Open source guitar amp sim

Dunno if this can be useful for Ardour, BTW ScorchCrafter C120 Amp Head Plug-in has been recently open sourced:

The SC C120 is a complete guitar amp head emulator in a VST/AU plug-in, using 64-bit internal distortion. After being in development for a over a year, it is now GPL-ed open source starting with version 3.0. For Win32, and soon Mac and Linux.

Feature highlights:

  • 64-bit internal processing multi-stage distortion
  • Two input EQ filters
  • Two stages of output EQ tone stack
  • High-gain and grundge/semi-clean channels
  • Should work on older machines as well, advanced CPU instructions not required (SSE, SSE2, etc.)
  • Independent oversampling controls for both online and offline audio processing
  • Oversampling up to 16x internally, also with "mute" and "bypass" settings
  • Should run in most 32-bit DAW hosts as well (support for v2.4 VSTs required)
  • GPL license only applies to plug-in itself - any audio created is 100% YOURS
  • Runs at sample rates from 44,100 Hz (minimum) up to 768,000 Hz (max can be changed with recompile of source code)
  • Used to be (but is no longer) a closed-source freeware experiment for a long time, now open source starting with version 3.x
  • Official website:’s project page:


    Hope that helps, or at least inspires.

    Destructavator, I think it’s a good idea! Use LV2 to make a plugin with GUI. And also would be great if you can make a tutorial for other VST developers how to port their plugins to LV2.

    Could be a good thing - especially if it can run natively on Linux.

    It not runs on my system…

    Unfortunately the best free sims still are windows VST plugins… And this is the main thing that require wine and ardourvst for me… It’s not stable, it won’t run with jackdbus, but i continue playing with ardourvst because it allows me to save presets for my guitar in one place together with backing tracks…

    May be in future Ardour will keep wine stuff outside and will be better connected with fst via jack-sessions and midi automation tracks?
    Another solution is to make much easyer adding send and return from jack clients as track insert, it will clear difference between plugins and external dsp applications. For example a submenu with names of all running jack clients, that will automatic add both send and return and midi automation if available to selected application…

    Good news. There is gx_head also,

    Hi, this is Destructavator, the lead developer for the ScorchCrafter C120 Amp plug-in. I noticed this thread and thought I’d post a little info:

    As mentioned on the SF project page, there are versions planned for running specifically on Linux, as well as Mac, but they haven’t been done yet.

    All of the current release downloads - at the time of this post - are just for MS Windows, and although I compile them with MinGW and MinGW64, they are currently fine-tuned for the Windows OS and quite honestly I’d be rather surprised if any versions would run under Linux.

    With a little patience though, Linux and Mac versions will eventually be available, it will just take some time - right now I’ve already downloaded SDKs for LADSPA and LV2, and I’m trying to make a decision as to whether or not to use one of those two or stick with the VST SDK (which can be compiled for Linux, I use the 2.4 revision 2 version currently).

    This is actually an area where I could really use some help and feedback - I do happen to use Linux on some of my computers - I mostly use Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and Xubuntu - and I really would like to have a port that runs well in Ardour without any need for Wine, “wrappers,” etc., but I’ve never programmed an audio plug-in for Linux before and I’m not sure which SDK would be the best.

    I will say that I have compiled some programs under Linux before, so I’m not a total stranger to makefiles and build scripts, and I’m comfortable with the command line.

    With regards to the source code, the SC source code itself (without the VST SDK and VSTGUI SDK) does NOT use any Microsoft-specific stuff that I know of, so if it was used with an SDK built for Linux it shouldn’t really need much in the way of changes to be compiled for Linux. It does NOT depend on any specific libraries that are only in Windows. The SDKs used are a different story though, and again that’s where I could use some help, in deciding with what Linux-friendly implementation to go with.

    I’d appreciate any info from anyone here who could advise me as to what would be best for a Linux port.

    I already have two other devs on board who work with the Mac platform, but right now I’m still looking for help on the Linux side.

    BTW, I also have plans for a stand-alone product, not a plug-in, and some other FX as well, (I’m also researching convolution stuff for speaker/cab emulation).


    Destructavator (SC plug-in developer)

    P.S. - Please be aware that the SC project is rather new and has not yet matured - it will take time.

    Well two different topics to cover here…

    Yes you are correct int hat VSTs can be natively compiled for Linux. However that being said, if you are targetting Ardour specifically, Ardour does not natively support Linux VSTs. The LADSPA and LV2 plugin standards are by far the most common, with LADSPA being the most common and best established, and LV2 replacing it slowly. The catch to LV2 is that it is very expandable, and there are extensions in common use(External UI is a popular one that is solved through extensions) on multiple programs. So this can be a blessing and a curse at the same time, the blessing being that it is easy to extend LV2 to cover your use case, but the curse being that software has to support it. Thus far I would say the most successfully extensions probably are those that were also supported in Ardour(Typically people submitted patches to Ardour to support them).

    However if you don’t need an extension, then don’t make one please. It does make things more confusing;)

    That being said, the main reason that VSTs are not supported in Ardour to my knowledge are twofold. There isn’t much reason to with LADSPA and LV2 on Linux is a big one(There are some native VSTs, but the LADSPA offerings are typically more popular on Linux), and that noone has submitted patches(And possibly been willing to support them) to do it is another one. Paul can jump in here and correct me on this when he gets back most likely;)

    Now in as far as a standalone application, that is where you will find that Linux shines. Jack is all you need, and you will be able to be routed into most pro-audio programs on Linux, as Jack is the standard for this on Linux. It also is fairly easy to develop for, provided you are using a callback based audio processing. If you are using a push based, it might be more difficult, but I haven’t ever tried that.


    Bit of an old thread but I’ve noticed a linux icon on the the sourceforge page of Scrochcrafter (
    Also mentioned in the text: “A group of audio DAW plug-ins targeting Windows (VST), Mac (VST/AU), and Linux, mostly for Guitar Amplifier simulation.”

    However, I struggle to find the linux files there… .

    Does anyone have some more information about this?

    Also, some arguments above disapprove porting to native linux VST because of the lack of VST support. At the time I guess there was no VST host implemented in Ardour yet. This is not the case anymore, Ardour handles native VST plugins very well today.

    I just browsed around. Linux support appears to be an unrealized dream (as does OS X). The source code is available, but the information on building strongly suggests Windows only code.

    Thanks for checking!
    It should be only the GUI-part that is Windows-code only, right? Because of the VST SDK being crosscompatible over Windows/Mac/Linux?