The music industry is a lucrative business that's packed with potential. There's a host of platforms available to expand your music and create something spectacular and catchy. Still, the reality is the cost can be something extremely disheartening.
The good news is there's a bevy of free-to-use software available that provide all the necessities to kickstart your journey. And if you're trying it out as a hobby, this at least means you don't drop hundreds on something that might not work out.
But when it comes to free music software, there are a few things to consider that matter when picking the right program.
- User Friendliness
These are a few key features to look out for, especially if you're new to the world of beat-making and production.
So we've done the research for you and found some of the best free-to-use software available online that offer some incredible features.
The Best Free Software To Make Beats
Compatibility: Mac OS / iOS
Garageband is a creative music studio offered conveniently to Apple users. It has an incredibly user-friendly interface and is relatively simple to learn and play around with. In addition, it's linked to an online database with a constantly expanding library of sounds, allowing users to create and design some incredible beats. Just look at BoywithUke, who started out with an iPad and a TikTok account and now has thousands of screaming fans itching to see him live!
AKAI MPC Beats
Compatibility: Windows / Mac OS
MPC Beats by Akai is free entry-level software with the bare necessities needed to create an absolute banger track. The only downside is the limitations involved with the free version. Still, as the famous saying goes, "Less is more." while you may not have an expansive library to work with, you can certainly make something epic if you put your mind to it. It has a collaborative interface that users can manipulate to their preference and is one of the best free MIDI programs on the market.
Usability: Beginner - Advanced
Cakewalk by Bandlab is one of the best free DAWs available on the internet, with features that will tickle anyone's fancy, even professionals. While the interface is intimidating to first-time users, they have fully comprehensive guides that make learning a breeze. Once you've learned how to use it, you can create professional-grade tracks. They provide a versatile database to work from and come fully equipped with a host of tools to make some incredible beats.
Compatibility: Windows / Mac OS / Linux
LMMS provides an excellent means of stretching your limits if you're looking to expand into deeper waters. It's got a more defined interface, with multiple windows supporting different plug-ins, so it takes a fair amount of getting used to. But once you've got the swing of things, you'll find the software is comprehensive and well-rounded. Note that you may require additional software for recording, unfortunately.
Compatibility: Windows / macOS / Ubuntu
Usability: Beginner to Advanced
When it comes to free-to-use DAWs, Waveform has built quite a name. It's one of the best on the market, with a fully-featured interface that offers users more than just beat-making tools. With Waveform, you'll be pleasantly surprised that everything you need is right at your fingertips. There's no track limit, a selection of built-in plug-ins, and the option to use third-party ones. As a result, it gives enthusiasts incredible freedom to be creative.
Magix Music Maker
When it comes to basics, Magic Music Maker provides just about everything you need to make some exciting beats. While it isn't as well-featured as some competitors, it makes for a great startup program for users just testing the waters or taking up a new hobby. It's highly loop-based and has a limited sound library with the option to purchase more. And any upgrades to improve features are extremely cost-effective, all things considered. -
Compatibility: Windows / OSX / Linux
Unlike the other programs mentioned above, orDrumbox focuses solely on using drums to create beats. As a result, it's simple, stated, and straightforward to use. The interface is user-friendly and not much different from your standard DAWs. The significant difference is, though, the features. While orDrumbox doesn't host the range of free-to-use features of other DAWs and is nowhere near professional software, it's an excellent starter kit for the basics.
Compatibility: Android / iOS / Windows /macOS
Caustic 3 is a basic free-to-use beat-maker that's conveniently free to download on smartphones, tablets, and desktops. It's a bit lower on the food chain than its competitors, but it still offers a robust experience to its users. The free version is available to Android users. It has all the features of a tiny music studio in your pocket. While the downside is some crucial features might make you consider paying for the full version, the upside is the cost-efficiency makes it well worth it.
Image-Line FL Studio
Compatibility: Windows / macOS / Android / iOS / HarmonyOS
The Image-Line FL Studio was once famously known as Fruity Loops. It was a throwback to the music industry 20 years ago. It was used for EDM and Hip Hop artists, which speaks a lot for its beat-making abilities. It's come a long way and now ranks with some of the best downloadable DAWs available. The interface may take some getting used to, but for the features, it's well-endowed. But the free version is limited but sets a preface for what can be expected in their limitless upgrade full version.
Suppose you're looking for beginner-friendly beat-making software. In that case, DarkWave Studio provides an excellent interface that's easy to learn and comes with some surprising results. For free software, it packs all the necessary features to make, edit and produce basic music and beats. Easy to use, there's very little to complain about, especially when it doesn't cost you a dime to use!
This is just a handful of great software available online to help take your music career to the next level. Most software packs premium features that make them versatile for use throughout all genres of music. The world is at your fingertips. With some digging, you can find easy methods to work around the "struggling artist" persona and start working on your future career path.
And just remember, once you've produced some sick beats and compiled an unforgettable demo, GetPlaylisted can help you reach a broader audience and kickstart your dreams.