looking for a open source pro-tools daw alternative

Did anyone know a free/open source protools like DAW audio-software running on multiple os?

I just wanted to try ardour for osx, but to me it looks like “donate before even try concept” which i dont like…

I got no problem to pay for good work, but testing must be possible for free…

ardours donate thing is - strange at least. :wink: i think i could download it with 0 Entered, if i remember correctly. Haven’t used it though. Ui felt a bit “clunky”? (I was also looking for something like Ableton Live, which it isn’t.) I try to find good open source audio/music software from time to time. So far nothing usable, maybe hydrogen, but that’s a plugin.

Try LMMS for Win and Linux.
Link: http://lmms.sourceforge.net/

Although not strictly what you’re looking for I would recommend Cockos’ ‘Reaper’. I went on a similar search for (windows platform) open source cubase equivalent, there seems to be a few for linux that seem interesting. Sound on Sound have started (a while ago now)a regular column in their magazine featuring tutorials so I take that as a very large stroke of confidence in quality and credibility.

Reaper does everything you need, i.e. midi and standard old skool audio setups, it’s only about 50 or 60 dollars if i remember correctly, plus they have a very good policy for trusting that the user will simply install the correct license without crippling it with anti piracy software.

They have very frequent releases and updates, and have quite a few similarities with blender in some odd ways that I wont bore you with.

Hope that’s helpful. :slight_smile:


atm its not possible to download/try ardour without donation.
it quotes:
"A Message From Paul

Hi, I’m Paul Davis, Ardour’s lead developer.

Over the last seven days, just 86 people paid for Ardour (an average of $7 each), out of a total of 385 downloads.
Unfortunately, this means that for the rest of this month there are no cost-free downloads of pre-built versions of Ardour.
Source code is always freely available, but is much more work to use than most people want to deal with (which is why we offer pre-built versions).
If you want to see what your contribution makes possible, take a look at the list of new features…

…You can choose to pay any non-zero amount below. Otherwise, you’ll need to wait till next month. Programmers have to eat too, just like musicians and plumbers.

maybe i will try next month or never:D
btw 86 times $7 in one week is not that bad i think.

-not everything is as easy to try as our beloved blender…


lmms is great but more like fruityloops not like a daw with recording


reaper sounds good! i will give it a try:)


thx for your help.

maybe blender could do the job sometime. …just kidding;)

+1 on the lmms thing

+1 on Reaper. It is cross-platform (works well in Wine for Linux), and is unrestricted trialware so you can test it out with full functionality (just a 5 second nag screen at the start).

Well, you could wait for Bitwig Studio which will be commercial (and made by ex-Ableton emlpoyees). Or you could have a go at Luppp which is free, but, AFAIK, Linux-only and not exactly drop-in replacement.

BITWIG looks great! cant wait to try the 1st release.

thanks for the hint.

Spoken like a teenager.
For those of us with bills to pay $602 is not much at all.

Ardour is good. Pay the dude.

of course i will pay for good software, but not for testing it.

That way he wont earn even one cent from me.

If you want something close to ProTools, those beat box thingys are not going to do it. The closest you can get is Audacity.

For some reason I remember Ardour just not working correctly on my hardware. It does look good, however.

We are developing Open Octave Studio. Our 2012 release will feature some very advanced midi instrument workflow.

Check us out here:


For Ubuntu guys we have some package here to try:


You can get live help here:


Open Octave looks nice too! It would be great if it could use existing VST plugins for effects.

Which DAW has the jack transport for integrated VSE editing? I gather it was only Linux based, any chance of Win version?

That was Ardour. I think jack only runs on linux and mac.

BTW, open octave does indeed look good. I’ll be checking that out for sure.

Our 2012 version uses natvie vst plugins. So vst plugins compiled for that platform. Under linux I run native compiled vst plugins. When we get to Windows (We are porting very soon) you will be able to run Windows VSTs. We will then also be porting to Mac.

We also support ladspa and lv2 plugins as well as plugin synths.

Any DAW that supports jack transport, Open Octave Studio supports jack transport as well.

Nexyon used Open Octave Studio and Blender synced in his blender conference video last year.

Open Octave Studio was designed to provide professional level midi orchestral tools for a movie my wife and I are working on that is being created in Blender.

Jack runs on Linux, Mac and Windows