A nice list of the top free / open source music tools. The comments are helpful also. If you master just a few of these you can probably do as much as the "big" commercial tools out there (I use Sonar and ProTools). If you are a Linux user, the open source tools have come a long way and are stable. It also seems like the Open Source tools or Linux are way faster than most of the expensive windows apps out there. It takes a little learning but is definitely worth the time.