The "List of free sound and music apps" thread

If you’ve got some free resources for sound clips or music that you use and are willing to promote this is the thread for talking about them.

The list so far:


I’m kind of fond of Incompetech.

It’s got several hundred tracks available for use as long as you stick a credit in your game. Just be careful with which songs you pick; from personal experience, there’s nothing more distracting than playing a game and immediately recognizing a song from somewhere else.

I actually do music production as well, and for some quick feedback on existing stuff as well as some recs:

LMMS is more of a toy than a proper DAW. It lacks so many basic features that you’re never going to make something polished sounding from it.

Labchirp is neat, but there are alternatives that may be more useful for production. There are a lot of VST plugins for various chiptune synths, as well as magic 8bit plug if you want “the standard.”

Audacity is actually awesome. You’re not going to see features as in a more complete suite but it’s dead simple and has a solid suite of effects along with it.

Royalty-free music is royalty-free music, you have to be careful how you use it because it can be so frequently used that it can be annoying to hear.

Now for contributions:
Ardour is a semi-free DAW that’s pretty fully featured and supports plugins. I say semi free because while it’s open source if you want it free you need to build from source.

Cakewalk recently went completely free after Gibson sold it. Not sure why, but it’s a commercial-quality DAW with most features of competitors. I already have my DAW of choice so I can’t comment much on how good it is since it’s confusing and weird to me, but other than that it’s very, very good for the price point of 0 dollars. This is without a doubt the best option if you want something that hits hard for no money.

Tracktion is a non-free DAW that they offer old versions of for free. It’s alright, it’s kind of feature poor and pretty dated. Not a huge fan of this one.

Reaper is a commercial DAW that is sort of free. It’s technically paid and if you want to use it for anything commercial you really should pay, but it’s just nagware like winrar. Once the trial expires you can still use full functionality it just wags it’s finger at you every time you start. It’s pretty cheap compared to other DAWs as well. I’ve never personally used it but I’ve heard good things about it.

VCV Rack is a virtual modular synthesizer similar to Reaktor but with a more eurorack like display. Unbelievably it is completely free. The developers make their money by selling panel plugins for it. Despite this, plenty of free plugins exist for it that give an unbelievable amount of options. I use this all the time, one of my favorite tools to come out in a while. If you’re even slightly interested in modular synths, I can’t tell you enough how much you should download this.

In terms of VST plugins, I don’t use a huge amount of free plugins. Sorry, but I’m a sucker for my FM8, Massive, and Serum sounds. Here’s some free stuff that’s good anyways, some of it I use a lot.

OTT is a must have. This shit is extremely important if you want that punchy high impact dnb synth sound. It’s a multi-band compressor that’s real aggressive with a lot of tunability as well. Just put like 3 or 4 of these on master and you’re good.

Synister and Helm are both great free synth plugins. They can do a lot of what the big names do if you know how to work them, and a lot of working them is just having a good understanding of synthesis. Synister in particular is super use friendly and looks great.

Previously mentioned magical 8bit plug is the go-to nes-like synth for many people. It makes bleep bloop noises good. Not much else to say.

YOU WA SHOCK! is basically a free vst version of the famous FL Studio Soundgoodizer. It’s a multi-band compressor with one knob and 4 different modes. Dead simple and can add some punch to a track.

Izotope Vinyl is a fun little guy that emulates the sound of a vinyl record. Has a lot of options for things like mains hum, dust pop, motor noise, vinyl age, etc.

Illformed’s free plugins, most notably Glitch are fantastic for mangling and screwing up audio. Glitch is super fun and even if I can’t say I’ve ever actually used it it’s a blast to play around with.

That’s about it off the top of my head. There’s other stuff but I would need to go look at my plugin list.


Thanks for really filling out the list.

One more:
Chordz is a free midi chord tool. Can’t believe I forgot this one, I use it all the time. It’s a little weird to figure out how it works but once you do it’s dead simple. You can configure per scale degree and build custom chords to be triggered with one press. Has a bunch of built in chords in different keys, absolutely fantastic for building a chord progression real fast.

ZapSplat is a freemium sound effects repository.

Most of their catalog can be downloaded and used either non-commercially or commercially free of charge with attribution, but a 4 pound/5 US dollar fee every month gets you access to their entire catalog and usage rights without attribution, that don’t expire after you cancel.

They’re very good and incredibly varied, with plenty of sounds that’d work great for some of your projects.

I feel like this is somewhat unfair insofar as you can make LMMS sound less like a ‘toy’ if you throw enough non-bundled VSTs at it and fiddle around enough. Of course, at some point you have to question if the extra time is worth it but you can export tracks and fiddle with them in another free DAW if the FL-like interface is what you want while composing.

I don’t see it in the wall of text up there, but: has a bunch, just sort by whatever attribution rules you like.