The music industry is growing fast. But mastering the art of music production is a marathon, not a sprint. To help you do better in the initial stage, we have compiled a list of the best free software for making music. These top apps are perfect for composing almost anything.
|LMMS||Windows, macOS, Linux|
|Audacity||Windows, macOS, Linux|
|Hydrogen||Windows, macOS, Linux|
|Waveform||Windows, macOS, Linux|
|Mixx||Windows, macOS, Ubuntu|
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Before we rush into these astounding free digital audio workstations (DAWs), you have to make some crucial decisions that would guide the selection process.
- First off, you have to decide why you require a free audio maker. Is it just to mash up a sound? Or to create an entire beat? It may sound far-fetched, but the “free” attached to these monster apps does not make them any less effective. You can totally get everything you need to create an entire song, clean up audio, mix some beats, and loads of others. So it is preferable to streamline your needs so you can get the best for that particular function.
- Secondly, it is also critical to check the compatibility of your PC before jumping on a DAW. What operating system does your PC run on? Windows? Mac? Linux? Some of these music-making apps are exclusive to a particular OS. Be sure to check if your favorite free music mixing app is compatible with your computer before clicking download.
- Thirdly, do you need a full pack to last your entire music career? The apps here are some of the best free music-making software for beginners. They perfectly skirt the gamut between beginner DAWs and those left to the pro. Depending on your taste, you may keep an eye out for such a fully-packed music creator or jump on anyone in the meantime and get the full version down the road. Your choice!
List of the best free music production software
If you really want to get things started on a high groove, then you may have to jump on this app. This mac-only music production software is packed full of everything a beginner needs to navigate his way through today’s music industry. Made in 2004, GarageBand has come a long way. It now houses everything from multiple-sessions drummer to presets for guitar and voice and loads of instruments. With those tools, you can start producing music even without equipment.
As a beginning composer, you will find this app very easy to use. It also allows you to record up to 255 tracks per song. Created for today’s internet life, GarageBand is expertly designed to allow making music anywhere and at any time. Simply sync your files across your devices from your online iCloud account and start making music on the go. Make incredible music with ease!
Qtractor is a Linux-only free DAW that comes with every single feature and tool necessary to get you started on your musical career. Besides being extremely easy to use, this music maker boasts a ton of features and effects including standard MIDI file support, non-linear editing, multi-track tape recorder control, an unlimited number of overlapping clips for each track, and multi-track audio & MIDI sequencing and recording. Qtractor also allows you to easily export your files in any preferred file format.
OS: Windows, macOS, Linux
LMMS has proven to be an amazing electronic music production tool since its inception. The free music maker is fashioned with numerous pro features that would leave you wondering if it is actually free. And yes, it is. With this music-making software, you can create an entire song without sweating it. As the website rightly puts it, “making beats has never been easier.” The LMMS app runs on all existing OS, and it is very easy to use. The Beat + Baseline Editor is yet another feature to kill for. Your production can’t go south with LMMS. It is indeed “made by musicians, for musicians!”
OS: Windows, macOS, Linux
Having spent about two decades in the market, it is no doubt that Audacity is one of the best free music production apps for beginners. This open-source music maker is an all-rounder, perfect for PCs of all operating systems. It depicts several essential features that allow any beginner or pro to record both in the studio and live mode. Thanks to its amazing sound quality and editing tools, you are sure to make top-notch songs without breaking the bank. Furthermore, Audacity is outrageously easy to use, and it comes equipped with an Export/Import function that allows you to record your music in any file format. The spectrogram view mode is yet another astounding feature that allows you to visualize and toss between frequencies. It is simply amazing!
Recording, cutting, editing, and mixing has never been easier. This free music maker dubbed Ardour is a great way to skyrocket your music career from the bottom to the top in no time. The app consists of a wide variety of tools and plugins that earned it a seat among the best free music-making DAWs on the planet. You would be forgiven if you mistake it for high-end DAWs such as Apple’s Logic, Nuendo, and ProTools. It totally feels like one of them. The software provides you with everything from powerful signal routing to incredible editing and mixing tools. You can even use the app to create soundtracks for films and do other sound-related tasks.
Packed with a plethora of professional music production features, DarkWave Studio may be too much for a beginner but it gets easier as you go. This open-source music creation app is exclusively created for Windows OS, running from Windows XP through Windows 10. It is furnished with several plugins and features that make it undoubtedly one of the best music production software out there. With the DarkWave Studio, musicians get to enjoy excellent features such as sequence editor, multitrack hard disk recorder, virtual studio, pattern editor, and lots more. Besides the recording and editing options, you also enjoy the opportunity to live stream your audio. Let’s ride the wave from the studio!
OS: Windows, macOS, Linux
Hydrogen was curated to meet the needs of newbies venturing into the music industry, hence the simple and intuitive interface that makes creating music so much fun. Like the free music makers outlined above, Hydrogen is packed with a wealth of features, perfect for creating all genres of songs and from the comfort of your home. The top-notch mixer features and line sequencers are just a few of the many highlights of this fun buddy. You also get to enjoy playlists with embedded scripting functions and the all-new pro tab-tempo.
Although the market is filled with high-end music-making software that boasts a ton of magnificent functions, it is without a doubt that there is a truckload of free music production software that also brings the prize home. Don’t allow money to be a hurdle in chasing your dreams. You can do so much more than you think possible with these apps listed in our best free music software guide for beginners.
OS: Windows, macOS
Give SoundBridge a try if you find other audio editing tools too complicated. It's been designed to be as simple as possible. SoundBridge offers touchscreen device support and VST audio plug-ins, as well as a robust set of audio editing tools, a free sound sample library, and more.
There's also a paid and free academy program, a blog with various how-to instructions, and a set of video tutorials to help you enhance your music production talents even more. Before you download the program, bear in mind that you will be asked to make a donation when you sign up, but this is not mandatory.
OS: Windows, macOS, Linux
Tracktion T7 used to be a high-end music production program. Rather than abandon T7 with the next edition release, Tracktion decided to rebrand it as Waveform. This is one of the most feature-rich free music programs on the list.
The simple, single-window interface is simple to learn, yet there's a lot to discover. Waveform can be used to manipulate audio, compose MIDI, apply effects, and automate various instrument parameters.
Waveform is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. If you like the free version, you may upgrade to the Pro version at any time. Groove Doctor, Subtractive Synthesizer, and Celemony Melodyne Essential are all included in this version.
OS: Windows, macOS, Ubuntu
Mixx is solely dedicated to producing music for DJs. Despite being free and open-source, the program has all the features you'd expect from professional software.
Thanks to iTunes integration, you may load up to 64 unique sample decks to the mix, add custom audio effects, and integrate your own music database. Mixx's interface is fully customizable, allowing you to create your own skins and layouts to fit your needs.
Mixx supports a variety of hardware controllers as well as many input and output sources. It also gives you the option of streaming music over the internet. Mixx also has “Auto DJ” mode, which includes a preset playlist and automatic cross-fading.
Edit or record music with Movavi Video Suite
Movavi Video Suite is an easy-to-use, all-in-one software package that can be used to work with audio. If you are looking for some basic tools and functions, like recording an instrument, applying some effects, or stitching audio tracks together, you will find it all in the bundle.
1. Record the music from instruments or your own voice and sounds
To capture audio, make sure your microphone or instrument input is functioning properly. Then start the Movavi Video Suite, go to the Audio tab, and click the Start Recording button.
Use the Start Capture and Stop Capture buttons to start and stop recording respectively. Click the View saved files button to view your tracks.
2. Audio Effects and sound correction
To edit audio, go to the Video tab and hit the New Project button. This will open the Movavi Video Editor Plus.
In the program window, click the Add Files button, select your recorded audio, and click Open.
Drag and drop your audio to the timeline from the Media bin. You will find audio editing tools and effects in the More tools tab.
3. Free Library of music samples and sounds
In the Import tab, you will find a Sounds library, full of various audio samples you can apply to your project.
4. Convert, cut, and merge audio
When all audio you need is on the timeline, you can cut, invert, overlap audio clips and tweak many other parameters.
Frequently asked questions
What is the easiest free music-making software?
You can try Movavi Video Suite – it has easily accessible recording and editing tools. In case you need something more robust, check out some of the best free music production software from our top, that is considered simple:
What do you need to make music?
Today you don’t need much to produce music. Writing and composing are possible even without instruments, which might cost a lot.
All it takes is some basic gear:
- A computer with audio input/output
- Studio headphones for mixing
- Proper software, such as a DAW (digital audio workstation)
A MIDI keyboard can be useful as well, but most of the DAWs are equipped with MIDI programming tools. Sometimes even MIDI-generators can make the life of any producer easier.
However, to record good quality vocals or musical instruments, a good audio interface is a must.
How to record music with a computer?
That depends on the hardware and software at your disposal. If you are going to use Movavi Video Suite, do as follows:
- Check your microphone or instrument input.
- Download and install Movavi Video Suite
- Run the program, go to the Audio tab, and click Start Recording.
- In the new window use the Start Capture and Stop Capture buttons to start and stop recording respectively.
- Click the View saved files button to view your tracks.
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