Essentials for OSX?


I have recently started using Ardour4 on OSX. Recording audio works great.

However, I am missing a good equalizer, compressor, limiter, hall effect and maybe a de-esser.
Which ones can you recommend?

I did an online search, but none of the VST I’ve found work as plugins. Some .components-files worked, but I did not manage to find useful plugins there.

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

Some decent stuff off the top of my head (Doesn’t answer everything you need sorry)…


Not free, but quality products at reasonable prices:

Not free, but quality products at reasonable prices:
Are now 60% off until the end of the year, so they're as close to free as we can afford to make them.

Heh sorry I was thinking free stuff, non-free take a look at Overtone DSP certainly, and also Mixbus and the various Harrison plugins as well. But really non-free on OS X you have a huge amount of choice in general.


Thank you guys.

As for now, I am just playing around and figuring out whether or not I can work productively with Ardour, so only free stuff is an option for me. If I stick with the programm, I’ll look into buying some plugins.

If you’re working on OS X, and you use AudioUnit plugins (the standard on that platform), then any plugins you use are almost guaranteed to work with any other plugin-hosting application on that platform. Investing in non-libre plugins on OS X is not a risk if you plan to stay on the platform, regardless of whether you continue to use Ardour or not.

The “welcome to ardour setup dialog” on OSX will have asked to perform an initial plugin scan. If you have skipped that part: Preferences > Plugins > Scan
OSX comes with essential plugins out of the box: some EQs, Compressors, two or three MIDI synths,… which are not unreasonable.

Many plugin vendors also offer evaluation versions (which periodically go silent or add noise) at no cost. Libre/free AudioUnits or LV2 plugins for OSX are rare.

Another commercial alternative is which is Ardour on Steroids: The editor is pretty much identical, but the Mixer includes an EQ, Compressor and Tape Saturation.

I have to say that those plugins you have mentioned work really well for me already. As far as compressor and equalizer go I don’t think I need anything else. At least while demo recording acoustic stuff.

However, I am not so sure on a Drum Machine. Is FXpansions BFD Eco any good? I was considering that together with their Heavy Rock Classics kit. The only problem is, right now I work on OSX. I would like to completely switch to Ubuntu or Debian eventually and then that kit will most likely not work anymore… Is there a good alternative to use on osx and linux (or, preferably, on any OS, thus having more flexibility working with different hardware)?

If you have the drum samples already, the DrMR plugin (LV2 format) is pretty great. You can set up drumkits for it in the cross-platform Hyrdogen drum machine application, save those drumkits and then DrMR will load them. This does require that you have or get the samples, though - DrMR doesn’t provide any.