[ubuntu-studio-devel] Audio plugins

lukefromdc at hushmail.com lukefromdc at hushmail.com
Wed May 4 17:43:55 UTC 2016

I've mostly done radio and news video, though back in the 1990's I
was in a band mixing metal and medieval influences. Due to my 
economic situation, almost every piece of gear had to be bought
by price, ruling out high-end stuff. I rebuilt an old rendal Marshall 
guitar amp (expensive enough) with additional tubes for a clean
channel, channel switching, and extra gain on the distortion side. 
Things like effects pedals were bought for price, had free programs 
that could run on old computers existed they would have been used.

I used a cheap 4 track tape console for mixing demos, as neither 
programs like Audacity nor affordable  computes that could run them 
existed yet. I don't know if a 486 with 16MB of RAM could have mixed 
sound down to wavs and applied effects, but even if it could that was a 
$10,000 machine in 1989 and  doubtless nearly as expensive in 1991
when I started playing

Audacity on a Pentium III or even a Pentium II clunker would be more 
that enough to blow that casette 4-track out of the water so far as both
sound quality and ease of use was concerned. The last and fastest 
Pentiums could probably have done this, but not in 1992 when I got that
4-track, and even the Linux kernel had been out less than a year. 
Audacity would not be out for another 8 years.

On 5/4/2016 at 10:18 AM, "Len Ovens" <len at ovenwerks.net> wrote:
>On Wed, 4 May 2016, Set Hallstrom wrote:
>> tisdagen den 3:e maj 2016 kl. 20:41:56 CEST, Len Ovens 
><len at ovenwerks.net> 
>> skrev:
>>> A basic LV2 plugins package with 
>gate/compressor/limiter/EQ/reverb (think 
>>> mixer input strip) would be nice. A package that is just 
>intruments too, 
>>> though there are fewer to begin with, would be nice.
>> what took me time to understand with software-music made in 
>linux is its 
>> absolute modularity. yes there are DAW's but in our realm, they 
>are merley 
>> one module in the loop. i don't see this lack you describe, but 
>i'm an 
>> optimist who thinks a hit can be made with a voice and a 
>handclap. my point 
>> is that i believe the question of navigating and finding one's 
>'at home' in 
>> the existing plethora of plugs we distribute, yet again, boils 
>down to 
>> documentation.
>Probably documentation is the key. It is unfortunate that the best 
>of using things uses either poorer free plugins or non-free.
>> on a side note, i'm not sure it's lv2 but i've used calf 
>> conpressor/limiter/eq/reverb extensively in many tracks 
>published on my site. 
>> i think calf is remarkably good. this might mean i'm a bad 
>producer, i'd say 
>> at best it means i have a bad taste. but do we realy want to 
>discuss taste?
>I think you would find Calf's EQ/comnpressor/reverb/etc. is sound 
>wise on 
>par with other math only based units. However, a big part of what 
>people love certain input strips (certain consoles) was how the 
>circuitry was put together. As Ralf mentioned, Fons DSP bits are 
>the best out there. However, any of his plugins are ladspa and 
>have no 
>easy to use gui or they are standalone. The good thing is that 
>people have taken his code and put it into LV2 plugins and added 
>Fons famous parameteric EQ can be had with a GUI from the X42 set 
>plugins which adds HPF,LPF and high/low shelving as well. Zam 
>plugins has 
>one of the best limiters (if you get the git version) as well as 
>somethings not available elsewhere. It is true x42 plugins do not 
>with rack mount ears and so may fall out of your screen or over 
>whatever plugin they are sitting on top of.....
>There are very few people who can properly model DSP bits to not 
>only do 
>the math right, but also really sound musical. Having been part of 
>some of 
>the development work and watching other people struggle to not 
>only get 
>things working, but tweak things till it actually works right 
>the math says). [1] The problem with Calf for me has been that the 
>that was originally put into making them nice to use and look at, 
>seems to 
>have melted away when it has come time for bug fixing. There are 
>bug fixes 
>that happen, but they are slow coming (some bugs have been there 
>for over 
>2 years now).
>To set the whole idea of math based and model based DSP in 
>context, take 
>Mixbus as an example. Mixbus is proprietary plugins installed into 
>Ardour. The common DSP in every strip is carefully modeled after 
>Harrison's Analog Consoles. On the other hand they do offer an EQ 
>(for yet more money ;) ) that can only be math based as you can 
>draw any 
>eq shape you want. What is interesting is the use case suggested. 
>modelled DSP is used for every day mixing in the input/buss/master 
>but the math based DSP is used for odd problems where only math 
>based DSP 
>can do the job. That is, the modeled DSP is what gives the overall 
>mix the 
>"warmth" that people want. This why people buy Mixbus even though 
>they can 
>have Ardour for free with free plugins that make the input strip 
>have the 
>same functionality.
>> however, i welcome any suggestion of extra plugins. 
>> Set
>I have been thinking about this. There are some new plugin sets 
>out there, 
>some of which we have packages for and some we don't. It seems to 
>me that 
>the old ladspa plugins just get in the way and are most often 
>available as 
>LV2s anyway. So my first thought was why still have them? However, 
>are Applications out there that do not support LV2s. LMMS, Non-
>other proprietary DAWs. So perhaps what is needed is an applet 
>disables plugins we don't want to see. I don't know if merely 
>executable off would do the trick or not. In any case this would 
>allow one 
>to pick the strong plugins from each plugin bundle. (yes Calf does 
>some strong plugins too, they have the only plugin that plays 
>sound fonts 
>for example)
>So to my list of projects to work on I will add a plugin 
>manager... unless 
>someone can find one already available.
>[1] Note: my work is not in DSP what so ever. I have worked only 
>control surfaces and startup scripts. I have been working both on 
>my own 
>physical control surface and it's sw as well as both MIDI and OSC 
>code in Ardour (so my surface has something to control).
>Len Ovens
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