Ecasound to mix sound

There are a good number of audio editors for Linux: Audacity, ReZound and Ardour, Sweep, glame, and ecasound (command-line) to name a few. I have limited disk space, and although Audacity seems to be the champ of Linux audio editing, I initially decided to try Sweep because my editing needs were very basic.

I installed Sweep and began mixing together. Sweep didn’t have an import option so I had to load two windows and copy and paste the track in. Doing this took an extraordinary long time. Also Sweep just seems unpolished. Sweep’s multi-taking is poor and rendered my system to a halt making doing any other activities while it processed the mp3s impossible. On top of these, Sweep takes an huge amount of temporary disk space so I decided to try ecasound.


I looked a bit though portage and didn’t see a command line audio editor. Recently though, I learned there is one: ecasound.

ecasound has few dependencies and support for most major formats. Use of ecasound with mp3 will require mpg321 or mpg123 for input and lame for output.

I mixed two audio streams both 15 minutes with Sweep and ecasound. Sweep took several hours and ecasound did it in 15 minutes. ecasound does very well with multitasking allowing me to browse the web and do several other tasks.

Mixing tracks requires a simple command line. -a defines audio track and the number. Numerous tracks are possible not just to two listed here.

ecasound -a:1 -i audio1.mp3 -a:2 -i audio2.mp3 -a:all -o audio-mix.mp3

To Mixing tracks with an offset files will need to be made. Create .ewf-files like this:

vim part2.ewf
source = vocals.wav
offset = 5.000

vim part3.wav
source = vocals.wav
offset = 10.000

Then mix them:

ecasound -a:1 -i song.wav -a:2 -i vocals.wav -a:3 -i part2.ewf -a:4 -i part3.ewf ... -a:all -o out.wav

Cut a file (-t=seconds)

ecasound -i bigfile.wav -o part1.wav -t:370.0

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