Music Gear News
Free Music Software and Learning Tools
Free Music Software and Learning Tools
The world is looking very different due to COVID-19. Here’s some free software and learning platforms to stay creative and keep learning at home.
Music companies have been quick to show their support for creatives at home by offering a plethora of free software and online courses. Here’s a selection of online resources, whether you want to learn something new with or try out some different software.
VST instruments, DAW computer software, and other audio tools to try out for free.
Moog Minimoog Model D– free iOS App
Moog is legendary in the world of analog synthesizers, and you can now get some of their iconic sounds for free. For a limited time, the Minimoog Model D iOS app is available free of charge. Access 160 presets and explore sounds with interactive controls.
Find out more | Moog Minimoog Model D iOS app
Ready for a ‘real’ synth?
Roland - Free Zenbeats Unlock App
Roland is offering its Zenbeats app for free for iOS and Android users. This offer includes the unlock in-app purchase which usually retails for $15, giving you significantly more features than the core app.
Zenbeats is a music production app which lets you create music, no matter what your level of experience. With polyphonic instruments, beatmaking tools featuring classic Roland TR drum machine sounds, and the SampleVerse sampling tool, you'll find everything you need to inspire new ideas and develop your sounds. Get 23 instruments and 500MB of samples for free with this download.
Find out more | Roland Zenbeats App
See more | Roland Synths at Gear4music
AKAI Professional - Free 3-month Splice trial
To celebrate Splice integration in Akai Professional’s Standalone Series, Splice Sounds is offering a free 3-month trial to AKAI users. This includes the AKAI Force, AKAI MPC Live, AKAI MPC X, and AKAI MPC One.
With access to millions of royalty-free samples, loops, and presets, you can get all the inspiration you need to create your next track. Everything in Splice is crafted by professional producers and artists, so you know you'll be getting a truly professional palette of sounds to work with.
This offer is available for new owners, and for past users with any MPC standalone system.
Find out more | AKAI Professional MPC
Wavesfactory – free plugins and Kontakt instruments for drum production and sound design
Mallorca-based Wavesfactory is offering a free collection of plugins and Kontakt instruments to enhance your music production. The free plugins can be used in any DAW that supports AU, VST, VST3, or AAX plugin formats.
Cassette Transport - simulates the sound of a tape speeding up and slowing down. Also includes physical button noises and rotor sounds. Perfect for sound design!
SnareBuzz - add the sound of snare drum wires to your audio track with this simulator. Ideal for enhancing the sound of a drum kit recording when using a limited number of microphones - not everyone can multi-mic a snare drum!
SK10 Subkick Simulator - boosts the sound of your kick drum with this subkick simulator.
Free Kontakt Instruments - explore this range of instruments including 1850 Pipe Organ, Typewriter, Freelodica, Music Box, and more! These instruments are ideal for sound designers and Foley in video post-production.
See our Studio & Production page for more studio gear.
Two notes – free Torpedo Wall of Sound
Two notes Audio Engineering is offering free lifetime licences of its Torpedo Wall of Sound plugin before 30 April. This software emulates mic’d guitar cabinets to give you a studio-ready guitar tone without the need for a real cab or microphone.
The free licence includes two virtual cabs (a 4x12’’ based on a Marshall Slash signature and a 2x12’’ based on a HiWatt with Fane speakers). You’ll also get 9 power amp emulations, EQ, ‘overload’ feature for speaker cone distortion, and 8 reverb/room emulations.
Find out more | Two notes Torpedo Wall of Sound, free licence
Two Notes have a range of preamp pedals, attenuators, loadboxes, and IR devices that allow you to create professional guitar tones at home, in the studio, and on stage. Two Notes are the masters at allowing you to use your tube amp silently, capturing its tone directly without a mic or live space.
Find out more | Two Notes
Reason - Free Analog Sequencer
Until 15 April, Reason Studios is allowing you to download a free copy of the AS-16 Analog Sequencer Rack Extension. AS-16 is a 16-channel analog CV sequencer with MIDI and audio features.
AS-16 allows you to program a sequence and modify it in real time using pad, jump, and skip buttons. Users can also use note scales to easily make bass lines ready for further MIDI editing, or use built-in audio modifiers as an advanced envelope generator. Multiple devices can be joined together, giving you unlimited channels for even more possibilities.
Find out more | Reason AS-16 Analog Sequencer
See more from Reason Studios | Reason Studios software and bundles
Steinberg – free 60-day trial of #StayHome Elements Collection
Steinberg is offering a unique #StayHome Elements Collection of software, free of charge for 60 days. Aiming to do something good for music lovers in these unpredented times, Steinberg's message is, "Stay Home, Create Music".
Before 15 May 2020, users can download this unique software package including Cubase Elements (music production and recording), Dorico Elements (notation), Wavelab Elements (editing and mastering), and the Absolute Collection (100GB of sound content for production) - free of charge for 60 days.
Find out more | Steinberg Stay Home And Create Music Promotion
Need an audio interface to make the most of this offer? See Steinberg Audio Interfaces
Need some recording gear to make the most of this trial? See our Home Recording page for more studio and podcasting gear.
Apple Logic Pro X – free 90-day-trial
For the first time, Apple is offering a 90-day trial of its premium Logic Pro X DAW for Mac. This software includes a huge array of built-in tools and virtual instruments for making music. Apple customers can also claim a 90-day free trial of Final Cut Pro X for all your video editing needs.
Find out more | Apple Logic Pro X 90-day trial
Need some recording gear to make the most of this trial? See our Home Recording page for more studio and podcasting gear.
Ableton Live 10 Suite – free 90-day trial
Ableton Live 10 DAW software lets you create, perform and produce with an incredibly intuitive interface. Both Mac and PC users will find built-in instruments, sounds, kits and loops to make almost any kind of music.
You can now download a free 90-day trial to get creating at home. With the huge range of built-in features and sounds, you’ll be able to start making music straight out the box [or should that be, straight out the .zip file?].
Find out more | Ableton Live 90-day trial
Need a production device to control your Ableton Live software?
Arturia Free Software
Arturia is offering two pieces of free software. iSpark is an iPad drum machine app (free until 30 April), and Pigments 2 is a plugin synth for PC/Mac (free from 2 April – 3 July).
Find out more | Arturia iSpark for iPhone/iPad
Find out more | Arturia Pigments 2
Looking for more from Arturia?
- Shop now | Arturia Hardware & Software
- See the award-winning Arturia V-Collection 7 (piano and synth virtual instruments)
- Save now | V-Collection 6 is on sale now!
Reaper 6 – Free 3-month trial
Cockos’ fully-featured Reaper 6 music production software is available with a free 3-month trial. Redeem before the end of June to get your free 3-month trial of this DAW which has found popularity with YouTube producer Glen Fricker, among others.
Find out more | Cockos Reaper Free Trial
Learn something new
Here is a selection of online courses and gear guides so you can learn something new at home.
Fender Play – free 3 months’ access
Learn guitar at home with 3 months of free lessons from Fender. Perfect for new and progressing players, Fender Play has instructor-guided videos as well as jam tracks from Led Zeppelin, Green Day, Sia, Shawn Mendes, and many more.
Find out more | Fender Play 3-month trial
Need a guitar to start learning with?
- Fender Guitars, Bass Guitars, and Acoustics
- Squier by Fender Guitars from £105.
- Electric Guitar Starter Packs from £84.99
- Acoustic Guitar Packs from £49.99
- Bass Guitar Packs from £114.99
Alesis - Free Piano Lessons with Skoove
Alesis is offering a 3-month free trial with Skoove when you buy a keyboard or piano! Skoove Premium gives you more than 200 free piano lesssons. It's perfect for both beginners and advanced players alike.
To redeem, all you need to do is buy an Alesis digital piano at Gear4music - the new-for-2020 Alesis Recital 61 is a fantastic choice with built-in metronome, record function, and handy "learn mode" for when you're back to having lessons in person.
Shop now | Alesis Digital Pianos
Roland & Skoove – Free Online Piano Lessons
Roland has committed to support musicians at home by partnering with Skoove to offer 3 months of free piano lessons. If you own a Roland piano, you can get unlimited access to hundreds of songs and interactive courses – all available in an instant at your computer, smartphone or tablet. Skoove is also great for helping teachers work with students online and keep track of their progress.
If you don’t own a Roland piano, you can still get a free Skoove beginner piano course here with 27 songs. Teachers and educational institutions get Skoove Premium for free!
Find out more | Free Online Piano Lessons With Roland & Skoove
- Shop now | Roland Digital Pianos
- See more | Digital Pianos at Gear4music
- Need a complete pack? Keyboard Packages and Digital Piano Packages
Casio - Learn @Home with Free Piano Lessons
Casio have some great solutions for learning at home. You can get free lessons and apps with selected Casio keyboards and digital pianos.
Casio Music Academy: Free with ALL Casio pianos and keyboards! Access free piano lessons with this online learning platform. No prior knowledge needed - just a digital piano and compatible device.
Casio's online academy has videos and interactive software to track your progress and help you improve.
Rockschool Downloads: Selected Casio instruments include a free downloadable music pack from the Rockschool examination board. Learn tracks from your favourite artists.
Chordana Play App: Chordana Play Piano and Chordana Play are free interactive aps for iOS and Android to help you learn piano with no prior experience! Connect a Casio piano or keyboard to your smart device via USB cable and learn 50 built-in songs or any MIDI file you choose.
Find out more | Casio Learn @Home
See more | Casio Pianos and Keyboards at Gear4music
Roland - 3 Months of Free DJ Sounds
Sharpen up your DJ skills with three free months of BPM Supreme!
Roland has partnered with BPM Supreme to offer a free three-month subscription with any Roland DJ controller purchased since the 1st of March 2020.
BPM Supreme is a pro-level digital record pool with a huge catalogue of tracks from back in the 70’s right through to current chart toppers perfect for DJs, producers and remixers.
Simply register your Roland DJ controller via Roland Backstage and enjoy three free months of unlimited MP3 audio downloads and unlimited MP4 video downloads all totally DJ ready and tagged with BPM, Genre, and Key.
Native Instruments – Stay home, stay creative
Native Instruments shares its tips for staying creative at home.
Read more | Native Instruments – stay home, stay creative
See more from Native Instruments:
- Native Instruments Komplete 12 software
- Native Instruments MIDI Controllers
- Native Instruments Audio Interfaces
Berklee – Online Courses
Berklee Online offers a range of ‘massive open online courses’ (MOOCs), completely free of charge. You’ll find a range of courses in music technology, production, theory, musicianship, business, therapy, performance, improvisation, songwriting, and much more.
Find out more | Berklee Online Courses
Free Sheet Music from Warwick Music Group
Brass players will pleased to hear that Warwick Music Publishing is giving away 10 of its best-selling titles! Until 30th June 2020, you can download this selection of digital sheet music for free.
Designed to support students and teachers with remote learning or online lessons, this collection includes music for trumpet, trombone, tuba, and more.
Find out more | Warwick Music - FREE Digital Sheet Music
Need a fantastic beginner brass instrument or a lightweight alternative to your main instrument?
- Shop now | pBone Plastic Trombones
- Shop now | pTrumpet Plastic Trumpets and pCornet Plastic Cornets
Yamaha - Free Online Concerts
Yamaha's Live From Home campaign allows you to watch free online tutorials, concerts, and other fantastic content from the comfort of your own home.
Live From Home includes a huge range of content created by artists across the globe from their own homes. You can catch upcoming live streams and pre-recorded videos, hosted in English, Spanish, Italian, or Portugese.
Find out more | Yamaha - Live From Home
See more | Yamaha Musical Instruments at Gear4music
Sennheiser - Professional Audio Webinars
Sennheiser is pleased to announce a series of free webinars over the coming weeks. You can take part in a range of topics, from the basics of Sennheiser Wireless Systems and Sennheiser Microphones, to discussions with sound engineers and the engineering team.
Hosted in English, German, and French, this is a great chance to learn from the professionals and see how other people use audio technology in real-world applications.
Find out more | Sennheiser Professional Audio Webinars
Neumann - Microphone Basics Webinar
In collaboration with Sennheiser, Neumann is offering a webinar where you can learn about microphone design and operation. Covering the basics and moving on to best practice, this is your chance to get involved and learn from the masters.
- Apr 3, 2020 01:30 PM (Berlin time)
- Apr 17, 2020 01:30 PM (Berlin time)
- Apr 24, 2020 01:30 PM (Berlin time)
Find out more | Webinar registration - Neumann Microphone Basics
Universal Audio – Online Guides
Check out Universal Audio’s range of online blog posts and learn something new.
- Killer Clean Guitar Tones with UAD and Cory Wang from Vulfpeck
- Prophet of the Dance Floor – EDM sounds with Flosstradomus
- Learn How to Mix Acoustic Guitars with Jacquire King
- Learning to Plug In – How to Track Better Vocals
That’s just for starters!
Universal Audio are class leaders in the synergy of audio hardware with premium plugins. Access the UAD plugin library for incredible emulations of classic studio analog gear.
Find out more | Universal Audio Equipment
Gear4music Gear Guides
If you’re looking for advice about gear, check out this selection of our own blog posts.
Start Something New – essential bundles with everything you need to start a new instrument, begin music production, record at home, podcast, or start DJing.
How To Start A Podcast – the gear guide to help you start your own show.
Home Recording Guide – setup your own home studio with the right gear.
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