There is no doubt that GarageBand is the most preferred online music studio ever. It has these really cool features and a clean interface providing swiftness to the work of artist. However, now you can use GarageBand alternative too for the exact same work and less price.
10 Best GarageBand Alternative for Windows
Homegrown labels and low scale artists are always in awe of such music software which charges the least possible. Where Apple has its own line of music production software I think there is a need of GarageBand equivalent for PC too. And hence I compiled this list of top music studios which is going to help you for the same.
Let’s Make Music or LMMS is the most preferred GarageBand alternative mainly because it is an open source program and I am sure you are not going to find something like this for Windows at all. It provides the simplest interface and advanced tools to produce the music of your own.
Although LMMS is fully loaded with all the desired and required tools for making music but you can still add more plugins to it for getting the maximum output possible.
Features of LMMS in terms of functionality, mixing and instrument use are various in numbers. Some of them which are used the most are everything from sequencing to mixing on one platform, multiple formats supported, user-defined automation and customization, file importing supported etc.
When it comes to music mixing you get tools like plug-in support, equalizers and graphics, spectrum analyzer, enhancer, distorter and other important tools, sound variations, built-in instrumental sounds and many more. In terms of advanced features, LMMS is the best you can ever find and apart from Windows, it supports Linux and Mac too.
Audiotool is slightly different from other GarageBand alternative for windows as it is an online program and does not require any installation process. Audiotool is also a free tool for music making and editing and just like LMMS, it has some really amazing tools to offer to the users.
Audiotool is a rare combination of entertainment and technology as apart from providing a music mixing platform, it also serves as music streamer too and that is also for free.
Now, talking about the features of Audiotool then you are going to find a long list on its website. To list down a few I would name modern interface for amazing workflow, samples available, cloud storage available etc. Focusing on especially music production then you will get instruments like Pulverisateur, Heisenberg and Machiniste here.
Considering the current trend of music, this GarageBand alternative also offers BeatBoxing facility here too. You get centroid for the music mixing and Audiotrack for the basic work. It means Audiotool is a mixture of all the modern music amenities and that too on a single platform.
Next one I chose as GarageBand alternative is Cubase which works more on professional level and advanced approach and I would not recommend this for amateurs. It is a popular digital music station which allows a user to not only create music but to mix and edit it on professional level too.
As it is a professional music studio, Cubase is not free to use apart from the initial 30 days free trial. Other plans are Cubase Pro charging around $673, Cubase Artist for $372 and Cubase Elements for $120.
Talking about the basic features accompanying Cubase are built-in instruments sound, music composing from scratch, professional recording, online collaboration, music mixing and editing etc. You get great versatilities while using Cubase and the level increases when you upgrade to Cubase Pro.
With catchy features in the Pro version like VariAudio providing note editing, MixConsole and VCA, frequency adjustment, REVelation program, AudioWarp tool set and a long list of high-end music features included. Cubase is the best in the market you can get and its pro version is not less than any original music studio facility.
4. Mixcraft 8
You can find various programs similar to GarageBand but not all of them are going to be like your requirements. However, Mixcraft 8 is a music oriented program which aims towards providing various services on various prices according to the need of artist.
Mixcraft 8 is not a free service but you get 14 days trial before the paid plan. It has products like Home Studio for $49.99, Recording Studio for $89 and Pro Studio for $179.
For the beginning, I think you should choose Recording Studio as the home edition is quite basic. The features offered under this plan are instrumental sounds controlling, effects parameter, live performance panel recording, royalty free loops available, import functions, MIDI scoring and editing and many more.
When you opt for the Pro plan, you get the option to even do video editing too. Mixcraft 8 comes with all the loaded features you need for music mixing and editing. This GarageBand alternative is a wonderful option for the Windows platform and its professional features are surely worth trying.
5. FL Studio 12
FL Studio 12 is a highly advanced and versatile software like GarageBand used for music making, editing, and mixing. This is a highly professional Digital Audio Workstation used for multiple tasks related to music production and editing. With the continuous updates, FL Studio is evolving like a boss.
You can perform multiple task on it like music composer, arranging, editing, recording, mixing etc. Great thing is that it is available in various editions.
FL Studio is not free to use and hence you would have to pick one edition from options which are Fruity for $99, Producer for $199, Signature for $299 and a complete plugin bundle for $899. The features associated with FL Studio are smart interface, touchscreen support, detachable menu bars etc.
Talking about the technical features of this GarageBand alternative, the list is quite long including VST plugins, free samples, real-time stretching, MIDI out, keyboard controller, automation clips, full mixer, sequencer, wonderful audio tools and many more. I really liked that how they support all types of plugins and extension packs but the features vary according to the plan used.
6. Soundation Studio
If you are tired of paying too much for the music studio facility and want something low budget then Soundation Studio is the best choice you can make. Of course, the features are not that high-end and advanced so if you are using it for personal use then it will turn out to be best for you.
Soundation is used for music recording, mixing and sharing too. Apart from the free plan other ones are Intro for $1.99 per month, Premium for $6.99 per month and Power for $4.99 per month varying with features too.
It makes an excellent GarageBand alternative with associated features like 700 free loops, 5 virtual synthesizers, sample players, Digital Audio Workstation tools like importing, mixdown songs, automation etc., sound effects, instrumental audios and many more.
Soundation works perfectly even for the Mac users too. When you opt for the premium plan you get some really advanced features too. However, it still lacks a professional approach towards recording and mixing and hence it is best used for the personal use and low scale music edits.
Reaper is a type of Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) and works even better than GarageBand for windows. Reaper is quite an interesting program allowing various music-oriented modifications and provides great audio tools to make your creation better.
It has a very flexible system which means apart from the customization on the interface, you have great control over the services offered too.
Reaper offered two license which is discounted one for person use charging $60 and Commercial license for enterprise use charging $225. Now, talking about the wonderful features offered by this GarageBand alternative then these are various media format support, MIDI hardware and software support, sound effects, loops, virtual instruments effects etc.
It also supports various plug-ins too which allows this platform to grow even more. Other technical aspects related to Reaper are automation, Macros, notations, scripting, modulation, grouping, synthesizers, skins, great control surface and many more others.
Reaper is amongst the best option that we have in this list and its newest version 5 is quite up to the expectations of the users. I am sure you would love to compose on its MIDI platform and the tremendous support in form of features would make the music mixing simpler.
Another DAW in the row is Ardour which serves as the perfect platform for recording, mixing and editing. Apart from Windows, it supports Linux and Mac consoles too and it is also quite handy to use too.
You would be glad to know that Ardour is a completely free to use software as it is an open source program. Despite that you are going to find the top most features related to recording, mixing, plugins, soundtracks, exporting and music editing here.
Ardour supports various hardware too which means through different extensions in your existing system, you can turn it into a great music studio just in some seconds. Some of the features provided by Ardour are multichannel tracks, one-touch recording and editing, non-linear editing, multiple format support, import supported etc.
Ardour is quite professional in nature and this is why worth being included in the list of GarageBand alternative. It offers a really modern interface and hence it won’t be much difficult for you to understand the tactics quickly.
9. Ableton Live
Ableton has various music production software to offer and I am mentioning the most popular one called Ableton Live. It makes a perfect alternative to GarageBand and serves as a fluid and flexible platform where you can compose, edit, mix and share music.
The most recent version of this program is Live 9 which can be accessed for free in only first month. After which you would have to pick one edition amongst Intro for $99, Standard for $449 and Suite for $599. Each of the version varies on the basis of features and packs.
Talking about the popular features of this GarageBand alternative then they are free audio and MIDI tracks (number varies with plan), audio slicing, sound and instruments effects, unlimited audio loops, audio to MIDI conversion, real-time change in tempo and other effects etc.
The list goes on while talking about the features and somewhere you are going find yourself hassled with all the things at once. So, always feel free to checkout their tutorial videos.
10. Music Maker Jam
I am sure you must have heard about this GarageBand windows alternative before or even used it too. It is popular mainly in form of mobile applications but very few people know that it can be downloaded for Windows platform too and that it also for absolutely free.
Although it is not that professional in approach, but MMJ is mostly preferred for mixing work as it has this phenomenal interface and tools provided for that.
Talking about some of the features of MMJ then these are 8-channel mixer, song structure, harmonics and tempo control, music recording, real time sound effects etc. This program is designed in such a way that even a beginner can use it with utmost ease.
MMJ is such type of GarageBand alternative which is most suitable for personal use and it is a popular software amongst the naïve users.
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From open source to paid plans, you are going to find it all under the GarageBand alternative enlisted above. Of course, sometimes it is pretty annoying to understand all the features in one go and I am sure it is going to take time to get it all here too.
However, despite that they are quite creative and open with their approach and without spending much on the actual hardware you can now get your music editing done through software only. Programs like GarageBand are a must to be tried out when you are an artist who wants to create a marvelous piece of music.