In any industry, your first major investment is a big step. Whether you’re just starting music production as a hobby or planning to become the next superstar DJ, it’s best to start with free music production software. You can always upgrade to a premium option which gives you more freedom and a wider variety of tools later on.
In this article, we have some of the best free music creation software for beginners.
When it comes to free music creation software for beginners on Mac and iOS, GarageBand is the number one free option. It’s pretty easy to download from the App Store, and it even teaches beginner musicians how to do powerful stuff, like how to use loops. It lets you create a song with up to 255 tracks and even offers a virtual drummer session.
GarageBand is also one of the easiest platforms for making great music. Despite its visual simplicity, however, this free music looping software can often be intimidating for the beginner.
To speed up the learning process, we recommend that you install it on all your devices: your Mac, iPhone and iPad. iCloud gives you the ability to work on your music, wherever you are and whatever device you use.
If at any point you feel like you’ve outgrown this free music maker, you can transfer all of your GarageBand files to Apple’s premium music production offering: Logic Pro.
To download: GarageBand for macOS (To free)
2. Studio DarkWave
When it comes to music creation apps for PCs, DarkWave Studio is a popular alternative to basic industry offerings. It doesn’t take up much space on your computer which is perfect if you plan to use this free software to make music on a laptop (here are some of the best laptops for making music in general) . Although DarkWave Studio is free, you have to accept some ads in the app, which is normal.
This free music creation software comes with some cool features:
Multitrack recorder on hard disk
You can select and edit digital musical patterns using the pattern editor. The Sequence Editor lets you line up patterns to play in any arrangement and mix the tracks together. The hard disc recorder includes recording options for live audio. DarkWave Studio also includes 19 different plug-ins, which you can use to add virtual effects to your tracks.
With so many options and settings, DarkWave Studio can seem a bit difficult to use at first. The good news is that you can find a lot of tutorials and support online, making it one of the best free music creation software for beginners.
To download: Studio DarkWave for the Windows (To free)
Unlike the free music software we’ve covered before, Audacity is a digital audio editor, not a digital audio workstation.
There are many creative uses for Audacity, although its primary purpose is the manipulation of audio data. But if you’re looking for a combination of music production software, free EDM software, and something to edit your media in a technical sense, Audacity is the way to go.
Audacity lets you edit samples, process audio files, and export music in a range of formats including MP3, WAV, or AIFF. This is great if you are looking for free music making software to create beats and sample songs.
The interface is simple to use, but the variety of effects and settings can be difficult to understand. It may take a few days for you to familiarize yourself with everything.
Audacity is available for download on Windows, macOS, and Linux. It is one of the most popular music production software options and a great way to start making music for free.
LMMS (formerly Linux MultiMedia Studio) is cross-platform music production software, available on macOS, Windows, and Linux. It is suitable for all types of music production and is a great free software option for beginners.
LMMS uses multiple windows to help you create music. You can edit melodies in the Piano Roll and create a rhythm section with the Beat + Bassline editor. Get a preview of your song’s structure in the Song Editor, then mix it all up with the Effects Mixer. You can even automate effects and volume using the Automation Editor. LMMS also offers a wide variety of instrument synthesizers, so it’s a great software for making music for free using MIDI commands.
Among most music creation software, free music production applications are generally limited in their ability to integrate with other music creation software. LMMS shines with its compatibility with third-party applications, and any free music creation software you already use will likely be included. The program supports VST and LADSPA plug-ins, giving you a myriad of effects options to apply to your music.
When your project is ready, you can export it as MP3, AIFF, or WAV, or transfer your media files to another music making application.
Tracktion T7 was once a high-end music production software. Rather than ditch T7 when the next version was released, Tracktion decided to give it a different name, Waveform, making this free music program one of the most feature-rich options on this list.
There are no track limits, plug-in limitations, or 30-day trials with Waveform. The clean, single window interface is easy to use and there is so much to explore. You can use Waveform to edit audio, for MIDI composition, to add effects, and to automate various instrument parameters.
Waveform works on Windows, macOS and Linux. If you get along well with the free version, you can always upgrade to the Pro version. This version offers even more features, including Groove Doctor, Subtractive Synthesizer and Celemony Melodyne Essential.
6. Cakewalk by BandLab
Much like Waveform, Cakewalk SONAR was premium software that you can now get for free with BandLab’s purchase of Cakewalk in 2018. It’s another top contender for the best free music production software.
Renamed Cakewalk by BandLab, this free music maker for Windows is built on more than 30 years of development. This is another powerful option that you can use to compose, record, edit, mix, master, and share your music, all for free.
Stack an unlimited number of audio or MIDI tracks using the award-winning user interface of this free music maker. You can enjoy Cakewalk’s VST3 software instruments and studio-quality effects, such as convolution reverb and dynamic compression.
Cakewalk by BandLab is only available for Windows users, but it is one of the best free music composition software for PC. BandLab recommends that you use a computer with a multi-core Intel processor and at least 4 GB of RAM.
To get it, you must first register and install BandLab. You can choose which instrument and effect packs to download with Cakewalk SONAR using the Bandlab app.
To download: Cakewalk by BandLab for the Windows
Find the free music production software for you
This list of easy music creation software is just the tip of the iceberg. If you are serious about learning how to make digital music for free, there are still plenty of free music production apps for you to explore.
Researching and reading other people’s experiences with each option can help, but the best way to find your favorite is to try some of them. There are many options on this list that have everything you need. Who knows? With any of these choices on your side, you may never have to trade in your free song making software for a paid alternative.
You don’t need to own a studio to find the best computer for music production. Here are some of the best PCs for all budgets.
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