LinuxDSP LV2 plugins in Ardour for OSX?

I’ve browsed and searched around without really getting a clue.
Does the LinuxDSP lv2 plugins work with Ardour running on OSX?
If so, how do I get it to work?

I tried putting the bundles in /usr/lib/lv2 without seeing them in the plugin list.
I’m not clueless, but no ninja either;)

No, the linuxDSP plugins are built for linux.

I have no plans to support apple products at this time.

How about supporting ARDOUR on OSX?

@Philip8888: I see what you mean, but it requires investment both in time and in terms of purchasing (expensive) apple hardware, and as I’m doing this full-time at the moment, the financial aspects are a big factor in the decision. It therefore becomes a commercial decision, and given that Ardour already supports many AU plugins on the Mac, I think I would struggle to make it profitable - especially given that I already have just about all the work I can cope with maintaining / testing, developing, supporting (and trying to make people aware of…) the linux side of things.

… and besides, the name “Linux DSP” gives the answer anyway. If someone wrote plug-ins called Mac DSP. or Windoze DSP I don’t think we would be asking them to port to linux.

@linuxdsp: Thanks for the great work you are currently doing to bring top quality LV2 plugs to the linux world.

out of curiosity, wouldn’t it be possible to build lv2 support into OS X through building the necessary libraries into macports or from source? If support could be built, could the exsisting LV2 plugins could be used in OS X versions of Ardour?

@tbonedude: its certainly possible to do this. The LV2 plugins would need to also be compiled for OSX.

Obviously I can’t speak for other LV2 developers, but for my own LV2 plugins, I think it would be relatively straight forward to port to OSX, but that being said, if I was to go to the trouble of doing that, I’d probably make them AU rather than LV2 since that would ensure wider compatibility with host applications. I develop them as LV2 on linux mainly because that is the most widely supported format that (now) allows me to provide the (GUI) features I want to. The main obstacle for me is my lack of Apple hardware, and the fact that since I do this full-time (my choice, but the income from doing this is not exactly large) I have to justify the expense of new hardware based on its ability to earn me enough to pay for it, and given the premium price for Apple hardware and the huge number of commercially developed plugins already available I suspect the returns wouldn’t justify the investment.
The other (and perhaps more significant reason from my point of view) is that I started doing this because I prefer linux as an OS and I wanted to build some tools which, along with Ardour and the other excellent linux audio software, would enable me to do on linux what I could already do on other platforms. As such, making my plugins available for other people to use was in part about contributing a small amount towards encouraging other people to find out what can be done with audio on linux (it certainly isn’t about getting rich… :slight_smile: and therefore porting them to another platform wouldn’t really help achieve that goal.

I’d like to see them on OSX. I haven’t even really tried them much yet but I will because I have Linux which I will be using for some stuff. At present I’m running Mixbus. I have demoed a few apps the last few days and Mixbus is my favourite. Reaper did not perform well and I tried Prosonus Studio One which did perform well but still, Mixbus is better. I’m sure it sounds better but I can’t verify that for certain.

Both these apps seem to have unintuitive UI and unnecessary features. It is very easy to learn Ardour.

Also, some AUs did not work right in either Reaper or Studio One but did in Mixbus despite the problem I have mentioned here with the bypass causing mono.

The way Reaper handles plugins is simply bad UI which Ardour no longer has.

I think Ardour Mixbus is a route for people to get into Linux. If Mixbus ends up on Linux with MIDI in Ardour and more plugins etc it is a clear route for Mac users to head.

Also, there may be tons of AU plugins but how many are good or cheap? I haven’t delved that much into the area of eqs but if Linuxdsp plugins are good then it doesn’t matter if there are loads of other plugins on Mac. I’m going back to my AVLinux system to try to sort a few things soon then I’ll try the Linuxdsp more. All I know is that I tried loads of VST and AU reverbs. Not many were any good and only one I found is truly fantastic which was EOS. Of course there is the Lex plugins but they are too expensive.

I developed the MX-EQ and MX-DYN channel strip EQ and Dynamics in order to bring some of that extra mixbus-style channel processing functionality to the linux version of Ardour, since I increasingly found I needed some simple EQ and Dynamics in each mixer channel, and although they don’t integrate with ardour’s GUI in the same way that mixbus does, having a more modular plugin architecture has benefits in other ways and while I appreciate that there were / are some fine LADSPA EQ and Dynamics available, personally I could never get comfortable with the LADSPA user interface and the fact that it tends to be different in different host applications, whereas I can use my plugins in Qtractor and they look and function the same as they do in Ardour (and energyXT or Renoise too if you use the linux VST versions…)

@ linuxdsp

Have you had a chance to look at the opensourced mixbus branch of code? It seems that in theory there could be a drop-in replacement for the dsp via ladspa that would provide exactly the mixbus style funcionality you’re talking about, though it looks like there would also need to be custom routines for panning/summing, etc. The graphics might need to be changed for copyright reasons or atleast the harrison logo taken out. Could something like this be do-able?

In theory it should be possible to drop in different processing using the LADSPA architecture, and the GUI functionality is there, but as you say it would have to modified so as not to infringe on any rights that belong to Harrison. The issues I have with this, would be mainly that I want to produce plugins that give the same functionality across many different host applications, this has been an essential requirement from the start, which is why I didn’t look at LV2 support until there was a method to achieve that. I can now make plugins that look and behave the same in Ardour, Qtractor etc regardless of the GUI toolkit the host uses (and not just Qt or GTK, but SDL, XLib whatever you choose…)
With using the Harrison GUI in Ardour, it would be a very Ardour-specific solution. Ultimately what I would like to see are more host applications adopting an open plugin standard - so that plugins can be used in many different situations, in the manner of VST for example. Targeting one specific DAW and building the functionality into the code in a way that is inherently more tightly coupled to the design of that application is good for that particular application, but less good for encouraging adoption of a more flexible plugin technology in my opinion.

My move to Mixbus is actually no reflection at all on quality of some plugins under Linux. The Linuxdsp may well be great and have done the job. Sure, the way Mixbus is laid out is cool but there were other factors and I do still have AVLinux here with intention of trying to use it as much as possible. I will use it for some stuff. As things progress I will be keeping up. I’m not abandoning it at all.

Linux is actually my main OS now. I have several computers here. I have been using Linux for years. I do graphics and all of that has shifted to Linux. Some of these apps work on all three main platforms. This means anyone using them can easily shift to Linux.

Why am I still primarily on a Mac for audio? There are a number of reasons for this. One was that I wanted a fast laptop. There are some Linux graphics apps which will work on OSX until my desktop gets upgraded to faster machine. I certainly did not want a Windows laptop but Linux would not have fulfilled all purposes. I knew Ardour Mixbus would work and some AU plugins I use which are crucial and not replicated yet on Linux. I use Drums From Hell by Toontracks (nothing to compare on Linux). I have now managed to totally ditch Windows because I used FL Studio a lot. However, how have I done this? I am now considering using Ableton Live on the Mac. There is no Linux app that compares to the general area that these cover - lots of quirky sound generators and good ways to get beats and loops. I had problems running FL on Wine. I had problems with some VSTs in FST but I would much rather not use Wine at all and have native Linux as much as possible.

Ableton Live is actually a fantastic app and it is very nice partner for Mixbus which is totally different. I know there is a kind of FL Studio on Linux called LMMS but it’s nowhere near FL yet and I think they are making a mistake copying FL because in my opinion that has flaws. Better to look at Ableton Live.

Of course some people may be using Linux because the software is free and they can’t afford to use anything else. This is cool but I’m actually using what I think is best. Linux is best as an operating system. OSX is OK and Windows is a disaster.

I have now managed to make Ardour Mixbus a definite part of my set up and no Windows so this is a step. The Mac is really just for audio eventually.

I would love to simply move everything right over to Linux but my music would suffer even although I like some of the Linux apps like Ardour better than other OS equivalents.

There are many other small issues that mean I can’t move right over. Lots of little things like no way of creating a sample loop crossfade for use in a sampler. These little things kill it.

I guess audio is also a problem area due to it’s tight integration with hardware.

All this work on the open source is fantastic and should be kept up. I wish more people were using it. I try to support it and will donate to a few more things but it is a slow progression to get people to move to Linux. This means any Linux apps working on Mac and Windows is in fact a benefit to Linux because for many people one day they may simply decide to make that move but still have all the apps they were using before. You’d have to be crazy not to move to Linux if all your apps work on it.

Unfortunately, even people who are aware of Linux and have tried it are unaware of great improvements relatively recently. I have tried telling people even about audio improvements now but they think back to bad experiences trying to use it in the past.


Have you seen this?

I’m not exactly sure if it will do what you want, It is a standalone JACK and Linux native VST app, anyway there’s a demo, BTW this and the rest of the Loomer Demos will be in AV Linux 4 along with all of linuxDSP’s great demos.

Hi Glen.

That Loomer software looks extremely interesting even if it doesn’t do things I’ve been mentioning. I will be checking that out for sure.

The latest saga in my attempts to get things set up the way I want is that I can’t ditch FL Studio. I tried and Ableton Live is a great app but after much testing it doesn’t replace FL after all, at least for me. There is a problem with FL in Wine on AVLinux but I’ve mentioned that on the AVLinux forum.

I’ll have to do crossfading for samples on the Mac. Doesn’t look like I can avoid that but there are a few OSX apps I will be running anyway including Mixbus. The Mac is fast so that’s still the main core of my set up. However, I have to get FL working on Linux. I’m not running Windows. Two operating systems is inconvenient as it is and I hate Windows anyway.

I’m going back to AVLinux for a bit to try to sort things at that end. ZynAddSubFX is the one crucial thing I will be using on Linux so I will always need Linux for that. It also means I will be testing out various plugins or effects for use with ZynAddSubFX. I may get to testing the Linuxdsp properly eventually.

There are several reasons I love FL Studio. I have some gripes about the UI and general workflow but this screenshot shows one feature which is simply unrivalled. The MIDI randomizer:

… /@


I have tested some of these plugs now. The Jack ones. The EQs are great. compressor is great as well.

I still haven’t finalised my Linux set up though. I don’t know what to do about FL Studio.

ZynAddSubFX with Linuxdsp wipes the floor with similar plugins in Ableton Live which I was testing as possible FL replacement.

I find the work done by linux dsp great although I’ve never tried and now unfortunately I have no way to do it since I have spent the aple for various reasons, and I invite and encourage the author of these fantastic plugins to continue development and to go to cover the gap that still differs from other linux os sw area, I hope in future versions of ardor to see the collaboration with members of the daw linux dsp and many other important features for adding …
I have a question, I saw that linux dsp has created a version of his ardor, but because instead of creating its own did not cooperate with the team to make it even better than two? joining forces in building a better product:)

the boys are going up, my warmest congratulations

A little difficult to understand exactly what you are saying, but it sounds like you are saying that LinuxDSP didn’t cooperate with the Ardour folks? Which would not be true if that is it as to my knowledge all his changes are completely available and in fact some are either being incorporated or have been incorporated back into Ardour mainline. Not to mention the support for Linux native VSTs came directly from Mike(LinuxDSP).

If I misunderstood I apologize, but I wanted to clarify that in case I was understanding correctly.


I think in this regard it is also important to know that Ardour 2 is currently in feature freeze to focus the developement at the upcoming Ardour 3. That’s why LinuxDSP had to make his own version to get his new features and enhancements into a stable version of Ardour. So LinuxDSP’s work (for example native Linux VSTs and gradient waveforms) is only incorporated into Ardour 3.