linuxDSP - shameless self promotion..

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linuxdsp
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For anyone who may not know, linuxDSP produces some great pro-audio plugins
which you can use with Ardour and other linux DAWs.

I founded linuxDSP because I use linux for audio and I believed there was a need for some high quality plugins. I have over twenty years experience of working in the pro-audio industry, most of that time was spent with Solid State Logic (SSL) - one of the world's top pro-audio companies.

I think there is a great opportunity for linux audio to benefit from that experience, but it won't be possible without the continued support of linux audio users.

It can sometimes seem like an impossible task to get the attention a product deserves, especially when the mainstream media appears at times actively opposed to promoting
anything related to linux audio (and is almost permanently fixated on the latest 'i' device) and when, as a small business, in the current economy, we don't have access to huge marketing budgets.

So, if you haven't tried the plugins yet, download the free demos at:

http://www.linuxdsp.co.uk

If you have already bought the plugins, your support is much appreciated, and if you
find them useful please tell as many people as you can about them :)

Suggestions for improvements are always welcome, just use the Contact Us link on the site.

You can also like linuxDSP on facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/linuxdsp

There is also a forum over at KVR Audio.

vervelover
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Linuxdsp plugins really are the best plugins I had the pleasure to work with. One thing I noticed, is that kvraudio is almost never updated with new linuxdsp releases or updates, and this seems to me as a lost opportunity for more visibility..

linuxdsp
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@ vervelover: Thanks for your continued support, the linuxDSP forum on KVR is normally updated with news about plugins and updates when they happen, however getting published in the KVR plugin database / news updates is not always guaranteed although that is something I hope we can use in future to get more visibility.

GMaq
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I'd like to shamelessly promote linuxDSP as well, in the best way I know how.

For anyone not using Linux yet....

All of linuxDSP's amazing work in JACK, LV2 and LinuxVST Plugins are available ready to go in their demo versions on the AV Linux LiveDVD. AV Linux is free to evaluate so if you haven't actually seen (and heard) these what these plugins and the phenomenal software hosts that use them like Ardour are capable of, it's as simple as downloading an ISO image, burning it to a DVD-R(W) and rebooting your computer.

http://www.bandshed.net/AVLinux.html

For anyone using Linux already...

Projects like linuxDSP are equal to if not markedly better than high-priced commercial offerings on other platforms and currently cost significantly less. I urge folks using Linux as a multimedia platform to not be lulled into a 'something-for-nothing-open-source entitlement' mindset and to be open to using a variety of programs both commercial and open-source to foster continued development of these projects. linuxDSP, Ardour/Mixbus and others are bravely trying a new marketing paradigm here and as stated with a lack of financial support and user participation these projects are in real danger of fading away before they reach their potential to equal or exceed their peers on other platforms.

Ricardus
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I have been using the linuxDSP plugs for a few months now. I think they're fantastic, and they're very reasonably priced. The power and ease of use of the MKII graph is amazing. I also have been using the Channel EQ and Vintage Comp. Fantastic.

I am glad you listened to my suggestion to be able to change the metering of the Vintage Comp to something more useful. I can't wait to try the new version when I get a little more money.

josander
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I can only add my self to the linuxDSP praising choir.

I think I have all the LV2 ones and my favorites I can't live without is MKII GRAPH-EQ, SR-2B and VC2B. I also use the Pro-Channel Processors from time to time. I will probably use MBC2 as soon as I got serious time to learn it.

What I love about the linuxDSP plugins is that they are acting very musically and very intuitive - no doubt it's made for musicians. They are releasing me from the time consuming parameter hell that most plugins has. It's just to turn or push a button until something sounds right (or let it be if it's good as is), I just love it. I strongly recommend them to anyone.

If they also could make a decent deesser, I really miss it ;-)

Scot Solida
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Awesome plugins. Every one of them I've purchased is used on every track I've done in Ardour.

linuxdsp
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Thankyou all for the kind words - it's good to know the software is working well.

@josander: I'm glad you find the plugins easy to work with, the intention was always to try to get a good balance between "adjustability" and usability. I know all about "parameter hell" from personal experience (I also know people who favour, for example reverb plugins with such an insane number of parameters that you would have to be an acoustics expert to be able to interpret what they are all for - but I lean towards the belief that that's what people should (pay) the designers of audio software to be / do and hopefully provide a range of options that suit most people's uses - even though some users may find that a little restrictive.)

All that said, I / we do take notice of suggestions if there are worthwhile changes that allow the plugins to suit a broader range of applications, the MBC2 is getting some attention at the moment, it may be a while before an official release, but there are some improvements being worked on. (And if not a free upgrade there will certainly be a very reasonable upgrade path for existing users)

Thankyou for your continued support.

scg62
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Let me deliver my two cents,

being a contributor to Ardour, MixBus and the really perfect AVLinux I couldn't find anything better for (pre)mastering than the MKII equalizer and the MBC2 multi-band compressor. Really, in EVERY mix of mine they are "the last stage" before finishing, and they are incredible. To tell you the truth, because of the professional design I LEARNED a lot (and still do!) about (pre)mastering with these tools, besides the fact that they work simply perfect.

In my normal mix I changed all IR'S (which is really a wonderful impulse response) into SR2B.

In channel processing I use the Mixbus, but I can really recommend the pro-channel plugins, especially for pure Ardour'ers.

What I really appreciate are the improvements made upon the GUI, without no extra cost to existing users.

I really hope that in future times there will come more TOP quality plugins from linuxDSP, I will surely stay a constant and really content customer.

Carry on, Mike, you're doing a great job !

Yours Prof Knaakenbroed
(http://home.mnet-online.de/profknaakenbroed//index.html)

EDIT: a really noticable fact.... the plugins are really FRUGAL concerning my hardware. I run a P4 2,8 with 2 GB RAM, even together with MixBus I can easily run up to 12-15 tracks, ending finally with 60% to 70% DSP before "x-running".

josander
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@linuxdsp: There is also one more thing you've done 100% right, I'm thinking about trust and long term usage. What you did when making the MKII GRAPH-EQ is a good example. You named the new one with the prefix MKII, making old projects with GRAPH-EQ unaltered. Making me know that an upgrade of for example SR-2B won't mess with my current projects if I open them in the future gives me peace of mind.

Thank you very much for doing things the way you do it, I really hope that you and your fantastic plugins will continue to be in business for a long time in the future.

christophski
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I am looking at buying some linuxdsp plugins, they look great. If I buy one, do I get any updates with it or do you pay for every update?

Also, have you considered doing any LV2 or linuxVST instruments? This would come in massively handy for the upcoming Ardour 3 and for Renoise, which I have recently purchased and am enjoying massively.

linuxdsp
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@christophski: Updates are normally free, especially if the updates are just bug fixes, or other small tweaks and improvements. However, where there are significant feature additions (which require a greater investment in development time and testing) then the plugin may be (re)issued as a new product, in which case you would have to purchase the new version. However, as has happened with for example the '2B' plugins e.g. VC2 -> VC2B, CH-EQ -> CH-EQ2B etc there is normally an upgrade path available for a limited time such that users of the original versions do not have to pay the full price. We try to keep the "cost of ownership" of the plugins to an absolute minimum consistent with covering the costs associated with maintaining and developing them. LV2 or linuxVST instruments are a possibility, although I can't be definite about if / when that would happen.

christophski
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@linuxdsp: That sounds very reasonable, thanks for the reply.

Most of the LV2 instruments available at the moment are just basic multi-oscillator synthesizers or soundfont players, so there is definitely a lot of other areas that could be covered and it would be the first entry on to the field.

macinnisrr
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@linuxdsp: I love your plugins. So much so, that after I had used the pro mix and mbc2 plugins for a while (moreso the mbc2, which I find invaluable for mastering), I bought the entire suite as soon as it was feasible for me. I still haven't had a chance to use them all.

efflux
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The LinuxDSP plugins are great. I never bought any licenses though. The reason is this. LinuxDSP are the only usable plugins on Linux. This is a severe limitation. I don't even use that many plugins but there are no good reverbs. This kills Linux for me in the end. I may even buy licenses for LinuxDSP just to give support. I give monthy support to Ardour but the fact is I still can't really use it.

I moved all my graphics work over to Linux on an i7 2600 quad core. This angle of Linux is pretty much sorted but I haven't installed any audio apps on that.

I have tried using Mixbus on OSX ( I have a Macbook) but every time I start using it, a problem crops up. Ardour on Linux tends to work fine but none of my Audio unit plugins to use (mostly just a few reverbs). It is very frustrating because Linux is vastly more efficient than OSX and Windows.

What the solution is I don't know except to constantly request developers to make Linux versions of plugins. Unfortunately this is the stalling factor that will stop Linux from taking off because when someone finds that their favourite plugin doesn't work on Linux and there is no equivalent then it's no go.

bpier
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LinuxDSP wrote :

If you have already bought the plugins, your support is much appreciated, and if you
find them useful please tell as many people as you can about them :)

Here is my first feedback. I bought the last year the LinuxDSP Stereo-Reverb SR-2A plugin : it's really a very good reverb.

It can sometimes seem like an impossible task to get the attention a product deserves, especially when the mainstream media appears at times actively opposed to promoting
anything related to linux audio (and is almost permanently fixated on the latest 'i' device) and when, as a small business, in the current economy, we don't have access to huge marketing budgets.

The audio Linux users can contribute via Internet and their websites for promoting audio Linux softwares. I spend a lot of time on mine for explaining how to make music on Linux. http://www.bruynooghe.fr
Sorry for my bad english.

Pierre, France

fedexnman
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ir-lv2 is a GOOD REVERB nuff said try it !!!

efflux
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I haven't tried IR LV2 yet. I will do so but I don't really like impulse response reverbs, at least as a main reverb. However, It's cool that we have this. I never knew about it until now. The reason I don't like impulse response is that the reverb doesn't "move" the same way as a good algorithmic reverb does which I find to be quite static sounding, especially when you play through it live.

My solution to reverb was to get a Bricasti M7. I got one second hand in mint condition. Yes this costs a fortune but nothing comes close to this verb. I think good reverb is absolutely essential because it's the one thing that most of us will use and have to use even if we have everything else as analog hardware unless you have access to a beautiful sounding real space. There are some great sounding software reverbs. I particularly like the ValhallaDSP ones. Not much on Linux though. This is the single biggest limit of Linux audio in my opinion.

I also bought a Chandler Germanium Tone Control and will be getting another. More big expense but I got this because it is a highly coloured EQ. Best EQ I ever heard. Think old records like Abbey Road by the Beatles for the kind of tone this thing has. Perfect combination to the DAW and also a nice contrast to the more clinical software EQs. I'm not actually saying software EQ is not good but the Chandler adds masses of colour.

My personal opinion is that if you do everything in software without using any analog gear for colouration you will not get anything like the richness that you can hear from records made in the days when it was all 100% analog. Both is best.

I can now move to Linux without limitations except that the Bricasti obviously only allows me one reverb instance. I'll check out IR LV2.

I personally do not really like most plugins so I'm quite happy to try to move to Linux and as you may gather it's got nothing to do with this being a cheaper option. I just like Linux better. I still think the poverty of developers doing Linux plugins is a major stumbling block to getting lots of people to move over.

efflux
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I'll check out IR LV2 because I may make impulse responses from the Bricasti. Don't hold you breath on that though because it will probably be ages down the road. It may even be possible to use impulse responses from the Chandlers once I have some go to sounds. The Germanium passive bass section is the BEST sounding bass guitar tone I have ever heard. The sound from this thing is so nice you can DI guitar and bass with no amp and it sounds great.

[Edit] I see that IR LV2 actually has Bricasti impulses. Will check this out tonight.

efflux
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Just some more points about the Computer DAW/Plugin digital route as compared to real analog.

I had to buy a Mytek A/D to be able to capture the sound of my analog gear. I have an Echo Layla and an Echo Audiofire interface. Although these are good the A/D was deficient compared to the Mytek. I have an old G36 valve reel to reel from 1968 and conversion from that with anything less than the Mytek was noticeably impoverished. It was the same score with analog synths and you could hear the difference with most other analog sources.

Since buying the Chandler I noticed another thing. The sound I'm now getting is so rich and thick I have problems with MP3 conversion. It can't cope with the sounds I'm getting unless I use very high bitrate settings.

Music these days is overproduced and digitally killed. This is why Ardour is cool. It actually stops you from tweaking the life out of things with endless processing toys that you don't need.

I'll be going into Ardour Linux again in the next few days and will check out Linux DSP again because I still want some plugins.

linuxdsp
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The general design approach with the linuxDSP plugins is to take the best elements of analogue designs and combine that with the convenience of software plugins. As the lead developer, I have a lot of experience of analogue audio design as well as DSP. (I also designed and built the valve monitor amps we are currently using).
As an example, the linuxDSP CH-EQ2B channel / master EQ has innovative DSP technology which is specifically designed to emulate more closely an analogue EQ curve, and the VC2B vintage compressor is modelled on some of the classic analogue designs.
For reverb, the quality of an IR reverb is obviously very dependent on the impulses you use, and my preference is generally for algorithmic reverbs

efflux
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Hi mike.

I actually have a set up running Linux that I can use 100%. FINALLY!

I will be checking out your plugins with the mind to actually using them now. This is the only reason I never got deep into them before. I was still chained to my Mac. Not so any more due to both having the Bricasti and now IR LV2.

IR LV2 is the total game changer. Not just for me but everybody. This is fantastic. I've tried some Bricasti impulses. I can tell you that these are not that far removed from the real thing (which I have). It's not quite the same because an algo is always better than an impulse from an algo but IR LV2 is still excellent. It also allows me to use some Bricasti IRs where I'm not able to duplicate the Bricasti. This is cool because I can temporarily use IR LV2 even if I ultimately process through the Bricasti. I know it's same sound. I also often work without the computer turned on so hence the Bricasti.

My opinion is that you have to blend analog hardware with the computer side of things. The Chandler Germanium gear is an example. It is extremely coloured. You can literally polish a turd. You actually wouldn't want this amount of colour in the plugins.

efflux
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By the way, there are some hardware bargains to be had without spending a huge amount. Three I can mention are: Oberheim Matrix 1000. I bought two of these. This is a rack synth but it's got the Obie sound which blows away softsynths. You need an editor to edit the patches but there are 800 presets anyway and another 200 user presets (hence Matrix 1000 name) I use a Mac to edit with Obieditor. Not sure if the Windows editors will work on Wine but I guess they should. It's just MIDI. The next bargain is the Novation Super Basstation. This is a fantastic monoynth. Killer leads lines with lots of res and filter work. Tweaking the envelopes in real time is a fantastic effect on this. Also, nothing beats the old G36 reel to reel for bargain status. It's a little heavy and bulky and you need to get a decent one that actually works right. It has fantastic valve mic pres. Not sure if you can use the pres without going to tape though. Supposedly you can but I haven't worked out how to do that yet. Mine is a Mark III. Maybe not possible on this model. However, the tone of this thing is vintage valve and tape heaven.

I would also recommend analog guitar effects pedals. These are great for dirty analog. If you spend a bit more, the Eventide stomp pedals are great. They do stereo line level so it's a good way to get those fantastic Eventide algos to use on anything whether guitar or line level sources.

Edward Diehl
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Efflux: You can get free Bricasti IR files from here: http://www.samplicity.com/bricasti-m7-impulse-responses/

Also, Hybrid Reverb ( http://www2.ika.rub.de/HybridReverb2 ) is another excellent IR plugin (linux vst, but usable in Ardour3, thanks to the contributions of LinuxDSP).

Also Vahalla VST can be run as insert in Ardour using FST. Actually, it should be runnable directly if you compile with VST support, but the GUI does not seem to work.

fedexnman
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yep there are free bricasti impulses out there , there is also a good mono or stereo plate reverb ladspa plug-in for linux , i like it alot, im not real picky with reverb , unless it just completely sounds bad .

efflux
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The Bricasti impulses seem a bit bright compared to the real thing but they are good.

However, I've still got some problems here. I'm not sure if I'll be using Ardour 3. It uses way more DSP. My audio set up is on a PIV. I have a very powerful quad core i7 but that's noisy. It has an unnecessarily powerful for audio QuadroFX graphics card. I use it for graphics. The audio system is designed for just audio. It's very quiet.

I'm using Rosegarden. Obviously it's better than Ardour 3 for MIDI and I have lots of MIDI here. I'm now using it for audio. I'm very surpised by how good it is on a basic and very simple level.I think Rosegarden is much better than Ardour now. It uses WAY less DSP.

I'm running almost everything as hardware now. I send out from Rosegarden to a Speck Xsum mixer. That's now used for much mixing purposes.

I'm getting another Germanium Tone Control.

I may mix in Ardour and then have access to LinuxDSP. I won't be using Ardour 3 if the Alpha version is anything to go by. I may still mix on my Mac.

I know it seems like I'm being negative here but I'm into things that work in a simple manner with no BS. Rosegarden actually does this and works for me in real world scenario. I need this because I'm ready to start doing some music now. Rosegarden looks ugly as well but you can change the GUI style. Install Qt Configuration to do that.

efflux
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OK. It seems Ardour 3 is in fact perfectly stable despite UI sluggishness. I've tweaked some things to get it smoother.

So back in Ardour but testing Ardour 3 now. Will probably try out LinuxDSP next week.

I've routed everything through my Speck Xsum hardware mixer. I'm monitoring Ardour at Speck but after Ardour. This is partly so I can buss outputs to the Bricasti or any other hardware. It's not inserted in Ardour. The full mix is only heard at the Speck.

Real Bricasti devastates the IRs by the way. At first they seem great but not for long.

My set up here has hundreds of cables now. I've worked in the box in the past with virtually no cables but that is sonic BS in comparison, believe me. Even the Speck Xsum mixer changes the sound.

Going off topic a lot here but just for note, my guitar set up is Les Paul - JoeMeek Compressor - Thermionic Culture Vulture - Germanium Tone Control - Eventide Timefactor stomp box - Ardour via Mytek A/D to track then back out to Speck but also send buss to Bricasti. Speck can be utilised as input and output mixer. This equals the most awesome guitar sound you ever heard. I've tried all this stuff inside the box but those hardware units in that chain have absolutely no in the box equal.

paul
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@efflux: we asked very nicely for people to not discuss ardour3 on the forums. its not because we want to censor discussion, its because things that get written on web forums end up being indexed by search engines forever, and those comments will no longer be relevant to ardour3 after a very short time. for example, the "UI sluggishness" you referred to ... we know that at least one version of this is caused by the video device driver on the user's system, and is nothing to do with ardour3 at all (i.e. people have changed the video driver and the problem goes away). Do I know that this is the case for you? No, I don't. But given that we have not even released a beta of ardour3 yet, its really unfair to the future to leave people to find reports like "... despite UI sluggishness" regarding an alpha version of an unreleased project.

Please join us on the mailing list and/or IRC to discuss issues, ideas and workflows for ardour3.