There was a time when producers and artists needed thousands of dollars of worth of equipment to create music. But with affordable software such as GarageBand, aspiring beat makers and musicians can practice their craft or produce songs on a small budget. Here are several popular artists who use low-cost software to create chart-topping hits.

Erykah Badu: After her son noticed that she would save her ideas by calling her own phone and singing on her voice mail, Badu was introduced to GarageBand. She soon began to produce and record songs on her laptop while traveling. She eventually recorded 70 songs in 30 days and her latest album, New Amerykah, was produced entirely with GarageBand.

Rihanna: The Caribbean sex bomb’s biggest hit was recorded on GarageBand. “Umbrella” features a loop from GarageBand called “Vintage Funk Kit 03.”

T-Pain: Once the power shut down during a studio session and he was only allowed to work on his computer, T-Pain decided to use GarageBand to capture his ideas. He soon began to use the software more often and created his first hit “I’m N Luv (With a Stripper) on GarageBand.

a.r.