The future of music

10 Best GarageBand Alternatives for Windows

July 27, 2023
Best GarageBand Alternatives for Windows

Are you searching for a competitor of GarageBand that works on a Windows operating system?

GarageBand is a fully-equipped digital audio workspace that essentially works as a music studio inside your Mac.

The only problem is that it is only available on Apple operating systems, so for those who use Windows, an alternative is necessary.

The digital audio workspaces in this list rival GarageBand and are available for Windows, so they’re definitely worth checking out.

For each one, we’ll list some of the pros, cons, and features.

Let’s dive into the best GarageBand alternatives. Enjoy!

1. Audacity

Audacity, the overall best garageband alternative.

Download here: https://www.audacityteam.org/

Audacity lands at the top of the list since it’s largely comparable to GarageBand!

It is a multi-track audio editor that is renowned for being easy to use.

The best part – it’s free! 

Its features include but are not limited to recording, exporting, and importing, sound quality conversions, plug-ins (you can even write your own!), extensive editing, effects, accessibility manipulations (keyboard shortcuts), and a spectrogram view mode that allows you to analyze frequencies.

Audacity is great for beginners who don’t want to spend money on a digital audio workspace but want to play around and improve their audio manipulation skills.

It is available on Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems and only requires a quick download.

2. Ableton Live

Ableton Live

Download here: https://www.ableton.com/en/live/

Ableton Live is a software that is made for music creation and performance.

It is all included in one intuitive interface while keeping everything in real-time.

It includes a large collection of instruments and effects, too!

To download to your Windows system, it only requires eight gigabytes of free storage.

Live contains even more features than GarageBand, but it does come at a price.

The Intro pack of essentials costs $89, the Standard pack which includes full features with extras costs $283, and the Suite pack which is a complete integrated studio costs $696.

However, you can use Live Suite free for ninety days.

This is perfect for finding your feet and getting your bearings before you decide if you want to commit to the cost.

3. FL Studio

FL Studio

Download here: https://www.image-line.com/

FL Studio brings us four different editions, each with lifetime free updates.

They each contain different features, but they all come with numerous instruments and effects, playlist features, MIDI support, and scripting, and included content like samples, loops, and presets.

The slightly larger packages include multiple audio editors, more instruments and effects, audio recordings, and audio clips.

FL Studio rivals GarageBand due to its extensive use by world-famous DJs and the like. It even has a mobile version!

However, it isn’t free.

From entry-level to editions with advanced plugins, Fruity costs $99, Producer costs $199, Signature costs $299, and All Plugins Edition costs $499. 

This is a great alternative for Windows if you are looking to take your audio-producing skills to the next level. 

4. Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition

Download here: https://www.adobe.com/uk/products/audition.html

Adobe Audition is known to be one of the best audio recording and editing software on the market.

Available to Windows, you can edit, mix, record, and restore audio easily and simply.

It is used extensively for video, music, and podcasts due to its industry-leading audio-clean-up features.

It is one of the easiest ways to achieve professional-quality audio, right from your home.

It has all of the same features as the above-mentioned GarageBand Alternatives and also has handy presets.

It is known as an industry standard, and you could get the full package for just $31.49 monthly, $20.99 yearly (paid monthly), or $239.88 yearly (paid upfront).

You will also have a seven-day free trial available to you, so you can work out whether it’s for you.

5. Studio One

Studio One

Download here: https://www.presonus.com/en-US/studio-one.html

Studio One is software that includes a drag-and-drop workflow so that music creation becomes extremely easy.

It is one of the best GarageBand alternatives for efficient collaboration, chord, and map extraction, sound replacements, audio and loop effects, and video manipulation.

There are three editions available depending on your needs; Studio One+, Studio One Professional, and Artist.

The Artist is a lighter version of Studio One, aimed at independent artists who may not need quite as heavy-duty materials.

Studio One+ is a new software available only for preorder, Studio One Professional costs $438.22, and Studio One Artist costs $109.88.

There are lots of alternative packages available, so make sure you check them out to find the best one for you.

6. Cubase

Cubase

Download here: https://www.steinberg.net/cubase/

Cubase is designed to guide you on your music production journey.

This software is for you, whether you’re a beginner artist, a big producer, or just dipping your toes in.

It is at the level of the reference standard for music production software and allows you to produce tracks from start to finish.

Its intuitive workflows make it suitable for all levels, and it caters to all genres and budgets with different features and editions available.

You can start your Cubase journey with a free sixty-day trial, and try out all of their features for yourself.

If it works for you, you might find yourself wanting to buy an edition.

There are three to choose from; Cubase Pro 12, Cubase Artist 12, and Cubase Elements 12.

Cubase Pro costs $643.01, Cubase Artist costs $364.85, and Cubase Elements costs $109.97.

7. WavePad

WavePad

Download here: https://www.nch.com.au/wavepad/index.html

WavePad comes with all of the features that you’d expect from a digital audio workspace, including but not limited to editing tools, audio and music effects, many supported audio formats, audio restoration, and spectral analysis tools.

WavePad is free to download, making it largely comparable to GarageBand!

With over eighteen million users using the software, it comes with pre-downloaded plugins and also allows you to download your own.

Since it’s free, it’s easy to give it a go!

8. REAPER

REAPER

Download here: https://www.reaper.fm/

A complete digital audio workstation with MIDI and full multi-track audio functionality for mixing, mastering, editing, and recording, REAPER is available for Windows.

It supports a large number of digital formats and plugins and is easy to modify, extend, and script.

Thanks to integrated 64-bit audio processing, it can import to numerous media formats at essentially any bit depth and sampling rate.

It is reasonably priced to download at $60 for the discounted licensing and $225 for the commercial license.

You may benefit from the cheap licensing if you are an individual using REAPER for personal purposes, an individual or business using it commercially whose yearly gross revenue does not exceed $20,000, or if you are an educational or non-profit organization.

If you don’t fit into any of these categories, they tell you to feel free to drop them an email!

9. Ardour

Ardour

Download here: https://ardour.org/

Ardour is another digital audio workspace with all the above-mentioned features, including recording, editing, mixing, and mastering.

They define their core user groups are audio engineers, musicians, soundtrack editors, composers, podcasters, and radio producers.

It is a powerful industry-standard software that is available on Windows, and the best part – it is free to download! Give it a try.

10. Magix Music Maker

Magix Music Maker

Download here: https://www.magix.com/gb/music/music-maker/

Magix Music Maker prides itself on being a free, easy-to-use way to create music.

You don’t need hours of experience or expensive equipment, and it is a great way to dip your toes into the music-producing industry.

Music Maker is one of the most intuitive programs out there.

All you have to do is browse their library and drag the loops onto your timeline, and it’ll automatically blend them together.

It sorts sounds into genres, so you can find the perfect one for you.

After you’ve mastered the free version, you can upgrade to the premium version for just $64.55. For $166.57, you also receive a one-year subscription to Loops Unlimited which gives you access to two hundred and sixty thousand loops.

Best GarageBand Alternatives – Final Thoughts

These were some of the best GarageBand Alternatives for Windows, no matter what your budget, skill level, or needs are.

There are free programs if you’re just dipping your toes into the music-making industry, or paid editions if you want to take it to the next level.

Whatever your needs are, one of these digital audio workspaces will fulfill them with its extensive features and large databases of sounds.

We hope you found the software that suits you!

You may also like: Best DAWs

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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