Stuck inside with nothing to do or watching too much TV? Get CREATIVE!!! Several audio companies are making all their creative tools available for FREE during the Covid-19 pandemic. I have searched the inter-webs to compile them all in once place for you. There are a wide range of apps for mobile and tablets along with both Mac and PC programs from some of the industry’s tools. Everything from audio effects like Soundtoys to full on versions of the popular DAW Ableton Live and Logic Pro are available for up to 90 days free and some indefinitely. Wether you are an experienced professional looking to work with some new tools or a beginner just looking to have fun, there are several options available to start making music today including sample packs and even classes from BerkleeX College of Music.
I hope this collection is helpful to everyone in this time. If you make music or want to support small musicians, the easiest way to support is to share their music on social and streaming platforms or even buy some of the artists songs. You can follow along with my music journey and enjoy one on my original tracks for FREE here. Checkout the list of over 50 resources and tools below. Remember to share this post with other creative people you may know.
Musician Resources Guide:
Splice has curated an extensive list of resources for musicians affected by COVID-19 which you can find HERE. The guide covers everything from emergency funding to mental health.
To support artists during the COVID-19 crisis, a coalition of national arts grant-makers have come together to create an emergency initiative to offer financial and informational resources to artists across the United States. Artists can apply for the $5,000 grant here.
To help connect you with these developments and provide other time-sensitive information, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs has assembled a list of meaningful funding opportunities and useful resources here for individual artists and creative workers.
DAWs – Digital Audio Workstations:
Ableton Live – Get all the features of Live 10 Suite free for 90 days. Mac & PC.
Logic Pro – The leading all in one tool for music production on Mac.
AVID – 90-days free for Media Composer | Ultimate, Pro Tools, Pro Tools.
Audacity – An open-sourced Multitrack recording program that is always free.
Cubase – One of the most powerful music creation software packages in the world.
Cakewalk – Cakewalk by BandLab is the new standard for the modern recording studio.
Reaper – A complete digital audio production application for computers.
Serato Studio – Beat making software for beginners, DJs, and advanced producers.
Audiotool – A powerful online music production studio right in your browser.
Effects & Plug-ins/Instruments:
Soundtoys – Effect Rack is a creative multi-effects system with custom effect chains.
Arturia Analog Lab – Get over 6500 awesome presets from 23 legendary instruments.
Arturia Polychrome – An immensely powerful synth 20 years in the making.
Arturia Pigments – Can sound like other synths, but nothing else sounds like Pigments.
AudioThing SR-88 – Focusrite emulation of the SR-88 a rare ’80s analogue drum machine
Cherry Audio Modular – Modular synthesis package, with 22 modules & 130+ presets.
Balancer – This plug-in will balance your audio tracks in just a few seconds.
Spectral Textures Ableton – Create vibrant atmospheres, textures and progressions.
Xfer Records Freeware – A variety of free instruments and tools thanks to Steve Duda!
ADSR Sample Manager – makes your entire sample library searchable with smart tags.
Torpedo Wall of Sound – The world’s best speaker-cab emulator for your
8DIO Samples – Instrument Packs for Kontakt VST-AU-AAX
PG-8X Polysynth – Inspired by Roland’s JX-8P with 6 voices of polyphony.
VK-1 Viking – Authentic emulation of a classic monophonic analog synthesizer.
Tal-Chorus-LX – Characteristics of the Juno-60 chorus effect.
TAL-NoiseMaker – an improved version of TAL-Elek7ro synth.
TAL-Dub-X – delay effect that has its own special sound.
Blue Cat Flanger – The 70’s Flanger effect that can be used on almost any audio track.
Legowelt Software – A collection of tools and fx from 808 emulation to tape saturation.
Voxengo SPAN – Free real-time “fast Fourier transform” audio spectrum analyzer plugin.
Bob Perry Gate – Real side chaining and 3 distinct, smooth sounding algorithms.
TAL Reverb-II – A super diffuse and lush reverb effect with a fast build up time.
Dexed – A DX7 modeled multi platform, multi format plugin FM synth.
Arcade – A playable instrument that lets you perform and manipulate loops in real time.
Plug-In Boutique Instruments – Collection of free instrument plug-ins.
Plug-in Boutique Effects – Collection of free effect plug-ins.
Beatlab Academy Collection – Beatlab’s top 12 “Free” Instruments for NI
Resonance Piano – acoustic piano attack samples in a piano body’s physical model.
The Free Orchestra – One solid gigabyte of free cinematic sounds.
Standalone Music – Over 1.2 Gb of royalty-free content between samples of any kind.
Samples from Mars – 808, 101 and more recorded through an API console to tape.
Noiiz Sounds – A generous collection of samples offered in the free membership tier.
Loopcloud – Millions of sounds in the worlds most fully-featured sample manager.
Free Sample Packs – A large collection of free sample packs for download.
Mobile / Tablet Apps:
Mini Moog Model D – Mobile transmutation of the world’s first portable synthesizer
Roland Zenbeats – Music creation app designed to keep you in an effortless artistic flow.
KORG iKaossilator – Create music by using, moving and swiping a single finger.
Arturia iSpark – Beat making solution allowing to create rich tracks.
Pioneer DJM-Record App – A dedicated app for DJs to easily record mixes.
SynthMaster One – KV331 Audio’s first full blown universal synth app on iOS platform.
Amped Guitar Learning – A fun & fast guitar learning experience from Gibson.
Dolby On – Recording & live streaming sound and video with unparalleled audio quality.
Fender Play – 3 months of free guitar lessons.
BerkleeX – Free online courses from Berklee College of Music.
Skove – Beginner piano course is available on the free plan.
Ableton Lessons – Learn the basics of music making. No experience or gear required.
Ableton Synth Lessons – Learn the basics of using synthesizers.
Ableton Music Making Book – 74 creative strategies for electronic music producers.
Chrome Music Lab – Learn music more through fun, hands-on experiments.
As if this wasn’t enough of a resource, the team at LANDR has compiled a massive database of over 200 additional free VST plugins here for those that wish to dig deeper into sound design.
Enjoy all of these free music tools. If you feel a bit overwhelmed then just start simple with one item and focus on learning it. I personally use Ableton Live to make my music and highly recommend trying it as mu full production studio. The phone apps are also a great place to start for beginners wanted to experiment with sound. Best of luck and stay safe.