Life looks very different right now as the novel coronavirus has millions around the world stuck indoors. Festivals, clubs, and even house parties are banned in many cities, leaving musicians (and music lovers) housebound and searching for creative outlets. Over the past few weeks, several music companies have responded by offering freebies in order to,…
Life looks very different right now as the novel coronavirus has millions around the world stuck indoors. Festivals, clubs, and even house parties are banned in many cities, leaving musicians (and music lovers) housebound and searching for creative outlets. Over the past few weeks, several music companies have responded by offering freebies in order to, as Korg said, provide “a musical way to occupy your mind.”
Below, we’ve rounded up an array of apps, plug-ins, sounds, lessons, and even digital audio workstations (DAWs) that are currently free to give tools to musicians and those looking to learn musical skills during the pandemic. A few were already free, but the majority are only free for a limited time. There are tons of deals available, so get ready to hunker down with some new digital toys. Here are some of the top picks, with more to come.
- Fender is offering three months of free guitar lessons for the next 100,000 people who subscribe to its Fender Play app on iOS and Android.
- Moog’s Minimoog Model D iOS app is currently free for a limited time.
- Korg’s loop-based music-making Kaossilator app for iOS and Android is free until March 31st.
- Native Instruments’ vintage synth instrument plug-in Analog Dreams is free until March 31st (usually $50).
- Avid is temporarily issuing a limited number of free 90-day licenses for Media Composer Ultimate, Pro Tools, Pro Tools Ultimate, and Sibelius Ultimate. You must work for a media enterprise or educational institution which already owns the software and whose facilities are closed because of the pandemic.
- Roland has paired up with Skoove to offer three free months of piano lessons for existing Roland piano owners.
- Mixmag has collected a list of free plug-ins, including reverbs, flangers, and gates.
- Likewise, Gear News has a roundup with additional freebies, like an equalizer from HoRNet.
- Two Notes is offering a lifetime license for two virtual speaker cabinets when you download its speaker-cab simulator “Torpedo Wall of Sound” (offer is good until April 30th).
- Cherry Audio’s modular synthesis package “Voltage Modular Nucleus” is now free “for the foreseeable future” (usually $29).
- Online music marketplace Reverb is giving away a bunch of sample packs for free, including “The Complete Reverb Drum Machines Collection,” which has over 1GB of samples from classic instruments, along with many synth packs like “The Synth Sounds of Blade Runner.”
- Producer Sharooz Raoofi is giving away over 1GB of samples created from his massive personal synth and drumbox collection via WeTransfer (so the links will likely expire soon).
- Aubit Sound has made its Chainsmokers-style preset and sample pack “Chain-Pop Vol. 1” free.
- Artist 7 Skies has partnered with Standalone-Music to offer a 1.2GB sample and preset pack for free called “Stay At Home.”
- Music Radar has an impressive (and often updated) list of free sample packs.
- AudioKit’s Synth One app for iOS
- Tenacious Frog’s TF7 Synth (free, but offers in-app purchases)
- Pitch-processing app Voloco for iOS and Android, which I fell in love with after an auto-tuned cat went viral on Twitter
- Social music creation platform BandLab is free and has lots of cleared loops and samples that can be used without worry.
- Sample and plug-in platform Noiiz has tons of free sample packs. You’ll have to create a free account to download them.
- GarageBand, of course.
- Korg’s music production software and plug-in collection for iOS, Korg Gadget 2 Le
- Music making and remixing iOS app Launchpad
- Cockos’ Reaper DAW has a free 60-day trial period with no registration or personal details required.
- Drum machine app Patterning is free on iOS (with in-app purchases to unlock extra features).
- There are loads of royalty-free sounds at Free Sample Packs.