With the widespread availability of digital technology, anyone with a computer can create songs in a matter of minutes within a home studio. However, gathering the necessary equipment for creating music mixes or recording baby's first song can get costly.
Other than large electronics stores or specialty music shops, the internet is the best place to find a large variety of music mixing software. Fortunately, much of this software is available online for free. Some music software is geared toward professional musicians or studio producers and requires a high learning curve. However, there are far more music production programs available online for general users or novices who simply want to make digital mixtapes of their favorite songs or who want to explore DJ-style club mixing.
Audacity is the most popular open source music production software available on the internet. With Audacity, audio can be recorded, edited and mixed with other sounds or special effects. It is user-friendly and available for all PC and MAC computer operating systems. Although Audacity developers do not offer live technical support, written documentation such as user manuals, tutorials, tips and frequently asked questions is available under the Help section of the website. The software can be downloaded for free at audacity.sourceforge.net.
Cnet's download.com is a clearinghouse for all types of open source software and offers a wide variety of MP3 and music mixing programs. All programs are spyware- and virus-free, and most of the software has been rated by site editors or reviewed by other users, which prove helpful in deciding which programs to download. Some of the most frequently downloaded audio production and recording software includes Virtual DJ, Audacity, FL Studio and Magix Music Maker 15. Although the majority of the music programs available are open source, full versions, some are only trial versions and thus may be subject to some feature limitations.
Wave Pad Sound Editor is another free audio production program distributed by NCH Software. Music files can be recorded, cut, copied, sliced and saved in a variety of formats. Wave Pad also includes an internal CD ripper for extracting music directly from a CD into the software. The Wave Pad software is available online at nch.com.au.
With open source audio software, professionals and beginners can create music mixes for a variety of occasions quickly and easily. Choosing which software to use for mixing music is based on personal preference and production needs, but freeware considerably reduces the costs and increases the choices.