If you have dreams of becoming a beat producer or music producer, you might very well be on the lookout for the best free beat making software to get started with.
There are plenty of such software offerings available out there that let you explore professional music making tools virtually at no cost.
These beat making program will not only lay a foundation for your learning experience but also help you come up with some sick beats eventually.
And then who knows? Your beats might gain the recognition they deserve and you might finally be able to graduate to real equipment and paid software.
But we’re thinking way ahead here. Let’s focus on the task at hand – giving you a list of the best free beat making software you can lay your hands on right now.
Before that though, here are some basic tips you should consider before you start with your music production with these best beat making software.
Basic tips for using the below free beat making software
Step 1: Establish a strong foundation
Take small steps before you climb higher. Opt for making simple kick and snare patterns until you get a hold of the software. This will build a strong foundation for the music journey that lies ahead, which will be made easier.
Step 2: Build on it
If you’ve created a music beat out of just kick and snare patterns, you have a strong base ready. It’s now time to add some hi-hats, toms, cymbals, and claps that will help you create a simple pattern.
Step 3: Don’t add too many effects on the beat maker
When you’re starting out, adding too many effects on the software can make things confusing and make you lose your grip on the pattern. Leave some room for music instruments and vocals.
Step 4: Just practice
The most important advice we can give you is practice. Keep experimenting with your music and keep going wrong. Explore new sounds and rhythms using these software tools, or try replicating the beats of your favorite artists. That’s what will help you grow into the music producer you dream of becoming.
What do you require to start making beats on a digital audio workstation?
Any novice producer’s software kit needs a DAW, a sampler, some quality samples, a synthesizer, and audio effects. This list of the free beat maker software has been created to act as a starting point for building your music production rig from scratch.
It includes some great DAWs, samplers, as well as synthesizers, apart from a set of effects for taking your sounds to the next level. Let’s get started then.
#1 – LMMS
This free software is inspired by FL Studio and is an open source DAW created by a group of programming volunteers.
And over the years of its existence, LMMS has grown by leaps and bounds in terms of its functionality and user interface.
LMMS is now among the best beat making software available out there for music enthusiasts to explore.
Digital audio design and production was kept in mind by the makers of this software, which is why there’s no provision to record audio in LMMS.
LMMS is known for its free 16 synthesizers that form the cornerstone of its functionality.
They include emulators of hardware synths like the Commodore 64, Roland TB-303, and 8-bit sounds from GameBoy and Nintendo devices.
As for the interface of LMMS, it is based on that of FL Studio and is hence easily navigable.
#2 – Studio One 5 Prime
Offered by PreSonus, Studio One 5 Prime is among the top choices for those who want to produce music with either sampled or recorded beats.
This next piece of music making software in our list of best free beat making programs allows you to record while producing beats and professional FX for your music.
A traditional drag-and-drop interface can be found on it, while the software also lets you quickly control its 1GB of free samples, 9 software plugins, and other aspects with a smart browser.
Studio One 5 Prime allows professional time-stretching, comping, and automation of tracks with pro-level software algorithms.
This Windows and Mac software also gives you access to unlimited audio and instrument tracks, virtual instruments, and FX channels.
Once you start making music with this free beat maker, you can move up to PreSonus’ other advanced utilities like Studio One Artist, Studio One Professional, or PreSonus Sphere that are not quite expensive.
#3 – Cakewalk
We recommend this Windows PC DAW to those who have some sort of prior experience in beat making.
Cakewalk is a powerful yet free music production platform meant for intermediate producers who use Windows and don’t rely on superior sampling features.
This DAW holds the capacity to let you compose complete songs and performances with creative songwriting tools and instruments, making it a worthy addition to this list best free beat makers.
Moreover, it even gives you the ability to capture performances with pristine quality and unlimited audio and MIDI tracks.
We especially love this software’s excellent user interface, which lets you navigate your projects in a fully customizable manner.
Lots of people use Cakewalk for mastering their tracks and to share and distribute them online.
#4 – GarageBand (Mac exclusive)
GarageBand is an obvious choice when it comes to free beat making software. Meant for Mac machines, it is perfect for any beginner wanting to create music in their makeshift studio.
This DAW has all the basic features required to start your beat making journey.
It can record audio, compose melodies, create drum beats, and even enable you to play around with the included instruments and Apple Loops.
One of the most appealing aspects of Garageband is its iCloud support, which allows you to add tracks to your music from anywhere using your iPhone or iPad.
If you use newer MacBooks, the Touch Bar functionality of Garageband will greatly enhance the user experience with its intuitive design.
Garage band is the most complete beginner’s beat making software you can find out there.
Download this DAW blindly if you own a Mac machine.
#5 – Sitala
Sitala is a barebones drum kits sampling plugin, which comes with crucial sample editing features.
What we love about this music creation program is its placement of necessary controls right at the beat maker’s fingertips.
This saves you time as you’re no longer navigating menus or browsing multiple screens to make essential adjustments like pitch, pan, or tone.
This beat making programs comes with an extra sound layout control in the form of a compressor that you can find on every drum pad.
This makes it ideal for Sitala to be used with MIDI and sample loading.
You can use it to load sounds, or simply drop a sample on a drum pad to load it.
A special MIDI learn feature lets you integrate Sitala with your MIDI controller in a matter of seconds.
#6 – Waveform Free
Waveform Free is a neatly packed DAW from Tracktion that features a single panel user interface.
Its makers write on its website, “we fully acknowledge it has more capabilities than most enthusiast producers will ever need. There are no restrictions whatsoever – unlimited track count, add popular plugins and enjoy the deeply capable feature set.”
It’s a music creation tool that can be used by bands, podcasters, singer/songwriters, EDM producers, and many more to create music tracks.
And it’s a truly cross-platform software, with versions available not just for Mac and Windows, but also for Linux and Raspberry Pi 2, 3, and 4 platforms.
Download: Waveform Free
#7 – Caustic 3
Caustic 3 is for people who don’t have dreams of going professional but would still like to explore their beat making skills.
Maybe a small project to boast among friends or a simple track for adding to your video editing project.
It’s a tool that can be accessed right through your Android or iOS smartphone, though versions for your Windows PC or Mac and Linux machines are available as well.
Inspired by rack-mount synthesizer/sampler rigs, this app-based studio features a mixer, a sequencer, and a range of audio effects and instruments that are linked in a virtual modular rack.
Caustic 3 is easy to learn and makes music creation a fun experience for beginners.
You can even use it to create music on the fly and export them as audio files to be used with more advanced DAW.
Download: Caustic 3
#8 – Poise
Poise is another excellent drum sampler in our list of the best beat makers.
In fact, it’s a slightly simplified alternative to Sitala, which we’ve mentioned earlier.
It wasn’t always a free program though. It was only last year that its $49 price tag was reduced to $0.
Poise features a truly balanced workflow and advanced features like the ability to store multiple drum samples on a single pad and choose between several trigger modes.
You can use it to layer multiple samples on a single pad, or load multiple round-robin variations of the same sample for a more natural sound.
Poise is a truly excellent music software if you’re looking to step up your beat making game. It’s a wonder that it’s available for free.
#9 – Pro Tools First
Pro Tools First acts as a preview of sorts to the main Pro Tools software that Avid offers to professionals.
That doesn’t mean it skimps on many features though.
You get enough features needed for the composition of beats and samples, recording music, and MIDI productions.
It comes with 16 audio or MIDI tracks, while it incorporates over 20 pro-level FX and processors, including multiple types of compressors, reverbs, EQs, FX, and other creative processors.
Moreover, it also comes with Xpand, a brilliant software synth and beat plugin with heaps of presets.
Once you master Pro Tools First, you’ll want to stick with it and buy the paid versions to further your beat making journey.
Download: Pro Tools First
#10 – MPC Beats
MPC Beats is another feature-rich software to make beats that’s worth trying out.
You can use it to take advantage of 16 pads that trigger drum samples and loops.
Piano rolls for recording MIDI notes have also been granted to the program, apart from a sample editor.
MPC Beats gives you full control of your sound by letting you exploit plug and play compatibility with all class-compliant USB controllers.
This tool is home to more than 80 audio FX plugins that you can use to warp, manipulate and transform your audio into whatever you can think of.
And that’s not all; the VST/AU compatibility of MPC Beats means there is room to expand your sonic palette with compatible third-party virtual instrument add ons and audio processing plugins.
Download: MPC Beats
#11 – Tyrell N6
If you’re looking for a free virtual synthesizer, Tyrell N6 should be your first choice.
It promises to be a fine addition to your beat making arsenal, with its range of electronic sound presets that are all included in the download.
Plus, a wide variety of free third-party soundbanks are also available for Tyrell N6 with most of them featured on the website of this service.
It’s the kind of program that will make beginners, as well as experts, feel right at home from day one.
You can download it on your Windows, Mac, and Linux machines.
Download: Tyrell N6
#12 – LABS
LABS is a free sound module software that’s sample-based and a must-have for any music creator who is starting out.
It features a wide selection of free sound libraries that are truly magnificent in quality.
All of them are made by musicians and sampling experts in London.
They are easy to download and compatible with any DAW.
One of the main attractions inside LABS is a free orchestral sound library that is based on its industry-leading BBC Symphony Orchestra plugin.
In order to start using LABS though, you will first need to download the free Spitfire Audio app through its website.
#13 – OrdrumBOX
With its focus set on drum beats, OrdrumBOX is an ideal beatmaking software for any beginner out there.
This addition to our list of best free beat making software includes Natural Sound Assignations, which can match sound to its natural sequence and pitch.
A large rhythm database also finds its way into OrdrumBOX aside from a diverse set of customization options that turn it into an all-inclusive package.
The inbuilt sequencer within this software is one of its best features.
It can be downloaded on Windows, Mac, and Linux machines.
Frequently asked questions
Q. What software should I use to make beats?
You can make use of any of the above mentioned software in order to start making beats. Once you get hold of a digital audio workstation, you can expand your setup and include a sampler or a sound module as well.
Q. What should I start with when making beats?
We’d suggest you start with a drum groove or a musical element. Once you’re satisfied with it, you can add other elements in a way that they support the first.
This way, you can expand your beat into full song form. You can then go on to work on changing the energy from section to section by introducing or taking certain elements away.
Q. What is the easiest beat making software?
For a beginner, the easiest digital audio workstation to start making beats on has to be GarageBand. The Apple program can be used for free by all beginners with a Mac computer, while there are even iOS apps for the iPhone and the iPad, so you can keep working on your music even when you’re on the go.
Q. What are the basics to making a beat?
As beginners, you can start by creating a rhythm for yourself to work with, making some room for vocals, highlighting the chorus, and adding relevant transitions.
This is the basic method of beat making that you can follow. However, ultimately, it’s your own touch that matters, so be sure to keep experimenting with your sound until you find your groove.