The Best Free Beat Making Software for 2024

The Best Free Beat Making Software for 2024 The Best Free Beat Making Software for 2024

Just because something is free doesn't mean you should underestimate its abilities.

In fact, Claire Boucher (aka Grimes) used Garageband to create her breakthrough album Visions, when she was just 27.

Today, we're going to explore the world of free beat making software: a program that best suits your needs as a producer, whether you're a complete beginner or an experienced producer looking to try something new.

Benefits of Using Free Beat Making Software

You might be thinking to yourself, "why wouldn't I just buy high-quality beat-making software right off the bat instead of messing around with free beat making software?

Sure, it's an understandable question.

If you have the budget to buy paid beat making software, you can get quite a bit of it. However, many at-home producers already have to forfeit a decent portion of their budget for other pieces of hardware and software, such as MIDI controller keyboards or third-party plugins.

1. Magix Music Maker

Magix Music Maker may not have the most advanced functionality in the grand scheme of free beat making software, but it is one of the easiest free beat maker software to use. I like to think of it as Windows' version of Garageband.

The thing that sets Magix Music Maker apart from other free beat-making software is its drag-and-drop interface, which is super user-friendly and provides a solid jumping–off point for beginners who want to dive into music production without having to put in much effort learning.

The free version of Magix Music Maker comes equipped with a valuable library of samples, and virtual instruments. One of the main downsides, however, is that you cannot expand the software using third-party VST plugins or samples.

If you want to elevate your music-making experience, Magix offers Premium and Plus versions, both of which deliver a substantial upgrade with expanded capabilities and a more robust sample library, helping to broaden your creative possibilities.

It's worth mentioning that Magix Music Maker has limited MIDI capabilities as well, making it less suitable for those who want advanced sample chopping and drum loop creation features. If these functionalities are crucial to you, I’d recommend exploring other beat software options.

Even so, Magix Music Maker is a great choice for budding music producers interested in exploring beat-making at no cost, especially for someone who’s eventually looking to transition to a more professional digital audio workstation.

2. Waveform Free

Waveform Free is one of the most robust free DAWs out there, giving you the foundation of Tracktion Software's premier Waveform. The software caters to both burgeoning engineers and seasoned producers, offering plenty of great features and an intuitive beat-making workflow.

Waveform is compatible with both Mac and Windows, and the free version supports full ReWire compatibility and VST plugin functionality, delivering the most accessible and versatile user platform.

While you won’t find some of the premium features you’d find in its paid counterpart, you get all the essential functions one could need, such as the ability to record, mix, and master your beats.

It’s a particularly good piece of software for beat makers who like using virtual instruments, as you’ll find plenty of great soft synths and an intuitive MIDI sequencing workflow.

If you’re a hip-hop producer, Waveform Free is an even better choice, as it also provides loop-chopping features and tons of great MIDI arrangement features, making it easy to draw out beats, melodies, and chords on your computer.

Though I use Pro Tools on my desktop at my studio, I love Waveform Free for my MacBook Air, as it’s a super lightweight program, perfect for computers that aren’t spec’d out. Plus, the interface looks great, especially on smaller screens.

3. MPC Beats

Akai’s MPC Beats is one of the most exceptional pieces of beat-making freeware on the market today, which makes sense, considering it was made by one of the most respected hardware manufacturers in beat-making.

It offers accessibility for both experienced producers and beginners.

At its core, you’ll find 80 unique Air plugins, an eight-track MIDI sequencer, and third-party hardware and Akai compatibility, which redefines the music production landscape for those looking to learn.

MPC Beats boasts both AU and VST plugin compatibility, tons of great sample editing features, a virtual mixer, a substantial 2 GB sound library, and the ability to use the software as a plugin in other DAWs.

While MPC Beats may not replace a fully-featured DAW, it’s my favorite piece of software for creating beats while on the go. I actually used it while traveling for a month, and it was great for sketching out any ideas and melodies, and playing around with them before I got back home to complete them in my actual DAW.

It pays homage to the classic Akai MPC workflow, making it an ideal choice for hip-hop beatmakers, though it also has plenty of genre templates for different genres, such as Pop, Dance, and Trap, perfect for those who want to experiment further.

You can also elevate your sound kit with add-on sample packs from renowned sound designers like Araab Muzik and F9 Instruments, but even the base software comes with a wide range of high-quality sounds, spanning from contemporary vocal chops to vintage drum kits.

4. Cakewalk by Bandlab

BandLab’s Cakewalk is another noteworthy free DAW that shouldn't be underestimated by beatmakers. It offers a traditional sequencing workflow, which can be super advantageous if you’re someone who likes to record live instruments or vocals.

Having been a fixture in the music production software landscape since the late 1980s, Cakewalk’s first iteration came out in 1987. With such an extensive history at its back, the software has had many years to turn into a meticulously refined and feature-rich music creation tool.

If you use Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Cubase, or any other major DAW, you’ll likely recognize the fact that it shares many of the same popular industry-standard features.

The free version of Cakewalk provides all of the essential features one would need for recording, mixing, and mastering, though, unfortunately, you currently can’t use it on Mac operating systems.

5. Garageband

If you’ve purchased a Mac at any time in the last few decades, then you have GarageBand pre-installed on it.

It’s one of the most user-friendly DAWs out there, delivering features that actually rival those of many professional DAWs. Its accessibility alone makes it an ideal starting point for aspiring beatmakers.

Luckily, even though it’s free, GarageBand doesn't compromise on features. It caters just as well to beginners as it does to seasoned professionals, and with the tools on here alone, you can create some pretty impressive pieces of music. 

Some of the biggest hits of the past 20 years have been made on Garageband, including Usher's "Love in This Club" and Kendrick Lamar's "Pride."

While maintaining supreme user-friendliness, it offers a robust set of features, perfect for recording, editing, and mixing audio files, providing a range of VST instruments, effects, and guitar amps, all of which you can use to add depth and character to your own beats.

With the included Drummer feature, you get what is essentially a virtual drummer or percussionist in your studio. One of the main things to note, however, is that the MIDI editing features have their limitations, and you won’t find many of the same advanced mixing options you’d find in something like Logic Pro, which is Apple’s proprietary music-making software.

Considering its unbeatable zero-dollar price and impressive features, there's little room for complaint with Apple's GarageBand.


LMMS is a free, open-source beat-making platform, mirroring the efficient workflow of one of the most popular pieces of beat-making software in existence, FL Studio.

The thing that sets LMMS apart from FL Studio and other beat-making software programs is its sequencing workflow, which will be extremely familiar to anyone who uses Reason or Fruity Loops.

This unique loop-based approach offers a straightforward and user-friendly environment for making beats, which deviates from conventional sequencing layouts found in other DAWs.

There are also plenty of virtual instruments and drum samples to explore, and if you want to explore the software's expanded capabilities, you can integrate a number of third-party VST plugins. 

Even though you don’t need them, it’s nice to be able to incorporate your own favorite samplers, effects, and drum machines, to diversify your music production arsenal. 

As a complete cross-platform piece of software, LMMS works seamlessly across Mac, Windows, and Linux, so no matter what operating system you use, it makes it super accessible.

I recently tested the newest version of LMMS for Mac, and it performed really well. I noticed that it was also very lightweight compared to some of the other beat-making options on the list.

7. SoundBridge

SoundBridge is another great piece of beat-making software that prioritizes simplicity, much of which is due to its intuitive interface. SoundBridge makes the beat production process seamless, and the latest version of the software layout strikes a balance between versatility and clarity, contributing to a smooth workflow.

Even so, the software doesn't compromise when it comes to its features, as you get access to a full array of mixing tools and an unlimited number of tracks. You’ll also find automation lines, a multi-track mixer, and a number of quality audio editing features.

However, you won’t find many advanced MIDI editing features, which can pose a challenge to advanced beat makers who are used to using professional DAWs. It’s also worth noting that SoundBridge currently has a relatively small number of users, so if you’re online trying to find troubleshooting information or answers to operational questions, you might have a hard time.

8. Studio One Prime

Studio One Prime, which was developed by the team over at PreSonus, is a freely available music software application that allows for audio recording and editing. The one main drawback is that you won’t get any support for third-party plugins or virtual instruments.

Even so, it’s a super valuable piece of software for beat makers who use acoustic instruments or hardware samplers, as it allows you to capture musical ideas, edit them, mix them, and use sound effects to elevate them.

9. Soundtrap

Soundtrap is a cloud-based piece of beat-making software that’s popular in both the music creation and podcast development space. It was made by the team over at Spotify, and it’s one of the best on this list for real-time collaboration, allowing multiple users to simultaneously contribute to a single project at any location. 

While you don’t get the same experience as being in the same room with someone, Soundtrap gets pretty close. 

The simple interface is notably streamlined, perfect for users of all kinds, and as a browser-based application, there's no need to install anything.

Soundtrap’s unpaid version provides space for unlimited projects, 150,000 FreeSound sound effects, 440 instruments, 290 one-shots, and 5040 loops, as well as limited access to new sound packs released bi-weekly. 

Unfortunately, you won’t get access to premium features like pitch correction and high-quality audio exports, which require a paid subscription.

With that said, it’s a versatile piece of cloud-based beat-making software for basic music composition.

10. Amped Studio

Amped Studio is another free beat-making tool that seamlessly integrates cloud-based storage with desktop-style sequencing, offering a uniquely hybrid setup proving ideal for capturing unexpected beat ideas when you're away from your primary studio setup.

The user-friendly interface makes use of all the standard elements you’d expect to find in your DAW, including MIDI and audio tracks, effects, and virtual instruments. You can even integrate MIDI and audio on the same track.

I love the proprietary virtual instruments and effects Amped Studio has, as you don’t need to download anything else to start making beats.

Even with that said, you’ll only find certain features with a paid subscription, including premium sound libraries, additional VST instruments and effects, and high-quality exporting.

As a subscriber, you also get access to increased cloud storage capacity to save your projects online.

11. Splice Beat Maker

Splice is one of the most popular sample platforms on the market today, and recently, the developers made their own beat-making tool - Splice Beat Maker.

If you’re an avid Splice fan and looking to craft and share sequenced beats using an extensive array of popular loops and samples, Splice Free Beat Maker software is a must-have. 

This premier beat generator software is great for users who want to effortlessly edit, mix, and manipulate the original sounds of acclaimed beatmakers and artists like KSHMR, KRNE, and more, all with the simple click of a button.

12. Ableton Live Lite

Ableton Live 11 Lite is one of the most versatile pieces of free beat-making software on this list, as it goes far beyond the capabilities of traditional beat-making, allowing users to create and edit audio tracks, use a wide range of plugins and effects, and handle mixing and mastering duties.

Though it’s pretty much just a streamlined version of Ableton’s full version of Live 11, Ableton Live 11 Lite retains all the essential features essential for beat-making and audio production, including the built-in sampler and drum machine, a wide range of instruments and sound, and full-fledged multitrack recording.

13. Ardour

Ardour is a comprehensive digital audio workstation and production suite, which gives you the capabilities to edit, record, and mix. It’s packed to the brim with powerful features, which cater to both home and professional producers, making it a versatile tool for music production.

Both macOS and Windows users can take advantage of it, and with its user-friendly interface, it’s incredibly straightforward for those who are new to production. 

Ardour comes with a wide range of plugins and effects, allowing you to enhance your recordings in just about any creative way you see fit, and as a whole, it’s an excellent choice for those seeking free music-making software.

Just note, however, that the Ardour’s free version may periodically go silent during use.

14. Serato Studio

Serato is one of the most popular pieces of DJ software on the market today, and with the free version, entitled Serato Studio, you get an all-encompassing music production suite that has become somewhat of an industry standard for electronic music producers. 

Serato Studio has evolved from its roots as a remixing tool for crafting mashups and remixes, as a music production suite that offers an array of samples, virtual instruments, drum kits, and plugins, which can be used to make quality custom music in real-time. 

You can easily sync up your loops with your project’s BPM, mix multitrack audio, and use the streamlined user interface to edit and export your beats or stems in WAV or MP3.

Each deck also comes equipped with a filter, fader, and three-band EQ for the DJ-style workflow.

15. Qtractor Studio

Last on our list, we have Qtractor, which is versatile free beat maker software equipped with numerous features to craft custom beats with ease, including a drum machine, bass synthesizer, and step sequencer.

It also comes with a wide range of quality effects, including EQ, reverb, and delay, and can integrate with third-party VST plugins and effects for even greater versatility. The beat-making software includes a lot of what you'd expect to find on standard digital audio workstations, giving you all you need to start creating music today.

How To Produce Your First Beat

As you can see, you don't need to spend money on a fancy digital audio workstation to create high-quality beats at home. All you need is some free beat making software and a decent internet connection.

The question is, once you have your free beat making software ready to go, how do you go about creating great-sounding beats?

Making music is a pretty subjective process, though there are certain elements you want to try and include when you create beats, including:

  • Rhythmic Elements - These can include everything from drum kits to percussion to bass synths
  • Music - These can include all different sounds, from chords to harmonies, using a variety of different instruments, whether synths, guitars, keyboards, or more.
  • Leads and Melodies .- From vocal chops to melodic synths, these are the song hooks or motifs — the things that those who listen to your track will remember.
  • Misc Sounds - From foley to effects, these can be the small pieces of ear candy that give your beats the extra spice they need to stand out in the crowd.
  • Structure - This is how your beat moves from beginning to end, including the verses, choruses, bridges, and transitions. One of he best tools you can utilize with a beat is contrast, as it can help make it more dynamic throughout.

Start out with the basics, such as a basic kick and snare beat, and a melody, and use some of your favorite beats as references to figure out how to arrange the structure and dynamics.

Final Thoughts

There you have it — a short list of the best beat making software on the market today. Best of all, none of the options above require you to spend a dime, allowing you to spend money on other music-making tools, such as hardware and plugins.

Try each of these free beat-making programs out without risk and create music that stands up to some of the top tracks out there today.

Bring your songs to life with professional quality mastering, in seconds!