Iit’s not the 80s or 90s. Music is not produced in a big studio, full of gigantic audio machines and employees with a telephone. Today, music is made directly in our homes, on our laptops. The term used for these professionals is called “Chamber Producers”.
Many top musical artists like Skrillex, Marshmello, Martin Garrix, Hardwell make music on their laptop and then earn millions. Although they have a rig or a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), 90% of the crunch is done on music production software.
It goes without saying that everything has a price. Most of the best music creation software comes at a premium price. However, if you’re just getting into making your own music, any of the free beat maker software would be enough to get you started.
Best Free Music Production Software for 2019
Apple’s GarageBand is undoubtedly one of the best free music creation software for beginners. It is known for its simplicity and very intuitive user interface.
The beat-making software is essentially a streamlined version of Apple’s professional DAW, Logix Pro X. And by “simplified,” I mean the music software lacks a handful of features. With the latest releases, Apple has significantly narrowed the feature gap between Logix Pro X and GarageBand. GarageBand is often counted among programmed music production software such as Ableton Live, Fl Studio, etc.
GarageBand offers a variety of instruments and a huge library of pre-recorded sounds (Apple Loops). The free DAW also includes the industry’s best virtual drummers that you can add to your own project. There are even guitar and piano lessons for beginners. It’s a shame GarageBand for Windows 10 is never coming.
Why use GarageBand?
- Perfect for beginners
- Seamless continuity on iPad and iPhone
Why not use GarageBand?
- Lacks few pro-grade features
- Limited to 255 tracks/song
Since GarageBand is not available on Windows, the best thing to do is to install BrandLab Cakewalk. Until last year, the free music production software was called “Cakewalk Sonar.”
Unlike many free DAWs that limit functionality so you can purchase the paid version, Cakewalk is completely free beat-making software. Therefore, there is no limitation on the number of tracks. This Windows software also offers VST3 support, allowing you to add hundreds of plugins.
Cakewalk UI might seem overwhelming at first, but the best part about this best free DAW is that you can customize the whole UI. You can drag toolbars to different locations, add themes, change colors, and more. This music production software also allows you to save different layouts according to your needs.
Other than that, Cakewalk has a whole bunch of virtual instruments to choose from. There’s also an expandable library of audio processing plug-ins ranging from convolution reverb, resonant filtering, dynamic compression and a powerful EQ.
Why use CakeWalk?
- VST3 and ARA support
- Powerful mixing with ProChannel
- Customizable user interface
Why not use CakeWalk?
- Not very powerful audio editing tools
Tracktion is known for releasing previous versions of its main beat-making software, Waveform, for free. With Tracktion T7, they have hit a home run for music makers looking for great free music making software.
Similar to any best professional digital audio workstation, you have unlimited songs and MIDI tracks. It supports all third party plugins like VST, AU and Linux VST. It offers massive automation and even lets you automate any parameter on any plugin through the LFO modifier.
Some might not prefer the single-screen layout, but it’s also a blessing for some people, given that you don’t have to jump between windows. Traktion T7 also offers impressive sound effects; however, they are not many. But, as an alternative, you can download hundreds of VST effects available for free on the Internet.
The best free music production software is also lightweight, however, many users have faced performance bugs, mainly when adding new plugins. Now, if you ever feel that Tracktion T7 is limiting your potential, you have the option to upgrade to the professional music creation software Tracktion Waveform 10 for just $70.
Availability—Linux, Windows, and macOS
Why use Tracktion T7?
- Single screen layout
- BioTeck Synthesizer Support
- Supports Linux, Windows and macOS
Why not use Traction T7?
- Shortage of preloaded sounds and effects
The beat making software is not “technically” free, but the free trial can be extended until the end of time. Although considering its amazing features, we suggest you to purchase the paid version which is priced at $60.
Just like Traction T7, this free music maker software does not distinguish between the type of audio tracks. Reaper comes with the right amount of plugins and supports almost all plugin standards like VS3, AU, and ARA.
The biggest problem with the Reaper is the clunky 90s UI. With all the iconless menus and cluttered elements, it takes a lot of getting used to. For beginners, this would undoubtedly be a big deal.
It is important to remember that the “extended” track of Reaper does not lock any functionality for the premium version. In fact, Reaper has an abundance of features, and it stands out from professional DAWs like Alberton, FL studio, etc.
Availability — Windows, MacOS, and Linux (experimental)
Why use Reaper?
- Highly customizable
- Powerful music recording software
Why not use Reaper?
- Unintuitive user interface (long drop-down menus)
- Do not offer a sound library
- No instrument plug-ins
Beginners! This free beat maker is perfect for you. Soundbridge has an intuitive and user-friendly interface that you will be able to master in no time. However, the reappearing pop-up trying to persuade you to donate might become a hindrance.
Apart from this small drawback, SoumdBridge is one of the best free music tools on the market. Just like the other software mentioned above, Soundbridge offers unlimited MIDI and audio tracks, support for third-party plug-ins, and professional-grade automation and modulation.
There are a few plugins that come with music creation software, although there are no instrument plugins. However, it comes with RitMix which is a highly customizable VST drum machine. All in all, SouniBridge has all the necessary features that one would want when starting out with a music creation software.
Availability—Windows and macOS
Why use SoundBridge?
- User-friendly interface
- Tutorials and guides
Why not use SoundBridge?
LMMS is an open source music maker, which means developers all over the world are trying to create an awesome free DAW.
The music software is very similar to FL studio; however, the UI may seem intimidating at first due to the messy UI. LMMS has a multi-window system. So creating music will involve frequently dragging and closing windows.
Other than that, this free music maker software comes in handy. There are no restrictions on the number of tracks and fully supports VST plugins, LADSPA plugins, etc. The music software offers 16 built-in synthesizers that include many retro-console emulations.
There are also a bunch of demo projects for your help. LMMS contains a comprehensive library of projects and presets on its project sharing platform. The biggest problem with LMMS is the lack of audio recording and editing features. Therefore, you will need another music recording software such as Audacity.
Why use LMMS?
- It’s good for sequenced music
Why not use LMMS?
- No audio merging and splicing (audio editing)
- May crash when loading VST plugins
Availability—Linux, Windows, and macOS
What is the best free music production software?
The best digital audio workstation is what lets you create amazing soundtracks. With free beat makers alongside the big ones like FL Studio and Logic Pro X, it’s now more about how efficiently you use the music software.
And above all, if you are a beginner, start making music with only the free music production software above.
Also Read: Best Free Music Player Apps For Windows