FL Studio vs. Sound Forge

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
FL Studio
Score 8.8 out of 10
N/A
Belgian studio Image-Line Software offers FL Studio, the company's digital audio workstation (DAW) and audio editing application.
$99
Per License
Sound Forge
Score 6.0 out of 10
N/A
Magix Software offers Sound Forge, the company's audio editing and digital audio workstation. Magix acquried Sound Forge from Sony in 2016.N/A
Pricing
FL StudioSound Forge
Editions & Modules
Fruity
$99.00
Per License
Producer
$199.00
Per License
Signature Bundle
$299.00
Per License
All Plugins
$899.00
Per License
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
FL StudioSound Forge
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Best Alternatives
FL StudioSound Forge
Small Businesses
Descript
Descript
Score 9.0 out of 10
Descript
Descript
Score 9.0 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
Enterprises
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
FL StudioSound Forge
Likelihood to Recommend
8.8
(2 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Support Rating
-
(0 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
User Testimonials
FL StudioSound Forge
Likelihood to Recommend
Image-Line Software
I would recommend FL Studio for anyone who wants to get their hands on music making or even just recording audio for videos. I would suggest making the somewhat small investment and trying it out, you could end up with a career from it. For beginners I would definitely suggest watching online courses/tutorials as they helped me a lot and it will for you as well. Also, I would recommend using third party plugins which will help in fine tuning your projects and overall produce much better music/recordings. FL Studio is well suited for businesses and personal use to make music. I would confidently say that its one of the best DAW to start making music.
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MAGIX Software
Sound Forge is great for when you need to edit a lot of audio, like interviews, spoken word, podcasts, monologues, presentations, lessons—you name it. When you have a lot of audio to get through, Sound Forge can make it go by very quickly by using such features as the markers and hotkeys for normalization, inserting silence (where needed), graphical fades to remove audio artifacts, and so on. I've been able to edit a 1 hour interview in 2 hours, having made hundreds of edits in the process. Sound Forge is less useful for situations where you want to hear a realtime effects chain, or record with VST effects on. For instance, if you want the person being recorded to hear their own voice through headphones with reverb and compression applied, I do not know how to do this in Sound Forge. I think it is impossible, but even if it is possible, it is not readily apparent how to do so.
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Pros
Image-Line Software
  • Midi sequencing
  • Built in audio processing and VST instruments
  • Audio mixing
  • Music creation
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MAGIX Software
  • Markers - You can rapidly edit spoken audio to remove pauses, "ums" and "ahs," by using the marker feature while listening to the audio in realtime. Then, you go back and cycle through the markers and make the edits very quickly.
  • Hotkeys - Once you've learned the Sound Forge hotkeys, you can rapidly perform a number of tasks related to audio editing and mastering.
  • Fixing Clicks and Pops - The Graphical Fade feature allows you to easily draw volume envelopes in extremely short spans of audio, to successfully remove clicks and pops without affecting the rest of the sound.
  • Organizing VST Plugins - Sound Forge has a nice way of organizing VST effects into folders so you can put your most regularly-used plugins in a "Favorites" folder while organizing others in a sensible way.
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Cons
Image-Line Software
  • The recording process can somewhat be confusing and inefficient.
  • FL Studio has a confusing routing, for example to use return tracks for reverbs, you will have to click numerous buttons to get that done.
  • FL Studio has a somewhat steep learning curve, which can demotivate beginners.
  • FL Studio's auto-saving feature is a bit late, which can ruin your project if you rely on it.
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MAGIX Software
  • Batch Processing - While I like a lot of things about the batch audio processing in Sound Forge, the inability to hear the effects chain is limiting.
  • Performance - Sound Forge takes a long time to open large files the first time they are opened, as it draws the waveform. It also takes a long time to save large files, every time.
  • Inability to Listen to VST FX in Realtime - Technically you can listen in realtime, but only from the beginning of the waveform, rather and it is not easy. You have to open the VST effect and turn on the "Preview" mode which starts the audio from the very beginning, without being able to seek.
  • Inability to Chain VST FX - You have to apply one, then apply the next, then the next, in a destructive mode. The only non-destructive way you can test out different FX chains is by applying them one at a time, and then hitting "Undo" over and over to get back to an earlier state. But you couldn't, for instance, add a reverb, then add compression, then go back and change the reverb. You'd have to undo the compression first.
  • FX Preset Management - You can save FX presets but it does not save your last-used settings from session to session, and with some VST FX plugins, it doesn't even save them between application, undoing, and attempting to apply again.
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Support Rating
Image-Line Software
No answers on this topic
MAGIX Software
I've never contacted MAGIX for support, nor Sony or Sonic Foundry before them (Sound Forge is on its 3rd developer now). But I've always been able to find exactly what information I needed through the support of its large user community. There are a number of audio engineering forums available where you can search the post history to find out how to do specific things in Sound Forge, or you can make a new post if you are running into an issue that has not already been solved.
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Alternatives Considered
Image-Line Software
In selecting this software, we investigated and considered others. We found that FL Studio had a good price point and the life time free version updates made it a one time purchase.
In terms of functionality, the most similar software solutions are Ableton Live, Logic Pro X and Propellerhead Reason.
Of these the most cost effective for us was Ableton Live and FL Studio with Propellerhead Reason being a slightly different product.
We found that FL studio had a wider feature set and was more suited to our use, where as Ableton Live would be better if live music performance was a requirement, in our case it was not.
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MAGIX Software
I tend to use WaveLab for recording, because I can apply effects chains to the audio as it is coming in. So, if I'm recording a singer, I can give them reverb, compression, EQ, and other audio effects in realtime going into their headphones. I'm still recording the dry signal, so I can change all of those effects later if I wish. Sound Forge does not have a way to do this as far as I know. Where I do prefer Sound Forge is audio editing, specifically of spoken audio, although it is quite useful for music as well. I worked for a company once where I had to edit hundreds of testimonials. I was paid on a per-testimonial basis, flat rate, so I had a strong incentive to get them done as quickly as possible, without sacrificing quality. I would listen through a testimonial all the way through, marking every area that had a long pause, an "ah" or an "um," a click, pop, or other undesirable audio artifact. I could then cycle through the markers and fix all the problems quickly.
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Return on Investment
Image-Line Software
  • It has definitely reduced costs, because it is slightly cheaper than other software.
  • It has decreased the efficiency in workflow because of its poor routing.
  • Has helped me grow by letting me create high quality music.
  • Helps me record high quality audio.
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MAGIX Software
  • Sound Forge has had a very positive impact in saved time editing files. It would have taken me hours longer using WaveLab, Audacity, Adobe Audition, or some of the other competitors for tasks like editing interviews.
  • Sound Forge has also had a positive impact in saved time through its batch processing features which allow me to normalize and apply effects to a huge set of files all at once.
  • Sound Forge has not had any negative impacts that I am aware of beside the cost.
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