Best Music Making Software Free Downloads (2024) - Part Time Producer

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Best music making software free downloads

We all have to start somewhere so if you are just dipping your toe into the world of music making, or looking to save money on creating music our guide to the best music making software free downloads will help you get started. We’re going to cover the tools you need to use, places to get the tools and where to get started.

So what do you have?

I think its fair to assume to get started in making music on your computer that we have to assume you have a computer of some sort. You are obviously needing something that will run music software on so make sure to check the minimum requirements for the music software in question before purchasing a machine if you don’t have one already.

What is a DAW?

So the main piece of software you will need when creating music is a piece of software to create it in. This type of software is called a digital audio workstation, otherwise known as a DAW. These range in price from free to super professional end expensive. For the most part, amateur and hobbyists will end up with one of the following:

  • Ableton
  • Reason
  • Bitwig
  • Logic Pro
  • Cubase

All have their plus and minus points. The common theme among most of them is they all have varying levels of features depending on the version you buy. For example, Ableton Lite is a cut down version of Ableton Standard. Bitwig has a few versions, 8 track, 16 track and Full. While I started out on a free version of Ableton I got with my midi keyboard, I moved over to Bitwig Studio full having tried the trial. I’ve never looked back since.

What DAW can I use on a Mac?

Mac users have lots of choice too. Logic is native to Mac and Bitwig, Ableton and have mac version of their software. Plenty of professional studios are Mac based (not forgetting the ultimate platform for pros – ProTools). All have Mac options and so no worries there at all.

The key items to keep an eye on are CPU power and RAM.

Tdr Nova Gentlemans Edition Best Music Making Software Free Downloads
Some of the best music making software free downloads have a paid for next level up such as the GE range from TDR Nova

What DAW can I get for free?

So most DAW’s do a trial version of their products for a certain period of time to give you a taster of what they offer. However there are also fully free DAWs which include the following.

Best music making software free downloads

A list of the best free DAWs available
DAWTracks RecordTracks PlaybackRecording LengthEffects / Instruments includedOS
GaragebandUnlimitedUnlimited998 measures100+Mac
Pro Tools First416Unlimited23Mac/ Windows
WaveformUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited11Win, Mac, Linux
Studio One PrimeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited20+Windows, Mac
LMMSUnlimited (Only MIDI)UnlimitedUnlimited100+Win, Mac, Linux
Bosca Ceoil1616100 bars100+Browser, Win, Mac, Linux
Ohm StudioUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited18Browser, Win, Mac, Linux
Bandlab12126 min100+Windows, Mac
SoundtrapUnlimitedUnlimited150 bars25Browser
SoundbridgeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited11Windows, Mac
Audacity16Unlimited13.5Hrs21Win, Mac, Linux
ZenbeatsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited23Windows, Mac
MuLabUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited100+Windows, Mac
MPC Beats16UnlimitedUnlimited100+Windows, Mac
ArdourUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited12Win, Mac, Linux
Serato Studio (DJ software)Limited4LimitedNoneWin, Mac
Podium Free1UnlimitedUnlimitedFreewareWin, Mac, Linux

So now we have our DAW in place, how about some music plugins? As you know there are always deals showing in the Part Time Produce deals page however for free plugins there are endless possibilities. Where to start?

Best music making software free plugin downloads

This page will hopefully be a good starting point as I have collated a list of the best music making software free plugin downloads offered across the internet. The list provided will offer you the main types of plugins you need which are as follows:

  • Compression
  • EQ
  • Reverb
  • Delay
  • Effects

These five categories will give you enough of a plugin arsenal to compete with the professionals – it’s all about how you use them. While there are numerous paid and free plugins, much like the DAW’s there are trial periods and test windows that can be used for trying out plugins before you buy.

One thing to remember is that if you use a plugin on a track, you need the bounce the effect (save it to an audio file) on the sound or music that you have used it on if you plan to remove or delete the plugin. That way the effect will reside forever in the audio file while the original track itself will no longer have the effect able to be processed.

Check out our list of free plugins to produce music
Plugin namePlugin Type
Tyrell N6Synth
Various classic synth simulationsSynth
Independence FreeSampler
sforzando + Free Sounds Vol.1Sampler
4Front Piano/E-Piano/R-PianoPiano
Komplete PlayersInstrument/Effect Bundles
MFreeEffectsBundleInstrument/Effect Bundles
Voxengo Free effects/analyzersInstrument/Effect Bundles
Blue Cat’s Freeware Plug-ins Pack IIInstrument/Effect Bundles
GVST Plugin PackageInstrument/Effect Bundles
mda VST plug-insInstrument/Effect Bundles
jsCompShaperMulti/Special Effects
Frequency ShifterMulti/Special Effects
ArgotlunarMulti/Special Effects
iZotope VinylMulti/Special Effects
Amp Sim PackDistortion/Overdrive/Amp Effects
TPA-1/NRR-1/TSB-1/The Anvil/PTEq-1a/SHB-1/TS-999Distortion/Overdrive/Amp Effects
TSE808/BOD/R47Distortion/Overdrive/Amp Effects
SoftAmp PSADistortion/Overdrive/Amp Effects
Amplifikation LiteDistortion/Overdrive/Amp Effects
IVGIDistortion/Overdrive/Amp Effects
TDR KotelnikovCompressors
Rough RiderCompressors
W1 LimiterLimiters
Limiter №6Limiters
ProximitySpatial Effects
Youlean Loudness MeterAnalyzers/Utilities

So now what?

You have a DAW, you have some plugins. The next bit is to get creating music!

Remember there is no right or wrong way to create, just create. Certain genres of music do have rules and formats however for the most part let the inspiration flow and then adjust later. The beauty of doing things on a computer is that music can be arranged as you wish to suit a genre at a later time. The important thing is to keep inspired and create great music.

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