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I know how to use FLStudio very well. It has been my only DAW for years and I've never had problems with it. I get the vibe from the music community that it is unprofessional; that professionals use Live or Pro Tools. Are there reasons to use those over FLStudio, or reasons to avoid FLStudio in the first place?

Edit: It should be noted, the only recording I do is vocals. I use VSTs for instruments.

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Profissionality is in your brain, not in your DAW. – Pristine Kavalostka May 9 '13 at 21:19
    
There may be reasons, depending on what you need to do. Do you need OMF import and/or export? Do you need sample-precision editing? Do you need SMPTE time code support, and if so, do you need a specific kind of time code (drop, non-drop, etc.)? Do you need to be able to exchange files with others using a compatible format? Do you want to be able to rent an editing/recording/mixing space and bring only your hard drive? The answers to those questions, and others, may drive you more towards some software than others. Sometimes your working realities force you to use certain tools. – Todd Wilcox Jan 26 at 21:21
up vote 9 down vote accepted

See this related question - it's about the video production's vibe that Sony Vegas in "unprofessional" compared to Avid (who make ProTools) and Final Cut.

Let's start with this: FLStudio it's a tool with which you're familiar. That's a huge plus in terms of learning curve for getting things done.

With DAWs, the output is comparable. ProTools can't make better ones or zeros than any other package. There are going to be inherent differences in the audio codecs depending on which one ships with whose products.

The tool, in and of itself, it not the issue. Professionalism comes from a.) the recording quality and b.) the skill of the engineer. Record with a crappy mic that's not been properly placed in a room that's not properly soundproofed, and Bob Katz himself couldn't fix it. Conversely, mic it right and choose the right place to record, and if you know your tool, you can create awesome recordings.

Should you switch? That's up to you, but here are some things to consider: 1.) Can you accomplish everything you need to record and output great audio with FLStudio? 2.) Will you ever have a need to exchange files with someone else...e.g., will you ever need to send your stubs to a mastering studio? And is the output you send them compatible with, most likely, ProTools or Live? 3.) How important is it that it's compatible with other studios' equipment? 4.) Can FLStudio output redbook compliant CD image files? 5.) How important is it that you have an image of professionalism? Will you lose business because of your software? or will you retain business, regardless of software because of your mad audio skillz?

If you know how to make great audio, that's where the professionalism comes from. Not the software. Yes, there may be solid business reasons to invest in one package or another, mostly revolving around the extent to which you'll share files to collaborate. Secondary will be for marketing purposes...but honestly, with some great demos, you can overcome the second quite handily.

Software is nothing more than a tool. If I can make true cuts in a piece of wood with a Craftsman saw, it doesn't matter that the saw isn't Black and Decker. If it does what you need and you're happy with the results, phtphptpht to the naysayers. :)

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+1 Great answer! I recorded my first 2 CD's using Creative Wave Studio that came with my sound card. They still sound great. – Friend Of George Jun 15 '12 at 16:02
    
Well covered, kudos to dwwilson66. – filzilla Jun 15 '12 at 17:53
    
I just realized the similarity between this and the linked answer. Well done :) – Warrior Bob Jun 15 '12 at 22:43

There's a general thing to know: a DAW itself does not have any impact on sound exept a reasonable style of amp ratio between L and R (read something about panning law to get familiar with it). The things that do make impact are the quality of VSTs and such - there are differences indeed. Back in the days the FL ones were not state of the art (afaik without ever was working with it). But nowadays things have changed dramatically. It reveals as more of a GUI-depending decision for most people, although there are some expensive high quality plugins anyway.

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Professionals are usually those who earn their living by using such software. I have no statistics to prove it, but I do get the same vibe, that professionals use Pro Tools. It's probably because their marketing strategy was designed to target already established audio pros that are used to hardware, wires etc.

If it's more important to you to appear pro, then there's your reason to switch from FLS. If not, then you should stick with FL considering you're already comfortable with it.

Regarding the difference in sound quality, it's unlikely there is any. The math behind all the fx and generators is pretty much the same in any DAW.

As a side note, I'm a huge fan of non-commercial music, mainly electronic, and I can tell you that I've heard some amazing tunes produced in tracker software 15 years ago. Even with 8 bit samples a few would rise above professionals from these days (example:

). And those are the most basic DAWs you can get, they're not even close to FL studio or any other DAW from today :)

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FLS is not a "studio software" like Nuendo or PT. Actually its more a software made for people who makes music while PT and Nuendo are more some softs for people who plugs some wires etc...

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1  
you mean, like, phone switchboard operators? – egasimus Jun 16 '12 at 16:55
    
I do understand what his point is supposed to be, the word he is looking for is Sequencer or Tracker and not 'softs for people who plugs some wires etc'. Just a reminder, FL Studio is not modular - so the whole 'plug some wires' is not the best analogy. While FL Studio might be usually used for electronic music it has all features necessary to make it a DAW. – Johnny Bigoode Jun 18 '12 at 15:35

You should consider every daw you can demo. Also depending on what you want to do, FL Studio can be good or bad. Yes, fl studio has a bad image, yes fl has some of the most famous power users; martin garrix, afrojack, madeon and even deadmau5 for a while.

It's a great way to start of making music and a career. But yeah it's 103 mixer channels may feel limiting after a while. Depending on the music you make it can be a great daw or a less then great one.

Oh yeah! One more thing all daws are unstable when used with pirated and most free plugins (dohh!!) but most of the time the pro's will move on and at the same time use more pro plugins. That's also a factor that will make a daw look more or less stable.

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