Free Audio Software
Sometimes it's not enough just to play your music. Audio aficionados and sound professionals can use audio software to dig into sounds, analyze waveforms, edit and remix tunes. Here's a rundown of the best free audio software...
Where to Download Free Audio Software
Converter software transforms one audio file format into another. Often, file conversion is a feature built into audio player software, but some programs specialize in converting audio files swiftly and in bulk. Examples of free audio converter software include the Windows-only WinLAME and FFmpeg, which supports Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
Professional audio recording and editing software doesn't have to be expensive. Here are some free, open source programs that will slice and dice your audio any way you like:
- Ardour is a digital audio workstation that runs on Linux, Unix, and Mac platforms. Its features include recording, mixing, editing, and mastering.
- Audacity is a multi-track audio recorder that can be used to mix and master entire albums. It's also a great tool for editing music clips and converting from one format to another.
- Linux MultiMedia Studio (LMMS) is another open source digital workstation that runs on Windows as well as Linux and Mac platforms. It includes song-editing, sound synthesis, multi-track recording and mixing, and many other features.
Special-Purpose Audio Software
BRP-PACU is a dual channel FFT audio analysis tool. It is used with omnidirectional calibrated microphones to configure the proper equalization and delay of sound systems. And you know, just saying that out loud will make you feel smarter.
Audio analysis software is used mainly by researchers and forensic scientists to analyze phonetics in speech recordings. Praat (Dutch for "talk") is an open source speech analysis program that comes in versions for Windows, Unix, and Mac systems. Praat also does speech synthesis. WaveSurfer is a simpler yet powerful acoustic phonetics analyzer that displays interactive graphs of sound pressure waveforms, spectral sections, spectrograms, pitch tracks, and transcriptions.
For writing your own techno-music, there are several open source music programming languages. Csound is written in the C language. It runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. SuperCollider is an elaborate audio synthesis platform that consists of a server, client, and programming language. Nyquist is a sound synthesis and analysis language based on Lisp. It allows programmers to design musical instruments by combining functions, and call sounds from the instruments using simple expressions.
If you want to run an Internet radio station you need audio streaming software. Icecast is a streaming media server that runs on Linux and Windows platforms. A "source client," typically a recording program in a studio, feeds audio files to the Icecast server, which is often located in a data center far away.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of free open source audio programs for sound engineers, audio producers, DJs, and other audio professionals. In addition to the examples I've listed here, many more can be found at SourceForge.net.
Do you have a free audio software program you want to toss into the mix? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 17 May 2011
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Free Audio Software (Posted: 17 May 2011)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved