Most of the other programs on that list, say for Reason, are based on MIDI, or don't have the freedom to create MP3 tracks that are incredibly complex and featuristic (one or two I have not heard of before, so spare me)
I would have to disagree with you there, considering experience I've had with some of these programs. Some, yes, but not most. You are correct that most are based on MIDI, but that doesn't mean they aren't soundfont compatible, or don't have the capacity to create MP3's.
Personally, I HATE Fruityloops.
I can't say you are someone who fits into the following category, of course, so don't get bent out of shape, but it seems most people who use Fruityloops have no idea what they're doing, which is a big reason it's frowned upon in the music community. It doesn't require
you to be creative; only to select a lot of preset things and *poof* a "song" is created, which is why FL is not accepted very well in the music community, because you don't have to know anything to make a song; it does it for you. What's the point in that?
Now, that's not entirely true of everyone who uses it, of course. However, it's also more suited for techno, hip-hop, etc.
In fact, now that I'm thinking about it, I would also have to say (and those that use TabIt, Finale, or Noteworthy Composer will surely agree with me here), that you can do much more with those programs than with Fruityloops, provided you're familiar with the program.
I don't like tabs, so I don't use TabIt, but I know several members here do, and they're very talented (arlen, Silverline in particular), and they seem to know they program very well, and they get very creative with it. Someone may have to correct me here, but yes, you have to record the mp3's yourself... and I'm not sure if it's soundfont compatible, but that's all just an extra step, so it's not that big of a deal.
I personally use Finale. People are always saying how complicated everything is, and it's too hard to use, and the list goes on and on of complaints, but it's not really that bad. It takes a bit to get used to because it's different than other standard notation programs, but it offers more possibilities than any other program out there, except maybe Sibelius, although I haven't used that so I'm not sure, just what I've heard. With Finale I can save songs as mp3 or a .wav or MIDI, but usually I just record the mp3 myself. I can also make complex rhythms that just aren't possible in other programs. Yes, that is true, everyone always argues this point, but it's true. I'm not aware of any program other than Sibelius that can notate quintuplets, septuplets, and other complex triplet forms. There's probably a way to do it in TabIt, but then it'd be to hard to read in tabs, so it'd be pointless.
As for Noteworthy Composer, well.. for someone who used it for a year, I know it has its faults, but I also know it's a pretty decent program. It gets a lot of crap, but if you know standard notation, then it's on the same level as TabIt. And it is soundfont compatible at least.
Myriad is supposedly pretty decent, and it seems to be gaining popularity slowly but surely, and Sibelius is growing in popularity as the alternative to Finale, yet it still barely offers as much, but still a good program.
Again, I'm not trying to say you're not good at what you do because you use Fruityloops, I'm just expressing that I completely disagree with that one statement, heh. Nearly any one of these programs can be great if you have enough know-how with them.
Yeah, but do you know the range of a violin? The different sounds of a flute or bassoon? The different playing techniques of a string section?
Finale does, with the GPO add on (That Halo seems to be rather fond of).
That's all I'm saying.
Also, soundfonts are MIDI, you know. So, yeah, that's MIDI-based.
You better believe it lol. And the full version of GPO is even better. Finale also has the "Check range" feature.