Audio Software

I try to include recommendable free and open source stuff, let me know if you have any suggestions! craque circle_a craque dot_net.

News and Forums

Editing and Analysis

  • Tom Erbe’s SoundHack and other assortied FFT goodies.
  • Roger Nichols Digital has great analysis plugins, including a free one I use frequently called Inspector
  • SPEAR (Sinusoidal Partial Editing Analysis and Resynthesis) is a fairly new and promising, with some very neato graphic tools
  • Amadeus Pro is one of the better low-priced audio editors out there.
  • Wave Editor is an impressive MacOSX app from Audiofile, it may just be my next favorite sound app.
  • Audacity is a good free, open-source audio editor and recorder.
  • Sonic Visualiser is a graphical interface for sound file analysis.

Looping and Performance

  • Brian Eno has a new generative application for the iphone called Bloom.
  • RjDj for the iphone is based on PD, using “sensory input to generate and control the music…”
  • Shawn Hatfield (aka Twerk) provides his max/msp patches for free downloads, start with Burnt Toast (one I’ve used live) or Mooquencer.
  • Musolomo is a performance-oriented sampling looper AU plugin, perfect for use with Live.
  • is a synth and sequencer for the iphone, not out yet but looking forward to it!
  • Renoise uses tracker-style technology for composing, costs some money but the free version is fully featured.


  • Elysium is a “generative MIDI sequencer”
  • A good free “DAW” can be had in Ardour

Modular Music Making

  • Cycling 74 is the home of the ubiquitous Max/MSP
  • PureData (PD) “is a real-time graphical programming environment for audio, video, and graphical processing” – what amounts to the “free” version of Max/MSP, as it is all based on code by the same guy (Miller Puckette)
  • Plogue Bidule is a max/msp-like audio manipulator

Free Players and Visualizers

  • Cog is an open source player for MacOSX only; natively plays OGG and FLAC, among others.
  • Songbird is a multi-platform player and librarian with a plug-in architecture based on the Mozilla browser engine (same as Firefox); definitely going for an iTunes look, but ultimately a lot more customizable. It also natively supports OGG and FLAC, and can scrobble to your account.

Programming Languages

  • SuperCollider : now free, an “environment and programming language for real time audio synthesis and algorithmic composition.”
  • ChucK : another free real-time audio synthesis environment, does a lot of what SC can do, but with a simpler approach and much shallower learning curve; see also the chuck user’s wiki.

Plug-in Tech

  • MDA Effects are some of the coolest free plugins out there.
  • Destroy FX is a nice (free) suite of simple yet effective plug-ins for granular processing and spectral effects.
  • Pluggo is a superb and inexpensive collection of great Max/MSP plugins. Download the free Pluggo Junior to get a dozen of very useful basic plugins, highly recommended.
  • Audio Damage has some very nice sounding simple low cost effects

Stand-Alone Synthesis

  • Spongefork : really neat graphical noisemaker for MacOSX
  • Minicomputer : simple digital synthesizer for Linux
  • AlgoScore : “graphical environment for algorithmic composition” for MacOSX? (includes source code so it could be portable)
  • Propellerhead has the very popular ReBirth drum machine synth available for free through The ReBirth Museum. This is the software that introduced me to making music with beats!
  • Synplant

OS Specific

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