Creating your own virtual console type plugins in Ardour

Mixing on Linux is great but when I look at my other plugin library that has virtual console type emulations with selectable circuits I’m wondering if it’s possible to create a similar effect using ardour plugins or other Linux plugins. I was looking at the tubewarmth plugin and was wondering if it can DNA used to create a similar effect. I know saturation in general helps but just wondering if I have all the tools I can use right in front of me just a way of using them.

One of the plugins I have

Sounds like you should use mixbus

Ya I do use mixbus but I plan on using a system built with the raspberry pi and mixbus doesn’t work on ARM platforms and I don’t think they will anytime soon. Sometimes I’m tired of proprietary software.

Judging from your other thread I assume you mean a Raspberry Pi.

While not impossible to use it as virtual console, it’s really an under-powered CPU, compared to any modern Intel or AMD system. In my experience recent Pi4 DSP power compares to late 90’s x86.

PS. Your statement that “mixbus doesn’t work on ARM platforms” is not true. There are just no publicly available builds for ARM platform (Apple ARM or RPi) at this point in time.

I spoke to mixbus and they told me that they are only supporting the current platforms at this time.

Tubewarmth is good. IMO if you have limited CPU it’s best to selectively apply distortion where you want it. Just having a distortion unit on every track by default does definitely not make your mixes better by default. You’re most likely looking at a subtle combination of a high shelf + distortion that you selectively apply when needed.

Even on analog mixing desks they respond in a linear fashion until you start pushing the levels “too far”, in which case to emulate that, just add a distortion plugin of your choice.

A sidenote: Most people are not in a place skill-wise for mixing where striving for an analog style “sparkle” (aka really distortion + noise + eq) will make or break your mix. Maybe you are, but it’s worth considering, just because I see people looking for shortcuts for good mixes, and “Ooh yeah analog emulation” is among the top 3 shortcuts I see people trying. (The protip is: There are no shortcuts)


The tubewarmth is definitely one I am testing out and am going to use on my mixbus moving forward when using Linux.

I guess you made a good point. Although I don’t think I’m trying to find a shortcut to prevent creative mixing. I am kinda new to mixing but I know that I often have to think outside the box. I can definitely use distortion creatively. Your post is refreshing because it’s a reminder to use the tools I have even if you use them for things that I get aren’t generally used for. But at times a plugin that can get the job done faster is always nice lol

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