Ardour Community Edition (ACE) Plugin Updates / Suggestions

Any plans for updates or additions with the ACE Plugins ?

I have a few ideas:

  1. Modulation (Chorus / Flanger / Phaser ) Plug in.

  2. Saturation / Distortion plug in.

  3. Update the reverb, in my opinion, it does work in a pinch, but is showing it’s age.

  4. Update the Delay with modulation and possible saturation capability on the delays only. Add a Ping-Pong feature. If anything, I think the ability to have adjustable modulation would be fantastic! Of course, if there was a Modulation plug in, that could just be chained to the delay and would work as well as using two instances to get the ping pong effect.

  5. Basic Mid / Side capability. A Left / Right to Mid / Side and a Mid / Side to Left / Right Plugin. OR a template with bussing already setup for mid / side processing.

I know there is lots of 3rd party plug-ins that can do that, but it is always nice to have Ardour install with all the basics. A Modulation and a Saturation / Distortion plugin are two basics that I see missing from the selection.

Also, there currently no include basic presets with the ACE plugins. Would that be a possibility as well, with the option to include / exclude on installation of Ardour ?

Thoughts ?

I personally miss a built-in Limiter although there are of course many outside great choices… I also wish the high/low pass filter wasn’t Lua based and was just a regular LV2 because I can’t seem to get it to drag and stay in my ‘Favorite’ presets in the left Mixer Pane… :thinking: As far as included presets there actually are some, the ACE compressor for example has a set of excellent presets that I use quite often.

So the catch to all of this is it requires someone to create it and just as important, if not moreso, someone to maintain it. That in itself could be a full time job for a full set of plugins, the current options came about because someone (Damien IIRC) has provided both of those for a basic set of plugins, but the more you ask the more time is required.

NOTE I am not saying to not make the request, just keep in mind the realities of what is required to accomplish it.

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The bundled plugins are a no-frills bread and butter set, intended to get new users started without them first having to look for plugins.

They are by no means a replacement for a well crafted effects, many of which are years in the making.

Keep in mind that when a plugin is bundled with Ardour, its release cycle is tied to Ardour releases. There is no way to roll out a maintenance version of the plugin without an additional Ardour release. This is the main reason why Ardour does not just take and bundle existing free/libre plugins.

Given that there is a very wide choice for plugins out there, It is unlikely that there will be significant updates to the ACE plugin set. At least nobody is working on this.

The current ACE-* plugins are a subset of curated zam-plugins – and x42-plugins

Making presets, finding default values and defining parameter ranges is probably 40% of the work when creating a new plugin. GUI layout and design takes 50% of the time. – So far the ACE plugins are just below the 10% mark.

While you could use

I have just added “ACE Stereo Routing” for convenience: Add ACE Stereo Routing · Ardour/ardour@e23cfe2 · GitHub


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Thank you for the Mid / Side routing! It is much appreciated!

My main reasoning behind asking for the plug-ins was the fact that it would be nice if Ardour installed, and was ready to go, not needing third-party plug-ins. Cross-platform workstations would benefit, as well as those sharing ardour archives. There are plenty of windows only plug-ins, but linux has been highly stable and more customizable than win 10. Some third-party plugins are excellent, others seem bloated and simply a mixing trick, saturated, compressed, or whatever and marketed as a ‘magic’ plug in, but really seems to be a basic FX chain with a fancy interface.

I definitely see your point on the development side of things that it is time consuming and it makes sense to use good third-party plugins so that those can be as good as they can be and more time spent on Ardour itself.

I will check out the zam-plugins for cross platform.

Thanks again! I think this adds a nice native functionality to Ardour.