Chiseling A Sound

Beacon writer Trevor Jones compares two mixing DAWS to help guide you to a software that’ll help create your own unique voice.


Trevor Jones

When it comes to music mixing, there is a big debate between FL Studios and Pro Tools. See what Beacon writer Trevor Jones recommends.

Trevor Jones, Publisher

I assume Santa could hear me jamming from the North Pole because on Christmas morning, I woke up with a present that opened a brand new musical door for me .

I received the software FL Studios, aka Fruit Loops. 

As an artist I was very excited to finally have the ability to learn how to mix and master vocals for my music. 

FL was always a big mixing DAW and its rivals were Logic and Pro Tools.

As the industry standard mixing DAW, Pro-Tools allow big producers to not only make that crisp airy song you hear on the radio, but also to make the deep roaring beats that you feel in your gut. 

Many producers and artists have different opinions on which software is the best, and quite frankly it’s really based on preference and how you work.

So, what beat are you riding? What is your vibe and groove?

First we are going to dive into my personal experience with using Pro-tools in an engineering class I took while in the first semester/trimester of my senior year. 

This is a view of FL Studios software loading up on a computer. (Trevor Jones)

Artists need to learn how to adapt, and also find their own unique style. It’s really a big factor when it comes to using your software and knowing how to use it.

 I found Pro-Tools pretty easy to use, but also a bit complex when it comes to finding everything you need and moving around the application. 

One advantage Pro-Tools has, is since it’s the industry standard for mixing. Most Plugins are available and compatible with this software. 

Which means you can use the best auto-tune, EQ’s, and compressors to get the best sound to your voice.

 While this is a nice advantage I also discovered that bouncing a track was a bit difficult and more complex than it had to be. Sometimes it wouldn’t even export and sometimes it would just crash as well.

Since we have covered Pro-Tools, I will discuss FL studios. This DAW is my personal favorite, and the main software I use to mix and master. 

When learning how to mix I found this program pretty easy to pick up. FL is very user friendly, but like everything it isn’t perfect.

While Pro-tools gives you multiple plug-in options, FL is a bit limited but it also is compatible with most plug-ins.

 The stock plug-ins that come with this software are actually pretty good just by themselves so you won’t have to worry about investing in a new one. 

This allows the artist to focus on their craft but also save money which is a big thing, since every move you make in the industry is very important. 

I found moving around the application pretty easy and I learned and picked it up fast. 

This program is very straight forward, but one error I ran into was the application sometimes started off wrong, and I’d need to exit out and restart it. 

That usually fixes the issue, but if the problem keeps occurring I wouldn’t say it’s FL, I would say it’s your computer at that point. 

When exporting tracks, I’ve never had any issues arise with bouncing the WAV/MP3 file. 

It also gives multiple options on what to do and how to bounce the files. 

Another problem I had was setting up the mic and getting the monitoring set up.

 That’s one thing I have yet to setup or figure out for myself and a downside to FL

This is FL Studios fully loaded in. Plugins open, top to bottom, Maximus, Fruity Parametric EQ 2. (Trevor Jones)

Overall, I would say both applications are amazing DAWs. 

Pro-Tools i would not recommend starting with.

As the name says I recommend this software for anyone that’s a “pro” and knows what they’re doing in an audio application. 

FL studios on the other hand though, is a very good software if you’re just starting out or even if you just want something a bit easier to work with. 

Both DAWs will get the work done, and both will produce the same quality of music if you know how to mix and master properly. 

My preferred option would be using FL studios.

So what’s your vibe? What is your sound? Play around and carve out your unique hidden sound!

discover your voice with one of these DAWs and watch your music and art thrive.