Online DAWs run on cloud architecture. So their performance pretty much depends on your device, internet connection, and the quality of the web servers companies use.
After testing 13 such DAWs, I’ve chosen the following as the best web alternatives to FL Studio.
|Online DAWs||Pricing||Collaboration||Cloud Storage|
|Amped Studio||Freemium||Available||Unlimited (paid)|
To take this test up a notch, I used a Chromebook, which can only access web browsers.
These browser-based DAWs stand apart from traditional desktop DAWs, allowing easy access without installation and opening up music production to more people.
I found that these online platforms can’t replace FL Studio entirely because of their limited integration capabilities, which restrict you from using professional audio plugins.
Most importantly, you must have an active internet connection to use these platforms.
However, they simplify collaboration and let you quickly draw out a song structure with samples and loops.
So here are the ones I recommend:
BandLab is an online digital audio workstation (DAW) that offers many powerful features for music production while maintaining an intuitive and user-friendly interface.
As an alternative to paid DAWs like FL Studio, BandLab provides a free option accessible directly in your web browser.
Starting a new project on BandLab looks like this:
You can create a project from scratch or use their AI-assisted SongStarted feature to kickstart a music idea based on your style.
If you have a high-speed internet connection, the project will load fast.
Otherwise, it’ll take some time as BandLab loads all the project’s elements (sample, settings, effects, midi, etc.).
For example, I tried opening a new project with a high-speed fiber network and a 4G mobile data connection.
It took around 47 seconds to load the project using the mobile data, whereas, with the fiber network, it loaded instantly in under two seconds.
One of BandLab’s standout features is its automatic pitch correction and effects.
You can auto-tune vocals and add professional-sounding effects to refine your tracks with just a few clicks.
The built-in drum machine also makes beat-making easier, providing a library of beats and rhythms that can be easily customized.
This makes laying down drum patterns quick and hassle-free.
Also, the ability to import your samples and audio gives you the flexibility to make your creations your own.
BandLab also allows MIDI integration, opening the door for those who prefer composing with virtual instruments.
Also, its library of synth sounds and effects further expands your experience.
On the collaboration front, BandLab fosters community engagement through features to share your projects and provide feedback on others’ work.
This promotes musical growth and allows you to connect with fellow artists.
However, BandLab’s web-based access can feel limiting compared to installable desktop DAWs like FL Studio.
The interface, while intuitive, lacks some of the advanced editing and mixing capabilities.
BandLab is a great starting point for those new to music-making before committing to a paid DAW.
I recommend it for beginners in music production, as you can navigate the composing part easily.
While more serious producers may still prefer the advanced capabilities of FL Studio, BandLab provides a free alternative for crafting high-quality tracks online.
Behind the scenes, BandLab is also building a new offline DAW called Cakewalk, and I’m eagerly waiting for its release.
Soundtrap is a Spotify product that offers an intuitive online alternative to FL Studio for crafting professional tracks.
The platform provides a clean layout with various built-in instruments, loops, and effects easily accessible on the sidebar.
This makes it easy for beginners to create music without a steep learning curve.
Soundtrap also assists with music theory by displaying key signatures and suggesting chords.
While FL Studio offers more advanced capabilities, Soundtrap provides all the essentials, like editing, mixing, and exporting tracks.
The loop library gives quick access to melodies, drum patterns, and more to kickstart your projects.
Simple editing features allow you to arrange compositions seamlessly.
On the collaboration front, Soundtrap enables real-time co-production by allowing multiple users to work on projects simultaneously. This fosters creative teamwork.
However, experienced producers may find Soundtrap limiting.
While it covers the basics, pro mixing and mastering tools like the ones in FL Studio are missing.
Hardcore EDM or hip-hop producers requiring intricate editing may be left wanting more.
Soundtrap delivers an accessible music production experience perfect for beginners.
It also has a built-in podcast feature that allows you to record and publish podcasts directly to Spotify.
Amped Studio offers a simplified alternative tailored for users just starting their music production journey.
The main advantage of Amped Studio over other DAWs in this list is that it is also a PWA (Progressive Web Application), meaning you can run it offline.
As shown below, you can install the web application to your PC, and it’ll create a desktop shortcut to open the DAW directly.
Remember, you won’t be able to access the library when using the program offline.
You’ll have to use samples saved locally when running offline, and the projects you work on will be saved locally.
Next time you connect to the internet, all the files will be synced with the cloud.
Amped Studio has a clean and intuitive interface. The instruments, effects, and editing tools are logically organized in easy-to-navigate panels.
This makes the learning curve much gentler for complete beginners.
Amped Studio’s paid version also features an AI-assisted feature that allows you to generate tracks based on genre, tempo, and desired song length.
While Amped Studio lacks some of the advanced capabilities of FL Studio, it provides user-friendly versions of all the core components.
You can easily add virtual instrument tracks, create melodies and basslines with the piano roll, and mix using basic effects.
The more accessible workflow allows you to focus on songwriting rather than technical complexities.
While the streamlined interface benefits beginners, pro users may feel restricted.
Amped Studio’s simplified mixing tools pale compared to FL Studio’s endless effects and automation options.
Audiotool offers an intriguing online alternative to FL Studio with unique capabilities.
It offers an entirely free and user-friendly experience, making music production accessible to everyone regardless of experience level.
Audiotool’s workflow differs from mainstream DAWs, with tracks, workspaces, and routing reminiscent of a modular system like Reason.
This provides a fresh, creative approach. Anyone who likes to play around with the routing of analog gears will love it.
This gives us extensive creative control without installing any software. The built-in instruments and samples make it easy to start crafting tracks instantly.
While Audiotool lacks some advanced features of FL Studio, its mixer, and effects offer in-depth mixing capabilities.
You can route individual sounds to separate mixer channels like a professional DAW.
Also, the array of effects enables detailed sound design.
Drum beat creation is intuitive with the Machinist device. You can easily drag and drop samples to build patterns.
The ability to loop patterns enables you to build lengthy, dynamically evolving compositions over time by switching between created patterns.
While the Reason-esque workflow offers versatility, pro users accustomed to FL Studio may find Audiotool limited.
Features like drum programming and mixer routing still make it a valuable tool for producers looking to craft tracks online.
Soundation is an online DAW with a freemium pricing model.
With the free plan, you can have three projects and 1GB of storage. You’ll have to upgrade to one of their premium plans for unlimited projects.
Upon first look, Soundation’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface evokes a sense of familiarity for Ableton Live users.
The clean and straightforward layout provides quick access to instruments, loops, effects, and editing tools, covering the fundamentals for song creation.
While the streamlined workflow lacks the advanced capabilities of FL Studio, it covers the core fundamentals like adding tracks, editing MIDI, and mixing.
MIDI note editing allows basic piano roll editing to create melodies and harmonies. This caters more to simple songwriting.
The effects and instruments are more basic, which can be limiting for experienced producers.
Complex editing workflows and detailed automation seen in professional DAWs are lacking in Soundation. The focus is on simplifying the process.
Unlike advanced DAWs like FL Studio, Soundation focuses more on ease of use than robust features. This makes it better suited for hobbyists.
In short, Soundation offers an easy-to-use online FL Studio alternative tailored for beginners.