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Review Electronic Music Sequencer

Propellerhead Reason 5 Review

Eight Rex and One Kong What features does the fifth version of the historical Propellerhead software have to offer? Overview. read more…

User reviews on Electronic Music Sequencer products

A new version… with nothing new ?!!! (Reason Studios - Reason 10)

By Les Cowboys Etanches, 10/11/2017
I’ve tried to use this piece of software with a Surface Pro 4, core i7 with 16 GB of RAM. I say “I’ve tried” as versions 9 and 9.5 have never worked correctly : after 15 minutes, Reason’s memory starts leaking.

All for a bad start, with an install process that’d make me laugh hadn’t I spent 130 euros for the update: downloading a 3.6GB zip file, just to find out that barely has the install process started that Reason already goes after another 100 MB to complete it – why not after all - , then when starting it seeks no less than 7GB more of download/install, which actually corresponds to Reason 10’s new features: the 2 synths, Radical Piano, romplers and so on ! They’re not even able to put it all within a same install file. Not that much of a problem, but still annoying when you expect to try out the new features and in the end what you get is "no way, silly, so far it’s still Reason 9, wait for another half-hour"...

As for the rest, let’s get straight to it: Reason’s “most important upgrade ever” as advertised is actually... a total lack of software update! Only two new synths, a few romplers with little to no interest, Radical Piano (which has been available for 99€ for a while now) and Synchronous (available for 49€ for the same while). Those who had previously bought Radical Piano and Synchronous for a total full price of 139 € will be glad to see they should have waited for Reason 10 to get the same for 10€ less.

So NOTHING has changed, just go and read reviews for Reason 9, it’s all the same. A bit as if NI’s Maschine MK3 was an MK2 with an extra gig bag. First class b***s*** I’ll say, but that was to be expected. So let’s have a look at the new instruments – shall they be called “rack extensions”? Well, it seems it’s the case, at least they get installed as such...

Let’s get straight to the point, both synths are very pleasant but will still get everyone yawning after 30 seconds.

Add to this two world music-oriented romplers, which feature emulations of string instruments (around 10, with reverb and delay to allow for a more presentable 50 patches) and (more or less) melodic percussions. Plus, a thing that goes aah ooh and not much more – yeah, a choir simulator, why not include a recorder while they were at it? – and a few GBs of samples. Yes, this is what makes up Reason’s most important update ever.

In other words, Propellerhead has brought exactly nothing to a piece of software that still requires to be improved. Or even better, to disappear.

computer music good software, but ... (Image Line - FL Studio 11 Producer Edition)

By amandinemeloww, 22/09/2014
The installation is done it without problems?
none. installing the software, it is recorded and recovered the regkey on the IL website

Have you experienced any incompatibilities?
for me the biggest problem is the mix of FL which is not a suitable external gear. it's 99 tracks, and I already scorched 28 between in and out!

The general configuration is easy?
yes ... no problem either! I even find the audio options section, a bit feeble level settings. but it is sufficient to complete the main settings (Asio sampling ...)

The manual is clear and sufficient?
Yes! otherwise there F1, or otherwise are the forums (here or FC :) ) ...


What is the configuration of your computer? (Motherboard / CPU / Ram / Disk / sound card ..)
Windows 7, I5 2500K, 8GB of 1866, SSD, HDD, HD7970, Focusrite Pro40

The software works he correctly on this configuration?
still no problems, and very stable throughout.

What performance? (If measurable)
1-2 Ms general, 3ms in / out

This software + hardware is stable?
see above


How long have you use it?
since version 5 ... so for some time!

What thing do you like most and least?
ease of creation.
facility for mixing (among others thanks to the quality of the included VST)

Flstudio and hardware is a hassle (especially compressors and reverb)

Have you tried many other models before buying it?
yes (cubase, PT LIVE ....)

How would you rate the quality / price?
despite many flaws, I think it is among the best quality / price ratio walking. 150 € was the producer edition, which already does it all. with it you add Edison, and you dress for summer adventure.

With experience, you do again this choice? ...
Flstudio on the test out of curiosity you keep it out of love ... it is full of "fault" but it's hard to part with them. short it is endearing. community that moves a lot (I actually left on the CF), so there are a lot of tutorial. but for me as a user still advance, I find improvement.

is what I would do this choice? I do not know actually. is that the fact that a soft or is endearing quality?

and if so, is that it clears faults? for the last question I would say no ...

A Feature Packed DAW (Image Line - FL Studio 11 XXL Signature Bundle)

By kondwanikaphaizi, 15/07/2014
FL Studio 11 XXL Signature Bundle is the most complete FL Studio package you can get. It contains all the FL Studio features with no restrictions and costs $299. If you already own the signature bundle from previous versions then you can get 11 for free. You can use it for sequencing, recording, mixing, mastering, programming drums, inputting MIDI data, etc. It's a loop-based DAW.
It supports MIDI input and can be used with various hardware devices including keyboards, drum pads and other devices such as the Maschine.

It also comes with a comprehensive user manual which explains almost every aspect of the GUI including some basics in electronic music. I actually learned how to use FL mostly from the user manual itself which speaks volumes on its clarity.

If you're familiar with the FL Studio family then there are no major changes in this edition and you can get to work really fast as I did. But if your new to the DAW it may take some time to get used to because it is an unconventional DAW.


The installation process is easy. During setup you're prompted to install the ASIO4LL driver which is a must if you want to use FL Studio to record. It doesn't allow you record using any other driver except ASIO which can be frustrating at times. You're also given the option to install it as a Rewire device for use in other DAWs.

I run FL 11 on 2 physical Windows 7 machines and 1 virtual Windows XP machine with no major issues. The main problem I come across is instability of the software. It crashes at random times so it's important to save regularly otherwise you risk losing your work.

I've used FL Studio for 10 years and it's still my main DAW to this day. When it comes to getting out ideas really fast nothing beats FL Studio once you've gotten used to the workflow. It may take some time to get used to for newbies or those who are used to traditional DAWs like Protools, Cubase or Studio One. The workflow is unique, but can be very effective once you find your way around it. I often get a complete beat done in 20 - 60 minutes on FL.

I use it with a Native Instruments Komplete 6, Avid Mbox 3 Mini, Akai MPK Mini MIDI controller and occasionally with other gear. I haven't experienced any notable performance issues with that hardware. FL runs primarily on Windows although it's possible to run it on Mac using Darwine.


One great thing about FL Studio is that you can make music using just your computer keyboard and mouse, a MIDI controller is not necessary, though it does make things easier. Few DAWs can compete with the way FL implements this feature. The step sequencer is great for programming drums. It also has the most feature-rich piano roll that I've seen. It has a lot of handy features such as strumming, quantization, arpeggiation, exporting to score, legato, articulation, randomization, chopping and various other features which make editing MIDI data quicker. I've used REAPER, Ableton Live, Studio One, Cubase, Mu-Lab, Orion and Reason; none of them has a piano roll as feature-rich as FL Studio.

Another great thing about FL is its MIDI handling capabilities. It supports various devices and it's very flexible. Setting up a MIDI controller is quick and easy. I use it with my AKAI MPK Mini and it works great.

When it comes to recording instruments and vocals I've found FL Studio to be a bit frustrating. For one you can't use any other driver except ASIO for recording, which is very limiting if you have other drivers that you wish to use. Another issue is that you can't see the wave form until you're done recording so monitoring visually is impossible during recording.

The playlist can be polarizing. The traditional FL Studio playlist which had pattern blocks has been phased out in this version. So anyone who heavily relies on that may find the new playlist frustrating. I for one took quite some time to get used to the new workflow. I've had to use workarounds to get a similar feel to older versions by locking all patterns to one playlist track. It's not the same as before but it gets the job done. I'd prefer to have the old blocks back though.

One of its strongest selling points are the plugins it comes bundled with. From the generators my favourite are Harmour and Sytrus. Those 2 plugins alone can create almost any sound. From the effects side you get some great plugins like Maximus (a mastering plugin), Fruity Convolver (a convolution reverb), Hardcore (a guitar stomp-box) and the Fruity Parametric EQ 2 which I use in almost every track. With FL I'm really spoilt for choice and rarely have to use external plugins because the default ones are great.

All in all FL Studio is a great DAW. Of all the DAWs that I've used it's the easiest to use only with a mouse and computer keyboard. It comes packed with basically every feature that you'll require to compose, record, mix and master a complete song or album.
The pros and cons are:

- Self-contained DAW which has almost everything needed to compose, record, mix and master a song. It comes packed with a tonne of effects, synthesizers and samples.
- Feature-rich Piano Roll
- Great live performance features. Probably second only to Ableton Live
- Easy to use with only a mouse and keyboard
- Flexible for use with MIDI data
- Lifetime free updates. Once you buy it you get all future updates at no cost

- Flexible pattern-based drum sequencer
- Can be used as a Rewire host or client
- Great forums and user support
- Supports VST and DXi plugins

- Recording module is not very flexible.
- Unconventional GUI (steep learning curve if you're used to more conventional DAWs like Cubase, Protools, REAPER, etc)
- Limited number of mixer tracks and playlist tracks. For most projects this is not a big deal but for huge projects this can be quite frustrating.
- Constant crashes. The DAW is very unstable especially with some external plugins
- Recording is only supported using the ASIO driver
- No 64 bit version available

I would buy this DAW without a second thought. It's an excellent DAW especially for composing beats. Its vocal recording functions are not as flexible as many other DAWs out there, but it gets the job done. If you're going to do heavy work with recording and processing of vocals then FL is not the right DAW to use. But for almost all other intents and purposes it works great. The value for money is great. You can get everything except the kitchen sink with this DAW. You don't have to buy extra VST effects or instruments because it comes bundled with basically everything; samplers, a soundfont player, synthesizers (FM, Wavetable, Subtractive, Additive, etc), effects (reverb, EQ, compressors, a maximizer, flangers, etc). Considering everything that's packaged it's a bargain. It's particularly good for hip hop and dance music.

News Electronic Music Sequencer

FL Studio 12.1 ready for testing

Published on 07/21/15
Image Line has released public beta v12.1 of its FL Studio DAW that registered users can now try for free.

Forums Electronic Music Sequencer