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.

Samples

Already free

  • Berklee College of Music offers more than 40 open online courses, including “Creating Sounds for Electronic Music,” “Introduction to Ableton Live,” and “The Art of Vocal Production.” Make sure to check the start date for courses you’re interested in registering for.
  • Traktion recently launched its Waveform Free DAW for OSX, Windows, and Linux.
  • AudioKit’s Synth One app for iOS
  • Beat and loop mixing app Music Maker JAM for iOS and Android (free, but offers in-app purchases)
  • 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.

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