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Introduction to Freewheeling

freewheeling screenshot

Free and Open Source Audio Tool for Live Looping

Freewheeling provides a highly configurable, intuitive, and fluid user interface for instrumentalists to capture audio loops in real-time. Best way to understand Freewheeling?? See and hear it in action. Demo Video.


Freewheeling is
a new way 'to be'
In The Muse-ical Moment.
It's a live looping instrument
that returns us to the joy
of making music 'spontaneously'.

Freewheeling allows us to build repetitive grooves by sampling and directing loops from within spirited improvisation. It works because, down to the core, it's built around improv. We leave mice and menus, and dive into our own process of making sound. The principle author of Freewheeling is JP Mercury. Freewheeling was also originally a Max/MSP external. Since 2016, it is maintained by the user community.

Technical Details

Freewheeling runs under GNU/Linux (PC/Mac) and Mac OS X (PPC/Intel) using the Jack Audio Connection Kit sound server, and is Free and Open Source Software, released under the GNU GPL license. The ChangeLog is a good resource, because all major new features have been documented there. It is humble enough to run on modest hardware but can take advantage of the gobs of RAM on modern machines as well. The only limits are your imagination.

Focus on the ideation process:

  • Freewheeling empowers the trance of immediate creativity by bringing us into a circular process. Time is utterly relative, and we are freed from the future-oriented mindset of product sequencing. If inspiration flows, later arranging and editing on a timeline can be done with other tools.

See the Technical Features.

Getting Started


Pre-compiled Freewheeling binaries are available for several of today's popular operating systems. If you prefer using your favorite graphical package manager (such as synaptic) or your distro's Add/Remove Software Control Panel, search for a package named freewheeling or fweelin.

  • Install one of the Packages for your distro - (recommended)
  • or, Download a tarball - (advanced)
  • or, Checkout the latest git sources - (advanced)
    $ git clone
    $ git clone



Troubleshooting and Support


NOTE: You will also need the JACK audio server and a way to configure it (such as qJackCtl or Cadence). A very easy way to setup a GNU/Linux audio workstation is by installing the KxStudio Operating System.

NOTE: Debian (and derrivatives such as Trisquel, Ubuntu, and Mint) can transform their system into KxStudio simply by adding the KxStudio repos and installing the 'kxstudio-meta-all' package (or 'kxstudio-meta-audio' for just the pro-audio programs). It is highly recommended that you install at least the 'kxstudio-default-settings' package which optimizes your system performance for real-time audio use.

NOTE: ArchLinux (and derrivatives such as Parabola, Hyperbola, and Manjaro) can simply install the 'pro-audio' package group, which includes Freewheeling. It is highly recommended that you install at least the 'realtime-privileges' package which configures your system for real-time audio use.

The Freewheeling Community

Community Interaction

How can I help?

  • Submit or edit wiki articles
  • Submit your interfaces and layouts for specific hardware to the Configurations article
  • Submit screen-casts demonstrating your interfaces or the advanced features of freewheeling
  • Submit audio/video creations to the Music made with Freewheeling article