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The 10 best open source apps you never heard of

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There are thousands of excellent open source programs to choose from. Here are 10 of my favorites that rarely get breathless buzz or make top 10 lists, presented in no particular order, rhyme, or reason.

Ardour Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

The Ardour digital audio workstation is a first-rate multi-channel audio recorder, editor, and mixer. It runs on Mac OS X and Linux, which are both superior audio production platforms. It supports a wide range of audio file formats, has non-destructive editing with unlimited undo, and unlimited tracks and buses. (Limited only by your computer when it reaches its limits and keels over.)

Ardour organizes a recording session by buses. An audio bus, whether hardware or software, is a grouping of tracks. Then any edits are applied to all tracks on the bus, as though it were a single track. For example you might route all the bassoon tracks to a single bus because you want to get editing the bassoons over with quickly. If you prefer to put every voice and instrument on its own track, then your Ardour buses will have one track each. Ardour supports all manner of special effects plugins, has good video synchronization, latency correction, networked audio, and lots more. (GPL, Linux, Mac OS X.)

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