Here, I will look at some free and open source software that you can use for music production purposes or music creation.

1. Audacity

It is free, open source and also a cross-platform application for audio recording and editing. Therefore it can run on Linux, Mac OS X, Windows and other operating systems. Audacity has the some of the following features:

  1. Records live audio through a microphone, a mixer or from other media.
  2. Import and export files from and to different sound formats.
  3. Copy, cut, paste, delete options for easy editing.
  4. Large range of keyboard shortcuts.
  5. Add sound effects.
  6. Extensible with various plug-ins and much more.
Audacity Running on Linux

Audacity Running on Linux

VisitAudacity Homepage

2. Cecilia

It is an audio signal processing software that allows users to do sound exploration and music composition, and it is intended for use by sound designers. It can run on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X.

It allows you to create a customized GUI by following a simple syntax. Cecilia has in-built modules that allow users to add sound effects and also for synthesis.

Cecilia Running On Linux

Cecilia Running On Linux

VisitCecilia Homepage

3. Mixxx

This is a music mixing software that can help you become a professional DJ. It is available on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. It can help you test your audio after complete production by mixing it with other audio files while listening to it.

Therefore having it in a studio can be so helpful just in case the user is also a sound producer.

It has some of the following features:

  1. Four decks with advanced controls.
  2. In-built sound effects.
  3. Quad sampler decks.
  4. Designer skins.
  5. Record and broadcast functionality.
  6. DJ hardware support and many more.
Mixxx Running on Linux

Mixxx Running on Linux

VisitMixxx Homepage

4. Ardour

It is available on Linux and Mac OS X and allows you to record, edit, mix and master audio and MIDI projects. It can be used by musicians, soundtrack editors and composers.

Ardour has some of the following features:

  1. Flexible recording.
  2. Unlimited multichannel tracks.
  3. Importing and exporting audio files of different formats.
  4. Extensible through plug-ins and In-line plug-in control.
  5. Automation and much more.
Ardour Running on Linux

Ardour Running on Linux

VisitArdour Homepage

5. Hydrogen Drum Machine

It is an advanced drum sampler developed for Linux and Mac OS X operating systems though it is still experimental in OS X.

Hydrogen machine has some of the following features:

  1. User-friendly and modular
  2. Fast and intuitive GUI
  3. Pattern-based sequencer
  4. Multilayer instrument support
  5. Jack audio connection kit
  6. Import and export drum kits and also export audio files to different formats plus much more
Hydrogen Drum Machine

Hydrogen Drum Machine

VisitHydrogen Drum Machine Homepage

6. Guitarix

This is a virtual guitar amplifier and is available on Linux but can be built to work on BSD and Mac OS X. It runs on the Jack audio connection kit and works by taking a signal from a guitar and processes it mono amp and a rack section. It also has in-built modules to allow you add effects to the rack.

Guitarix Running on Linux

Guitarix Running on Linux

VisitGuitarix Homepage

7. Rosegarden

It is a music composing and editing application available on Linux and it is intended for use by music composers, musicians can be used in a home or small-scale recording environments.

Great understanding of music notations makes it interesting for users who know and understand music notations. Furthermore, it also has some basic support for digital audio.

Rosegarden Running on Linux

Rosegarden Running on Linux

VisitRosegarden Homepage

8. Qtractor

It is an audio Audio/MIDI multi-track sequencer designed specifically for personal home studios. It runs on Linux as the target operating system.

It has some the following features:

  1. Use of Jack Audio Connection Kit for audio and Advanced Linux Sound Architecture sequencer for MIDI as multimedia infrastructures.
  2. Support for different audio formats such as WAV, MP3, AIFF, OGG and much more.
  3. In-built mixer and monitor controls.
  4. Loop recording.
  5. MIDI clip editor.
  6. Non-destructive and non-linear editing.
  7. Extensible through an unlimited number of plug-Ins plus much more.
Qtractor Running on Linux

Qtractor Running on Linux

VisitQtractor Homepage


There are a lot of music making and mixing software out there for the Linux operating system, we have just looked a few. You can let us know what you are using by leaving a comment or make give some additional information on the ones we have looked at.

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