Free Music Making Software (BEST)

07/14/2020
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You’ll require the basic stuff like a computer and while not necessary a midi controller will help.

Also a limited knowledge of beat making is required. Here we will go over must know tips and tricks that the pro's use.

1. Have a strong foundation

Every robust building must begin with a strong foundation; it’s no different when making your own beats. Start with the basics, lay down a kick and snare pattern that both inspires and keeps a strong pulse. 

2. Make it pretty

Begin to build on your simple kick and snare pattern. Add hi-hats, toms, cymbals, claps or any possible sound effects that will grow your simple pattern into the best beat of 2020. 

Try experimenting with different VST plugins (virtual instruments) to alter the sound of your beats and get that snare sounding just right.

3. Don’t overpopulate

Always remember, there’s more to a song than just the beat. Leave space for additional instruments and vocals. 

4. Practice makes perfect

Unless you’re an unknown prodigy in the making, it’s very unlikely that your first beat will make the charts. Develop your craft and experiment with new sound effects and rhythms. Try to replicate your favourite producers beats to learn first hand from the masters themselves! 
Want more advice on making your own music? 

5. Make your own studio

Technology has come such a long way in such a short space of time. Gone are the days of needing high tech studios to make music. In today’s world, the humble laptop is all you need to break into the music industry. For those of you wanting to dive a bit deeper into the world of production, a home studio is a great starting point to both develop your craft and begin working as a professional sound maker. 

There are a few basic things every producer needs to begin building their own home studio (excluding a computer).

6. Digital Audio Workstation

Every producer needs a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) to record, edit, mix and master their tracks. With so many to choose from, it’s hard to know which DAW is best for you. 

7. Audio UI

Sure, MIDI instruments are sounding more realistic by the day; but why settle for MIDI samples when you can record the real thing!? 

An audio interface will allow you to expand your beats into fully-fledged songs, adding instruments, vocals or anything else you desire to record! 

8. Preamps

I know, I know… Nearly all audio interfaces now have their own inbuilt preamps for recording instruments and vocals. So, why would you need additional preamps? 
Well, it’s all about having those extra colours on your pallet. Preamps can shape the tone of your recording and even offer additional features in the higher-priced products.

The Top 10 Beat Maker Online Software

Enough talking about the black hole that is studio gear and let’s get down to the real reason we’re here… The top 10 beat making software of 2019/2020.

1. Splice Sounds

If you’re a beat producer, you’ve more than likely heard of Splice due to their well-known VST plugins. But, have you seen their free beats machine? 

Splice has created an extremely intuitive online free beat maker that you can trial for FREE right here.

Simply click where you’d like to place a hit on the grid and press space bar to hear your creation. 

Experiment with various drums and sound effects to create your ideal beat or browse through Splice’s royalty-free sample library for even more sounds. 

You can also listen to other producers’ beats and edit them yourself to inspire new creations! Pretty cool right? 

There are a few disadvantages to this online software that’s worth a mention. To make the most of this software or to even download your beats, a monthly subscription of $7.99 is needed. 

Musical typing also isn’t available so you are restricted to Splice’s interface. Here’s a quick and easy breakdown on the pros and cons of Splice’s specs:

Pros:

  • Can listen to and edit other producers’ beats
  • Can store your beats on the cloud with easy previous version recovery
  • Intuitive interface that does not require additional equipment
  • Provides royalty-free samples 
  • Rent-to-Own Splice plugins
  • Compatible with most popular DAWs

Cons:

  • Requires a monthly subscription to access full features 
  • Cannot download beats without a subscription 
  • No musical typing

2. Soundtrap

Soundtrap is more than just a beatmaker studio; it’s a basic DAW allowing you to create beats, record instruments, automate volume and collaborate in real-time with other musicians. 

Like Splice, Soundtrap allows you to create beats by clicking squares on a grid to initiate sound. Soundtrap also allows for musical typing, allowing you to create your beats live from your laptop keyboard. 

The expansive sound library has a wide range of samples and instrument loops (far more than Splice) that you can use royalty free in your own songs. 

Furthermore, you can download your beats for free in MP3 format; higher quality downloads such as WAVs do require a paid subscription.

Here’s a quick and easy breakdown on the pros and cons of Soundtrap’s specs:

Pros:

  • Intuitive interface for easy use 
  • Musical typing
  • Ability to record live instruments 
  • Volume and pan automation
  • Large range of sounds and samples
  • Free MP3 download option

Cons:

  • Higher quality download files require a paid subscription
  • High subscription fee
  • Free package has limited loops and samples

3. Gismart Beat Maker

The Gismart beat maker machine is an app-based maker available on both Apple and Android products – Perfect for making beats on the move and an easy entry to the top 10.

Utilising the common grid system to create your beats, this app is incredibly intuitive. Ideal for beginners wanting to learn the ropes. The app also offers basic loops and preset beats to edit at your heart’s content. 

Gismart also allows for up to five effects to be applied to each pad with parameter editing. Beginners should utilise this free service to develop their beat-making and mixing skills. 

Due to the app format, the Gismart is incredibly simple compared to other beatmakers in this article. App store reviews have also complained that unavoidable advert videos in the app often disrupt workflow. Add removal and additional features are unobtainable without in-app purchases. 

Here’s a quick and easy breakdown on the pros and cons of Gismart’s specs:

Pros:

  • Free downloadable app format
  • Easy to create beats on the move
  • The simplistic design makes beat making easy
  • Very beginner-friendly interface 
  • Range of effects to tailor your sounds

Cons: 

  • Too simplistic for professional use 
  • Ads disrupt workflow
  • In-app purchases for additional content

4. Intua

The Intua beat maker is just what you professional producers have been looking for; a detailed, ever-expanding studio available on the go from your tablet or smartphone. 

This well-integrated app has everything professionals need to make release worthy tracks without being tied to a computer. Features include MIDI capability, Full AUv3 and IAA support, precise sequencing and a full-fledged mixer to fine-tune your mix. 

With this app, you get what you pay for. Priced at $24.99, Intua allows for detailed editing of both beats and instrument sounds. The Intua website also promises that its ‘flexible scene mode’ allows for a range of opportunities when performing live or remixing with its display resembling Ableton Live

Intua also offers an ever-growing sound library, filled with professionally recorded samples from all genres and styles. 

However, with great complexity sometimes comes great confusion. Reviews on the app store seem to love this software for its detailed capabilities but do pass mention that the app isn’t always the easiest to operate. 

Here’s a quick and easy breakdown on the pros and cons of Intua’s specs:

Pros:

  • High tech, professional standard
  • App format for making beats on the move
  • Detailed features 
  • MIDI compatible for studio and live integration 

Cons:

  • Not the most intuitive to use
  • Only available in app format
  • Only compatible with IOS 9.3+ 

5. Serato Studio

Serato Studio is a beat making software designed to help DJs enter the world of production yet provide working producers with a quick and easy tool to record ideas fast and efficiently. 

The Serato brand pride themselves on their fast and simple workflow, providing pre-made drum patters, BPM sync and one-click key shifting. All of which help you make music faster and keep you in that creative flow. 

Built to look like Serato DJ, this software makes for a smooth transition between alternative Serato products, integrating you quickly into the software. You’re also able to utilise your DJ equipment, allowing you to work quickly and comfortably with the tools you know. 

A free trial is available, however, to utilise the full potential of this beat maker, a subscription is required. The annual monthly subscription costs as little as $9.99 and includes regular software updates, free sound pack downloads and free VST plugins. 

This powerful software app also allows for VST plugins, AU plugins, automation and stem exporting to ensure you can craft your perfect sound. 

Here’s a quick and easy breakdown on the pros and cons of Serato Studio’s specs:

Pros:

  • Very affordable subscription
  • Ideal for DJs that are familiar with Serato products
  • A fast and easy workflow for optimum work efficiency 
  • DJ style mixing
  • Scene Track allows for a clear song arrangement

Cons:

  • Requires a subscription
  • Cannot ‘audition’ audio loops before adding them into your track
  • No pan control 
  • Designed for beginners with little music theory knowledge

6. ROLI Beatmaker Kit

The ROLI Beatmaker is a small, wireless, touch-responsive light pad that provides producers with a ‘hands-on’ approach to beat making. This fully customisable pad wirelessly connects to your computer, allowing you to create beats, edit sound effects and even program melodies using your fingertips. Perfect for those of you that prefer making music with your hands rather than a mouse and keyboard. It’s the only physical, hands-on beat maker to make it into our top 10. 

Priced at £279.95, the ROLI Beatmaker proves you with a range of software which opens a world of customisability for the producer. Edit sounds, effects and even customise how your interface is displayed on the light-pad. Your workflow, your way. 

The purchase also provides a 6-month subscription to Melodics, teaching you how to best utilise your Beatmaker.

The Roli is also incredibly compatible with a range of popular DAWs and software, including Logic Pro, GarageBand, Ableton Live, Strobe2 and more. Furthermore, you’re not limited to using a computer! 

The ROLI Beatmaker allows you to make beats on the move with your tablet or at home via your laptop or computer. 

Here’s a quick and easy breakdown on the pros and cons of ROLI Beatmaker’s specs:

Pros:

  • The small design makes this easy to transport
  • Wireless
  • Compatible with a range of software and DAWs
  • Very customisable 

Cons:

  • Expensive upfront cost
  • Short four hour battery life
  • Limited to a 15 meter Bluetooth range
  • Not compatible with Android products

7. MAGIX Music Maker

Music Maker by MAGIX is a simplistic rendition of a DAW, allowing for quick and easy beat creation from a simple drag and drop. Aimed more towards beginners, Music Maker encourages the user to utilise the vast sound library for a collection of compatible loops – No music theory required, just drag and drop. If you’re a real beginner, then this is the one for you out of our top 10 beat makers!

All loops are available in a range of pitches and can easily be edited using the bank of effects (again via drag and drop). 

The software is MIDI compatible and will allow real instrument recording. However, editing and mixing options do seem limited… perhaps due to the beginner-friendly design. Users are also restricted on how many software instruments they can use per track. Not ideal for those wanting to compose their next big ensemble track! 

A free package is available, however, it harshly limits the producer with only 425 loops, 8 effects and only 8 tracks. A premium package is available to better utilise Music Maker’s capabilities however its priced very expensively at $99.99.

Here’s a quick and easy breakdown on the pros and cons of Music Maker’s specs:

Pros:

  • Quick and easy to create music
  • Ideal for beginners wanting to explore beat making 
  • No music theory or knowledge required
  • MIDI compatible 
  • Real instrument recording

Cons: 

  • Extremely basic (Not for anyone above a beginner)
  • The free package is very limited
  • The paid package is very expensive 
  • Only available on Windows OS

8. OrDrumBox

OrDrumBox is a free online beat maker downloadable beat machine that prides itself on its auto-composition. The software can automatically compose baselines, melodic patterns or even complete songs; ideal for those wanting to experiment quickly and freely.

Utilising the grid system, this simplistic drum machine features a range of sounds. Additional loops and samples can be downloaded from the OrDrumBox website to expand your sound library. 

OrDrumBox also features automatic track matching capabilities, allowing you to quickly sync multiple tracks together based on tempo and rhythm. 

All in all, with this free beat making website it does what it says on the tin. A very simple hip hop beat maker online that makes super easy beats. Perhaps not the most professional software, but it’s fantastic for quick experiments or for beginners wanting to develop their beat making skills. 

Here’s a quick and easy breakdown on the pros and cons of OrDrumBox’s specs:

Pros:

  • Free download with no subscription needed
  • Auto-composition allows producers to create songs quickly 
  • Intuitive to use
  • Easy to import WAV files for extra sounds and effects

Cons:

  • Poor, outdated aesthetic 
  • Limited sounds and loops
  • Requires an understanding of step sequencing 

9. GarageBand

GarageBand is a fantastic and intuitive piece of software, ideal for beginners and pros alike. This DAW is packed with useful features and extensive music editing tools that allow you to create a professional sounding track on both your tablet and computer. 

This software provides ‘smart instruments’ for beginners wanting to make music quickly, a wide range of loops and samples and real instrument recording capabilities. For those more advanced producers, GarageBand also offers some features that can be found in Logic Pro such as EQ and other detailed mixing options. 

Beat making can be achieved in a variety of ways to best suit the user’s needs. The most intuitive to use is, without doubt, the beat sequencer. Utilising the grid interface, the user can easily create complex drum beats at a push of a few buttons.

Here’s a quick and easy breakdown on the pros and cons of GarageBand’s specs:

Pros:

  • Available in both desktop and app formats
  • Very intuitive
  • A wide range of features for beginners and professionals 
  • MIDI and real instrument recording
  • Free 

Cons:

  • Only available on IOS products
  • It’s not as detailed as other stand-alone beat makers
  • Lacks some ‘pro’ features

10. LMMS

LMMS is a free beat making software available on Windows, IOS and Linux. Designed by musicians, for musicians; this detailed beat maker has everything a producer needs to make professional quality beats. 

MIDI and musical typing enabled, LMMS also offers an editorial piano roll for fine-tuning your music. Furthermore, the intuitive interface allows producers to sequence, compose, mix and automate songs all from one place. 

LMMS also provides built-in effects for mixing and supports VST plugins (VST plugins only supported on Linux and Windows). 

Online reviews do complain about this software’s limitations, detailing that instruments and sounds are limited. One reviewer said: ‘you get what you pay for’. That being said, for a free DAW it doesn’t look bad! Beginners should definitely check this out! 

Here’s a quick and easy breakdown on the pros and cons of GarageBand’s specs:

Pros:

  • Free
  • Cross-platform compatible 
  • MIDI and musical typing 
  • Great for beginner producers on a budget

Cons:

  • Limited Sounds and Instruments
  • VST plugins not supported on IOS
  • Multiple reviews of ‘buggy’ software