GarageBand Alternatives: Music Production Programs for Professionals in 2019

By Deepak Parihar / February 6, 2019

Music producers, both professional and beginners have been using GarageBand for years. The software is a fully equipped music creation studio designed for Mac devices. It has a complete sound library with the presets for voice and instruments. With just the right match of hardware and software, GarageBand’s intuitive design makes it possible to play, record and create the music of your choice. However, the platform has certain issues. GarageBand doesn’t allow you to change the tempo, and its 2 layers of effect are not enough for serious creators. Adding to that, it is only available on Mac. If you are like others who want a more advanced platform, or perhaps need a music producing software for Windows devices, here are some of the best tools like GarageBand to consider.

In this article, we have listed 10 best GarageBand alternatives that can match the status of GarageBand in terms of functionalities and production. Here is the list.


Garageband Alternatives - LMMS
Supported Platforms MacOS, Windows, Linux
Price Free
Pros Built-in instruments, Google Drive integration
Cons Complex for beginners
Visit LMMS

LMMS is known for its built-in samples and instruments. It is an open source production software, which we found both powerful and flexible. While most of the alternatives on the list have a price tag, LMMS manages to deliver all its professional music production for free. The platform has a reasonably clean design and isn’t very complex to experiment and produce beats on. On the platform, you can easily integrate synthesizers and play via musical typing. Adding to that, you can also map your computer keyboard to the notes on the instrument and take advantage of its visual mapping.

While testing, we found LMMS filled with an impressive array of features and samples. For the mentioned reasons, LMMS scores the top position in our list of GarageBand Alternatives. We would recommend this to all the professionals.

2. FL Studio

Garageband Alternatives - FL Studio
Supported Platforms MacOS, Windows, Android, iOS
Price $99- $899
Pros VST plugins, Channel Menu
Cons Expensive full version program
Visit FL Studio

Formerly known as FruityLoops, FL Studio is a complete digital audio workstation which features a graphical interface based on Pattern-based music sequencer. For Windows devices, the program is available in three versions; Fruity Edition, Producer Edition, and Signature Bundle. It’s a professional tool and has a one-time payment model that costs between $99 to $899, depending on the version you pick. Once you buy the product, FL Studio promises all its future updates for free.

FL Studio features a fully reworked scalable interface and supports an incredible set of plugins. Its recording and mixing tools make it a good alternative. In simple words, FL Studio makes production an efficient and pleasurable activity.

3. Ardour

Garageband Alternatives - Ardour
Supported Platforms MacOS, Windows, Linux
Price $1 (Perpetual license)
Pros Supportive community, Multi-display support
Cons Doesn’t support VST Plugins
Visit Ardour

Ardour is a digital audio workstation that also functions as a hard disk recorder. The software is specifically designed for professional use. The program is open source, which means you can download and modify it without any restriction. Ardour is available cross-platform and is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. While testing the program, we found its clean linear interface pretty intuitive and structured.

The program can be subscribed at a minimum cost of $1 for downloading pre-built binaries. Subscribed users are also entitled to other minor updates. The program also offers another subscription model that requires you to pay between $1 to $10 per month and allows you to download all the binaries updates in the subscription period.

4. Ableton Live

Garageband Alternatives - Ableton Live
Supported Platforms Mac, Windows
Price $100 - $750
Pros No VST3 Support, Cluttered interface
Cons Advanced content browser and automation
Visit Ableton Live

Ableton Live is a special program that helps users in creating, finishing and performing music. It isn’t boasting when it promises that the program can be used on stage for live gigs, as the name itself suggests. The program’s interface is split up into two. First, the classical arrangement view where the music is laid along a timeline and second, the session view, where you can experiment with the musical ideas.

The latest version of Ableton Live is packed with audio improvements and workflow enhancements. We found that this helps you get from a set of musical ideas to finished songs, only in a few simple steps.

5. Reaper

Garageband Alternatives - Reaper
Supported Platforms MacOS, Windows
Price $60 - $225
Pros VST Plugins, Supports MIDI
Cons Complex structure
Visit Reaper

Beginners who try Reaper often complain about its complex structure. It is not a secret that the highest level of production demands a complex software. However, the professionals who have spent enough time on the program praise it for its rich capabilities, particularly for live instrumentation. While testing the program, we found that the users get a lot of options out of its package. It might be a little frictional at the start, but with a certain level of knowledge, the possibilities on the software are endless.

Reaper, with its impressive library of VST effects, costs under $60 for personal use. This complex looking alternative is strictly for professionals, and people with patience.

6. Cubase

Garageband Alternatives - Cubase
Supported Platforms MacOS, Windows
Price $350 - $640
Pros Music Composer, Support for VST plugins
Cons No sampler, Sample editing
Visit Cubase

Cubase is popular for its professional output. The platform promises professional-grade results by integrating modern features with the traditional forms of synthesizers. The platform has advanced audio editing tools and a music sequencer with the support of MIDI. It has special tools which allow users to switch between genres within the same screen. By that we mean you can see all your takes on a single track.

Cubase greatly impresses music lovers. All the credit goes to its large selection of time stretching methods. We also found that the recent updates of the software have added some great features. You must check it out.

7. Adobe Audition

Garageband Alternatives - Adobe Audition
Supported Platforms MacOS, Windows
Price $74.99 per month
Pros Audio restoration, VST plugins
Cons Highly dependable on the Internet
Visit Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition is a professional tool that promises to make your videos and audios sound their best. It’s the ease in its operation that makes Adobe Audition a comfortable alternative to Garageband. The program is a part of the Adobe suite cloud creative that syncs your work between all your devices. It also offers other supplement programs from Adobe that could highly upgrade your production process. The program is efficient at performing all spheres of production tasks which includes recording, mixing and sound restoration.

The other thing that stands out is its clean interface. The program comes with a huge community to help you get started. It is arguably the easiest program on the list, with all the comfort of the entire Adobe family.

8. Walk Band

Garageband Alternatives - Walk Band
Supported Platforms Android
Price Free
Pros Drum matrix editing, Virtual instrument
Cons Not available for Desktop
Visit Walk Band

Walk Band is a multi-track music studio which is specifically designed for Android platform. The program is feature packed with piano, drum kit, guitar, bass, drum machine, multi-tracks synthesizer, and other instruments. All the instruments on the platform use the realistic instrument sounds. Walk Band makes the complex tasks a simple job of drag and drop, like adding drum beats and guitar chords to your piano melody. The best part is that whatever you produce can be stored right on your mobile and can be accessed whenever wherever.

Walk Band supports external MIDI keyboard over USB and can be directly connected to YAMAHA and Roland midi. This alternative is our best pick for your Android devices.

9. Audio Tool

Supported Platforms Web
Price Free
Pros Modular System, Community based
Cons No applications available
Visit Audio Tool

Audio Tool is designed around producing music by collaborating with other artists. Adding to that, you can access its full-featured platform with any device that has a browser. This modular alternative comes with a powerful set of tools ranging from samplers to mixers and synthesizers with delays and reverbs. This advanced Digital Audio Workstation allows the flexibility of modular routing. It also features an arsenal of sound designers, which can help creators produce any sound they can imagine.

Audio Tool comes with a sweet mixture of social and professional studio features, which allows you to produce music and then follow musicians to collaborate. The platform also features MIDI integration and tools.

10. Bitwig Studio

Garageband Alternatives - Bitwig Studio
Supported Platforms MacOS, Windows, Linux
Price $169 - $399
Pros Supports expressive MIDI and VST plugins
Cons Unreliable production, Pricey
Visit Bitwig Studio

Bitwig Studio is designed around quick workflow which allows users to do what they want when they want, and how they want. The program supports expressive MIDI which uses the Seaboard, Continuum and other modern expressive controllers. This is what makes Bitwig Studio a multi-platform music-creation system for production, mixing and Djing. This tool also features a wide range of flexible editing tools.

Bitwig Studio is a highly modular platform that can also work very efficiently through a preset browser. It supports touch screen and can seamlessly integrate itself with Eurorack. All this makes this platform a great music production tool.

Well, here are our best picks on GarageBand alternatives that would contribute to your artistic dreams. According to our tests, these software are the best in line for music production and the other audio-editing related tasks.

Do you agree with our list, or do you think we have missed one of your favorite music production platforms? Do let us know in the comments. Also, to get instant tech updates, Follow TechNadu’s Facebook page, and Twitter handle.

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