Life is very different right now, as the new coronavirus has millions of people around the world stuck inside. Festivals, clubs, and even house parties are banned in many cities, leaving musicians (and music lovers) confined to their homes and looking for creative outlets. Over the past few weeks, several music companies have responded by giving away freebies in order, as Korg put it, to provide “a musical way to occupy your mind.”
Below we’ve rounded up a range of apps, plugins, sounds, lessons, and even Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) that are currently free to give tools to musicians and those looking to learn musical skills during the pandemic. A few were already free, but the majority are only for a limited time. There are tons of deals available, so get ready to check out some new digital toys. Check back regularly as the list is regularly updated.
- Apple has announced that its Logic Pro X DAW will now have a 90-day free trial.
- Ableton has announced that its DAW Ableton Live 10 Suite now has a 90-day free trial.
- Fender is offering three months of free guitar lessons to the next 100,000 people who subscribe to its Fender Play app on iOS and Android.
- Serato has introduced a free version of its Serato Studio DAW.
- Steinberg has created a free collection of #StayHome elements that includes Cubase Elements, Dorico Elements, WaveLab Elements, and the Absolute collection. The offer is valid until May 15 and you will need to create a Steinberg account to claim it.
- Gibson has partnered with the guitar lessons app Amped Guitar to offer free premium three-month subscriptions (available only to new users).
- Audio software company Synchro Arts (known for its voice processing tools) is offering 90-day free duplicate licenses to those who already own their products, but cannot access them due to travel restrictions or job closures. .
- Focusrite has partnered with Audiothing to offer the SR-88 Analog Drum Machine Emulator for free until April 24 (usually $ 29).
- The Arturia iPad app called iSpark is currently free.
- Arturia has also extended the trial period for the Pigments 2 software synthesizer until July 3.
Soundtoys Effect Rack is free until June 30. The multi-effects system is normally only available in the company’s Soundtoys 5 pack.
- Moog’s Minimoog Model D iOS app is currently free for a limited time.
- Avid is temporarily issuing a limited number of 90-day free licenses for Media Composer Ultimate, Pro Tools, Pro Tools Ultimate, and Sibelius Ultimate. You must be working for a media company or educational institution that already owns the software and whose facilities are closed due to the pandemic.
- Synthmaster One iPhone, a wavetable synthesizer app for iOS, is temporarily free (usually $ 4.99).
Roland has partnered with the interactive piano lessons platform Skoove to offer three free months of piano lessons to owners of existing Roland pianos.
- Roland has also made the full version of Zenbeats, its music creation app for iOS and Android, temporarily free (normally $ 49.99 and up).
- Separately, Skoove has made top quality material available to anyone who signs up for its free plan, including a beginner piano lesson and 27 songs.
- Mixmag has put together a list of free plugins, including reverbs, flangers, and gates.
- Likewise, Equipment News has a roundup with additional freebies, like an equalizer from HoRNet.
- Two Notes is offering a lifetime license for two virtual speakers when you download its “Torpedo Wall of Sound” cabinet speaker simulator (offer valid until April 30).
- Cherry Audio’s “Voltage Modular Nucleus” modular synthesis package is now free “for the foreseeable future” (usually $ 29).
- The Berklee College of Music offers more than 40 open online courses, including âCreating Sounds for Electronic Musicâ, âIntroduction to Ableton Liveâ and âThe Art of Vocal Productionâ. Be sure to check the start date of the courses you want to enroll in.
- Traktion recently launched its Waveform Free DAW for OSX, Windows and Linux.
- AudioKit Synth One app for iOS
- Beat and Loop Music Maker JAM mixer app for iOS and Android (free, but offers in-app purchases)
- Tenacious Frog Synth TF7 (Free, but offers in-app purchases)
- Voloco height treatment app for iOS and Android I fell in love with after a self-tuned chat went viral on Twitter
- The BandLab social music creation platform is free and has lots of erased loops and samples that can be used without worry.
- The Noiiz sample and plugin platform offers tons of free sample packs. You will need to create a free account to download them.
GarageBand, of course.
- Music production software and plug-in collection from Korg for iOS, Korg Gadget 2 Le
- Music creation and remixing of the iOS Launchpad app
- Cockos’ Reaper DAW has a free 60-day trial period with no registration or personal information required.
- The Patterning drum machine app is free on iOS (with in-app purchases to unlock additional features).
- There are many royalty-free sounds in the free sample packs.