8 Best GarageBand Alternatives for Windows

GarageBand does not work with Windows, but there are a number of different apps and audio recording software options available that offer similar tools and features. If you want to start recording music or editing, any of these can be a solid option.

I’ve been making music for most of my life, and I love home recording and everything involved with it. I have plenty of experience with GarageBand and know many of the alternatives that work well for Windows.  

This post will provide you with some solid GarageBand alternatives for Windows. I’ll touch on some of the best free and paid audio recording software and apps you can use if you don’t have an Apple device. 

Let’s get started. 

Can I Use GarageBand on Windows?

GarageBand is only available for Apple devices like MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads. The app does not work for Windows, so you can’t find it or download it if you have any type of non-Apple device. 

If you are running Windows or any device with it, there’s no need to look for GarageBand because you won’t have any luck. But there are plenty of options similar to GarageBand to give you a PC version of audio recording software.   

Free GarageBand Alternatives for Windows

Here are all of the free GarageBand alternatives for windows. There are more out there, but the ones you see below are some of my favorite options. 

1. Audacity

Audacity is one of the top free GarageBand Alternatives for windows. This is another easy-to-use app that gives you everything you need to record, mix, and track music at your fingertips. 

One of my favorite things about Audacity is its cross-platform and open-source design. This means you can use the software on just about any device, Windows included. But it will also work on macOS and GNU/Linux. 

2. Cakewalk

Cakewalk is another solid free audio recording platform for Windows. It’s been around for a while, but the company that designed the software was purchased in recent years, and it wasn’t as easy to find for a while. 

But luckily, Cakewalk is still free to download for Windows, and it gives you a number of tools and software instruments you can use to start making good music quickly and easily. I like its editing tools, and it’s a breeze to work on in terms of simplicity. 

3. MCP Beats by Akai

If you like the simplicity of making beats in GarageBand, you are going to love what MCP Beats by Akai has to offer. This is a solid all-around beat-making app that works with Windows and gives you the ability to start laying down great beats in minutes. 

The free download will give you 16 different pads to load up with a bunch of samples, drums, and loops that come included for free. There is also a sample editor where you can chop and edit things however you want to on the pursuit of the perfect beat. 


LMMS is another alternative to explore, and this is also an open-source audio recording software that gives you the ability to lay down tracks, edit and develop full-on songs for free. It has a simple design that is very easy to get used to. 

This is a good option for anyone who has experience with FL Studio because it has a similar feel and function to that popular recording platform. But unlike FL, you don’t need to shell out any cash to start working in it.  

Here are some of the best paid GarageBand Alternatives for Windows. These obviously come with a price tag, but they will all allow you to create amazing music and give you excellent audio recording capabilities. 

1. Cubase

Cubase is a sweet piece of audio recording and production software that gives you the power of a full studio right in the box. It’s one of the well-known options in professional music recording and can allow you to make a number of different types of recording. 

Cubase is relatively easy to learn, which makes it a good option for beginner musicians or audio engineers who want professional-level software but don’t quite have professional-level skills. But that doesn’t mean it’s not capable of working well for serious pros also. 

This platform also features a very intuitive interface, which is nice if you are looking for something similar to GarageBand or Logic. You won’t need to spend hours trying to figure out your workflow and can get started on great projects quickly. 

2. FL Studio

FL Studio is another one of the top options out there in the world of digital audio workstations. This is a well-known software that is very capable and fun to work with. It’s easy to get started, and the sky is the limit with what you can create. 

I really like that FL studio comes in different versions to match your budget. There is a free demo version you can try or you can pay anywhere from $99 to $499 to get additional tools, features, and plugins. 

FL Studio will work with Windows and is also compatible with macOS. So no matter what type of system you have, you can put this software into use.

3. Ableton

If you want to make or record live music, Ableton is one of the best options out there for this purpose. This excellent and easy-to-use music creation and performance software is a regular favorite for many DJs and electronic music makers I know. 

This is also similar to GarageBand in the way it functions and how simple it is to get started with recording. Even if you don’t have much experience, you can open up a new session and figure things out pretty quickly if you know the basics of recording. 

If you want to use all the features and functions Ableton has, you’ll want to pay for Ableton Live. You can also check out Ableton Push, which is a bit more geared to making music in the studio than on stage. 

4. Reason

I have a handful of friends who really like to use Reason for their windows-based audio recording needs, and it’s a solid choice all-around. Many producers like this software because you can work up a unique sound that is all your own. 

Another advantage of Reason is that you can use The Rack plugin with any other DAW you might be using. You still need to pay for it, but it will expand the capabilities of any digital studio you already have going in Ableton, FL Studio, or ProTools. 

One thing I don’t really like about Reason is how expensive it is. The full version is one of the most expensive options out there. It’s not good if you are on a budget, but worth exploring if money is not an issue.   

Final Thoughts 

If you are running Windows, you can’t use GarageBand. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have access to some solid options for recording software. The free and paid options you see above are my recommended choices for anyone making music or recording with Windows. 

Do you have a favorite PC version of GarageBand or have anything to add to my list here? Let me know in the comments below!

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