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10 Best Free Beat Making Software Apps

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Best Free Beat Making Software

You may be surprised to learn that free beat making software isn’t that hard to come by, as you’ll find out below.

However, the problem is actually choosing which one to use, as it can be hard to know which is best suited for your musical goals.

So, we’ve rounded up a list of the 10 best free beat making software platforms that you can start using today and answered some of the most frequently asked questions around the topic.

Let’s dive in!

 

Best Free Beat Making Software 2021

Here’s our list of the best free beat making software:

 

1. GarageBand

GarageBand - Best Free Beat Making Software

Compatibility: macOS | iOS | Browser 

GarageBand is a free music creation software exclusively available on the Apple operating system.

It features a variety of preset instruments, including a selection of live drums and percussion.

The software allows users to choose from a curated selection of loops or create their own melodies and percussion.

This is a great program for beginners who are looking to dip their toes into music production.

It often comes preinstalled on Mac products and features a host of stock samples and loops that make it easy to start making music right away.

It even has a live drummer feature where you can create a high-quality drum track by selecting from pre-recorded sounds and patterns.

Pros:

  • Drag and drop loops and create custom musical patterns
  • Built-in bank of high-quality sounds and MIDI instruments
  • The ability to learn quickly with little to no technical experience.

Cons:

  • Large project files and lack of effects or advanced sound control
  • Maybe overly simplistic for advanced users and lacks higher-level customization

 

2. Waveform Free

Waveform Free - Best Free Beat Making Software

Compatibility: macOS | Windows 8 & 10 | Ubuntu

Waveform Free is a free, unlimited Digital Audio Workspace (DAW) that offers a wide selection of attractive features to music creators, including unlimited track count, popular plugins, and a streamlined interface that is great for beginners and professionals alike.

The software comes equipped with full audio tracking, keyboard shortcuts, preset cords, and synth and drum sampler instruments, so you can get started creating music right away.

Plus, it offers a high level of customization and the ability to use external plugins and software devices.

This free beat-making software doesn’t impose an artificial track limit, which allows users to get as complex with their musical projects as they want.

But its simple interface means it’s great for both beginners and more advanced producers.

Pros:

  • Unlimited musical tracks and preset pattern generators
  • Full automation
  • Customizable workspace

Cons:

  •  Lack of advanced plugins compared to the paid version
  •  Mixing and mastering features not as robust as other DAWs

 

3. Magix Music Mixer

Magix Music Maker

Compatibility: Windows 10 | Browser

Magix Music Mixer is a beat-making software that is designed for beginners.

It features a simple, easy-to-use interface that offers a variety of interesting features, including AI support.

Plus, users have access to a bank of sounds created by audio experts and professional musicians.

Users will enjoy production-ready features, including a pro audio engine for high sound quality, mixing and mastering plugins, professional sounds and loops, audio effects, and so much more.

Plus, projects can be exported to more advanced DAW’s for higher-level music creation.

This is great software for beginners that isn’t oversimplified.

The interface is intuitive and easy to use, yet the software offers high levels of customization and a large bank of professional sounds for users to choose from.

Pros:

  • Drag and drop functionality
  • A huge catalog of over 400 professional sounds
  • A loop manager that helps you filter sounds by genre
  • Live Pad mode allows users to edit a song in real-time.

Cons:

  • Lack of control over advanced audio creation
  • Limited amount of software instruments available with the free version
  • Not compatible with macOS

 

4. Serato Studio

Serato Studio - Best Free Beat Making Software

Compatibility: macOS | Windows 10 | Browser 

Serrato Studio is a beat making software that offers a sample-based interface and powerful features that allow producers of all levels to make studio-quality work.

The software includes a built-in sampler and free sound packs, so you can create professional beats regardless of your level of experience.

This is the best free beat making software for those looking to work quickly and perform for an audience.

This product is great for creating remixes, DJ edits, mashups, and beats of any genre.

Plus, it integrates seamlessly with Serrato’s DJ controllers and other hardware, which can benefit those who use those products.

Pros:

  • Robust media library
  • High-level mixing and mastering capabilities
  • Great for DJ’s, sample-based producers, and those looking to perform live

Cons:

  • Not as much capability to create original synth melodies and customize settings
  • Add-ons can get expensive

 

5. Studio One 5 Prime

Studio One 5 Prime - Best Free Beat Making Software

Compatibility: macOS | Windows 10 | Browser 

Studio One 5 Prime is a digital audio workstation that is part of the Studio One series of production software.

This software features a great selection of built-in effects, a simple user interface, and a large bank of sounds that make it perfect for learning the basics of production and recording songs.

Users will enjoy a fast workflow, chord and pattern-based composition tools, and powerful mixing and mastering capabilities.

Plus, unlimited audio and MIDI tracks, drag-and-drop editing, and an easy-to-use sampler.

This is one of the best products available for creating beats and laying down audio without getting overly complex.

This makes it a great product for those who want to hone their production skills beyond just beat making.

Pros: 

  • Great for recording audio with a simple interface and a powerful range of features
  • Innovative tracking tools
  • High-quality effects
  • Over 1 GB of preset samples and loop content

Cons: 

  • No ability to download external plugins with the free version
  • Lack of built-in software instruments

 

6. LMMS

LMMS - Best Free Beat Making Software

Compatibility: Windows 10 | macOS | Linux | Ubuntu 18.04

LMMS is an open-source DAW that is great for intermediate producers who need quality beat making software.

Users have access to a wide range of samples and synthesizers, and unique features.

Included in the software are a song editor, FX mixer, piano roll, automation editor, and a wide range of synthesizers.

Plus, LMMS comes equipped with a Beat/Baseline track category that is perfect for laying down beats.

It offers powerful capabilities for creating electronic music tracks, but its recording features are somewhat lacking.

LMMS offers a broader range of more advanced features than most free software. However, the interface can be confusing for some beginners.

That’s why it’s best for intermediate beat makers who understand the basics of navigating a DAW and want something powerful and affordable.

Pros:

  • An impressive array of virtual instruments and sound processing features
  • Beat/Baseline feature for leaving down original beats
  • A powerful kick editor
  • The ability to draw chords with a mouse

Cons:

  • No audio recording option
  • Limited mixing options
  • Complex interface compared to other free software

 

7. Cakewalk By BandLab

Cakewalk By BandLab - Best Free Beat Making Software

Compatibility: Windows 7+ | Browser

Cakewalk is free beat making software from music technology brand Bandlab.

The software offers a complete music production suite, including an award-winning user interface, unlimited tracks, and a vast array of effects and instruments across all different genres.

Users have the ability to compose, record, edit, mix, master, and share tracks with ease.

Plus, the software offers high-quality plugins, virtual instruments, and a plethora of stock samples to choose from.

The software is designed to imitate the workflow of an analog studio.

It offers an impressive selection of FX, mixing, and mastering features that will have your project sounding clean and professional.

Pros:

  • Pre-set plugins and VST instruments
  • High-level mixing and mastering capabilities
  • Similar workflow to an analog studio

Cons:

  • A limited number of preset instruments
  • A slower interface compared to other beat making software

8. Avid Pro Tools First

Pro Tools First - Best Free Beat Making Software

Compatibility: macOS | Windows 10 | Browser

Pro Tools First is the free version of the famous Avid Pro Tools music software. Pro Tools First is the best free beat-making software for recording engineers.

It’s one of the top industry picks for recording vocals and live instruments, and the free version allows users to become familiar with the interface.

Pro Tools offers multitrack recording and powerful editing features. It’s considered among the best DAWS for commercial recording, postproduction, and mixing.

But its capabilities are limited when it comes to melody creation, sampling, and the integration of software instruments.

Although making beats on PRO Tools First is certainly possible, it’s more commonly used as a recording software than for actual music creation.

Therefore, it may be wise for beginners to use this software alongside another DAW, so you can sketch ideas first and then bring the project to Pro Tools to finish.

Pros:

  • Great for mixing and mastering beats, arranging tracks, and recording audio
  •  Widely used in most professional recording studios in America
  •  A staple for those who also want to dabble in audio engineering

Cons:

  • Not as beginner-friendly as some of the other options
  • Lacking pre-set sounds and virtual instruments
  • Better for post-production than creating ideas from scratch.

 

9. FL Studio

FL Studio

Compatibility: Windows 8.1 & 10 | macOS | Browser

FL Studio is a popular DAW for hip hop and trap producers because it offers a free trial with tons of features, an intuitive interface, and easy MIDI controller integration.

The software features a robust library of stock samples, high-quality piano roll, and built-in plugins that allow beginners to master the basics.

However, the free trial of the software does not let you save or reopen projects, although you can export files.

If you want to really start making beats and saving your progress for later, you’ll have to upgrade to a premium version.

Plus, many users find the interface confusing, and the recording features are limited.

But it’s become a cult favorite because it offers a fast workflow and is one of the best free piano rolls on the market.

Pros:

  • One of the best free beats making software for beginners
  • A simple interface
  • Easy automation
  • A large bank of presets
  • The ability to customize sounds

Cons:

  • Limitations to the trial version and ability to record live vocals or instruments
  • The interface can get cluttered if you’re working on more complex arrangements

 

10. MPC Beats

MPC Beats - Best Free Beat Making Software

Compatibility: Windows 10 | macOS | Browser 

MPC Beats is free beat-making software from Akai Pro.

The software offers 16 pads for triggering drum samples and loops, a piano roll to record MIDI, a sample editor, and a browser to search and select sounds.

The software offers compatibility with a wide range of USB controllers, over 80 audio plugins, and the ability to record audio tracks and live instruments.

Plus, Akai offers a wide range of sample packs and plugins that can help you make your projects sound more professional.

This is a must-have software for those looking to master the MPC or use other Akai products.

Pros: 

  • High level of control when it comes to working with software instruments and samples
  • Customizable interface
  • Impressive sampling capabilities.

Cons: 

  • The free version can be somewhat lacking in features without expansion packs and USB devices
  • Maybe a bit overwhelming to absolute beginners

 

FAQs About Free Beat Making Software

Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about free beat making software.

 

Q: What Is Free Beat Making Software?

A beat making software or a digital audio workstation is music production software that allows users to create their own electronic tracks by arranging sounds and adding effects.

Most high-level professional DAW’s cost money to use. However, there are a variety of free products on the market for beginners looking to experiment.

 

Q: What’s The Best Beat Making Software For Beginners?

It all depends on your goals and level of comfort. All of the products included in the above list are good for beginners.

It all depends on what features you’re looking for and what genre of music you work in.

The cool thing about beat making software is that you can sample different products until you find one that you feel comfortable with and has all the features you need.

 

Q: Is Beat Making Easy?

Beat making is far from easy, but it isn’t as difficult as you might think. Like any art form, it takes hard work, diligence, practice, and patience to master.

But there is so much technology available and so much content on the internet to learn from that anyone who puts in the work can learn to master it.

Great beatmakers learn to hone their ear by studying other successful artists and producers in their genre.

It requires a basic understanding of rhythm, melody, composition, recording, and mixing/mastering.

But all of these things can be learned with a consistent work ethic and exposure to the right resources.

 

Q: Is Beatmaking A Talent?

Beat making is both a talent and a skill. You can have a knack for music, but that isn’t going to make you a great beatmaker.

Beatmaking requires a healthy mix of creative and technical skills. You have to have an instinct for what is interesting musically while also being able to master the technical aspects of a DAW.

Beatmaking requires a natural proclivity, along with the ability to practice until the craft is mastered.

There is no right or wrong way to create music, which is why it requires a genuine instinct for what works sonically.

But it also takes time and patience to understand a DAW and use it to create original ideas that connect with an audience.

 

Q: What Are The Fundamentals of Making a Beat?

Music is subjective, and therefore the only rule is to create something that you and others think sounds good.

That being said, there are certain tried and true fundaments that have been used in the vast majority of popular songs.

These fundamentals vary slightly depending on the genre.

But most beats are composed of a kick drum, a snare or a clap, a hi-hat or another high-frequency percussive sound, a bass, a melody, and any background effects.

In hip hop, the bass may be replaced by an 808, whereas in EDM, this may be a synth bass with heavy distortion. But those basic elements can be found in the vast majority of popular music.

You don’t have to learn music theory to master the fundamentals of making a beat. But you do have to learn how to develop an ear for what melodies and textures work well with each other.

 

Q: Are Beats Worth Making?

It depends on your goals and outlook. If you are looking to get rich tomorrow and don’t care much about the music, then most likely not.

But if you’re looking for a challenging yet rewarding way to channel your creative ideas and pursue a passion for music, then the answer is yes.

When considering is beat making worth it, you should take stock of your personal goals. Are you looking to start a new career in music or just looking for a fun new hobby?

Either way, beat making is an exciting and dynamic pursuit. However, the former will take a lot more work and sacrifice than the latter.

Beat making is a great activity for those who have a passion for music and need the tools to take their ideas to the next level.

But, even the simplest beat making software takes time and patience to learn, so it may not be worthwhile for those who want instantaneous gratification.

 

Q: How Can I Create My Own Beats?

There is no exact blueprint for creativity. That’s what makes music so compelling yet often frustrating. The best way to get started making your own beats is to pick a DAW and master it.

Each DAW has its pros and cons, and you’ll have to read the above reviews carefully to decide which product makes the most sense for you.

Once you’ve decided on a DAW, you’ll need to master the basics of creating rhythms and producing melodies.

There are a variety of different ways you can get started making your own beats. You can use drum loops and stock samples to create your first projects.

If you want to take beat making seriously, you’ll have to advance beyond that. But this is a good place for beginners to start.

The best way to produce your own beats is to study the greats and your personal favorites. Then experiment to find out what sounds good to you.

Sharing your work with others and accepting constructive criticism is another smart way to master the process.

 

Q: Can You Make Beats With Just A Laptop?

It depends on what type of sound you’re looking for. But in general, yes, you can produce high-quality beats with just a laptop.

The technology in many of these free DAWs is so powerful that you create professional beats with the sounds, instruments, and effects that come with the software.

Of course, you can always improve the quality of your music with live or USB instruments, hardware, external plugins, and other audio equipment.

But all of the DAW’s listed feature the capability to create high-quality beats from scratch with nothing more than a keyboard, mouse, and the proper system requirements.

It still takes practice and a passion to create quality music – so don’t expect to produce a hit on your first day using the software.

But with the right level of creativity and self-discipline, you don’t need anything beyond a laptop to create a masterpiece.

 

Q: Can You Make Money Making Beats?

Yes, there is plenty of money to be made from beat making.

However, it’s not quite as predictable as a traditional job.

Top beat makers can make well over six figures, but in order to reap the benefits, you have to be willing to put in the work and make the sacrifices.

Making money in any art form can be challenging, and beat making is no different.

But those who can stay committed and chase their dreams can be rewarded handsomely if they keep grinding.

Making money as a music producer or a DJ requires more than just creating beats.

You have to develop your skills as a marketer, networker, A&R, engineer, promoter, content creator, and more, depending on how you approach the craft.

You don’t have to be an expert at all these things, but you do have to have a general understanding of the music industry and the ability to promote yourself and step into a variety of different roles.

 

Q: How Much Do Beat Makers Make?

The average earnings of a beat maker vary greatly depending on the person.

Top producers in the industry, like Neptune’s or Rick Rubin, have a net worth of several hundred million dollars.

Even lesser-known producers on platforms like Airbit or Beatstars can make over $100,000 per year selling beats online. But it can often take years of practice and dedication to get to this level.

According to Zip Recruiter, the average beat maker salary is just under $50,000 per year or about $24 per hour. However, that doesn’t mean that you can expect those kinds of returns right away.

The numbers are somewhat skewed by the fact that the top beat makers can make millions, while the vast majority will either make very little or only do it as a side hustle.

There is plenty of money to be made making beats, but you have to set realistic goals and be driven by a love for music, not the money. Otherwise, you may get frustrated by the business and creative process.

 

Q: How To Choose / Which One To Choose? 

The best way to choose a DAW is to try out several and decide which one you’re most comfortable with.

The best thing about beat making software offered for free is that you can experiment with different products without any commitment. That way, you can decide which features you like the best.

There are no rules when it comes to creativity, and that includes the software you use, as well as the composition.

It all depends on what kind of music you’re trying to make and your goals as a producer.

For example, a hip-hop producer may not choose the same software as an EDM DJ.

Just as someone with a background in audio engineering might choose a different product than someone with no prior experience in music.

Great music has been made with all of the DAW’s included on this list. All you have to do is find a product you’re comfortable with and start creating.

 

Summary 

We hope you enjoyed our round-up of the best free beat making software.

Software like Waveform and Magix Music Mixer is great for beginners looking for cool features and preset sounds.

Other products like GarageBand, Pro Tools, and FL Studio are great for those who want to experiment and eventually upgrade to a premium version.

However, each of these DAW’s on this list offers an impressive array of preset sounds and features, so whichever one you choose, you’ll be able to get started making music in no time!

 

What’s your favorite free beat making software? Leave a comment below.

Matt's the guy behind Audio Captain. He's a qualified sound engineer and self-confessed music nut who's passionate about electronic dance music. When he's not writing about all things audio, you'll find him in the gym or working on his next EDM track.

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