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Whether you’re thinking about signing up for Soundtrap, or you’ve been using it for a while, you probably have a few questions that need answering.
In this guide, we answer the most frequently asked questions to do with Soundtrap, including whether Soundtrap is free.
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Is Soundtrap Free? Or Do You Need To Pay For Soundtrap?
There is a version of Soundtrap that’s free. It includes unlimited projects, 4,750 loops, 430 instruments and sounds, 150,000+ sound effects from freesounds.org, and Soundtrap Originals sound packs every second week.
As a user of Soundtrap Free, you may be asked to take their 30-day free trial whenever you login (you’re not obligated to take it), but aside from that, there are no downsides, and it’s exactly as it sounds. Soundtrap Free is free forever, with all the features just described.
As for the 30-day trial, it’s there so you can try out the Premium, Supreme, Storytellers, or Complete subscription levels. If you’re curious to find out what’s available in the full version, and you’re starting to think about signing up, then the 30-day trial is not a bad place to start.
Soundtrap Free includes quite a few features. But it doesn’t include everything. The Complete subscription gives you access to 19,930+ loops, 300+ sounds from Splice, 880+ instruments and sounds, 150,000+ sound effects from freesound.org, Antares Auto-Tune, time restore, automation, remote interviews, priority mixing, up to eight hours of interactive transcripts, high quality downloads, the ability to publish podcast content to Spotify, and Soundtrap Originals and Expansion Packs.
If you want to be able to take advantage of more features, then you will need to upgrade.
Is Soundtrap Free For Students?
That depends on whether your school has a subscription to Soundtrap. If they do, chances are you can use it for free, at your teacher’s discretion.
But Soundtrap isn’t free for educators or schools. It requires a yearly subscription. There are some cost savings, especially if schools purchase plans with more seats, but otherwise a 30-day free trial is the only free option.
That said, students could still take advantage of Soundtrap Free to get a feel for the studio environment. They could even try it at home, at the parent’s discretion.
Is There A Discount For Soundtrap?
As with most online subscriptions, you may be able to find a discount or promo code you can use at checkout to save some money. It’s worth installing Honey in your browser, as it will automatically find applicable discount codes.
And while this is also true of most software as a service (SaaS) apps these days, you can save some money on Soundtrap by springing for a yearly subscription rather than a monthly one.
For instance, the monthly Supreme subscription costs $14.99 per month ($179.88 per year). But the yearly subscription costs $11.99 per month ($143.88 per year). That’s a cost saving of $36 per year if you take the yearly subscription instead of the monthly one.
As well, as educators, schools, and districts increase the number of seats they’re purchasing, they save more on each seat. 50 seats (minimum) costs $4.98 per seat or $249 per year, but 5,000 seats cost $4.36 per seat or $21,809.50 per year. It’s only a discount if you need it, mind you.
If there are any other discount options or opportunities, we’re not aware of them.
Is Soundtrap A DAW?
Generally, Soundtrap is many things. It’s a website, a community, a company, and yes, it can refer to their software or online music collaboration app as well.
But as a user of Soundtrap, you don’t just get access to their DAW. You also get access to their internal messaging system (for project management) and learning center with 18 videos demonstrating how the Soundtrap DAW works.
More specifically, though, it would be fair to say that Soundtrap’s recording environment is a full-fledged Digital Audio Workstation or DAW.
For reference, we wouldn’t exactly call a program like Audacity a DAW, because its feature set is much too limited and basic. It’s more of a recorder / editor. You can take your tracks, edit them, add a few effects, and that’s about where the buck stops. Audacity is not ideally suited to complex multi-track musical projects, and for that matter, mixing.
With Soundtrap, you can take your project from idea to reality. You can record audio and MIDI tracks, sequence tracks using the piano roll, make beats using the built-in beat maker, apply effects and presets, and mix your entire project. Soundtrap even masters your project the moment you save it.
Sure, Soundtrap might not give you complete control like in Pro Tools. But it gives you enough control to be considered a DAW, and it’s a very capable one at that.
Is Soundtrap Good?
Soundtrap is a surprisingly competent recording environment. Practically everything you could want in terms of sounds, loops, samples, effects, and virtual instruments, are all built into the platform.
You can record audio tracks, MIDI tracks (with a MIDI controller / keyboard), sequence MIDI, make beats, add effects, mix your tracks, and more, all from one, central, convenient workstation you can access from just about anywhere.
Soundtrap is also a powerful online music collaboration tool. Whether your band wants to work together remotely, or you want to bring sessions musicians and producers into the mix to make your project all that it can be, you can work together with whoever you want, from just about anywhere, simultaneously, or not.
Soundtrap works on most operating systems, browsers, and devices, assuming you have an internet connection. There are even mobile apps for iOS an Android. It is less compatible with certain browsers like Firefox, but it shows quite a bit of stability, even when used in browsers it’s not “supposed to be” used in.
Soundtrap is very easy to use. All DAW workflows take some getting used to, but those with some experience will pick up Soundtrap very quickly, and even total newbies shouldn’t take too long to figure it out (plus there are plenty of video tutorials).
When new virtual instrument tracks are created within Soundtrap, effects and presets often come pre-applied, making the tracks near mix-ready without a whole lot of customization. But if you want to customize, you can, as there are plenty of tweakable parameters.
Mixing is often a difficult, time-consuming task, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing, but Soundtrap takes a lot of the guesswork out of the equation, making it more accessible to beginners and the inexperienced.
There aren’t too many downsides we can think of. Even Soundtrap’s monthly subscription cost is minimal, when you consider that there are other DAWs doing this, and they cost quite a bit more (e.g., Pro Tools subscriptions cost a minimum of $29.99 per month).
If you’re serious about music production, composition, and engineering, then you may prefer investing in a professional DAW of your choosing (featuring a workflow you find natural and intuitive). There’s only a one-time cost associated with most, and these dedicated working environments are great for pumping out the jams, especially as you figure out your processes.
If you often find yourself collaborating online, though, Soundtrap might still be the better choice overall.
Is Soundtrap A Good DAW For Beginners?
For many of the reasons already covered, we would consider Soundtrap a viable option for beginners. It’s fun, easy to use, and it’s packed with features you can mess around with to your heart’s content. It will also teach you skills that are largely transferable to other recording situations.
Which Is Better For Music Production? Audacity Or Soundtrap?
Audacity is little more than a music recorder / editor. Most people don’t use it for anything other than recording, editing, and adding the occasional effects. Its MIDI functionality is extremely limited, and you can’t sequence or program your parts. It’s not suited to layered multi-track projects, and it’s also limited so far as mixing is concerned.
While you can make complete recordings in Audacity, you shouldn’t expect to be able to create anything more than sketches, demos, or experiments.
Soundtrap is basically a complete DAW. You can record audio. You can sequence synth parts. You can make beats. You can incorporate and take advantage of a variety of sounds, loops, and samples. The built-in effects are very competent and highly configurable. You can adjust the volume, pan, and effects chain of each of your tracks.
Basically, you can do just about everything you would be able to do with a “professional” DAW in Soundtrap.
If you like the ideal of working in a world of limitations (it can spark creative ideas), then Audacity might be okay for some very basic music production. Otherwise, Soundtrap is your best bet.
Is Soundtrap The Best DAW Available?
At the outset, it should be stated that “best” is always a matter of opinion. Some may say In-N-Out Burger is the best fast food out there, and while that may be true to some, it’s a subjective statement. There are those who would disagree.
Broad strokes, Pro Tools has long been considered an industry standard. It’s a little weird to me that it is, because of the obvious complexity and strange limitations it has been home to over the years. But even to this day, it hasn’t lost a whole lot of momentum.
Meanwhile, it’s no surprise that Logic Pro is one of the most popular DAWs for Mac, because it was made for Mac, and it is a legitimately powerful DAW. Those who graduate from GarageBand naturally tend towards Logic Pro, since it features a similar workflow.
Moreover, the most popular DAWs of the day include Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, FL Studio, Cubase, Studio One, and Reason.
None of these come as major surprises either, as electronic music is incredibly popular right now, and Ableton Live is well-suited for those types of projects. The same can be said for FL Studio and Reason as well, though technically you can use whatever DAW you want for making electronic music (assuming it’s MIDI compatible).
I probably don’t make for a great case study, but I have been a fan of Waveform for a long time, because of its fluid workflow. It probably helps that I’ve used it for a long time, but either way, I’ve found that most producers don’t know about it, and it certainly doesn’t appear on every “best of” list.
For a variety of reasons, I don’t think most professional producers or engineers would consider Soundtrap the best. Chances are, by now, they have all their favorite instruments and effects loaded into their DAW of choice. But they probably wouldn’t entirely write off Soundtrap either.
Soundtrap is great. It could be considered better than many recording / editing tools, and even DAWs of the yesteryear, because it’s so feature rich and easy to use. But it’s not the most flexible, powerful option out there.
Can I Publish The Music I Make On Soundtrap?
Even hobbyists often get to the point of contemplating releasing some of their material. All this requires is a small fee paid to a music distribution service, so the barriers to entry are minimal.
So, can you release the tracks you make on Soundtrap?
The short answer is yes.
The longer answer is that you can’t just take a loop and claim it as your own. Though Soundtrap loops and sounds are royalty free, it makes sense that you wouldn’t just be able take one of them in isolation and call it yours.
You can build your own track around a loop and release it, though. That’s not a problem.
For the most part, if you’re happy with the quality of material you’re creating, releasing is encouraged. There are no options to release your music directly to Spotify from Soundtrap, but as I said earlier, there are plenty of music distributors you can take advantage of.
Can I Make Professional Sounding Music On Soundtrap?
The short answer is yes.
The longer answer is that “professional” runs the spectrum from the earliest music recordings captured on tape with a single microphone, all the way to pristine, digital multi-track EDM projects expertly mixed and mastered, lovingly with the best premium VSTs and classic analog hardware.
It’s quite amazing that we live in a time where you can easily make music that sounds better than professional recordings from the 80s, even from the comfort of your own home.
As well, Soundtrap can’t make you a better musician. If you don’t know theory, can’t play an instrument, can’t sing, and don’t know production, then you’ll probably be a little limited in what you can create. If you work on these skills, you can obviously create better sounding tracks.
And if I were to short circuit the question, I would say this – yes, it’s possible to make something that’s commercial ready with Soundtrap. I would insist on a skilled mixer for initial mixdown, and a mastering engineer after the fact, but assuming you can capture great performances you’re happy with, there’s nothing stopping you from making something you’d be proud to share with the world.
Is Soundtrap Safe?
Soundtrap hasn’t had any major negative publicity that we’re aware of. As with anything, there are those who don’t love it, but there are critics of Starbucks and McDonald’s, for crying out loud, and they are some of the biggest companies in the world.
Given that Soundtrap is hosted in an online environment, there are a few possible threats that are always looming, and it’s good to be aware of them. Here’s what you should look out for:
- Those requesting personal information of you. It’s not advisable to give out your personal information online, whether it’s your full name, address, social security number, credit card number, cryptocurrency wallet codes, or login information, even if you’re collaborating with friends. Sometimes, people will even ask for your favorite superhero, date of birth, or mother’s maiden name hoping to crack your accounts. Beware of anyone requesting personal information.
- Phishing. We have not heard any reports of this occurring specifically with Soundtrap. But it could potentially happen with any company, because hackers send out emails posing as a variety of providers (though they usually imitate banks) to gain access to login information. Email safety basics are worth observing, regardless of your online activity.
- Cyberattacks. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you could possibly do about a cyberattack and leaked account information or passwords. These types of events would need to be handled by Soundtrap staff. But you can effort to update your password periodically so you’re less susceptible to potential attacks.
The above points are cautionary more than anything. As noted earlier, we’re not aware of any major incidents involving Soundtrap, and hopefully it stays that way.
Soundtrap FAQ, Final Thoughts
Since you can try Soundtrap for free, there’s really nothing to lose. If you’re curious, go and give it a try and see how you feel about it. Maybe you’ll incorporate it into your workflow, maybe you won’t, but either way you will satisfy your curiosity in the process.
If you've any more questions, check out our Soundtrap Review. Best of luck!