Midi control of bypass button

Hey everybody, always appreciating this awesome software and the support the community gives!

I’ve seen in places that most everything in the gui is supposedly controllable but I wanted to ask if the ‘bypass’ button for plugins is directly controllable?

I’m guessing the answer might be osc (I know rgareus has this nice workaround for midi to control osc parameters, etc), but if that’s the answer I still wasn’t sure which osc command would control it.

I’m guessing it might be found by querying osc messages, but couldn’t find any specific documentation in the manual on the forums when it came to the bypass button. Very simple application, I want to be able to turn on and off effects from a midi controller, etc.

I’m guessing I’ll probably figure this out at some point if an solution isn’t posted but I wanted to make sure others who may have the same question can find the answer here too, so I’ll make sure to follow up either way!

Thanks in advance for any feedback

p.s. Very pleased with how ardour has been running on my the new raspi 4 too, for the record.

Do you mean the active button in the GUI? The GUI shows this as a green LED. It does bypass but is no “clickless” so far as I know and does not have latency compensation that matches the plugin. The plugin active control in OSC can be found in the manual: https://manual.ardour.org/using-control-surfaces/controlling-ardour-with-osc/osc-control/ search for activate (

/strip/plugin/activate ssid piid

) If the plugin has it’s own bypass, which may or may not be clickless and/or latency compensated, then it will just be one of the plugin parameters.

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Ah yeah I think that’s the one, I’ll double check when I have a moment

Not sure what you mean by ‘clickless’, cause I’m talking about the green button that goes dark (and bypasses the plugin) when you click it off, and enables/turns on/goes green again when you click it again

Yes you are discussing the same thing I believe. And what he means by clickless is that by bypassing the plugin it could cause an audible ‘click’ in the audio because there is not anything to prevent that from happening when you bypass/re-enable.


That is the activate button LED. Using that in the middle of a mix or recording could result in a click or pop and because there is no latency compensation, the audio that is by passed may be shifted in time as well. Depending on the plugin the change in time may be related to the buffer size in use and so those of us that use a different buffer size for recording and mixing, the timing would be affected differently in each of these cases. Some plugins have their own bypass that is clickless and that would be the better way of bypassing.

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If a plugin has its own bypass/enable it is automatically mapped to Ardour’s bypass button (and hard bypass is no longer available). This only works with LV2 and VST plugins (not LV1 and AU).

See how the Plugin’s “Enable” control (here a-delay) is linked to Ardour’s Bypass:

As a follow up: Ardour’s bypass button must not be automatable (or remote controllable). Otherwise this could lead to conflicting settings with the plugin’s own bypass/enable automation.

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Thanks for the input!

@lenovens thanks for clarifying the type of click - so in order to avoid this while turning on and off, an adsr or momentary mute is probably Ideal.

Does there happen to be an established best practice for this when it comes to avoiding bypass clicks in ardour?

@x42 thats a great implementation (to bypass the hard bypass if a plugin has a bypass hah)

I assume you mean this applies only in instances where a plugin does have it’s own enable button…

All very helpful, thanks for the answers

Yes, but if a plugin doesn’t have its own bypass/enable control we assume that it’s not click-free, produces artifacts and hence should not be automated or remote-controlled (live) either.

Also in some cases plugin updates add that feature in an update. So we err on the cautious side.
Most commercial VSTs do support it anyway and more and more LV2 plugins also do.

If you have a specific plugin in mind, the best way forward would be to ask the plugin-dev to add support for it.

Ardour doesn’t know how to properly bypass a plugin. It might be a cross-fade, or might be ramping gain controls to zero or … only the plugin knows and should do that internally.

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