10 GarageBand Alternatives for Windows in 2020 [Free]

GarageBand Alternatives for Windows

GarageBand is probably one of the best, if not “The Best”, digital music production apps out there. It has tons of powerful features and tools to carve out the exact tone you desire. The best part about GarageBand? It’s beginner-friendly, and it’s free to download. If you’re just planning to scratch the surface, it would not be intimidating for you. However, GarageBand is only available for Apple devices (Mac, iPhone, and iPad) only.

But if you don’t have an Apple device, say Mac, we have got you covered. Since a majority of people own Windows operated PCs and laptops, they often look for an efficient Windows equivalent. Of course, there’s a simple way to use GarageBand for PC, we’ve still collated the list of possible free GarageBand alternatives for Windows users to be on the safer side. Here you go! 

Note: We’ve also added YouTube videos for each software listed below so that if you’re new to it, you can learn it quickly!

Best GarageBand Windows Alternatives Listed!

Most of these GarageBand Windows alternatives are available for free and a few of them are paid.

#1. Audacity

Preferred by almost every Windows user, Audacity is one of the finest audio editing software out there. It’s free, easy to use, and has a very simple user interface. Do you have big and long audio files to edit? Worry not. Because, the most amazing part of using Audacity is that you can seamlessly work from any devices you like, on your projects that are longer than 1 hour.

It is specially built to work on such audio projects with higher consistency and stability. Audacity supports a huge range of plug-ins and libraries to enhance its functionality. The installation procedure has no complications either.

Key Features:

  • Live sound recording system with audio playback.
  • Control the pitch rate or speed of your recordings.
  • All the basic features including, duplicate, blend, cut, or merge audio files.
  • Multiple audio formats to edit (MP2, AIFF, WAV, FLAC, OGG).
  •  Supports plug-ins for both, 32-bit and 64-bit audio effects.

Drawbacks:

  • Doesn’t support MIDI recordings. Only import options available for MIDI files.
  • No option for multi-band compression.
  • Unable to apply real-time effects.

Download Audacity

#2. FL Studio

Unlike Audacity, FL Studio is not just another audio editing software. It is the complete package. It’s more like a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). FL Studio is often considered as one of the best music production apps for Windows.

The interface has a professional look to it, and you can almost do anything in it. Preferred by most creative artists, you can compose, arrange, mix, and edit high-quality music with it.  

Key Features:

  • Multi-track audio recording, time-stretching, and pitch-rate control.
  • 80 plug-ins available including Producer versions.
  • The most powerful piano roll.
  • Customizable UI.
  • VST standards support.

Drawbacks:

  • Automation management is sluggish.
  • Fewer features to deal with Audio quantization.

Download FL Studio

#3. Ableton Live 10

Here’s the premium alternative to GarageBand that you can completely count on. Ableton Live 10 has the most exceptional sound editing features. It arrived with a huge upgrade over its predecessor, Live 9.

It has an array of powerful and flexible plug-ins to expand its functionality with the creative DAW. You can do re-sampling, audio manipulation, sequencing, and lots more. Spend a few bucks, and you have the most complete, feature-rich, and professional digital music production app.

Key Features:

  • Clip-based real-time editing and synthesis work process.
  • Powerful automation management.
  • Multiple MIDI files are edited at once.
  • New synthesizer, Wavetable to create phenomenal sounds.
  • New echo and capture feature.

Drawbacks:

  • No feature available for track comping.
  • Unable to view notation and tablature.

Download Ableton Live 10 Lite

#4. Avid Pro Tools

Pro tools is one of the leading DAW platforms for music production. It has a ton of features to work with and that also on a professional level. Pro Tools almost dominates the professional audio production facilities. Since this application is used on professional platforms, it’s not cheap and easy to use.

It has an option to easily compose and deliver any kind of music you want, be it from human voice to an unlimited number of virtual instruments including the audio effects. You can try the Pro Tool First for free. It has a variety of features as well.

Key Features:

  • Up to 1024 MIDI tracks editing.
  • 115+ plug-ins to choose from.
  • Undo deleted tracks.
  • Freeze tracks to save CPU usage.
  • Save and load plug-in chains.
  • Collaboration option available as a member of Avid’s Artist Community. 

Drawbacks:

  • Premium plug-ins are expensive.
  • Unable to co-operate with third-party interfaces.
  • Complicated user interface.

Download Avid Pro Tools

#5. Steinberg Cubase

Cubase is also an excellent choice for a well-rounded and complete DAW. You can make high-quality audios and edit them just the way you want. Producing a piece of trap music or background scoring of a film, both are a piece of cake with Cubase. It has a huge array of professional plug-ins to choose from.

Any instrument or sound you can think of, Cubase has the right tool for it. Producing, mixing, tracking, and editing has been this easy. It’s your one-stop solution digital music production app.

Key Features:

  • Audio wrap quantization.
  • Comp pads to create quick music.
  • A MixConsole with smartly equipped features and a stunning user interface.
  • Fully-integrated voice editing and pitch manipulation with VariAudio.
  • Multiple projects handled with MediaBay.
  • Exclusive Channel Strip.

Drawbacks:

  • Quite expensive in comparison to its competitors.
  • Mandatory to carry a dongle to keep the license plugged or you can’t use Cubase.
  • No Sampler features.

Download Steinberg Cubase

#6. Studio One

Studio One 5 is the latest edition of the well renowned professional audio manufacturer, PreSonus. You can almost do everything a premium audio software can do. Compose, mix and produce your own unique piece of music with Studio One.

You can personalize your workflow just the way you want to. The drag-and-drop option is a handy one to discover new features to be more intuitive.

Key Features:

  • Equipped with 5 powerful amp systems, Ampire.
  • Built-in Melodyne Essential with ARA 2.0 support (+custom integration).
  • Audio Batch Converter for manipulation, procession, and conversion of audio files.
  • Aux channels and extended mixer scenes.
  • VST2/VST3/AU plug-in support for 64-bit.
  • Time Stretch mode.

Drawbacks:

  • Notation editor not available.
  • Complicated installation process.

Download Studio One

#7. Reaper

Another professional audio mixing software is Reaper. It’s a well-equipped digital audio workstation. This one is most popular among the rising newcomer artists.

It has almost all the essential features to compose and create professional music. It’s a stable software, yet efficient and feature-packed.


Key Features:

  • Advanced MIDI editing and multi-track recording.
  • Customizable UI.
  • Lightweight for older computer systems.

Drawbacks:

  • Solid plug-ins not available. Third-party plug-ins are recommended.
  • Complicated functions.
  • No LV2 support.
  • Closed source.

Download Reaper

These are the most recommended Windows alternatives for GarageBand you can opt for. However, there are some other digital music production apps you can check out.

#8. LMMS

LMMS is an open-source and cross-platform audio editing software. It’s quite user-friendly and has a good variety of audio instruments and plug-ins. It has a lot of audio samples to work on. Supports external samples, and you can import tracks from your mobile as well.

Download LMMS

#9. Mixcraft 8 Home

Equipped with a large and diverse library of loops, Mixcraft 8 can compose high-quality songs with ease. All the basic features of a good digital audio workstation are available along with the live recording feature. Mixcraft 8 is well suited for beginners.

Download Mixcraft 8 Home

#10. PropellerHead Reason

This one is mostly recommended for people who want to make electronic or hip-hop music. It has a huge number of options in terms of virtual instruments. You can collaborate with other producers via Rewire. However, it is not recommended for hardcore professional editing.

Download PropellerHead Reason

Closing Thoughts!

There are various other GarageBand equivalent for Windows available, I might have missed a few. But these are the most used digital music production apps for Windows, preferred by professional artists. Each one of these software have a free-trial version. It’s recommended to try everything and choose the one that fits your requirement.

If you have any other better options for GarageBand Windows alternatives, do let us know in the comment section right away. We will be happy to add them into our existing list. Till then, keep playing!

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