Discover the best professional studio software

that you can have for free

Setting up a Home Studio, me?

Gone are the days when artists and band members were forced to pack up their instruments and rent a professional recording studio to practice, rehearse and even record. Today, musicians can rehearse at any time convenient to them, in the comfort of their own home.

Instead of paying exorbitant studio fees, which are often charged by the hour, a home studio allows you to spend as much time as you want recording as many takes as you want without having to worry about how much it will cost.

More and more musicians are choosing to record and produce at home, in their bedroom or garage, rather than renting time in expensive studios, and you can do it too.

Your home studio will be your music creation center, the place where inspiration and workflow come together and songs take shape

Technological advances and consumer electronics have made recording at home more accessible than ever, most of the functions of a professional studio can be achieved with a computer and the right software, and from's Kimera University, we are going to show you how you can do this for free.

If you're serious about music, a home studio is a brilliant way to improve your skills and talent. It gives you the opportunity to record professional tracks in a flexible environment, allowing you to step up and take your music career to the next level.

How can we help you from is a project born with the idea of offering to all those people with musical talent a professional music production job at a price that everyone can afford.

We are the first music production studio in the world where you can pay for our work what you think it is worth.

Our main objective is to help all those artists, with deserved talent, who do not have other means to get a professional quality of their work, to achieve it by providing what they can for our work or even do it at no cost.

Starting from your ideas and the approach of your song and your musical style, we propose the necessary changes to maximize what you want to express and make it reach a wider range of public.

If you want to know more about how to get your music to professional quality for whatever you want, click here.

If you want to know how to get this on the cheap, click here.

First of all, what is a DAW?

Are you interested in making music? You must have come across the term DAW. A digital audio workstation or DAW is a software that can be used to record, edit and produce audio files. They are useful for recording and producing audio in various formats, such as speeches, songs, television, soundtracks and many more.

DAWs can be divided into several types depending on the complexity users are looking for. They can be a single software program or a standalone unit. In this article, we will tell you about several 100% free DAWs available on the market. To make it easier for you, we have also added their compatibility with different platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux and APP).


Musicians and producers don't have to make an expensive outlay for a DAW before they start making music. In fact, there are good DAWs out there waiting to be downloaded that are absolutely free, although most of them have certain limitations compared to commercial ones, there are some cases where you will find no difference.

Choosing a free DAW for your music studio is not an easy task. A digital audio workstation is the central component of your music production software team. Your DAW software is where all audio recording, audio editing, and mixing takes place. It is also the place where you use all of your VST plugins.

There are many commercial digital audio workstations on the market. Chances are you've heard of Ableton Live, FL Studio, Studio One, Pro Tools, Cubase and other similar DAWs, however, your options are more limited if you're building a software-based music studio on a tight budget, as there are only a small number of high-quality free DAW applications.

Waveform Free

Unlimited tracks! Nice effects! Decent virtual instruments! And it supports third-party plugins.


  • VST and ReWire support
  • Fully functional free DAW
  • Low upgrade price
  • Multiplatform support
  • Unlimited audio and MIDI tracks
  • Plugin chaining
  • Spectacular automation and modulation


  • Unconventional workflow, those coming from another DAW may find it awkward initially
  • Somewhat steep learning curve to get started
  • MIDI control from computer keyboard is cumbersome to use
  • No future support, paid upgrades
  • Traditional mixer view is missing


  • Linux
  • macOS
  • Windows
  • Raspberry Pi

Created by The Tracktion Corporation, Tracktion Free is considered to be one of the best full-featured DAWs worldwide. Available on all major platforms, it is known for its smooth and easy to use interface, as it has been designed to be intuitive for beginner producers who haven't used DAW software in the past while experienced music producers who want to switch DAWs may find it a bit confusing at first.

Unlike most other freeware, you get support for unlimited MIDI and audio tracks. It also offers full VST plugin support and ReWire compatibility. This free DAW can even load video files if you need to synchronize your audio project with a movie scene or animation.

If you are producing electronic music or if you use a lot of virtual instruments in your music, Waveform Free is the perfect digital audio workstation for the task. Its workflow is optimized for instrument plugins and softsynths, with intuitive MIDI sequencing, it has great editing within MIDI clips where you can generate patterns and detailed automation. In fact, automation and modulation are everywhere because you can apply LFOs to any parameter of your project.

It also has a set of professional-level processing, EQ and mixing effects. It has an effects rack where you can chain plug-ins and create complex connections between all audio processors. You can apply stacks of effects to individual audio clips.

It also incorporates MIDI chord progressions and melodic pattern generators.

The kind of depth here is only found in high-end DAWs. You can do vocal compositions, step sequencing, track freezing, MIDI learning, time and pitch warping, and syncing to video.

How is this application free despite being comprehensive? The problem is that the various versions will not receive future updates or bug fixes. If you want to upgrade to the next version, you will have to buy Waveform.

We are preparing an installation and recording tutorial with Waveform Free that we will publish soon, subscribe to be informed.

Cakewalk by BandLab

Cakewalk by BandLab is based on the now discontinued SONAR Platinum digital audio workstation (originally priced at $499). BandLab's free DAW is a full-fledged professional DAW that offers the same professional functionality as its predecessor, but without the bundled third-party software.

In favor

SONAR Platinum for free, what more could you ask for?
Unlimited audio and MIDI tracks
Full VST plug-in support
Professional tools and effects
The VST3 engine is among the best
Good touch support

On the downside

Requires BandLab Assistant installation.
Only compatible with Windows
Sometimes the interface can look cluttered and cluttered
Has a workflow that doesn't suit everyone


Windows (64-bit only).

Most importantly, Cakewalk is free for all Windows users, is a fantastic software and is on par with the best paid DAWs. Formerly known as SONAR, the program has all the features of the original SONAR Platinum, including its native effects (limiters, EQs, compressors, etc.), analog console-style virtual mixer, VST plugin support, multi-touch support, Bluetooth MIDI, etc.

It has unlimited audio and MIDI tracks and contains professional-level MIDI instruments and effects, something not usually found in free software.

Cakewalk by BandLab has a 64-bit audio engine with plug-in support for DirectX and VST3 virtual instruments and effects. There is ARA support for integrated Melodyne pitch correction. The studio-quality "Pro Channel" offers professional effects directly on the mixing console, with reverb, resonant filtering, dynamic compression, equalization and tape emulation.

A recent innovation is the ability to save and recall different mixes within the same project.

Cakewalk by BandLab continues to be developed by some of the core members of the SONAR developer team and they are working with Microsoft to build better support for the Surface Pen and Surface Dial, multi-touch and Bluetooth MIDI. That will keep it a Windows exclusive and make it perfect for people using touch-enabled Windows PCs, hybrids and tablets.

On the downside, you'll have to install the BandLab Assistant software and sign up for a free BandLab user account. That said, there are no annoying ads or other annoyances to worry about. The DAW itself is fast, reliable and ready to use on your Windows machine.

Cakewalk by BandLab has won several awards for its interface so there's no need to explain much more about how good it is, so if you're looking for a professional free DAW that can load VST plugins, Cakewalk by BandLab is your safe bet.

We are preparing an installation and recording tutorial with Cakewalk that we will publish soon, subscribe to be informed.

Studio One Prime

Studio One 4 Prime is a free version of its big brother and still comes with features you are happy to pay money for. It works great on touch screens and high DPI screens and has been selected to give you maximum convenience. You can upgrade to Studio One Artist (with more native effects) and Studio One Professional (with plugin support and a number of other additional features).


  • Great user interface
  • Unlimited audio and MIDI tracks
  • External SoundFont support
  • Quality native effects.
  • Audio effects developed by PreSonus
  • Very elegant intuitive interface and workflow
  • Good touch support
  • Pattern and drum editing


  •  No support for VST plugins
  • Not compatible with third-party plugins
  • Only includes one virtual instrument.
  • There are many things missing in the full version.


  • macOS
  • Windows

On the other hand, Studio One Prime includes a collection of high-quality audio effects developed by PreSonus. It also comes with a 1.5 GB collection of royalty-free sounds and the ability to load third-party SoundFonts.

The free version includes nine effects in total, covering all the most important mixing tools. It consists of a 3-band EQ, a compressor, a simple distortion module, a guitar amp, reverb and delay effects, and a set of modulation tools. Five additional effects can be unlocked with an in-app purchase.

It incorporates retrospective recording, MPE support, and a redesigned native effects suite including Ampire for guitarists. Automation, mixing, sidechaining, resampling and normalization are also present.

The free PreSonus DAW also offers unlimited audio tracks and mix channels, time stretching, multitrack comping, full MIDI support, advanced automation, and Studio One's easy side-chain routing workflow. It has the same streamlined single-window interface that's great on high DPI, touch-capable displays.

It comes with a powerful workstation synthesizer called Presence XT, but that's about it, so in terms of virtual instrument sequencing it's pretty sparse.

The lack of VST plugin support is a major drawback for users who rely on the use of virtual instruments or a specific arsenal of virtual effects in VST plugin format, this make it hard to recommend, even though Studio One's native effects are among the best out there.

Also missing are other interesting Studio One features, such as scratch pads, chord and harmonic track editing, and integration with Melodyne.

PreSonus' free DAW takes up very little memory space. The fact that it is lightweight makes it an excellent choice for a secondary digital audio workstation for use on a laptop that is not part of your main studio setup.

Pro Tools First

Pro Tools First is a little brother to Avid's original Pro Tools and has the look and feel of it, but for free.


  • - Based on Pro Tools
  • - includes the Xpand!2* instrument
  • - over 20 native effects.


  • - No support for VST plugins
  • - Limited project storage
  • - CPU hogging
  • - Limited to 16 tracks and 4 audio inputs
  • - No support for third-party plugins, unless you have purchased them through the Avid Marketplace
  • - Sample rate only goes up to 96 kHz


  • - macOS
  • - Windows

Pro Tools has been regarded for years as the best DAW in the industry (Avid says that over 70% of commercial music is created using its professional software, Pro Tools), but obviously a free version is going to lack the power and capabilities, even though it shares many features with the full version of Avid's flagship Pro Tools.

The free version of Pro Tools includes AAX plugin support, Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch features, powerful audio recording and mixing tools, a lineup of over twenty native effects, a 500 MB sample and loop library, and even the full version of the excellent Xpand!2 synthesizer with a wide range of options.

It includes powerful virtual instruments, a wide range of effects, ReWire support, time and pitch stretching, track comping, track bouncing, etc.

It also has support for collaboration, which makes it easier if you plan to start a band.

The catch is that you can only use up to sixteen tracks and four audio inputs per project. Also, you can only store up to three projects in the cloud at a time where you will have 1GB of storage. However, unlimited projects can be stored locally.

In addition, Pro Tools First requires a lot of hard disk space, which can be a problem for users with limited storage space. It is also quite CPU hoggy, although this may depend on your hardware configuration.

Putting these issues aside, the free version of Pro Tools is actually a very capable DAW.


Ardour is an open source digital audio workstation for Linux, macOS and Windows. Feature-wise, Ardour is a very capable DAW, with support for all major plugin formats and a wide range of audio editing and mixing functions.


  • A complete open source DAW for audio recording and production.
  • Supports LADSPA, LV2 and LXVST.
  • Unlimited tracks
  • Allows for video music
  • Excellent community support
  • Open source


  • You have to compile the software yourself (or pay a subscription fee) on Windows and macOS.
  • No VST support (ArdourVST version exists, but is not supported by the official Ardour team).
  • Fancy user interface and navigation
  • Too many plugins (It is hard to find good useful plugins).


  • Linux
  • macOS
  • Windows.

Ardour is open source and free to use. On Linux, the process of downloading the Ardour source code and running the actual application on your computer is almost seamless. On Windows and macOS, you can still use Ardour for free, but only if you can compile the source code yourself. If not, there are two options: a one-time donation or a subscription.

With a one-time donation, macOS and Windows users will receive the current version of Ardour and all minor updates (until the next major version is released). In contrast, a monthly subscription of $1, $4 or $10 includes major updates as well.

In short, Ardour is half-platform. The advice is to use it on GNU/Linux Native..

Ardour officially supports LADSPA, LV2 and LXVST. VST is supported, but the Ardour team has said that the ArdourVST version is not supported by them because it requires the Steinberg SDK to compile, making use of proprietary software.

Ardour can handle any sample rate, from 44.1kHz, up to 192kHz and can mix infinite channels and buses up to 12 or more inputs per mixer line. It is capable of sending LTC or Linear Timecode and is also capable of sending and receiving MTC and MIDI Time Clock.

Ardour can be used for video music.

If you are not sure if Ardour is for you, there is also a free demo that you can download and run on your computer. The free trial version mutes after ten minutes of use.

Currently, if you don't want to complicate your life, it is only recommended for use on Linux, and as we have seen above, Waveform will give you much more here than Ardour currently offers.

MPC Beats

Based on Akai's legendary MPC products, it's one of the newest free DAWs and is geared towards beat makers. It's easy to create beats with just a mouse or MIDI keyboard, with a fast workflow so you can jump right into a project before the musical idea leaves your head.


  • A free virtual MPC
  • Also works as a VST plugin in other DAWs.
  • Powerful MIDI programming and editing environment
  • Pad-centric workflow
  • Build kits easily
  • Many supported MIDI controllers with maps
  • Good bundle of samples, kits and plugins for effects and instruments


  • Only eight instrument channels. (Only two audio tracks, six MIDI tracks per project)


  • Windows
  • macOS

AKAI entered the free DAW market with MPC Beats, an undeniably powerful beat creation software. Although the application has some shortcomings, such as the limited number of audio channels that can be used simultaneously, there are plenty of features that you won't find in other DAWs.

For example, MPC Beats can be used as a VST plugin in another digital audio workstation.

In addition, the software includes more than 80 audio effects developed by Air, which cover all your mixing and sound design needs. You also get a high-quality time-stretching algorithm, an advanced step sequencer and the ability to load third-party plugins in VST and AU formats. AKAI includes over 2 GB of free sample content with MPC Beats and users can purchase additional extension packs if they need them.

Other than that, MPC Beats features the legendary sample MPC workflow you'll find in AKAI hardware products. And the software is compatible with a wide variety of hardware MIDI controllers, including those from AKAI and other manufacturers.

You can extend this free digital audio workstation with premium sounds published by AKAI.

MPC Beats is largely aimed at novice producers just starting out in beat making, so if you're a beat maker looking for a free DAW, be sure to give MPC beats a try.

The other possible target is the established producer who already has a DAW. MPC Beats also works as a plugin itself, which means you can work with it within another DAW of your choice.

If you are into hip-hop or are interested in making MPC style beats, you can have a project that has 8 kits (Programs), filled with 8 banks EACH.... (128 sample cuts per Program... 16 cuts spread over 8 banks)... and then multiply that 128 by 8 tracks... 1024 sample cuts in total. There's no reason not to download MPC Beats. It's free. It doesn't get any better than that. Whether it's your first time making beats or your millionth, there's probably something in it for you.

We are preparing a tutorial on installation and creation of rhythms with MPC Free that we will publish soon, subscribe to be informed..


Unlimited free DAW with a very easy to use interface. Third-party VST support, plus it has a fantastic drum machine plugin and you can add endless tracks.


  • VST plugin support
  • Good range of free plugins
  • virtual drum machine included
  • multi-touch support.
  • unlimited audio and MIDI tracks
  • online collaboration platform
  • advanced mixer
  • very intuitive UI


  • Lacks some of the advanced features found in other DAWs
  • Touch interface can make using a mouse tricky
  • Always asks for a donation on startup
  • Lack of instruments
  • Lacks piano keyboard support


  • macOS
  • Windows

Simplicity is the name of the game in SoundBridge. It looks good, clean and familiar, and meets all the usual requirements of a DAW, with MIDI and audio tracks, mixing and processing.

Most importantly, SoundBridge can load third-party VST plugins. Users programming drum beats from scratch will love the fact that SoundBridge includes an MPC-style drum sampler/sequencer and a collection of essential mixing and mastering effects.

It comes with a touch interface so the interface design lends itself to finger touch which makes working on it a bit easier. It also supports RitMix: Drum Machine, which is a mix of MPC Pad Section and 16-step Sequencer. The MPC section can be expanded with the help of multiple touch screens and this allows for more space.

You have unlimited audio and MIDI tracks with full automation.

It allows users to collaborate through the interface and you can also access various SoundBridge Academy courses.

In addition to all this, it also features a wide variety of built-in effects and advanced mixer.

SoundBridge is a free and simple digital audio workstation. Because its user interface has been developed with simplicity in mind, SoundBridge is an excellent choice for beginners and less demanding users.

Although it has everything found in more advanced DAWs such as Waveform Free and Cakewalk by BandLab it has many features for users who are just starting to make music on a computer.


LMMS (short for Linux Multimedia Studio) is a free, open source, pattern-based DAW that was built by a team of volunteers. Its design and workflow are inspired by a commercial product: the well-known digital audio workstation FL Studio (formerly known as Fruity Loops) by Image-Line.


  • VST plugin support
  • includes ZynAddSubFX
  • compatible with Giga, Ultrasound and Soundfonts
  • open source
  • unlimited audio and MIDI tracks
  • Packed with instruments and effects


  • Some stability issues
  • relatively steep learning curve
  • no audio recording
  • Interface seems outdated
  • Being open source, there may be conflicts


  • Linux
  • macOS
  • Windows

LMMS is "Open Source" and community driven, which means it is constantly evolving as people spend time developing.

The FL Studio pattern-based workflow is very well implemented in LMMS. The problem is that the user interface is still somewhat lacking in polish, making the user experience a bit disappointing at first. The graphical elements are not very intuitively designed, and new users will probably need some time to become familiar with the application and its features.

The strength of LMMS is its content. LMMS is packed with built-in effects and virtual instruments. The community has developed 16 synthesizers and tons of accompanying effects including the ZynAddSubFX synthesizer, which is one of the most versatile free instruments. There are virtual analog synths, SID-based synths, Yamaha chip emulations and a bunch of Chiptune pieces.

This free DAW can also host VST plugins so you can easily expand your sonic collection and connect to other applications via the JACK audio server. It also supports Giga, Ultrasound and Soundfonts formats for massive sample-based instruments.

The built-in beat and baseline editor is great, and the piano roll works great for creating and editing more complex MIDI sequences.

Supports unlimited audio and MIDI tracks.

Unfortunately, LMMS cannot record audio, so it is only possible to generate sound using virtual instruments or imported samples.

Still, LMMS is a decent free DAW for electronic music producers, beat makers and anyone who relies exclusively on virtual instruments and samples to create music..


The mother of all free DAWs, and ideal for beginners. With a simple and clean interface, multi-track recording and editing is very easy in Audacity. Probably the most popular free DAW.


  • Open Source
  • It is constantly updated
  • There is a large community behind it


  • Does not preserve audio integrity
  • No MIDI or VST instrument recording capability.


  • Linux
  • macOS
  • Windows

Audacity was one of the best open source DAW (Digital Audio Workstation software). It uses a multitrack editor that helps you to edit any sound easily. This application allows you to import or export various files such as MP3, WAV, OGG, FLAC, and more.

The supported sound qualities are: 16-bit, 24-bit and 32-bit and editing is easy thanks to the possibility to cut, copy, paste and delete, plus it has interesting features such as the chord writing tool with a single click on the piano roll.

Audacity uses destructive editing, which means that the application of effects, cuts, etc. is not reversible after saving a project, and users cannot change the effects in real time. If you want to change the effects, you cannot play or record the sound.

Audacity is a very basic DAW and does not have the capabilities of popular DAWs, so it is generally not considered a good choice even though it is surprisingly versatile. It's ideal for recording and MIDI arranging if that's all you need and you need a lightweight, easy-to-use tool.

We have an easy tutorial of installation and recording with Audacity, if you are interested, you can consult it in the following tutorial

Podium Free

Podium Free is a powerful free digital audio workstation that combines a modern user interface with a fast workflow.


  • VST plugin support
  • intuitive user interface
  • fast workflow
  • low resource consumption


  • single-core processing for VST plugins
  • no support for ReWire
  • not cross-platform.
  • The limitations of the free version are suffocating.
  • Single input and output for MIDI editing.
  • 64-bit mixing engine option is disabled.
  • Plugin multiprocessing is disabled.
  • Surround sound playback is disabled.


  • Windows

Podium was built with electronic musicians in mind, focusing on virtual instruments as the main source of sound. That said, this free DAW can also be used to record and mix real instruments.

It includes many valuable features, has by far the easiest graphical interface to use, and runs smoothly on low-end PCs.

The free version of Podium offers decent VST plugin support (it is not limited to a certain amount of VST plugins per project) and a robust object-based project structure with a virtual mixer.

It comes with powerful audio recording and editing tools, track freeze/bounce and support for external MIDI controllers. Podium Free features the same customizable user interface as found in the full version of the product.

The main limitation of Podium Free is that the DAW does not support multi-core CPUs. If you use a quad-core processor, only one of the four available CPU cores will be used to process plugins, so you will have to keep a close eye on the CPU performance indicator and make sure to use less demanding plugins in your projects. However, keep in mind that Podium Free still uses all available CPU cores for various tasks, such as GUI updates and disk streaming.

The program is a bit complicated to learn at first. But it is incredibly customizable, so the interface can be tailored exactly to your needs. Overall, the program runs smoothly and bug fixes are constant.

It's a good example of free recording software, but the limitations are a bit more obvious than in other programs.


GarageBand is the first free DAW used by many music producers, as it is included with all Mac computers and is designed to be intuitive and easy to use.


  • Wide range of instruments available
  • Supports both MIDI and audio recording
  • Comes with great instruments


  • Not cross-platform
  • Limited to 32 tracks


  • MasOS, iOS

GarageBand is developed by Apple and includes a complete music creation studio inside your Apple device. Most music creators start with this DAW as it comes bundled with all Macs. It has been developed by the developers of Logic Pro and this adds weight to it.

GarageBand comes with a decent collection of virtual instruments and sounds. It has built-in drums, loops and beats. You'll find live instruments, synthesizers and samplers plugged in and ready to go. You can add vocals and guitars, all processed by built-in amp models and effects.

Audio recording is simple and the interface is easy. Plus, it's versatile and surprisingly powerful. GarageBand is especially good for quick recording. The Drummer virtual player feature offers a selection of percussionists and drummers that let you produce different great-sounding grooves.

It has its limitations (such as 32 tracks), but that has as much to do with iOS hardware limitations as anything else, and it can't route MIDI to external instruments. But it communicates well with Audiobus and accepts AU plug-ins for further expansion.

While it is a good DAW to get started with, users who want a more advanced digital audio workstation should look elsewhere.

Music Maker

Music Maker is a multitrack audio editing software for Microsoft Windows created by the German company MAGIX.


  • easy to use
  • perfect for beginners/amateurs
  • Compatible with MIDI keyboards/drumpads
  • Possibility to make professional sounding beats/music
  • Includes many sounds


  • In-App Store for additional purchases
  • Not so flexible for advanced producers who need full control of the DAW
  • Only PREMIUM edition contains ALL functionality (other editions limited)

It is intended for the amateur user. In terms of features and functionality, the software is an equivalent of GarageBand on Windows.

It comes with a small selection of virtual instruments and effects packaged in a streamlined user interface that is easy to learn.

The software is a good starting point for musicians who want to learn how to produce music on a computer, but nothing more than that. For any advanced functionality, check out the other free digital audio workstations listed in the article.

What is the best free DAW?

Finally, the two best and most comprehensive free digital audio workstations we recommend are Waveform Free and Cakewalk byBandLab.

Waveform Free has a unique workflow, so new users are likely to be more familiar with the user interface of Cakewalk, whose slightly cluttered design may put some users off.

If you are a Windows user, we recommend Cakewalk, and if you are a Linux or Mac user, Waveform. Both are powerful DAW applications with all the essential functions needed for serious music production. In addition to offering the standard audio recording, editing, mixing and automation functions.

We will soon have cross-platform installation and recording tutorials for both applications, please subscribe to stay informed.

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