Zrythm Is A FREE DAW That Offers 25 Tracks


Zrythm DAW is a copyleft, open-source digital audio workstation. The free version of the software offers up to 25 audio tracks per project.

There are scads of free synths, effects, samples, and what have you readily available on the web. Free DAWs are an entirely different matter, as the available options are far more limited.

And just as we learned that Cakewalk by BandLab is getting discontinued, another freeware DAW popped up on the horizon. Well, it’s been around for a while, to be perfectly honest, but we’ve only learned about it thanks to a recommendation from one of our readers.

So, if you want to get into music production but your wallet feels a little light, why not check out Zrythm?

Zrythm is a well-featured freeware DAW readily available on Windows, Mac, FreeBSD, and Linux computers. FreeBSD is a rare one to encounter on audio software, but if you’re down to make house music while you’re running a server, you’re covered.

So what can you do with Zrythm?

Firstly, let’s address the elephant in the room. The free version of Zryhtm is limited to 25 multi-tracks. So, if you need more than that, you’ll need to pay for one of the premium options.

Also, Zrythm is still in beta, so it isn’t completely stable and bug-free. We tested the macOS version, and it isn’t a very smooth experience at the moment. The interface is a bit slow at times, and the app completely crashed at one point.

However, one quick look at the feature list is enough to realize that Zrythm could rival paid DAWs if the development continues.

Zrythm has flexible MIDI editing, which relies on the stretch tool to give a piano roll more akin to FL Studio in concept. Editing or entering notes is relatively simple, and you can stretch, clone, link, and delete notes.

MIDI quantization is flexible as well, with an adaptive snap functionality. The flexible snapping pairs well with the looping, which can be done with automation, MIDI, audio, and chord tracks readily.

Chord tracks are easily used and a welcome addition if you want to whip up quick backing tracks.

Tracks are divided into lanes, so you can have layers upon layers of MIDI or audio on the same track. Given the limited track count, you’ll likely be leaning on this feature a bit to cram some more sounds in.

MIDI and audio can be bounced in place directly on the timeline. Audio editing is also accomplished with a fairly robust editor. There are a multitude of functions that are really quick to use.

You can also edit audio parts with external audio applications if you’d prefer that over Zrythm’s built-in editor.

Of course, what good is a DAW without a little extended functionality?

Zrythm supports LV2, VST, VST3, AU, CLAP, and JSFX plugins. You can also use SFZ and SF2 files as dedicated instrument plugins. Zrythm has a bit bridge, which is handy for those golden oldies from the 32-bit era.

If you’re looking for a free DAW, you could do worse than Zrythm. It is a fairly flexible platform for making music that runs on just about every contemporary operating system you can think of.

However, keep in mind that Zrythm is still under heavy development. Try the free version and ensure it works well on your system before using it for serious music production.

Until Zrythm improves, you can also check out other free software for producing music and audio recording.

Download: Zrythm (beta, free version limited to 25 tracks)


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Liam is a producer, mixing engineer, and compressor aficionado. When not mixing, he can be found pretending to play guitar, as he has been doing for the last 20 years.


        • Ofcourse, i am a waveform user myself, this is still in development and its good to have options, waveform might discontinue their free version someday just like cakewalk

          • In connection with the way Tracktion creates and implements updates, it may cease to exist altogether, due to the lack of consumer demand and interest. I am sure that the Free version is afloat while the Pro version or extensions are being sold.

            • Bruno de Souza Lino


              Waveform is one of the few DAWs which has a native Linux version. Only REAPER and Bitwig do the same.

              • Besides them there’s also Renoise. On the open-source side of things, we still got Ardour, Bespoke Synth and VCV Rack (which is more an instrument than a DAW, but modular enough to get DAW-esque).

          • Well, this is why we need to do our best to keep supporting Waveform Free & Tracktion, via word-of-mouth, etc. I still believe it is the best (most user friendly & constantly improving in features) free DAW out there, but still criminally underrated. Would be a shame to see it gone.

    • Zrythm – No trouble with the compiled versions except none were viable.

      Linux (Ubuntu) – Installed OK. But then immediately fails on execution.
      WIN 7 – would not install.
      WIN 10 – Installs OK. Fails on execution.

  1. PianoOne SE Free limited time


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  2. So my question is:
    If it is open source, how can they limit it to 25 tracks? Won’t somebody just add a couple of zeros and recompile it?

    • Basically, you are paying for the binary (executable file) if you want the full version compiled. If you want to compile it yourself, you are free to do it, but most musicians aren’t programmers and even programmers have difficulty compiling if they aren’t familiar with c++. But legally someone can compile it and distribute it for free like you said. But the paid version is 13 to 31 dollars, in that case it’s about how much you value your time. Also, paying will support development and imo using free version also builds a userbase, the software is no where near finished so I won’t recommend it as first choice for anyone but it’ll be a good option when it’s polished enough

    • For those used to FL Studio, LMMS (Linux MultiMedia Studio) is another DAW favorite on Linux platform :-)

  3. I tried this DAW several times, but it always crashes at various points. Like on start up, or when loading plugins. It’s a great DAW otherwise. I hope it keeps improving the stability. I love the UI and layout.

    • Michal Ochedowski


      I did last year. What discouraged me from using it was a nag screen asking for donations. Apart from that I couldn’t get used to the unusual looking windows with cut corners. Wasn’t my thing. Based on the details above, I didn’t even give it a chance sound-wise.

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