Ableton Live is a piece of music production software and hardware, used by many professional artists, to produce and perform their music. However, it can be quite expensive–almost prohibitively so for the hobbyist producer. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of free software alternatives to Ableton Live that keeps all the power available to the real producers at a low cost!
Ever wanted to create music like the pros, with intricate arrangements and perfectly looped parts that seamlessly transition into one another? Ableton Live is a digital audio workstation that lets you compose, record, remix and perform using your own sounds or ones over the Internet. It’s easy to use, making it perfect for beginners, who can quickly master the basics. But it’s also a powerful tool used by hardcore producers and DJs –not to mention the thousands of people who have started using Live in their classrooms.
Image-Line SoftwareFL STUDIO: The DAW powering the world’s best music. Celebrating Lifetime Free Updates for over 20 years. The fastest way from your brain to your speakers. FL Studio is the result of over 20 years of continuous development, to become the fastest way from your brain to your speakers. Many of the world’s top DJs and producers started by downloading the FL Studio trial, making their first beats a bedroom studio. Now it’s your turn, our trial allows you to make and save projects.
Audacity is an audio editing software available to download for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. It is free to use open-source software that is used for recording and editing sounds, music, audios, and much more.Recording and Playing Back Sounds, Scrubbing, Timer Record, Punch and Roll Recording, Audio Editing, Amplitude Envelop Editing, Cross-Platform Operation, Digital Effects, Plug-ins, Multi-track Mixing, Audio Spectrum Analysis, Downloadable Manual, Record Live Audio.
AppleLogic Pro turns your Mac into a professional recording studio able to handle even the most demanding projects. Capture your compositions and performances — from tracking a live band to a solo software-instrument session — and flow them into your songs. Create and improvise in a whole new way with Live Loops. Control music-making sessions from your iPad or iPhone with Logic Remote. Transform sounds into instruments with Sampler and Quick Sampler. Quickly build drum beats.
Steinberg Media TechnologiesEver since its initial release, Nuendo has been a vital tool in creating the soundtrack to many high-profile productions, products and installations. Regular updates with new features, workflow improvements and additional, user-requested functions mean that Nuendo constantly exceeds the expectations of an audio workstation dedicated to audio post, with high end — often unique — capabilities that continue an ongoing revolution in audio and media production software.
Launched by Apple, the software is for Mac OS but now it is operatable on Windows also. The software requires a higher version of mac os and 6GB of space for installation.Audio Recording, Loop Library, Mix Music, Edit Music, Record tracks, Piano Roll, Music Composer, Plug-ins and Sounds.
MAGIX SoftwareSOUND FORGE has been setting new standards in the field of digital audio production for over 20 years. The favorite tool of renowned producers worldwide, for instance Grammy award winner Ted Perlman, this legendary audio editor stands for innovation at the highest level. Originating in the USA, SOUND FORGE technology continues to be developed and optimized by MAGIX today and combines the spirit of pioneering ambition with the art of engineering precision.
PreSonus Audio ElectronicsRecord, produce, mix, master, and perform all from a single, intuitive application. Designed with ease of use at its core, Studio One® 5 is your creative partner from studio to stage. The Start Page provides what you need to begin your creative process, including a dashboard with all your songs, projects, and shows, plus a personalized user profile that allows you to add custom metadata to all your creations.
Cubase is another popular DAW for home producers and professionals alike and has a highly intuitive user interface that doesn’t take very long to get the hang of.
As an alternative to FL Studio, the software’s layout and interface is strikingly similar and so if you already have a basic knowledge of FL Studio Cubase is not too much of a learning curve.
Cubase has a vast library of effects, plugins, and virtual instruments right out of the box with simple and quick customization options. For both home recording and professionals, this DAW has everything you need to make professional-quality recordings.
Cubase is difficult to fault, although if you are an electronic music producer there are definitely some better options available, namely Ableton Live. That being said, for the actual recording of instruments, Cubase offers great-sounding recording at a comparatively low price.
Read our full Cubase vs FL Studio Comparison.
- Intuitive user interface
- Easy to crossover to from FL Studio
- Vast instrument and plugin library
- High-quality audio recordings
- There are better options available for electronic music production
AcousticaCreated by musicians, for musicians, Mixcraft is unrivaled in the industry for its ease-of-use and raw power. Record and mix your tracks to perfection, in record time, with Mixcraft’s incredibly intuitive interface, lightning-fast sound engine, reality-defying pitch-shifting and time-stretching technology, and nearly-universal support for third-party plug-ins, audio interfaces, and hardware controllers.
For beginner music producers, LMMS offers a powerful DAW for users looking to dip their toes into the world of music production.
This software is fairly basic without many complicated tools that can quickly confuse newbie users but is a great tool for learning.
It is a great alternative to FL Studio with similar capabilities and a host of plugins and VST support, plus it works on Linux, Windows, and macOS. Best of all, the open-source software is free, making it a great option for new users on a budget.
While many DAWs can have somewhat of a learning curve, LMMS can be very confusing in the beginning and may take some time to get used to. That being said, there are plenty of freely available tutorials online. Some users report the program is a bit buggy when used on Windows, although this will hopefully be fixed with future updates.
- Great for beginners on a budget
- VST support
- Works on Linux, Windows, and macOS
- Steep learning curve
- A little buggy with Windows OS
You’ve just started making music with your computer, but you are disappointed with the sound of your mixes. You find that your digital synths sound too thin, and you can’t get a good drum sound. You aren’t satisfied with the overall sound of your mixes, and you’re ready to get rid of them in exchange for better ones.