[Ardour-Users] plugin ideas

Matthijs ten Berge m.h.tenberge at upcmail.nl
Thu Jul 10 10:57:09 PDT 2008

John Rigg wrote:
> I never used plugins (preferring to use outboard hardware)
> until I discovered the nice, plain LADSPA plugins with their
> easily adjustable sliders.
> I think a lot of proprietary plugin vendors fail to appreciate that a
> fancy picture of a control panel is much less useful than the real
> thing. If a plugin only allows a parameter to be adjusted by turning
> a picture of a knob with a mouse, for example, it is useless for real
> work IMO. 
> I think it's also important to ensure that any additional "eye candy"
> doesn't cause a significant increase in system load.
> John

I fully agree with this. Especially knobs are a nightmare, and I don't
care at all if the plugin doesn't have the same looks as that ol' 70s
stomp box (sometimes it would have been even better if it hadn't...) The
sound is what matters, plus the ease of adjusting parameters.

Concerning the ease of adjustment, there is, I think, a line between
'needless eye-candy' and 'helpful visibles' (unfortunately this line is
hard to draw). Needless to say that the rotary knobs belong to the
'needless eye-candy' category.

As an example of a 'helpful visible', I find a compressor much easier to
adjust if it has some ((semi)real-time) level meters. Ideally at least
3: an IN-level, OUT-level and gain reduction meter.
Or: a room simulator would benefit from some graphic (x-y or maybe
x-y-z) in which the relative positions of the sound sources and the
listener are displayed.
For a noise gate, a red/yellow/green 'traffic light' would give
immediate visible feedback (closed/transition/open).

Also with respect to the system load I agree. Most of these visibles are
only needed when adjusting the parameters. So why not have a tick-box to
disable them when done, to save some cpu resources for DSP? Or maybe
even hide them, to also save some real estate on the monitor (which is
also a very scarce resource).



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