The best free DAWs

Good digital audio workstations are not cheap but these free DAWs are good enough to get you started on the way to affording the more feature-packed apps.

  • Ardour icon


    Freemium Mac OS X Windows Linux Website

    Ardour is a commercial strength DAW that continues to advance in sophistication and features. Not only is it dirt cheap for a pre-compiled version, it's totally free for the code to compile it yourself.


  • AudioTool icon


    Free Web Website

    AudioTool is a gem of audio composition, being totally free but still possessing advanced features that easily compare with the big DAWs. Plus, it's built for online use so compositions are easily portable and collaboration and social sharing is very simple.


  • Rosegarden icon


    Free Linux Website

    Designed strictly for Linux, Rosegarden provides powerful multi-track composition features normally found in pricey commercial apps, totally for free.


  • Caustic icon


    Freemium Mac OS X Windows Android iPhone Android Tablet ... iPad Website

    The commercial Caustic is designed for mobile use but the desktop version has all the same power at no cost at all. It's a free version of the app that works perfectly well with a mouse.


  • SunVox icon


    Freemium Mac OS X Windows Linux Windows Mobile iPhone ... Android Tablet iPad Website

    Different from most DAWs, SunVox relies on a tracker interface that can take some effort to learn but provides powerful pattern-based composition capabilities. While the interface is different, it's a fully capable DAW with advanced, modular routing. And the desktop version is totally free.


  • MuLab icon


    Freemium Mac OS X Windows Website

    MuLab is a very inexpensive DAW with a totally free version that's limited to 4 simultaneous channels of sound. Apart from that limit, it has the same advanced, modular core as the full version.


  • MultitrackStudio icon


    Freemium Mac OS X Windows iPad Website

    A little less known than many similar full-featured DAWs, MultitrackStudio packages its commercial powers in a super intuitive interface that greatly simplifies composition workflow. The fee, lite version has a 3-track limit, but the app's core strengths are all there.


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