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10 Best Free Music Making Software Solutions in 2024

Are you constantly tapping your feet to a musical beat in your head?

Well, there’s a way to bring it to your computer. 

Not only is digital music production a fulfilling hobby and revenue source for many, but it can also contribute to an organization’s success by spicing up websites and marketing efforts for optimum engagement.

And don’t worry, even if you don’t have a resident Mozart on your team, audio editing software gives you the tools to practice basic production and crank out the perfect music to complement your projects.

If that’s music to your ears, check out the 10 best free software for making music listed below. You can now try making music without dipping into the piggy bank. (That leaves more capital for the speaker system and strobe lights, should you eventually get bitten by the EDM bug.)

Best free music making software

Most music-making or audio editing software are primed for creating original music. But you can also use these applications to edit songs and random sounds from the internet and modify external snippets to obtain desired audio.

Naturally, expert-level products in this category offer advanced toolsets for those serious about their craft and willing to spend money. That said, several big players in the space provide a free solution so anyone can get started on their audio experiments—for the benefit of their company or just as a fun, creative outlet.

The free tools in the list below contain real user reviews assembled from G2’s audio editing software category. To be included on this list, a product must:

  • Enable uploading and recording of audio files
  • Provide necessary tools for clipping, arranging, and manipulating audio
  • Allow saving and exporting of audio files in one or more types

* This data was pulled from G2 in February 2024. Some reviews may be edited for clarity. The list includes software options that are either available for free or have free trials.

1. Ableton Live

Offers: 30-day free trial

Ableton Live is a popular digital audio workstation (DAW) that delivers music-making features at your fingertips. With multiple options for sounds, software instruments, MIDI effects, audio effects, and live key features, it is a great choice for live performances, music production, and composition. Ableton is available for both operating systems Mac and Windows.

What users like best:

“Ableton Live is an awesome music production and live performance DAW software with helpful integrated tools like pitch, tempo, and audio-time manipulation. It also comes with free samples, virtual instruments, and many FXs to start being creative right away!”

– Ableton Live Review, Alexander S.

What users dislike:

“There is not much to dislike about Ableton when you are not comparing really small details and are not working on a fully professional level. Besides the technical aspect, I would say the prices are a little bit high for the different versions, but it is still worth the money if you are looking for one of the best music and audio DAW that is out there.”

Ableton Live Review, Joseph C.

2. Adobe Audition

Offers: 7-day free trial

Adobe Audition, a part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, is a professional audio editing tool. It caters to a range of professionals in the audio production, broadcasting, podcasting, and music industries and is commonly used for audio editing, mixing, restoration, and mastering. Some features of the software include multitrack recording, adaptive noise reduction, spectral analysis, audio mixing, and recording.

What users like best:

“You can easily record and edit music with ease. It is easy to remove unwanted noises, adjust sound levels, and use sound effects to create very high-quality audio files.”

– Adobe Audition Review, Amila W.

What users dislike:

“Unfortunately, Adobe Audition is not at all intuitive to use. As a tech-savvy person, there were basic functions that I couldn’t figure out and required me to search up tutorials.”

Adobe Audition Review, Rosie B.

3. Audacity

Offers: Free download

Audacity allows for extensive live audio recordings and uploads of external sound files in lieu of built-in instrument sounds provided by GarageBand. Its effect and editing tools are powerful and intuitive—users can highlight tracks or track portions and modify them to their heart’s content. The software’s open-source nature gives confident coders a way to customize the tool, with downloadable or custom plugins making it a truly malleable solution. 

What users like best:

“Audacity is one of the simplest but most powerful tools I have ever used. It has all the features that a paid one provides. The best part of Audacity is Macros. I have created multiple Macros that help me partially automate my task, like applying all the filters with specific values in just one click. It also has a feature to detect and remove background noise from the audio. Compared to the other software, its size and installation process are straightforward. I love Audacity because it’s free; no business licensing is required to use it.”

Audacity Review, Rajat S.

What users dislike:

“Since Audacity is freeware, the support services are different and more self-serve than a paid software product. This is typically not an issue depending on the ability of the user to find solutions if a problem arises.”

Audacity Review, Carl C.

4. Avid Pro Tools

Offers: Free and paid plans

Avid Pro Tools is a leading music making software that has become the industry standard for music and audio production. Known for its unparalleled audio quality, Pro Tools offers a comprehensive suite of features for inspiration, collaboration, recording, hardware integration, editing, fine-tuning MIDI performance, and more. The DAW software is available for both Windows and Mac.

What users like best:

“Pro Tools is a complete music composing solution with a professional touch and quality. I can record songs, compose music, mix, master, and edit the music without any hassle with the best quality ever. Its interphase is also easy to use.”

– Avid Pro Tools Review, Yash H.

What users dislike:

“It is expensive, no question. But there is value for the money. The company is slow to respond to user requests, but when new features are implemented, they are well done. It is a complex program, too, so the learning curve for new editors or mixers is a bit steep.”

Avid Pro Tools Review, Stephen B.

5. Cubase

Offers: 60-day free trial

Cubase is commonly used to produce music for a wide range of genres, from rock to classical. The software is also versatile enough to support beginners as well as chart-topping professionals. In terms of functions, Cubase is known for its comprehensive list of features, including VR production, chord assistant, next-generation audio engine, key editor, virtual instruments library, and much more than can be listed here. 

What users like best:

“Cubase is a straightforward tool for both recording and live performance. VSTs are included, and the software is very light to install and does not require a powerful machine to export good-quality music files.”

– Cubase Review, Matheus G.

What users dislike:

“It is complex. You have to understand very well how it works in order to make good use of it. You need training and many hours of practice to master this software.”

Cubase Review, Ernesto Alfonso O.

6. FL Studio

Offers: Free download and paid plans

FL Studio is “the fastest way from your brain to your speakers,” as the official website says. The software supports not only multiple musical functions like audio editors, recording, virtual instruments and effects, MIDI support, presets, video player, and visualizer but also has multi-language support for their international audience. The intuitive and user-friendly interface adds to the experience.

What users like best:

“Without a doubt, one of the things I like most about FL Studio compared to other DAWs is its simple and organized interface that makes work very fluid. In addition, native plugins are authentic gems that new users can count on. And one of the essential features is the free updates for life, which, together with Image Line’s support, do nothing but add points to opt for FL Studio.”

FL Studio Review, Mario B.

What users dislike:

“There is not anything worth complaining about in FL Studio. Still, if I were to provide feedback, then I would suggest that the routing process could be simplified a little because its complexity can prove to be demotivational for beginners.”

FL Studio Review, Saumya D.

7. GarageBand

Offers: Free download for iOS and macOS

For many melodic minds, Apple’s GarageBand is synonymous with music production. GarageBand allows for recording physical musical instruments, and the results are modified as song components, with the option to add various effects. It also provides realistic digital replications of sounds from multiple instruments, from snare drums to saxophones, as well as prerecorded drum beats to stack your sound layers.

What users like best:

“I love how I can simply jump in at any time and record voiceovers, create music, etc. Whatever I need to get done can most likely be done on GarageBand. I also love how simple it is for beginners and newbies trying to learn how to use it. Oh, and did I mention it’s all FREE?”

GarageBand Review, Amir H.

What users dislike:

“GarageBand has many limitations when it comes to the details and effects used in higher-level production. The user interface is a little simplistic, so even though the basics are all easy to find, it is a little more tricky to find some elements.”

GarageBand Review, David C.

8. Logic Pro X

Offers: 90-day free trial

Logic Pro X is a professional DAW that offers a range of features for creating and editing music. It is usually the next musical destination for macOS users after working on GarageBand. Logic hosts a vast library of plugins, sounds, and built-in software instruments like synthesizer, vintage electric piano, drum kit, sampler, and more.

What users like best:

“Logic is the only DAW I need to work on a variety of musical projects in an array of genres. It’s useful for working with audio, MIDI, writing to picture, or recording live sessions. I love the clean minimal UI where tools and handles are hidden until you hover over things. It’s fast, versatile, and pretty reliable these days.”

Logic Pro X Review, Joe H.

What users dislike:

“It is so powerful that I’d say it’s almost too powerful. There are so many features that it can feel as though you aren’t using it entirely. I wish there were more tutorials and specific functions to accomplish a task. Another thing that is challenging is learning how to mix your own music if you have never practiced or done anything like that before. It takes a few classes to really understand what you should be doing.”

Logic Pro X Review, Philip T.

9. Sound Forge

Offers: 30-day free trial

Sound Forge, now owned by Magix, is another digital audio editing software that provides a range of tools for audio processing. The tool caters to professional and semi-professional individuals, offering features like multi-channel high-resolution recording, audio restoration, VST support, customizable interface, and spectrum analysis. 

What users like best:

“I love the ease of getting surgical on a sound file. From zooming in to apply a filter to a plosive, to grabbing a syllable and stitching together umpteen copies and pitch-bending to the depths, to moving sounds from file to file, crossfading, and inserting all with the flick of a mouse.”

– Sound Forge Review, Bob H.

What users dislike:

“It doesn’t have a lot of features to reduce noise or echo. The sound gate feature is inadequate, in my opinion.”

Sound Forge Review, Deepak M.

10. Studio One

Offers: Free download and paid plans

Studio One has something for everyone, whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting your first production. The platform hosts features like drag-and-drop audio editing, video editing, customizable user interface, lyrics track, range of plug-ins and virtual instruments, built-in beat maker, and more to make music creation easy. It’s a one-stop solution for recording, producing, mixing, mastering, and performing.

What users like best:

“The intuitive user interface, hotkeys, and tools make this DAW the best I’ve used on the market. The advantage PreSonus gives its users has to be the fact that they care about the user experience. This shows not only through their continual updates but also through their instructional and helpful videos put out on various platforms.”

– Studio One Review, Zachary B.

What users dislike:

“Some features can be hard to find, and the iconography is not always the most intuitive (at least to me) as to a button’s function. More templating to apply individual preferences on the top of recordings settings would be helpful.”

Studio One Review, David Y.

Selecting the best free music making software

Whether providing built-in instrument sounds or integrating with real instruments—and in some cases, both—music-making software empowers users to splice and dice assorted aural ingredients into mini masterpieces. 

And even though your favorite artist has likely dabbled in this software at some point, it doesn’t take a music major to create a basic tune with these intuitive tools and interfaces.

Don’t let your music just be an auditory treat. Check out these free video editing software to make a music video that resonates with your symphony and audience.