With all the excitement that’s been going on about the different beat-making software being sold at major retailers, many people are overlooking one small, yet huge aspect entirely: doing research.
The reason being there are plenty of programs online that allow you to make beats, that you own, entirely free. This may or may not blow your mind but it’s 100% true, which is why I decided to dedicate an entire article on the different beat production software options available to anyone who has a computer.
I’ve took the time to give an overview of my discovery of the top 20 ( not in order) most valuable softwares online for making beats that are great alternatives to major industry standard programs like Pro Tools, Ableton Live, and Logic.
So put that wallet away and let’s make your own beats free.
MAGIX Music Maker
Giving you a great head start as a beginner, the free version of MAGIX gives you 8 tracks to record vocals or instruments on. Also, it provides you with 8 different types of effects, 3 different instruments, and 425 samples and loops. To me, this is a must-have for a beginner in the field of audio recording and production on either Mac or PC computers.
The free version of FL Studio, which can be used on Mac or PC as well, has an unlimited amount of time to use. Although it’s only limited to having mp3 formatted projects, and may take a while to learn for beginners, it’s still a heavily valued DAW (digital audio workstation) program to use to create music.
This amazing and user friendly production software makes it so easy to make some extremely unique and captivating instrumentals for your songs. Hydrogen will allow you to create 16 different samples per instrument, and also a standard sample editor. This DAW is available within Mac, Windows, and Linux.
Containing over 2 million samples and loops to use in this user friendly program, Splice offers kits from some of the top DJ’s and producers in the industry. Although only free for 14 days, what you get with the Splice system is a very large variety of features to use for only $8.99 a month.
Although only available for Mac and other Apple branded devices, this is a very easy and great program for beginners. With its simple drag-and-drop functionality with certain sounds, wide variety of instruments and sounds, and the basic plugins many songs need to design a captivating song, this software is something to have. Especially since the price is well… free.
This one is a professional music notation software which can be used by many beginners wanting to compose music. Its very intuitive and simplistic features allow for outstanding music creation.
This incredible drum sequencer has a built-in drum setup editor that can be exported in various formats right into your MIDI editor. This program can be used with either Mac or PC.
This digital audio workstation is one of the best options for creating beats and using drum kits. Given the software’s simple exporting and alteration of settings comes in handy while making your way around the program. Make top beats without the stress while on PC, Mac, or Linux.
Here is another easy-to-use program with its interface and functionality made for simplicity. Given its built-in synthesizer and wide range of sample tracks and instruments, it’s one of the best in the free production software category. I strongly recommend LMMS as an option on this list being able to be used on Mac or PC.
HammerHead Rhythm Station
Primarily used to create House and Techno type music, this one comes with 29 built-in drum sounds, 6 channels, and the capability to upload 6 of your very own samples. You’ll find many 909-styled drums with the ability to save your patterns to CD quality WAV files within HammerHead.
Are you a music composer who thrives with sheet music creation? Well go ahead and download this fantastic software which allows you to control basic function shortcuts from your keyboard. You’re able to export projects as MIDI using different file formats also. I haven’t tried this one yet, but it’s on my to-do list.
This software is used primarily for hip hop and rap beats since the majority of drum kits reflect those genres of music. Sampulator is your very free beat pad that allows you to press the “shift” key and begin making your monstrous hip hop instrumentals.
Rhythm Composer 10-808
This extremely unique program is 100% online. If you’re new to the 808 platform, be sure to go through the tutorials when you get stuck somewhere. With its fascinating Roland TR-808 emulator, anyone with a computer and internet connection can take full advantage to make some beats for free.
No computer? No problem. Anyone can access this beat making software right from their Apple or Android device. Remix songs right in your web browser and learn the basics of loops and samples. Personally, I’m a big fan of creating beats while on the go, which is why this one is on my list as well.
This incredible powerhouse of a DAW is specifically for the DJ’s of the world. With its BPM, key detection and sync, DJ controller support, effects, and vinyl record control, it has everything a DJ needs as a beginner and those who are experienced.
Within this web based drum machine, you get simplicity, intuitiveness, and efficiency all in one place with the compatibility of all major internet browsers. Drumbit is available through the Google Chrome App and the Chrome webstore as well. Several drum set options are available for use and can be imported directly into your DAW for recording.
Similar to Drumbit, Drum Machine is an online and app based drum studio. This program is extremely simple to use, possessing a user friendly and push button grid to add all your favorite drum sounds to create the ultimate patterns for your projects.
This program alone takes the place of analog or digital tape systems, which is basically vinyl, tape, and samples thereof. The different plug-ins that are included are fully sampled and automated accurately for the best experience possible. I most definitely recommend this DAW as an alternative to others like Pro Tools and Logic Pro.
Although this program is only available with Windows computers, with Darkwave Studio you get the full package. You’ll receive fully expandable instrument plug-in capability that has no limits. You’ll find this one very appealing since every producer likes for this to work quickly and efficiently which is why Darkwave’s low latency ASIO definitely serves its purpose.
This DAW software provides an unlimited number of tracks per session as well as overlapping clips each track created. Supporting audio files such as MP3, WAV, AIFF, FLAC, OGG, etc., this program has everything you need to make beats with in the Linux platform.
As a music producer, I think I can speak for us all when I say that we need options and plenty of them. Whether it be within your digital audio workstation, or the DAW itself. Trial and error is key to finding the best software that works for you.
Take a look at all 20 platforms for making beats, do plenty of research and trial periods, and let me know in the comments which ones your find most useful, or not useful, in your production process. I haven’t tried all of these yet, by I’m on my way to seeing which programs best suit my music production needs for free.
Have fun and happy beat-making!