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The Best Free Recording Music Software: Garageband and Audacity


If you’re just starting to record your own music, then you’ve probably already heard that you should buy a mac. While it’s true that Mac has arguably the best free music recording software on the market in (Garageband), it’s definitely not your only option. Depending on your specific needs, there is other free music recording software that you can use on devices besides Mac.

Here in this post, we’re going to talk about Garageband and some of the other top free options for recording software available to you today.

The Best Free Recording Software and What They Can Do.

We live in a time where there are an incredible amount of options available to us when it comes to recording software, but which one is right for your circumstances? It all starts with what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re looking for a non-paid solution, then chances are you’re relatively new to the recording space and might not even have a use for some of the more advanced features of paid software.

Headphones in front of a computer

Garageband (Good for Mac)

If you have never used Garageband before then, you have nothing to worry about. By far the best thing about Garageband is the easy of use that comes along with it. Garageband is easy to learn, but difficult to master. This is a good thing because for more advanced users it still offers a ton of value.

The user interface is clean and self-explanatory (for the most part) and you should be able to get started using it almost immediately. The “drag and drop” process for organizing sound clips is both intuitive and easy to use.   

While there are lots of VSTs and other add-ons that you can pay for with the App, the default configuration is more than enough to record and mix your music right there on your Macbook. Honestly, the built-in microphone on a MacBook is relatively decent for casual recording, so you might not even need anything else.

The other great thing about Garageband is that it has a massive community of users. You can find help on how to do just about anything that you need to in Garageband through a plethora of Youtube channels and Subreddits. There will always be someplace that you can get help or ask questions if you run into any issues.

Audacity (Good for Windows)

If you have a Windows system, then Audacity is going to be your best bet. Like Garageband, Audacity has a massive user base which gives you plenty of options when you’re looking for advice and support.

The most significant single difference between Audacity and Garageband is that Audacity is an “open-source” software meaning that it is supported by its community of users. You couldn’t pay for Audacity even if you wanted to. The project does, however as for donations if you’re feeling generous. You can also contribute to the project by helping to code new features if you have the talent.

It’s important to note that while Audacity is a great piece of software that can do just about everything that Garageband can, it does lack in user experience. When you’re working in Audacity you will notice that many of the functions are cumbersome or even outright clunky. The system is more difficult to learn and can take more time to actually edit a track.

Which is a Better Free Recording Software?

We would have to say that Garageband is hands down a better recording, mixing, and editing software for music. While Audacity has some really great features, it’s just not as strong or as usable.

While there are a ton of other option out there for you to choose from like Hya-Wave and Ardour, you should at least try the first two before moving on to one of these other pieces of software.


Recording music on your own can be fun and a great way to get started, but the only way to really get professional sounding audio is to record in a studio. Getting some studio time is a good idea if you have already put in an upfront work, understand what sound you’re going for, and have rehearsed enough to dominate a session.