[ardour-dev] Glugin aesthetics

nolv nolv at free.fr
Sat Nov 20 14:39:00 PST 2004


Excuse me in advance for my futile aesthetic remaks, my perfectable 
english and my long first post to this dev-list. I can add mantis 
entries for some of my remaks if necessary.


I like the available collection of ladspa plugins (compressors, reverbs, 
phasers...), thanks to all plugin developpers, especially Steve Harris 
and Tom Szilagyi. The only thing i miss : an equalizer that suits my 
needs. I can't do a precise work in a fast and efficient way. So i 
managed to do my own. It is basically a six band parametric equalizer, 
each band having a 40-20000Hz range, with on/off toggle for each band to 
rapidly compare the sound w/ and w/o equalization. I started from Tom's 
source of "TAP_equalizer/BW".

It looks like this:
The controls are not correctly aligned. In a mix session this is 
confusing because one wants to have a rapid visual access to all 
variables. Plugin ports where defined like this (T=toggle, G=gain, etc.):
#define EQ_CH0T                     0
#define EQ_CH1T                     1
#define EQ_CH2T                     2
#define EQ_CH3T                     3
#define EQ_CH4T                     4
#define EQ_CH5T                     5

#define EQ_CH0G                     6
#define EQ_CH1G                     7
#define EQ_CH2G                     8
#define EQ_CH3G                     9
#define EQ_CH4G                     10
#define EQ_CH5G                     11

#define EQ_CH0F                     12
#define EQ_CH1F                     13
#define EQ_CH2F                     14
#define EQ_CH3F                     15
#define EQ_CH4F                     16
#define EQ_CH5F                     17

#define EQ_CH0B                     18
#define EQ_CH1B                     19
#define EQ_CH2B                     20
#define EQ_CH3B                     21
#define EQ_CH4B                     22
#define EQ_CH5B                     23

After a port reordering, it looks like this:
It looks good. At the begining, i was satisfied of myself.

Here's what i did :
#define EQ_CH0T                     0
#define EQ_CH1T                     4
#define EQ_CH4T                     16
#define EQ_CH5T                     20

#define EQ_CH0G                     1
#define EQ_CH1G                     2
#define EQ_CH2G                     3
#define EQ_CH3G                     5
#define EQ_CH4G                     6
#define EQ_CH5G                     7

#define EQ_CH0F                     9
#define EQ_CH1F                     10
#define EQ_CH2F                     11
#define EQ_CH3F                     13
#define EQ_CH4F                     14
#define EQ_CH5F                     15

#define EQ_CH0B                     17
#define EQ_CH1B                     18
#define EQ_CH2B                     19
#define EQ_CH3B                     21
#define EQ_CH4B                     22
#define EQ_CH5B                     23

But there is a problem. The plugin is even worse looking in other apps 
like muse or rosegarden, because of the completely unnatural controls 
order. Moreover, if ardour changes in the future, my plugin could look 
bad too even in ardour!

However, here's what the tap_equalizer/BW looks like on my ardour:
Not so good too.

I don't know what rules are used when displaying a plugin gui, but would 
it be possible to have more control on the appearance (in the rdf 
description?), or have simpe rules that would allow to easily make a 
plugin with the same number of controls in each row?

I really would love to see a "favorite plugins" tab in the plugin selection.


Here's a screenshot (please look at the second automation curve - track 

When de-zoomed, it looks like this:



That said, i must say that i am completly amazed by ardour. I use it in 
production since ~0.9beta10. It is the most flexible multitrack tool i 
have ever used and it is open source. It even offered me the possiblity 
to reuse my hardware effects in a mix session, thanks! Thanks to Paul 
Davis and all ardour developpers, ladspa developpers, etc. You do a 
wonderful job.

You can find a prepre-release version of my eq6 here:
(just for testing)

The two screenshots of point 3°/ are from a mix-session of a cover of 
Barbarian, played by my band. Barbarian is a famous 80's C64 and Amstrad 
game. Music was composed by Richard Joseph. A pre-version of our song is 
already included in the MacOSX version of the remake of the game!
(google "tdb soft barbarian" to find it). Final mix will be online soon.

Best wishes,

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