Using Guitarix with Ardour

Hi.

I’ve been using Ardour for years, mainly to record multi-track guitar drafts, never minding the poor sound quality. Recently, I’ve been trying to get a better sound and Guitarix did great (especially thanks to the feature that downloads presets from the Internet). Those pages have been of great help too:

Now, I’m trying to find out the best way to integrate Guitarix in Ardour.

The thread in [Feature Request] Standalone version as LV2 plugin · Issue #19 · brummer10/guitarix · GitHub sums it up pretty well but I hope to find a better answer here.

The solutions exposed there are

1 - Run Guitarix standalone and route to Ardour.
2 - Use Guitarix LV2 plugins inside Ardour.
3 - Use Carla to create a LV2 plugin from Guitarix standalone.
4 - Use a session manager like RaySession to persist the whole “Ardour + standalone Guitarix” settings

For now, I’ve bee using method 1. It does work and it has been a great improvement already. It allows me to run any preset, but it is cumbersome and it doesn’t tie the presets to the Ardour audio project, as also pointed out in (ubuntu studio) Ardour shows guitarix as plugin, I added this plugin to my track, but it does not work? - #3 by x42. From a practical perspective, it is not really satisfying.

I’ve been trying method 2 tonight. After building a tone I like in Guitarix standalone, I’m trying to reproduce it from Ardour using Gx plugins. I’m finding out the LV2 plugins don’t seem to cover all the features of Guitarix. At least the mapping from Guitarix standalone to plugins is far from obvious. I’m basically in the same situation as GX-plugins · Issue #77 · brummer10/guitarix · GitHub. Guitarix author confirms Tonestack hasn’t been ported to LV2 plugin which is surprising because it is an important element. Actually, it seems to be included in the GxAmplifier plugin. But even then, the settings seem to differ, the list of tones available is shorter for each part (preamp, tonestack, cabinet). And one might want to add effects between preamp and cabinet. The OP in [Feature Request] Standalone version as LV2 plugin · Issue #19 · brummer10/guitarix · GitHub suggests standalone Guitarix could export the list of plugins needed to reproduce its sound in an external host. I’m afraid it might not be possible due to the differences I pointed above. Looks like I need to recreate the sound more or less from scratch, but with a less extensive list of available elements (the list of plugins is quite long but some choices are limited), without the ability to import presets (own or from the Internet) and with a less practical GUI. I’m struggling with this right now and if not a blocker, it is at least a pity not being able to benefit from all the qualities of standalone Guitarix.

I haven’t tried the other options yet.

If I correctly grasp the point of using Carla (method 3), it allows one to export a standalone Guitarix as a LV2 plugin. But it requires cumbersome steps and IIUC, each parameter change would require going throught the export process again. I’d like to be able to fiddle with the settings while playing the trakcs from Ardour.

RaySession / New Session Manager look like yet another layer above the rest. I could give it a try but I haven’t had the time yet and I’d rather stick to official Debian packages (those don’t include RaySession or Agordejo which the recommended UI to NSM).

At this point I’ve spent quite some time reading and trying and while the sound in Guitarix is quite promising (at least good enough for me that I feel that will to play when I switch Guitarix on), the link with my Ardour workflow is still an issue.

Having searched for a while already, I don’t really expect to get a simple answer to this here, but I hope other users can share their experiences / workflow and hint me into the most appropriate direction.

1 Like

Hello Jerome,

I recognize what you’re describing; it’s a pain trying to reproduce the tones using the LV2 plugins :frowning:
I also tend to use Method 2 and waste alot of energy doing so.

For what it’s worth, I’m just starting to evaluate a different plugin amp: GitHub - sadko4u/tamgamp.lv2: Tamgamp (Rhymes with: "Damage Amp") is LV2 guitar amp simulator
It’s based on the Guitarix developer kit but it stops at the pre-amp/tonestack part, allowing you to add Fx and later Cabinet/IR

It doesn’t help reproducing the full Guitarix presets in Ardour but I expect it might make the manual process a bit quicker …

I’m interested in other’s suggestions/experiences in this thread :wink:

No great answer here… I’d been thinking of creating some kind of lua script which would map one’s guitarix preset into a flow of plugins.

But my recording process with Guitarix and Ardour is to send a clean signal to a track, and then send the guitarix signal to another track. I note the guitarix plugin ID in the notes for the track. Then it’s easy to re-amp later, too, just route that clean track back into guitarix. Primitive, but I’m old.

Ditto - no great words of wisdom, but just to chime in - I’ve been using method 3, and doing the exact same thing as @ardourwlk for lack of finding a better way. Super low-tech - just adding a comment to each track with the Guitarix profile settings name. Not fantastic, but better than forgetting the next time you fire everything up and have your carefully dialed in sound torched.

It’s just part of the workflow now - open Ardour, then “reset” each track’s guitarix to where it should be. (Alongside saving profiles in Guitarix directly).

I hadn’t considered using Raysession as a potential fix for this – just gave it a whirl to test. One track was using method #1 (straight to ardour), another track using method #3 (via carla).

Unfortunately, same results - after exiting the session, neither track retained the proper profile, both just used whatever I had used last in Guitarix.