Best FREE DAW software for Music Production 2019


looking for the best free DAW software
for music production? if you are just starting out you don’t want to pay lots
of dollars for expensive DAW software so a free DAW, but what is the best
free daw software for music production? I’ve spent days registering, being
spammed, downloading, installing, learning the basics of 15 free DAW and testing
them all, so you don’t have to. my name is Dexxter Clark and if you’re new here
consider subscribing to the channel because I’m going to tell you everything
you need to know as a beginner music producer also hit that little bell icon
so you get all the updates. in this video I’m gonna take a look at 15 free daw
for music production. I’ll show them to you and at the end of the video I’ll
share with you my thoughts about which one I think is the best free daw
software for music production. the table of contents you can find in the
description below. my first free daw on this list is Audiotool. Audio Tool is a web
application daw. so you can produce music within your internet browser.
yes, it’s crashed within the first five minutes. later it crashed again and
disabled all the plugins but it crashed again and again. so I gave up. what I
noticed is that the daw is really resource intensive. I couldn’t run it
properly on my computer. cracks and pops galore the software is node based so you
connect plugins via wires. so you have to wire the sampler to a mixer and then
connect it to the master chain in order to get your sound. I noticed that you are
zooming in and out of the plug-in workspace a lot and the workspace gets
cluttered quickly with just a couple of tracks. I couldn’t find out how to save
bounce or export your file to your hard disk. I couldn’t find out how to
configure your sound card, change bit rates or inputs for example, I also
couldn’t find out how to use third party plugins but there are synthesizers and
samplers with step sequencers in the software. if
Audio Tool is not crashing it’s okay but it is pretty limited. let’s take a look
at another free daw in the browser: Bandlab the second free daw Bandlap is
also an internet browser daw, that only works in Chrome. but it also works on
your phone. Band lab is a much more straightforward daw. you can drag and
drop samples from your computer straight into the timeline and you can record
straight from your sound card. it lacks a sample browser though and it lacks
support for third-party plugins and with a limited amount of things you can dial
in with the stock synthesizers, you are definitely lacking features and I’m
missing a mixer. Bandlab daw is user-friendly and I can immediately
understand how things work. you can store unlimited projects and unlimited
collaborations and there are royalty-free loops in the software and
stock effect plugins. I think there is a big potential in this piece of software,
and I think because it’s so basic it’s pretty good for beginners, but it’s so
basic that you’ll be missing features in no time. when you want to produce on the
road an online free daw is, well, really not a viable option. first of all you
need a stable internet connection with a lot of bandwidth and it’s someone else’s
computer and if those companies go bankrupt or they decide to charge you
money tomorrow they can. also you can’t use your own plugins, you are bound to
whatever they provide and that’s maybe not enough, also the amount of system
resources it takes and no way to change your sample rates of your sound card for
example. let’s take a look at some offline daw than. before we go any
further I want to mention Pro Tools first, first. Pro Tools is the daw that
is used in professional recording studios, there is a free version called
pro tools first. with only 16 tracks, no third-party plugins support, and with
only 3 projects you can save, it’s more a trial version than a free daw. I
don’t think that Pro Tools is particularly good for beginners, even the
paid version, but I wanted to be in here because it’s the industry standard. next
up on my free daw software for music production list is: Ohm Studio. Ohmstudio is free for mac and windows, but it has severe limitations, for example
you need to have a working internet connection
although the software is installed on your computer. no internet connection?
you can’t start the software. you also have to save in the cloud and you can
only save a until a maximum of 10 projects for free, and if you want to
record in 24-bit and export to WAV, you need Ohm Studio Pro. the application is
responsive, has no track limitations and you can use third-party plugins.
well you must use third-party plugins because there are no stock instruments
in this software. Sound Bridge for mac and windows, but how free is this free
daw software for music production? Soundbridge is free if you donate, uhhh,
yeah, as this next screen carefully explains Soundbridge daw is pretty
straightforward and you’ll pick up very quickly. the software is responsive and
you can change even bit rates and sound card inputs, very handy. although it’s
very basic. Audio stretching and pitch shifting is very easy in the Edit window.
if Soundbridge doesn’t crash, and fading in and out points of a sample is pretty
easy. you have an unlimited number of tracks and you can use your own plugins.
there are also stock effect plugins in the daw, but I couldn’t find any
instrument plugins. All and all, I think this daw is basic but pretty complete
and it has enough features to get you started, even for the more advanced
producer definitely check this one out. I made a special dedicated video on Soundbrige. check it out if you want to know more the link is in the description. before I go on to the next free daw, I want to know what is your favorite free daw,
let me know in the comments with the hashtag music producer. I saw videos on
YouTube that say that Ardour is free but judging by their website, it’s not.
it’s cheap, but it’s not free. so skipping to the next one:
T7. T7 is free but of course they’d like you to upgrade to their paid version of
the daw, called Waveform for $70. T7 by traction is available for Mac Windows
and Linux. you are greeted with a nag screen ,but if you click unlock and enter
your user credentials you can continue it’s worth mentioning that the daw
makes no distinction between audio and MIDI tracks. there are no limitations in
the number of tracks in T7 and yes you can use third-party plugins you can even
add a video for scoring film music. there are a couple of plugins in the software
like a sampler and a couple of effect plugins like a compressor. the software
sometimes doesn’t respond to mouse clicks and sometimes a right-click on
a plug-in opens a menu and sometimes a plug-in. and I had it crashed on me once
by adding a plug-in. I did a dedicated video on T7, check out the link in the
description. all in all, it’s functional it’s complete and it’s free but it
doesn’t suit my idea of a daw very well and it has some user interface issues.
The next free daw that I need to mention is GarageBand. you can download
GarageBand from the App Store if you have an Apple computer. the application
has a number of limitations besides that it is only available on Mac. the first
one is a maximum of 32 tracks, besides that you have a limitation of only 4
effect plugins per track. 32 tracks is workable if you use your tracks wisely
then you can get away with it. also 4 plugins per track is workable but it
doesn’t give you a lot of wiggle room. you can get pretty far with
GarageBand as a free daw, but there will come a time that you need to upgrade to
Logic Pro. the upgrade to Logic is 200 euros for a fully functional professional daw,
that also can read your GarageBand files definitely check it out if you own a Mac.
by the way there’s even a GarageBand app for your iPhone and your iPad. I did a
special video about GarageBand check it out in the description below. my next
free daw on the list is Cakewalk Cakewalk was previously known as a Sonar
something to do with a takeover Bandlab, the new owner makes the previously
discussed online daw: Bandlab, because it’s a Windows application I can’t test
that for you regretfully. judging by the scarce information on the website: is
that it’s completely free without any limitation on tracks or whatever and I
saw it supports VST plugins. I guess you have to download it to figure out what
it does and doesn’t do. the next free daw that I want to take a look at is
Studio One Prime. Studioone prime is a stripped-down version of the paid
version of Studio One: Studio One Pro. since I own a license of Studio One Pro
I’m a little bit hesitant that it will interfere with my license so I didn’t
install it. the footage I’m gonna show you is a screen recording of Studio One
Pro. the paid version of Studio One is my preferred daw of choice and out of
familiarity it’s really easy to say that it’s therefore the right choice, but I’m
not going to do that, because the Prime version has some major limitations. the
first one is obviously the lack of third-party plugin support and you are
stuck with the stock plugins. the stock plugins are by no means bad, but the only
instrument plugin is Presence, which is limited, but with no samplers included, no
proper compressor and no way to add those yourself, the daw is pretty
handicapped. the other obvious limitation is the limited
amount of busses, but that’s maybe less of an issue when you are starting out.
there are loops and sounds bundled with Studio One Prime. what I like about
Studio One, is that you can search for plugins and drag and drop them onto your
timeline there is no track limit or storage
limits in the free version. if you want to upgrade: Studio One Artist is 100
euros, which has more features than the free version and the full version of
Studio One is 400 euros. by the way, subscribe if you like the content so
far and hit that little bell icon, so you didn’t miss any new video about
music production. the next free daw in this video is LMMS. LMMS or Linux
Multimedia Studio is available for Linux Windows and Mac. I don’t find it
particularly user friendly and I needed at least six or seven tutorials to get
me started LMMS can export WAV and OGG lossless
file formats and it can export stems, so multiple tracks at once. WAV AIFF and
FLAC for importing is supported but MP3 regretfully not, the software supports
partial VST plugin support under windows and it supports the Linux Audio
Developers Simple Plugin API, or LADSPA for short.
that results in a slew of really simple plugins in the software with limited
functionality. since using your own VST and AU won’t work you have to rely on
what they provide for you. the DAW is definitely one of the more extensive
DAW in this video, but it lacks recording features, you can get around
that by using Audacity for example, but that makes LMMS not a one-stop DAW.
LMMS has no limitations when it comes to the number of tracks, but the lack of
support for VST plug-ins for Mac and the fact that I couldn’t get my MIDI keyboard
to work is a deal-breaker for me. so I don’t think it’s the best free daw if
you are a beginner. I made a special video about LMMS, the link is in the
description for the Linux and enthousiasts out there: you
can take a look at Qtractor I have no usable Linux workstation so I
have to go by the tutorials and the screenshots on the internet. Qtractor
has recording capabilities in contrast to lmms, even multi take recording. it has
unlimited tracks, unlimited busses unlimited number of plugins per track,
a piano roll, support for MIDI keyboards and automation possibilities.
There is VST instrument support in Qtractor, but no support for VST effect
plugins it reads MP3 and supports OGG, WAV, FLAC and AIFF files for reading and saving another free “daw” for Linux is Rose Garden.
Rosegarden is mainly a midi sequencer meaning that it was first
built as a program to make music with notes and sheet music, later they added
audio support but I suspect that support to be very minimal, although it supports
audio routing and recording audio. Rose Garden only supports some lesser-known
Linux plugins, but it doesn’t limit you in the number of tracks. it does limit
you however in only 5 plugins per track in most cases that’s enough. in my
general video about DAWs people gave me a hard time in the comments for not
including programs like Audacity and Audition. why didn’t I include those? well
those are audio editors and not a DAW even multitrack audio editors. In
audacity you can record your voice or a real-life instrument and apply effects
with VST or AU plugins, but you cannot instantiate a VST instrument like Serum,
change notes with a piano roll or connecting a MIDI keyboard and Audacity
has no knowledge of BPM. try to put a sample on the offbeat of a 106 BPM song, good luck!! yes you can input a MIDI file, but you cannot play it. so
it’s fine for recording a voiceover or a podcast but
for a music producer. the next daw is Reaper. but is it free? when I asked the
question in my community tab about the free DAWs you know someone said the
endless trial of Reaper. indeed when I set the system clock to 2037 Reaper
still seems to work. ok, it’s not technically free but you can use it for
free when you click away the nag screen. by the way the paid version is only $60
or $225 depending on your income In Reaper there is no distinction between
track types, so a MIDI track, an audio track, a video track and a bus track,
those are all the same thing. Reaper could be a bit intimidating when you’re
starting out with music production because of all the huge menus and all
the stuff that is going on on the screen but a lot of options are pretty
self-explanatory when you know the basics of a DAW. exporting can be done
in a slew of formats: WAV, AIFF, MP3 and OGG Vorbis I’m also surprised by the amount
of plugins standards they support: VST Audio Units (AU) and even ARA or ara. with
no apparent limitations Reaper is a good daw to grow with. Reaper is a solid daw
that is feature rich and is definitely competes with a big professional daws.
when you want to know more about this amazing DAW. check out my special video
about Reaper. the link is in the description. Podium is a DAW for
windows that is based on a subscription model of $35 a year with a one-time fee
of $50 but there is a free version of podium, but there are a couple of caveats:
first of all the free version is not updated since 2014. second, there is no
64-bit support in the free version and you can only use one processor core, in
other words the free version doesn’t take maximum advantage of your
computer’s hardware and the paid version does regretfully it has no mac version
so I can’t test it for you. It supports VST, MIDI and audio recording multiple
computer monitors and automation. the stock plugins in the software are an
equalizer, reverb and pitch plugin. if you took notes: those are only effect plugins.
no instrument plugins, so you need to have third-party VST instruments.
the next free daw software on my list is Stage Light. Stagelight by Open Labs is
a daw for Windows and Mac. Stagelight comes in three flavors: the free daw, the
platform unlock and the ultimate unlock version, which are respectively fifty or
hundred and fifty dollars there is an iPhone and an iPad version of
the software available. the free version can handle only two effect plugins,
instead of eight. you can’t export stems and there is no VST support in the free
version. there are basic versions of their instrument plugins in the software
so you are bound to those to make your music, there is also an equalizer,
compressor and a delay stock plugin in Stage Light, but you are definitely
missing a limiter and the reverb plugin I couldn’t figure out how to side chain and
judging by the forum it isn’t possible at all. this made me quit further
exploration of the software: if you can’t even do that it’s not worth my time or
even yours for that matter. the daw is pretty basic which may be a good thing
for a beginner but if you want to grow with a piece of software take a look at
something else like Reaper and on top of that the free version is so handicapped
it’s hardly usable. I think that browser daws are pretty good to start with, but
you can’t grow with them if you advance. of the browser daws Bandlab stood
out for me. from the offline free daw I liked soundbridge a lot, but my overall
winner is definitely Reaper. you may have noticed that there are major downsides
to pretty much every free daw. you don’t have that problem with paid DAWs. I made
a special video about paid DAWs, check it out right here, or check out my
playlist with in-depth looks at some of the software packages I discussed in
this video