The future of music

Best Free Beat Making Software for Those on a Budget

August 4, 2023
Best free beat making software

With a variety of digital tools and production techniques available, making beats at home has never been easier.

And it’s quite affordable too.

In fact, you can make awesome beats completely for free.

There are many beat-making software programs you can use without paying a dime.

And today we’ll show you the best free beat-making software programs for DJs and producers, available for Windows, Mac, Linus, and online browsers. 

All of these programs are reliable, popular, and easy to use.

1. GarageBand

GarageBand beat maker software

GarageBand became a household name in music production, and their free beat-making software is a top choice for beginners and seasoned producers alike.

You can just plug in your guitar or mic and start creating music and high-quality beats.

That way, you can easily make a beat without any recording equipment. 

By the way, the program supports 24-bit recording and third-party plug-ins.

And it has a ton of useful recording and editing tools and features such as time quantization, automated panning, drumming, pitch correction, and more.

Moreover, you can choose from a variety of built-in instruments and thousands of loops from popular genres like EDM, hip-hop, indie music, and so on.

And you can rely on sampling, which is an essential part of hip-hop production.

GarageBand is only available on Apple devices.

2. Splice

Splice beat making software

Splice is another popular name in the production and music software world.

It’s primarily known for its sample library, plugins, and DAWs.

But it also offers an amazing beat maker ideal for producers of all levels of experience.

If you’re a beginner, you can choose from thousands of presets and practice as much as you want.

And seasoned producers can benefit from the Sequencer view, home of Beatmaker’s 16-step grid, designed to create patterns from scratch. 

Although there’s no musical typing available, Splice Beatmaker allows you to add and remove sounds quite easily.

You can sketch out patterns and then drag and drop individual drum lanes or entire sequences into your DAW.

However, you’ll have to become a subscriber to download your beats. 

The Splice beatmaker is compatible with macOS and Windows and is available as VST3 and AU.

3. Soundtrap

Soundtrap beat making software

Soundtrap is also regarded as one of the top free beat-making software programs. 

Unlike Splice, Soundtrap has musical typing, so you can create melodies without hassle.

But there’s also an extensive collection of beats, loops, and instruments including synths, pianos, drum kits, guitars, and more.

You can also edit each instrument’s sound with reverb, pan, and volume.

But if you want to use Soundtrap for free, you won’t have access to all the sounds, but it’s still enough to create a good beat.

In fact, the free Soundtrap plan provides unlimited projects, 5010 loops, 290 one-shots, 440 instruments and sounds, and 150k+ sound effects from freesounds.org.

More than enough to make dope beats, right?

4. Magix Music Maker

Magix Music Maker

Magix Music Maker is an excellent choice for anyone looking for simple, entry-level software for music production.

This is arguably one of the best free programs for beat-making out there, and proof that free doesn’t have to be low quality. 

Music Maker’s free plan includes free sounds, effects, and loops, and it’s suitable for all kinds of genres, including pop, rock, and hip-hop.

The program also allows you to use MIDI keyboards and drum pads to create music.

Another highlight is its simple drag-and-drop system, which allows you to create a beat in a quick and easy way.

So, although the free version doesn’t have as many advanced features and sounds as the paid version, it’s still a great option for beginners.

Magix Music Maker is compatible with both Windows-based PCs and macOS computers.

5. Waveform

man making beats

If you’re looking for a free DAW, you should definitely consider Waveform.

Waveform (formerly known as Tracktion) is a multi-platform digital audio workstation that provides many useful and fun beat-making features for free. 

It’s compatible with many common plugins, and it supports Microsoft Windows, Apple macOS, and Ubuntu.

Waveform is ideal for beginners because it has a simple, user-friendly interface.

And it’s generally very flexible and customizable.

All things considered, the Waveform Free edition has everything you need to produce music for free. 

6. MPC Beats

MPC Beats

If you’re new to beat-making, MPC Beats is a great place to start.

This free DAW includes 16 digital pads for drum and sound sampling, a sample editor to chop and edit, and built-in virtual instrument plugins.

It also offers a variety of genre templates, including Trap, Dance, Pop, and more.

With MPC Beats, you have the creative freedom and flexibility to create a beat you like.

The only disadvantage is the limited sampling options.

Nevertheless, it’s a good option for beginner producers and DJs on a budget. 

The company also created the MPC Beats Academy which can guide you through the whole beat-making process and help you familiarize yourself with the MPC workflow.

7. Serato Studio

Serato Studio

Serato Studio is hands down one of the best free programs for beat makers.

It has a simple, clean interface, modern workflow, and powerful audio separation technology.

Serato Studio’s free pack includes selected drum patterns, sound packs, demo projects, and instruments.

So, although it’s not as advanced as its paid versions, it’s certainly worthy of consideration.

The free plan also entails the possibility to export your beats in different formats (mp3 + wav + stems), regular software updates, and free tutorials.

8. Pro Tools 

Pro Tools 

Pro Tools is arguably one of the most popular DAWs out there.

Developed and released by Avid Technology, Pro Tools is a top-rated DAW suitable for beginners as well as experienced producers.

And it has been known as the industry-standard DAW for a while now – and for a good reason. 

Thankfully, you can also use it for free – Pro Tools Intro will provide you with the essential audio and MIDI tools for music production.

This also includes 36 effects and instrument plugins suitable for creating any type of music.

It’s very flexible and easy to use, and it will allow you to work on your beat-making skills.

9. LMMS

LMMS

LMMS is another popular beat-maker tool that you can use to create quality beats. 

In fact, LMSS is a free, open-source, multiplatform DAW.

It’s a bit different than some other programs though, so it might take some time to get used to it.

But it’s a nice, budget-friendly option for producers.

With LMMS, you can create beats with a typing or MIDI keyboard in a modern interface.

The program is great for synthesizing and mixing sounds, arranging samples, and exploring playback instruments, samples, and plugins.

And it allows you to fine-tune patterns, notes, chords, and melodies using its Piano Roll Editor.

You can use LMMS with Windows, Linux, or macOS.

10. Ableton Live 11 Lite

Ableton Live 11 Lite

Even if you’re just starting out with music production, you’ve probably heard of Ableton Live.

Ableton Live is widely known as a fast and flexible software for music creation and performance.

And it’s very popular among producers (especially hip-hop and electronic music producers) because it has an original approach to loop-based composition. 

It’s also a great DAW for beginners, and many music production courses and tutorials use it for their lessons.

And if you want to try it for free, you can get Ableton Live 11 – it’s a DAW for macOS and Windows, and you can use it for free for 90 days. 

This includes an extensive collection of instruments, sounds, kits, and loops, as well as a full complement of effects to tweak and process your beat.

Benefits of Using a Free Beat-Making Software

If you want to make beats with a limited budget, or you simply want to try different programs to find the best beat-making tool for you, there are many good options to choose from.

Many free beat-making programs offer features similar to popular paid software programs.

And most of the programs on our list are ideal for beginners who want to learn the basics of music production.

With their user-friendly interface, easy workflow, simple editing tools, and extensive collections of loops and sounds, you can create your first beat without hassle.

And you don’t even need recording equipment or instruments – you just need a computer and an internet connection.

Plus, most good free beat-making software programs are suitable for Mac, Windows, or Linux.

That said, you just need to find a program that meets your needs and get things started.

How to Make Beats for Beginners 

Making beats can be a bit challenging for beginners.

But with the entry-level beat-making programs we mentioned today, you can create your first beat in no time.

Get to know your DAW 

Before starting anything, you need to familiarize yourself with your software and editing tools.

Learn how to use your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) – if you don’t have a manual, there are many online tutorials that can help you out.

Beginner-friendly beat-making programs are usually easy to use, but you’ll still need some time to discover all its features and get used to its interface.

Define the vibe

Another crucial step in every beat-making process is defining the vibe and the overall atmosphere you want to achieve.

This will help you determine important factors such as the BPM (Beats per Minute) – the higher the BPM, the more energetic the song will be.

Start creating 

As long as you have the general vibe, it doesn’t really matter where you start.

Some producers start with a melody and others start with creating a drum beat. 

And many producers start by creating a bassline – this is, after all, the foundation of your track.

You can then add the drums and establish the groove and then add melodic elements.

person making beats

For melodic elements, you can use a MIDI keyboard, or you can explore different virtual instruments, sounds, and samples available in your beat-making program.

Finalize your track 

Once you have your bass line, drum beat, and basic melody, you can play with different effects and add ambiance and transitions.

In this stage, you need to polish your track and make it sound clear and coherent.

Finalizing the beat also involves adding fill-ins and effects like reverb and delay.

And then your track will be ready for the final stage – mixing and mastering.

Mixing usually includes shaping and balancing the sounds, while mastering entails optimizing the sound quality, applying stereo enhancement, and monitoring for pops and clicks.

When you’re done with the final touches, listen to your track carefully and do some adjusting and tweaking if necessary. 

And if you believe your track is finished, it’s time to export it – and that’s it!

See also: How to Make Beats

What Makes a Good Beat? 

Now that you know how to make a beat and where to find good beat-making software programs, you can start practicing and improving your skills.

Learning how to make a good beat takes time – so don’t expect to become a pro overnight.

But music is also very subjective, and you need to find your own workflow.

What works for someone else might not work for you, and vice versa.

However, there are certain characteristics that are generally associated with a good beat.

For instance, a good beat is well-structured and carefully crafted.

To achieve this, you should focus on the tempo of your beat or the speed at which your beat is played.

When it comes to tempo, beats are often repetitive, but you should also add variety and nuance.

The most important thing is to find the right balance.

guy creating beats

If you want to become a beat-making producer, you need to practice a lot.

That said, try to make a lot of beats, even if you’re never going to use them afterward.

And don’t rush things – start with the basics and slowly build the beat and the melody from there.

You should make your beat unique and interesting, but you also be careful and not make it too busy and complicated. 

This might seem a bit tricky now, but the more you practice, the easier it gets. 

The important thing is to be consistent, but you should also explore different styles, genres, and sounds.

And eventually, you’ll find your own style and discover a workflow that suits you best. 

See also: How to Become a Music Producer

How to Make Money From Beatmaking 

With the free beat-making programs we overviewed today, you can easily make beats at home without spending any money.

And that’s a great way to get things started, practice, and gain experience.

But how can you turn this into revenue or a potential job?

Well, music producers and beatmakers earn money in different ways.

But the easiest way to earn money from music is by selling your beats and samples online.

You can do it via your own music website, you can sell through external websites and libraries, such as Splice Sounds and ADSR Sounds.

Start by setting an affordable price, and when you gain more experience, you can start earning more profit.

See also: Best Websites to Sell Beats Online

woman sitting on the sofa using the laptop

Another way to become a music producer and earn money from making beats is by finding clients and producing music for other artists.

But it takes time to build a good reputation.

If you want to collaborate with successful artists, you need to build a strong portfolio.

And you should think about developing a powerful online presence. 

There are many music marketing strategies you can explore to gain more exposure.

That way, you can also distribute your music online or pitch it to publishers and start earning a substantial amount of money from streaming royalties.

Music royalties are the payments generated from the usage of your songs – that said, you can generate money whenever someone plays your track on streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Music.

But this is a more viable way of earning money for music producers who create complete songs.

If you just want to make beats and samples, there are many other paths you can take – you just need to be patient and persistent.

Keep improving your beat-making skills, practice as much as you can, network with other producers and artists, and success will surely come your way.

See also: How to Make Money as a Music Producer

Best Free Beat Making Software – Final Thoughts

Hopefully, our list of the best free beat-making software helped you find the program you were looking for.

With all of these beat-making tools, you can create quality beats in a quick, easy, and cost-effective way.

Although they offer more benefits to paid subscribers, they offer a variety of samples, effects, and tools in their free versions as well. 

You just need to choose a beat-making program that fits your style, goals, and interests.

You may also like: Best AI Music Generators

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