[linux-audio-dev] Is ladspa actually la-dsp-a? Is JACK the ultimate solution?

Marek Peteraj marpet at naex.sk
Tue Jun 8 10:50:36 UTC 2004

On Tue, 2004-06-08 at 10:18, Steve Harris wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 08, 2004 at 11:45:53 +0200, Marek Peteraj wrote:
> > VST plugins tend to be rather complex, offering tons of features and
> > eyecandish GUIs, while LADSPAs usually offer limited functionality, no
> > GUI at all(hosts usually provide simple ones to control the parameters).
> > But what's interesting is that each LADSPA plugin usually implements
> > exactly one type of DSP technique, for example, an oscillator, or a
> > delay. This basically leads to a situation where a certain DSP technique
> > is 'isolated' in a separate plugin.
> I think thats down to two factors (and its not a good thing)
> 1) LADSPA developers are few in number and short in time. The basics are a
>    good place to start.

The number of dsp developers isn't relevant.
Besides - there's at least 5 devs i know of. The number will grow.

> 2) The lack of a UI standard makes complex plugins a bit pointless.

Why do you need a UI standard for jack fx/synth clients? Does JAMin
follow one such standard?
You could do a virtually unlimited amount of UIs for exactly 1 fx/synth
using IPC.  

> There are a few counter examples (e.g. my VyNil plugin wraps a lot of
> different bits), and infact if you look in many LADSPA plugins you will
> see theres really more going on than there appears to be.

According to my proposal, this shouldn't happen. :)

> [OT] - my canned plugin writing experience - all generalisations and IMHO
>        of course
>   Time breakdown: 10% writing code, 10% maths and optimising, 80% tweaking
>   and tuning.

See point 6)

>   Fewer controls is better.

Doesn't seem like if you look at the most successful
VST(i)/DX(i)/RTAS/TDM/AI plugins :)

>   Affordance, appearance and usability has as much affect on the perceived
>   sound quality as the DSP code (posivly and negativly). Some of this can
>   be achieved without a custom UI.

Today we've got 100% Affordance, 0% appearance and 0% usability. :)
At least the point that there's no unified affordance since each host
implements it's own, makes the question of usability irrelevant.

> You mentioned JAMin - true that does use LADSPA plugins - but of the total
> ammount of code the LADSPA plugins are a tiny fraction. I just reused them
> because I hate fixing bugs in two places :)

And? :)
Points 5) and 6)


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