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The best beat making software makes it easy to mix and modify music with user-friendly workflows and editing tools. This software comes with sound libraries to help you add piano, drums, and other instruments and sounds. The top beat making software also makes it easy to export your musical creations in a variety of formats.
We took a closer look at the beat making software available today. Here are our picks for the top nine:
9 best beat making software
- Serato Beat Software
- Ableton Live
- FL Studio
- Magix Music Maker
- LMMS Sharing Platform
1. Serato Beat Software
Serato Studio integrates with Serato’s popular DJ software, allowing DJs to mix mashups of tracks they already created. The program both offers top-notch drum sequencers and note sequencers so you can create complex patterns and note sequences with any instrument. Serato is compatible with VST and AU plugins.
- Beginner-friendly format
- High quality drum and note sequencers
- A Master Key feature to keep all your instruments and samples in tune
Serato is available in both a free and a paid version.
Serato’s free version offers access to select sound packs, samples, and tutorials, while the paid version includes:
- All sound packs, samples, and instruments
- Unlimited tracks and decks
- Export to mp3, .wav, or other formats
- Automation support
- iZotope Plugin
2. Ableton Live
Ableton Live’s minimalist interface and unique workflow helps creative individuals produce new tracks. This software can also temp-match with live performers. It can record sound and then set the rest of the track to match the beat automatically, making this program great for live performances.
- Enormous library of sounds, samples, and loops, as well as synthesized sounds, orchestral tracks, and acoustic instruments
- You can edit and manipulate tracks in real-time without hitting stop on the audio
- Efficient workflow
This program offers three plans: Intro, Standard and Pro. Live 11 Intro offers essentials for $99, Live 11 Standard offers full features as well as extras for $449, and Live 11 Suite contains the software’s complete integrated studio for $749. Both Standard and Suite offer additional features, instruments, packs, and effects.
3. FL Studio
FL Studio, originally named Fruity Loops, is a beat-making software with a great “in the box” production. The program is available in four versions and is compatible with both Mac and Windows.
- Selection of synths and effects plugins
- Step sequencer, piano roll, event editor
- Automation support
- Audio recording
- Additional guitar and drum samples
- Huge selection of Image-Line synths
FL Studios comes in four plans: Fruity Edition ($99), Producer Edition ($199), Signature Bundle ($299) and All Plugins Edition ($499). All of these versions all available as one-time purchases with image-line updates included for life.
For a free app, Soundtrap contains excellent features. It offers a huge sound library and allows you to work on unlimited projects. You can also pay for a subscription to access more advanced features like auto-tuning or time restore. With Soundtrap, you can export your work to high-quality formats, as well as receive new sounds every week.
Soundtrap contains another interesting feature – real-time collaboration. It’s also available as the Soundtrap Capture App for iOS.
- Huge library of sounds with updates
- Unlimited projects
- Easy collaboration with other users
- Priority mixing
- High-quality downloads
Soundtrap offers a free plan with 150k+ sound effects, making it one of the best beat making software for beginners. For additional features, you can choose between 4 packages: Music Makers Premium ($7.99), Music Makers Supreme ($11.99), Storytellers ($11.99) and Soundtrap Complete ($13.99). You can also sign up a school or district for $249.
orDrumbox is a free drum machine software designed for creativity, experimentation, and fast results. It’s one of the best free beat making software, as it can automatically add bass lines and melodic patterns to your audio. orDrumbox includes a database with rhythms and sounds that can be fully edited. It’s compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux.
- Custom soft-synths
- Automatic sounds/track matching
orDrumbox is free, making it another of the best beat making software for beginners who aren’t ready to invest in a pricier software yet.
6. Magix Music Maker
Magix Music Maker comes with a relatively large library of ready-to-use sounds, loops, and beat samples. With its drag and drop functionality, you can easily choose and layer sounds and samples. Magix Music Maker’s loops adjust automatically to fit your song’s pitch.
- Artificial intelligence: Song Maker AI
- Flexible interface for a streamlined workflow
- In-app tutorials Freely selectable: 3 Soundpools, 1 Soundpool Collection coreFX Delay, AM|Track, Vintage FX Filtox, Orange Vocoder ME
- DN-e1, Bass Machine, Analog Synths (VITA instruments)
- Tiny Percussion Shaker (Tiny instrument)
- Multicore audio engine with 64-bit support VST bridge for 32-bit plug-in support
Apart from the free trial, there are two packages you can choose from – Plus and Premium. The Plus edition costs £44.99 (about $59 USD), while the premium package costs £61.99 (about $81 USD).
7. LMMS Sharing Platform
This powerful program contains a huge database of sample tunes you can use while recording music and creating beats. OGG and Wav, for example, are a couple of the formats you can download your music in. LMMS Sharing Platform is compatible with Mac, Windows and Linux.
- User-friendly and modern interface
- An assortment of instrument and effect plugins, presets and samples to VST and SoundFont support
- Built-in compressor, limiter, delay, reverb, distortion and bass enhancer
- Bundled graphic and parametric equalizers
- Embedded ZynAddSubFx: Polyphonic, mutlitimbral, microtonal, multi-voice additive, subtractive and pad synthesis all in one powerful plugin
LMMS Sharing Platform is a free cross-platform for your computer.
GarageBand is a music creation studio that usually comes built-in on Macs. It includes a complete sound library of instruments, presets for guitar and voice, and session drummers and percussionists. With Touch Bar features for MacBook Pro and an intuitive, modern design, GarageBand makes it easy to play, record, edit, and share your music.
- Touch Bar features for MacBook Pro
- Library which consists of instruments, presets for guitar and voice, and a selection of session drummers and percussionists
- Modern design
GarageBand is a free app that usually comes built-in on Macs, but can also be downloaded for Mac via the Apple Store.
Cubase is a digital audio workstation developed for music and MIDI recording, arranging and editing. You can use this software to edit and sequence audio signals, as well as to host VST instruments and effects.
This program has a number of features designed to aid in composition, such as:
- Great microphone preamps
- Outstanding audio and build quality
- The ability to create warp markers straight from hitpoints
- Helps the user keep track of chord changes, and can optionally be used to harmonize audio and MIDI tracks automatically, as well as trigger arpeggios and chords with basic voicings or voicings for piano and guitar.
After your free trial is up, you can choose from three plans: Cubase Pro 12 which costs $579.99, Cubase Artist 12 which costs $329.99, or Cubase Elements 12 which costs $99.99.
Beat Making Software FAQ
Still have lingering questions about beat making software? Here are some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
What is beat making software?
Beat making software is useful for anyone who wants to edit sound or create music. It allows you to edit and produce music in an optimized workflow with access to a library of samples, loops, and presets. There is also DAW software which already comes with everything you need to edit and mix multiple recordings into one. You can usually export your content in .wav, MP3 and other formats.
What does DAW mean?
DAW is an acronym for Digital Audio Workshop. It refers to music production software that lets you record and edit audio on your personal computer. Both hobbyists and professionals use DAW software to produce music.
Who’s eligible for an educational discount on beat making software?
The general rule of being eligible for the educational discount is to be enrolled in school or teaching full time. However, it’s always worth checking out the terms and conditions of a specific software you’re interested in.
If you’re interested in editing video as well as audio, check out our top picks for the best video editing software.