Last Updated on January 23, 2023
Last Updated on January 23, 2023
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You might love Soundtrap, but obviously there are plenty of great alternatives out there, including the much talked about FL Studio.
But how does something like FL Studio compare to Soundtrap? How does it differ? And what makes each Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) viable, and for what types of projects?
In this hands-on comparison, we look at Soundtrap and FL Studio to determine which is best for what situation.
Soundtrap has become a fast favorite among the broader musical community, and for good reason – it’s fun, it's easy to use, and it's great for collaboration.
Its history is still relatively short, as the company was founded in April 2012. But in 2017, Spotify acquired Soundtrap, suggesting that its presence will only continue to grow.
Both as an online DAW and remote collaborative recording environment, Soundtrap is more than competent and feature rich. Its easy-to-use interface makes it a viable option even for artists and musicians who don’t know much about the recording process.
Soundtrap puts recording, creation, and collaboration first, and all else (like social connection or distribution) second.
Interface / Recording Environment & Workflow
There are plenty of DAWs out there with a complex, graphically intricate, and high-gloss, polished interface. They often look powerful, feel powerful, and as result, can often come across as overwhelming an intimidating.
Perhaps inspired by the likes of Ableton Live, Soundtrap went in the opposite direction, opting for a minimalistic, user-friendly “flat vector” style design, with just enough color and flash to make it visually appealing.
It also makes sense based on system resources. Generally, you want an online app, especially one that allows for remote collaboration, to be as efficient as possible. To do that, you might sacrifice some graphical appeal for functionality.
This seems to have worked in Soundtrap’s favor, though, as it is still an attractive and pleasing environment to work in.
Beyond that, of course, is the feature set and functionality of Soundtrap (some of the details are covered in more depth below and others in this review).
And, “impressive” would be a good word to sum up what’s on offer here. There are tens of thousands of loops and sounds you can take advantage of, and hundreds of effects and virtual instruments too. Whether you’re a hobbyist, beatmaker, composer, or artist, there is no shortage of inspiring tools.
Whether it’s combining loops or creating a sonic bed for your new project, taking advantage of existing loops and samples is a great starting point for new projects.
Starting a new track (audio, MIDI, drum, or otherwise) inside Soundtrap is straightforward, and even better, new tracks come near mix ready, with effects and presets pre-applied. You can still tweak or add to the effects chain as desired, though, and it couldn’t be much easier to do.
Using the built-in Beatmaker is a ton off fun, and again, well thought out and user-friendly even for the complete beginner. You could have hours of fun with this feature alone.
Projects are automatically mastered via Soundtrap when they are saved. Although this means you don’t have any control over the quality of the mastering, your tracks will come release ready once exported. Nice feature for those who like to work fast.
Soundtrap’s workflow may take a little getting used to, especially if you’re a complete newbie or you’re more used to other DAW software. That said, if you have any experience, you should be able to adapt in mere minutes. The attention to detail and overall simplicity is noteworthy.
Loops, Samples & Sounds
You can take advantage of up to 19,540+ loops, 300 Splice loops, and 150+ sound effects from freesound.org with Soundtrap’s premium subscription. You get a little less in the free version or more standard subscriptions.
Virtual Instruments & Effects
Soundtrap offers up to an eye-popping 880+ virtual instruments and effects.
If you have an internet connection and a browser, you can basically take Soundtrap with you wherever you go. They also have mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Soundtrap does not purport to work optimally inside all web browsers. But even when we tried it with Firefox, which is technically not supported, it seemed to work without error.
So, regardless of device or operating system, Soundtrap should work for you.
Collaboration & Social Integration
Soundtrap is an online DAW, and it was built with remote collaboration in mind. You can invite your friends, band, or even session musicians to participate in your projects, and this is where it tends to shine the brightest.
If you’re a podcaster, you can create your content inside and even publish it directly to Spotify. This level of integration doesn’t exist for artists, but given that Spotify owns Soundtrap, could it be part of their plans?
Soundtrap can be used for free, but to take advantage of the full feature set available, you’ll want to upgrade to a plan ranging from $7.99 to $16.99 per month.
Upon its release, Image-Line’s FL Studio was simply known as Fruity Loops. The Digital Audio Workstation quickly exploded in popularity since its initial release in April 1998, especially among electronic music producers – pop, EDM, hip-hop, or otherwise.
Its workflow remains a staple, proving that the process of making music need not be complicated. Its influence is even felt in free DAW software like LMMS, whose interface and workflow are quite like that of FL Studio.
FL Studio has added more features and functionality to their DAW over the years, while maintaining the same ethos and essence of the interface and workflow that made it so appealing to begin with.
Interface / Recording Environment & Workflow
FL Studio remains a classic. And although there have been some graphical upgrades (it still looks like a DAW from the yesteryear, though), after all these years, its workflow hasn’t changed much at all. As they say, why mess with a good thing?
It has had a lot of time to come into its own, though, especially compared to Soundtrap. Instead of changing what made FL Studio great in the first place, developer Image-Line seems to have kept the core essence of the DAW while adding new features based on user demand.
Included in FL Studio are multiple project templates, patterns, effects, instruments, presets, scores, demo projects, and more. And that means even those who aren’t up to snuff on their music theory or aren’t musically savvy can still get up and running relatively quickly and enjoy the process of making music.
Creating drum loops is as easy as it ever was, and that is probably one of FL Studio’s greatest strengths. Start your project off with an 808, set your tempo, and use the channel rack to create your patterns (all that’s required is a few clicks of the mouse). Of course, you can bring up the piano roll if you wish to fine-tune your beat or sequence more complicated patterns.
And FL Studio’s piano roll is quite nice. Again, they’ve had lots of time to work out the kinks, but I find it to be a smooth, fun, easy experience overall.
Adding a synth in FL Studio is as easy as choosing the plugin database from the browser, selecting “generators,” then “synth classic” or “synth special,” and dragging and dropping your chosen synth into the channel rack. Tweak the sound to taste (or use a preset) and bring up the piano roll to create your part. Rinse and repeat to create basses, leads, pads, and other layers.
Audio tracks can also be recorded and added to your mixes, but not in Fruity Edition (see pricing for each edition later). Years ago, I used to do quite a bit of recording inside FL Studio with a producer I was collaborating with. He didn’t seem to mind using FL Studio for electronic music and acoustic music alike.
But setting up a drum pattern and a few synths will be the starting point for most music producers. They’ll learn how to construct a basic beat, and over time, discover how to add and tweak effects, edit, mix their project, and so forth. With experience and practice, one can figure out their way around FL Studio. But it does require a commitment to spending plenty of time inside the DAW.
And that is perhaps the yin and yang of FL Studio.
The interface is busy, and its workflow is a tad cumbersome and visually complex, especially for the beginner or someone who isn’t used to it. The controls are well marked, but those starting new projects shouldn’t need immediate access to all controls built into the interface. So, overwhelm can quickly set in upon opening the program for the first time.
There’s plenty of menu surfing, whether it’s in the browser or the main menu. The browser probably isn’t your top concern, though.
FL Studio has been optimized for electronic music, and because of that, it has a different workflow compared to most DAWs. Many of the skills you learn will prove transferable, of course, but not to the same extent working in GarageBand would be transferable to Logic Pro, for example.
And that’s why I say FL Studio requires a commitment. You need to spend some time with it to be able to use it well, and it has a different workflow than most DAWs. You won’t be lost inside other DAWs after using FL Studio, but you probably won’t feel at home either. As well, you can only do so much inside the free trial, so it’s fair to say there’s a price to entry.
Loops, Samples & Sounds
This varies considerably based on the edition you purchase, and Image-Line has plenty of purchasable extras in case you’re looking for more.
But there are dozens if not hundreds of loops and sounds available inside FL Studio, even in the free trial.
Virtual Instruments & Effects
This varies considerably based on the edition you’re working with. Image-Line also has plenty of purchasable extras in case you’re looking for more.
But even in the free trial version, FL Studio comes with multiple effects – controllers, delays and reverbs, distortion effects, dynamics, filters, flanger effects, gains, and more. You also get access to dozens of presets.
On the instrument side of things, there are controllers, drums, patchers, samplers, classic and special synths, with presets of course, and a great deal more.
FL Studio is compatible with both Windows and Mac. But it is not an online collaborative music app like Soundtrap. You’ll be doing most of your work offline.
Collaboration & Social Integration
FL Studio lets you upload your files to the cloud, but that’s about the only built-in collaborative feature we’re aware of.
The Fruity Edition costs $99, the Producer Edition $199, the Signature Bundle $299, and All Plugins Edition $499. These are one-time purchases.
Soundtrap Vs Fl Studio, The Verdict
When it comes right down to it, Soundtrap and FL Studio are simply two different beasts. That makes it challenging – though not impossible – to compare the two.
Soundtrap is an online music collaboration environment, and this is its greatest strength. Being able to collaborate with other artists, musicians, producers, no matter where they might be located, is where the app shines.
But in addition to that, Soundtrap is beginner friendly. It has tons of loops, samples, instruments, and effects. Virtual tracks come mix ready, and mastering is automatic. It’s set up nicely for all types of recordings, whether band, EDM, podcasting, or otherwise.
To access all its features, you will need to go on a monthly subscription. That said, Soundtrap is still affordable.
FL Studio, on the other hand, is primarily for electronic music. This does not mean it doesn’t accommodate other styles of music. But its workflow is ideally suited to beat making and sequencing.
FL Studio is an offline DAW, and the only way to collaborate would be to save your projects to the cloud and share them with others.
FL Studio does come with plenty of loops, samples, effects, and instruments – and these are loved by many. Like Soundtrap, FL Studio also has demo projects.
Its biggest strength is probably its channel rack, which makes the creation of beat-based loops easy and fast, as well as its piano roll, which has a rapid workflow.
FL Studio only costs a one-time fee, and some will look at that as an advantage. But one would still need to purchase the version that’s right for them, based on whether they want audio recording capabilities and certain plugins.
Essentially, Soundtrap is a great choice for the casual user, for those who want to collaborate online with their friends, as well as those who want to do minimal editing and mixing and like instant results.
FL Studio is perfect for those with a heavy electronic music production schedule.
What is better than Soundtrap? ›
Top 10 Alternatives & Competitors to Soundtrap
- Audacity. (413)4.5 out of 5.
- Logic Pro X. (149)4.6 out of 5.
- Ableton Live. ...
- Adobe Audition. ...
- Descript. ...
- GarageBand. ...
- Studio One. ...
- Avid Pro Tools.
Soundtrap gives artists an easily accessible and intuitive studio — letting both beginners and experienced professionals collaborate from anywhere without having to export their work. Plus, music makers can choose from various plans that suit their needs.What are the pros and cons of Soundtrap? ›
Pros: Collaborative creation and cross-platform access includes mobile devices. Cons: Extensive options and controls may be overwhelming to novice sound creators. Bottom Line: Soundtrap is a uniquely collaborative sound-production environment, but if you want the top-quality EDU version, you have to pay top dollar.Is Soundtrap worth it? ›
Conclusion: Is Soundtrap any good? Based on our Soundtrap review, it's awesome for beginners or anyone who wants to dabble in music production without taking the plunge on costly software. The free version actually provides more than enough features, effects, and virtual instruments to create right from the jump.Why is Soundtrap so laggy? ›
Make sure you're not running a lot of power consuming programs on your computer, as they can slow down the performance of Soundtrap. Try reducing the playback sound quality. Go to Settings -> Sound quality and select "Low" (1). Try the "Freeze track" feature.Can you master on Soundtrap? ›
Online mastering is a quick and easy way to get your songs to the same level as any music on Spotify or the radio. It relieves you of having to learn the intricacies of human mastering so that you can focus on the creative process instead. Soundtrap offers online mastering with just a click of a button.Can you sell music made with Soundtrap? ›
Soundtrap loops and sounds are royalty free. However - it is not allowed to take an individual loop and share/distribute it without adding your own music to it.How much does Soundtrap cost per month? ›
The software comes with self tutorial and can be accessed from various computer devices with ease. The cost is $14.99 per month, which can add up over a year when you add in the cost of the $9.99 monthly music streaming service, and other necessities to use it such as wireless fidelity, and instruments.Does Soundtrap own your music? ›
Copyright in the music and lyrics will usually be owned by the artist or music publishing company, and copyright in the sound recording will usually be owned by the artist's record label.What age is a Soundtrap for? ›
Therefore we do not allow any users under the age of 13, UNLESS they are part of an EDU Account with a Walled Garden. Soundtrap for Education is designed to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), thanks to the online privacy features that are included.
Is Soundtrap good for mixing? ›
Soundtrap has been making Audio Mixing accessible for musicians since its inception. Mixing gives you the tools you need to create a cohesive song. You can tighten your song and make the impact you want from your music by bringing your tracks together. Use tools like EQ, compression, panning, and reverb.How many tracks can you have in Soundtrap? ›
And, it I decided to use every single one of my guitars on it, so the 12 track limit would make it awkward.How long can you use Soundtrap for free? ›
We first always invite interested parties to sign up for a free 30-day trial at soundtrap.com/edu or through their preferred reseller.Can Soundtrap be used offline? ›
Soundtrap Capture Features:
Record music, write songs, and sample sounds on the go, online or offline.
To create your own audio track to record vocals (or any other sound), click the Add New Track button and then select Voice & Microphones. You want to make sure that you have the right microphone selected. Look at the gray bar to see what microphone will be used for recording.What's the best software for recording music? ›
- Apple Logic Pro. Best for Mainstream Audio Production. ...
- Apple GarageBand (for Mac) Best for Mac Recording on a Budget. ...
- Avid Pro Tools. Best for Compatibility With Pro Studios. ...
- Ableton Live. Best for Live Stage Performance. ...
- Audacity. ...
- Cockos Reaper. ...
- Image-Line FL Studio. ...
- Magix Sequoia.
Stay close to the microphone. This will help reduce background noise and room reflections. Keep in mind that with most microphones, this will also emphasize the low frequencies in your voice or instrument, so you might need to reduce the low frequencies with an equalizer (EQ) afterwards.Why won t Soundtrap work? ›
Reload the page. Restart the browser. Restart your computer/tablet/phone. Clear your cache and cookies and try again.Can you autotune on Soundtrap? ›
No problem! Just hover over the region you wish to auto-tune, click EDIT (1) and choose Auto-Tune® (2). This opens up the Auto-Tune® effect dialog! Here you can choose the amount of the effect that you want to add and select a musical scale.Can you EQ in Soundtrap? ›
This is the most advanced equalizer in Soundtrap. To us it go to the 'add effects' button under 'show track'. The Parametric EQ has three different sections, a high, mid and low. The way a parametric eq works is that it allows you to select a specific frequency and either boost or the lower frequencies around it.
Can you publish Soundtrap songs to Spotify? ›
The upload to Spotify feature is for podcasts only and may not be used as a music distribution tool. If you wish to get music on Spotify, please read more in this article on Spotify for Artists."How can I make a lot of money for my music? ›
- Earn streaming royalties through digital distribution. ...
- Make money playing gigs. ...
- Sell band merchandise online. ...
- Collaborate with brands and other musicians. ...
- Sell beats and samples. ...
- Teach music classes or sell lessons.
Get Spotify Premium and full access to Soundtrap, in one subscription. Get the best of both. Bundle your subscriptions together and save. Get the best of both.What happened to Soundtrap? ›
Soundtrap is working fine.How many projects can you have in Soundtrap? ›
Soundtrap's free version allows unlimited projects.Can you cancel Soundtrap at any time? ›
You can cancel your subscription any time. If you are on a free trial and cancel the subscription during the trial period, your (Trial) subscription will be terminated immediately upon cancellation and your account will be automatically reverted to our free service.Can people see your projects on Soundtrap? ›
Ready to share your creation with the world? Soundtrap never shares or publishes your songs without your knowledge. Your songs are stored on your profile page, which you are in complete control over.Is Soundtrap completely free? ›
It's free and no download is required. Soundtrap is a digital audio workstation (DAW) accessible directly in your browser from a variety of devices, such as Windows, Mac, Chromebook, Linux, Android phones and tablets and iPads.Can you plug an instrument into Soundtrap? ›
Just connect the cable from your instrument to the interface and you're ready to rock. Here are two simple alternatives: Apogee Jam is a simple interface to record electric guitar or bass. You plug the guitar into the device and then connect it to the computer USB port.Who owns Soundtrap? ›
In November 2017, Spotify acquired Soundtrap, with Soundtrap stating that the move was a "culturally, creatively and strategically" great fit. The company had revenues of 900,000 kronor, making it one of Spotify's most expensive acquisitions.
What is the purpose of Soundtrap? ›
Soundtrap is an online, browser-based digital audio workstation (DAW) that can be used to make music, record podcasts, and process audio. Soundtrap is a freemium app, meaning that some features are blocked by a pay-wall, but the skills taught in this guide are applicable to both the free and paid versions.Can you write notes on Soundtrap? ›
An area to put lyrics, verbal notes, etc within the song, either as a comments section or as a choice to go along with the timing of the music (like normal sheet music lyrics).What is the loop limit for Soundtrap? ›
Hey, I really enjoy using Soundtrap, and recently I discovered how to use the loop feature, and it's been really helpful in creating music, and it get's me coming back because I enjoy what you guys have to offer, but I feel like my creativity has been a little stunted because of the loop listening limit(3000 per 24 ...What does Soundtrap premium do? ›
Create your own music and listen to your fellow artists with our new Soundtrap x Spotify Premium bundle. Soundtrap, a cloud-based audio recording platform by Spotify, lets you make music wherever you are and collaborate with anyone, from anywhere, in real time.Is audacity or Soundtrap better? ›
Meanwhile, Audacity is a basic audio recorder / editor with no frills, except for maybe the variety of included effects. In most regards, Soundtrap is superior, whether it's virtual instruments, virtual effects, samples, loops, mixing, mastering, or otherwise.
The best alternative is Audacity, which is both free and Open Source. Other great apps like SoundTap are Ashampoo Audio Recorder Free, vsound, Moo0 Audio Recorder and Piezo.Is garage band better than Soundtrap? ›
If you have a Mac, then it's nice to know that GarageBand is free to use, and if you're planning to record across a variety of devices and platforms and collaborate remotely, Soundtrap is still a better option.Is Soundtrap better than BandLab? ›
It depends a lot on what you're trying to accomplish. But Soundtrap still has the superior working environment, and that counts for a lot. If you prefer to put creativity at the forefront, workflow really is the crux of the matter. While BandLab is free, Soundtrap is also minimal in cost.Which software is best for audio? ›
- Best Overall: Audacity.
- Best Free: GarageBand.
- Best for Live Music: Adobe Audition.
- Best for Podcasts: Hindenburg Pro.
- Best for Music Production: Ableton Live.
- Best for Professionals: Pro Tools.
- Best for Apple Devices: Logic Pro X.
- Best for Android Devices: AudioLab.
- Adobe Audition.
- Logic Pro X.
- Ableton Live.
- FL Studio.
- Studio One.