Last time, I featured free video editors for Mac, Windows and Linux and now here’s a compilation of available free audio editors or free audio editing software that work on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Ardour is a free software hard disk recorder and digital audio workstation application released under the GNU General Public License. It currently runs on Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS X. Its primary author is Paul Davis, who is also responsible for the JACK Audio Connection Kit. Ardour’s intention is to provide digital audio workstation software suitable for professional use.
OS support: Mac OS X / Linux / Unix

Audacity is a free/open source, cross platform digital audio editor. The source code for Audacity is released under the GNU General Public License. The graphical user interface for the editor has been produced using the wxWidgets library.
OS support: Mac OS X / Windows / Unix

Eisenkraut is a standalone, cross-platform audio file editor using the SuperCollider 3 server application.
OS support: Mac OS X / Windows / Linux

Frequency is a spectral audio editor. The central feature is an amplitude brush tool using which one can paint amplitude modifications unto a sound’s spectrum.
OS support: Mac OS X

Jokosher is a free, non-linear multi-track audio editor, the source code of which is released under the GNU GPL. It is being developed in Python, using the Gtk interface and GStreamer as an audio back-end, for the Linux operating system; although future versions may have ports to other operating systems. It was released to the public on July 21, 2006. Version 0.2 was publicly released on November 20, 2006 and it included support for LADSPA effects, and extensions. It also addressed many bugs present that made version 0.1 unusable.
OS support: Linux

Linux MultiMedia Studio, or LMMS, aims to be a free (licensed under GPL), Linux based alternative to popular (but commercial and closed-source) programs like FL Studio, Cubase and Logic Pro. Music can be produced by creating/synthesizing sounds, arranging samples, and playing live with a MIDI keyboard.
OS support: Linux

Loop Editor
Loop editor is a simple (and free) audio loop editor. Designed in Cocoa from the ground up, Loop Editor proudly takes advantage of Quartz, CoreAudio, and other solid OS X interface features.

Loop Editor supports all audio file formats that support loop markers, including every type of looping available for any given format. Loop Editor is one of the only applications available that manages multiple loop makers (within files that support multiple loops).
OS support: Mac OS X

Mp3splt is a free digital audio splitter that runs on GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows operating systems. The source code for mp3splt is released under the GNU General Public License. The mp3splt project has also a library created from mp3splt v2.1, called libmp3splt and a graphical user interface called mp3splt-gtk that uses that library.
OS support: Mac OS X / Windows / Linux

Snd is a sound editor modelled loosely after Emacs. It can be customized and extended using either Guile, Ruby, Forth, or Gauche. Snd is free; the code is available via anonymous ftp as snd-9.tar.gz. Snd has a home page and a CVS repository, and is included in the PlanetCCRMA
OS support: Mac OS X / Linux

SPEAR is an application for audio analysis, editing and synthesis. The analysis procedure (which is based on the traditional McAulay-Quatieri technique) attempts to represent a sound with many individual sinusoidal tracks (partials), each corresponding to a single sinusoidal wave with time varying frequency and amplitude.
OS support: Mac OS X / Windows

Sweep is a free/open source software multiplatform digital audio editor and live playback tool for GNU/Linux, BSD and compatible systems. It is able to handle many sound formats, including MP3, WAV and Vorbis. The most notable feature of Sweep is its stylus-like cursor tool called Scrubby. The program is licensed under the GPL and it is included in most modern Linux distributions.
OS support: Linux / Unix

TAPESTREA (or taps) is a unified framework for interactively analyzing, transforming and synthesizing complex sounds. Given one or more recordings, it provides well-defined means to:

  • identify points of interest in the sound and extract them into reusable templates
  • transform sound components independently of the background and/or other events
  • continually resynthesize the background texture in a perceptually convincing manner
  • controllably place event templates over backgrounds, using a novel graphical user interface and/or scripts written in the ChucK audio programming language
  • leverage similarity based retrieval to locate other interesting sound components

Taps provides a new way to completely transform a sound scene, dynamically generate soundscapes of unlimited length, and compose and design sound by combining elements from different recordings. Tailored for sound designers, audio researchers, composers, and anyone interested in experimenting with sound.
OS support: Mac OS X / Windows / Unix

WaveSurfer is a sound visualization/manipulation tool for novice and advanced users, with a simple and intuitive user interface. It can be adapted to different tasks, such as speech research and education, speech/sound analysis, and sound annotation/transcription. You can also make more advanced/specialized applications by extending it with custom plugins or embed WaveSurfer components in other applications. Its flexible interface handles many different file formats, and it runs on many flavors of Windows and Unix. It also supports encoding and Unicode with unlimited file size, and more.
OS support: Mac OS X / Windows / Unix

Wired is a free software audio creation computer program running on the Linux operating system. It helps musicians to compose, record, edit and mix sounds. It handles live instruments (through sound card analog or midi inputs), virtual instruments and sound effects. It manages the most used plug-in types (LADSPA, DSSI). It is composed of racks, a sequencer and a mixer. Its graphical interface is designed to be user-friendly for amateurs whereas its abilities cover needs of a semi-professional public. Wired is still under development but has downloadable versions from its official site.
OS support: Mac OS X / Linux

XO Wave
XO Wave is a digital audio workstation designed to meet the needs of audio and video professionals, with a focus on CD Mastering and audio for video work. Though still under development, XO Wave already provides professional-grade capabilities for manipulating audio, with a familiar and elegant interface. Support for direct recording from any Core Audio device, importing and exporting files in a variety of formats (including songs from iTunes playlists), CD burning, multi-track editing, support for many Audio Units, and QuickTime synchronization and export, make XO Wave a great tool for all kinds of audio work, including podcasting, vodcasting, CD Mastering, mixing and more!
OS support: Mac OS X / Linux / Unix

For Part II, I’ll be featuring free audio editors just for Windows.

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Owner and editor of JaypeeOnline. Self-proclaimed geek. New media writer and consultant. WordPress advocate. Loves blogging, gadgets, video games and sports. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.


  • JP Habaradas, January 11, 2011 @ 12:25 PM Reply

    @Justin – I seldom do audio editing but when I do, I also prefer Audacity. :)

  • Justin Germino, January 11, 2011 @ 12:21 PM Reply

    Audacity is my program of choice here too

  • Free Loops, August 14, 2007 @ 10:02 AM Reply

    Audacity is my personal fav.

    Also you can get a free version of Acid Xpress from Sony now.

  • JP Habaradas, April 24, 2007 @ 5:12 PM Reply

    @verns – Yeah I know, I thought you forgot all about my blog already. Hehe :)

    @benj – Thanks man! It was due for a theme change so I decided to use this Dark theme. Yeah, it does look a bit like that site. :)

    @aaron – Thank you! I’m just glad that I was able to get this theme early. Hehe :D

  • benj, April 24, 2007 @ 5:46 AM Reply

    I love the color scheme. Did I say i love it.

    Reminds me a lot of this site –

    Waaaah, I love the color scheme. Wah. Wah.

    Ok, I’ll stop gushing now, but I love the color scheme… hehe

  • aaron, April 24, 2007 @ 7:57 AM Reply

    Brilliant new layout. I second the motion, benj. Maybe I should change mine to blue as well for may.

  • verns, April 23, 2007 @ 5:54 PM Reply

    hello Jaypee :)

    long time no comment for me hehe :)Anyway love the color of your theme bro…

    have a great day!

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