30 band calf EQ plugin error

If I load this plugin It just sits there I cannot move the fader’s! Driving me nuts.
Tried it across a few Ardour sessions. Am I missing something?
Cheers all

Ardour developers encourage Ardour users to not use CALF plugins, ever.

When they work, they can be reasonably OK plugins. But they often do not work, and quite often they crash Ardour too.

Hopefully others will suggest alternative plugins for your purpose.

Somehow I only recently picked up on this animosity towards CALF. I’ve always had a good experience with CALF. I usually don’t use more than the 12 band EQ plugin. Are they considered buggy?

It seems to depend on the users machine / distro. But if it works for you, use it.
IMHO the plugins from LSP-plug.in provide a good set of alternatives for when things don’t work with calf.

1 Like

The short of it is that Calf seem to cause far more user support issues than any other plugin suite out there. Crashes are not uncommon using them, especially if heavily using a lot of their plugins. As a result of that they are not often recommended.

Aside from that I will say that some of their plugins I am not particularly fond of. I know some people like their compressors, but their EQ in my opinion doesn’t sound very good when trying to correct issues with it compared to other alternatives (Such as LinuxDSP/OvertoneDSP or Harrison EQs, so both paid products obviously). So on top of the above reasons I personally tend to not recommend them if not absolutely necessary. I haven’t listened to the LSP plugins mentioned above yet to form an opinion as of yet on them as an alternative though for instance.


Interesting. I’ll give the LSP and LinuxDSP plugins a try. Harrison is already on my list. Been dying to use this Faderport 16 I grabbed and it seems like Harrison has already got it supported. Thanks for the reply @seablade and @rghvdberg!

Hi Thank you for that
I have downloaded the plugins and dropped the SO file in my /studio/vst folder ( where my DSPovertone live)
There are loads of TTL files ? I cannot get the plugins to show yet.
Do the ttl files reside in the same dir?
Thanks for your help.
Cheers Bob

There are several plugin types, vst, lv2, ladspa etc.

You only need the lv2 plugins.

  • Download this file :https://sourceforge.net/projects/lsp-plugins/files/lsp-plugins/1.1.4/lsp-plugins-lv2-1.1.4-x86_64.tar.gz/download
  • Check if you have a directory .lv2 in your home directory, if that lv2 directory doesn’t exist, create it…
  • Unpack the downloaded file and copy the whole lsp-plugins.lv2 folder in ~/.lv2
    So you get a directory structure like ~/.lv2/lsp-plugins.lv2/
    Inside that folder are all the .so and ttl files.
  • Restart Ardour and it should pick up the plugins.
  • Happy mixing :wink:
  • I like bullet lists.
  • Turned numbers in bullets as suggested by Paul

Sir I am in your debt,
all working fine now.
School weekend for me working them out.
I’m trying to setup one flat EQ as I’m mixing in the worse place you could, in a corner!!!
So have a analyzer and will set the graphic as needed.
Will not be perfect but better than nothing.
Many thanks

1 Like

Somehow I only recently picked up on this animosity towards CALF. I’ve always had a good experience with CALF. I usually don’t use more than the 12 band EQ plugin. Are they considered buggy?

If something is considered buggy, because it attempts to pierce your eardrums due to DSP changes in a newer version of a Calf plug-in running in an existing Ardour project, then yes – they are considered buggy.

I’ve found the Calf stuff is a lot more reliable if used with calfjackhost, the standalone JACK host, rather than as a plugin. I use the compressors, which I like the sound of enough to overcome my usual aversion to fancy GUIs, but not many of the others.

Interesting, I’m not a fan of the calf compressor’s sound but am usually driven away by the substandard DSP (e.g. zipper artifacts or worse when automating the effects, phasing artifacts of the cross-over filters etc, some occasional NaNs or occasional huge noise of the reverb), while the latter are easily measurable, the overall result is, of course, subjective and may result in the sound that you want.

In many cases the controls also don’t do what I expect from them, but that’s just an aside.

As for external jack application, the main downside is that it won’t save the state along with the session and that the plugins cannot be automated (which is probably an advantage in case of calf).

@x42: Points noted about Calf shortcomings. I like the Calf stereo compressor on some recordings as it adds a small amount of odd harmonic distortion when compressing (similar to many analogue compressors, and not enough to cause audible aliasing on most material). I rarely use multiband or automation. For a ‘clean’ standalone stereo compressor my goto would be ZamCompX2.