28 best free beat making software options in 2023 for Windows and Mac

28 best free beat making software options in for Windows and Mac
28 best free beat making software options for Windows and Mac

Introduction to Beat Making Software

Beat making, also known as music production, has become an incredibly popular hobby and profession over the past couple decades. With the advancement of music software and technology, it's now easier than ever for aspiring music producers to get started making their own beats. Beat making software provides all the digital tools and capabilities required to compose original instrumentals from scratch.

At its core, beat making software gives you a digital audio workstation (DAW) to record, edit, and mix sounds and loops into full compositions. Most options come equipped with a library of virtual software instruments like keyboards, drums, and synthesizers that you can use to create melodies, basslines, chords, and rhythms. The software also includes editing tools like a MIDI sequencer, mixer, effects processors, and more to arrange and polish your beats.


Advanced beat making programs add features like live performance capabilities, integration with hardware controllers, algorithmic composition tools, collaboration options, and more. However, powerful functionality often comes with a high price tag. Pro-level DAWs like Ableton Live, FL Studio, Logic Pro, and others cost hundreds of dollars.

The good news is there are also many great free solutions available today that provide beginner-friendly options perfect for hobbyists. While less robust than paid software, free beat making programs offer plenty of features to start crafting professional quality beats. In this article, we’ll highlight the top 28 free beat making software downloads for both Windows and Mac in 2023.


Benefits of Using Free Beat Making Software

Here are some of the biggest benefits that come with using free software to start making beats:

  • Lower Barrier to Entry – The biggest advantage of free programs is their low barrier for entry. You can get started making music without investing any money. This allows you to learn the basics and experiment without commitment.
  • Develop Skills – Free software still provides tons of versatility for honing your skills as a music producer. As you learn to use the various tools and features, you'll develop technical proficiency that transfers to paid DAWs.
  • Creative Freedom – While less advanced than paid alternatives, free beat makers still offer enough functionality to turn your musical ideas into complete compositions. You have creative freedom without limits.
  • Get Discovered – Many successful producers actually got their start using free software. You can still create high quality beats to share online or use for your own projects.
  • Test Options – Trying before you buy is useful when comparing different DAWs. Free software lets you demo the workflow and features firsthand to see if you like it.
  • Available Across Platforms – Whether you work on Windows, Mac, or even Linux, you'll find reliable free beat making solutions available on your OS of choice.
  • Transition to Pro Software – Once you outgrow the limitations, skills gained with free tools allow an easy transition to more advanced paid software.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Beat Making Software

28 best free beat making software options for Windows and Mac
28 best free beat making software options for Windows and Mac

With so many options for free DAW software, how do you select the best one for your needs as a beginner music producer? Here are the key factors to consider:

  • Compatibility – Make sure the software works on your OS (Windows, Mac, etc.) and meets your computer specs.
  • Learning Resources – Look for built-in lessons and tutorials to teach yourself the software. YouTube videos from other users can also be helpful.
  • Included Sounds/Instruments – Having quality sounds and virtual instruments included makes beat creation much easier to start.
  • Community/Support – An active user community ensures you can get questions answered if you get stuck. Developer support is also ideal.
  • Workflow – Test the general feel and workflow of different DAWs. Pick one that matches your creative process.
  • Features/Capabilities – Consider which features are most important like live performance, sampling, synthesizers, effects, MIDI, etc.
  • Ease of Use – Beginner friendly software with an intuitive interface will make starting out less overwhelming.
  • Upgradability – Will skills with the free software transfer easily to more advanced paid versions in the future?

The Top 28 Free Beat Making Software of 2023 for Windows & Mac

28 best free beat making software options for Windows and Mac
28 best free beat making software options for Windows and Mac

Now that you know how to assess your options, let’s look at the top 28 free beat making programs available in 2023.

Here are the top 28 free beat making software for Windows and Mac in 2023:

  1. Audacity – This is a free, open source digital audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It allows you to create and edit beats, music, and other audio files.
  2. FL Studio – Formerly known as Fruity Loops, this is a popular and powerful DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software for Windows. It has everything you need to produce music and beats.
  3. LMMS – This Linux Multimedia Studio is an open source DAW software for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It has instruments, effects, and tools to create beats and music.
  4. GarageBand – For Mac users only, GarageBand is a free music creation software from Apple. It has smart instruments, effects, and loops to help you make beats and full songs.
  5. SoundTrap – This is a simple and easy to use online DAW. It's free and allows you to make beats and music right from your web browser.
  6. Mixed In Key – While primarily a key and BPM detection software, it also has basic beat making tools like drum machines and synths.
  7. Music Maker – Another free DAW software mainly for Windows. It has a wide range of features for editing, mixing and creating songs and beats.
  8. Cubase LE – This lightweight edition of the professional Cubase DAW is free and includes tools for beat making and songwriting.
  9. Ableton Live Lite – A limited free version of the popular Ableton Live DAW. Good for making beats, loops, and instrumentals.
  10. Acid Pro – The free version of this software still allows you to create up to 8 tracks for making beats. It has a wide range of plugins, effects and instruments.
  11. BandLab – A free cloud-based music production studio. You can make beats, record audio and collaborate with other musicians online.
  12. BeatoBeat – This browser-based beat maker software has a simple interface and tons of samples and loops to quickly create beats.
  13. Caustic – A minimalist yet powerful DAW for creating electronic music and hip hop beats. It's free for Windows and also available for Android.
  14. Deckadance – An online dance music production studio. Perfect for making EDM beats using its library of samples and instruments.
  15. Extensive Beat Maker – Free browser-based beat making software. Create hip hop beats using an array of drum kits, synths, effects and song export options.
  16. Reason Lite – A limited but still capable version of Reason – a popular music production software. Useable for making basic beats and instrumentals.
  17. Hydrogen – An open source drum machine app for Linux. You can use it to create simple drum beats and export them as audio files.
  18. Image-Line Drum Machine – This free virtual drum machine plugin works with most DAWs. Great for making simple drum beats for your tracks.
  19. Mextures – A browser-based beat maker with lots of samples, loops, drum kits and synths. Easy to use for quickly creating hip hop, trap and EDM beats.
  20. PreSonus Studio One Prime – The free version of Studio One still includes beat making features like drum machines, samplers and an arpeggiator.
  21. Propellerhead Reason Refill – While not a full DAW, this free download contains devices, samples and patches to expand Reason's beat making tools.
  22. Rhythm Lab – A simple but capable standalone drum machine app for Mac. Lets you create drum beats and patterns easily.
  23. SampleRobot – An online sample creator. You input musical criteria and it generates drum loops and breaks to use for making beats.
  24. SunVox – An incredibly small and simple open source music tracker application for Windows. It does have some capabilities for creating basic beats.
  25. TuxGuitar – While primarily a guitar tablature editor for Linux, it also doubles as a drum machine and has beat making features.
  26. Wavepad Audio Editor – Though it's mainly an audio editing tool, Wavepad does have basic percussion loop and sampler functionality for creating simple beats.
  27. VirtualDJ – This DJ software actually has solid beat making tools like a drum machine, samplers and synths. You can use it to produce music independent of DJing.
  28. Wolverine Drum Machine – A simple, open source clone of the classic 303 drum machine for Linux. Lets you create drums and beats.

Also, we’ve categorized and reviewed the 5 software for both Windows and Mac computers below.

Top 5 Free Beat Making Software for Windows

  1. Soundation

Soundation provides a highly capable free online DAW option with a clean interface. No download or install required since it runs in your browser. Comes with hundreds of virtual instruments, loops, effects, and samples. Easy drag and drop workflow to start making beats instantly. Also includes collaboration tools, step sequencer, automation, and audio recording. Favorite for quick beat ideas while on-the-go.

  1. LMMS

Open source beat maker withversions for Windows, Mac, and Linux. No need for complex audio routing or parameter configuration. Streamlined GUI with helpful tooltips. Comes packed with synths, samplers, instruments, loops, and effects. Easy note placing in the Piano Roll editor. Large community support provides plugins and documentation.

  1. GarageBand

While not available natively for Windows, can be installed on PC with emulation software. Provides simple yet powerful options via virtual keyboard, synthesizers, and drum machine. Comes with sound library including thousands of loops to easily build songs. Intuitive drag and drop workflow. Powers the music behind global hits. Seamless integration with other Apple apps makes it the go-to free option for Mac users.

  1. SoundTrap

Online collaborative DAW from Spotify you can use for free. No need to download or install anything. Has virtual instruments and loops to start mixing beats right in your browser. Ability to store and share your creations online. Great for remote music production with teams. Also offers affordable subscription for premium tools and sounds.

  1. Audiotool

Free cloud-based music producer software with unique modular interface. Comes with emulations of classic drum machines, synths, and samplers. Drag and drop flow-based programming lets you visually link together instruments and effects. Huge library of loops and samples. Active community of users to connect with. Publish and share your tracks online.

Top 5 Free Beat Making Software for Mac

  1. GarageBand

Comes free with all Mac computers and iOS devices. Simple yet highly capable for beginners. Interface walks you through the steps of making songs. Start with keyboard or drum machines then add virtual session musicians that play along. Comes with thousands of loops, synthesizers, effects, and guitar amps. Great way to learn basics of music production and songwriting structure. Effortless transition to Logic Pro whenever you're ready to upgrade.

  1. Soundation

Solid free online beat maker that runs directly in your web browser. No need to download or install any software. Comes equipped with hundreds of virtual instruments like drums, guitars, synthesizers, and more. Easy drag and drop interface to start mixing beats. Built-in community to share ideas and get feedback. Ability to collaborate on projects online. Also has vocal recording, automation, sequencer, and effects.


Open source DAW with Mac, Windows, and Linux support. Zero cost with no limits or trials. Clean and intuitive graphical interface. Comes packed with instruments, samples, loops, and effects. Piano roll editor for simple note placing. Large library of plugins for added capabilities. Active user community provides tutorials and documentation to get started. Easy transition to more advanced Linux DAWs.

  1. SoundTrap

Free online beat maker from Spotify requiring no downloads or installation. Start making music directly in your browser. Comes equipped with instruments, loops, and effects to build songs instantly. Save and share your creations online. Built-in tools for remote music collaboration with others. Affordable subscription unlocks more advanced production features.

  1. BandLab

User friendly free DAW designed for social music creation. Comes with expansive loop library, instruments, and effects. Pick premade beats or make your own. Streamlined mixing console and editing tools. Ability to directly upload songs you create to share on BandLab social network. Seamless online music collaboration capabilities. Also has affordable subscription offering advanced tools.

Top 5 Free Beat Making Software Comparison

To give you a quick overview, here's a high-level feature comparison of the top 5 free beat making programs:

SoftwareOperating SystemsKey FeaturesLearning ResourcesInstruments/SoundsCollaboration ToolsHardware Integration
SoundationMac, Windows, iOS, AndroidOnline DAW, recording, effects, sequencer, automationDocumentation, lessonsLarge libraryOnline collaborationMIDI controllers
LMMSMac, Windows, LinuxPiano roll, instruments, samples, effectsUser forums, manualsGood varietyNone nativeMIDI and more
GarageBandMac, iOSVirtual instruments, sequencer, loopsBuilt-in lessonsLarge sound libraryShare via iCloudCore Audio support
SoundTrapMac, Windows, iOS, AndroidOnline instruments, loops, effectsDocumentationGood selectionFull online collaborationMIDI keyboards
AudiotoolMac, Windows, LinuxModular flow programming, loops, samplesCommunity

here are some more details on comparing the top 5 free beat making software options:


  • Web-based DAW that runs in browser so compatible across many devices
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop interface for easy workflow
  • Comes with 500+ virtual instruments, loops, effects plugins
  • Build-in scales, chords, and melody helpers for inspiration
  • Decent amount of tutorials and documentation for learning
  • Can collaborate on projects with other producers in real time
  • Supports MIDI keyboards and controllers


  • Open source and completely free DAW for Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • User-friendly graphical interface tailored for beat making
  • Comes packed with 80+ synth and instrument plugins to use
  • Large sample and sound library included
  • Piano roll editor is great for quickly laying down melodies
  • Very active user community for tutorials and getting help
  • Supports VST plugins and MIDI controllers


  • Only natively available for Mac OS and iOS devices
  • Simple, intuitive interface with Smart Instruments feature
  • 10+ high-quality virtual synthesizers, drum machines, guitars
  • Over 2000 Apple Loops samples included
  • Built-in lessons make learning easy
  • Can share and collaborate on GarageBand songs via iCloud
  • Designed to work seamlessly with Mac/iOS hardware


  • Online cloud-based DAW that runs in your web browser
  • Drag-and-drop looping workflow to quickly build songs
  • Comes equipped with 50+ virtual instrument and effect plugins
  • Includes over 1200 loops, samples, and sounds
  • Built-in social features for online music collaboration
  • Integrates with MIDI keyboards and controllers
  • Mobile apps available for iOS and Android devices


  • Web-based modular programming interface
  • Unique flow-based production style
  • Emulators for classic drum machines, synths, and samplers
  • Huge library of loops, samples, and sounds included
  • Active community of users helps guide learning
  • Easy publishing and sharing options for completed tracks
  • Can connect MIDI keyboards and controllers

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Get Started with Beat Making Software

Getting started making your own beats is easy thanks to all the great free software options available today. Here is a step-by-step walkthrough to help you start producing your first beat:

  1. Pick Your DAW
    Browse the free beat making software in this guide and choose the one that best fits your needs and computer setup. Download and install it.
  2. Add Some Sounds
    Most DAWs come with their own libraries of loops, samples, synthesizers, and virtual instruments. Browse what's available to get ideas flowing.
  3. Lay Down a Drum Beat
    Open up the drum machine or sequencer and start programming a drum beat with kick, snare, hi-hat patterns. This forms the rhythmic foundation.
  4. Add a Bassline
    Use a virtual bass synthesizer to lay down a bassline that grooves with your drum beat. Focus on simple patterns and melodies to start.
  5. Add Melodies and Harmony
    Using the piano roll or synthesizers, create 2-4 bar melodies and chords over your beat. Identify the key and stay in scale.
  6. Arrange and Mix
    Use the mixer to set levels and panning. Add effects like reverb. Copy and arrange patterns to build a full song structure with verses, choruses, etc.
  7. Export and Share
    Once complete, export your beat as an MP3, WAV, or other audio file. Share online or use in your own projects.

Following these steps will get you making rudimentary beats right away. As you master the basics, you can move on to more advanced workflows.

Tips and Tricks for Maximizing Your Creativity with Beat Making Software

Making engaging, original beats involves both creativity and technical know-how. Here are some pro tips for bringing out your creative side:

  • Experiment with unusual sound combinations – try blending synths and acoustic instruments
  • Chop up and rearrange loop samples to create unique rhythms
  • Switch up drum patterns and velocities to add interest
  • Use automation to introduce new elements and variations over time
  • Play instruments live rather than programming for natural expression
  • Twist common chord progressions into something fresh
  • Find inspiration from non-musical sources like nature, poetry, and visual art
  • Take breaks to avoid fatigue and beat “block”
  • Collaborate and exchange ideas with other beat makers
  • Don't over-think – trust your instincts and ears
  • Set limitations like small instrument sets to boost creativity
  • Analyze beats you like to understand creative choices
  • Save all ideas – even experiments that don't pan out could be useful later

With consistent practice and experimentation, you can develop skills to translate your creative ideas into great beats. Stay open minded and don't be afraid to break conventions.

Additional Resources and Tools for Beat Makers

Here are some other helpful resources beyond software to boost your beat making productivity and growth:

  • Online beat making tutorials (YouTube, Skillshare, etc)
  • DAW training courses like Ableton Certification
  • Music production blogs and podcasts
  • Online sound libraries and sample packs
  • Virtual instruments like Native Instruments Komplete
  • MIDI keyboards, controllers, audio interfaces
  • Collaboration platforms like Blend or BandLab
  • Active social media producer communities
  • Music business and promotion tools like routeNote
  • Inspiring books on creativity and music production
  • Attending beat battles/showcases in your city
  • Affordable studio monitors and headphones

With so many options today, both free and paid, there are endless possibilities for expanding your skills and sounds as a beat maker. Find resources that work with your goals and budget.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

The beat making software you choose as a beginner producer can have significant impact on your learning curve and creative development. Starting out with a free DAW provides the ideal inexpensive platform for honing your craft.

While paid options like FL Studio, Ableton, and Logic Pro remain the industry standard, their complexity and cost can be prohibitive when first getting started. Leveraging free software helps you get the basics under your belt.

All of the options profiled in this guide represent capable starting points. Try out a few to see which workflow suits you best. Look for an intuitive interface, sufficient features, and an active user community.

Stay open-minded in your software choice and creative direction. Keep pushing yourself to grow. Use YouTube, online courses, and other resources to keep advancing your skills.

The most important thing is to just get started. Pick a free DAW and make that first beat today. Consistency and practice over time is crucial. Don't overthink it.

You never know – a free software beat you create now could help launch your career as a producer. Have fun and let your creativity flow. The only limits are those you set yourself.

see also: Lights, Camera, YouTube! A Comprehensive Guide On How to Launch Your YouTube Channel in 2023 and Be Successful Doing It