This short post provides you with some decent free music making software options.
Yes, as you probably know by now, music production equipment and software can get very expensive very quickly and when you start out you may not have the budget to afford it. That's no excuse not to get your production training started straight away.
It's better to start working on your music production skills as soon as possible rather than sit around waiting for circumstances to be just right.
Lucky for us, there are some pretty darn decent free and non-expensive options to get you started when it comes to both DAWs and plugins.
So, don't let the high cost of music production software hold you back. Start with some free music making software and plugins and then upgrade as your skills and budget justifies it!
Most music production today is centered around the digital audio workstation. Yes, there are alternative ways to produce music but very little that compares with the ease of use and capabilities of DAWs.
So, if you want to get started straight away, which you should, then the options below are worth your consideration.
Ok, so this is an option only for Mac users and yes, it's definitely not Logic Pro. It's however a decent way to get started with music recording and some basic production though. It'll get you into the right mindset when you're starting out as a producer.
Now, hear me now. GarageBand is focused more on home recording than electronic music production.
Think of this software only as a basic intro to music production. If you have it and you cannot afford any other DAW then go ahead and use it. Keep in mind that there are some real limits to what you can achieve produciton-wise with GarageBand so look ahead and realize you'll have to upgrade to a more advanced DAW if you're serious about your music.
All-in-all GarageBand is a very decent intro to multi-track music production software. So, as long as you realize you're going to want to upgrade pretty soon, it's a fine place to start.
LMMS is a huge step up from GarageBand and a good free music making software option to consider.
This DAW is cross-platform, so whether you're on Mac, Windows or even Linux it has you covered.
Add to that 16 built-in soft synths plus compressor, reverb, delay and distortion stock-plugins and bundled EQs and you're pretty much set to get started with music production. It also supports VST plugins on Linux and Windows in case you want to expand your production toolkit.
Free and full-featured. Tracktion Software's T7 is also cross-platform with Mac, Windows and Linux supported.
This DAW is known for it's "Blue-Steel" interface which makes most of the production features you need available on one screen. You have input, waveform and mixer, with EQ, level, pan and all your plugins laid out intuitively from left to right on the same screen.
Another interesting feature is clip layer effects which means that you can stack effects on individual clips as opposed to being able to do it on a track as is the case with many other DAWs. The automation abilities you have available are quite unique too with automation patterns and LFO modifiers.
It may take a while to get used to the workflow but it's definitely one of the free music making software options to consider.
Extra: Check out 5 GarageBand Alternatives For Windows (That Don’t Suck) over at Producer Hive for some more great free DAW options to consider.
Most producers use DAWs like the 5 recommended DAWs you'll find in this post. Using one of these recommended DAWs will be better in the long run as you'll have more support and training options available to you due to the large amount of producers that use the paid software and plugins.
If you cannot afford these DAWs then don't hesitate to start with one of the above three DAWs. The music production knowledge you gain will make it all worthwhile and your production and music skills will be transferable with a bit of adjustment.
Just keep in mind that, if you're serious about music production, you'll need to upgrade to pro DAW at some point and there will be a new learning curve involved when you do.
Once you have a DAW you'll some basic stock plugins already installed. Many stock plugins are really good so don't think for a minute you cannot get a lot done just with stock plugins.
That said, there are some excellent free plugins available to beef up your production toolkit.
Voxengo offers a range of 15 quality free music production plugins which includes stables like reverb and delay in addition to utilities like spectrum analyzers and tone plugins.
TAL Software also offers a range of free plugins which includes synths, a filter, a vocoder, reverb, delay, flanger and more. Definitely good to have in your plugins folder.
Plugin Boutique doesn't manufacture free plugins but they do offer free plugins from a range of developers on their site. You'll find an extensive range of various types of music production plugins here.
The sources for free music making software listed above, combined with the stock plugins in your DAW will be more than enough to allow you to produce high quality tracks.
That said, there are numerous other excellent free plugins available and you should definitely check them out as you progress with learning music production.
I've compiled a handy mega list of 46 sources for free music making software and plugins which is available in PDF format to subscribers of the free Renegade Report newsletter. In this PDF you'll have links straight to these sources which provides you with access to hundreds of plugins.
So, make sure you join other music producers who have subscribed to the Renegade Report to get instant access to this and other exclusive bonuses. You can do so right now below!
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