You’ve got a lot of choices when it comes to audio editors for Linux. No matter whether you are a professional music producer or just learning to create awesome music, the audio editors will always come in handy.
Well, for professional-grade usage, a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is always recommended. However, not everyone needs all the functionalities, so you should know about some of the most simple audio editors as well.
In this article, we will talk about a couple of DAWs and basic audio editors which are available as free and open source solutions for Linux and (probably) for other operating systems.
Top Audio Editors for Linux
We will not be focusing on all the functionalities that DAWs offer – but the basic audio editing capabilities. You may still consider this as the list of best DAW for Linux.
Installation instruction: You will find all the mentioned audio editors or DAWs in your AppCenter or Software center. In case, you do not find them listed, please head to their official website for more information.
Audacity is one of the most basic yet a capable audio editor available for Linux. It is a free and open-source cross-platform tool. A lot of you must be already knowing about it.
It has improved a lot when compared to the time when it started trending. I do recall that I utilized it to “try” making karaokes by removing the voice from an audio file. Well, you can still do it – but it depends.
It also supports plug-ins that include VST effects. Of course, you should not expect it to support VST Instruments.
- Live audio recording through a microphone or a mixer
- Export/Import capability supporting multiple formats and multiple files at the same time
- Plugin support: LADSPA, LV2, Nyquist, VST and Audio Unit effect plug-ins
- Easy editing with cut, paste, delete and copy functions.
- Spectogram view mode for analyzing frequencies
LMMS is a free and open source (cross-platform) digital audio workstation. It includes all the basic audio editing functionalities along with a lot of advanced features.
You can mix sounds, arrange them, or create them using VST instruments. It does support them. Also, it comes baked in with some samples, presets, VST Instruments, and effects to get started. In addition, you also get a spectrum analyzer for some advanced audio editing.
- Note playback via MIDI
- VST Instrument support
- Native multi-sample support
- Built-in compressor, limiter, delay, reverb, distortion and bass enhancer
Ardour is yet another free and open source digital audio workstation. If you have an audio interface, Ardour will support it. Of course, you can add unlimited multichannel tracks. The multichannel tracks can also be routed to different mixer tapes for the ease of editing and recording.
You can also import a video to it and edit the audio to export the whole thing. It comes with a lot of built-in plugins and supports VST plugins as well.
- Non-linear editing
- Vertical window stacking for easy navigation
- Strip silence, push-pull trimming, Rhythm Ferret for transient and note onset-based editing
Cecilia is not an ordinary audio editor application. It is meant to be used by sound designers or if you are just in the process of becoming one. It is technically an audio signal processing environment. It lets you create ear-bending sound out of them.
You get in-build modules and plugins for sound effects and synthesis. It is tailored for a specific use – if that is what you were looking for – look no further!
- Modules to achieve more (UltimateGrainer – A state-of-the-art granulation processing, RandomAccumulator – Variable speed recording accumulator,
UpDistoRes – Distortion with upsampling and resonant lowpass filter)
- Automatic Saving of modulations
If you want to mix and record something while being able to have a virtual DJ tool, Mixxx would be a perfect tool. You get to know the BPM, key, and utilize the master sync feature to match the tempo and beats of a song. Also, do not forget that it is yet another free and open source application for Linux!
It supports custom DJ equipment as well. So, if you have one or a MIDI – you can record your live mixes using this tool.
- Broadcast and record DJ Mixes of your song
- Ability to connect your equipment and perform live
- Key detection and BPM detection
Rosegarden is yet another impressive audio editor for Linux which is free and open source. It is neither a fully featured DAW nor a basic audio editing tool. It is a mixture of both with some scaled down functionalities.
I wouldn’t recommend this for professionals but if you have a home studio or just want to experiment, this would be one of the best audio editors for Linux to have installed.
- Music notation editing
- Recording, Mixing, and samples
These are some of the best audio editors you could find out there for Linux. No matter whether you need a DAW, a cut-paste editing tool, or a basic mixing/recording audio editor, the above-mentioned tools should help you out.
Did we miss any of your favorite? Let us know about it in the comments below.
This is not a list of “editors”. Audacity is an editor of very limited application. Mixx is a DJ player. LMMS and Rosegarden are midi music. Cecilia is a processor. Multitrackers like Ardour do not include an editor.
I moved towards linux in 2012 and was held back longtime to fully shift because of audio-software. Reaper works totally fine (through wine) and is a complete daw in the style of Ardour. Recently I thought they’re beta-testing a true linuxversion. But it works perfect for me this way.
I do mis sonic pi which used to be available for linux but now gives trouble and is no longer supported :-(.
I think Reaper is available for Linux now… how come you don’t mention it?
Yup, I just installed Reaper on Ubuntu (low latency install) it is uber fast…
Wierd.. as if ocenaudio bot exits…