These days your laptop can turn you into a superstar. There are people out there who travel the world with nothing but their laptops, plug them into the sound systems wherever they end up, and then blast out concerts to thousands of fans. I am of course talking about superstar DJs.
The best DJs hunt out all the best music and then play right tracks at the exact right moment for the crowd to hear them . It sounds like an easy job, but it’s not. On top of that, if you want to become a superstar DJ who tours the world, there is something else you’ll have to master; music production. Unsurprisingly, a LOT of people want to be superstar DJs, which makes it very hard to stand out the crowd. The best way you prove yourself to be special, however, is by making your own songs to play in your own sets and for other DJs to play in theirs. Yep, music production is an integral part of the journey you take towards becoming an international superstar DJ. It’s time to become a music maker.
Music production software can come with a hefty price tag though, and if you’re just starting out, you might well baulk at the cost. This is where Softonic comes in. We’re here to start you on your path to stardom by walking you through some of the best free music production software options.
Free music making software
Audacity works on Windows, MacOS, and GNU/Linux and is a marvel of free music software. Like all the best pro-grade free programs, such as the image editor GIMP, Audacity is open source software, which means users and developers can add features to the main product or iron out any bugs they find.
Audacity has a lot of features that put it alongside some of the more expensive premium options out there. With Audacity you can easily perform live audio recording, record sounds coming from your PC, convert music, edit, cut, copy, and splice tracks of many different audio formats, and download and install plugins to add new features as and when you realize you need them. Audacity offers advanced audio editing software while, somewhat surprisingly, remaining very simple to use.
Mixxx is a fantastic piece of free software for all budding DJs. As the name suggests it is more for DJing and mixing than it is for producing music but it still an important tool for any new DJ to have. Another free and Open Source program, Mixxx is available on Windows and Mac OS X and has quite a few features that’ll make DJs happy. It integrates well with external DJ controller decks offering a complete digital audio workstation, has beats per minute (BPM) detection and auto-sync, and will even integrate with iTunes. You can broadcast your mixes live, save them as a variety audio formats or simply blast them out of your speakers for people to dance to. Mixxx is a lot of fun.
Another advanced, cross-platform, and free open-source audio production suite you can download on Windows, Mac, or Linux is LMMS. It comes with a lot of cool features that will have you creating beats in no time like a built-in Piano roll that you can connect to a MIDI controller, 64 FX mixing channels, and a specific beat and bassline editor.
LMMS loosely stands for Let’s Make Music and that is exactly what the program is designed to do, help you make music. The program works well with external instruments and samples, and, like Audacity, has a lot of plugins you can use to augment your music production experience. You won’t be able to believe that this program is free when you download it.
MuLab is chock full of high-end audio production and editing tools that will help you get that song you’re coming up with out of your head and into your speakers. Looking at a bit like Ableton Live and available on Windows and Mac, Mulab is a fantastic music creation program. It has over 300 selected waveforms with its superfast oscillators, multi-track support, flexible track and sub-track support, an easy to use and understand modular architecture, and automatic mono/stereo handling.
The features we’ve outlined above only cover a small portion of those offered by the free version of Mulab, which will give users access to professional-level music production facilities. With lots more features like synthesizer support, MIDI player plugin support, and even a synth effect builder this program has it all. Download it now to see just how much it has to offer.
GarageBand for Mac has some really incredible pro tools that you just wouldn’t expect a corporate giant like Apple to give away for free. Many famous artists like Rihanna and Justice have created massive global hits using GarageBand, so if you have a Mac, this could be the best option for you.
GarageBand gives you the ability to create songs with up to 255 audio tracks and offers very well produced drum machine grooves to add to your songs and give them a beat. Other cool features include multi-take recording so that you always end up saving your best take and Multi-Touch support on iPad, which makes it possible to wirelessly play GarageBand virtual instruments on your Mac. This is the most user-friendly app on our list too.
We’ve brought you five essential apps for all budding young DJs and music producers. If you want to make a name for yourself, you’re going to have to make yourself stand out and there is no better way to do that than making your own music and having other DJs play it at their parties.
All of the programs we’ve featured today offer complete experiences that rival that offered by the premium music production apps that cost many hundreds of dollars each. With most of these apps, however, there is a steep learning curve so you should take that into account if you’re just getting started. There’s no point having massive and fully-featured music production suites on your PC, Mac, or Linux, if you don’t know how to use them. Many of these apps come with extensive online forum support so check out the forums for user guides. You’ll also be able to find extensive support on YouTube too.