FL Studio: Is the Free Trial actually Good? Yes, here’s why!

Last Updated on November 24, 2022.

Fl Studio is slowly becoming one of the most popular, if not the most popular, DAWs out there today, and this is mainly due to its unique workflow that relies mostly on pattern creation and then assembling all of those patterns in the playlist to create a song.

As it so happens with many other audio recording software, FL Studio does offer a free trial that you can download and install, but is it really worth it?
I installed the free trial a while back and later upgraded, but I purposely made sure to check everything I could in order to determine whether or not the free trial was enough for my needs or if I really had to upgrade.

I will say this though: Even though I upgraded to the Pro version, the free trial definitely suited my needs except for one crucial aspect, which I will go into in detail in this article.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started!

Is the Free Trial of FL Studio actually good?

The Free trial of FL Studio offers all of the available features in any other FL Studio version, such as including all of the plugins and even working for an unlimited amount of time, but it does come with some slight drawbacks such as not being able to load saved projects. 

Although this limitation of not being able to load saved projects may not seem that bad for some people, imagine working for 6 hours on a project, saving it only to realize the next day that it can’t be opened back up unless you purchase the premium version.

That’s definitely not good!

The Free Trial lasts Forever

That’s right, the Free Trial literally lasts forever and comes with all of the available plugins already included (The trial installer comes with all FL Studio Edition’s Bundles in one and installs everything) and once you upgrade to one of the different versions, some plugins get activated while some others stay in that “trial” version.

This is what Image Line have to say about their trial plugins:

“Trial plugins will not retain settings when you reload a project. You will see a warning about this when saving a project with a trial plugin in it. To avoid this, simply don’t use plugins where you see ‘TRIAL VERSION’ noted in the plugin window header.”

This, for instance, happens to me when using the Synth “Harmor” and if I save and reopen the project, all of the settings get reset.

Included Features

  • Fully functional DAW.
  • Time unlimited.
  • All plugins are available.
  • Lets you load third-party plugins.
  • Create any song you want and export it (All of this works).
  • Save FL Studio Projects (but can’t reopen).
  • Export WAV, MP3, FLAC, MIDI and Video.

In short, you can use FL Studio’s trial version to create a beat or even an entire song, use all of the plugins and features, and export that song without ANY issues. 

However, if you save the project and close FL Studio, you will have to purchase one of the versions in order to be able to reopen it.

Main Limitations

  • Can’t open saved projects.
  • No technical support.

To be honest, there aren’t many limitations to FL Studio’s free trial, especially not when compared to other DAWs like Pro Tools First, Cubase LE, Studio One Prime, and others, that limit the number of tracks you can play at the same time, number of inputs that can be recorded, if third-party plugins can be used, etc.

With FL Studio you won’t have to worry about any of this since everything works just as if you had purchased the most expensive version of the software, with the one big drawback of not being able to reopen saved projects.

Available Versions of FL Studio

Aside from the trial version, there are four versions to choose from:

  • Fruity ($99)
  • Producer ($199).
  • Signature ($299).
  • All Plugins (399).

The main difference is between the Fruity and the Producer Editions since the Fruity Edition doesn’t allow for audio recording and using audio clips, which is definitely something that you will need at some point or another.

So, I would always recommend buying the Producer edition.

As far as the Signature and All Plugins bundles go, getting those additional plugins may be worth the price difference, but you can always get thor-party ones and even free ones as well, or you may choose to upgrade to any of those later on, so the Producer edition is the one that makes the most sense.

Conclusion

The Free trial of FL Studio is excellent, especially when compared to most other DAWs out there, except for Reaper since that one is basically the full version without any limitations.

I own the Producer edition since I already own dozens of third-party plugins and don’t really need the ones that come with the other editions of FL Studio, but your needs may vary.

Still, if you decide to purchase this DAW, don’t go for the Fruity edition, it’s too limited! I’d always recommend starting with the Producer Edition and going from there.

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