I am looking for open source/free software for casual sound editing. I've tried audacity, I know it's capable tool but really I dont like the interface. Tried snd, can't get it to work.

I am looking for audacity alternative that has good sound editing feature, doesn't have to be as full-featured as audacity although it's a bonus otherwise.

At least capable to do basic sound editing like cut , copy, fade-in/out etc.

Does ardour sound editing is good?( I know ardour is mainly for recording) Any other choice?

  • 2
    I'm considering developing one for android. Are you interested in contributing?
    – hunterp
    Jan 8, 2011 at 17:40
  • 6
    What operating system are you using?
    – BenV
    Jan 8, 2011 at 18:18

9 Answers 9


There's also Jokosher

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Jokosher is a simple yet powerful multi-track studio. With it you can create and record music, podcasts and more, all from an integrated simple environment.

It's rather easy to use and not nearly as powerful as Ardour. Apparently, besides Ubuntu it works quite well on other Linux operating system, Windows and, of course, Solaris. :) It doesn't run on Mac OS X.

  • 1
    Looks nice, but sadly doesn't seem to be maintained, and a lot of important links on the website doesn't seem to work (forum, user documentation)
    – Julien N
    Mar 14, 2012 at 18:02

Ardour has editing functionalities that really can be considered serious tools, although it has a more multitrack-approach on things in general, and editing is no exception. It is really worth a try though.

The real downside of Ardour is that it is not available for Windows. (Probably due to Jack, the low-latency audio hardware driver abstraction layer that ardour is built on)

I don't know why you are specifically looking for open source solutions, but if it is just because you are on a budget (open source doesn't necessarily mean free as in "free beer", you are expected to pay for ardour if you use it) you might be interested in Reaper as an alternative to ardour. Comes with Windows and OS X build, and has a more active development team on it that comes with updates more regularly than the ardour developers.

  • 1
    Ardour is the best solution for a pro or serious hobbyist. It is way more complicated to use than Audacity because it is meant to be an open source Pro Tools replacement and it does that very well.
    – bogeymin
    Jan 10, 2011 at 12:06
  • Reaper is a nice tool, but not free... and the OP probably asked for an open source software because he's looking for a free tool (although I agree that open source doesn't mean free).
    – Julien N
    Jan 25, 2011 at 17:46
  • ardour is working on windows, but only if you know how to install it. however, there are no official installers, because the devs don't want to have a Windows version.
    – David Halter
    Jul 3, 2012 at 17:20
  • Why you say user is expected to pay for Ardour?
    – Tshepang
    Jul 4, 2012 at 21:03
  • 1
    I agree, but since they clearly state that if you decide to pay nothing, you get a limited demo version of the product, I would call this an expectation rather than an encouragement.
    – Pelle ten Cate
    Jul 8, 2012 at 15:33

Here is a list of 25 open source sound editors, all with screen grabs and quick blurbs about them. Audacity is #1, but the other 24 are all probably worth investigating.


NOT OpenSource, but free:

If you're running Windows Wavosaur is a possiblity, haven't tried it in WINE... I've used it and Audacity for small projects. It is free, but the source isn't readily available. Wavosaur doesn't handle large audio files really well on my workstation, but the WS is a bit dated. I've mostly used it for making ringtones and small loops, and it's pretty good at that. All of these tools have a learning curve and a set of fundamental trade-offs in the control interface.


NOT OpenSource, but affordable:

For non-free DAWs, Reaper is certainly worth looking at in-terms of functionality and operating cost. Some users report that it runs under WINE on linux, but there are UI performance issues that frustrate some. Reaper is being ported to Mac OSX and may be ported to linux after that port is mature.

Reaper forum discussing external Editors and comparing creature comfort and how other DAWs do the same task, I included this link because:

--As others have mentioned, Reaper may well be a good solution for you, even though it's not OpenSource, and there is an active forum community to interact with.

--Most DAWs work in a similar ways, but the mechanics of the workflow are all different, which is a feature

--The linked forum thread illustrates that even experienced users of several DAWs have strong notions about in-project audio editing (especially destructive v.s. non-destructive).


WaveShop might fit your constraints. It's free and open-source, it's less complicated than Audacity but still has plenty of editing features, and it has a straightforward, uncluttered native Windows interface. It's also thoroughly documented, has 64-bit and portable versions, has good surround support, and is being actively developed. From the WaveShop website:

"WaveShop is a free, open-source audio editor for Windows XP/Vista/7. WaveShop is fast, lightweight, and bit-perfect, meaning samples aren't altered unless they need to be. Editing a portion of an audio file only affects that portion; the rest of the file is untouched. Blocks of audio can be cut and pasted without changing their contents at all. This is especially useful for patching a finished master without corrupting its dither. Waveshop's features include peak, RMS and spectral analysis, normalizing, fading, sample rate conversion, audio generation, and more, all with unlimited undo and comprehensive help."

Screenshots: http://waveshop.sourceforge.net/screenshots.html

Features: http://waveshop.sourceforge.net/features.html


I'd go for reaper Might be a bit too much if you're only looking for an audio editor. It's a fully feature production suite, similar to Logic Studio or Cubase.

  • Is it really open source? Jan 19, 2011 at 13:16
  • hmmm... thought it was, but maybe it's not 100% open source:reaper.fm/lgpl
    – bot_bot
    Jan 19, 2011 at 21:58
  • It's not. LGPL allows you to distribute any sofware based on LGPL libraries with the license you want (more or less...). And it's not free neither.
    – Julien N
    Jan 25, 2011 at 17:54
  • +1 on Reaper. It's as simple or as complex as you want it to be, it runs on everything practically, and though it's not free the nag is the only drawback to using it past trial. Shareware that's worth putting to use on major projects is a pretty huge feat.
    – philwinkle
    Mar 14, 2011 at 3:33

I've heard Rosegarden is a nice production suite for Linux, but I haven't actually tried it.


Traverso is awesome. It may miss some feature and be a little hard to use the first minutes (it relies a lot on contextual shortcut keys) but it has been really useful to me. There is a plugin system, but I didn't try it.

It doesn't seem to be actively maintained so if the current features doesn't fit, it probably won't change

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