Developer Jonatan Krogh says that he’s been working on Cantor, his free “music playground”, for 10 years, but only now is he ready to release version 1.0. It looks like it might have been worth the wait, though, because this currently MacOS-exclusive app (A Windows version is in development) packs in a whole lot of functionality.
Although not a DAW in the traditional sense, Cantor enables you to to make music across eight stereo looping tracks. There are built-in synths, plus VST/AU plugin support so that you can bring in your own third-party instruments. The Quick Sampler enables you to capture incoming sound and map it to your keyboard, and loop lengths can run to minutes if you wish.
Cantor also offers 32 effects that you can combine across eight processors. And, because all sync and quantization options are defined as fractions, you should easily be able to generate polyrhythms.
On the recording side, your entire session can be captured with a single button press, while multitrack recording is also available. All loops can instantly be bounced down, too.
Cantor is funded exclusively by donations, so if you do like the look of it, you might want to think about handing over some money. More details and the free download can be found on the Cantor website.