Ten Music Companies Offering Free Tools and Services For Your Musical Journey

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

You’re stuck inside your home so now is the perfect time to get working on some new material or learn to play an instrument. Fortunately, a lot of music companies feel your pain and have stepped up to get your creative juices flowing. Here’s a sampling of several offerings.

Fender Play Offers Three Free Months of Lessons

As one of the leading guitar manufacturers in the world, Fender has always been on top of helping out players. Their most recent mission is to encourage non-musicians to pick up an instrument and learn to play via Fender Play. “With this new, current reality, it’s clear we need music now more than ever,” Fender CEO Andy Mooney recently stated. “Music has the power to connect us, create a sense of community, and most importantly, lift our spirits.”

Their Fender Play portal offers a wealth of lessons on guitar, bass and ukulele, from beginner to advanced, strumming to shredding. Right now, they are offering three free months of complimentary lessons on Fender Play. What started as a simple offer has now expanded to the first 1 million users who sign up. Getting Fender Play for Free: visit fender.com/playthrough to redeem your code. Once you have redeemed your code you can download the app via google play or app store and sign into your account. You can also sign into Fender Play via web/desktop..

Fender has also unveiled a New Player Guide tipsheet as a free download to helps you understand the ins and outs of choosing a guitar, practicing and overcoming the pains of learning your first chord.

“We hope offering Fender Play to even more aspiring players allows them to explore their creativity and make some noise while we’re spending more time inside,” Mooney said.


Gibson and Sweetwater team up to offer Amped Guitar

Gibson Gives And Sweetwater Team Up To Offer Three-Month Premium Memberships To Amped Guitar

The iconic Gibson brand has formed a partnership with Gibson Gives, Sweetwater.com and Amped Guitar Learning to offer new users three months of Premium Access Membership for free. Amped Guitar is created by guitar teachers and built on Audio Augmented Reality. A limited quantity of subscriptions are available now on the Apple App store worldwide.

“In these unprecedented and uncertain times, we all could use a little inspiration for each other and for ourselves,” says James ‘JC’ Curleigh’, CEO of Gibson. “With Gibson Gives, Sweetwater, and Amped, we are literally providing that inspiration and opportunity for anyone who loves music and has always wanted to learn to play guitar.”

Amped Guitar is a unique and engaging two-way, online learning experience that listens to your playing and instinctively adapts the lesson vs. a one-way instructional video. It interacts with the player and creates an additional guitar layer in real-time that turns boring old guitar lessons into an empowering and immersive experience. Amped Guitar takes players from Beginners to Pros covering everything from basic skills to advanced techniques using Audio Augmented Reality; players can learn at their own pace, follow a curriculum or jam to their favorite songs. The Amped Guitar app is available on iOS globally, and will be launched on Android in Q2 2020.

“Sweetwater was founded more than 40 years ago with one goal in mind: to help our friends make music. It remains our number one priority. This partnership will allow even more people to harness the power that music has to unite, heal, and inspire. That’s especially important during these trying times,” said Sweetwater Founder and CEO Chuck Surack.

With a three-month Premium Membership to Amped Guitar, players will receive:

•          Full learning curriculum with multiple genres, hundreds of guided lessons teaching you chords, soloing and songs

•          Immersive playing experience keeping you motivated to play and develop real skills

•          Step-by-step guidance based on AR

•          Play songs from some of the greatest guitarists in history including Eric Clapton, B.B.  King, Santana, Aerosmith, Tom Petty, Dolly Parton, The Beatles, Bon Jovi, Thin Lizzy, Brian Adams and many more

•          Guided learning path from basic skills to advanced guitar techniques

•          Real-time feedback

•          Amped animations and videos to teach you new skills and guide you in your learning

•          Track your progress

•          All lessons developed by expert guitar teachers

•          Flexibility – play anywhere and anytime you want

•          No cables or amps are needed

•          Plug in iRig to perform for friends

Roland 4XCAMERA App for iOS

Roland Offers Free Unlocked Version of 4XCAMERA App for iOS

Creating and sharing your latest musical creation is all the rage these days. Technology lets you set up split screen videos, whether it’s you alone or your band mates playing your latest original or unique take on a cover tune.

Roland’s 4XCAMERA app has been around for a couple years and now is the perfect time to dive in and explore since they’re making all in-app purchases free for a limited time.

From music makers looking to virtually collaborate, to solo artists looking to share online, the app makes it easier to record performances even from the comfort of your home. Roland’s 4XCAMERA is a unique app that makes it easy to create impressive music videos with up to four performances split on the screen. You start by capturing one video performance to the app, which becomes your guide. Then sing or play along and capture up to three more performances, adding new parts on each pass. As you perform, sound is recorded via the device’s built-in mic or through a connected audio capture device.

Share your latest creation with the hashtag #RolandAtHome

4XCAMERA App for iOS features:

  • Easy-to-use iOS app for creating split-screen music videos with up to four different performances
  • Supports 1:1 and 16:9 aspect ratios
  • Ten unique split-screen patterns available for each aspect ratio
  • Adjust the volume for each screen and create the perfect sound mix
  • Trim videos to the desired length in the app
  • Use songs stored on your iPhone or iPad as discrete monitoring guides while performing
  • Download and play along with drum performance video clips (added with the Version 1.1 update)
  • Requires iOS 10 or later; compatible with iPhone 5 or later, iPad 4th generation or later, iPad mini 2 or later, and iPod touch 6th generation or later
  • The upgrade to full functionality is available via a small in-app purchase, now free for a limited time
  • The unlock gives you additional combined video templates, so the creator can use up to four screens at a time
IK Multimedia Software

IK Multimedia Free Software Downloads

If you’ve been tempted to dive into the world of virtual instruments and recording software, now’s the time to look at IK Multimedia. The company has been making user-friendly and top levels products for 25 years.

Right now you can download their popular guitar, drum, recording and mastering software for free. SampleTank 4 Custom Shop is a free expandable sound and groove workstation that includes over 4 GB of samples and 50 sounds. AmpliTube Custom Shop is a Guitar amp & FX modeling plug-in. T-RackS Custom Shop features mixing and mastering plug-ins on demand.  Syntronik Free is the free entry to the legendary synth powerhouse, with over 17 instruments and 2000 sounds.

SongTradr Offers 100% Distribution Royalties To Artists

SongTradr Offers 100% Distribution Royalties To Artists

You’ve created your latest hit and now you need the world to hear it! Maybe it’s strong enough that you’d like to find someone to license it for their business, film or commercial needs. If your music fits the bill you might want to look at SongTradr. The four-year old LA-based company has deep connections with the

“Music brings people together, a quality that is more important now than ever before. In this spirit, Songtradr is working to support artists by offering entirely free distribution services for the next several months. We understand the challenges artists are facing around the world at this time and we will continue working towards finding new ways to get their music heard.

From now through September 30, 2020, artists will be offered free, unlimited uploads for each release with 100% distribution royalties and full control of their music rights. This service delivers to all major platforms worldwide, such as Spotify and Apple Music.”

After September 30, 2020, artists can choose to become a paid subscriber for $19 per year with unlimited releases and 100% royalties or remain a free user with a 10% transaction fee that is only applied after they earn from a release.


Jaxtsta Pro Artist Profile

Jaxsta Free Trial

Jaxsta is the world’s most comprehensive resource for finding official music credits. Remember geeking out to the liner notes on an album? Jaxsta does and has taken it to a whole new 21st century level. Their team has worked directly with record labels, publishers, performance rights organizations, artists and more in setting up the go-to portal for album track personnel, session credits, Top 40 charts and more. You can sign up for a free 30 day trial now. And if you are a musician yourself, it’s a whole new world for you to verify your credibility and set up your own virtual resume. Gain access to key metadata, market insights and events and make yourself a more informed musician with Jaxsta Pro, their B2B platform. Jaxsta is just about out of beta so now is a great time to get in on the ground floor. (Update 4/22: Jaxsta Pro will be free for at least the remainder of 2020 (previous pricing $150/yr. USD))


Universal Audio Luna Recording System

Universal Audio Luna Recording System

If you own Universal Audio’s Apollo or Arrow units, the company has just released its own recording application as a free download for all MacOS-based Thunderbolt users.

The LUNA Recording System is a groundbreaking music production workstation shaped by over 60 years of analog exploration. LUNA gives Apollo owners the fastest recording environment for music production, editing, and mixing. LUNA’s Accelerated Realtime Monitoring gives users seamless hardware-software integration for capturing audio through UAD plug-ins with no discernible latency, offering Apollo owners the most natural, analog-style workflow of any DAW available.

Rounding out LUNA’s featureset at launch is a full suite of built-in instruments and extensions, created in collaboration with the biggest brands in audio. From integrated Studer multitrack tape and genuine Neve summing, to all-new LUNA Instruments from Moog, UA, Spitfire Audio, and more, LUNA brings Universal Audio’s expertise in modeling, sampling, and synthesis to the forefront of audio production.**

LUNA Recording System — Key Features

● Built-in Neve® Summing extension for instant classic console sound

● Integrated Oxide and Studer® multitrack tape delivers warmth and punch on demand

● All-new LUNA Instruments include RavelTM grand piano, Moog® Minimoog, and ShapeTM

creative toolkit

● Unlimited track count, or as many as your Thunderbolt-equipped Mac will handle

● Contextual editing and browsing — the system intelligently switches tools and viewing

modes based on workflow

● Runs all UAD and Audio Units (AU) plug-ins and instruments

● Session Auto-Save — LUNA is constantly saving, so you’ll never lose your work again

● AAF imports allow you to import sessions from other major DAWs using the industry-

standard Advanced Authoring Format (AAF)

*LUNA is currently available as a free download for all Thunderbolt-equipped Apollo and Arrow audio interface owners for macOS systems only. LUNA is not compatible with Apollo FireWire or Apollo Twin USB.


Waves Audio Abbey Road Studio 3

Waves Audio Offers an Extended 90-Day Demo for the Abbey Road Studio 3 and Nx Virtual Mix Room over Headphones Plugins

This one’s for all the recording engineers. Waves offers top-level software for recording, mixing and mastering. Right now the company is offering an extended 90-day demo of two specific studio plug-ins- Abbey Road Studio 3 and Nx Virtual Mix Room over Headphones.

With most of us currently working at home and without access to a proper studio or accurate acoustics, we are forced to rely on a less-than-ideal environment. Lacking a suitable monitoring environment in order to produce and mix properly, we often turn to working with headphones. As a result, we do not know what our sessions and mixes will sound like on other monitors and playback systems.

The Abbey Road Studio 3 plugin is a great solution for producing and mixing on headphones, wherever you are. It models the three-dimensional acoustics of Abbey Road Studios’ flagship Studio 3 control room—to bring you a carefully treated spatial acoustic environment over your headphones. You can better predict how your headphone productions will translate to speaker systems of all types and hear true-to-life spatial depth on your headphones, with the same detail and panoramic sound image you would hear sitting in the sweet spot of Studio 3. With Abbey Road Studio 3’s diverse set of near-field, mid-field and far-field virtual monitors, you get a professional reference environment on headphones, increasing your confidence that your sessions will translate to sound systems everywhere. The Abbey Road Studio 3 also delivers full 7.1 and 5.1 surround sound, modeled after the studio’s original surround setup. This unique plugin, used with any set of headphones, gives you the same stellar audio qualities that make Studio 3 the world’s best studio control room. Now, you can produce and mix as if you were inside the Abbey Road Studio 3 control room – and hear your music the way the world’s greatest musicians and producers heard theirs. 

The Waves Nx Virtual Mix Room over Headphones plugin recreates the acoustics of a high-end studio inside your headphones, so you can make great mixing decisions anytime, anywhere. Powered by Waves’ groundbreaking Nx technology, Nx Virtual Mix Room is a virtual monitoring plugin that delivers, on headphones, the same three-dimensional depth and panoramic stereo image you would be hearing from speakers in an acoustically treated room, letting you mix and monitor with greater confidence, giving you a better representation of how your headphone mixes will translate to speakers. Insert the plugin on your master buss, and hear all the elements of your mix accurately laid out in space, just as you would in the sweet spot of a great-sounding professional mix room. With the Nx Virtual Mix Room plugin you can also mix for 7.1, 5.1 or 5.0 surround on your regular stereo headphones. Nx also includes the Nx Ambisonics component, which lets you monitor Ambisonics B-format audio for 360° and VR projects


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