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List of free audio software

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List of free audio software

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

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
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 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 No No No Yes GPL

DJ Software

Name Creator Linux? Mac OS X? Unix? Windows? Note License
Mixxx Mixxx Development Team (site) Yes Yes Yes Yes GPL
Xwax Mark Hills Yes No No No GPL

Modular systems

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


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

Name Creator Description Note License
Ubuntu Studio 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

Component GUI Programming
AlsaPlayer AlsaPlayer GTK+ C
Aqualung GTK+ C
Audacious GTK+ C
Bluemindo Bluemindo GTK+ Python
qmmp Decibel Audio Player GTK+ C++ A Fork of Bluemindo;
qmmp Pogo Qt C++ a Fork of Decibel;
DeaDBeeF DeaDBeeF GTK+ C
qmmp Qt C++

Audio players with Database

Component GUI Programming
Amarok (software) Qt C++
aTunes Java
Banshee GTK+ GTK#
Clementine (software) Qt C++
Exaile GTK+ PyGObject, Python
Gmusicbrowser Gmusicbrowser GTK+ Perl
Guayadeque wxWidgets C++, C
JuK JuK Qt C++
Jajuk Java
Listen Listen GTK+ Python
Musique Musique Qt C++
Nightingale XULRunner C++
Pragha GTK+ C
Quod Libet GTK+ PyGObject
Rhythmbox GTK+ C
Tomahawk Tomahawk Qt C++
Songbird XULRunner C++



Programming languages

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 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

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
Rivendell Paravel Systems Yes No No Rivendell website

Recording and editing

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
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


Name Creator Linux? Mac OS X? Unix? Windows? Note License
FluidSynth Yes Yes Yes Yes SoundFont player / renderer LGPL
ZynAddSubFX Yes Yes Yes Mac OS X version is limited GPL


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
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
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

Free software portal


External links

  • Consortium of free Linux audio software makers
  • Dave Phillips' Sound & MIDI Software For Linux
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