Provided by: sox_14.0.0-5_i386 bug


       SoX - Sound eXchange, the Swiss Army knife of audio manipulation


       sox [global-options] [format-options] infile1
           [[format-options] infile2] ... [format-options] outfile
           [effect [effect-options]] ...

       play [global-options] [format-options] infile1
           [[format-options] infile2] ... [format-options]
           [effect [effect-options]] ...

       rec [global-options] [format-options] outfile
           [effect [effect-options]] ...


       SoX  reads  and  writes  audio  files  in  most popular formats and can
       optionally apply  effects  to  them;  it  can  combine  multiple  input
       sources,  synthesise  audio,  and,  on  many  systems, act as a general
       purpose audio player or a multi-track audio recorder.

       The entire SoX functionality is available using just the ‘sox’ command,
       however,  to simplify playing and recording audio, if SoX is invoked as
       ‘play’, the output file is automatically set to be  the  default  sound
       device  and if invoked as ‘rec’, the default sound device is used as an
       input source.

       The heart of SoX is a  library  called  libSoX.   Those  interested  in
       extending  SoX or using it in other programs should refer to the libSoX
       manual page: libsox(3).

       The overall SoX processing chain can be summarised as follows:

                 Input(s) → Balancing → Combiner → Effects → Output

       To show how this works in practise, here are some examples of  how  SoX
       might be used.  The simple:

            sox recital.wav

       translates  an  audio  file  in  Sun AU format to a Microsoft WAV file,

            sox -r 12000 -1 -c 1 recital.wav vol 0.7 dither

       performs the same  format  translation,  but  also  changes  the  audio
       sampling  rate  &  sample size, down-mixes to mono, and applies the vol
       and dither effects.

            sox -r 8000 -u -1 -c 1 voice-memo.raw voice-memo.wav

       adds a header to a raw audio file,

            sox slow.aiff fixed.aiff speed 1.027 rabbit -c0

       adjusts audio speed using the most accurate rabbit algorithm,


       concatenates two audio files, and

            sox -m music.mp3 voice.wav mixed.flac

       mixes together two audio files.

            play "The Moonbeams/Greatest/*.ogg" bass +3

       plays a collection of audio  files  whilst  applying  a  bass  boosting

            play -n -c1 synth sin %-12 sin %-9 sin %-5 sin %-2 fade q 0.1 1 0.1

       plays a synthesised ‘A minor seventh’ chord with a pipe-organ sound,

            rec -c 2 test.aiff trim 0 10

       records 10 seconds of stereo audio, and

            rec -M take1.aiff take1-dub.aiff

       records a new track in a multi-track recording.

       Further  examples  are  included  throughout this manual; more-detailed
       examples can be found in soxexam(7).

   File Formats
       There are two types of audio file format that SoX can work  with.   The
       first  is  ‘self-describing’;  these  formats  include  a  header  that
       completely  describes  the  characteristics  of  the  audio  data  that
       follows.   The  second  type is ‘headerless’ (or ‘raw data’); here, the
       audio data characteristics must be  described  using  the  SoX  command

       The  following  four  characteristics  are  sufficient  to describe the
       format of audio data such that it can be processed with SoX:

       sample rate
              The sample rate in samples per second (‘Hertz’  or  ‘Hz’).   For
              example,  digital  telephony traditionally uses a sample rate of
              8000 Hz (8 kHz); audio Compact Discs use 44100 Hz (44.1 kHz).

       sample size
              The number of bits used to store each sample. Most  popular  are
              8-bit  (one byte) and 16-bit (two bytes). (Since many now-common
              sound formats were invented when most computers  used  a  16-bit
              word,  two  bytes  is  often  called a ‘word’, but since current
              personal computers overwhelmingly have 32-bit or  64-bit  words,
              this   usage   is   confusing,  and  is  not  used  in  the  SoX

       data encoding
              The  way  in  which  each  audio  sample  is   represented   (or
              ‘encoded’).   Some  encodings have variants with different byte-
              orderings or bit-orderings; some ‘compress’ the audio data, i.e.
              the  stored  audio  data takes up less space (i.e. disk-space or
              transmission band-width) than the other  format  parameters  and
              the number of samples would imply.  Commonly-used encoding types
              include floating-point, μ-law, ADPCM, signed linear, and FLAC.

              The number  of  audio  channels  contained  in  the  file.   One
              (‘mono’) and two (‘stereo’) are widely used.

       The term ‘bit-rate’ is sometimes used as an overall measure of an audio
       format and may incorporate elements of all of the above.

       Most self-describing  formats  also  allow  textual  ‘comments’  to  be
       embedded  in  the  file  that can be used to describe the audio in some
       way, e.g. for music, the title, the author, etc.

       One important use of audio file comments is  to  convey  ‘Replay  Gain’
       information.   SoX  supports  applying Replay Gain information, but not
       generating it.  Note that by default, SoX copies input file comments to
       output  files that support comments, so output files may contain Replay
       Gain information if some was present in the input file.  In this  case,
       if  anything  other  than a simple format conversion was performed then
       the output file Replay Gain information is likely to be  incorrect  and
       so should be recalculated using a tool that supports this (not SoX).

   Determining & Setting The File Format
       There  are  several mechanisms available for SoX to use to determine or
       set the format characteristics of an  audio  file.   Depending  on  the
       circumstances,  individual  characteristics  may  be  determined or set
       using different mechanisms.

       To determine the format of an input file, SoX will  use,  in  order  of
       precedence and as given or available:

           1.   Command-line format options.
           2.   The contents of the file header.
           3.   The filename extension.

       To set the output file format, SoX will use, in order of precedence and
       as given or available:

           1.   Command-line format options.
           2.   The filename extension.
           3.   The input file format characteristics,  or  the  closest  to
                them that is supported by the output file type.

       For  all  files, SoX will exit with an error if the file type cannot be
       determined; command-line format options may need to be added or changed
       to resolve the problem.

       Many  file formats that compress audio discard some of the audio signal
       information  whilst  doing  so;  converting  to  such  a  format   then
       converting  back  again  will not produce an exact copy of the original
       audio.  This is the case for many formats used in telephony  (e.g.   A-
       law,  GSM) where low signal bandwidth is more important than high audio
       fidelity, and for many formats used in  portable  music  players  (e.g.
       MP3,  Vorbis)  where  adequate  fidelity  can be retained even with the
       large compression ratios that  are  needed  to  make  portable  players

       Formats  that  discard audio signal information are called ‘lossy’, and
       formats that do not, ‘lossless’.  The  term  ‘quality’  is  used  as  a
       measure of how closely the original audio signal can be reproduced when
       using a lossy format.

       Audio file conversion with SoX is lossless when it can  be,  i.e.  when
       not  using  lossy  compression,  when not reducing the sampling rate or
       number of channels, and when the number of bits used in the destination
       format is not less than in the source format.  E.g.  converting from an
       8-bit PCM format to a 16-bit PCM format is lossless but converting from
       an 8-bit PCM format to (8-bit) A-law isn’t.

       N.B.   SoX  converts all audio files to an internal uncompressed format
       before performing any audio processing; this means that manipulating  a
       file that is stored in a lossy format can cause further losses in audio
       fidelity.  E.g. with

            sox long.mp3 short.mp3 trim 10

       SoX first decompresses the  input  MP3  file,  then  applies  the  trim
       effect,  and  finally  creates the output MP3 file by recompressing the
       audio - with a possible reduction in fidelity above that which occurred
       when  the input file was created.  Hence, if what is ultimately desired
       is lossily compressed audio, it is highly recommended  to  perform  all
       audio  processing  using  lossless file formats and then convert to the
       lossy format at the final stage.

       N.B.  Applying multiple effects with a single SoX invocation  will,  in
       general,  produce  more  accurate  results  than  those  produced using
       multiple SoX invocations; hence this is also recommended.

       Clipping is distortion that occurs  when  an  audio  signal  level  (or
       ‘volume’) exceeds the range of the chosen representation.  It is nearly
       always undesirable and so should usually be corrected by adjusting  the
       volume prior to the point at which clipping occurs.

       In  SoX,  clipping could occur, as you might expect, when using the vol
       effect to increase the audio volume, but could  also  occur  with  many
       other  effects,  when  converting  one format to another, and even when
       simply playing the audio.

       Playing an audio file often involves  re-sampling,  and  processing  by
       analogue  components  that  can  introduce  a  small  DC  offset and/or
       amplification, all of which can produce distortion if the audio  signal
       level was initially too close to the clipping point.

       For these reasons, it is usual to make sure that an audio file’s signal
       level does  not  exceed  around  70%  of  the  maximum  (linear)  range
       available, as this will avoid the majority of clipping problems.  SoX’s
       stat effect can assist in determining the  signal  level  in  an  audio
       file; the vol effect can be used to prevent clipping, e.g.

            sox vol -6 dB treble +6

       guarantees that the treble boost will not clip.

       If  clipping  occurs  at  any  point  during  processing, then SoX will
       display a warning message to that effect.

   Input File Combining
       SoX’s input combiner can combine  multiple  files  using  one  of  four
       different  methods:  ‘concatenate’, ‘sequence’, ‘mix’, or ‘merge’.  The
       default method is ‘sequence’ for play, and ‘concatenate’  for  rec  and

       For  all  methods other than ‘sequence’, multiple input files must have
       the same sampling rate; if necessary, separate SoX invocations  can  be
       used to make sampling rate adjustments prior to combining.

       If  the  ‘concatenate’ combining method is selected (usually, this will
       be by default) then the input files must also have the same  number  of
       channels.   The audio from each input will be concatenated in the order
       given to form the output file.

       The ‘sequence’ combining method is selected automatically for play.  It
       is  similar  to ‘concatenate’ in that the audio from each input file is
       sent serially to the output file, however here the output file  may  be
       closed and reopened at the corresponding transition between input files
       - this may be just what is needed  when  sending  audio  to  an  output
       device,  but  is  not generally useful when the output file is a normal

       If the ‘mix’ combining method is selected (with -m) then  two  or  more
       input files must be given and will be mixed together to form the output
       file.  The number of channels in each input file need not be the  same,
       however,  SoX will issue a warning if they are not and some channels in
       the output file will not contain audio from every input file.  A  mixed
       audio file cannot be un-mixed.

       If the ‘merge’ combining method is selected (with -M), then two or more
       input files must be given and will  be  merged  together  to  form  the
       output file.  The number of channels in each input file need not be the
       same.  A merged audio file comprises all of the channels  from  all  of
       the  input  files; un-merging is possible using multiple invocations of
       SoX with the mixer effect.  For example, two mono files could be merged
       to  form  one stereo file; the first and second mono files would become
       the left and right channels of the stereo file.

       When  combining  input  files,  SoX  applies  any   specified   effects
       (including,  for  example,  the vol volume adjustment effect) after the
       audio has been combined; however, it is often useful to be able to  set
       the   volume  of  (i.e.  ‘balance’)  the  inputs  individually,  before
       combining takes place.

       For all combining methods, input file volume adjustments  can  be  made
       manually using the -v option (below) which can be given for one or more
       input files; if it is given for only some of the input files  then  the
       others  receive no volume adjustment.  In some circumstances, automatic
       volume adjustments may be applied (see below).

       The -V option (below) can  be  used  to  show  the  input  file  volume
       adjustments that have been selected (either manually or automatically).

       There are some special considerations that need  to  made  when  mixing
       input files:

       Unlike  the  other  methods, ‘mix’ combining has the potential to cause
       clipping in the combiner if no balancing is  performed.   So  here,  if
       manual  volume  adjustments are not given, to ensure that clipping does
       not occur, SoX will automatically adjust the volume (amplitude) of each
       input  signal by a factor of ¹/n, where n is the number of input files.
       If this results in audio that is too quiet or otherwise unbalanced then
       the input file volumes should be set manually as described above.

       If  mixed  audio seems loud enough at some points through the audio but
       too quiet in others, then dynamic-range compression should  be  applied
       to correct this - see the compand effect.

   Stopping SoX
       Usually  SoX  will  complete  its  processing  and  exit automatically,
       however if desired, it can  be  terminated  by  pressing  the  keyboard
       interrupt  key (usually Ctrl-C).  This is a natural requirement in some
       circumstances, e.g. when using SoX to make a recording.  Note that when
       using  SoX to play multiple files, Ctrl-C behaves slightly differently:
       pressing it once causes SoX to skip to the next file; pressing it twice
       in quick succession causes SoX to exit.


       Filenames can be simple file names, absolute or relative path names, or
       URLs (input files only).  Note that URL support requires  that  wget(1)
       is available.

       Note:  Giving SoX an input or output filename that is the same as a SoX
       effect-name will not  work  since  SoX  will  treat  it  as  an  effect
       specification.    The  only  work-around  to  this  is  to  avoid  such
       filenames; however, this is generally not difficult  since  most  audio
       filenames have a filename ‘extension’, whilst effect-names do not.

       The  following ‘special’ filenames may be used in certain circumstances
       in place of a normal filename on the command line:

       -      SoX can be used in pipeline  operations  by  using  the  special
              filename  ‘-’ which, if used in place of an input filename, will
              cause SoX will read audio data from  ‘standard  input’  (stdin),
              and  which,  if used in place of the output filename, will cause
              SoX will send audio data to ‘standard  output’  (stdout).   Note
              that  when  using this option, the file-type (see -t below) must
              also be given.

       -n     This can be used in place of an  input  or  output  filename  to
              specify that a ‘null file’ is to be used.  Note that here, ‘null
              file’ refers to a SoX-specific mechanism and is not  related  to
              any operating-system mechanism with a similar name.

              Using a null file to input audio is equivalent to using a normal
              audio file that contains an infinite amount of silence,  and  as
              such  is  not  generally  useful unless used with an effect that
              specifies a finite time length (such as trim or synth).

              Using a null file to output  audio  amounts  to  discarding  the
              audio and is useful mainly with effects that produce information
              about the audio instead of affecting it (such  as  noiseprof  or

              The  sampling  rate  associated  with  a null file is by default
              44.1 kHz, but, as with a normal file, this can be overridden  if
              desired using command-line format options (see below).

              One  other  use  of  -n  is  to use it in conjunction with -V to
              display information from the audio file header without having to
              read any further into the file, e.g.

                   sox -V *.wav -n

              will  display  header  information  for  each  ‘WAV’ file in the
              current directory.

       -e     This  is  an  alias  of  -n  and  is  retained   for   backwards
              compatibility only.


   Global Options
       These  options can be specified on the command line at any point before
       the first effect name.

       -h, --help
              Show version number and usage information.

              Show usage information on the specified effect.   The  name  all
              can be used to show usage on all effects.

              Prompt before overwriting an existing file with the same name as
              that given for the output file.

              N.B.  Unintentionally overwriting a  file  is  easier  than  you
              might think, for example, if you accidentally enter

                   sox file1 file2 effect1 effect2 ...

              when what you really meant was

                   play file1 file2 effect1 effect2 ...

              then,  without  this  option, file2 will be overwritten.  Hence,
              using this option is  strongly  recommended;  a  ‘shell’  alias,
              script,  or  batch file may be an appropriate way of permanently
              enabling it.

       --buffer BYTES
              Set the size in bytes  of  the  buffers  used  for  reading  and
              writing sound data (default 8192).

       -m|-M|--combine concatenate|merge|mix|sequence
              Select  the  input  file  combining method; -m selects ‘mix’, -M
              selects ‘merge’,

              See  Input  File  Combining  above  for  a  description  of  the
              different combining methods.

       --plot gnuplot|octave|off
              If not set to off (the default if --plot is not given), run in a
              mode that can be used, in conjunction with the  gnuplot  program
              or  the  GNU  Octave  program,  to assist with the selection and
              configuration of many of the  transfer-function  based  effects.
              For  the  first given effect that supports the selected plotting
              program, SoX will output commands to plot the effect’s  transfer
              function,  and  then exit without actually processing any audio.

                   sox --plot octave input-file -n highpass 1320 > plot.m
                   octave plot.m

       -q, --no-show-progress
              Run in quiet mode when SoX wouldn’t otherwise do so; this is the
              opposite of the -S option.

       --replay-gain track|album|off
              Select  whether  or not to apply replay-gain adjustment to input
              files.  The default is track for play and off otherwise.

       -S, --show-progress
              Display input file format/header information and  input  file(s)
              processing  progress  in  terms  of  elapsed/remaining  time and
              percentage complete.  This option is  enabled  by  default  when
              using SoX to play or record audio.

              Show version number and exit.

              Set  verbosity.   SoX  prints  messages  to the console (stderr)
              according to the following verbosity levels:

              0      No messages are printed at all; use the  exit  status  to
                     determine if an error has occurred.

              1      Only  error messages are printed.  These are generated if
                     SoX cannot complete the requested commands.

              2      Warning messages are also printed.  These  are  generated
                     if  SoX  can  complete  the  requested  commands, but not
                     exactly according to the requested command parameters, or
                     if clipping occurs.

              3      Descriptions of SoX’s processing phases are also printed.
                     Useful for seeing exactly how SoX is mangling your audio.

              4 and above
                     Messages to help with debugging SoX are also printed.

              By default, the verbosity level is set to 2.  Each occurrence of
              the  -V   option   increases   the   verbosity   level   by   1.
              Alternatively,  the  verbosity  level  can be set to an absolute
              number by specifying it immediately after the -V e.g.  -V0  sets
              it to 0.

   Input File Options
       These  options  apply  only  to  input files and may precede only input
       filenames on the command line.

       -v, --volume FACTOR
              Adjust  volume  by  a  factor  of  FACTOR.   This  is  a  linear
              (amplitude)  adjustment,  so  a number less than 1 decreases the
              volume; greater than 1 increases it.  If a  negative  number  is
              given,  then  in  addition  to  the volume adjustment, the audio
              signal will be inverted.

              See also the stat effect for information  on  how  to  find  the
              maximum volume of an audio file; this can be used to help select
              suitable values for this option.

              See also Input File Balancing above.

   Input & Output File Format Options
       These options apply to  the  input  or  output  file  whose  name  they
       immediately  precede  on  the  command  line  and  are used mainly when
       working with headerless file formats or when specifying  a  format  for
       the output file that is different to that of the input file.

       -c, --channels CHANNELS
              The  number of audio channels in the audio file.  This may be 1,
              2, or 4; for mono, stereo, or quad audio.  To cause  the  output
              file to have a different number of channels than the input file,
              include this option with the output file options.  If the  input
              and  output  file  have  a different number of channels then the
              mixer effect must be used.  If the mixer effect is not specified
              on  the  command line it will be invoked internally with default

       --comment TEXT
              Specify the comment text to store  in  the  output  file  header
              (where applicable).

              SoX   will   provide  a  default  comment  if  this  option  (or
              --comment-file) is not given; to specify that no comment  should
              be stored in the output file, use --comment "" .

       --comment-file FILENAME
              Specify  a  file  containing  the  comment  text to store in the
              output file header (where applicable).

       -r, --rate RATE
              Gives the sample rate in Hz of the file.  To  cause  the  output
              file  to  have  a  different  sample  rate  than the input file,
              include this option with the output file format options.

              If the input and output files have different rates then a sample
              rate  change  effect  must  be run.  Since SoX has multiple rate
              changing effects, the user  can  specify  which  to  use  as  an
              effect.   If  no  rate change effect is specified then a default
              one will be chosen.

       -t, --type file-type
              Gives the type of the audio file.  This is useful when the  file
              extension is non-standard or when the type can not be determined
              by looking at the header of the file.

              The -t option can also be used to override the type  implied  by
              an  input filename extension, but if overriding with a type that
              has a header, SoX will exit with an appropriate error message if
              such a header is not actually present.

              See soxformat(7) for a list of supported file types.

       -L, --endian little
       -B, --endian big
       -x, --endian swap
              These  options  specify whether the byte-order of the audio data
              is, respectively, ‘little endian’, ‘big endian’, or the opposite
              to  that  of  the system on which SoX is being used.  Endianness
              applies only to data encoded as signed or unsigned  integers  of
              16  or more bits.  It is often necessary to specify one of these
              options  for  headerless  files,  and  sometimes  necessary  for
              (otherwise)   self-describing  files.   A  given  endian-setting
              option may be ignored for an input file whose header contains  a
              specific  endianness  identifier,  or for an output file that is
              actually an audio device.

              N.B.   Unlike  normal  format  characteristics,  the  endianness
              (byte,  nibble,  &  bit  ordering)  of  the  input  file  is not
              automatically used for the output file; so,  for  example,  when
              the following is run on a little-endian system:

                   sox -B audio.uw trimmed.uw trim 2

              trimmed.uw will be created as little-endian;

                   sox -B audio.uw -B trimmed.uw trim 2

              must be used to preserve big-endianness in the output file.

              The -V option can be used to check the selected orderings.

       -N, --reverse-nibbles
              Specifies that the nibble ordering (i.e. the 2 halves of a byte)
              of the samples should be reversed; sometimes useful with  ADPCM-
              based formats.

              N.B.  See also N.B. in section on -x above.

       -X, --reverse-bits
              Specifies  that  the  bit  ordering  of  the  samples  should be
              reversed;  sometimes  useful  with  a  few  (mostly  headerless)

              N.B.  See also N.B. in section on -x above.

              The  audio  data  encoding  is  signed  linear (2’s complement),
              unsigned  linear,  μ-law  (logarithmic),  A-law   (logarithmic),
              ADPCM, IMA-ADPCM, GSM, or floating-point.

              μ-law  (or  mu-law)  and  A-law  are  the U.S. and international
              standards for logarithmic  telephone  audio  compression.   When
              uncompressed μ-law has roughly the precision of 14-bit PCM audio
              and A-law has roughly the precision of 13-bit PCM audio.

              A-law and  μ-law  are  sometimes  encoded  using  reversed  bit-
              ordering  (i.e. MSB becomes LSB).  If you need this support then
              you can use the -X option or the pseudo file types of ‘.la’  and
              ‘.lu’  to  inform SoX of the encoding.  See supported file types
              for more information.

              ADPCM is a form of audio compression that has a good  compromise
              between  good audio quality and fast encoding/decoding time.  It
              is used for telephone audio compression  and  places  were  full
              fidelity  is not as important.  When uncompressed it has roughly
              the precision of 16-bit PCM audio.   Popular  version  of  ADPCM
              include  G.726,  MS  ADPCM,  and  IMA  ADPCM.   The  -a flag has
              different meanings in different file handlers.  In .wav files it
              represents  MS  ADPCM files, in all others it means G.726 ADPCM.
              IMA ADPCM is a specific  form  of  ADPCM  compression,  slightly
              simpler  and  slightly lower fidelity than Microsoft’s flavor of
              ADPCM.  IMA ADPCM is also called DVI ADPCM.

              GSM is currently used for  the  vast  majority  of  the  world’s
              digital  wireless  telephone  calls.   It utilises several audio
              formats with different bit-rates and associated speech  quality.
              SoX  has  support  for  GSM’s  original 13kbps ‘Full Rate’ audio
              format.  It is usually CPU intensive to work with GSM audio.

              The sample datum size is 1, 2, 3, 4, or 8 bytes; i.e. 8, 16, 24,
              32, or 64 bits.

   Output File Format Options
       These  options  apply  only to the output file and may precede only the
       output filename on the command line.

       -C, --compression FACTOR
              The compression factor  for  variably  compressing  output  file
              formats.    If   this  option  is  not  given,  then  a  default
              compression  factor  will  apply.   The  compression  factor  is
              interpreted  differently for different compressing file formats.
              See the description of the file formats that use this option  in
              soxformat(7) for more information.


       Exit  status  is  0  for  no  error,  1  if there is a problem with the
       command-line  parameters,  or  2  if  an  error  occurs   during   file


       Please report any bugs found in this version of SoX to the mailing list


       soxexam(7), soxformat(7), soxeffect(7), gnuplot(1), octave(1), wget(1),

       The SoX web site at


       Copyright  1991  Lance  Norskog  and  Sundry  Contributors.   Copyright
       1998-2007 by Chris Bagwell and SoX Contributors.

       This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
       under  the  terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the
       Free Software Foundation; either version 2, or  (at  your  option)  any
       later version.

       This  program  is  distributed  in the hope that it will be useful, but
       WITHOUT  ANY  WARRANTY;  without   even   the   implied   warranty   of
       General Public License for more details.


       Chris  Bagwell  (   Other  authors  and
       contributors  are  listed  in the AUTHORS file that is distributed with
       the source code.