Music Production

The Best FREE DAW's for 2023

Comparison of Free DAWs

Software OS Support Max Tracks VST Support Built-in Instruments
Cakewalk by BandLab Windows Unlimited Yes Yes
Tracktion T7 Windows, Mac, Linux Unlimited Yes Yes
Audacity Windows, Mac, Linux Unlimited No No
GarageBand Mac, iOS Unlimited Yes (AU) Yes
Ardour Windows, Mac, Linux Unlimited Yes No

Scoring a Killer DAW for the Price of Zero

Hey there, I’m Mattie. You’re broke, but you have a burning desire to make some wicked tunes. You find yourself stuck in the paradox of needing quality software to produce music but lacking the capital to invest in one of the big names. I get it. We’ve all been there.

Let’s cut through the crap, shall we? Free doesn’t have to mean shitty. Yeah, you heard me right. In the world of DAWs, you can get some surprisingly robust platforms without spending a dime. But hold your horses, not all “free” is created equal. Let’s get into it.

Cakewalk by BandLab: Like Finding a $20 Bill in Your Old Jeans

Cakewalk was once a pretty high-end DAW that you had to shell out a pretty penny for. But guess what? It’s free now, thanks to BandLab. The best part? It’s not a stripped-down version; this is the full deal, and it’s still updated regularly.

So, what’s the catch? Frankly, not much. It’s Windows only, so Mac users are outta luck. And, yeah, it might be overkill for total newbies, but it’s a beast for those willing to tame it. For a thorough look, here’s an in-depth review.

Tracktion T7: The Minimalist’s Wet Dream

Tracktion T7 offers the essentials without overwhelming you with a gazillion features you’ll never use. This makes it perfect for beginners or anyone who subscribes to the minimalist ethos. It’s like the IKEA furniture of DAWs: functional, pretty to look at, and doesn’t break the bank—because it’s free!

Tracktion T7 is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Check out the official rundown for the full feature set.

Audacity: The Old Dog with Some Surprising New Tricks

Look, Audacity has been around since the dawn of time—or at least, it feels that way. It’s not a full-featured DAW in the way that Cakewalk or even Tracktion T7 is. It’s more like a wave editor on steroids. But don’t let that fool you; this old dog has learned some new tricks.

You can record multiple tracks, apply real-time effects, and if you’re savvy, even master your tracks to an extent. Learn the nitty-gritty from this Audacity guide.

GarageBand: The Apple of the Free DAW World

If you own a Mac or an iOS device, you’ve hit the free DAW jackpot. GarageBand is like Logic Pro X’s little brother who’s happy to live in his sibling’s shadow while still being surprisingly competent. It’s simple to use and offers a range of instruments and loops. Ideal for those just getting started. To get the best out of GarageBand, follow this guide.

Ardour: The Dark Horse

Ardour is a robust, open-source DAW that works on Linux, Windows, and Mac. Now, I can hear you saying, “But Mattie, open-source means it’s going to be super complicated!” Well, yes and no. It’s not as user-friendly as the other options on this list, but it offers a level of customization that they don’t. Learn how to get the most out of it with this detailed tutorial.

Look, don’t let money—or the lack thereof—be your excuse. Free DAWs have come a long way, and they offer an excellent stepping stone into the world of music production. So, what the hell are you waiting for? Start making some damn music!

Thanks for reading! If you still need help, check out my Free Vocal Presets for Logic Pro X that will get your vocals sounding amazing in no time!!

Check Out Our Other Articles!

DAW Software Comparison

DAW’s the silent hero’s of the production world. The unseen forces behind the world’s greatest songs. You’d think they’d all be so similar right?

Well my audio friends, that’s where you’d be wrong! 

Though each DAW can get you to the final destination, the rides are much different. Take a look at this comparison chart we’ve created that talks about some of the different points!

Feature / DAW Ableton Live FL Studio Pro Tools Logic Pro X Cubase Reaper Studio One Reason
Platform Windows, macOS Windows, macOS Windows, macOS macOS only Windows, macOS Windows, macOS, Linux Windows, macOS Windows, macOS
Price Range $99 – $799 $99 – $899 $29.99/month or $599 – $2599 $199.99 $99.99 – $559.99 $60 (discounts for personal use) $99.95 – $399.95 $399
MIDI Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Audio Tracks Unlimited Unlimited Limited based on version Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
VST Support Yes Yes Yes (AAX) Yes (AU) Yes Yes Yes Yes (Rack Extensions)
Built-in Instruments Yes Yes Some versions Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Built-in Effects Yes Yes Some versions Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Max Sample Rate 192kHz 192kHz 192kHz 192kHz 192kHz 192kHz 384kHz 192kHz
Max Bit Depth 32-bit 32-bit 32-bit 32-bit 32-bit 64-bit 64-bit 32-bit
Notation View No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Video Support Limited Limited Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Live Performance Yes Yes No Limited Limited No Limited Limited
Loop-based Composition Yes Yes Limited Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multi-Touch Support Limited Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Real-time Collaboration No No Yes (Cloud) No No No No No

We even made a video detailing some of our favorite DAW’s for beginners if you want to check it out!

Choosing a Digital Audio Workstation

Ah, the Digital Audio Workstation, or DAW for short. That magical digital realm where you bring your musical daydreams to life—or where you experience a soul-crushing blend of confusion and self-doubt. The choice is yours.

See, the DAW you choose is like a long-term relationship. Pick the right one, and you’ll experience a harmonious blend of creativity and functionality. Choose poorly, and you’ll end up smashing your keyboard in a frustrated rage.

But let’s cut the bullshit and get real. No DAW is going to make you the next Beethoven or Skrillex if you can’t tell a sine wave from a subway line. A DAW is a tool, not a magic wand. But like any tool, some are better suited for certain jobs than others.

Ableton Live: The Swiss Army Knife That Thinks It’s a Lightsaber

Ableton is like that overachieving friend who’s good at everything but just won’t shut up about their latest hobby. You need to warp time signatures like you’re a Time Lord from Gallifrey? Sure. MIDI capabilities that make you feel like you’re conducting an orchestra of robots? You got it.

But let’s not forget, all these features come with a learning curve steeper than a mountain. Sure, you can do a lot. But you need a Ph.D. in Abletonology to know how to do a lot. Here’s a detailed review for the skeptics among you.

FL Studio: The Pretty Face with a Geeky Soul

FL Studio is as visually stunning as Instagram influencers but with the substance of a nerd who’s into quantum physics. It’s highly intuitive and user-friendly, but it still offers you a playground of complex features to get lost in.

But beware: it’s so user-friendly that you may end up dialing in generic beats if you’re not careful. Want to deep-dive? Check out this comprehensive guide on MusicRadar.

Pro Tools: The Corporate Overlord

Pro Tools is that corporate exec who wears three-piece suits to bed. It’s professional, industry-standard, and, let’s be honest, a bit stuck-up. If you want to walk into any professional studio and act like you own the place, Pro Tools is your ticket.

But be prepared to shell out for that ticket. You’re paying not just in money but in time spent learning a system that often seems designed to be as complicated as possible. For the brave hearts, here’s a full rundown of what you’re getting yourself into.

Look, picking a DAW is a personal choice. It’s about what you need, not what some YouTube tutorial tells you is cool. So go forth, make some terrible music, and remember: the only thing holding you back is yourself… and maybe your DAW. But mostly yourself.

Thanks for reading! If you still need help, check out my Free Vocal Presets for Logic Pro X that will get your vocals sounding amazing in no time!!

Check Out Our Other Articles!

Vocal EQ Cheat Sheet

Music production, much like life, is an intricate dance of balance and subtle manipulation. It requires an ear attuned to the beauty of harmonious coexistence, much like an artist senses the colors that would bring their masterpiece to life. In this endeavor, EQ (Equalization) is your brush, your vocals the canvas. Let’s unravel the subtle art of Vocal EQ and bring out the masterpiece that is lurking within your vocal tracks.

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Some more tips for you:

1. Cut the Crap, Literally!

Starting off, just like in life, you have to cut the crap. Anything below 80Hz is pretty much useless in vocals; it’s the equivalent of those annoying people who bring no value to your life. Use a high-pass filter to roll off the low end. No one wants to hear muddled, muddy vocals; it’s like trying to decipher your drunk uncle’s slurred speech at a family reunion.

2. Don’t Lose the Warmth in Search of Perfection

The pursuit of perfection can rob the beauty of authenticity. Between 100Hz and 250Hz, you’ll find the warmth and body of the vocals. Boosting these frequencies gives your vocals a sense of fullness. This is like accepting your quirks and oddities – it’s what makes you human and relatable.

3. Get Rid of the Box, Be Free

Life feels constrained when we trap ourselves in a box. The same goes for vocals. Between 250Hz to 500Hz lies the dreaded “boxy” sound. It’s like being stuck in a rut or a monotonous job. Reduce these frequencies, and suddenly, your vocals breathe free and sound a lot clearer.

4. Show Up, Stand Out

Between 1kHz and 4kHz, your vocals find their presence. A slight boost here and you have vocals that shine through, assertive, like the strong voice that speaks out in a room full of whispers. Just remember, standing out isn’t about being obnoxious. Too much boost and your vocals might come off as abrasive.

5. The Harsh Truth of Sibilance

Ah, the harsh ‘ss’ and ‘sh’ sounds that occur between 5kHz and 8kHz, the sibilance, it’s like that friend who brutally points out your imperfections. They can be a little tough to handle, but you can’t ignore them. Use a de-esser, and you can have the truth without the harshness.

6. Be the Breath of Fresh Air

Life needs moments of freshness, moments that take your breath away. Frequencies above 10kHz add that air and brilliance to your vocals. A subtle boost and your vocals sound fresh, lively, and invigorating.

Final Note: There’s No One-Size-Fits-All

The beauty of life lies in its complexity, its uniqueness. So does the beauty of vocals. Trust your instincts. What works for one track may not work for another. Your ears are the ultimate judge, and every voice deserves its unique treatment.

Vocal EQ is not just about enhancing sounds; it’s about embracing the messiness, the uniqueness, and the human touch that vocals bring. So next time you’re sitting down to mix, remember, it’s not just about frequencies; it’s about the harmony of life that resonates in every human voice.

At Music by Mattie, we understand this subtle art of Vocal EQ. We’re not just about frequencies and decibels; we’re about stories, emotions, and life. Let’s work together to bring out the masterpiece that your music deserves.

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Free Serum Presets!

If you’re looking for some free presets for Serum, you’re in the right place! We’ve put together a pack of 10 basic synths that you can use to get you started on your sound design journey! 

Not sure where to start? Take a look our video detailing the finer points of synthesis and sound design!

So you’re a novice music producer and you’ve found yourself lost in the endless world of plugins, VSTs, and sample packs. Well, my friend, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to tackle one of the most powerful tools in a producer’s arsenal, Serum – and specifically, how you can use free Serum presets to kick-start your journey into music production.

The Power of Serum

Before we dive into the exciting world of presets, let’s talk about Serum for a moment. Created by the talented Steve Duda, Serum is a wavetable synthesizer plugin that allows you to create, edit, and morph wavetables in real-time. Its intuitive interface and massive library of presets make it an absolute beast when it comes to sound design.

“Serum is the go-to synthesizer for countless music producers around the world, from novices to professionals.”

But let’s face it, as a novice, diving into Serum’s intricate world can be intimidating. This is where presets come into play.

Presets: Your Secret Weapon

A preset is a pre-made sound that you can load into Serum (or any other synthesizer). Instead of spending hours tweaking knobs and sliders, you can simply load a preset and start playing.

“Presets are your shortcut to achieving professional sounding tracks without the steep learning curve.”

In the world of Serum, presets are plentiful. But you might be wondering, where do I get these magic potions for my music production? Well, let me introduce you to the wonderful world of free Serum presets.

Finding Free Serum Presets

You might be surprised to find that the internet is teeming with free presets for Serum. Renowned music producers and sound designers often release free presets as a way to give back to the community. Here are a few reputable sources to get you started:

  1. Cymatics: A treasure trove of high-quality presets and samples.
  2. Reddit’s r/edmproduction: A vibrant community where producers often share free presets.
  3. Producer forums and Facebook groups: Another goldmine for presets shared by other producers.

But wait! Before you rush off to download all the free presets you can find, remember this:

“The goal is not to collect presets, but to learn and understand how they work.”

Learning From Presets

This might be the most important part of this whole article. Yes, presets are great for making quick and impressive music. But as a novice producer, your focus should be on learning. Load up a preset, analyze how it’s made, tweak parameters, and see what happens.

Remember, in music production, there are no rules. It’s all about experimentation and creativity. Use these presets as a stepping stone to create your own unique sounds.


Free Serum presets are a fantastic tool for novice music producers looking to elevate their music. They provide a shortcut to professional sounds, but most importantly, they serve as a learning resource.

As Mark Manson, the famous author, once said:

“You can’t be an important and life-changing presence to some people without also being a joke and an embarrassment to others.”

In the world of music production, don’t be afraid to be a joke or an embarrassment at first. Embrace the learning process, experiment with presets, and most importantly, have fun.

Happy producing!

– Mattie

"Free Serum Presets"

Woo Free!!