Here are the best free DAW software programs ( Digital Audio Workstations ), that you can download for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers.
These free DAWs are packed with helpful music production features that are comparable to popular paid digital audio workstations.
- 1. Apple Garageband
- 2. Waveform Free
- 3. Cakewalk by BandLab
- 4. BandLab Online
- 5. LMMS – Free DAW Software
- 6. Soundtrap
- 7. Rosegarden
- 8. Akai MPC Beats DAW Software
- 9. Ableton Live Lite
- 10. Pro Tools | First
- 11. Ardour – Free DAW
- 12. Magix Music Maker Free
- 13. SoundBridge
- 14. Studio One 5 Prime
- 15. Cubase LE
- 16. Soundation Studio
- 17. Ohm Studio
- 18. DarkWave Studio
- 19. Podium Free
- 20. Qtractor
- 21. MuLab Free
- 22. MusE
These DAW apps are great for beginners and can help you start making music for free if you are on a budget.
No one DAW software is going to be perfect. So try out multiple DAW programs, and see which one best meets your needs.
Related: Free Audio Editor Software
Best Free DAW Software For Windows & Mac
Click the images below to visit each free DAW software website.
1. Apple Garageband
Apple GarageBand is a music production and composition program that comes with a selection of Apple loops.
Garageband is designed to be intuitive and easy to learn, even for non-musicians.
It features unlimited tracks allowing you to create your own songs vs just remix versions. It also has a built-in guitar amp so you can plug your guitar in and play it live while recording the track.
In addition to offering a variety of recording and editing features. Be as exact as possible when it comes to note and decibel selection.
- Create up to 255 tracks
- Virtual drummer
- Built-In Sound Library
- Choose from popular music genres: Hip Hop, EDM, Rock, etc.
- Sync files on iCloud
- Work on projects on your iPhone or iPad
- 40 Guitar and piano lessons
2. Waveform Free
Waveform is a free digital audio workstation (DAW) software, meaning it is used as an application for recording, arranging, mixing, and mastering audio tracks.
Waveform free operates on Windows and Mac operating systems.
Waveform offers some of the most important features for music production which includes powerful editing tools such as cut, paste, and undo. There are also many plugins available to download from the Waveform website or to purchase from third-party providers.
Waveform Free Features:
- Cross-Platform Support: Windows, Mac, & Ubuntu
- Add Unlimited Tracks
- Constant Save Technology
- Micro Drum Sampler
- Audio Automation
- MIDI Pattern Generators
- No Audio Watermarks
- MIDI Typing Keyboard
- VST Plugin & AU Plugin Support
3. Cakewalk by BandLab
Cakewalk by BandLab is a free music creation studio program for Windows only.
- Unlimited MIDI Tracks
- Step Sequencer / Drum Sequencer
- Record Vocals & Instruments
- VST Plugin Support
- 64-bit Mix Engine
- Manipulate Time & Pitch
4. BandLab Online
BandLab is a cloud-based music program that allows musicians and fans to interact online. Music projects can be recorded, edited, and mixed online using the online mix editor.
BandLab provides a wide variety of virtual instruments for recording and editing MIDI notes. You can record vocals and real instruments online to create high-quality tracks.
- You will need to sign up for a free account.
- Record instruments, vocals, and play digital instruments
- Online Lyrics Writing
- Vocal samples can be edited
- You can apply audio effects
- Export individual audio files
- Audio files can be exported as WAV or MP3
- Online collaborations with musicians
- Record over Instrumentals
- Provides an instant preview that you can share
- Audio time-stretching in real-time
5. LMMS – Free DAW Software
LMMS is a free software for audio recording and editing. It also includes a modular synthesizer. Lmms is available for all major operating systems on the market.
The acronym LMMS stands for Linux MultiMedia Studio and it allows you to create and edit music in various forms, like composing, sampling, editing, sequencing, or even mixing the music.
LMMS Free DAW Features:
- Compose songs with Song-Editor
- Create beats and baselines with the Beat Bassline Editor
- Easily edit patterns and melodies with the Piano-Roll
- It is possible to mix unlimited combinations with an FX mixer with 64 FX channels and an arbitrary number of effects
- Powerful effects and instrument plugins preinstalled
- Full control over track-based automation
- Compatible with many standards: SoundFonts, VST, LADSPA, etc.
- Import MIDI files
- Works on Windows, Mac, Linux
Soundtrap is a powerful and easy-to-use online music production studio that allows musicians from all over the world to collaborate on music projects.
The Soundtrap software enables musicians to produce their own music. It integrates the process of recording, composing, and mixing all in one place.
This music app gives producers the freedom to define how they want to create their songs and how they want them to sound.
With Soundtrap you can easily turn your ideas into reality. It has pre-set instruments and tracks for any genre you are working in and it also provides tools for synth, loop, recording vocals or instruments, or layering them for greater depth.
- Auto-Tune – This allows you to pitch and modify your voice recordings.
- Collaborate With Music Creators
- Automation – Use the sweeping effect, adjust the volume, and pan as you wish.
- Create Patterns – Design your beats intuitively and easily.
- Use Presets & Loops – Offers over 4,000 audio presets and loops.
- Record Audio – Connect a microphone, guitar, or other musical instruments
Rosegarden is a music composition and editing environment based on a MIDI sequencer that features a rich understanding of music notation and includes basic support for digital audio.
- Editing – Intuitive ways to record and edit notes.
- Managing your MIDI ports, banks, programs, and controllers without having to remember any numbers.
- Notation – Entering, editing, and printing score.
- Audio – Record audio, mix audio, samples, and effects.
- Synths – Play MIDI tracks through synths, for more accurate control.
8. Akai MPC Beats DAW Software
The MPC Beats program allows you to produce beats using samples and loops. It gives you the ability to create melodies, rhythms, and patterns with their built-in sounds or imported ones.
You can also use the software’s mixer function to add different instruments into the mix as well as apply effects.
MPC Beats is an intuitive DAW software with an easy-to-use interface.
MPC Beats Features:
- 16 Pads For Samples & Loops
- Record MIDI notes with the piano roll
- Edit Sample
- Sample Browser
- Templates for Trap, Pop, and Dance
- There are more than 80 audio effect plugins
- The collection contains 2GB of content, including loops, samples, and virtual instruments
- Record vocals and instruments
- Video Tutorials for Free
9. Ableton Live Lite
Ableton Live Lite is a free DAW software that lets you record, produce and perform with MIDI-based music and audio. It features tools like an intuitive sequencer, powerful instruments, professional effects, and elegant automation.
It has all the main features of Ableton’s flagship Live 9 software, but it comes in a lighter version for people who want to get acquainted with the product before purchasing it.
- Instrument & Drum Racks
- Unlimited undo and nondestructive audio editing
- 192 kHz/32-bit multitrack recording
- A powerful MIDI sequencing solution for software and hardware
- Real-time time-stretching and advanced warping
- Support for VST2, VST3, and Audio Unit
- Time signatures change
- Audio input channels: 8 mono channels
- The audio output channel count is 8
- Automated lanes on multiple channels
- Track Freeze
- MIDI Effect Racks
- Capture MIDI
- MIDI Clock/sync
- Supports: WAV, MP3, AIFF, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC
10. Pro Tools | First
Pro Tools First is a free limited version of the Pro Tools music software.
Pro Tools First is intuitive enough for beginners and sophisticated enough for more experienced musicians.
A musician can record, use software instruments, and apply sound effects to his or her songs to make them sound professional.
In addition, Avid Pro Tools First takes advantage of mobile lifestyles, allowing users to manage sessions in the cloud, making it easier for them to work anywhere.
- Free Account Required
- 16 Audio Tracks
- Nondestructive Audio & MIDI Editing
- 16 MIDI Tracks
- 16 Instrumental Tracks
- 24 Stereo Busses23 Included Plugins
- MIDI Editor
- 3.1 GB of Included Sounds
- Sample Rate: 96 kHz, 32 bit
- Automation: Volume, pan, sends, solo, mute, plugin parameters
- Light & Dark themes
- ReWire & Ableton Link Support
- Online Cloud Collaboration
- Limited to 3 Cloud Projects
11. Ardour – Free DAW
Ardour is a free, open-source, cross-platform digital audio workstation software available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
Ardour has been created to be a professional level DAW and it has a lot of features that you would expect from one.
It can be used to record live audio (with or without MIDI), edit audio files with unlimited tracks with an unlimited number of takes per track.
This music app offers all the basic music DAW editing tools like cut, copy, paste, delete, undo, redo, and more.
Also offers support for VST plugins.
Ardour Free DAW Features:
- Multi-Track Audio and MIDI Recording and Editing
- Automation plugins that process samples accurately
- Sync transports and external control surfaces
- Powerful Anywhere-to-Anywhere Signal Routing
- Platform: Linux, Windows, OS X
12. Magix Music Maker Free
Magix Music Maker Free Edition is a digital audio workstation that lets you create music with synthesizers and drum machines, record your own vocals and instruments, edit audio files and arrange loops.
The Magix Music Maker Free Edition is an easy-to-use music-making tool with powerful built-in sounds and virtual instruments that can be combined with your own samples to produce high-quality tracks.
It has a streamlined user interface that’s quite simple to use for beginners, but it also has enough depth to offer experienced music producers a lot of versatility.
Music Maker Free Features:
- Built-in Drum Machine
- Song Maker AI
- In-App tutorials
SoundBridge is a free Digital Audio Workstation that works on Mac or PC in 32 or 64-bit formats.
- Audio & MIDI multi-track sequencer
- Audio Editor
- Advance Mixer
- MIDI Mapping & Editor
- File Browser
- Automation Editor
- Plugin Presets
- RitMix: Drum Machine
- OS: Mac & Windows
14. Studio One 5 Prime
Studio One Prime provides everything you need to get started in music creation and audio production for free.
Create your own music and podcasts as intuitively as possible with a single-window, drag-and-drop workflow that will make you wonder why you put up with other software that isn’t designed the same way.
Studio One Prime Features:
- Record, produce, and mix easily, all from a single, intuitive application
- An intuitive single-window work environment with quick and easy drag-and-drop functionality and multi-touch support
- Unlimited audio and instrument tracks, virtual instruments, and FX channels
- Powerful Presence XT virtual sample-player for keyboard and synth sounds
- Patterns allow for intuitive drum and melody composition via familiar drum machine/step-sequencer style UI
- Completely redesigned Native Effects plug-in suite.
15. Cubase LE
Cubase LE is a DAW software that was originally developed by Steinberg for Mac and Windows. It is free to download and can be used on both personal and commercial projects.
Cubase LE offers facilities that enable the user to record, edit, synchronize, mix, process, and master audio files.
There are also application extensions available for live performance.
Cubase LE Features:
- Drum Pattern Editor
- Time Stretch
- Audio Mixing Console
- Audio Warp Quantize
- Chord Pads
- Sampler Editor
- Scale Assistant Feature
- Score Editor
- Audio Pre-Record
- Punch In/Punch Out
16. Soundation Studio
Soundation Studio is a cloud-based tool for producing and collaborating on music online. It provides users with the ability to record audio, mix and master it, as well as to collaborate remotely on projects.
- Virtual Instruments: VA synth, GM-2, Supersaw, SPC, FM Synth, Wub Machine
- Various Audio effects: Tremolo, Distortion, Reverb, Phaser, Delay
- Collaborate With Music Producers
- Export Audio as MP3
- Recommended: Google Chrome
17. Ohm Studio
The Ohm Studio is a free and open-source digital audio workstation (DAW) with cross-platform support.
The software is a collaborative project that has been created by an international team of developers as an alternative to the DAWs which are usually costly in price.
Ohm Studio Features:
- Record & Edit Audio
- VST Plugin Support
- Connect Racks With Virtual Cables
- Audio Mixer
- Import & Export Projects
18. DarkWave Studio
DarkWave Studio is a real-time sound editor with a tabbed interface that lets you compose your own music with the assistance of your computer.
DarkWave Studio Features:
- VST Plug-in Support – Limitlessly Expandable With Instrument and Effects Plugins.
- Multi-Core / Multi CPU Support.
- Full 64-bit Double Precision Floating Point Audio Processing.
- Low Latency ASIO And DirectSound Audio Output Support.
- Platform Support: Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP
19. Podium Free
The Podium Free software was created to provide an easy-to-use and complete digital audio workstation to both beginners and professionals. It has the features of a paid DAW software, but it is completely free.
Podium Free offers many features that make the software stand out from others like FL Studio and Ableton Live.
There are only a few limitations to the application’s features. Installation and download does not require registration.
- VST Plugin Support
- Unlimited Tracks & Arrangements
- Customizable Interface
- Record Audio & MIDI
- Beat Slicing
- Bounce Audio Tracks
Qtractor is an Audio and MIDI multi-track free music production software.
Qtractor DAW Features:
- Multi-track audio sequencing and recording.
- Traditional multi-track tape recorder control paradigm.
- Audio file formats support OGG, MP3, WAV, FLAC, AIFF
- Standard MIDI files support (format 0 and 1).
- Non-destructive, non-linear editing.
- An unlimited number of tracks per session/project.
- An unlimited number of overlapping clips per track.
- Platform: Linux
21. MuLab Free
MuLab features an enhanced look and collection of new and improved features throughout the app that all together seriously increase the creativity, comfort and productivity of MuLab.
MuLab DAW Features:
- Create, record, edit and play multi-track audio & music.
- Flexible tracks and sub-tracks support audio and automation parts.
- Easy modular architecture.
- Top-quality uncompromised sound engine.
- Super-fat oscillators with 300 selected waveforms + support for user waveforms.
- Multi-core CPU support.
- Automatic mono/stereo handling.
- Advanced integration between composer and sound engine.
- Automation parts let you easily automate any parameter in the modular tree structure, even the deepest nested ones.
- Platform: Mac, Windows
- Free Limited Version
MusE is a MIDI/Audio sequencer with recording and editing. MusE aims to be a complete multitrack virtual studio for Linux.
- Realtime Record/Playback several mono/stereo inputs/outputs.
- Graphical editing of automation
- Several types of audio tracks: Audio inputs, Audio outputs, Wave tracks, Group tracks, Aux outputs
- Standardized plugin formats: LADSPA, DSSI, VST
- Drag and drop import and arranging of: Plugins and plugin presets, Parts, Midi files, Audio files, Aux outputs
- Platform: Linux
We hope you find these free DAW Software programs helpful.
If we missed any popular DAW programs, please let us know in the comments.