List of free software for audio

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This list of free software for audio lists notable free and open source software for use by sound engineers, audio producers, and those involved in sound recording and reproduction.

Audio analysis[edit]

Name Creator Linux? Mac OS X? Unix? Windows? Note Licence
Baudline SigBlips contract engineering design and development firm Yes Yes Yes baudline signal analyzer - a scientific visualization tool proprietary and GPL source code licenses are available
BRP-PACU Yes Yes Dual channel FFT tool for equalization of sound systems using the transfer function. GPL
lxsndtest Oskar Leuthold Yes Yes frequency response using pink-noise, magnitude/phase response, distortion analysis, .. GNU GPL v3
Praat Paul Boersma and David Weenink of the University of Amsterdam Yes Yes Yes A program for the analysis of speech in phonetics. GPL
Sonic Visualiser Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary, University of London Yes Yes Yes GPL
Spek Alexander Kojevnikov Yes Yes Yes Yes analyse audio files by showing their spectrogram GNU GPL v3
WaveSurfer Yes Yes Yes Permissive free software


Name Creator Linux? Mac OS X? Unix? Windows? Note License
Max Stephen Booth (site) No Yes No No Not to be confused with Max/MSP GPL
FFmpeg Libav team Yes Yes Yes Yes Audio & video. GPL or LGPL
Libav Fabrice Bellard Yes Yes Yes Yes Audio & video. GPL or LGPL
MPlayer Yes Yes Yes Yes Audio & video. GPL
fre:ac (formerly BonkEnc) Robert Kausch Yes No No Yes GPL

DJ Software[edit]

Name Creator Linux? Mac OS X? Unix? Windows? Note License
Mixxx Mixxx Development Team (site) Yes Yes Yes Yes GPL
VirtualDJ Atomix Production Inc. (site) No Yes No Yes GPL
Traktor Native Instruments (site) No Yes No Yes GPL
Xwax Mark Hills Yes No No No GPL

Modular systems[edit]

Name Creator Linux? Mac OS X? Unix? Windows? Note License
jMax Yes Yes no longer supported LGPL
SynFactory No No No Yes GPL
VisualAp Yes Yes Yes GPL
aRts Yes Yes Yes Yes GPL
Libvisual Yes Yes Yes Yes LGPL


Various projects have formed to integrate the existing free software audio packages.

Name Creator Description Note License
Ubuntu Studio Linux distribution various
AVLinux Linux distribution various
dyne:bolic Linux distribution various
AGNULA Linux distribution
Musix Linux distribution various
64 Studio Linux distribution
Planet CCRMA set of packages (in RPM format)


Audio players without Database[edit]

Component GUI Programming
AlsaPlayer GTK+ C
Aqualung Aqualung GTK+ C
Audacious Audacious GTK+ C
Beep Media Player GTK+ C
Bluemindo GTK+ Python
Decibel Audio Player GTK+ C++ A Fork of Bluemindo;
Muine Mono C# can use GStreamer and xine
Pogo GTK+ Python a Fork of Decibel;
qmmp qmmp Qt C++
XiXMusicPlayer GTK2 Pascal

Audio players with Database[edit]

Component GUI Programming
Database Description
Amarok Amarok Qt C++ MySQL
aTunes aTunes Java
Banshee Banshee GTK+ C# SQLite
Clementine Clementine Qt C++ SQLite3
Exaile Exaile GTK+ Python Berkeley DB
Gmusicbrowser GTK+ Perl
Guayadeque Guayadeque wxWidgets C++, C wxSQLite3
JuK Qt C++
Jajuk Java
Listen GTK+ Python
Musique Qt C++
Nightingale Nightingale XULRunner C++ SQLite? fork of Songbird, with Linux support
Evince Pragha GTK+ C SQLite
Quod Libet Quod Libet GTK+ Python  ???
Rhythmbox Rhythmbox GTK+ C rhythmdb not GNU Data Access
Tomahawk Tomahawk Qt C++ SQLite
Songbird Songbird XULRunner C++ SQLite? support for Linux was dropped


Programming languages[edit]

Many computer music programming languages are implemented in free software. See also the comparison of audio synthesis environments.

Name Creator Linux? Mac OS X? Unix? Windows? Note License
Csound Csound community, Barry Vercoe Yes Yes No? Yes LGPL
SuperCollider SuperCollider community, James McCartney Yes Yes Yes? Yes GPL
ChucK Ge Wang, Perry Cook Yes Yes No? Yes GPL
Nyquist Computer Music Project at Carnegie Mellon University, Roger B. Dannenberg Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pure Data Pd Community, Miller Puckette Yes Yes Yes Yes BSD-like

Radio broadcasting[edit]

See also streaming below.

Name Creator Linux? Mac OS X? Unix? Windows? Note
Airtime Sourcefabric Yes No No Successor to Campcaster
Airtime website
ARAS Erasmo Alonso Yes No No ARAS website
Campcaster Sourcefabric Yes No No
OpenBroadcaster OpenBroadcaster Yes No No OpenBroadcaster website
RadioDJ Marius Vaida No No Yes RadioDJ website
Rivendell Paravel Systems Yes No Partial Rivendell website

Recording and editing[edit]

The following packages are digital audio editors.

Name Creator Linux? Mac OS X? Unix? Windows? Note
Ardour Paul Davis Yes Yes Yes No multi-track audio recorder
Audacity Dominic Mazzoni Yes Yes Yes Yes multi-track audio recorder
Calf Studio Gear Krzysztof Foltman et al. (site) Yes Yes Yes Yes? mixer
cutmp3 Jochen Puchalla Yes Yes Yes Yes limited support through Cygwin lossless MP3 splitter
Ecasound Yes Yes Yes Yes limited support through Cygwin audio recorder
Eisenkraut Hanns Holger Rutz (site) Yes Yes Yes Yes connects to SuperCollider
harmonySEQ Rafal Cieslak (site) Yes No No MIDI sequencer
Jokosher Jokosher community Yes No Yes multi-track audio editor
LMMS Tobias Doerffel Yes Yes as of 0.4.0 with Qt4 Yes Free cross-platform alternative to commercial programs like FL Studio®, which allow you to produce music with your computer.

Intended as a replacement for Cubase-like software (DAW)

MusE Yes No No MIDI sequencer
Qtractor Yes No No A non-destructive multi-track audio and MIDI Workstation (DAW)
ReZound Davy Durham Yes No No No Graphical audio file editor
Rosegarden Yes No No MIDI sequencer and multi-track recorder
SoX Yes Yes Yes Yes command-line multi-track audio editor/processor
Sweep Conrad Parker Yes No Yes No
Traverso DAW Remon Sijrier (site) Yes Yes Yes multi-track audio recorder and editor
WaveSurfer Centre for Speech Technology at KTH Yes Yes Yes Yes
WavoSaur (site) No No No Yes Lightweight multi-channel audio recorder/editor with VST effects support.


Name Creator Linux? Mac OS X? Unix? Windows? Note License
FluidSynth Yes Yes Yes Yes SoundFont player / renderer LGPL
TiMidity++ Yes Yes Yes Yes GPL
ZynAddSubFX Yes Yes Yes Mac OS X version is limited GPL
[1] Lm3jo Abadie joris Yes acoustic modeling


These programs are for use with streaming audio.

Name Creator Linux? Mac OS X? Unix? Windows? Note
Icecast Yes Yes Yes a broadcast server, serves audio signals to clients over the HTTP protocol
PeerCast Yes Yes Yes a peercasting tool
Firefly Media Server Yes Yes Yes streams music to DAAP clients like iTunes and Rhythmbox
VideoLAN Yes Yes Yes Yes media and server programs for video and audio streaming


Name Creator Linux? Mac OS X? Unix? Windows? Note
Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) Yes a sound card management system in the Linux kernel
DSSI Yes a plugin architecture for software synthesizers
GStreamer Yes No Yes Yes a graph-based multimedia framework
JACK Audio Connection Kit (JACK) JACK Team, Paul Davis Yes Yes (JACK OS X) Yes (jackdmp) a sound server
Linux Audio Developers Simple Plugin API (LADSPA) Yes a plugin architecture for digital signal processing
Open Sound System Yes Yes a standard interface for making and capturing sound in Unix operating systems
PulseAudio Yes Yes Yes(Solaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD) Yes a sound server


These music sequencer programs allow users to arrange notes (pitch-shifted sound samples) on a timeline: see tracker (music software).

Name Creator Linux? Mac OS X? Unix? Windows? Note
CheeseTracker Juan Linietsky (site) Yes Yes No Impulse Tracker clone
MilkyTracker (site) Yes Yes Yes Yes Also runs on various other platforms including but not limited to Windows Mobile, PlayStation and AmigaOS 4.
OpenMPT Olivier Lapicque No No No Yes released as free software in 2004
Psycle No No No Yes a tracker combined with modular capabilities
SoundTracker Yes No Yes No Fast Tracker clone


Name Creator Linux? Mac OS X? Unix? Windows? Note
Aria Maestosa Auria Yes Yes Yes Yes a multi-track MIDI sequencer
Cythar Sequencer (website) Monoplugs Yes Yes Yes Yes A multi-track, polyphonic MIDI step sequencer
Giada (website) Monocasual Yes Yes Yes Yes Loop machine, drum machine, sequencer, live sampler, plugin/effect host for live performances.
Gnaural Yes Yes Yes Yes Binaural beat and pink noise generator
GNU LilyPond Han-Wen Nienhuys and Jan Nieuwenhuizen Yes Yes Yes Yes a music engraving program
Hydrogen Yes Yes Partial Partial an advanced drum machine
Impro-Visor Bob Keller Yes Yes Yes Yes lead sheet notation, jazz improvisation, auto-accompaniment
orDrumbox Yes Yes Yes Yes a Java based drum machine
Kangas Sound Editor (website) Kangasound Yes Yes Unknown Yes Synthesizer, mixing, sound effects, music composition and production
libsndfile Yes Yes Yes Yes library for reading and writing many sound formats
Levelator The Conversations Network Yes Yes No Yes Tool that uses a compressor, normalizer and limiter to normalize volume levels in audio recordings of public talks.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]