basic good plugins for noob

Im advanced musician and neophyte Ubuntu/Ardour user.
I dont need my songs perfect but I feel like I could probably beef them up ALOT pretty fast if I knew what the f Im doing on this laptop
Especially my vocals sound like ass. Great melodies, good voice, good feel, but compared to everyone else my shit sounds flat so please pardon my potty mouth and thank you!

to clarify: what really simple plugins can I put on my vocals (or other tracks ) to polish them up

Basic good plugins are included in the Ardour instalation. Right click on plugin section in mixer stripe -> New Plugin -> By Creator -> Ardour Team. There you can find a-EQ, a-Compressor, a-Reverb, and a-Delay, that should be enough to make a fine mix.

It sounds more like you have production issues. Plugins aren’t going to fix a poorly produced track. With that said, try running your vocal track into CALF’s 12 band EQ, CALF’S Mono Compressor, and little bit of whatever reverb plugin. That’s kind of my go-to vocal processing chain. Use the low and high pass filters of the EQ to focus the midrange, compressor to smooth out the dynamics and reverb to fill in your sound a little.

This might be a bit of an old thread, but for anyone (else) who might be interested, learn how to use one of these:

These types of EQ are genuinely one of the few “just make it better” EQs - its very hard to make them sound bad, and if you add it or a similar plug-in to the master buss it can improve just about any track - quite often the ‘secret ingedient’ that turns an ‘in the box’ mix into something like a studio recording.
The good news is this one works with Ardour / Linux and, though it is commercial, its practically free at £10 and you can download / demo it for free. (Disclaimer: I developed this plug-in)