In the words of the developer, NesBleuBleu, FamiStudio is targeted at “...people who always wanted to make chiptune or a simple game, but found themselves paralyzed looking at trackers”.
Sure, FamiStudio is a great app available for free on both mobile devices and computers but not without limitations. First, the app isn’t as simple and intuitive as expected.
While using it, I discovered that the interface has just a sequencer and a piano roll that depicts a professional DAW but the usage isn’t so smooth.
When you click on any of the bars to add the first notes in the sequencer, you don’t get just one note but the whole infinite bar. You have to stop the note at intervals by pressing “Ctrl + Click”.
It takes lots of time to master the app, the functions, and its usage. Plus, you might want to create a non-NES-style game and will need a different app for that. Thankfully, FamiStudio isn’t the only music editor.
In this article, I have rounded up the best FamiStudio alternatives that you should check out. Without much ado, let’s get started.
LMMS is a simple yet robust and professional digital audio workstation (DAW). The app is a great choice if you need the basic foundation for music composition and production.
The software is free to download like Famistudio. Once installed on your computer or laptop, you have a plethora of tools to help you to create and edit melodies, beats, synthesize and mix sounds, arrange samples and so much more.
LMMS stated that, “making beats has never been easier” which is true because not only are you creating and editing music from wherever you are, the features are super easy to use.
Whether you are a beginner or professional musician, the app helps you to compose and arrange your songs either from scratch or from the in-built sound presets.
You can create as many channels as you like on the FX mixer and even customize keyboard shortcuts to make your work easier.
Also, if you ever need help or support from people in the same field as you, LMMS has a community of supportive volunteer developers and users.
You can upload your works on the app’s Facebook groups or Soundcloud and get feedback.
Alternatively, users can seek help from the app’s homepage forums. That’s unlike FamiStudio though. You aren’t exposed to this kind of huge support.
LMMS is also an open-source app like FamiStudio and works well on Linux, Windows, and macOS.
Ardour is another FamiStudio alternative worth trying out. The digital audio workstation software is designed to run on Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, and Microsoft Windows.
Created by Paul Davis, Ardour allows users to record, edit, and mix sounds right on their computer. You can either record directly to your computer or import the audio or MIDI from your device or Freesound database.
All the tools needed to edit your sound and beats are in one window which makes your work seamless and stress-free. There is no need to switch to piano roll, sequencer, or other musical dialogs.
Ardour undoubtedly has the most flexible sound mixer with lots of plugins and control surfaces which isn’t available on FamiStudio. The best part is that it allows users to import video to the timeline and extract the soundtrack.
When you’re done, you can easily export your work. Ardour is created for soundtrack editors, musicians, audio engineers, and composers.
There is no limit even though you just want to create a soundtrack for your new game. As long as you’re musically inclined, the app will be of huge benefit.
Finally, Ardour is an open-source software like FamiStudio meaning that the app’s source code is open to anyone to monitor. You also have a community of other developers and users to share your work and gain feedback.
REAPER, an acronym for Rapid Environment for Audio Production, Engineering, and Recording is a complete digital audio production software for computers.
The app is available for macOS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows just like FamiStudio, and offers full multitrack MIDI and audio recording, processing, editing, mixing, and mastering tools.
It also supports different hardware and digital third-party plugins like VST, VST3, LV2, AU, JS, and DX that help make your work efficient and fast. You can easily record, import, edit, and render audio in any media format including video.
In addition, you can create new effects with different varieties of in-built tools as well as process audio and MIDI with quality studio effects. Another great feature REAPER users enjoy is the freedom to customize the app’s interface.
You can change icons, toolbars, colors, and anything enabling you to switch between multiple layouts when you are working on different tasks. I love that REAPER starts, loads, and is ready to use in only a few seconds. Everything can be done within a blink of an eye.
The app has an essential guide that puts you through recording, editing, and mixing beats if you’re still new to it. After reading the guide, if you are still a bit confused, you can always count on the support groups created by REAPER.
SunVox is a music creation application like FamiStudio. However, the difference here is that the FamiStudio is specifically designed to produce NES-styled tracks while SunVox allows people who love composing music to do so whenever they want and from wherever they wish.
The best part is that the app is free and works on any device whether Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, or Linux. SunVox is simple to use yet fast and with powerful features.
You have two core options to choose from when composing your music – you can either record real-time with your instruments or import presets from other users. In addition, you can arrange beats in loops, effects, and synthesizers with ease.
SunVox has an intuitive interface that is divided into a pattern editor, musical keyboard, timeline, and controllers of selected modules. You can also create keyboard shortcuts to make your work easier and faster.
SunVox is open-source software.
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MOTU Digital is an ideal choice if you are looking for a complete digital studio production workspace. You can record, mix, edit, process, and polish recordings all within your computer desktop.
The best part is that you have different varieties of MIDI and audio virtual instruments including loops and sound libraries at your fingertips. This audio workstation goes ahead and lets you create multiple sequences for one project.
Ordinarily, when working on a beat, you usually end up having different versions of it before making your choice.
MOTU Digital Performer compiles all the versions under one project file. That way, it’s easily accessible and looks more organized.
Unlike FamiStudio, MOTU Digital Performer allows you to add as many tracks and sequences as you like while working.
I think this is the most exciting feature of this software – there is no limitation and ideas will keep flowing, non-stop.
In addition to that, you also get to customize your workstation exactly as you wish choosing from the dozens of fancy themes and presets provided in the library.
For a more creative workspace, users are free to configure the features and functions of the software to maximize their experience.
To streamline your workspace and make your work easier, MOTU Digital Performer allows you to consolidate major features such as mixing board, sequence, and waveform editor under one window.
The software can be downloaded from the website and works well on desktop computers.
However, it comes at a price, and the cheapest option available for purchase is $195 which is really inexpensive considering how classy and comprehensive the features are.
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iMaschine was created specifically to help music lovers make music from anywhere.
Though it works only for iOS devices, the features are super creative with an intuitive interface that will make your song creation fun and easy as pie.
The app, which is available on the Apple store at just $9.99, comes with an arranger where you can arrange your scenes and tracks after you have created them. Not just that, all your projects will open easily whenever you want to work on them.
The app’s “Step Mode” allows you to quickly lay your beats if you don’t have drumming skills to get that done. All you need to do is to drop snares, hats, and kicks wherever you want them.
Most of all, there are hundreds of professional sounds in the library to explore and find the perfect one for your project.
The Smart Play keyboard gives you the right note when you play it while the arpeggiator lets you add a dynamic movement to your song.
Unlike FamiStudio, you can personalize your recordings by adding your vocals or importing samples from your iTunes library.
Samples can be edited and reversed within the app and when you are done, you can either export them to Maschine, Maschine Mikro, or Maschine Studio or simply upload them to SoundCloud for everyone to listen to.
Lastly, iMaschine comes with a color-coding feature that allows users to find and group sounds by color. It makes your project much more visually appealing and easy to navigate.
FamiStudio doesn’t have such a feature which adds a huge bonus to iMaschine.
7. NanoStudio 2
NanoStudio 2 is another FamiStudio alternative that you should check out. It’s a powerful music app and a great choice for artists interested in synthesis and sampling and in need of a solution for all-around music production.
NanoStudio 2 is an improved version of the first NanoStudio which gained popularity amongst musicians because of its high-quality features, productivity, and usability.
The app produces professional sound quality and features robust editors for composing, arranging, and editing beats.
The interface is clean and user-friendly enabling you to hasten up your work. NanoStudio 2 is equally known for featuring Slate, a professional internal music instrument that allows you to easily tap out drum beats.
There are more than 500 quality factory slate samples to choose from like multi-sampled acoustic drums and electronic percussion and effects. NanoStudio allows you to easily add and automate unlimited tracks while working on a project.
When you are done, you can export and share your work on Dropbox, AudioShare iTunes File sharing, AirDrop, or the iOS Files app. NanoStudio also zips files for you making it easy to share multiple files at once.
Ultimately, there is an in-built WebDAV server that backs up your files, so you don’t need to worry about damaged or lost files.
8. KOMPLETE 13
KOMPLETE 13 is one of the packages offered by Native Instruments. As the name insinuates, it’s a “complete” sound production suite for musicians, sound designers, and artists.
The software comes with professional and industry-standard features that give you the creative freedom to create or manipulate any sound, instrument, and effects that you want.
You can browse and choose any sound from the thousands of options available in the sound library.
Alternatively, you can use tags and categories to locate the sound, present, or sample that you want. That’s not obtainable with FamiStudio.
KOMPLETE 13 gives you a lot of sounds to explore from cinematic soundscapes to guitars, acoustic pianos, and synths. Best of all, you’ll be working on an intuitive and friendly interface making your work easier and faster.
You also have the option of publishing your creations on SoundCloud plus an online community of like-minded artists to share, connect with and learn from. KOMPLETE 13 is available for download from the company website after purchase.
SPC – Music Sketchpad is a music creation Android application designed by Mikrosonic for sampling, sequencing, and beat programming. I especially love that the app’s layout is unique and has no complexities, unlike FamiStudios.
With SPC, you can record your performance with your device, remix, and share your tracks. Tools like drum sampler and flexible sequencer enable you to program your groove and beats.
Scribbling your musical ideas has never been easy. You have 16 tracks with four variations, including a keyboard for melodic compositions and a rich sound library.
There is also a collection of additional drum pad scenes which is available for download from the website. Most importantly, while editing your sound, you can add other effects like phaser, filter, reverb, delay, and distortion.
You can download SPC – Music Sketchpad from Google Play.
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Audacity is an audio and music recorder and editor for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Like FamiStudio, it is an open-source and free application.
The app allows you to record live audio using a microphone or a mixer. Not only can you import and export sound files in different file formats, but you can also even send multiple files at once.
Audacity’s sound quality is top-notch as sample rates and formats are converted with high-quality dithering and resampling. It’s easy to edit with the app too as you have unlimited undo and redo to help facilitate your work.
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Zrythm should be your go-to software if you’re looking for a more intuitive and automated digital audio workstation. The software works on Windows, macOS, and Linux computers.
To be honest, sound editing has never been this effortless. Thanks to Zrythm’s intuitive editing interface.
It makes it easy to pick, move, clone, loop, resize, link, cut, or delete objects. Unlike FamiStudio, you can automate any function you want with Zrythm using straight lines, curves, ramps, or envelopes and LFOs.
Most importantly, the software has a comprehensive timeline that allows you to organize your work into different layers. That way, you are more efficient.
Also, you’re never going to lose your work with Zrythm. The software has an automatic project backup that recovers your work at any instance.
You can also undo and redo your work history as many times as you want. Lastly, Zrythm is open-source software, a feature it shares with FamiStudio. This means that the code is available to the public to use, study, and improve on.
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Reason is tagged “On-the-go music studio” for a reason. Because it’s a mobile app, it’s easy to bring out your phone and record your amazing beats whenever inspiration strikes – whether you are strolling or waiting for the bus.
The music studio is right in your pocket and makes music creation and editing fun. When you’re in a more relaxed place, you can import your creation to the app’s desktop version and start editing.
Unlike FamiStudios, Reason’s incredibly easy-to-use interface helps you create beats in seconds. You can sing, hum, strum, and rap while recording yourself in real-time. The mobile version is available for download on the Apple Store.
I like that Reason is easy to use and equally accessible.
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Soundation is a bit different from FamiStudio in that the former is a web-based music creation software. This means that you can create and edit your beats online.
You don’t need to download any app or software, which is great because it saves you a lot of time.
The platform contains pro music tools including easy-to-use drum machines, synthesisers, and samplers to enable you to create your song on the go.
Best of all, you have over 20,000 drum beats, melodies, and ready-to-mix basslines stocked in the sound library for use. You can trim, cut, automate fading in and out, and combine imported audio files.
Bear in mind that all it takes to import audio to Soundation is a simple drag and drop and it supports all well-known audio formats.
I particularly love that uploaded audio files are automatically saved in your account and can be used for other projects.
When you’re done, simply export in high-quality and share it with Soundation’s community for feedback and encouragement.
All you need to get started is to sign up with your essential details and try the free plan which allows you to create up to three projects.
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From the review above, I consider SunVox the best FamiStudio alternative. Not only is the app free to use but works on any device, Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, or Linux.
That means you can create your beat from anywhere plus you won’t have a hard time trying to figure out how to do so. SunVox’s interface is simple yet contains powerful features.
The best of all is that you can create keyboard shortcuts to make your work easier and faster. You could check out the app if you want or pick any of the alternatives above.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing.
Tom has been a full-time internet marketer for two decades now, earning millions of dollars while living life on his own terms. Along the way, he’s also coached thousands of other people to success.