A MacBook is fantastic choice for music artists and producers primarily because there are several digital audio workstations that you can choose from. Majority of them allow Mac users to record instruments, capture MIDI performances, edit audio files, and so much more. However, it’s not a secret that some of them tend to be expensive to purchase, but despite that, there are still several alternatives that you can download for your Mac.[macbook pro 13 inch leather sleeve]
Each of these free alternatives has all the features necessary for you to make high quality music and you don’t have to spend money doing it. So, let’s quickly dive in to our top picks.
This is a basic and popular choice that often comes with any new MacBook and is also free to download on any Apple device; this includes your Mac, iPad and iPhone. It has a simple to use interface and is also a powerful tool for music composition, arranging, as well as music recording. Moreover, you have access to it’s extensively large loops library or even just compose something new using the available instruments. A highlight being the Drummer feature, which offers about 28 different styles to choose from. Plus, using your hdmi arc you can connect your Mac to a wider screen or other instrumentation to hep you work more comfortably!
The only disadvantages to this application is the lack of mixer view and that there is a limit of 256 tracks. Although, unless you plan on doing some heavy duty production, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. However, you can always circumvent these restrictions by upgrading to Logic Pro.
This application from Tracktion comes fully loaded with unlimited audio or MIDI tracks, samplers, as well as built-in synthesizers with third party plugin compatibility. It comes with a pro version that you can pay to access extra features, but don’t be deceived. The free version has essentially everything you need to get that studio session up and running. However, if you still desire to get the pro version, you will unlock some customisable layouts, quick actions and other extra features. Another good thing about WaveForm Free is that, if you are collaborating with other music artists or producers without Mac’s, there’s no need to worry, as it is also available on Windows as well. Also, unlike GarageBand, it has no track restrictions, so if you are a heavy duty producer, working with several devices, just plug in your c hub and keep working.
Studio One Prime
This DAW comes in a wide variety of options to choose from; Professional, Artist, and Prime. These versions each come with their own extensive features, but in this case since we’re focussing on being budget friendly, then Prime is all you need. It has everything you need, which includes; unlimited audio and MIDI tracks, an wide library of samples and loops, as well as plug ins.
The only downside is the lack of virtual instruments that you can only get access to, if you upgrade. However, Prime is still an excellent choice to record, organise and mix your music with an easy to use interface making it a good choice for those who focus primarily on audio recording. The Professional version also offers a free trial so you can test out the extra features to see what you are missing.
Much like Waveform Free, LMMS is available on both MacOS and Windows systems, and since it’s an ‘open-source’ program, you can get it on your Mac for free. For this unfamiliar with that term, it means that the application was made by a community of developers for general use. So, while it is a good DAW to consider, you have to keep in mind that it doesn’t an extensive library of resources like Garageband has, for example.
Also, it’s not really the best choice for recording, as while importation of pre-recorded samples is possible, users are unable to directly record audio into the software. As such, LMMS is best for those who primarily work with samples and virtual instruments; basically those who are more inclined to making electronic music.
Audacity is possibly the best choice for first-time users and beginners who are just getting into music production as it doesn’t have a difficult or complicated interface. And while aesthetically speaking, it’s lacking, it makes up for it by being one of the most reliable and easy to use music software programs. It also comes with a wide variety of plugins and effects, including echo, distortion, reverb, etc. This makes it very good choice for audio recording, editing and working with vocal samples.
The only issue is it has, is the restriction of only having no more than 16 tracks of audio at once. There is also no MIDI support, but you can still import them from somewhere else. Overall, it’s a very useful program for carrying out simple audio tasks. So if you have a podcast, for example, Audacity is a good pick.
This list should give you a good idea of the free and available options out there are for making music and what their benefits, as well as flaws are. Be it audio recording, importing samples, extensive loops libraries, etc. These free options should have what you need to help you make your next hit song, while staying on a budget.