A decade ago, music production software was one of the most expensive tools in a recording studio. However, our top picks for the best free music making software for beginners will make your choice considerably easier.
Thanks to audio recording software, musicians, singers, and music producers are able to record high-quality audios at home with a number of different effects as well. For producing high-quality tracks and music, good audio recording software is a necessity nowadays.
Audio recording and production are one of the most rapidly growing sectors of media production. Nowadays, there are hardly any musicians and producers that use the old ways and tools of audio recording. Most of them have transitioned to the audio recording software thanks to the versatility, comfort, convenience, and control they provide.
Since the music production sector has been rapidly making success, more and more companies and developers have started pitching in by releasing their own audio recording software. Just like other software, audio recording software is also available in free versions and premium versions.
There are plenty of options to choose from even if you are looking for free software. However, everyone has its own ebbs and flows, which is why you might have to explore a few options before you settle on one. Mostly, newbies and beginners are looking for free software to work with. As compared to premium software, the free ones have limited functionality, but it works well for beginners. Once they jump into the professional world, they can always pay a minimal fee for the software license.
In this guide, we have listed down the best paid and free audio recording software and have also prepared a brief buying guide section to help you understand how things work with audio recording software.
As compared to a DAW, audio recording software is light, however, if you want something heavy-duty, you might want to look for the best music production software in the market.
If you want to know what tools you will need to start making music, check how to build a home recording studio at under $600.
9 Best Cheap and Free Music Making Software for Beginners:
As mentioned earlier, audio recording or music-making software, and DAW are usually confused and used interchangeably. However, they are different especially when it comes to handling heavy-duty recordings. An audio recording with DAW capabilities is actually a hardcore audio recorder with advanced tools and features that can deal with high-level recordings. Some of the best affordable music-making software with DAW capabilities are:
1. GarageBand Mac (FREE)
GarageBand software is a fully equipped music creation app install right inside your Mac. It has a modern professional-looking design, and also is packed with all the essential tools to play, record, create, and share your hits around the world.
GarageBand comes with a complete sound library that includes instruments, presets for guitar and voice, and an awesome selection of 28 beat‑making drummers and three percussionists. From EDM, House, and Hip Hop to Latin, Metal, and Blues, and whatever beat you want to create.
Even tho it is a free macOS running music-making software, there are also ways to download GarageBand on your Windows PC.
2. Zynewave Podium Music composition software (FREE)
For a free download visit the official website: zynewave.com
This fully functional DAW made its debut in 2005 and took the market by a boom. It has a 64-bit sound engine, VST, third-party plugin compatibility, and MIDI capabilities. Along with this, the users also get a variety of advanced functions.
The best part is, despite its amazing features it comes at an extremely low price. It also comes in a free version called the Zynewave Podium Free. It has a few limitations but works ideally for beginners and newbies. Apart from lacking multiprocessing capabilities and surround sound playback, the free and paid version are the same. However, due to lacking the above-mentioned features, the free version cannot take a lot of loads.
Features like Mixer Busses, Multi-Channel Audio, Object-Based Project Structure, etc. come in the package giving the user more control over the audio. Also, its versatility helps the user improve their recording skills over time. The hierarchy helps in organizing the audios for better skimming and improved multiprocessing. The interface, like many audio recorders, is customizable according to the user’s needs. Display timeouts and screen nags are a thing of the past with this recording software.
3. MAGIX Samplitude Music Production Studio
Another audio recording software with super DAW capabilities is this MAGIX Samplitude music studio. It has a design only for use with Windows 7,8 and 10. The software combines a powerful 64-bit engine. It provides a flexible and convenient workflow and enables the user to record high-quality audio.
The design of this software provides the musicians with complete freedom. It enables users to create 24-bit/96 kHz multitrack records, remixed, and MP3 files. Get one of the best studio microphones for under $300 and you are ready for 100% quality recordings.
The latest version ships with a large number of optimizations, sophisticated features, and some brand-new tools. The comeback has made things a lot more interesting for the users. Tools and features like play and record instruments, mixing and mastering, notation editing, vita instruments, different effects, automatic mastering, and the MIDI velocity dynamics have amped up the software and increased Samplitude’s fan base overall.
For professionals, the software is a complete package on its own. It comes at a moderate price but makes every penny worth it. The 11 effects from essential FX Suite and new vita instruments are a game-changer. Users can now also compose melodies with this recording software.
4. Mixcraft Music Production Software
This extremely reasonable record and mix software with DAW capabilities are considered a musician favorite since it uses professional synthesizers and virtual instruments topped with a dozen audio effects, sound effects, and multiple options for professional loops. Apart from this, this software with DAW capabilities allows the users to arrange vocals like guitars and keyboards. Whereas, the virtual instruments let the users add effects. It also has MIDI data along with a newly designed alpha sampler. The sampler enhances audio quality and sound.
Around 16 audio tracks and virtual instrument tracks can be multi-processed and multitracked at a time. The software also has video editing and scoring abilities and allows the users to add scrolling text and text tiles. The users will be able to perform live tracks with this software. It has the ability to organize samples and combine different performance sets together.
If you would also like to learn how to use this software check out this great tutorial guide, available on Amazon.com, on Making Music with GarageBand and Mixcraft.
5. Wavepad FREE audio recording software
For more info and free download visit: nch.com.au
This is one of the most famous audio recording software on the market. It comes with operating system compatibility for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android making it useful for almost every musician out there. This NCH software creation can not only help you record top of the line audios but also allows you to add a number of cool effects. These effects include normalization, echo, amplification, noise reduction, equalization, etc. They help in making your audio more fun and also enhances the quality of your audio recording. The software also features a variety of audio editing tools like pitch shifting, trimming, compression, etc.
The Wavepad audio recording software, like most of the audio recording software, comes with a batch recording feature as well. This feature allows the users to edit a number of files at the same time making the whole process a lot more convenient. Apart from a variety of tools for beginner level musicians, this software has a plethora of tools for professionals as well. Remember that the quality of your recordings depends also on your audio interface and microphones.
These tools include speech synthesis, voice changers, spectral analysis, and lots more. A wide range of import/export formats is support by Wavepad on top of the wide operating system support making it the most used audio recording software on the market.
6. Audacity FREE audio recording software
For a free download visit the official website: audacityteam.org
Audacity’s first version was released in the year 2000, and since then, it has become one of the most popular free audio recording software. This open-source software is compatible with all the famous operating systems and has a wide range of recording and editing options for its users. All this is tied together by an extremely user-friendly interface. The best part is, the interface is customizable.
If the user does not feel comfortable using a certain interface, he/she can always choose from the existing templates and opt for a different interface. As compared to other fancy audio recording software, the Audacity is pretty simple but considering the developers don’t ask their users for a single penny, the simplicity is justified.
The loaded tracks appear in the waveform on the interface. It has simple as basic tool bards with a separate editing and recording section. However, while editing your track, you need to understand that the software works via destructive editing. This means you are altering the original audio file. Hence, before editing ensure you have a copy of the original file. On the other hand, the software comes with all the modern editing features like edit silence, noise reduction, equalization, file compression, changing file format, etc.
The software has a huge user forum where users can interact to solve any problem that arises with the software.
7. RecordPad audio recording software (FREE)
For a free download visit: nch.com.au
Another software developed by the NCH software if this standalone recording tool which was basically designed to be a part of a larger range of digital audio applications but can be used alone. It is not only capable of supporting multiple channel audio feeds but also combines with other programs in order to enhance its audio recording capabilities. Despite using the loop cable method as a default audio input, it supports audio inputs from all sources. The user, while using this tool, can also capture audio from computer playback, an in-line device, or from internet streaming sources.
The RecordPad recording software is capable of burning or ripping an audio and scheduling different recording times. However, to use the above-mentioned features, you will have to enable plugins for burning, conversion, and editing of the audio. You can access abilities like reverb, noise reduction, pop and click removal, equalizing, and fade, along with other features for adding effects to your audio.
Unlike the audio recording software mentioned before this, the RecordPad does not have a lot of audio conversion options. It only has compatibility with basic formats like MP3, WAV, and a few more. The software comes in a home version and a professional version, both have different costs.
8. GoldWave audio recording software (FREE)
For a free download or paid option visit: goldwave.com
GoldWave has been around for as long as we remember. We can easily call it a veteran among the audio recording software we have nowadays. With its easily customizable interface and high processing and editing abilities, the software has won over many musicians. It has undergone many changes and upgrades to reach the sophisticated version of itself that we see today. The software offers a plethora of options for beginners and inexperienced musicians. Apart from the typical filters and special audio effects, the software has the ability to record from multiple sources and also helps the user through the process via the required help and guidance.
Despite having an extremely user-friendly interface with all the tools visibly placed on all their respective toolbars, the software comes with an extensive ‘how do I’ section which helps the beginners and inexperienced musicians understand how things work with the GoldWave. Most of the audio recording software is very complex for newbies, not this one since it was designed to keep these new musicians in mind. It comes with a voice and level activated recording feature which is by far the best feature of this software. It also included digital and analog rip capabilities, however, it lacks burning options. This is not a big deal considering most personal computers nowadays have burning options.
9. i-Sound Recorder – Free audio recording software
For a free trial and more info visit the official website: byssmedia.com
Over the past few years, the i-Sound recorder has evolved into a very sophisticated audio recording software. The software is famous for its direct recording via its generic audio drivers. The i-Sound recorder is specifically designed for windows and does not need the users to install and enable Stereo Mix or Wave Out Mix function for recording the output from the sound card. The universal audio input and audio ripping tools along with the low price point of this software are exactly what made is so famous among the professionals and beginners in the music industry. With this software, you can easily record audio inputs from all the sources.
The i-Sound recorder also comes with a record timer which allows the musician to pre-define the duration of the recordings. Similarly, you can use a scheduler to pre-schedule your recordings. The voice-activated recording tool installed can be set to a certain level. The audio recording starts as soon as it meets the threshold. Numerous input feeds are accepted by this recording software, in both digital and analog formats. Among the plethora of other features, the software also has low pass filters, high pass filters, notch filters, auto splitter, sound warmer, fade, pitch shifting, and a wide range of audio conversion formats.
These were our top picks for the best free music making software for beginners and free audio recording softwares.
If you want quality recording without spending much or anything at all, the above music softwares will get the job done perfectly. Available to easily connect to your computer, laptop, or iPad, and both MAC and Windows Operating Systems.
If you are looking for more free stuff to start music production and sound design, take a look at the best free VST plugins.
What is an audio recording software?
Usually, voice recording software is confused with a digital audio workstation that is also a recording system of a sort. However, as compared to DAW an audio recording software is simpler and more convenient to use. An audio recording software comes with features like special effects, manual recording, scheduling, high decibel sound alarm, etc. It also has tools like trimming audios, removing background noise, and import/export. Some types also come with mobile phone compatibility and can also be used for recording on the road.
The top 9 best free and affordable audio recording software are:
- i-Sound Recorder
- Zynewave Podium
- MAGIX Samplitude Music Studio
Features to look for in audio recording softwares:
There are a number of impressive audio recording software on the market, which is why choosing the right one for yourself can be pretty difficult. Most of the software has the same tools, which is why it all comes down to these factors:
- Operating system:
There are very few audio recording software that comes with all operating system compatibilities. Hence, before installing or purchasing an audio recording software, you need to ensure its compatibility with your system. Also, considering the hardware specifications of your system is extremely important since in most cases audio recording software spike up the CPU and GPU usage rendering the system almost useless. Along with good audio recording software, you will also need a computer system with a good system of chipset topped with a good GPU and RAM. The built-in storage is a plus.
- Hardware compatibility:
This is not similar to what we mentioned above. Audio recording software comes with pre-defined compatibility for MIDI controllers and mixer plugs. Thus, before researching for the best audio software that will fulfill your needs it is essential that you find software compatible with the method of recording you use.
- Experience level:
Your experience level plays a very important role in the type of audio recording software you need for your work. If you are new to the profession or are in the learning phase. We advise you to not look for all the fancy-schmancy stuff, rather keep it simple and basic. Most of the time, developers provide all the basic features freely, and all the fancy stuff requires payment. Thus, as a beginner, while looking for audio recording software, write all the features and tools you need in your recording software then buy or install something that fits your needs. The same holds true for intermediate level and skilled musicians. For professionals, we advise investing in a full-fledged DAW rather than a basic audio recording software.
After you have all your needs sorted, you need to look for something that fits your budget. You don’t want to go for something very fancy because that will cost too much but you still don’t want to go for something too basic, because that would be a waste of money since you can get those in a free audio recording software as well. After listing down the features that you need, you can compare all the available audio recording software and find the one that is within your budget. Since you don’t have any online stores that combine all the info, you might have to dig for some information on your own.
Hopefully, this article had all the information you needed to find the best audio recording software for your recording needs. There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to a DAW or audio recording software. You just need to find and invest in the one that is most suitable for your needs and the easiest way to do that is by making a list of the features you need.
Free and Lite production softwares will not require a powerful PC. But if you run multiple tasks and apps simultaneously, then you better take a look at the best computers for music production or top laptops for the same job.
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