You don’t have to be a professional to start making your own music. With music creation software for your PC or Mac, it has never been easier. They offer a cheap way to get creative flow – no studio required.
There is paid professional software available, but with companies like Apple offering high-quality production software for free, newbies don’t have to invest huge sums to get started. Here’s a roundup of six of the best free music creation software beginners can try.
For good reason, wherever you go, you’ll always see Apple GarageBand for Mac, recommended as one of the best, if not the best, free music production software. This is thanks to the powerful professional features contained in an easy-to-use interface.
It may take some learning curve for newbies with GarageBand, but the effort is well worth the effort. Beginners can take advantage of the built-in learning system with video tutorials to help you learn a new tool, such as for use with GarageBand.
You can use your own instruments with GarageBand, or create your own music using the virtual instruments and effects included in music production software, where you can mix up to 255 separate audio tracks.
You can use GarageBand to edit other types of audio files as well. This includes podcasts where multiple microphone support can be helpful.
It’s fast, powerful, and best of all, free GarageBand, preinstalled on every Mac, ready for you. GarageBand is also available as an app in the App Store for iPhone and iPad owners.
GarageBand is only available as an Apple product for macOS and iOS. Windows and Linux users should consider one of the alternatives below.
Music creators looking for an alternative to GarageBand should check out Audacity Strictly speaking, Audacity is more of an audio editing tool than a full-fledged digital audio workstation, like some of the other options on our list. You just need to do a bit of work to get the most out of it.
Audacity allows you to merge and process any recorded audio in all major audio formats. It is primarily an audio editor, but you can extend it with effects and plugins. You can even create your own plugins for others to use thanks to the common VST format.
It’s a simplicity that anyone who wants to create their own music without years of experience or training will really love. Newbies will love the interface as it doesn’t overwhelm you with options. You can record directly into your music production software using powerful editing tools to create your own music.
Audacity is cross-platform, so you can easily switch between Windows, macOS, and Linux installations, and since it’s open source (meaning anyone can help develop it) it’s completely free to download.
Cakewalk SONAR was one of the first digital music production software available, but development stalled in 2017 when the original company closed. Thanks to Singapore-based BandLab, the recently renamed Cakewalk is back in active development and is available as a free download on Windows.
Cakewalk is a versatile tool with songwriting tools, audio editing, sound effects, and a professional-grade mixing engine for crisp and clear sound. The GUI may seem a little daunting to newbies, but it can be easily customized by adding custom themes and layouts to suit your needs, as well as a “basic” preset for new users to try.
Like GarageBand, Cakewalk includes the ability to use virtual instruments if you don’t have your own. It also allows you to open video files and edit the audio track, making it a good option for creating and editing your own music videos.
With the ability to publish directly to YouTube, Soundcloud and Facebook, you don’t need to do anything extra to publish your music. From start to finish, you can create your own music in Cakewalk without touching any other software.
The slogan, which reads “Let’s Make Music,” is a compelling statement of intent for LMMS Originally called Linux MultiMedia Studio, LMMS is now a cross-platform music production tool that can be used on Linux, Windows and Mac computers. Like Audacity, LMMS is free and open source.
It has many of the features you’d expect from professional music production software. You can arrange, mix and edit multiple tracks simultaneously with support for standard VST sound plug-ins to increase the number of effects and virtual instruments available.
Unlike some of its competitors, LMMS has a simple GUI for beginners, with several customizable themes available. One of the standout features is the LMMS community, where you can share your project files with other users or customize others to suit your needs.
LMMS may not be as perfect as Apple’s GarageBand or Cakewalk, but it’s still more than a suitable option for new music creators.
If you’ve tried other audio editing software and found it too difficult to use, try SoundBridge It was built with simplicity in mind, with an interface that isn’t cluttered with menus, sliders, or unnecessary features.
SoundBridge includes support for touchscreen devices and VST audio plug-ins, a customizable drum machine, and a powerful suite of audio editing tools for cutting, slicing, and mixing multiple tracks at once. SoundBridge also includes a free collection of sound samples that you can integrate into your music.
There is also an academic program with free and paid courses to try, a blog with a variety of how-to guides, and a set of video tutorials to help you improve your music-making skills.
SoundBridge is available for download on Windows and Mac, but we have one warning before downloading. When you sign up to download, you will see a misleading donation notification. Despite the wording, you don’t need to make a donation to use SoundBridge on your computer.
From GarageBand to SoundBridge, you can use any of the music production software on this list, regardless of your genre of music. Mixx breaks this stereotype by focusing entirely on creating tracks for DJs.
The Mixx Feature List contains many of the features you’d expect from professional DJ mixing software, save for the price – it’s free and open source.
You can download up to 64 different demo decks to mix your tracks, add your own sound effects, and import your own music database thanks to iTunes integration. Mixx‘s interface can be customized with custom skins and layouts to suit your needs.
Mixx comes with support for major hardware controllers and multiple input and output sources. It also includes the ability to stream music over the Internet thanks to Shoutcast support. If you want to take a step back for a cup of coffee, you can switch to Mixx “Auto DJ” mode thanks to the preset playlist and automatic crossfading.
Mixx is under regular active development and is available for download for Windows, Mac and Linux users.