Ardour open source channel strip

Ya I know there’s mixbus but i was always thinking it would be cool if ardour had its own implementation of a analog modelled channel strips using open source stuff.

I was testing the TAP tubewarmth and I think that could be used as one of those plugins that you run on every channel to get a analog sound.

airwindows has an impressive array of analog console style plugins for saturation, warmth etc. I think I like adding them as I need versus a set-in-stone analog-modelled strip. It’s a bit different (and special) when Harrison modelled their own hardware.

The issues I have with mixbus is I feel the 32c is not really a good Eq for my needs, also it doesn’t seem to add any warmth or harmonics, maybe it’s more of a cleaner eq but I’ve used other analog eq plugins that just have more features and sound better when harmonics are generated and warmth is added when you drive the signal hot etc.

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I suppose you could set up a mixing/mastering template with your favourite analog-styled plugins and share it here so people can see what they think.

As bachstudies said: set up a template if you want to use specific plugins on every channel.
No need to impose a specific default sound on every Ardour user.

If you need more channels than your template provides you simply right-click an existing one and select Duplicate.

Besides, if there were a default “analog” channel strip then Ardour would have to include the source to those plugins and I don’t think there’s any plan or desire to include more plugins of the same type as the existing ACE ones.

Seconding the airwindows recommendation - ToTape6 changed my mix on my last album, and it will be a go to for almost every track on my next album. I agree with everyone above, don’t use saturation unless you need it - my general rule of thumb is ToTape6 on the master bus (with low flutter so it sounds warm but no tremolo effect), then standard out of the box ToTape6 on kicks, snares, and I add it but play with the parameters on vocals, basses, and subs to get it to sit right in the mix without being oversaturated/distorted.

EDIT: Also, TAP Tubewarmth < ToTape6 when it comes to analog tube saturation. Calf Saturation < ToTape6. Really, ToTape6 and in general, Airwindows plugins, are gold.

A mid-90’s SSL or Harrison solid state console is just as “analog” as a mid-60’s tube EQ or compressor, so maybe what you want is more specific than just “analog.” Maybe something like a tube preamp simulator that distorts a little bit at high amplitudes is what you are looking for.

Seems like you’re conflating “analog” with “saturation”. That’s a false equivalency.

Saturation adds harmonics. There were many analog circuit designers that strove to keep the signal as clean as possible. They might start to soft clip when pushed, but at lower gain they were clean. Even audiophile tube power amps were designed NOT to get tube saturation at typical listening levels.

With saturation, you basically get 2 flavors - odd or even harmonics. Analog circuits can have unlimited flavors depending on circuit design and components used. You may like banana cream pie better than key lime pie, but they’re both still pie.

My understanding is the 32C EQ is not a saturator. The tape plugin on the mixbuses is the saturator. That said, the EQ does respond to varying gain levels. And in my experience, it takes some time to get familiar with. It’s not like any other EQ I’ve used. It appears the 4 octave bandwidth applies to the shelving filters as well as the peaking filters. Try running some pink noise through it into a spectrum analyzer, and watch how it responds as you move the filters.

So first, you may be looking for a specific type of saturation rather than an analog circuit emulator. Second, you may be looking for soft clipping. Third, you may prefer one analog circuit over another. Everybody has their favorite sounds that may come from specific analog hardware, or a combination of hardware units.

Use your ears, and good luck.

I currently run some EL34 tube amps that I designed and built to drive my main monitors (and heat the room in the winter…) for exactly that reason (and because my interest in audio electronics began before digital was even really a thing, or at least, an affordable thing) - so it just felt like it needed to be done… :slight_smile:

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