13.3. FX Rack and LADSPA Plugins

Figure 13.4. The FX Rack in the Mixer

The FX Rack in the Mixer

The FX Rack can be accessed by clicking the Blue button containing the black characters "FX". button in the Master Fader Strip).

It has 4 bays where you can load a LADSPA effect plugin, but before you can load any plugins these must be installed on system-level.

There are dozens of plugins available for download from various sources:

[Warning]Plugins Kill

A badly designed LADSPA plugin is capable of hanging, crashing, freezing, screeching, overflowing buffers, and even phoning home. If you start having issues with Hydrogen, disable your plugins and see if things improve. Some plugins are not designed for real-time use, and some are just plain better than others.

Once you have installed some plugins you can select one by clicking the Grey button containing the black characters "EDIT". button.

Now the FX selector window will pop up :

Figure 13.5. Select an Effect

Select an Effect

Once you have selected a plugin you will immediately have access to its parameters:

Example widget to alter the properties of a LADSPA FX. At the top left the name of the FX is displayed and at the top left two buttons - "Select FX" and "Deactive" - are shown. In the remainder there are several vertical strips stacked horizontally with each one carrying: an LCD displaying the current value (top), the name of the parameter (left), and a fader with included meter (right).

You can select another plugin by clicking the Select FX button. If you quickly want to enable/disable the effect click the Deactivate button (or the Bypass ( Redish button containing the black characters "BYP".) button in the FX Rack).


This can be handy for a quick A/B comparison.

After you have selected the FX and tweaked it's parameters you can use the Return knob to increase/decrease how much of this FX will be returned to the master output.