If you’re a musician or an avid music-lover, then you know how difficult it can be to find good tools for your craft. Whether you need software that helps you find new music, plan out song structures, or even record and edit your own tracks, the best free music-making software below is some of the best pieces of software available for free today.
We included the best free music-making software from each category to help our readers get started with making music on a computer.
There are some amazing music-making software that don’t require you to pay for them. We checked out some free software with exceptional features, including ones for beginners and those with a professional background in music production.
The Best Free Music-Making Software
Try out one of these best free music-making software and see just how easy it can be to release a hit song without compromising on the concept.
1. Audacity – Overall Best Free Music-Making Software
Audacity is the best free music-making software on the market. It offers a wide array of features, many of which will work well with recording as well.
Open-source and fully cross-platform, Audacity is a powerful audio editing and recording tool. It is developed by volunteers and receives regular updates just about every month.
Though it’s lightweight, stable, and intuitive enough to be used by beginners, Audacity brings you a range of features including cutting edits, scratching sound effects, audio mixing, converting tracks to sound files., or analyzing sound for frequency analysis.
Audacity can also load VST plugins, although only 32-bit plugins are supported.
- Solid auto editing capabilities
- Unlimited tracks
- No MIDI compatibility
2. Waveform Free – Alternative Best Software For Audio Music Production
Waveform Free does not have any features missing from the premium version. It’s the best free music-making software available because it is an older version of Tracktion, one of the top DAWs.
Waveform Free offers music-making software that can work on all major platforms, and it provides all the necessary features for producing quality tracks. The software is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux and it is ideal for recording voiceovers or playing live instruments.
Most importantly, Waveform Free lets you use VST and AU plugins. With these plugins, you can expand your music production workspace, enabling you to explore creative ways to produce different types of music.
However, in the free music-making software app, every section is scalable. So, you can adjust it to suit your workflow, and the bottom panel changes to display whichever parameters you’ve selected elsewhere on the screen.
You can create your account and install the software to get started. If there is an error when you try to launch the software or if it tells you it is in demo mode, click unlock and re-enter your account details.
- Unlimited audio and MIDI
- Full-featured DAW
- Older versions of a paid-for product
3. GarageBand – Best Free Music-Making Software For Mac
GarageBand is the best free music-making software for Mac users and it’s powerful enough that, were there no Apple ecosphere, it would take the number one spot.
For a long time, Garageband was the app to help people get started with recording. However, despite its reputation as a beginner app, it’s still surprisingly useful for audio enthusiasts looking to make music.
Apple has created the perfect gateway for novice music learners by offering a clearly presented, refined product with a familiar interface.
Users will have a great time once they transfer over to Apple Music’s pro-level audio-editing software thanks to the similarities between their interface and that of an Apple pro app like Logic.
With a large number of tracks allowed per song, GarageBand provides users with a powerful and easy-to-use program. It is currently the best free software for music creation on Macs and iOS. All updates seem to be making it better than ever before.
Lastly, With the smart design and ease of use, Apple is known for, Garageband allows users to produce quality music.
- Easy to use
- Multiple genre styles
- Super versatile, modern interface
- Only for Apple devices
4. Studio One Prime
Studio One Prime is the best free DAW for singer-songwriters. Studio One is a streamlined and free DAW that allows users to record large audio files and mix them quickly.
Studio One includes a high-quality folder of audio effects like EQ and compression, sounds like reverb and delay effects, flange, and even the staples of Ampire and Pedalboard (guitar processing effects developed by PreSonus), up to you with its free edition.
The free version of Studio One from PreSonus is unable to load VST effects, severely limiting your potential for flexibility and creativity. If you require the power of those advanced features, upgrade to either Studio One Artist or Studio One Pro.
With an interface that resembles a recording studio and an easy-to-use toolset, you get a fully-fledged music production tool that’s perfect for beginners. It comes with a suite of effects plugins to help bring your tracks to life.
- Unlimited tracks
- Perfect for PreSonus controllers
- No VST compatibility
5. AmpliTube Custom Shop – Best For Guitarists
AmpliTube Custom Shop – a basic version of the full rewarding AmpliTube – offers the best free software to make music if you’re a guitarist.
It also includes 24 models in its free version including a digital chromatic tuner, nine stompboxes, four amps, five cabs, three mics, and two rack effects.
There are tons of presets to keep any guitarist happy with their recording. These include official amp models from Fender, Ampeg, Orange, Mesa Boogie, and more.
AmpliTube provides a wide spectrum of authentic tones which can be adjusted with individual settings. You can easily switch your mic and even the location of where you’re speaking with this tool’s customization.
- Fully functional guitar rig
- Multiple models
- Multiple effects
- Guitar focus (Specifically for guitar)
Pro Tools First is another best free music-making software. The Pro Tools First edition is an introduction to the industry-standard DAW plug-in for professional studios.
Pro Tools includes many of the powerful features that make it the DAW of choice for professional studios all over the world.
With Pro Tools First, you can record up to 16 tracks of audio and use up to 16 virtual instrument tracks in a session. On top of that, you can only record four tracks at the same time.
Even though Pro Tools First’s limitations, it still offers a good starting point for those who use DAWs professionally. That’s a major benefit.
- An excellent introduction to Pro quality DAW
- Major limitations in many categories
7. Ohm Studio
Another DAW you can download for free, Ohm Studio is the product of popular plugin manufacturer Ohmforce.
It provides all the essential music creation features of a paid DAW without limits. The blend makes it easy to collaborate with other people, including by sharing your music.
- It comes with all the essential and unlimited tracks
- Its collaborative design makes it very easy to share ideas with others
- Its basic design is not well suited for more advanced production
8. SyndtSphere – Best For Beginners
SyndtSphere is a creative take on free music production software. It is composed of many presets to allow beginning musicians to easily produce unique sounds, and allows them to experiment with the software without having to commit too much time.
The best part about this app is the variety of instruments and the way you can morph between sounds using a nifty sphere-like object at the center of the music-maker app.
This tool has a web-like appearance with all of its beats connected, moving, and morphing together to create unique sounds.
Despite a somewhat unfamiliar interface, SyndtSphere is one of the best free music-making software for newbies. For those just starting out, we would say it is probably one of the best tools to explore.
- Beginner friendly
- Over 70 presets
- The unique interface may be distracting.
9. Cubase LE
Another solid option for those looking to record in a free music is Cubase LE. It is the lite version of Steinberg’s flagship Cubase recording app. Though it has been popular for decades, Cubase has only become a digital sequencing app in the 21st century and is still an option today.
With LE, Cubase features a few limitations including the ability to only record 16 tracks of audio and only 24 virtual instrument tracks.
It can record up to 8 tracks at once and comes with some of Steinberg’s excellent VST plugins and libraries for its HALion sampling platform.
- Includes a large sample library and the HALion sampling platform
- Only able to record 8 audio tracks concurrently
- Also limited to 16 audio tracks and 24 instrument tracks
Cakewalk is a classic DAW for musicians. It was one of the early products to make use of digital sound production and, until recently, was still in development despite having belonged to Gibson Electronics.
BandLab scooped up this great piece of software and turned it into a cloud-based product that is available to everyone.
Cakewalk is easy-to-use music mixing package. It offers everything you need to make music for free, and with creative composition tools and instruments, advanced mixing and mastering tools, limitless MIDI instruments and any recording tracks you can think of.
For professional musicians and composers, such as songwriters and producers, this is the app to have. It includes a variety of studio effects, tools to produce music, and more.
The interface of Cakewalk is clean, new, and easy to grasp. Once you’ve perfected your tracks after using the software they can be published to SoundCloud and other sharing sites quickly.
- Advanced mixing and mastering tools
- Unlimited Audio and Midi
- Complete music production package
- Suitable for windows only
Tracktion Waveform Free is a fully functional free music-making software that allows users to create high-quality recordings without restrictions on track count or simultaneous recording. This DAW offers VST and AU plugins and can be used on PC or Mac computers.
Though Traktion includes an upgrade that allows access to Waveform Pro and it’s not necessary to purchase the full version in order to unlock your essential features, Traktion offers a great range of tools that are perfect for all skill levels.
Waveform Free is designed for newbie producers and features some slightly different design concepts than other free DAWs.
- Easy-to-use interface
- Unlimited tracks and compatible with VSTs
- Its Simplified interface might be confusing for standard DAW users
Ableton Live is likely one of the most popular DAWs for electronic or sample-based genres, being easy to use and having great features such as the “session view.” Ableton Live supports loops and has a warp feature that is useful for pitch shifting and time stretching.
Ableton Live Lite is the stripped-down version of Ableton Live that comes bundled with many popular software and hardware packages. Those who want to set up their home studio will need at least a few of these items, so it’s worth looking out for a bundle that includes Ableton Live Lite.
Live Lite gives you a total of 16 tracks and any combination of audio or midi instruments that give you an idea of how the DAW feels when using it. You can record four inputs and outputs at once.
- A good range of effects and instruments included
- Limited to 8 tracks
13. Podium Free
Podium Free is another best free music-making software that is only available for Windows users.
Despite its outdated interface, it has a contemporary feel with a DAW-style timeline and mixing board. It is free, features DAW compatibility with unlimited tracks, and is the perfect voice for your projects.
Its only disadvantage is that it was not designed to work on modern laptops with their multi-core CPUs. Since it can only operate on one core, it’s easy to overclock the CPU and cause a crash.
In spite of DAWs being somewhat basic, it’s a reliable option for anyone who wants to get into the music production game, only if you are a PC user.
- Great User interface
- Only compatible with windows
- Not modernized for today’s CPUs
The Most Important Factors to Consider While Choosing the Best Free Music-Making Software
You need to consider a variety of factors while deciding which music-making software best suits your music production needs. We listed several aspects that can assist you in choosing the right music production software, so let’s take a closer look at them.
Your Music Production Skill Level
The many features a music making software offers can actually be overwhelming to someone who is just beginning their digital music production career. That’s why saving money by getting the most recent full version of Ableton Live or Logic Pro might not be an option if you’re never used a DAW.
DAWs like Audacity or GarageBand is good for beginners because they’re feature-rich and easy to use. They offer a wide variety of features that help you learn how to improve your audio skills, whether you’re recording, editing, or mixing.
The Genre Of Music You Want To Produce
If you’re interested in producing electronic or hip-hop music, it’s recommended that you use a DAW with a large variety of built-in instruments and a rich audio effects library.
If you want to write music in genres like Indie Rock or Jazz, you have to select a DAW that allows you to record multiple live instruments at once and merge several takes into one file. If you decide on a DAW that is not suited to your genre of music, it will delay the workflow significantly and make your recording experience difficult.
Scope of DAW’s Features
Although all music production software has the same basic functionalities, such as recording music, it can vary from product to product. Different versions of the same software might offer different features aimed at novice and experienced users.
The number of tracks a particular software can support or the number of available plugins is something you should consider when choosing your music production software.
With the release of new versions, music software companies continue to add new functionalities or resolve existing bugs. While upgrading one’s current technology may not be free, some users can choose to buy the older software at a discounted rate.
Before making any investment, you should check how frequently a certain device is updated. Since the DAW is the focus in your studio and updates can be costly, it’s a good idea to do this before spending money on updates.
Trying out different DAWs can be a good way to become familiar with their interface and their features. Even if you opt for some music production software that is available for free, you’ll have to choose a subscription plan soon.
These software packages are available for a one-time fee and you can choose between different versions of these programs depending on your budget. Depending on the scope of features included, the price you pay will vary.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the easiest best free music-making software?
What do you need to make music?
Today, producing music is made possible without traditional instruments that can cost a lot to own. All you need is some basic gears:
- Studio headphones for mixing
- Computer with audio input/output
- Proper software
- MIDI Keyboard
Finding the best free music-making software can be a difficult task. However, by using the resources provided in this article, you should be able to find something that will suit your needs and help you create beautiful music.
Whether you are looking for a simple sequencer or something with more features, there is likely something on this list that will meet your needs. So don’t wait any longer – start creating those beautiful melodies today.