plugin recommentation

I want to ask for recommendation about the huge amount of LADSPA/VST plugins on Linux.
Especially I am searching for “standard” EQ, Compressor and Reverb Plugins like e.g. the Waves Plugins on Windows (I would prefer LADSPA, and if necessary VST plugins which work quite stable under Linux).

I already compiled ardourvst and tried lots of LADSPA and VST plugins under Linux - however, maybe someone can share the experience about these plugins so that we can create a small docu which would make it much easier for beginners.

Many thanks,

PS: so far I tried the following:


  • Singleband parametric
  • Tripleband parametric with shelves
  • Glame Highpass Filter
  • Multiband EQ
  • TAP Equalizer BW

LADSPA Compressors:

  • SC4 Compressor vs. Tap Dynamics
    (which one is prefered ?)

LADSPA Reverb:

  • TAP Reverberator
  • more ?


  • Paris EQ (better then the LADSPAs ?)
  • Ambience
  • Transverb
  • NyquistEq5 (nice graphical representation)
  • Classic Reverb

thanks for the answers!

@Benjamin: I use ardourvst 2.0.3, I did not yet try to save values, but NyquistEq5 and Ambience did not crash on my setup (but I also cannot store values) - yes, I already tried out fishfillets and endorphin, together with the “Mono to Stereo splitter” also on mono tracks

@Reuben: yes, in single channels I am also not using multiband filters usually

I am fine with compressors and EQs now - however, I’m not really satisfied with reverbs: don’t like freeverb that much and I also tried the TAP reverb editor to create new presets (maybe I have to play with it a little bit more).
Does anyone know other free (VST) reverb plugins ?



It’s the best sounding native Linux reverb I ever heard. It’s a convolution engine - you can look for impulse responses on the web and use these. Create a config file, load it into JACE and connect it into Ardour via Jack.

If you need a graphical interface, SIR (also a convolution reverb) should be running with ArdourVST.


good topic.

I use near all LADSPA plugins in your list. I think the SC4 compressor is more handy than the Tap Dynamics. I can’t say which one is better.

I didn’t find any good reverb LADSPA as well (besides TAP Reverberator which seems to be ok).

About VST: Which Ardour Version do you use with NyquistEq5 and Ambience? The NyquistEq5 crashes my Ardour 2.0.3, and NyquistEq3 and Ambience don’t save their values.

I can very recommend the fishfillets and endorphin at
These are cool compressor/gate/… effects. (Spitfish, Blockfish and endorphin work for me in Ardour, unfortunately only on stereo tracks.


I don’t use anything multiband very often. They’re usually overkill. I generally use stacked filters like highpass, lowpass, bandpass, notch and single band parametric as needed. They sound fine to me.

One thing that’s missing is an eq filter that allows you to control how many poles is has. Zynaddsubfx’s built in eq has that feature, so I don’t know why anybody hasn’t done that with a LADSPA eq plugin.

LADSPA Compressors:

Anything starting with SC is good. There are also some RMS compressors that work well. There are other dynamics plugins like expanders that are nice to use as well.

LADSPA Reverb:

I use Freeverb all the time. It’s a super clean stereo reverb. Lot’s of people like Gverb. Don’t care for it. There’s also a convolver based reverb that can be fun to play with if you have some good impulse response samples, but it’s a jack client, not a plugin. (and convolvers are CPU hogs anyway)

If you need a graphical interface, SIR (also a convolution reverb) should be running with ArdourVST.

I was referring to jack_convolve which has a graphical dssi based interface:

Is there any (non-vst) Graphical EQ? The parametric ones sure are nice, but I’m more used to graphical…

Jamin has a Graphical EQ built into it. Hope 1024 bands of EQ is enough for you. ;o)

But is it possible/smart to use Jamin on every track? I guess not…

A graphical EQ on each track is not really a good idea. You will get more “musical” results by using stacked single band parametric and filters. Graphic EQs are great for making small corrections to a mix, while parametric and filters are better for shaping the frequency characteristics of individual sources.

Maybe Steele means a grahical parametric EQ (like in the waves plugins), which would be very nice, but might not be possible with LADSPA unfortunately.

Would be nice is just a graphical representation. For example (this is just a random google picture)

Better ist a graphical EQ in a traditionell meaning, like that:

A graphical representation might be possible with a DSSI plugin, or even LV2.

However (and this is just my personal experience) I find graphical representations of EQ or Dynamics to be distracting. I find that I have a preconceived idea in my mind of what the curve or graph should look like and end up manipulating the EQ or dynamics setting to match that curve rather than using my ears.

When I use just my ears, I usually end up with something that sounds better, and when I then look at the graphical representation of what I did, it usually looks nothing like what I had visually preconceived in my head.

So I personally don’t like using graphical representations. I do use them for other purposes, but not when setting EQ, dynamics, or even trim levels.

That’s just me though. Some people seem to do quite well with them.

I forgot to add in my last post: If you want a graphical representation of ANY type of EQ (or for that matter, any plugin that works in the frequency domain) then create a send before and after the EQ plugin. Have those two sends going into JAPA as channels A and B, with the A trace set in “A/B” mode. This will create a graph of the EQ curve. The advantage to this is that it shows the actual EQ curve rather than just a graphical representation (which is not always accurate).

I haven’t been satisfied with many reverbs either. I have found that for some instruments the classic reverb (vst) works well, and TAP can be okay for some similar applications. When it comes to vocals not much around that doesn’t sound painted on. The best I could find for my latest track was the Karma FX reverb (vst). It has diffusion, feedback, predelay and level plus damping and high and lo cut filters. It is extremely stable and sounds to me better than any of the others. Obviously not a lexicon but beggers can’t be chooser hey!

I’m gonna have to try JACE though, never heard of it before.

Andy J

Reuben, that’s a great idea. Lots of cool applications for it.


I’m new to Ardour, but have been having a great time w/it…I am looking for a Multi-band compression solution similar to what I had in Cubase (was a VST plugin)…are there any multi-band compression LADSPA plugins, or do I have to build one w/ a chain of effects (say either in Jack rack or right in Ardour itself)?


As far as i know, Jamin is the only tool doing this. It’s not a plugin, but a stand-alone application using jack.
And it works very well !

great tip Reuben :slight_smile:
I was already using jaaa but this (japa) is much better for a quick comparison!