Beat making has been around since the dawn of hip-hop in the late 1970s.
However, manual beat making has never been easy, especially given that the necessary gadgets are both cumbersome and expensive, discouraging young musicians, producers, and fans of the profession from producing their beats.
This has also made beat-making intimidating and ostensibly limited to only the big shots.
The introduction of digital music production software changed the game, allowing average joes to be able to create high-quality beats with great ease and convenience.
Even better, you can now create your beats on your computer for free, with these new beat-making software. Now, anyone can be their own DJ – all it takes is the extra effort of practice to figure out the different functionalities of the software.
There are a lot of great options out there, but it can be tough to know where to start. To save you the stress of having to do your research and test drive each software, we’ve put together this list of the best free beat making software.
Waveform (formerly known as Tracktion), is another great multi-platform digital audio workstation that can record and edit audio and MIDI. The software supports Microsoft Windows, Apple macOS, and Ubuntu.
Created by Traction Software Company, Waveform is the first digital audio workstation to use a completely scalable, vector-based interface.
Waveform interface also has a simple and user-friendly interface. This makes it suitable for novice and advanced producers.
It provides a variety of appealing features for music artists, such as unlimited tracks, a simplified interface, and common plugins that are suitable for both beginners and pros.
More features include complete audio tracking, drum and synth sampling instruments, shortcut keys, and premade cords, so you can start making music right away.
Furthermore, it provides a high level of flexibility and compatibility for other software devices and plugins.
Waveform does not have an artificial track limit, allowing users to get as intricate as they wish to with their musical compositions.
GarageBand is a pre-installed Apple OS X DAW and music creation tool. The software is great for audio editing and supports 24-bit recording and third-party plug-ins.
If you’re looking for great free beat-making software, you should check out GarageBand. Here are some of the software’s most impressive features.
The first is that it is free and comes with a huge library of free Apple Loops. This makes it a great option for beginners.
Next is that it allows the use of a third-party plug-in, allowing users access to features, functions, and instruments that normal DAWs don’t come pre-installed with.
For instance, you can install new drum kits and machines, acoustic guitars, sax, piano, new compressor, an entirely new EQ, etc.
Another impressive feature of GarageBand is that it allows sampling – an integral part of hip-hop production.
The software comes with a feature called AUSampler, which gives the user the capacity to upload whatever type of recording they want. The AUSampler has a couple of controls that allow you to adjust how it sounds.
Furthermore, GarageBand allows users to use time quantization; to automate panning, drumming, pitch correction, etc.
Overall, it’s a powerful and easy-to-use program that can help you create amazing beats. It has a user-friendly interface and also comes with a wide range of features that will allow you to create professional beats using many of the most popular production techniques.
Explore more apps like GarageBand here.
Magix Music Maker is another fantastic option in the easy-to-use, beat-making software niche.
It is one of the best music-making software out there, especially for people who are just getting started. You don’t have to be an expert to use this simple, yet awesome piece of software to create songs from scratch.
The software comes with a free plan. But to get a better feel for digital music-making, this program offers a free trial period for the most basic version.
Even though this lacks some of the more advanced features of the paid versions, it is aimed at beginners and works well for them.
You can also use MIDI keyboards and drum pads to create music. This is possible because Magix Music Maker allows a separate MIDI editor and arrangement window, making it easy to integrate.
Their flagship software is the Music Maker 2022 Beatbox Edition. In this, you get the Novation Launchpad MK3 and the brand-new Music Maker Plus Edition. It also includes the all-new Beatbox Pro, which includes 17 drum kits and 200 patterns.
With this, you can simply record your beats using the Novation Launchpad and then edit them in Music Maker.
Unlike most Apple-made software, this program is compatible with both Windows-based PCs and macOS computers.
With its extensive library of loops, as well as its simple drag and drop system, you’ll be able to create and assemble a variety of effects and loops in a matter of minutes.
In the end, Magix Music Maker is an affordable and high-quality tool for creating music and beats. Entry-level musicians and beatmakers will benefit from the software’s lower cost compared to its competitors.
4. MPC Beats
This free download from Akai Professional is a continuation of the legacy of the legendary MPC hardware and the innovative MPC2 desktop software. It provides new beatmakers with all the tools they need to create excellent-sounding beats.
The MPC is also known for its ability to chop samples. It’s a lot of fun and surprisingly easy to use. The software comes with amazing instrumental and effects plugins, an SP1200 algorithm, and 12-bit sound.
The software is powerful in providing users all they need to get started in making great-sounding beats.
This includes drum kits, three MPC plugin instruments (Bassline, Electric, and MPC Tubesynth), and over 80 FX plugins from the AIR Effects collection–a premium selection of mixdown and mastering tools.
MPC Beats can also be used in a variety of different digital audio workstations (DAWs). You can also drag and drop audio and MIDI files directly onto your DAW timeline, similar to Native Instruments Machine.
If you’re even remotely interested in making MPC-style beats, then MPC Beats is a must-have. It’s completely free and whatever your level of experience is with making beats, you’re sure to find something useful.
Serato is one of the most popular and most impressive DJ software available. In addition to their Serato Sample Plugin, Serato now offers an all-in-one music production suite called Serato Studio, an industry standard in the world of DJs and electronic music.
Digital audio workstations like Serato Studio have evolved from being a mere remixing software to the tool of choice for DJs and music producers alike, especially when it comes to creating remixes and mashups.
The software comes with a series of plug-ins, drum kits, electronic instruments, and sample music files which can be used in real-time to create personalized music. The drum randomizer lets you experiment with different genres.
Composers can use Virtual Studio Technology (VST) and AU plug-ins to customize the sound, automate workflow, and export stems from tracks.
The software allows users to synchronize BPM and create multiple audio files, while its simple interface allows one to smoothly import audio files, edit existing beats, and create new ones. You can export your mix in WAV, MP3, or audio stems after mastering it.
Each deck comes with a three-band equalizer, filter, and upfader, in accordance with the DJ-style workflow.
Drum Decks, Instrument Decks, Sample Decks, and FX Decks are the four main categories of Decks. Users can load up to four decks in this free version, which should be enough for most edits and mashups.
Serato Studio boasts of their “flexible pricing for every DJ setup.” They have options for Lite Controller, Pro hardware, and Laptop users.
Their plans include Serato DJ Pro, Serato DJ Essentials, and Serato DJ Suite.
6. Pro Tools
Many factors must be taken into account when selecting a high-quality digital audio workstation (DAW). As a result, a free version of DAW can be a wonderful experience for newcomers to the software, which is where ProTools comes in.
One of the many reasons why this Avid Pro Tools DAW is so widely used for music and film post-production is that it’s free to try out for new users and it is also a powerful tool that allows users to save and customize projects.
Pro Tools has an interface with just two main views: the mix and the track. It might not have the most attractive user interface but it is very simple to operate.
Avid’s Pro Tools is a top-of-the-line digital audio workstation. Pro Tools combines many of Avid’s Pro Tools 12 features with its unique freemium model, making it ideal for the composition of beats and samples, recorded music, and MIDI productions.
When using Pro Tools, you get access to Xpand! 2 virtual instruments, a 500MB library slew of additional samples, loops, and sounds. It also includes a variety of session templates from a variety of genres.
In addition to allowing users to create up to 16 tracks of audio or MIDI, Pro Tools First also has a number of other useful features. This includes more than 20 professional-level FX and processors, such as compressors, reverbs, EQs, FX, and more.
Overall, Pro Tools First is a great option for beginners and professional beat makers.
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Predator, marketed as a “phat-sounding killer synthesizer,” is another great free beat-making software option for those looking for an easy way to create beats.
It merges impressive presets and first-class capabilities to make it your “go-to” synth for modern music composition. The user interface has been developed in such a way that practically all controls are displayed on the screen, making it enjoyable and exceedingly simple to use.
One of the best things about Predator is that it comes with a wide range of pre-made sounds that you can use to create your beats. If you are not sure where to start, you can simply browse through the different sounds and see what inspires you.
Another great thing about Predator is that it allows you to save and export your beats in a variety of different formats.
This means that you can share your beats with others or use them in your own music productions in the different formats that your devices support.
However, it’s worth noting that the quality of the outputted audio files greatly depends on the quality of your input file.
While the platform is easy to use for beginners, there are other features and options the software possesses for more advanced users. For beginners, getting fully accustomed to these features might require time and frequent usage.
If you are looking for great free beat-making software, then Predator is definitely worth checking out. You get to create magical sounds without having to spend a dime!
Available for Windows and macOS users, LMMS is a popular digital audio workstation (DAWs) currently on the market. It is open-source and free.
LMMS comes with a wide range of features, including a piano roll, sequencer, and synthesizer. The software is easy to download and install and requires no cumbersome registration process.
Now, LMMS comes with unique windows that can be intimidating at first (usually for beginners), but after a little time with the software, everything becomes normal. You also get the feature to enter a notation on a trackpad without the use of a midi keyboard or other controllers.
The samples, instrument, and effects plug-ins are located on the left sidebar. Presets for the various instrument plug-ins can be found here, as well. The mixer and the piano roll each have their own dedicated windows.
The step sequencer has its own window, with all of the midi notes in the piano roll synced to it.
With the ability to move these windows around independently, the user can better keep track and control various windows intermittently by dragging and dropping.
The LMMS also offers the option of automation. You will only need to drag and drop a knob into the automation window after you’ve added an automation lane and automation block on the timeline.
LMMS supports a range of formats such as WAV, AIF, FLA, and Ogg lossless file formats and can export multiple tracks at once.
While the software in itself does not record, it lets you do this by using Audacity or any other recording software with its impressive compatibility.
Another impressive feature on LMMS is the Forums – Index page. Here you get access to News and announcements, music projects, and theme projects.
You can also have discussions with other users in the General Chat, ask Support questions regarding whatever problems you’re encountering, and even drop your suggestions.
Overall, the LMMS can be an excellent choice for beginners in electronics.
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Mixxx, a software package that includes all of the tools DJs require, allows composers to create their own beats and DJ mixes.
Mixxx makes it easier to perform live digital music mixes and runs on all three major operating systems: Mac, Windows, and Linux.
Mixxx offers users a wide range of features that can be used to create professional beats, and you don’t have to be a seasoned turntablist to use it; it’s perfect for anyone who is just getting started as a DJ or turntablist with a laptop.
The software includes a wide range of effects that can be used to further customize beats. These effects include filters, EQs, and reverb.
The software is very easy to use and has a user-friendly interface. You can get started with making beats right away without having to worry about complicated settings.
The software includes a wide range of drum kits and sound samples that can be used to create your own unique beats. You can also add your own samples and loop them to create complex patterns.
It has a MIDI controller which can be used to map broadcasting decks, manage media, input multiple microphones, and more.
Other impressive features this software has include beat syncing with four decks, beat looping, pitch and key control, quantization, censor and beat rolls, master sync, and Hotcues (to accurately remix and mash-up tracks).
You also get a wide range of formats such as MP3, M4A/AAC, Ogg Vorbis, Opus, Controls for EQ and Crossfader, etc.
With Mixxx, you can make your own beats and DJ mixes, make your next house party, club night, or run your radio show smoothly with Mixxx’s extensive library of music.
Overall, the software includes everything you’ll need in one convenient place.
FL Studio is a product of Image-Line – one of the world’s leading producers of beat-making software companies.
FL Studio is an all-in-one digital audio workstation (DAW) for creating beats and mixing sounds. Everything you need to arrange, edit, compose, record, mix, and master music of professional quality all in one package.
It is a truly excellent DAW for both beginners and professionals, harnessing all the features of other DAWs but with a unique workflow that sets it apart.
FL Studio includes both sample-based and software instruments for creating music. It contains a pattern screen for configuring your music patterns, as well as a browser for configuring your pattern into a song.
You also get a virtual mixer for mixing your songs with effects, an editor to improve audio, and you also get to capture noises or vocals. In FL Studio, you have a complete Digital Audio Workstation.
FL Studio has come a long way since its early days as an Amiga tracker-style audio editor to a modern digital audio workstation (DAW).
In addition, Akai and FL Studio have teamed up to create the AKAI Fire: a fully complete controller for FL Studio. It’s a drum programmer, sequencer, mixer, and MIDI controller all rolled into one.
Another amazing feature that FL Studio has is its compatibility with professional-level native plugins, making it an outstanding digital audio workstation.
Though you’ll need a premium version to access most of the software’s available tools, the free version is sufficient to meet your basic beat-making needs.
There are four different versions of FL Studio.
There is the fruity version, producer version, signature version, and the all-plugins version. You can check here for the pricing and their respective features.
Overall, FL Studios has proven to be up to the task for any beat-making or DJ function.
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All the software listed in this review are the finest ones you can find in the beat-making DAW niche.
Therefore, the answer as to which is the best beat-making software is the one that is tailored to your specific needs as a composer.
This is not a one-size-fits-all situation. If you’re just getting started, you might want to start with a program with a free option like Pro-Tools. This way, you can get a sense of how the software works before investing money in it.
If you want a community where you can share ideas and get insights, then LMMS is perfect.
If you are willing to splurge and see what works best for you, then FL Pro has enough editions for you to try out.
You can begin experimenting with different features and settings once you have a good understanding of how the software works and have achieved mastery at the level you currently are. And of course, you can also start making your own distinctive sounds.
Cassie Riley has a passion for all things marketing and social media. She is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, language, music, writing, and unicorns. Cassie is a lifetime learner, and loves to spend time attending classes, webinars, and summits.