My “career” with music production started with Music 2000 back on the original PlayStation. There is just something that is so much fun messing with beats and instruments to make your own songs. What we have here with LMMS is free open-source software that lets you have fun making your own music tracks.
How to Download LMMS
To download the program, click on the Download button that is located below this review.
The Program Review
When I say that this is free, I mean 100 percent free! There is no hiding stuff behind a paywall, everything that this has is available to you right from the start. When you first download this, it can be quite daunting as it throws a great deal your way, but once you get past that, the UI is quite intuitive and easy to figure out.
What I really liked were the pop-up help boxes. You can have it so when you hover over something, a little bit of information will appear, telling you what it does. I found this to be a great way to find my way around the software. It was like the perfect blend of learning by doing, but also getting some helpful tips along the way.
As far as the actual making music with LMMS goes, it is a lot of fun. It gives you many different instruments, a beat pad, and a ton of fun effects that you can use too. I can spend hours just playing around with things and then something will click and from there I can make something that is cool, well what I think is cool anyway.
If you are more musically minded this has a pretty neat feature. You can use the onscreen typing keyboard or you can connect a midi keyboard and write music with actual notes. I will admit that may be a tad above my level of understanding, but it is a cool way for those who have more musical knowledge to get even more hands-on with their tunes.
One feature that I did not use, but I still want to talk about is the importing of files. With LMMS, you can import MIDI files and Hydrogen project files which is great if you have something specific in mind. I am sure this is something I could learn, but for your average Joe like me, just playing around with what is already here is more than enough to satisfy my music producer dreams.
For me, the coolest thing that you can do with LMMS is to make video game music! This has a chiptune style setting where you can make 8 and 16-bit style music tracks. I had a ton of fun with this trying to recreate some of my favorite video game tracks and even coming up with some original stuff too. If they ever make another retro Castlevania game, Konami needs to come to me for the soundtrack!
In all, this is a great piece of software. You can download LMMS for Windows, Mac, and Linux and as I said before, it truly is 100 percent free. While I have had fun just messing around with it. I am sure that those who are more serious about music production will find it to be a great way to help them make their own music.
- There are many instruments, beats, and samples to use
- You do not have to spend a penny to use this
- It is very intuitive to use
- I had a great time making retro video game music
- I could not find a way to record audio onto my songs
- It may seem a bit daunting at first