Back in summer 2004, TAP-plugins started as some small-ish experiments in host-based digital audio signal processing. I was just beginning to discover the mysterious world of digital filters, digital signal processing and all the underlying theories. As I was already using Linux, I experimented with the Ardour DAW (which was in its infancy at the time) and wrote some LADSPA plugins specifically with that host in mind.

Because of the severe limitations of LADSPA format, I created a separate, standalone application called the Reverb Editor, proudly dubbed an interactive tool for room acoustics simulation. This allowed the user to interactively build an impulse response and immediately listen to the results after every change. Even though the reverberation model was simplistic (basically just a bunch of biquadratic lowpass and first-order IIR filters), it produced good enough results that several users reported that TAP Reverberator was their favourite LADSPA reverb.1

Since the demand for usable mixing plugins was so high2 I created several other plugins, some of which was really well received: my Scaling Limiter and Tubewarmth were really in a class of their own. Nothing comparable existed as free software.

The plugins became quite popular, several users thanked me publicly and privately, and all major Linux distributions packaged the plugins. I had a lot of fun creating a bunch of other plugins, some of them with interesting (or wild) ideas.

Eventually I discovered the wonderful world of convolution reverbs, which led me to create IR, an LV2 plugin that immediately obsoleted the Reverberator. But that is another story.

The code lives in the corresponding git repo.

1 You could export the room created with the Reverb Editor and then use it in the Reverberator plugin within Ardour. This was achieved by generating a source header that – when the plugin was recompiled – got included into the build. All written in C. Very messy and cumbersome, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

2 Mind you, supply was next to nonexistent then. This is still 2004 with Linux Audio in its infancy, where the prevailing question is still: How do I get Ardour and my multi-channel audio hardware to reliably work with low latency?