Grab these pricey creativity apps and use them for free during the pandemic

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Ableton and Logic Pro X free app trials: Nothing says
Nothing says "unbridled creative frenzy" like a mass of tangled cables.
Photo: Ableton

Being stuck at home with nothing to do but watch the world collapse around us is kind of a downer, but there are some upsides. One is that people are getting creative. Like, literally creative — making more music, writing and sharing videos. The other silver lining is that app-makers are offering big discounts and extended trials for some amazing apps.

For instance, Apple now offers a free, three-month trial of its music-production app, Logic Pro X. And Ableton just matched this offer with its Live Suite.

Free app trials during coronavirus pandemic

Those two are great for musicians. But there are plenty of other apps gone free during the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s a list of the best free creative apps of all types that we could find.

Free three-month trial for Final Cut Pro X

Final Cut Pro free trial: Get the video editor that is good enough for Hollywood.

This one is the least exciting (in terms of novelty, anyway). Apple has offered a free trial version of Final Cut Pro since forever. However, now the free trial will last up to 90 days. The full version costs $300, which is a steal for this kind of app. A free three-month trial is a great way to find out if you really want to buy Apple’s pro video-editing suite.

Free three-month trial for Logic Pro X

Logic Pro X. Is there anything it cannot do? Get your free three-month trial now.
Logic Pro X. Is there anything it cannot do?
Photo: Apple

This one’s huge. Ever since it moved to the App Store, Logic Pro hasn’t had a trial version. Now, you can grab one of the best digital audio workstation around for free, and use it for three months. Logic Pro X really is a great DAW. It offers everything you need — from FX plugins and built-in instruments to a virtual drummer and some incredible editing features. This might come across as a promo spot for Logic, but that’s because I really, really like it.

Logic also offers a great upgrade path from GarageBand. Not just because of file compatibility, but because it’s very similar, at least at the basic level. Don’t expect Logic to be easy to master, though. It’s insanely powerful and customizable, which means there’s a lot to learn. But if you start off without all the advanced options enabled (they’re off by default), then you can easily find your way.

Free three-month trial of Ableton Live Suite

Ableton already offers generous trials for its Live apps, but it has now matched Apple’s offer with a 90-day free trial. That includes the full Ableton Live Suite, which costs $749.

Live is known as a DAW geared toward electronic music, and it’s true that Logic offers better tools for recording live instruments and doing surgical work on the results. But Live is also way, way easier for creating and experimenting. That’s due to an excellent user interface, which feels simple and yet is also very powerful. Another clue is in the name: Live is built not just for editing and arranging, but for performing.

Even if you’re already a paid-up Live Lite or Live Standard user, it might be worth checking out the Live Suite trial just to get all those extra instruments and tools for a few months. Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to afford the upgrade price again if you get your old job back.

There’s more

That’s not it. Avid is also giving away free licenses for its Media Composer, Pro Tools and Sibelius apps. These are full licenses, but will last for only 90 days, so they act like a trial.

Or what about Reaper? Reaper is another excellent desktop DAW, one that’s priced low at all times. Reaper’s trial “only” runs 60 days, but you can buy a noncommercial license for just $60 if you want to keep using it.

There are also plenty of iOS music apps on sale. Check out this page on AppSliced to see the latest price drops. And if you have any tips, let us know.