Best freeware plug-ins in 2022: Six best free live performance software tools

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Best Free Live Performance Software Tools 2022

When performing live, especially during a solo performance, whether that’s with vocals, keys, percussion or strings, you need the right tools to help you play your gig to the best of your ability on stage. These days, with all the technology available, in most cases, audiences expect a little more than the basic instrument and recording setup. Look at Ed Sheeran, for example, or Marc Rebillet or David August. They use looping tools and effects on the fly to push their music to the next level and make it sound like there is a chorus of musicians playing the part along with them.

READ MORE: Best freeware instruments in 2022: Nine of the best free drum machines

Live performance software tools are useful because of their easy-to-use, simplified dashboards. Also, they are digital, so the action can take place in the portable zone of your laptop. Live performance software will usually let its users add sound effects via virtual pads, loop sounds and layer sounds on top of one another. Some software will let you create quick drum sequences and others might just act simply as more of a mixer – these are suitable for DJs.

The best thing is this: you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to download many of this live performance software. We’ve rounded up six of the best live performance freeware available right now.

Best live performance freeware at a glance:

  • Serato DJ Lite
  • Circular Labs Mobius
  • Harvest Mini
  • Giada Music Giada
  • Mixxx
  • Trackbout Ripchord

Serato 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.

Circular 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.

Harvest 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.

 

Giada 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.

Mixxx 2.3

Mixxx 2.3

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.

Trackbout 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.

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