[Ardour-Users] Current best method for multi-band compression within Ardour?

Robin Gareus robin at gareus.org
Sun Nov 18 18:01:13 PST 2018

On 11/19/2018 01:13 AM, jys wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 17, 2018, at 19:48, Robin Gareus wrote:
>> In the free/libre software eco-system zamulticomp [1] is probably the
>> best solution at this point in time. If you're using Linux, it may also
>> already bundled with your GNU/Linux distribution via the zam-plugins
>> package.
> Thanks, just built them (Slackware user here, don't laugh!) and I'm 
> curious about this DISTRHO framework... I'm assuming this is a 
> "legitimate" UI toolkit per the earlier discussion on this list?

Yes, DPF is a good example. It takes care of a lot of details for plugin
development in general. Kudos to Filipe 'falktx' Coelho.

>> If you're not excluding commercial solutions, Harrison's XT-MC [2,3]
>> would be the go to solution. It's bundled with Ardour binaries from
>> ardour.org.
> Not absolutely excluding, but I do prefer open source, and I 
> probably won't have any driving need to go beyond that in the near
> future. Definitely won't be going to the extent of wine/VST monkey
> business. :)
The Harrison XT-* plugins are native Linux LV2s. The DSP is also not
license encumbered: The plugins work for existing sessions and also with
the generic UI. You only need to buy a license for the custom GUI.
They're still closed source. YMMV.

>> Calf's multiband compressor may be nice to sculpt some interesting synth
>> sounds, but it is likely not very useful for any serious work.
> I would describe my use case as usually leaning towards 
> "interesting" more than "serious", since I don't think of this kind
> of processing as retaining anything like "fidelity" anyway, and
> wouldn't be using it where "natural" sound was the goal. That said,
> I'm curious to A/B the Zam and Calf plugins with similar settings and
> see what my subjective impression is.
I'm curious what you find.

In general multiband-compression is used for mastering or to improve
intelligibility. For those use-cases phasing issues or harmonic
distortion are usually the opposite of one wants. In fact cross-over
stages introducing artifacts is the main reason to try to avoid
multiband compression.

If you want to use the effect artistically, calf may even be preferable;
but that is subjective territory.

have fun!

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