Free music & media software I absolutely love

Here at Pumpkin Jigsaw we really believe in accessible software when we’re creating with technology. That way when we teach ideas or collaborate with each other. No one has a financial barrier (apart from a laptop/computer). Free software is fundamental in accessible computing and content creation and open source projects have inspired many features in more expensive software.

Here are a few pieces of free software I (Xi-mali) absolutely love.


  1. Drum Machine – Hydrogen


I use Hydrogen all the time. It’s great for composing new ideas and you can really manipulate the sounds from individual hit strokes to the whole instrument to the hit between before or after the beat. You can also add samples of your own instruments so I sampled my drums and use this for a lot of my composition.


  1. Video editor – KdenLive


This is my video editor, to be granted I don’t do too much video editing. The really basic  things like cutting clips, adding fades. If this is the type of work you do then KdenLive is great. You can add other effects as well like colouring etc… I just haven’t dived deeply into it.


  1. Music Notation – Musescore


Musescore is really good for scoring music and much quicker than writing on paper. You can add extra scores for drumlines. I tend to use scores as a reference when I’m writing and trying out a lot of music in rehearsals. If I like something I’ve written I’ll jot it in notes to look at anything I forget during rehearsals and then come back and make small edits after.




  1. Digital Audio Workstation – Reaper


Reaper isn’t technically free. But it is cheap ($60) and you can use it for free for up to 60 days. I use Reaper a lot and really enjoy it for simple recordings of little demos of music and when we run musical ideas in class. If you want something truly free you can also try Tracktion Waveform Free.

(Also Tracktion Waveform Free: