6 of the best freeware for live performance

Play, perform, loop or DJ, live your live life for free.

1Circular Labs Mobius

Circular Labs Mobius

Ever fancied some of the looping action that has helped propel Ed Sheeran to his monumental heights? These live hardware loopers are all the rage thanks to the songwriter extraordinaire, but Mobius delivers the simple produce-a-song-as-you-loop philosophy in software form, for free. You get eight separate tracks to loop, plus several loops per track and it can be run standalone or as a DAW plug-in. It is quite complex to set up, but there are detailed instructions on the website.

Mac/PC, 32/64-bit. More info here.

2Harvest Mini

Harvest Mini

You can create mini-sequences or drum beats in an instant with this old-school MIDI sequencer that simply triggers instruments, samples and beats as you draw in the notes as it cycles. The best bit is that you can choose notes by scale, so keeping everything in tune with your project to create melodic progressions. There’s also a Regenerate button to create limitless variations.

Mac/PC, 32/64-bit.More info here.

 

3Giada Music Giada

Giada Music Giada

 

It’s a second looper, which this time is aimed at anyone wanting to sequence with MIDI and audio or produce songs with live loops – as with Mobius above. While that is a more complex beast to get up and running with, Giada is simpler, especially for live looping. It’s not especially pretty, but it’s simple to get a beat up and running and then to record live over the top – and we have a tutorial later to show you how to do just that.

Mac/PC, 32/64-bit. More info here.

4Mixxx

Mixxx

 

Mixxx is a long-established DJ title that allows you to mix and match audio files on up to four decks and includes time stretching, beat looping, hot cues and pitch bend. Multiple file formats are supported, including FLAC, WAV, AIFF and MP3 and you can add hardware MIDI controllers for more hands-on action.

Mac/PC, 32/64-bit. More info here.

5Serato DJ Lite

Serato DJ Lite

Serato DJ Lite – a cut-down version of Serato DJ Pro – is probably the best and most professional software to download if you want to get into DJ’ing coming, as it does, from the masters of the genre. Lite allows you to stream, mix and scratch digital music files and samples and contains enough tools and resources to get great results with or without external hardware connected.

Mac/PC, 32/64-bit. More info here.

6Trackbout Ripchord

Trackbout Ripchord

Ripchord is one of those apps that might not look too exciting, but can certainly help you out, especially if your keyboard skills are not up to scratch and you go blind when it comes to chords. On a simple level, you can assign several notes to one key press for simple playing of chords across a wide range, for example, but there are also loads of presets made by Trackbout and others that contain famous progressions and a lot more, all playable from one finger.

Mac/PC, 64-bit. More info here.

For more buyer’s guides, check here. Looking for more freeware? Head this way.