If you are just starting out in the world of music creation and would like to avoid the high prices of paid or subscription software, you can take advantage of the free options that currently exist. Regardless of your operating system and your musical style, in our list of the best free software to create music you will find an option that will suit your needs.
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Savvy creators and musicians already know that Avid Pro Tools leads the industry in music production software. This premium music authoring and editing program can come at a hefty price.
If you are a beginner or a musician on a budget and wondering if Avid Pro Tools is an option for you. The answer is yes. There is a free version (although limited in features) that Avid offers, it is called Avid Pro Tools First.
This free version includes features such as four maximum inputs, 16 MIDI tracks, 16 instrument tracks, and a maximum supported sample rate of 32-bit at 96 kHz.
The free version of Pro Tools also includes nondestructive editing, elastic audio, retrospective MIDI recording, and a MIDI editor. It doesn’t have many of the premium features that paid versions of Pro Tools have, including Dolby Atmos mixing or loop-recording track compilation.
Mac users can use the free music production app GarageBand. Apple’s motto for this software is “A recording studio on your Mac,” and that seems to be the case.
GarageBand it’s packed with useful recording studio features like Drummer (ability to add a virtual drum session or produce beats to a track), Sound Library (collection of drum loops, sounds, and instruments), and multi-take recording.
If you want to learn to play an instrument, GarageBand has you covered. The app offers free, basic music lessons for playing guitar and piano that include genres such as classical, blues, pop, and rock.
Audacity is a free software editing and recording audio. If it is about recording audio, this program allows users to do it live, from other recorded media and streaming audio.
You can create multitrack recordings and record multiple channels simultaneously. Edit audio using simple commands like cut, copy, paste, and has the advantage of unlimited undo / redo to help untangle any mistakes you’ve made and restore your file to the version you want.
You also have access to a limited number of effects like Auto Duck (allows voiceovers), echo, reverb, ability to isolate voices, noise reduction (for background noises), and crossfade, just to name a few.
Audacity also has a detailed online manual that can help you show how to use the software and get the most out of it.
The name is not the best of this software, but PreSonus Studio One 4 Prime is a free, useful and powerful version of your premier digital audio workstation, Studio One. The free version, Studio One 4 Prime, is quite feature rich even though it doesn’t have everything its premium siblings have.
What Prime does have are unlimited audio and MIDI tracks, simple and multitrack compilations, almost 1 GB of loops and content samples, 10 plugins for effects and a 32-bit audio processing resolution.
Serato Studio is aimed at aspiring DJs and beginners, more than anyone else, but it’s still a great piece of free software and has a lot to offer those just starting out in music production.
Like the other options on this list, the free version Serato Studio is not as complete or advanced as its paid versions. It has many tools to help you get started, such as select sound packs (which are collections of loops, drum kits, and instruments), free tutorials, up to four Decks and Scenes each (building blocks of your songs), and the ability to export to MP3.