Apple Garageband

Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Apple GarageBand

We’ve looked at free and open source alternatives to Microsoft, Adobe, and Google’s products and services. Let’s now focus on Apple.

Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google’s parent), Amazon and Facebook dominate the tech landscape. Their dominance is so broad they account for more than 20% of the S&P 500.

There are many things to admire about Apple’s hardware and software. Apple make great looking (albeit expensive) hardware. Over the years key successes include the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and the MacBook Air. The company designs its own hardware and software. This gives them the power to make an operating system and suite of apps that are tailor-made and optimized for their hardware. Apple also operates the Apple Music and Apple TV media distribution platforms.

macOS is Apple’s proprietary operating system for its line of Macintosh computers. Its interface, known as Aqua, is highly polished and built on top of a BSD derivative (Darwin). There’s a whole raft of proprietary applications that are developed by Apple for macOS. This software is not available for Linux and there’s no prospect of that position changing.

In 2020, Apple began the Apple silicon transition, using self-designed, 64-bit ARM-based Apple M1 processors on new Mac computers. Maybe it’s the perfect time to move away from the proprietary world of Apple, and embrace the open source Linux scene?

Apple GarageBandGarageBand is a fully equipped music creation studio inside your Mac — with a complete sound library that includes instruments, presets for guitar and voice, and an incredible selection of session drummers and percussionists.

Unfortunately the program is proprietary and not available for Linux. What are the best free and open source alternatives?


1. MusE Sequencer

MusE Sequencer is a MIDI/Audio sequencer with recording and editing capabilities. It can perform audio effects like chorus/flanger in real-time via LASH and it supports Jack and ALSA interfaces. MusE aims to be a complete multitrack virtual studio.

Linux for Starters - MusE
Click image for full size

2. Ardour

Ardour is a powerful digital audio workstation that gives you everything you need to record, edit, mix, and arrange professional audio.

It supports all audio interfaces supported by Linux, together with flexible recording, unlimited multichannel tracks, non-destructive, non-linear editing and much more. This is a highly polished digital audio workstation.

Ardour


3. Rosegarden

Rosegarden is a professional audio and MIDI sequencer, score editor, and general-purpose music composition and editing environment. It combines a track-oriented audio/MIDI sequencer with a standard music notation editor to provide an “all-in-one” solution.

Rosegarden
Click image for full size

All articles in this series:

Alternatives to Apple's Products
Apple GarageBandGarageBand is a line of digital audio workstations for creating music and podcasts offering a complete sound library.
Apple FaceTimeFaceTime is a videotelephony product for making video and audio calls. FaceTime forces many to stay locked into a proprietary world.
Apple PhotosPhotos is a photo management and editing application which lets you organize your collection into albums, or keep your photos organized automatically with smart albums.

Popular series
Linux for StartersNew to Linux? Read our Linux for Starters series. We start right at the basics and teach you everything you need to know to get started with Linux.
Free and Open Source SoftwareThe largest compilation of the best free and open source software in the universe. Each article is supplied with a legendary ratings chart helping you make informed decisions.
Linux ReviewsHundreds of in-depth reviews offering our unbiased and expert opinion on software. We offer helpful and impartial information.
Alternatives to GoogleAlternatives to Google's Products and Services examines your options to migrate from the Google ecosystem with open source Linux alternatives.
MicrosoftAlternatives to Microsoft's Products and Services recommends open source Linux software.
AdobeAlternatives to Adobe Cloud looks at free and open source alternatives to products available from Adobe Cloud's subscription service.
AppleAlternatives to Apple recommends free and open source alternatives to Apple's proprietary world.
CorelAlternatives to Corel surveys alternatives to Corel's range of graphics processing products and other software applications.
DockerGetting Started with Docker helps you master Docker, a set of platform as a service products that delivers software in packages called containers.
Linux System ToolsEssential Linux system tools focuses on small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users.
Linux ProductivityLinux utilities to maximise your productivity. Small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.
Home Computer EmulatorsHome computers became commonplace in the 1980s. Emulate home computers including the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.
Now and ThenNow and Then examines how promising open source software fared over the years. It can be a bumpy ride.
Linux at HomeLinux at Home looks at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged.
Linux CandyLinux Candy reveals the lighter side of Linux. Have some fun and escape from the daily drudgery.
Best Free Android AppsBest Free Android Apps. We showcase free Android apps that are definitely worth downloading. There's a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series.
Programming BooksThese best free books accelerate your learning of every programming language. Learn a new language today!
Programming TutorialsThese free tutorials offer the perfect tonic to our free programming books series.
Stars and StripesStars and Stripes is an occasional series looking at the impact of Linux in the USA.
Share this article

2 comments

  1. GarageBand is a free download but it’s proprietary software and inferior to Ardour. Even Apple’s website has scores of bad reviews of their product.

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.