Ladspa Plug-ins

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LADSPA (Linux Audio Developers Simple Plug-in API) is an audio plug-in standard originally developed on Linux, but which can be ported to Windows and Mac too. Audacity has built-in support for LADSPA plug-ins.
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Writing LADPSA plug-ins

Audacity behaves as an excellent LADSPA host. Just read up about LADSPA, and make your plug-ins correctly. As a starting point, look at some LADSPA Plugin Developers' Documentation and some example plug-ins. Keep in mind that Audacity "runs" the plug-in multiple times with some specific number of samples. So, don't assume that your plug-in will get the entire selection the first time.

Obtaining LADSPA plug-ins

  • Windows and Mac OS X: Any LADSPA plug-in compiled as a Windows .dll or Mac .dylib shared library will work on these platforms. An extensive set of "swh" plug-ins by Steve Harris is available for Windows and Mac OS X.
  • GNU/Linux: The easiest and recommended method of obtaining pre-compiled LADSPA plug-ins is to install them using the download repository or package manager for your distribution of Linux. Other LADSPA plug-ins can be found online such as at However in some cases downloading plug-ins from external sites will require you to compile the plug-ins yourself, or at least manually install them yourself.

Using LADSPA plug-ins

For instructions on how to load new LADSPA effects into Audacity please see this page in the Audacity Manual.

On GNU/Linux, if you have the ladspa-sdk installed, you can run listplug-ins from a terminal to list all plug-ins in your LADSPA_PATH.

LV2 is an extensible, "second-generation" version of LADSPA that has a wider range of effects and can use LV2 synthesizer plug-ins as powerful tone generators. Audacity now supports LV2 effects. For details please see this page in the Manual.