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-Everyone- can make music (free music resource list)

Well anyone messing with music creation will find that pretty much anything costs a large, often near excessive, sum of money. While of course there's always "other" ways to get music programs, the music industry seems to be one of the largest when it comes to fear of having their products pirated (iLok, etc.) often making that even more of not an option.

While these tools may not produce the "industry standard" movie scores, they can definitely be a fun way to occupy your time if you enjoy music on a level more then just listening to it.

Anvil Studio - a basic MIDI composition program for windows. It also supports audio recording/mixing but has a limit of 1 minute on that.

Modplug Tracker - a basic sequencer program, similar to FL but completely free to use. Has a bit of a learning curve to get used to the interface.
(the second link is the open source version of modplug, I don't believe Modplug tracker supports VST instruments so this may be a better choice as it'll allow more variety of instruments)

Psycle - another free sequencer program similar to Modplug (I think Modplug has a more active community though, I remember checking when I was looking for a free music program a while ago and I believe their forums were dead when I looked)

Hammerhead - a free drum sequencer, made with dance music in mind. It also supports allowing the user to create their own drum banks from sound samples.

Free VSTs - There are tons of free VST plugin/instruments out there, and VST's are a fairly common form of virtual instrument/effects for different sequencers. This is a link to one resource of them, but there's many many more out there if you search.

Krystal Audio Engine - good for sequencing and recording, note that recording is dependent on your computers capabilities, the slower your computer is, the more of a pain recording will be for you.

GXSCC - a midi player, note that it doesn't support editing at all. What's so special about it? Well it doesn't play back in normal midi, it emulates the sound of old 8-bit video games - compose an midi in something else and then import it here for 8-bit sounds.

Famitracker - a free sequencer that produces music for Famicom and Nes system. This isn't emulating the sound like GXSCC, music produced here can be used in an actual Nes or Famicom game. Like any other sequencer, it has a high learning curve.

Anyone know any other good free resources?
I figured It'd be a good idea to compile a list of free resources for people interesting in producing their own music.
Found this:


Has some pretty cool free plugins, some are especially useful if you're trying to make something 8-bit (toad, tri-force, peach).


What exactly is a soundfont? Well basically it's like a step above MIDI, it's a sound sample that when put into a player compatible, is used very much like a VST instrument - stick an midi in, stick a soundfont over it and bam, you've got something that sounds a bit better then the overly computerized sound of general midi. This gives this both advantages and disadvantages - it's going to sound about as good as the samples you use for it, but you have easy access to plenty of instruments/sounds easily as there's many free ones out there. These seem to be popular for people looking for sounds from specific games (like say Metriod, or Pokemon, or something).

Synthfont is a free program that loads midis and then puts soundfonts over them, it also can support VST instruments and effects, all you really need is an midi editor and with this you can make music completely free.


Synthmaker - skip other people's crap and make your own VST instruments with this. Now this isn't freeware, but it has a free trial with few limits (except for the fact that VST's made with it will cause soft hissing, you could probably work around this with the right mixing - aside from that I think few people looking for free tools have a need for a synth with over 1000 components) and no time problem.


Sir, this should be sticky.

Hmmmm I'll ask a mod about it sometime for a sticky if people found this helpful.
Level 5
Aug 27, 2007
Finale NotePad used to be free, but then they decided to release a new version of it that costs like $10. The old NotePad had lots of issues, like a limit of eight instruments with each piece, and no capabilities for automation or advanced synth control, but it's fun to mess with and may help you decide if you should one day buy a DAW. You can probably find older versions of NotePad for free online somewhere.
Glitch VST:

A free vst that can turn any musical input and obliterate it to a glitchy mess that somehow may sound awesome (basically it chops up the signal and puts random effects over it at various points - you can also choose what effects and in what order they come in, etc.). Great for glitch music.


Glitch sound samples:

a ton of free mp3 computer glitch type mp3s


Free soundfonts:

Synthfont's not exactly that useful without any soundfonts to go with it. This site has plenty of fairly decent soundfonts useful for many situations, ranging from synths horns.


Some ummm..... odd? VST plugins:

Well it's probably going to take some time to figure them out, but this site has some pretty interesting free VST plugins (the gameboy ones are particularly interesting, though definitely difficult to figure out how to use correctly).




A free Gameboy music emulation program, similar to LSDJ (though it works on your actual computer, and not your gameboy)

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Ahhh sorry, forgot about Audacity

It's definitely good if you have a comp that gets a lot of latency, other then that though I'd suggest using something else if your comp can handle a stronger program (Audacity has a few little annoyances with it, like how you have to start a new track each time you record (you can easily cut and past it into the same track, but it's a bit inconvenient).
Level 17
Nov 11, 2010
I love this thread, thank you for making it.
Hopefully I can make something useful from the tools here.

EDIT: 777 posts.
Level 16
Apr 18, 2011

Mixcraft includes over 3000 music loops, sound effects, and music beds that can be easily drag-and-dropped into your project. Combine drum, bass, and guitar loops with synth, organ, pianos, vocals, orchestral and percussion loops to create your own custom arrangement. Set the tempo and key of your choice, and the loops will automatically adjust. Mixcraft supports Acid™ and Garage Band™ loops too.
Level 5
Apr 1, 2010
Free site to make music, with hundreds of existing sound files to use.
MP3 downloads appear to be free up until the end of June 2012, but you can easily bypass this by simply recording what you make with Audacity and using Audacity to save it as an MP3 for use in games, ect.
Level 17
Apr 3, 2010
There is a free version of presonus, found it great, only problem is i think you can't import vsts etc, it has a decent library however.

I just export the track (it exports as wave files), then import those to Audacity to convert to mp3.
Loved it so far :p, because it has the Logic feel that I'm used to xD

{velocity changing etc/fx are a bit weird though}