How to Make a Rap Mixtape for Free

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Sean McCauley
July 2, 2020

How to make a mixtape free isn’t too complicated. In fact, we’re going to get you recording in fifteen minutes or less! Let’s not waste time.

To make a rap mixtape free, you’re going to need just a few things:

  1. A computer or smartphone and internet connection
  2. A mic for recording vocals
  3. Free professional studio software
  4. Free beats

How to make a rap mixtape free depends on only those tools, a little bit of time, and a little bit of know-how. If you’ve got the first two, we’ll take care of the rest. Have a look.

You mostly just need a computer -- but don't worry, we'll cover everything.

Record your mixtape free using tech you’ve got at home

How to make a mixtape free will depend on your tools, as we said. What tools are those? First, you’re going to want to decide on the hardware you want to use. It’s not too hard on either a computer or smartphone, but you’ll have more options on an actual computer. And of course you’ll need the internet.

Any computer or smartphone will do, really, so long as you can find the software necessary. We’ll get into that later.

Once you’ve decided on the computer or phone you’re going to use, you’ll want to decide on the kind of mic and headphones you want to use.

Of course, if you want to do it for free, you’ll need to use a microphone you already have. But which one should you use if you have more than one? Whether you need to figure that out or want to buy a new one, you can find more than enough info on mics here.

And if you’re recording on your phone, we can talk to you about what kinds of earbuds work best for that here.+

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Whether laptop, desktop, or smartphone, there are options.

How to make a mixtape free with free pro studio software

How to make a mixtape free depends on having studio software. Even a million-dollar digital audio workstation (or DAW) isn’t any use without a program to use it.

You can do a search for free music-studio software and find between five and ten different options, but trust us when we tell you that they aren’t all as free as they say they are. Half of them will just be trial versions which won’t let you do what you need to do. Others will come just with the minimum of capabilities you need, which might not actually be enough.

Luckily, there are totally free answers out there for how to make a rap mixtape software-wise. We’re going to skip options which might cost money and only cover how to make a rap mixtape free. No nonsense.

Audacity has more than you will ever need -- for free!

Record your mixtape free using sound-editing software

To make a rap mixtape free, you’ll need a way to edit the individual sounds. Every little thing from the drum hits to the vocal takes need to sound the way you want them to. That’s where sound-editing software comes in. There are a few options for this.

If you’re using a computer, your best option is to use Audacity. Audacity is free, powerful, easy to use, and comes with all the effects you could possibly need. It’s available for both Windows here and Mac here.

If you only have a smartphone, you can make your mixtape with WavePad. You can get WavePad for Android here or for iPhone here.

If you’re using WavePad on your phone, you can find step-by-step instructions on how to make a mixtape for free using WavePad here.

LMMS is a straight beast. Learn it and you'll have a free DAW the rest of your life.

Make your own mixtape free using music creation software

Make your own mixtape free using music creation software like the professionals use. The pros use DAWs like FL Studio, Ableton Live, Reaper, Logic Pro, or even Garageband, but those are ultimately all expensive.

We recommend using LMMS (Linux Multi-Media Studio). It’s free, it’s powerful, and it’s always being made better by the awesome developers at Linux, so it just gets better and better all the time. As a bonus, LMMS is made to look and act like FL Studio, except that it’s free.

You can get LMMS for Windows here and for Mac here. You can learn how to use LMMS here, and there’s a tutorial on making beats in LMMS here. There are tons and tons of other tutorials, too, but there’s no way you’re going to make it through both those videos without stopping to play around on your own, so never even mind.

There are themes for LMMS, too. This one makes it act like Logic Pro.

How clean does it sound when you’re done? I added samples of my daughter driving me crazy to a track by Rob Overseer, and it’s super clean even without any mastering. You can hear my example of LMMS in action here. (But yeah, you should get mastering, and no, you can’t do that yourself. You can get that super cheap here).

If you’re making your mixtape on your phone, you probably won’t want to use LMMS (although people do do it. Instead, you can download the Caustic app for Android here or for iPhone here. There’s a tutorial for Caustic here.

Alternately, if you’d rather not use an app on your phone, you can also use Soundtrap online, which works with all phones. There’s a tutorial for that here.

Desktop, lappy, tablet, or even phone: you can compose with Soundtrap on them all.

How to make a rap mixtape free with your own beats

Making your own mixtape free isn’t just going to be about software and hardware, though. You’re also going to want drum sounds so you can make your own beats using the programs we’ve outlined above. There are all kinds of places to get free drum sounds, but one of our favorites is Reddit. You can easily search Reddit for subs with free sounds in mind, but here’s a great one just to get you started. Artists should definitely look at our list of Reddit threads for DIY musicians here because there are plenty of excellent resources there for absolutely free.

For this article, I simply Googled “free beats for rap download” and the first thing I saw was a trio of videos on YouTube. I picked this one from AngelLaCiencia Beats. He has download links on all kinds of great material for free. I chose one from here. He’s a talented beat doctor, and this one was excellent for our purposes here. (I love his minimalist style, personally, but there are much more complex options online, too).

You can also use Audacity to clip a drum sound from any music you’d like. Nobody’s going to know you stole a snare hit from AC/DC, Snoop Dogg, or Buddy Rich.

Make your own mixtape free today, know how forever!

Make your own mixtape free and pay no producer to mix your music down ever again. If you’re going to be making music for years and years, wouldn’t it be nice to never need anyone’s help again? With this list of links and a little bit of time, you’ll be ready inside of an afternoon to get your studio up and running. Good luck, and more importantly, have fun!