I asked about a Non-Linear Editor for sound that works from plain-text files. As it does not seem to exist, I programmed one with FFMPEG. The text input is:

## take_1.wav

-ss 3.32179
-to 7.57171
any notes on this

## take_1.wav

-ss 11.82790
-to 15.22180
some more notes

## take_2.wav

-ss 15.76000
-to 20.20920
more notes

and I extract those segments with FFMPEG:

ffmpeg -i take2.wav -ss 15.76000 -to 20.20920 -ac 1 temp3.wav

and then join them with Python's wave module, from this answer:

def join_audio(infiles, outfile):
    data = []
    for infile in infiles:
        w = wave.open(infile, 'rb')
        data.append( [w.getparams(), w.readframes(w.getnframes())] )

    output = wave.open(outfile, 'wb')
    for i in range(len(data)):

I notice some discrepancies at the joins between the segments. Since WAV is uncompressed, I assume that this slicing and joining is lossless. Is that correct or am I losing some information in the process?

  • 3
    Wav editing should always be lossless, but cutting at non-zero points is always going to click. How are you ensuring your edit points are going to be silent? Why do you need to do this programatically rather than audio-visually? I'm sure something like Audacity would be a simple-enough tool for this job.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Aug 2, 2020 at 11:11
  • I was doing it programmatically to avoid the destructive editing of Audacity. Thanks for the tip on non-zero points.
    – emonigma
    Commented Aug 3, 2020 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


It will be lossless. You can avoid the popping sounds by doing very short fade ins/outs

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