Best Free Recording Software
When I started out I was fortunate enough to have a friend lend me his cool edit pro disks to practice on. Those days are far from gone.
Everything these days are subscription based software and the subscriptions are expensive. Pro Tools runs about $35 (US) dollars a month. It’s not bad if you can write off your software and if you are making money recording, but what about those of us who are hobbyists or just starting out.
So from my experience here are 3 of the best free recording software options out there that will get you up and running.
Best Free Recording Software #1 Garage Band
If you are a mac user you probably already have dabbled in Garageband. It’s a great little piece of software that doesn’t require an engineering degree to figure out. Since it’s a loop based sequencer there’s already a ton of options and things you can do right away.
It has smart instruments that allow you to customize and play pre recorded sounds and an easy to understand interface. I use Garageband when I’m demoing to put together a quick arrangement and write.
There are some drawbacks, like if you want to change tempos in your song. There’s not an option for that. Or any advanced editing functions like you get in ProTools, so cutting up loops is clunky. But over all for a free piece of software it’s a great program. And a ton of fun.
BEST FREE RECORDING SOFTWARE # 2
Pro Tools First
I’ve incredibly biased because I’ve been a Pro Tools guy for ever. Since Pro Tools 12, Avid introduced Pro Tools first. It’s basically the same as Pro Tools layout and editing wise. So If you know Pro Tools is for you then this is an awesome way to get your PT chops up. All the editing functions are there which, in my opinion, makes Pro Tools my favourite DAW.
Now it’s free so they do limit you. Like you are only allowed to have 3 projects on the go at once. Everything is saved to the cloud and if you want more you have to pay for it. You can only track 4 tracks at once where Garageband lets you do 8 and you only have a max of 16 tracks to work with. So if you are looking to do bigger recording then you will probably want to upgrade.
BEST FREE RECORDING SOFTWARE #3 Reaper
Reaper is technically not free, however, if you decide to keep testing it and not pay you can do that indefinitely. If you buy it than it’s only $60 which is amazing compared to the other professional DAW’s
Right of the top you get unlimited track counts, VST plugin support, full automation features etc… It’s a full out professional DAW.
I can’t really say much bad things about it. Well maybe it’s not the prettiest but Pro Tools wasn’t either for the longest time. Oh and it’s fairly complicated at first, so if you have no experience than there’s that whole learning curve thing. But that’s what YouTube is for 😀
So there you have it, I recommend checking these out and see what you like the best. If you need any mixing tips check out some of my other blogs here.