My favorite (cheap) recording programs

If you’re like me, you want all the good things for free, or just super cheap. As cool as ProTools and Logic Pro are, my bank account is already breaking a sweat trying to keep things together.

With that in mind, here are my favorite free/cheap audio recording programs for making music.


This is the one that holds my audio engineering heart (however small). It’s easy to use and has built-in presets and effects for mixing. It’s similar to ProTools, but fit for paupers like me. The cross-fade is brilliant, and it makes precise editing simple.

The cost is based on the honor system; it’s a free download and the price tag depends on whether you’ll use it for personal or commercial purposes.



I used GB for my early music, namely Iron Sharpens Iron and Thank God They’re Wrong. It’s perfect for beginners because of its simplicity, Apple’s forte.

If you’re a Mac Head, it’s your best option; it comes pre-loaded on every Apple computer and has plenty of pre-recorded instruments that are easily customizable.

One downside is that crossfade didn’t exist when I used it, and it still seems to be user unfriendly, from what I’ve read online.


Ones to watch

Soundtrap is an online recording program I just came across. I haven’t had much time to play with it, but I’m happy that it works with my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface.

A con: it seems to allow one-track recording, but not two tracks at a time, which is a major downside if so.


Soundation is another online recording program that I’ve tried using. It, too, doesn’t seem to allow multi-track recording, so this one may be good if you’re looking to keep it simple.


And that’s my list. Give ’em a try and let me know what you think.