7 Free (or Cheap) Music Software Programs

Music and technology have become inseparable friends, and more and more often musicians are using software to create original music rather than doing it purely organically. But accessing that software can be difficult, in particular because most musicians – especially if they’re just starting out – are on a pretty tight budget for investing in the tools they need to create.

However, a big range of digital audio workstations and software platforms that are either freeware or superbly low in price are available for musicians on a shoestring budget. Here are seven of the best free or cheap music software programs available.

Krissy7 Free (or Cheap) Music Software Programs
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5 Steps to Achieving the Perfect Mix (Without Expensive Gear)

When you picture professional producers, mixers, and mastering engineers like Dr. Dre, Bob Ludwig, and Rick Rubin, what are they usually working with? Massive mixing boards? Huge state-of-the-art speakers? Thousand-dollar headphones? Priceless vintage equipment? That sounds about right, doesn’t it?

If we all had access to gear like that, you might think life would be much easier — and you would probably be right — but there are still many ways to achieve a great mix on a budget. If you have a smartphone or a computer, you’re already well on your way to achieving a good mix.

Tyler5 Steps to Achieving the Perfect Mix (Without Expensive Gear)
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It’s Not Just What You’re Saying: Five Ways Your Lyrics Can Have Impact

Some songwriters absolutely dread the process of writing lyrics, while others love the poetic element of creating music. Whatever your opinion of lyric writing, here are five potentially surprising ways that you can improve the impact of your lyrics to take your songs to the next level.

DaveIt’s Not Just What You’re Saying: Five Ways Your Lyrics Can Have Impact
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A Quick Guide to Microphones

It’s microphone mastery time, folks. Whether you’re a crooner, instrument geek, or linguistic lover, you’re gonna need to understand how mics work and how best to utilize them for your needs. Here’s a video primer to get you stage ready.

JoyA Quick Guide to Microphones
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Two Million Views & Counting: Meet Lyon Hart

“One of the most challenging aspects will always be ‘where do I fit in this music landscape?’ It’s easy to chase after the newest trend or the latest Hype Machine genre hybrid. Finding a sound and a perspective that is true to YOU is the real challenge.”

Meet singer/songwriter Lyon Hart, who’s been in the music game for over a decade as a member of several bands, writing toplines for DJs, lending his vocals as a featured artist, and finally coming into his own as a solo artist. Most recently, he’s been making heads turn with his candid lyrics, sultry vocals, and stunning visuals.

We caught up with Lyon to learn about his journey as an artist, the inspiration behind his brand new video “Delusional,”  the advantages of collaborating with artists outside your comfort zone, and how powerful visual design can lead to over 2 million YouTube views.

DaveTwo Million Views & Counting: Meet Lyon Hart
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Five Writer’s Block-Busting Brain Hacks For Musicians You Must Try

The blank page, the blinking cursor, the silent keys and strings, and that sense of absolute emptiness that gives way to frustration and desperation. Even the best writers know it well. There’s nothing worse than trying to fill your own giant shoes when all you can think of is rhyming love with heaven above. Wings of a….dove?

Writer’s block sucks.

DaveFive Writer’s Block-Busting Brain Hacks For Musicians You Must Try
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It’s Your Voice, Not Your Pitch.

Bob Dylan. Billy Corgan. Kesha. Conor Oberst. Ani DiFranco. Neil Young. Picking up on a theme here? All are fantastic artists, and all have been accused of being “bad” singers. Yet they still connect with millions of fans and are able to stand out from the crowd, in part because of the unique qualities of their voices.

DaveIt’s Your Voice, Not Your Pitch.
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How Guitar Amps Work And What You Can Do To Start Tweaking Your Own

This post originally appeared on Flypaper by our friends at Soundfly.

Electric guitars play a big role in nearly every type of music these days, and the amplifier is a huge part of the equation. Guitar amps might seem complicated, but they’re really just a lot of simple electronics wired together, and it doesn’t take too long to fully understand what’s going on in there. Plus, working on your amp when something is wrong can be both fun and rewarding, not to mention possibly essential if you’re on the road and in need of a quick fix! So here’s a basic overview of how amps work and what you can do to start tweaking your own.

DaveHow Guitar Amps Work And What You Can Do To Start Tweaking Your Own
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