Looking for Free Recording Studio Software? Here you go.
Whether you are an aspiring electronic music artist, podcaster, or audio engineer, you’re probably on a limited budget and looking for free audio recording software so that you can get to the next step in your craft or art. The following list of current audio software that is free, gratis, costing zero dollars and zero cent. That can be a nice place to start.
Available for both Mac and PC, Audacity is the most popular choice for free audio software. It is very powerful, but the learning curve is steep. It has great sound quality, an okay selection of effects, a variety of available plugins and full-scope editing capabilities. If you’re looking to podcast, this is the way to go. For music production, you might want something a bit more intuitive.
Available for Macs only. Garageband is very intuitive and comes with an outstanding catalog of virtual instruments. Its friendly learning curve means you can be recording multi-layered tracks from day one. It is upwardly compatible with Logic Pro when you are ready to upgrade to a professional DAW.
Available for both Macs and PCs. Traverso has its own take on the interface. This can be both a benefit and a detriment—if it will be your first DAW, the interface will likely prove to be intuitive and relatively easy to learn. If you’re already familiar with another DAW, you might have to “unlearn” some things, making the interface more of an obstacle than a benefit. It has a great “demo CD” function for burning audio CDs with a table of contents without ever leaving Traverso.
Available for both Macs and PCs. It works with all audio engines and has great MIDI capabilities. It’s not as powerful as others on this list and has an ugly, not so friendly user interface.
Available for PCs (and Linux). It is billed as the PC/Linux version of Garageband. It is a bit limited in features, but like its Mac counterpart (Garageband) is designed to get you up and running in a short amount of time.
Cloud based audio software, so it works on Macs, PCs, and any other device that connects to the Internet with a browser. If you have a limited laptop, notebook or use a mobile device, Hya-Wave may be the answer. Although it is limited in terms of its audio scope—it does not have multi-tracking capability, its browser/cloud based platform makes it an intriguing option.
Pro Tools First.
A recent addition to the free audio software market, ProTools First is a full feature version of the professional ProTools DAW. Rather than deny the user features, AVID made the choice to limit the number of instruments, tracks, inputs and storage capabilities. It still provides 16 instruments, 16 tracks, 4 inputs, but audio storage is on the cloud and is limited to 1GB. It is a great way to learn ProTools (which can be a challenge) and produce some music before you run up against its limits.
Available for PCs only. A full feature DAW, Cakewalk offers unlimited tracks, great plugin support, and a host of professional tools and effects. Its interface has been called cluttered by its detractors, but make no mistake, Cakewalk is a powerful tool.
Tracktion has a great policy for its free DAW offerings. As they continue to upgrade their paid for DAW applications, they release previous versions for free. Thus, the Tracktion T7 is a full featured, very powerful DAW. It does have a steep learning curve, but it offers unlimited audio and MIDI tracks and comes with some of the best automation and modulation capabilities out there.
Studio One Prime.
This is a scaled down version of the Studio One 4 DAW. Like its paid for version, Studio One Prime has unlimited audio and MIDI tracks, and full feature instrument and drum editor, automation, mixing, sidechaining and resampling capabilities. However, it is limited by its lack of VST plugin support and minimal sequencing capabilities.
What makes Stagelight attractive is that its cross-platform—it works with your smart phone, your laptop and your desktop. It offers unlimited tracks with both timeline and loopbuilder views. Its interface is futuristic and user friendly. In Loopbuilder mode you can fire off MIDI and audio loops similar to Ableton Live. It is limited in the number of plugins, instruments and loop packs unless you pay an upcharge.
The preceding is a pretty-complete list of free audio software. Other free audio apps include LMMS, BandLab, SoundBridge, Cubase LE and Ableton Live 10 Lite. If you’re looking to graduate to the top echelon pro DAW realm down the line, you should definitely consider GarageBand which “upgrades” to Logic Pro, Ableton Live 10 Lite which upgrades to Ableton Live 10, or ProTools First which upgrades to ProTools. Otherwise, your selection of a free DAW will come down to your computer, your music genre and most importantly, how comfortable you are working with the DAW interface. Now go create!