Hey guys! Today I'm going to talk about my views on the differences between Reason and Fruity Loops. There are tons of people who will side with either piece of software and swear by it no matter what. Maybe your Friend has one or the other and that convinced you to go one direction or the other, or maybe you read reviews in magazines and online and that's what formed your opinion. I have had the pleasure of using both for a number of years and here is my take on each program. Enjoy!
Reason is great in the fact that it is like having a whole studio of rack-mount gear at your fingertips. You can add as many compressors, EQ, synth modules and various other types of gear and never have to worry about running out. The only limitation is the amount of processing power your computer has. It's a cool concept to start with and it's very appealing to someone who wants to own a full studio but doesn't have the money or space to hold the bulky, energy and space consuming units. I first picked up a copy of this because another guy in my crew had been using it for quite awhile, so I decided to dedicate some time to it.
First off the interface is unique. When I first got it even I was amazed at the idea of having endless gear at my fingertips. I made quite a few unsuccessful beats on Reason before I made something that was even close to good enough to show someone. As far as the sound goes, it's a little harsh and digital. I know what you're saying, "It's a program, of coarse it's digital.", but bare with me while I explain. It's both a good and a bad thing that the sound engine is so unforgiving. The bad is you have to spend hours getting things to sound the way you like, kicks and snares as well as samples and synth need a lot of work and fine tuning to get them to sound the way you like. After awhile of messing with it (I mean years), I finally got down a routine on how to set things up the way I like them and was able to get the sound that I wanted. It is a pain in the ass when you first start out, being nothing really sounds great and it can be discouraging. The good, like I mentioned, is you really learn the "gear" and what each piece is good for.
Another thing I don't like about Reason is the fact it doesn't support VST's in any way unless you rewire it to another program such as Fruity Loops or Pro Tools. This can be a pain when you know there are so many good soft synth's out on the market and you don't really have a way to use them. To make up for this fact, you can get a number of refills for the different samplers and patches for the synth units. People spend a lot of time programming them and there are some really good ones. I found that I ended up with a lot more refills than I really actually found a use for. I also realized that the whole "virtual gear" thing was sort of redundant. I feel you move to computers for ease of use, so I don't see the point of having a program with a bunch of fake rack mount gear in it. It's kinda silly if you really think about it.
All in all, it's a good program and it gets the job done. It takes time to get used to the gear and how to properly configure each unit, but once you do, you can take that knowledge to almost any piece of real hardware and feel at ease setting it up and using it. There is still a place in my heart for Reason and I ended up making a lot of really good (and bad) beats on it.
I have used this longer, and that might be part of the reason I tend to like it more. I started out with Fruity Loops in high school, so I have about 8 years total worth of exposure to this program. I know a lot of people give it a bad time because of the name, and I also admit the name is a little, well, fruity. But I feel it is a more complete piece of software, so let me explain.
First of all, the sound is already warm and smooth. It does take time to get everything dialed in to where you want it, but not as long as Reason. That alone makes it easier to work on, because you hear results much faster than you would in Reason.
Another thing I like is it supports VST's, and I love VST's. I have almost 100 different types from synth to effects and so on. You can find a whole slough of free ones online, and some of them are actually really good! I have ran across a few crappy ones, but those are easy enough to get rid of, and you never know what you will find if you don't look and try. There are only a few that didn't work for me, I didn't investigate why, I just moved on.
A down side I've noticed with Fruity Loops is this, when you are rewired into Pro Tools it won't export the beat along with the track. Reason on the other hand would bounce the beat along with the rest of the mix. I don't know if I set it up wrong, but I don't like that very much. I guess it couldn't all be good.
Fruity Loops is also pretty easy to navigate and this makes the work flow go much faster. The samples are on the left, you have your sequencer and everything else is right there for you. You can also find a ton of tutorials that cover a vast variety of topics for all kinds of music, just like they have for Reason.
It is also only available as of now for PC's and I believe it is also compatible with the new Mac's that use Intel chips. I don't use Mac, and I never have, so I don't really bother learning that much about that aspect of plug-ins and programs.
All in all, I just like Fruity Loops better because I am more comfortable with it. The rest of my crew all use Reason, and they also swear by it. They also all use Mac, so the shoe might be on the other foot if they used PC, but who knows.
I choose Fruity Loops any day, hands down. I still have Reason, but I haven't used it or even opened it for about 6 months or more. I just don't use it enough and I don't like it enough to give it another shot, at least not yet.
Like I mentioned, I prefer Fruity Loops 8 over Reason 4. I might change again soon, but I don't really see a need to. To each his own I suppose.
Hope this helps you out a little bit. Leave comments and ask me questions, I know quite a bit and I'm here to help.