Comparison FL vs Studio One

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Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:13 pm


Comparison FL vs Studio One

Hey there!

I tried out Studio One v4 recently and I wanted to show my comparison. Maybe it will be useful for someone and maybe the devs can see what they are already making good in my opinion. And maybe they can also see what could be better (also in my opinion only, of course).

The look:
FL has a clean and pleasing look to me, while S1 still sticks to the OS GUI a bit. S1 can be slightly modifiedd by the user, but it's not that complex and also not that important to me, at least.


In FL it is also easier to distinguish the notes inside a pattern and in the pianoroll than in S1:


Probably because of the better contrast and the green notes. In S1 the notes are in the color of the channel and as you can see I like to color my piano greyish, thus making the notes very hard to see.

One cool thing in S1 on the other hand is that you can easily hide tracks and mixer slots by clicking a visibility icon:


It can become handy, but to me it is not mandatory to a goodd workflow.

If you move notes or patterns in FL there is a better and cleaner live preview of the end result. This is somehow different in S1 and makes it feel like an old-fashioned program to me:


S1 can have multiple projects opened up at the same time. This is cool, but ... well, not that importannt to me, hehe.

The behaviour:
In FL you can close windows simply by hitting ESC, which is quite intuitiv to my understanding. In S1 you have to click the tiny X the most time, just to close a plugin window.

One of the most important things I find better in FL is the navigation: FL uses the middle mouse button really good. You can simply drag around in the pianoroll or the playlist. In S1 however you have to use the mouse-wheel with keyboardshortcuts or even worse: the navigation bars like in the OS:


The space bar is linked to play and stop in FL, but to play and pause in S1. This at least destroys my workflow a bit, if I want to re-record a passage or re-listen to the passage I put the time marker on.

FL seems to load at least WIVI faster than S1 (maybe other plugins as well? I did not test, though!).

The overall editing in the pianorell for notes is way better and more intuitive in FL than in S1. S1 feels old-fashioned again, giving me a dropdown with the right click, while FL uses this mouse button quite clever andd giving the user to simply delete notes with it. Also - andd this is for sure some kind of habit I got during the last years using FL - there are some shortcuts combined with the mouse to very quickly alter notes and edit velocity for exammple, etc. I have to be fair, though: it's maybe also a bit of "getting used" to it, no question. Still: a dropdown feels just old-fashioned to me and I like the minimalistic and direct approach of FL:


Since FL is no traditionally track-based DAW, it is possible to combine multiple notes into one pattern. This can save up space and also change the way I produce:


I feel like I mainly gave FL some positive feedback now. S1 has also some really good features. When it comes to the events (which are basically like "patterns" in FL) they seem to be way less "restrictive" in a way. This means that they act like they are simply some notes as well, which is great. They do not feel like fixed blocks like the patterns often times feel in FL. In S1 you can simply copy a selection "out of the event" easily, for example:


What I also found very cool is that the event blocks are really just plain MIDI data. So you can easily copy notes and CC automation into another voice by simply dragging the event:


It is also possible to simply record multiple voices at once in S1:


Also, as it was audible in the video above, it is possible to have the metronome only active during recording. This way it is not needed to hit "Ctrl+M" (like in FL and only outside the pianoroll!!) before and after recording all the time. Quite handy.

Another thing I as a composer find very handy is the possibility in S1 to show all the notes from other channels inside the pianoroll. This might be possible in FL as well, but not throughout multiple patterns. In S1 the events ("patterns") seem to be less restrictive in this way, as well:


In the end one more "point" for FL: there is BRSO Articulate, which makes keyswitching really easy and also very clear in the pianoroll. Thanks to Blake Robinson at this point for the free share of his plugin!

This was it for now. There are still some days left for me to test Studio One v4 and maybe I will update the post, if I find out more benefits of any of these DAWs.

Hopefully somebody found this thread useful. Have a nice day, everyone!
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