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I'm looking for a (free) sound editor to install on a Vista laptop.

Nothing fancy, just need to take some short sound segments and loop/splice them (converting 10 second recordings into hours) to provide test input for some sound processing software on an iPhone. Single track, not "hi-fi", no need for weird sound effects, etc.

Emphasis would be on Vista compatibility, ease of installation, overall simplicity, and robustness.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Try Audacity, which can do looping and splicing. Refer to the Audacity Wiki Homepage for any help.

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I'm a little leery of Audacity because the "release" level doesn't run on Vista (close as I can tell), so I'd have to use the beta. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 17 '11 at 0:58
I've run the standard release on Vista without issues, so far at least - I have yet to try anything complicated with the Vista system. – MaQleod Aug 18 '11 at 21:14
OK, it seems to run fairly well -- A few flaky things here and there but pretty solid all-in-all. – Daniel R Hicks Sep 10 '12 at 19:25

As Jay wrote, Audacity is free, open source and powerful. Personally, I find the interface in Goldwave to be simpler, more intuitive and user-friendly. The evaluation version is free.

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You might also find some useful tools at NCH Software's Audio tools page (including another audio editor - WavePad). Some are free and some are for sale. I find their software to be very competently done. However, you should verify the feature set meets your needs before you buy anything - even their commercial products are available for free evaluation - some continue to work after the evaluation period with a reduced feature set.

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A warning about NCH. The last time I installed one of their trialware programs, it hijacked the search engine and added a toolbar to all my browsers. I still like some of their stuff - but approach with caution! – yosh m Jan 4 '12 at 22:39

Sony Acid Xpress can do this.

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Just drop your clips on the timeline and drag them out to the desired length. Acid will take care of the looping for you.

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I've been using the "free" version of Acid for awhile, and finding it pretty awkward and non-intuitive. I think I'll try Audacity next. – Daniel R Hicks Sep 1 '11 at 17:38
What are you having trouble with? – Joe Internet Sep 1 '11 at 18:15
Well, the repeating pop-up ads for the paid version are the first problem -- not subtle at all. And the free version is pretty badly crippled. But I found simple editing to be incredibly awkward. (Don't yet know if Audacity will be better -- just getting going with it.) – Daniel R Hicks Sep 1 '11 at 19:29
Audacity was much better. – Daniel R Hicks Sep 11 '12 at 1:46

I was a longtime user of audacity. But recently I switched to WaveShop.

In WaveShop, you simple use CTRL+C and CTRL+V to repeat sound segments and create loops.

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