix. So keeping a lid on how much CPU y’all’re using is of import!

Unfortunately, neither plan is
super platonic
when it comes to CPU. Other DAWs like Cubase and Reaper take the cake here.

But Ableton has a few CPU tricks upwardly its sleeve.


It might wait more bland, but that simple aesthetic keeps information technology from wasting much CPU on graphics.

You lot might miss your 32-bit plugins while using Ableton. Only the fact that it only supports 64 scrap is a big plus for the software’southward performance.

Ableton lets you “freeze” tracks.

freezing tracks in ableton

When you freeze a rail, your DAW creates a recording of how it sounds. And then, information technology turns off all the plugins on that runway that are using up CPU.

Freezing is a godsend when it comes to freeing up CPU.

There are some workarounds for freezing in FL Studio only no bodily characteristic for it. And then Ableton wins here.

Winner: Ableton


MAX for Ableton is an incredible tool for anyone wanting to button their DAW to the next level. If you know how to code, you tin can create your own plugins to use in Ableton. Simply even if you don’t, yous can even so reap the rewards.MAX for Ableton

There’s a customs of people making free, unique plugins to utilise in Ableton.
So getting Ableton opens upwardly a whole world of experimental furnishings you lot can employ.

FL’s Patcher lets you do similar things. But there’s a larger community around MAX, and so you’ll observe more custom furnishings and instruments for information technology.

Yous tin can easily scan through the different options past checking out the MAX for Live library!

Winner: Ableton

Tools Only Available in FL Studio

Lifetime Free Upgrades

This is massive.
Whatsoever time FL gets updated, you lot tin download the new version for no extra price.

Usually when a DAW has a major upgrade, you’ll have to pay them to get the latest version. But FL lets you get all the new features for free.

So getting FL is an investment in the hereafter.

There are some places Ableton has a leg up on FL, but FL conspicuously has a commitment to improving itself.
That’s a really keen sign for the longevity of a DAW.

Gross Beat

Similar I said earlier, Gross Beat helps you add interesting rhythmic furnishings to samples.

Anyone who makes glitchy music should look into Gross Beat before deciding between Ableton and FL.

Record Scratcher

This is keen for anyone inspired by Hip-Hop music. FL Studio comes with a built-in plugin for record scratches.

Record Scratcher in FL

No need to buy an expensive plugin or spend hours automating various furnishings. You can become authentic-sounding record scratches and reverses easily.

Tools Only Available in Ableton

Ableton’s Session View

This is probably the biggest thing that sets Ableton and FL apart.

Instead of laying out your tracks in a specific lodge, Ableton’south session view lets y’all trigger dissimilar instruments whenever yous want them to come up in.

Ableton's Session View

This is why DJ’south
Ableton. Session view makes it super easy to change a song on the fly. So if you’re performing electronic music live, y’all can exist way  more engaging with the crowd.

You tin can also use session view while writing. With the click of a button, you can see how it would audio if yous swapped the drum parts for the verse and the chorus.

So information technology’s as well a smashing tool for figuring out interesting arrangements for your vocal!

Automated Time Stretching

Ableton automatically stretches loops so they’re the same tempo equally the rest of the project.

If yous’re a DJ, brand mashups, or use a lot of loops in your music,
this is a game changer. This’ll save y’all then much time.

So Who’s the Winner?

Who’due south wins in the Ableton Vs. FL Studio fence?

Tallying upwardly the numbers, it looks like Ableton’s the winner. With a clear-cut workflow and more features than FL, Ableton is a more fully realized DAW
right at present.

That existence said, there are plenty of reasons people love FL. Information technology’s a great plan if yous want to hit the ground running with creative ideas.

FL is laid out and then new users will have a pretty easy time getting to understand it. If yous’re new to music production, you’ll probably have an easier fourth dimension getting upwardly and running with FL.

And FL’due south lifetime free upgrade policy is HUGE. FL has continued to better over time, and it’southward just going to keep getting ameliorate.

So information technology’s pretty safe to presume it’ll accept comparable features to Ableton at some point.

On the flip side, if you’ve worked with other DAWs, y’all’ll probably find Ableton’south layout way more familiar. And if you’re a alive DJ, you’ll definitely get more out of Ableton.

Our Take

In general, I recommend beginners go FL, while those of you used to other DAWs should get with Ableton.

Just at the end of the mean solar day, you should get whichever one inspires you lot.

Ableton and FL both have free demo trials. So you tin run your ain Ableton Vs. FL Studio experiment!

Try them both out and encounter which one makes you more excited to create.

Side by side Steps

If you want to dig deeper into music production and learn what information technology actually takes to make mixes that sound pro…

And y’all’re an intermediate or advanced producer…

Be sure to cheque out the free masterclass: