16 Best Free Music Making Software
Here is the list of best free music making software for Windows. These software provide all essential features to create and edit music. Plus, you can also use external MIDI devices with some of the mentioned software to make professional music. Various inbuilt musical instruments (Drums, Guitar, Violin, etc.) are also available which can help you create great music. Some of these software provide Music Sheet on which you can add various parameters, like: Signature, Clefs, Rests, Notes, etc., along with instruments to make music. Instead of Music Sheet, some software provide Pattern Roll to create and edit music.
Some of these music making software are really helpful for beginners as they provide predefined guides, instructions, and correction tools, like: Tone guide, Education, chord improviser, etc. Plus, options like virtual keyboard, virtual guitar, piano roll, etc., are also really helpful for both beginners and professionals. In some software, you can also vary audio parameters, such as: Pitch, Intensity, Pan, scale, etc., to refine the sound of the instruments. Common but useful features such as: music player, Zoom in/out, BPM meter, Mixer, Synthesizer are also provided by these music making software to make music according to your need. You can simply import music files to these software, edit them, and export the resulting music to your PC.
My Favorite Music Making Software for Windows:
Muskin Lite is my favorite music maker, as it provides features to guide you throughout the music making process. Plus, all necessary tools are available on its interface which really help to create music quickly.
Other software are also good at music making. You can go through the list to find the software which is best suited for you.
Muskin Lite is a freeware to create music from the scratch. You can compose music, make beats, and write music using this software. It uses music sheet as a base to create music. On this music sheet, you can add sound of various Instruments (grand piano, music box, xylophone, electric guitar, acoustic bass, violin, drums etc.), Key Signature, Time Signature, Dynamics, Clefs, Grace Notes, etc., to create music and beats. In addition to that, you can also select various Notes (half note, 4th note, 8th note, 16th note, and 32nd note) to change pitch and duration of the sound.
Here, you also get a guide option that guides you throughout the music making process. Guide option helps you to choose right notes at right stave line. This software also lets you choose multiple sounds (voices), means you can add and play many instruments simultaneously. Moreover, you can also play music by connecting MIDI devices.
On the interface of this software you get many other handy features, such as: music player, zoom In/out, cut, copy, tuplet, bisect, notes up/down, symbol, guide, etc.
Once done, you can save music as Muskin Project, or you can also Export music as MIDI file or MIDI loop file.
LMMS is a free music making software for Windows. You can easily make various types of music using this software. Plus, you can also make beats, compose music and do editing of audio. This software has various plugins that produce different tones such as: Kicker, Mallet, Organic, Monstro, etc. Each of these plugins has their own interface with lots of fine tuning options. You can also import plugins to add more features to this software.
To make or edit music, there are two options available, namely, Song Editor and Beat+Bassline Editor. By adding various instrument plugins into these two editors, you can create various beats and music. These audio editors also contain options, like: play/pause, zoom in/out, add sample track, draw mode, edit mode, etc., that helps a lot while creating music.
This software also has a FX-Mixer that is used to add various effects (dynamic processor, mono chorus, hard clipper, etc.) and to control volume of audio.
On its toolbar, you get an option called Piano-Roll. Here, you get a virtual piano with lots of handy features such as: notes, scale, chord, signature, note volume controller, draw mode, recording from MIDI devices, etc. By using these option, you can really adjust and control various audio parameters. To analyse audio, you get options like BPM meter and Time Signature display.
You can import and export projects in LMMS format and also save the music as MIDI files.
Hydrogen is an advanced drum machine software for Linux and Windows. This software is also good at making music, but it mainly focuses on making music using drum set related instruments, such as: Kick, Hand Clap, Snare Jazz, Snare Rock, Tom Low, etc. Here, you also get a Mixer with plugin support that can change various audio parameters (velocity, timing, swing, etc.). Plus, this mixer can also control Volume levels and Pan values of each individual instrument.
To make music, this software provides a Pattern Editor. In this pattern editor you get a time scale and list of musical notes (c, b, f, e, b#, c#, etc.). On the left of pattern editor, you get a list of all musical instruments. Now, to create music, just select any musical instrument and click on pattern editor according to time scale and note list. Along with pattern editor, a Song Editor is also available in this software to get the overview of the whole timeline of the song (intro, verse, bridge, chorus, etc.).
There is also an Instrument Rack present on the right side of Pattern Editor. This Instrument Rack contains Instrument Panel and a Sound Library. In Instrument Rack, you get options to modify, Pitch, Resonance, Attack, Decay, Sustain, Layers, etc. In Sound Library, you get some extra sound beats which you can add in the existing sound list.
On the bottom left, you get Note properties drop down menu. It contains four options, namely, Velocity (to view playing note intensity), Pan (to check output volume intensity on left/right speakers), Lead/ Lag (to introduce lead or lag on the beats), and NoteKeys (to introduce piano notes).
Here, you can export music in WAV format, in MIDI file format, and in LilyPond format. Plus option to save project in hydrogen format is also available.
Rosegarden is a free music making software for Windows. It lets you compose beats and songs by using various musical instrument sounds such as: Guitar, Piano, Accordion, Drums, Harmonica, etc. In addition to that, you can also choose various Notes (One, Half, Quarter, 8th, 16th, 32nd notes, etc.), Signatures, Clef, Mark, Slur, Tuplet, Phrase, etc., to shape instruments sound into music.
Here, you also get various editors, namely, Matrix Editor (to make beats using virtual Piano), Notation Editor (to add or tweak notations of each individual instruments), and Event List Editor (to keep record of parameters, like pitch, velocity, duration.). In Matrix and Notation editor, you also get useful features, like: draw notes, erase, velocity ruler, Controller Ruler, filter, signature, audio player, etc. These features really help you to create good music.
On the left side of its interface, you get a Special Parameters panel. This panel contains three more parameters, namely, Segment Parameters, Track Parameters, and Instrument Parameter. In segment parameter, you can add label, change audio color, introduce delay, and transpose audio. In Track parameter, you can set playback parameters, recording filters, staff export options, etc. Whereas, in Instrument Parameter, you can set bank, program and channel values, plus, you can adjust volume, pan, chorus, and reverb values as well.
On its toolbar, you get more handy features, such as: Split, Split by Pitch, join, etc. Using these features, you can easily insert new piece of music between existing songs.
This software also lets you Import and Export audio as Rosegarden project file, MIDI file, and MusicXML file.
MuseScore is a free sheet music making software for Windows. By using this software, you can make music from scratch. Here, you get a Music Sheet on which you have to add various instrument sounds and other music related parameters to create music. Here, you will get lots of instruments, such as: Drum, Violin, Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Keyboard, etc. In addition to that, various notes like: half note, 4th note, 8th note, 32nd note, etc., are also available on the toolbar. This software also provides a section called Palettes. In this section, you get all the necessary parameters for music making, such as: grace notes, clef, key signature, time signature, barlines, brackets, dynamics, tempo, break, and spacers, etc.
This music maker also lets you add tones on music sheet through Virtual Keyboard. This is a useful feature especially if you don’t know about various music parameters. Other useful option named Mixer (to adjust volume, reverb, pan, and chorus) and Synthesizer (to adjust delay, HF damping, master tuning, and output audio intensity) is present to enhance music.
Here, you also get many handy features named toggle loop, multi window option, music player, voice, image capture, page view setting on the toolbar.
After completion, you can save project as a MuseScore file. Plus, an option to save project on MuseScore server is also available. To save project online, you have to first register on their website.
Impro-Visor is a free and open source jazz improvisation adviser software for Windows. It is designed to help musicians compose and improvise music if needed. The main USP of this software is to understand solo construction and tune chord changes. Mainly this software is used for understanding music as well as to create it. As the name of this software suggests, this software can improvise music on its own to give you better results.
This software uses Sheet Music and Staves as a base to create music. Here, you also get various music instruments, like: Piano, Organ, Guitar, Bass, Strings, Violin, Reed Organ, etc. In addition to it, various music setup features like, Signature, Staves, Delay is also present. Musical notes such as: Half Notes, 4th note, 8th, note, 32nd note, etc., are also available.
Here, you also get features that can advise you during music creation, namely, Advice and Advice Keyboard. Plus, Guide tone option is also available that creates a basic melody that helps you to improvise tones. Other utility options such as: Voicing Keyboard (virtual keyboard to view and create music), Voicing Editor (to edit chord voicing), and Fluid Voicing Editor (to edit pianist hand settings, voice settings, voice leading settings) are also available.
You can also use various advanced options, such as: Deep Learning, Critic, Transforms, Trans Functions, and Roadmap. To get to know the advanced options better, view it’s Impro-Visor Help Guide from the Help menu.
Here, you will also get common, but essential features on its toolbar, such as: music player, looping, volume & mixer, tempo, playback location, etc.
Options to Import/Export music as a MIDI file and Export music as a MusicXML file are also present.
Easy Music Composer
Easy Music Composer is a free Music Making Software for Windows. This software is really good for beginners, as it provides an automatic music composer. To make music, you just have to select various music parameters and hit Compose button to get automatically composed music. The composition of music will depend upon input music parameters.
This software also provides various musical Notes, like: C, C#, D, D#, E, F, etc. Plus, various musical instruments (drum, piano, guitar, Arpeggio) with lots of predefined patterns are also available. Along with predefined patterns, you can also make custom pattern for each instrument and add it to pattern list.
Apart from these instruments, you also get various predefined tones, namely, Melody, Chord, Bass, Arpeggio. Plus, option to control volume of each tone and instrument is available on its interface. In Input Notes menu, you get a virtual piano to select notes using it, and options to set octave, interval, and bar is also present here.
This software also lets you record voice to make a complete song. Plus, you can also edit rhythm, octave, sampling time, and noise levels of recorded voice.
In this music maker, you can also vary parameters like: channel (1 to 9), bar, minimum note, etc., which gives you more control over entered parameters. After composition of music, you can play it using play button. But, in this free version, you cannot select more than 8 notes at a time, which is a major drawback .
Finale NotePad is another Music Making Software for Windows. This software is actually a very popular music notation software. Still, this software has all necessary tools to make music. Here, you get a Music Sheet as a base on which you have to add various parameters and sound to compose music.
To make music, first, you have to make a new document. Now, it asks you to setup document. For that, first add basic information (title, composer, page size) and then add musical instruments (keyboard, voices, woodwind, brass, string, etc.), after that setup score settings (time signature, key signature, and number of measure). According to entered parameter, a music sheet will appear. Now, you are ready to compose music. To do it, just add Notes (half note, quarter note, 8th note, 32nd note, etc.), Rest (half rest, quarter rest, 8th rest etc.), Metatools, etc., on Music Sheet and hit play button to listen to it.
On the toolbar, you get more handy tools, like: Tuplet (to create edit and adjust positions of tuplet), Simple Entry Tool (to enter music on music sheet one note at a time), Articulation Tool (to enter articulation marking like accenta, fermatas, etc.), Expression Tool (it helps the musicians to interpret music by providing various symbols or text), etc.
This software also lets you save music as Finale Notation file. Plus, Import and Export music as a MusicXML file is also possible.
Note: In this free version you can only add up to 8 staves. To overcome this limitation, you have to buy the paid version.
Aria Maestosa is a free and open source Music making software for Windows. It can be used to create, edit and compose music. This software uses Track Panel as a base which contains Notes (whole note, quarter note, half note 8th note etc.) menu and Instruments (Piano, Organs, Guitar, Strings, Drums, etc.) menu.
Track panel also provides option to choose different Track Sheets for different instruments, Eg: For string related instruments, it provides string pattern track. For Piano, it provides piano key designed track sheet with printed notes on piano keys. For Drum kit, it provides track sheet containing all drum kit instruments with various parameters.
In this software, you can also make music by connecting MIDI devices. To improve productivity, you can also use multiple tabs to work on multiple projects simultaneously. Apart from that, main toolbar contains many useful tools, namely, Record, Play, Zoom in/out, Time signature, Tempo settings, Draw and Add notes, which comes in handy while creating music.
Here, you can import and export project as a MIDI file, or you can also save project as Aria Maestosa project.
Magix Music Maker
Magix Music Maker is one of the best free music making software for Windows. To create music, it provides features, like: Virtual Keyboard, Soundpool, Master Effects, MIDI Editor and more. In addition to that, three advanced tools named Concert Grand LE, Revolta 2, and Vita Synth are also available. All of these instruments contain their own GUI interface with various audio enhancing features, such as: pitch, delay, speed, filter, mixer, step sequencer, master tune, etc.
To add various effects on music or to edit various music parameters, you should use Master Effects menu. This menu contains five tools named as Compressor, 10 Band Equalizer, Reverb, Echo, Limiter. Not only that, this Music Maker even comes with a virtual Piano panel and Drum kit Panel which lets you add piano and drum sound on music track.
On the Soundpool panel, you can find various musical Instruments, such as: Drums, Guitar, Keys, Brass, Bass, etc. Each of these instrument also has loops (sub sections) to provide more similar tones of the same instrument. Plus, option to choose up to seven different pitch for each instrument is also available.
This Music maker provides a Timeline on top right corner where you have to add tones from the Soundpool in order to create sound. But, this free version only lets you add up to 8 tracks at a time. After creating the music you can also export it as WAV, OGG, and WMV format or you can also save project as Magix Music Maker (.mmm) file.
Avil Studio is another free Music Making software for Windows. It is a feature rich software to create different types of music. This software provides both type of editors namely, Piano Roll Editor and Staff Editor. Piano Roll Editor is useful to generate music related to Piano, Keyboard, etc. Staff Editor is good to make tones related to string instruments, like Guitar, Violin, etc. For Staff Editor, you get features such as: Staff Lines, Notes, Signatures, etc. Plus, you also get to use Virtual Piano to enter notes. In Piano Roll Editor, you get a virtual piano with various musical notes (C, E, Eb, G#) imprinted on its keys.
The analysing features of this software makes it different from other software. Here, you get important analysing information related to music, such as: zoomed out area to view whole track, current song position in (bars, beats, tricks), position of mouse in (minutes, seconds, milliseconds), etc. Here, you also get good editing features which let you align notes, merge notes, erase/create notes, split tracks, limit number of notes played at a time, and repair track.
This Music Maker also provides various important features to enhance music, such as: Synthesizer, Mixer, Audio Lab, Performer, Metronome & Tempo Settings, etc. Plus, common features to record audio, play music is also present.
Music created by this software can be exported and saved in MIDI file format.
MC Musiceditor is a simple and easy to use music notation software for Windows. It lets you create, refine, hear, and print professional notations. Here, you can make music, either by writing notations in ABC language or by simply selecting various notes from the tools panel and add it to Music sheet. Due to this, MC Musiceditor is good for both professionals and beginners.
On the tool panel, you will find all necessary parameters, like: Notes (half note, quarter note, whole note, etc.), Signatures (key signatures, time signatures), Abbreviation, Ornament, Articulation, Dynamics, etc. to make music. A feature named Metronome is also present which lets you edit musical instrument voice, tone, tempo, volume, etc., to produce exact sound you want. Not just that, various MIDI commands are also available in it to cater the external MIDI devices.
Along with making music this software also provides various file converters, namely, MCM to ABC converter, XML converter, MCM to XML converter, ABC to XML converter, JPG/PNG to EPS converter. Settings like Style and Template are available on toolbar.
Music created by this software can be saved as MCM and MIDI files.
ScoreCloud is a free music notation software for Windows. You can make notations and play it as a music file. Here, Music Sheet is used as a base to add various parameters to create music. Parameters like Notes, Signatures, Triplets etc. are available on its interface. To enter musical parameters on music sheet, you have to use keyboard shortcuts, like: A-G to enter notes, R to add Rests, Shift+ A-G to replace notes, Alt + left/right arrow keys to navigate, etc.
Over the music sheet editor, you can view four important sections named as Normal, Manual Input, Voices/Mixer, Lyrics, and Chords. In Normal Section, you can add music parameters by using MIDI keyboard and according to MIDI input, Notes will imprint over the Music Sheet. In Manual Input Section, you have to enter parameters using shortcut keys. Voice/Mixer Section lets you merge and mix two or more voices. Lyrics Section lets you add lyrics of a song with created music. Chords Section, lets you add chord name over the chords symbol so that non musicians can also understand it.
A very interesting feature named Magic Wand can auto correct chords, and it is also able to detect repeated music. But, this feature is still in its BETA stage so use it carefully. Other handy features such as: Audio Recorder, Music Player, Audio Overdub, Replace, etc., are also present to help you make music easily. Not just that, you can also save music on ScoreCloud server, and options to import and export MIDI files are also provided by this software.
EasyABC is a free and open source music making software for Windows. Contrary to its name, this software is not that easy to make music, as you require some knowledge about ABC code language. Still, an option named ABC typing assistance is provided to help you add note duration, bar, symbols, etc. This software is straightforward, as you have to simply enter ABC code to create music. You can also view musical pattern over Musical Score Editor according to entered ABC code.
This software also provides many predefined musical symbols, semitones, note length, bars on Edit menu which you can directly add into code to make music. Some tools like Generate Incipits (to extract bars, to extract number of repeats, to sort fields), Renumber fields, Sort Tunes, etc., are present to help you edit various fields.
Here, you can also record music using MIDI devices and play it using music player. Plus, some useful options such as zoom, tempo, play position, etc. are also available on the toolbar. The created music can be exported as PDF, MIDI, or MusicXML file or you can also save music as ABC file format.
Denemo is a free music notation software for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. It lets you create music by entering notations on music sheet. You can enter notation either by using keyboard or by using MIDI controller. On the music sheet, you can view staff lines on which you have to add various parameters named notes, signatures, clefs, keys, chords, and rests to create music according to your need. Plus, you can also edit these parameters using Edit menu, which contains all the tools to edit music.
A very handy option named as Command Center is present in View drop down menu which lets you execute commands (tools and features), set shortcut keys (for keyboard, mouse), add or remove commands from the interface, etc.
For beginners, this software is really helpful as it provides a dedicated Education menu. Using this menu, you can learn about scale note, chord comparison, line and space recognition, note name recognition, and many other important parameters. Here, you can also import and export music as Lilypond, MIDI, and MusicXml format.
TuxGuitar is another Music making freeware for Windows. As its name suggests, this software is mainly focused on Guitar and other string based instruments. Still, you can also use non-string based instruments such as trumpet, horn, drum kit, etc., to create music. This software uses Music Sheet with Staff lines to create music. Like many other mentioned software, you have to add various parameters such as Signatures, Notes, Clefs, Dynamics, etc., on staff lines to compose music. After creating the music, you can export it as MIDI, PDF, TuxGuitar, and MusicXml format.
Here, you also get a virtual Guitar and Piano that lets you hear beats, and they also make entering notes on music sheet easy. An important menu named Beat is available on the toolbar, that has features to add effects, semitones, strokes and beats to music sheet. These features help you enhance music performance. In the Tools menu, you get some advanced features, such as: Browser, Instrument Tuner, Plugins, File format converter. Plus, some handy features named Music Player and Multi Tab option is present to create music with ease.
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