Emulate Mixbus workflow in Ardour

I’m wondering if it is possible to emulate in some way Mixbus workflow in Ardour, using just FOSS plugins. Is there some template anywhere I can get?
As a newbie both in Ardour and Home Studio Production Issues, it would be very helpful to find some examples, suggestions, etc.
There are some comments from Paul, that made me think it would be a good idea to have a better start point with Ardour, to me, at this point.
Many thanks, community, you absolutely rock.

i can recommend that you check https://airwindows.com/ plugins (which contain a lot of ‘console’ emulations, utilities, and whatnot - which you can use to create fancy templates)


Airwindows is impressive, but, simply I can’t choose :sweat_smile: nor even know where to start… this is why I ask for something more “almost done” as a full example to study and learn by myself (and others). Thanks.

For example, some time ago, I have belief Calf plugins were the best (maybe because of clean UI), not anymore, because, obviously, newbies use to need to have veterans’ ear advice :slight_smile: just for a starting point.

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The general feeling is to stay away from Calf. People that really are into DSP programming could tell you more about this.

I guess you could do something à la Mixbus by inserting an eq and a compressor pre-fader in each track and bus (x42-plugins or LSP) and finally inserting a plugin that adds non-linearities post-fader in the busses (Airwindows FromTape or ToTape6, but these heavily color the sound).
You could also go with the ACE plugin series which installation is optional at Ardour install, they can be used with or without the proprietary GUI.

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I’d commit to maintaining a github with user templates for the community, emulating Mixbus workflow or others… I’d just need a list with plugins and a short explanation ^^

I would like to know if there is somewhere documentation about the order in which the stripe-plug-ins are inserted in Mixbus. With e.g. saturation or compression the input level is rather important, I don’t think you can swap them around and get the same results.

Yep, I suppose you are right, but it would be amazing to have just a few examples of tested presets for newbies (and other human beeings) :upside_down_face:


As an example, for airwindows I found this reddit


It is a template that uses airwindows plugins.


Using Chris’ Console series is a real pain because you shouldn’t use your DAW volume faders… So unless you exclusively mix with a surface control, this makes the whole processs harder than it should be. I wouldn’t recommend it to someone looking for a “better starting point with Ardour”, as the OP stated.

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Wow, this is very interesting. I have to study this… Many thanks!!!

You just have to put Console8Channel post-fader on your tracks and Console8Buss pre-fader on your busses, the principle is to have no volume change between the *Channels outputs and the *Buss input because the former acts as an encoder and the latter as a decoder that expects summed encoded signals. Using faders with this workflow is perfectly fine (using Trim on busses is not I guess). (I have no opinion regarding these plugins yet, it does something but… gotta compare on a real life mix).


Precisely, well put. Anybody wanting to experiment with a console-type workflow could set up a session template with something akin to the following;

→ bunch of mono / stereo tracks (eg. 24)

→ bunch of stereo busses thereafter (eg. 8)

→ add the same EQ and Compressor plugin to each channel (or a channel strip plugin eg. Airwindows CStrip)

→ add Airwindows ConsoleChannel[x] to each channel and bus post-fader

→ add Airwindows ConsoleBus[x] to each bus and master bus pre-fader as first plugin i.e. before bus compression, limiting etc

Of course you can add saturation and further plugs ss needed but the above would give you a console-type setup to get started. This kind of simple flexibility and the possibilities for variation is exactly why I favour Ardour over say Mixbus or Reaper.


Amazing! Noted, I’ll try this weekend. I really appreciate your detailed explanation!

I’m trying to import that file .template, but I can’t! (Window > Manage Templates > Import) I thought it would be a hidden file, but it isn’t!
I’d tried with Ardour 7.5 and 8 with AVLinux.

You can download template here TomaTransfer

That takes a zip (tar.xz) file with templates, which can be generated by Templates > Export.

Session-templates are also a session-bundle, not just a single file. They can include plugin states and samples, etc.

To manually install this, create a folder ~/.config/ardour8/templates/Mix-in-the-Air/ and then copy the file Mix-in-the-Air.template into that folder.

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Oh! I’ll do that! I red documentation but not enough!
Thanks for your time, Robin! It was very kind of you.

It was that easy :confused: THANKS

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