#1February 10th, 2008 · 07:11 AM
2 threads
4 posts
Serbia and Montenegro
FruityLoops vs Something
hi ..

I see that almost everybody here talks about FL, so I am wondering why. I am just at the beginner level in this matter, and I want to hear something from experts why are you using FL instead of whatever else. I have FL7, Audition 3, Reason 4, Cubase SX3, and I really don't know what to choose. Maybe it is just a matter of 'taste'

and I hope that I posted this thread in right section..

cheers
#2February 10th, 2008 · 08:11 AM
74 threads / 56 songs
902 posts
Netherlands
me, i never got into FL, but that could be because i had Reason already for a few years, and i remembered well all that time i had to invest to get to know the program, i didnt feel like going through that again..
i did my share with Cubase and Magix too, and now i find what i need in one of thes programs all the time
with rewire u get your reason tracks into the cubase mixer, which is ideal i find..

so to me , its what comes to your path first, and as you say, a matter of taste of course,

           its the result that counts, not the program

Max 'sir Dabbles-a-lot' dB
#3February 10th, 2008 · 08:34 AM
137 threads / 52 songs
2,772 posts
Puerto Rico
I agree 100% with Max I think the best would be what works for you.As a suggestion though sometimes I find that the easiest to get is what ever has the most help information available.For me what works is Cubase,Fl and Adobe Audition.I use cubase for all audio recordings such as guitars,bass and vocals.Fl for drums programing and miscellaneous sequencing.For midi I use both cubase and FL depending on what I'm trying to achieve.Adobe I use for vocals,final mix and mastering.Get some visual info from you tube, that seems to help many including me.That will give you an idea of what can work for you.Good luck!!
Marino
#4February 10th, 2008 · 03:39 PM
2 threads
4 posts
Serbia and Montenegro
Thanks guys...
#5February 10th, 2008 · 05:31 PM
102 threads / 17 songs
1,302 posts
United States of America
begin answer
Personally, I find FL studio (just about any version that i've toyed with in the past, as well) to be a little confusing.  I still haven't figured out how to properly use it, but that's alright with me, because I get everything I need done in other programs.

To be perfectly honest, I use the freeware Audacity (now in a version 1.3 beta) to do my recording.  It's a little buggy sometimes (like it'll perform 2 "undo" actions instead of 1 sometimes...) but I find that editing raw audio that's been recorded in it is SO much faster and less CPU intensive than in major industrial programs.  I've tried recording my audio in Audition 1.5, then in 2.0, and it's a living nightmare to me.  I found it impossible to make the quick precision edits that I wanted to do.  There's too much interface in some of those other programs, namely in FL studio, but in Adobe Audition too, if you're looking to record audio directly into it.

Now, that being said, AS SOON AS I'm done with the raw audio recording and getting the timing right in Audacity, I get the heck out of there and start my actual effects processing in something where you NEED interface to properly master a track.
end

begin explination && reasoning
For mastering a track, I've found personally that programs like Audition come in handy, or Adobe Soundbooth (AMAZING program for single-file audio editing, like it's INCREDIBLE noise removal abilities) ... though, it sounds to me from the things written on the Adobe.com site that Audition 3 has pretty much captured the same abilities that Soundbooth has.  So, Soundbooth might be an entirely irrelivant step in the process if you're working in Audition 3.

I've never tinkered with Cubase.  I could never figure out how to even download the trial back in the day when their website sucked a big toe's worth of stupidty.  Now, I don't really care about it.  There are plenty of other programs (like Audition) that can work with audio too, including VST plugins.

I should mention that in Audacity (the free program), you can use VST plugins as well, and it has a good bunch of filters that you can apply to the audio, but the problem is that it's not a realtime application of the effects.  It permanently applies it into the audio so that you can't really just go back and tweak it later.  Huge disadvantage to do ANYTHING effects related in Audacity.
end

[edit]I typo'd.. the last sentence used to say "so that you CAN..." rather than "can't"
#6February 11th, 2008 · 02:59 PM
34 threads / 16 songs
538 posts
Mexico
Hey,

Well I've tried FL but didn't like it very much... instead i use Jeskola Buzz.  It may not be the newest software around but it does the same things with a LOT less CPU usage.  Plus, it's freeware.

Here's a link to a Wikipedia article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeskola_Buzz

And here to one of my songs i did with it, drums are made with Acoustica Beatcraft:
http://forum.bandamp.com/Audio_Review/5925.html
#7February 11th, 2008 · 06:54 PM
155 threads / 36 songs
1,853 posts
United States of America
Find whatever software you like and learn everything you can about it. 

Windows I use cubase nuendo/sx3 and FL7, plus Magix (very little now days though)
Mac  I use Digital Performer 5.1 ,PeakBias.  I much prefer these over any of the other stuff. DP is very powerful midi and audio software with great editing and ease of use.
#8February 12th, 2008 · 10:44 AM
65 threads / 2 songs
1,062 posts
United States of America
Its strange to hear people refer to Fl as confusing.  Its essentially paint by numbers, for the most part.  Honestly, I thinks its what you stick with and get good at.  Im with Marino in that, at the time, it was about what was cheap and available and that was FL.  I would say, whatever you end up with, stick with it.  Just keep plugging away until things make sense.  Thats what i did and now i feel like i know Fl pretty decently.  Enough to do what i want with it anyway.
#9February 12th, 2008 · 01:39 PM
102 threads / 17 songs
1,302 posts
United States of America
MindsAtPlay wrote…
Its strange to hear people refer to Fl as confusing.  Its essentially paint by numbers, for the most part.

Just in response to that part, I'd say that the reason it's so darn confusing to look at is because of it's interface when it comes to altering the notes each channel is playing.  I toyed with the thing for hours before realizing the piano ico in the upper right of the timeline box, but I feel like I'm still a bumbling idiot with the program.

It's not the placing of instruments and beats on the timeline that's confusing... it's using the playlist feature (which I still don't understand how to fully utilize to save my life) and changing the pitch of the notes it's playing while using a single channel representation.  Even when you're viewing the playlist, the buttons to actually change playback mode to PAT or SONG are WAAAAAYYYY too small and not obvious at all.


see how i can't tell at all what notes each of those channels is playing?  If you didn't know how to access the keyboard via that little nameless icon in the top right, then you'd never be able to play anything other than C5 on the keyboard.  I honestly figured out how to alter the attack and release of the notes LONG before I figured out the keyboard button.  That's just backwards to me.


These buttons are far too important to just be tiny little lights lost in the overly-altered-from-windows-native skin.  They're too important.  They need to be bigger and grouped somehow with the playlist button, which is entirely connected to the use of "play song" vs "play pat".

conclusion:  FL studio needs a major interface overhaul.  The menu on the far left of the program and the timeline idea are perfectly okay, but as for working with a sound that's been put in a channel, it's so hard to understand.  I would never want to record my audio from a soundboard using FL studio... Maybe when I figure out how to intelligently import audio into FL and place it in the playlist I'd use it like that, but I think I'd rather just export the patterns and playlist into some wav or mp3 file and put it in my other recording software.  (thus, importing audio into FL would simply be for a Guide-Layer idea, and not a final recording.)  FL isn't really on my list of great programs that are user-friendly.

/rant
#10February 13th, 2008 · 01:38 PM
64 threads / 13 songs
669 posts
United States of America
Funny, I think quite the opposite.  I learned about 90% of what I know in FL now in about 35 minutes.  I record into FL directly on an almost daily basis.  It is second only to Adobe Audition in terms of ease of use.  This puts it ahead of (in my book) Cubase, Logic, Pro Tools etc. etc.

I'll give you that the only problem is that it's interface isn't Windows standardized.  But if someone had spent FIVE minutes showing where the 5 main things in FL are, you'd have been a lot happier, I think.
#11February 13th, 2008 · 04:12 PM
2 threads
4 posts
Serbia and Montenegro
Well, I agree that it is a little bit confusing, maybe just becouse it is my first time to work in programs like this. But, it wouldn't be problem for me to spend if necessary 6 hours just to learn basic things, if I know that it is much better than, for e.g., Reason. And Reason on first blink looks a bit more user-friendly than FL. To be clear, for recording and editing I already picked Audition, but what I need is a simple but good program for loops, bass etc, becouse I have and play only acoustic guitar and flute.

In sight of that, I have only FL and Reason on disposal, and I think I will choose Reason, with no big reason... BUT, if somebody knows any good video tutorial, and post a link, and if this will save my time, maybe I change my mind...

So... thanks for sharing your opinions, and keep it going 
#12February 13th, 2008 · 05:05 PM
102 threads / 17 songs
1,302 posts
United States of America
holy. shoot.  darn'd thing logged me out while i tried to post... it wasn't even an hour... dang it. 

*sigh*  I have zero motivation to rewrite what I had, and so this post is going to carry a lot less impact than it used to before the Amp trashed it and Firefox so kindly doesn't keep forum data when you push back (another big selling point for Opera, I'll have you know.  If that log-out thing ever happens to you in Opera, no biggie, b/c pushing "Back" sends you to the page as it was loaded before you changed pages.  It does NOT go back and reload the url at you just came from.  Firefox sucks!  Firefox sucks!  So does it's dictionary!  It never recognizes anything I typo!  And when I push my "right-click" button on the keyboard, half the time it doesn't even show me the spelling correction suggestions in the menu!  I want my home PC and not the school's!  *sets Firefox on fire* and laughs at it)

So.. point form...

I agree with you entirely Avi, about someone sitting down to show a person around the program.  That'd fix a lot of things right off the bat.  Anyone still confused about FL after a couple of attempts to explore it ought to have a tour like that.

Many many many many many of FL's fuctions are contained in the buttons that are scattered ALL over the place.  And they're all pictures.  And they're all the same 2-tone colors.  And they're not categorized very well.  This all falls into the interface issue I was ranting about.  No File/Edit/Generate/View/Window/etc menus, thus, you have to go off on a quest to learn how the creators of FL designed the thing.  Not bad if you're interested in that, but not good if you want to accomplish something that you're not sure how to do yet.  Audition takes the cake there.  Menus and text instead of similarly colored buttons and over-styled interface to wade through.

Have you ever tried to look at a minefield of buttons that have no accompanying text (until you hover on them, of course)??  It's like hell in my monitor and no little magic conscience cricket to whisper to me what the heck I'm staring at.  Same thing with Foxit pdf reader.  Same thing with MS Office 2007.  No explicit organization.  No text.  No clue what I'm looking at.

"Velocity" / "Panning" text drop-down button at the top right of Piano Roll, for example, is a text button (finally!!) but hey, it's colored just a few hex increments of color lighter than the window's frame anyway, so it's not like it even looks like an activated option.

Main not-good pointInterface... the colors and graphic buttons versus text menus that organize everything, in addition to toolbar buttons, are what make FL so confusing.  If I want to accomplish something I don't know how to do, it'd likely take me forever in FL compared to Audition, for instance, where I can say to myself:

"Okay, so I'm looking for the ______ option... I'm not sure how to do it at all , but that's alright, because it seems to me that it'd be under the *suchAndSuch* menu..."

... and then I can go off looking for it.  Text menus overhead on the program cut down the searching for options significantly.  THAT'S the "ease of use" I'm talking about, Avi.  The kind you're talking about (in my opinion of things so far) deals with the everything-in-one idea, where you don't have to export to file formats to import into another program, and the everything-at-my-fingertips position.  That's fine, once you know what's at your fingertips, but if you're not sure what's even there, then you don't ever wack buttons b/c you don't know what they do, and you've got to spend time figuring that out before you can feel like it's all there "at your fingertips."

It's like the F1 through F12 buttons.  Can anybody tell me what they all do?  No.  You know why?  Because nobody ever really makes functions for them other than F1 (Help), F5 (Browser "Refresh") and an occasional couple of others, like F12. Why doesn't anybody use F6 for crap's sake?  how about F9???  Because they all look the same and it's hard to remember what stuff does just by it's appearance (in this case, the letters/numbers "Fxx").  So what's the solution?  Program functions to the "F" keys on the ends of the groupings of 4!  Voilą!  Easy to remember.  F5 is the first one on the second grouping.  F12?  Very last one.  F1?  Very first one.  See how organizationally dependent we are? There's a reason why the Tab, CapsLock, Shift, Ctrl, Alt, and [windows] keys are all in the same corner of the keyboard!  It's organization in action!  Same with the arrow keys!  Insert/Home/End/Pageup/Delete/End/Pagedown are grouped too!  They're all text-oriented buttons.  Can you imagine what sort of chaos we'd have if the arrows' block of keys and the Insert/Delete block and the NumPad and the PrintScreen/ScrollLock/PauseBreak block and the Fxx keys and the Escape key and the letters Q and M were all grouped together??

I hope I've at least somewhat illustrated the point...

*copies text to notepad and pushes "post" ... just in case FireFox and BandAMP team up against him*
#13February 14th, 2008 · 01:12 AM
64 threads / 13 songs
669 posts
United States of America
Firstly, Firefox doesn't refresh the page on hitting back.  What it does however, is clear forms so that POSTed values aren't resent by mistake.

As for FL, yes, the Windows-centric menu system makes people happy, but like I said, once you're familiar, it is second nature.  None of the things you said bother me, and all of the things you said are problems ONLY for people who don't know the program.  The only difference is, Audition has an easier learning curve.

I use FL because of the mixer.  I barely use the step sequencer any more.  The mixer is sooooo powerful.  The step sequencer has far too many problems to be the "killer feature".  The playlist comes close, but some dodgy design choices with respect to snapping make it less useful.  Also a broken zoom feature, but that is application-wide.  The mixer is where "it" is at.

Audition is incredible for the multi-track editor.  Oh, it is SO beautiful.  And now, automatic cross-fades in AA3 by just overlapping the samples?  Finally fixing track automation?  Soundfont player?  RELEASE A DAMN MAC VERSION YOU MONKEYS!
#14February 14th, 2008 · 01:36 AM
102 threads / 17 songs
1,302 posts
United States of America
okay fine, Firefox doesn't completely refresh the page, but effectively it does the same thing to your posted form data as refreshing.  Whereas, Opera does not.  ... hoorah for Opera.  I really can't think of any times when I had a resent-postdata problem before... I know it's possible for it to happen, but simply going "back" on your browser doesn't trigger it.  I think it's a bit more advantageous to keep the form data rather than dropping it.  Heck, if i'm going back to the page anyway, you might as well keep it for me instead of making me type it all over again.  Oh well.  (FF's spellcheck still isn't all that great, I argue! I've got more on the FF subject, but now's not the time or the place... and it may never be )

Learning curve, yes--- that's precisely what I'm getting at, I suppose.  To be brief (since I've used so many words already on this forum... sorry guys) I'll leave it at that.  I just think it's annoying when people can't stick to a standard... really... what does it buy them by trying to redesign the windows interface?  It's like reinventing the wheel.  Or writing your own linked list implamentation of object programming in c++ when you've got the STL sitting there for you.  Generally speaking... there's just not much of a need for redesigns!  Maybe that tends to make us "architectually" boring in a design sense.  *shrug*.  I guess it's a preference... a choice made by the proggers.  Whatever... Nothing I can do about it.

I'm just saying that there's a good reason why there are so many threads in the forums around here about FL tutorials.  I thank those who take the time to write those things, even if it's redundant info.

I'm planning on toying with FL a bit more in the future, but it likely won't be within the next few weeks... I have some ideas I'd like to try to put into it... we'll see how it works.  But for now I'll remain stubborn and not do my recording in it
#15February 14th, 2008 · 02:19 AM
97 threads / 43 songs
500 posts
Australia
I've heard people say that FL is much less "powerful" in terms of flexibility compared to reason, but I have also heard that FL8 will come with a copy of synthbuilder in it (I think that's what it's called) which will allow much more flexibility and power in FL, that it's more on a level playing field with reason, although it's still considerably cheaper.

I've also found that it's easy to find somewhat decent free VST's and VTSi's to use in FL, however, they can never quite match up with the expensive VST/i's. I think that reason doesn't use VSTs, and it has everything inside it, which would be a bonus over FL, but I think it takes more musical technique and understanding to use reason, or so I've heard. I'm happy with FL, but I guess I haven't explored it too thoroughly, and so I don't know all of its limitations. It is one of the best bets, definitely if you're new to music/unsure of what you're doing, it's fun to mess with.
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