How to Download FL Studio
Digital audio workstations (DAWs) have completely liberated musicians around the world by allowing them to record and produce material directly from home. FL Studio has been a very popular DAW, with a rich history as one of the industry’s oldest and most innovative music recording software available on the market.
How do you download FL Studio? Downloading FL Studio is as simple as selecting which version of FL Studio you would like to purchase, and downloading the software from the company’s website.
There are several things to consider before purchasing the software, such as the system requirements to run the software, the features of each version, as well as how to install a previous version if your system doesn’t meet the current software’s system requirements.
An Introduction to FL Studio
FL Studio is one of the most widely recognized DAWs in the industry. The software, originally known as Fruity Loops, was partially released in late 1997, with a full launch in 1998. The current version of the program has been developed by Image-Line Software, with the development team based in Belgium.
Since its inception, the software has etched a name for itself as one of the most reputable DAWs money can buy, offering cutting edge features and functionality, user-friendly interface, and accessibility for every level of user. Today, the software is still used world-wide, with many famous artists utilizing the software as their DAW of choice. Some of the more notable users of the software include:
- Soulja Boy
- Tyler, The Creator
- Tom Ellard
- Kane Beatz
- 808 Mafia
The software has features that are tailored more to producers, with functionalities conducive to creating hip hop beats, pop, dance, techno, and other forms of electronic music.
Currently, FL Studio offers computer and mobile-based versions of the software.
FL Studio System Requirements
FL Studio 20 can run on computers with Windows 8.1 or 10, as well as macOS 10.13.6 or later.
It is recommended to have at least 4GB of free disk space for the DAW software itself; this does not include the free space needed to store project files and stems. At least 4GB RAM is recommended to run the program smoothly.
Generally, computers with better hardware will be able to run the program more intensively, as processing multiple instruments and effects can be taxing on less equipped machines. The FL Studio software will not run on machines operating with ARM processors, which are typically found in mobile devices.
But What If….?
If your computer doesn’t meet the recommended system requirements, fear not! There is a solution!
Because Image-Line offers lifetime free FL Studio software updates to all users who have purchased the software, installers for older versions can be used to install a version that may be more suitable for its intended machine.
These versions will be available to install from the same installer when the current version of FL Studio is purchased:
- FL Studio 9
- FL Studio 10
- FL Studio 11
- FL Studio 12
Image-Line has made accessible the installers from the entire line of FL Studio versions up to the current version; this includes FL Studio Version 1.0, which came out in 1997.
You can find the full list of version installers here.
It is rare to find a company that will offer every past version of the software included with the current version and is a true testament to the foundation of the Image-Line company ethos.
Why You Might Want to Run an Older Version
While the newest version of FL Studio will obviously include the latest updates and features, it might actually make sense to run an older version of the software.
Due to the inherent nature of technological development, computer hardware often becomes outdated in a relatively short period. Because of this, many people often have “older” computers that may still have a good deal of efficient functionality left.
However, often, when going to install software optimized for newer hardware, the software tends to become slow and laggy. This is also true if the user has intensive hardware demands by using many instruments and effects plugins during a project.
There really is nothing more annoying than a slow, bogged-down, and laggy DAW that takes forever to complete tasks, and freezes up as the computer falls short in providing the necessary processing power; this makes recording and editing a chore and can result in lost work if the computer should happen to crash.
Because of this, it actually makes sense to run an older version of the software, as the software used can be more optimized to the hardware of the machine being used.
When it comes to DAW software, computer hardware is of the utmost importance. Downloading a version of the software that is more optimized to fit the older computer’s hardware is much less expensive than it would be to upgrade the physical components of the computer.
Downloading FL Studio
If you have decided that you would like to download FL Studio, simply go to the FL Studio website; this will give you a multitude of options, including easy access to FL Studio 20 (the latest software release).
From the website’s FL page, you can either choose to download a trial of the software or purchase it. The software can be purchased either as a digital download in the e-shop or as a physical box copy from a retail store.
It is strongly recommended to download the Free Trial version before spending any money to make sure the software is the right fit for your needs.
Downloading the FL Studio Free Trial
Before buying the full version of FL Studio, consider downloading the Free Trial.
Despite having a few limitations (unlocked in the paid versions), this is a great opportunity for new users to get a feel for how the software works, and if it is sufficient for each musician’s individual and unique needs.
With the free trial, users have full access (aside from a few save/load functions) to every facet of FL Studio’s product. Users can save their FL Studio projects, but will not be able to reopen their projects unless they buy the full product. Despite the saving issue, users can export their projects to MP3 and WAV files.
No account registration is needed to use the software, and there is no time limit to the free trial.
How to Download the FL Studio 20 Trial
To download the trial, simply click the ‘Download Trial’ button on the FL Studio main page, or via the ‘Download’ drop-box menu found at the top of the webpage.
FL Studio 20 has a download installer available for both Windows and macOS computers; simply click on the corresponding installer compatible with your computer. This will allow you to download the .EXE or .DMG installer file for the Free Trial version of FL Studio 20.
After successfully completing the download process, the next step required before using the software is to install the software. Once this is done, you will have full access to the Free Trial version of FL Studio 20.
If you decide that you like the software, it can be easily upgradeable from the trial version to a paid version.
Upgrading from Trial to Paid Versions
The process of upgrading to one of the paid editions of FL Studio is actually quite simple, as the user only needs to purchase their desired version. The digital version of the software can be bought in the online store, with boxed physical copies of every edition (excluding the All Plugins Bundle) available in retail stores.
Users can unlock the software with their Image-Line account login information.
After opening the Trial version of FL Studio, click the ‘Help’ tab, followed by the ‘About…’ tab. This will bring up an information box with which the software can be upgraded by entering the user’s Image-Line account login and clicking the ‘Unlock with Account’ button.
FL Studio will confirm once successful verification has been made, and the software will then restart. After restarting, the program will be upgraded to the intended version, thus featuring that version’s capabilities.
Choosing a Version of FL Studio to Download
If you know that you would like to buy FL Studio, you will notice that FL Studio 20 comes in 4 different versions:
- All Plugins Bundle
As one would expect, each version has different features and is priced at different price points. It is important to examine the features offered with each edition to ensure that the version of the software purchased will be able to meet your individual needs.
Some features are included in every version of FL Studio 20, and you can expect these features with whatever version you may decide to purchase:
- Mixer with FX Rack
- 125 Insert/Send Tracks
- Up to 10 FX Plugins for Each Track
- Step Sequencer
- Event Editor
- Piano Roll
- Patcher FX Rack
- Side Chaining and Routing Signals
- Royalty-Free Samples
- Percussion and Vocal Samples
- Automation Clips
- Pattern Clips
- Importing and Exporting MIDI files
- Support for MIDI Controllers
Users can also expect these functions to be included amongst all four editions of FL Studio 20:
- 103 External Inputs and Outputs
- Rendering to .MP3, .OGG and .WAV Files
- ReWire Support
- Ability to Export Mixer Stems
- Use FL Studio 20 as a VST Client
- Ability to Read and Open Multiple Sound File Formats
- VST 1, 2, and 3 of Various Effects and Instruments
It should be noted that Plugins are not core features to the software, and only the Signature Edition and the All Plugins Bundle of FL Studio 20 unlock additional plugins.
As mentioned previously, users that purchase the software will receive free software updates for life.
The Fruity Edition of FL Studio 20 is ideal for musicians that are looking for basic software to create simple loops and melodies.
This version of the software could be considered the entry-level version of the software, as the features offered are fairly basic and have limited features when compared to other versions at higher price points.
In the Fruity Edition of FL Studio 20, there is no support for audio clips (via drag-and-drop) or for recording audio directly into the DAW with a microphone.
The Fruity Edition does have a good amount of effects plugins, including several delays, compressors, a limiter, multiple EQ plugins, and more.
This software can be purchased for $99, and is, all-in-all, a ‘lite’ version of the core software.
The Producer Edition is a step above the Fruity Edition with regards to included features and capabilities and unlocks all of the core features found on the software.
This edition of FL Studio 20 is ideal for the musician that composes music or the band that needs to cut a demo.
One of the biggest perks of the Producer Edition is the support for Audio Clips (via drag and drop) as well as audio recording via a microphone.
A larger number of effects plugins are also featured with the Producer Edition, including Maximus, the Edison Equalize Function, Edison Convolution Reverb, and Vocodex.
As the Producer Edition includes more features than the Fruity Edition, it runs at $199.
The Signature Edition of FL Studio 20 includes even more features and functions than the Fruity and Producer editions of the software.
This edition of FL Studio is ideal for the musician that needs extra plugins for their recording/composing projects.
This edition runs at $299.
FL Studio + All Plugins Bundle
The FL Studio 20 + All Plugins Bundle is the ultimate version of FL Studio, allowing the user access to the maximum capability of the DAW by completely unlocking every facet of the software.
As the name would suggest, every plugin available for FL Studio is included in this version of the software.
This could be considered the top-level professional level edition of FL Studio 20, as while it does feature full access to everything, it runs at a high price of $899.
Downloading and Installing FL Studio Mobile 3
Staying current with the times, Image-Line has offered a mobile version of FL Studio, as today’s cell phones have enough computing power to perform basic DAW functionalities.
Users can use the program to record and sequence multitrack projects and edit their tracks just as they would in the computer version.
FL Studio Mobile 3 Features
Some of the features found on FL Studio Mobile 3 include:
- Mixer with Multiple Adjustment Functions
- Step Sequencer
- Sound Creation Tools
- MIDI Control
- Touch Controllers
- Piano Roll
- Audio Recording
- Browser to Preview Recorded Samples and Sound Presets
- Export to .MP3, .WAV, or AAC Files
This application can be quite handy for those times when a moment of inspiration clicks, but there is nothing on-hand to record multiple tracks into the same idea.
With this program, users can move their projects from their mobile device to the computer without having to worry about the project being altered in any manner. This feature is perhaps the most important, as users can work on a project at any given point in time.
FL Studio Mobile 3 Availability
The FL Studio Mobile 3 application is available for:
- iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod)
- Android (Tablet, Phone)
- Windows (Win 10 App, Phone)
To install the mobile application, simply purchase and download the program from the Apple AppStore, GooglePlay, or the Windows Store.
The application costs $13.99.
Image-Line has gone great lengths to aid the customer with any potential problems they may have by making available several resources of information covering the FL Studio software.
These resources include:
- Forum of Developer Team and Active Users
- YouTube Channel with Tutorial Videos
- Fully Searchable Knowledge Base of Articles
- FAQ Featuring Answers to Commonly Asked Questions
- Software Manuals for Every Version of FL Studio, Including Mobile Versions
If a solution cannot be found in the provided resources, customers may feel free to contact customer service via their provided contact info or by opening a support ticket.
Customer service should be able to respond expediently.
FL Studio can be a great DAW depending on what it is needed for. The features included with the software can meet the needs of any musician or producer.
With different editions available, users can be sure that they have the tools they need without having to install unnecessary tools that they may never use.
The ability to have full access to the software (with some limitations) with a no time-limit trial version makes this a no-brainer approach to deciding whether the software is right for you, without having to shell out cash to find that you don’t like the software.
Because of Image-Line’s offer of lifetime software updates, users can install any version of the software they desire; this ultimately allows users to optimize the software with their computers (while sacrificing the latest features found in the recent versions).
The addition of the mobile application, with the handy ability to transfer projects between mobile devices and a computer, makes FL Studio a highly practical program for any musician or producer, offering possibility at any given time, regardless of limitations.