Friday, March 27, 2009

Reason VS Fruity Loops

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

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.



Moving on...............



Fruity Loops

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.

Take Care!

-Cheebs

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think the thing about FL Studio is that unless you're doing strictly synthy beats, you have to build your set-up from the ground up. This means samples, VSTs, and other challenges such as figuring out how to make things not sound so quantized (if the FPC had Sampler Channels inside, that would be easy). At the same time, you can build your set-up how ever you want. FL Studio doesn't come with a folder structure for you to organize your presets by sound, but that means you can make your own system however you want.

I saw an ad for Reason that said something like "There are advantages to building your kit slowly, piece by piece, we just don't see what those reasons are."

P.S., Warbeats told me about this blog.

Cheebs said...

Yeah, Fruity Loops comes with fewer stock sounds and samples. They have actually expanded them quite a bit since I first started using it, I think it was FL 4 maybe.

Sytrus has some pretty decent synth now, and there are a ton of free VST's you can download that are actually decent, even better for being free. I've spent 200 bucks on a VST that wasn't even good, man was I pissed.

Anyways, they both have ups and downs, I just happen to like FL more because I spent a lot more time on it and I have a lot of VST's (Ablino3, Massive, Pro-53 to name a few) to help me get creative.

To each his own I guess. Oh well. Thanks for stoppin by and keep checkin back!

-Cheebs

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your posting. Was very helpful. I'm gonna go for the FL STudio Solution.

markkbright said...

Great comparison - thank you.

I'm a beginner using Reason and I always get frustrated by the lack of good bass and synth sounds for the music I like to make (trance stuff). I have not added any refill sounds and maybe this would help but I hear bass and synths in trance songs that I just can't replicate with Reason.

So I'm hoping maybe the VST option in FL would help me out.

Thanks again,

Mark

Protex said...

I'm torn. I've been using Fruityloops since v3 and am so comfortable with it. Everyone kept saying Reason was much better, I would get frustrated as by the time I would learn to do something in Reason, I knew that I could have done 10 more beats in FL.

I'm about to be patient and give Reason another try, but I think I'm stuck on FL.

Stretch said...

What's Up...The studio I work for host reason and I use FL8. They keep telling me to switch cause it would be easier for them to wav out tracks. They also try to compare the two and say Reason's to FL8 by stating that Reason can have endless plugins, but so can FL8! I have about 50-70 vst's and 200drum kit sounds any more then that then it's just there to be there! To some it all up....some like Reason and some like FL Studio.