5 Reasons Ableton Is Better Than FL Studio

Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned veteran on your music production journey, you’ve probably heard of Ableton Live and FL (Fruity Loops) Studio.

These two giants in the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) industry have both made waves for their unique designs and groundbreaking features, which might leave you wondering, which DAW is better.

Here are 5 reasons why we think Ableton Live might be the right choice for you.

Macbook open with black headphones resting on keyboard

Ableton Offers the Acclaimed Session View

Whereas FL Studio followed the more traditional DAWs such as Pro Tools and Logic in its layout, Ableton decided to take a completely different approach.

Ableton developed the “Session View“, which is dedicated to arranging loops and samples quickly and intuitively.

Being able to mix and match these different MIDI and audio clips so easily allows for all types of interesting combinations to be achieved and is a stellar way to try out ideas before committing to a finalized linear song.

Ableton also offers the traditional “Arrangement View”, which allows for a more linear style of workflow.

Where FL Studio only works in the arrangement view, it’s also known in the industry as having a top-tier piano roll editor, which does making working with MIDI a breeze.

The two layouts within Ableton Live work seamlessly and offer an interesting way to write and arrange music, which we feel makes Ableton live the more appealing of the two DAWs.

Sometimes other DAWs like FL Studio might slow you down because of the lack of fluidity of the arrangement view, but this is often down to familiarity and expertise within your preferred DAW.

You can effortlessly toggle between “Session” and “Arrangement” views by pressing the ‘Tab” button for both Windows and Mac users.

Please also read our article about Ableton and Piano Roll to see how Ableton fares in this area. 

Ableton Live is Designed For Live Performance

Where FL Studio is predominantly used for creating music with MIDI quickly with its standout piano roll editor, Ableton Live comes to life when using your DAW for live performance.

There are many ways to incorporate a DAW into your live performance, so let’s dive into how Ableton fairs against FL Studio in a live context.

Using Your DAW to Affect Incoming Signal

This can be described as using your DAW to add effects like distortion or reverb to an instrument that is plugged into your sound card or audio interface.

Ableton trumps FL Studio here, as it is known for being incredibly stable and reliable, even when multiple VST plugins are in use. Stability is the number one concern for a live performer, as the last thing you’d want is your system crashing in the middle of a song.

Check out our simple solution guide to common problems with Plugins not working.

Using Your DAW to Play your Backing Track

Again, Ableton knocks FL Studio out of the park here, as Ableton Live’s stability means it’s everyone’s number-one choice when you need to use your DAW to playback your backing tracks while performing alongside them.

Using Your DAW to Synchronize to a Live Drummer or Band

Ableton outshines FL Studio here, as it has incredible “Warp” technology. A simple tap tempo to a live drummer’s beat will make sure that you’re completely in sync with any warped clips or tracks.

Using Your DAW For Live Improvisation

This seems to be a specialty for Ableton Live, as it outperforms all other DAWs in this space. When you’re looking to record or sample in a musical phrase in real-time from a musical instrument or MIDI keyboard/drum pad, look no further than Ableton Live.

Ableton can record an incoming signal and seamlessly add it to a live mix using clips and its Session view design, which can take your performance to another level.

This feature was initially designed for DJs but has been incorporated into many a live band’s sets.

Using Your DAW to DJ

If you’re looking to incorporate your DAW into your DJ sets, then Ableton Live is the right one to use. With Ableton, you’re able to take your set to a new level by triggering songs and loops to perform live remixes and beat compilations.

The reason that Ableton is so strong here is that this is what the developers had in mind when designing Ableton for a live context.

Overall, if you’re looking to incorporate a DAW into your live performances, Ableton Live is definitely the better bet.

Whether it’s triggering beats and loops, manipulating recorded audio on the fly, or adding effects to your instrument while playing live, Ableton has got you covered.

Ableton’s Revolutionary “Warp” Technique For Stretching Audio

When it comes to time-stretching audio clips and even entire songs, there’s no better than Ableton Live. Its unique and groundbreaking “Warp” technology made waves in the music production world, as Ableton was one of the first DAWs to really nail the technique.

What this means is that when you load a song or an audio sample into Live, it will automatically adjust to the tempo of the session. The best part is that it will do this seamlessly and transparently, making the warped audio sound crisp and clear, without even sounding like it’s been manipulated.

In other DAWs like FL Studio, samples and audio clips have to be manually time-stretched and manipulated to get the best results, which can be tedious and frustrating, and often ruin your workflow.

Ableton Has a Unique “Link” Feature for Collaboration

Ableton has a unique “Link” feature, which is a technology that allows multiple devices running Ableton Live, or other Link-enabled music apps, to play in time with each other over a local network.

With Ableton Link, users can synchronize tempo to start spontaneous jam sessions or collaborations with other musicians.

Ableton Link works by sharing tempo and phase information with other devices on the network and adjusting the tempo and phase of each user’s Ableton device to match. This allows everyone to stay in sync, even if the tempo or phase is changed during playback.

Ableton Link also allows each individual user to be able to control the tempo and phase, which means that anyone can change or start a new tempo at any time.

Overall, Ableton’s Link feature allows for a lot of flexibility and creativity in music production and performance, a perfect way for friends to jam together or professional musicians to collaborate and practice.

Ableton Uses Racks For Custom Instruments and Effects

Ableton has a real trick up its sleeve in its “Racks” feature. Racks can create complex signal chains with multiple effects and instruments, which can all be controlled by a single set of macro knobs.

This makes it much easier to control multiple parameters at once and allows you to create unique sounds and effects that would be difficult or impossible to achieve with individual effects and instruments.

You can also create your own custom racks using third-party plug-ins, samples, and instruments, which gives you more flexibility and control over your sound design. This helps you to create unique sounds that are more specific to your music.

Ableton Racks are a useful and powerful tool for music production and performance and give FL Studio users something to think about when choosing a DAW.

Please read our article with solutions to problems with Ableton’s Drum Rack.

Final Thoughts

In the world of music production, getting to know and love your DAW of choice is an important step in becoming a better producer. Ableton Live is one of the most powerful and popular DAWs out there and will be a great choice for any beginner or professional producer.

It’s important to note that each DAW has its own strengths and weaknesses, and what might work for one person won’t for another. It’s best to figure out what’s best for you through research and trial and error.


An Overview of Ableton Live