About

Free Your Sound!

You have the need for professional and state-of-the-art audio plug-ins - but don't have thousands of bucks to spend on it?

Then we believe you will love Calf studio gear!

Focused on high-quality sound processing and a highly usable interface Calf studio gear is designed to give you a professional production environment for your open source operating system.

Play your SF2 sample banks, create filthy organs, fatten your sounds with phasers, delays, reverbs and other FX, process your recordings with gates, compressors, deesser and finally master your stuff with multiband dynamics - for free!

Calf Studio Gear...

...is available exclusively for LINUX-based operating systems and runs as a stand-alone effect rack connectable through Jack sound server or as plug-ins in every audio host that is able to fire up LV2 compilant devices, e.g. the highly recommended Ardour Audio Workstation

Audio Demos

Calf - Demodrums

OGG MP3

Compressor - Dry Signal

OGG MP3

Compressor

OGG MP3

Guitar - Dry

OGG MP3

Guitar - Filter

OGG MP3

Guitar - Multichorus

OGG MP3

Guitar - Phaser

OGG MP3

Guitar - Saturator

OGG MP3

Guitar - Vintagedelay

OGG MP3

Monosynth

OGG MP3

Organ - Bells

OGG MP3

Organ - Choirpad

OGG MP3

Organ - Goa

OGG MP3

Organ - Mystic

OGG MP3

Reverb

OGG MP3

Rotary Speaker

OGG MP3

Voices

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Plug-ins

Synthesizer IconInstruments

  • Calf - Organ - Tone Generator
  • Calf - Organ - Sound Processor

Calf Organ

A versatile organ/pad synthesizer, capable of producing many types of sounds:

  • tonewheel organs (up to 9 drawbars)
  • solid state organs (9 independent oscillators with many waveforms to choose from, individual panning, phase shift and detune for each oscillator)
  • strings-like or choir-like pads (thanks to a set of long looped samples generated using padsynth algorithm invented by Nasca Octavian Paul)
  • fat basses and searing leads

The sound from some or all oscillators can be processed using 2 independent (but connectable) filter sections, controlled by up to 3 ADSR envelopes. A vibrato/chorus/phaser section makes the sound more vivid.

Development: Krzysztof Foltman
Sample generation algorythm: Nasca Octavian Paul

  • Calf - Monosynth - Audio Path
  • Calf - Monosynth - Modulation
  • Calf - Monosynth - Modulation Matrix

Calf Monosynth

Simple monophonic synthesizer with 2 oscillators, multimode filter and an envelope. Designed to maximize flexibility while minimizing the number of controls. Useful for synth basses and leads.

Development: Krzysztof Foltman

  • Calf - Fluidsynth

Calf Fluidsynth

Calfs implementation of a Fluidsynth SF2 sample player.

Development: Krzysztof Foltman

  • Calf - Wavetable

Calf Wavetable (experimental)

This synthesizer is based on predefined wavetables with a ADSR section.

Development: Krzysztof Foltman

Modulation IconModulation effects

  • Calf - Multi Chorus

Calf Multi Chorus

Multi-tap stereo chorus with adjustable number of voices. Adds warmth and richness, especially if you give it a lot of CPU power. A lot of options make this effect highly flexible in expression.

Development: Krzysztof Foltman

  • Calf - Phaser

Calf Phaser

A pretty basic stereo phaser with all typical settings (center frequency, modulation depth, LFO rate number of stages, feedback, amount, L-R LFO phase difference and amount). Provides a LFO reset button for consistent song playback. The number of stages goes up to 12.

Development: Krzysztof Foltman

  • Calf - Flanger

Calf Flanger

Simple stereo flanger with linear interpolation. If "zipper noise" of basic flanger effects is driving you mad, try this one!

Development: Krzysztof Foltman

  • Calf - Rotary Speaker

Calf Rotary Speaker

Work in progress (read: still sounds rather boring). Can morph between slow and fast mode when switched using MIDI, control ports or automation.

Development: Krzysztof Foltman

  • Calf - Pulsator

Calf Pulsator

Calf Pulsator is something inbetween an autopanner and a tremolo, but it can produce funny stereo effects as well. Pulsator changes the volume of the left and right channel based on a LFO (low frequency oscillator) with different waveforms and shifted phases.

Development: Markus Schmidt

  • Calf - Ring Modulator

Calf Ring Modulator

Calf Ring Modulator extends the typical ring modulation by two LFO which are able to modulate different aspects of the modulation to produce crazy effects.

Development: Markus Schmidt

Delay IconDelay effects

  • Calf -Reverb

Calf Reverb

Simple reverb with basic controls and relatively neutral sound. No dreaded metal barrel sound, but at the expense of higher CPU use and less time density. Like most artificial reverberators, it is not suitable for every instrument, but try it on vocals, guitars or Calf synths, and you will like it.

Development: Krzysztof Foltman

  • Calf - Vintage Delay

Calf Vintage Delay

A very simple simulation of tape echo, with a filter in a feedback loop and BPM-based time setting. The number of controls is limited, but all the essential stuff is there. Suitable for synths, guitars and almost anything else.

Development: Krzysztof Foltman

  • Calf - Compensation Delay Line

Calf Compensation Delay Line

Compensation Delay Line is a metric based delay to compensate differing positions of microphones or speakers.

Development: Vladimir Sadovnikov

  • Calf - Reverse Delay

Calf Reverse Delay

The Reverse Delay reverses the input signal while feeding the delay buffer resulting in a reversed sound effect.

Development: Drgreenthumb

Dynamics IconDynamics

  • Calf - Compressor

Calf Compressor

Smooth sounding dynamic compressor with a variety of settings, written by Thor Harald Johansen. RMS/peak modes, A-weighting, metering - feels like real studio gear!

Development: Thor Harald Johansen, Krzysztof Foltman

  • Calf - Sidechain Compressor

Calf Sidechain Compressor

Based on Thor's compression routine, the Calf Sidechain Compressor is the universal tool for any problem concerning sound dynamics. A highly flexible filter stage in the sidechain lets you eliminate dynamic rumbling, clipping sibilants and similar disturbances. The sidechain offers split modes, too.

Development: Markus Schmidt, Thor Harald Johansen

  • Calf - Multiband Compressor

Calf Multiband Compressor

The first multiband compressor with real plugin capabilities on linux audio worksations - four channels with separate compression stages will blow up the loudness of your tracks. This one is also based upon Thor's compression routine.

Development: Markus Schmidt, Thor Harald Johansen

  • Calf - Mono Compressor

Calf Mono Compressor

Single banded compressor based on a different compression routine than the main Calf Compressor.

Development: Damien Zammit

  • Calf - Deesser

Calf Deesser

Due to it's flexibility in sound and options Thor's compressor constitutes the core of Calf Deesser. An optimized filter stage in the sidechain gives you great control over dynamic highs. This deesser offers a split mode for special purposes.

Development: Markus Schmidt, Thor Harald Johansen

  • Calf - Gate

Calf Gate

Because of the flexibility of Thor's compression detection we were able to use it as a solid base for a noise gate. The controls may seem a bit unusual but they provide high flexibility in detecting and eleminating your noise floor - Calf Gate bites off your sustain!

Development: Damien Zammit, Thor Harald Johansson

  • Calf - Sidechain Gate

Calf Sidechain Gate

The same flexible sidechain filter stage that is used in the Calf Sidechain Compressor turns Calf Gate into a very precise gating plugin. Especially in drum recordings Calf Sidechain Gate offers complete control over the audibility of your drums. You want to cut away the complete lower end of a playback leaving the bassdrum where it is - a split mode makes it happen.

Development: Markus Schmidt, Damien Zammit, Thor Harald Johansson

  • Calf - Multiband Gate

Calf Multiband Gate

Four channels with separate gate stages provide enough flexibility to clean up really problematic material like a humming and noisy narrator. This one is also based on Damien Zammit's gate routine.

Development: Markus Schmidt, Damien Zammit, Thor Harald Johansson

  • Calf - Limiter

Calf Limiter

The broadband Limiter included in the Calf suite uses lookahead technology to smoothen the gain reduction process while preventing your signals from rising above the selected threshold.

Development: Christian Holschuh, Markus Schmidt

  • Calf - Limiter

Calf Multiband Limiter

The Multiband Limiter brings presence, punch and loudness to your mix. Combined with the Multiband Compressor Calf is a good choice for mastering your material to a professional level. The weighting of single bands prevents certain ranges of the signal from being cut off or pressed to the background.

Development: Markus Schmidt, Christian Holschuh

  • Calf - Sidechain Limiter

Calf Sidechain Limiter

The Sidechain Limiter is mainly acting like the Multiband Limiter but provides an additional stereo channel to feed material into which is supposed to always stay in front of your mix. This channel is limited and weighted in the same manner the frequency bands are treated.

Development: Markus Schmidt, Christian Holschuh

  • Calf - Transient Designer

Calf Transient Designer

Transient Designer is used to modify the envelope of percussive signals (signals with a defined attack or transient) like drum sounds or percussion instruments. It is able to remove or to boost the attack or the release of a signal independent from its real gain in contrast to the operation of compressors or expanders. The Calf Transient Designer is able to add a defined sustain phase to the signal. A customizable filter for the envelope narrows the frequency range triggering the Transient Designer.

Development: Christian Holschuh, Markus Schmidt

Filters IconFilter and equalizer

  • Calf - Filter

Calf Filter

Selectable 12dB/24dB/36dB rolloff, lowpass or highpass with inertia/smoothing for cutoff for more "analog" sound when tweaking. Particularly useful for drum loops or guitars in house music.

Development: Krzysztof Foltman

  • Calf - Filterclavier

Calf Filterclavier

This filter is controllable via MIDI and follows the received Note-On signals with its frequency settings.

Development: Hans Baier

  • Calf - Filter

Calf Envelope Filter

This plug-in is also known as Auto-Wah - a filter following the envelope of a signal. The Calf version provides a couple of filters to choose from together with some fine grained settings of the envelope to frequency calculation like setting a curve from convex over linear to concave. Additionally there's a sidechain input to use a different signal for the envelope than for the processing itself.

Development: Markus Schmidt

  • Calf - Emphasis

Calf Emphasis

This device adds or substracts different frequency response curves in order to create standard compliant material for different media like emphased CD or vinyl records.

Development: Damien Zammit

  • Calf - Vocoder

Calf Vocoder

Modulates the frequency response of a carrier signal by measuring the response of a modulator signal in realtime. In other words, let your guitar speak. Lots of settings like the amount or quality of bands will give complete control over sound and CPU load.

Development: Markus Schmidt, Christian Holschuh

  • Calf - Equalizer 5 Band

Calf 5-Band Equalizer

Based on different filters these series of equalizers was invented to provide some specialized tools for everyday's signal processing. A gain of +-36dB and maximum slew rates for the peak filters offer great flexibility for eliminating or creating resonances and shaping your frequency range. All bands are capable of processing stereo, left, right, M-S mid or M-S side individually. An Analyzer in the display provides a visual representation of your settings. This version offers two shelving filters and 3 peak filters. It's the right choice for some minor frequency range adjustments.

Development: Markus Schmidt, Krzysztof Foltman

  • Calf - Equalizer 8 Band

Calf 8-Band Equalizer

Based on different filters these series of equalizers was invented to provide some specialized tools for everyday's signal processing. A gain of +-36dB and maximum slew rates for the peak filters offer great flexibility for eliminating or creating resonances and shaping your frequency range. All bands are capable of processing stereo, left, right, M-S mid or M-S side individually. An Analyzer in the display provides a visual representation of your settings. This version offers a low and a high pass, two shelving filters and 4 peak filters and is the perfect replacement of a channel strip EQ.

Development: Markus Schmidt, Krzysztof Foltman

  • Calf - Equalizer 12 Band

Calf 12-Band Equalizer

Based on different filters these series of equalizers was invented to provide some specialized tools for everyday's signal processing. A gain of +-36dB and maximum slew rates for the peak filters offer great flexibility for eliminating or creating resonances and shaping your frequency range. All bands are capable of processing stereo, left, right, M-S mid or M-S side individually. An Analyzer in the display provides a visual representation of your settings. This version offers a low and a high pass, two shelving filters and 8 peak filters and is designed to handle the real problems.

Development: Markus Schmidt, Krzysztof Foltman

  • Calf - Equalizer 30 Band

Calf 30-Band Equalizer

This graphical equalizer is able to use different filters for the manipulation of your material.

Development: Drgreenthumb

Distortion IconDistortion effects

  • Calf -Saturator

Calf Saturator

Universal distortion tool. Saturator can act as a guitar distortion as well as a harmonics generator. Some useful filters before and after the distortion stage and gapless adjustment between 2nd and 3rd harmonics give you a great flexibility in sound. The saturation stage is taken from Tom Szilakyi's TAP-plugin pack.

Development: Tom Szilagyi, Markus Schmidt

  • Calf -Exciter

Calf Exciter

Filtered distortion to add brilliance to your tracks. The saturation stage is taken from Tom Szilakyi's TAP-plugin pack.

Development: Markus Schmidt, Tom Szilagyi

  • Calf -Bass Enhancer

Calf Bass Enhancer

Harmonics for fattening the lower end. The saturation stage is taken from Tom Szilakyi's TAP-plugin pack.

Development: Markus Schmidt, Tom Szilagyi

  • Calf - Tape Simulator

Calf Tape Simulator

Calf Tape Simulator modifies signals as if they were recorded on a tape machine or tape deck. It is able to simulate different aspects of magnetical recordings like loss of brilliance, noise, softer transients, distortion/compression of the signal and mechanical tape threading path problems.

Development: Markus Schmidt, Christian Holschuh

  • Calf - Crusher

Calf Crusher

The Calf Crusher lets you crush your signal by reducing the bit resolution. The reduction can be done in a linear or logarithmic way while the logarithmic way results in a much smoother sound in low volume signals.
On top of that, the edges, which are created by the bit reduction, can be anti-aliased. This lets you create a numerous variety of sound effects for your signal.

Development: Markus Schmidt, Christian Holschuh

Tools IconTools

  • Calf - Mono Input

Calf Mono Input

Since Calf doesn't provide mono versions of the plugins yet, it is essential to split your signal into stereo signals when used in an audio production environment like Ardour. The Mono Input has some useful functions to deal with the split process like phase inversion and balance.

Development: Markus Schmidt

  • Calf - Stereo Tools

Calf Stereo Tools

This device is a toolbox for handling stereo signals. It is able to change M/S microphone signals to L/R and vice versa. Switching the phase, muting a channel, widening the stereo base or delaying one of the channels up to 20ms are some of the features of this input or mastering tool.

Development: Markus Schmidt

  • Calf - Haas Stereo Enhancer

Calf Haas Stereo Enhancer

The Haas Stereo Enhancer widens your stereo material via a simple delay line.

Development: Vladimir Sadovnikov

  • Calf - X-Over 2 Band

Calf X-Over 2 Band

The X-Over series in Calf provides a comfortable and flexible way to split a signal in different frequency bands for feeding dedicated speaker setups or building your own multiband effects setups. This device separates the signal into two different frequency bands.

Development: Markus Schmidt

  • Calf - X-Over 3 Band

Calf X-Over 3 Band

The X-Over series in Calf provides a comfortable and flexible way to split a signal in different frequency bands for feeding dedicated speaker setups or building your own multiband effects setups. This device separates the signal into three different frequency bands.

Development: Markus Schmidt

  • Calf - X-Over 4 Band

Calf X-Over 4 Band

The X-Over series in Calf provides a comfortable and flexible way to split a signal in different frequency bands for feeding dedicated speaker setups or building your own multiband effects setups. This device separates the signal into four different frequency bands.

Development: Markus Schmidt

  • Calf - Analyzer
  • Calf - Analyzer - Spectralizer
  • Calf - Analyzer - Stereo Difference
  • Calf - Analyzer - Stereo Image

Calf Analyzer

The FFT-Analyzer of this package has a frequency domain display and a goniometer. The frequency chart displays its information from various input modes like L/R, Average or Stereo; it can draw lines or bars, logarithmic or linear graphing. Various output modes like Stereo Image, Stereo Difference and even a Spectralizer with temporal domain are available. Lots of options provide full control of the way the signal is processed and rendered.

Calf Studio Gear - Audio Plugins - Analyzer @ YouTube

Development: Markus Schmidt, Christian Holschuh

Videos

This is a collection of videos in a youtube playlist demonstrating some features of Calf studio gear.

Usage

Once installed there are a couple of manuals available

Some general information can be obtained by this command:
man calf
Hints on how to use the calf rack application are accessed by this command:
man calfjackhost
Plug-in specific information is available via the following command (if you installed it in the default location):
xdg-open /usr/local/share/doc/calf/index.html

Please note:

The plug-in specific manuals can be opened in the plug-ins menu, too.

Install

Calf studio gear is available in most todays Linux distributions. In 9 out of 10 cases there's no need to compile Calf studio gear but to install it via software center or package management system of your preferred distribution. Calf studio gear is supported by the following Linux flavours and all their derivates:

Logo arch Logo AVLinux Logo debian Logo fedora Logo gentoo Logo frugalware Logo suse Logo ubuntu

Compile from source (expert)

Building from source is the best way to obtain Calf plug-ins as the latest stable release. If you want to have the latest (possibly unstable) version try the git repository as described below. Download the latest stable release:

http://calf-studio-gear.org/files

Please ensure that your system meets all the requirements illustrated in the section "Dependencies".

tar -xzf calf*.tar.gz
cd calf*
./autogen.sh
make -j8
make install

The example above is optimized for an i7 (make -j8). Edit -j to fit your amount of CPU cores.

Development Repository

To get the bleeding edge development state of Calf studio gear you have to clone our repository and build the source from there. Please note that this kind of installation isn't recommended for productive systems at all since this is the source code we're actually working on.

The repository is hosted on GitHub.

You need to have git installed on your system. Please make sure your system meets all the requirements listed under "Compile from source" above. The following command creates a folder "calf" inside the working directory and downloads the contents from the developers repository to your local HD.

git clone https://github.com/calf-studio-gear/calf.git

Run autogen.sh inside the calf folder to configure the compiling process. If there are errors or missing features at the end check the output, usually there are some packages missing. Run make and make install afterwards. Please note that make install requires superuser rights. The following example is optimized for a dualcore processor. Please edit -j2 to fit your amount of CPU-cores or just don't add it at all.

cd calf
./autogen.sh
make -j2
make install

Dependencies

For compiling calf studio gear on your machine you have to enshure that you have the following development packages installed:

Of course you need all packages for a properly set-up build system like build-essentials, make, gcc aso installed on your machine.

Package list for DEB-based systems

apt-get install libtool autoconf libexpat1-dev libfftw3-dev libglib2.0-dev libfluidsynth-dev jackd lv2core libglade2-dev gtk2-engines-pixbuf

Package list for RPM-based systems

yum install expat-devel fftw-devel glib2-devel fluidsynth-devel jack-audio-connection-kit libglade2-devel lv2 lv2-devel libtool autoconf gcc-c++ jack-audio-connection-kit-devel

If you don't have any Linux available...

...we recommend to get a copy of AV Linux which is a LiveDVD ISO image of a full-featured multimedia oriented Linux distribution. This means you can run it without installation and install it later if you decide to.


Calf Studio Gear under MacOSX

Its possible to compile calf plugins under Mac OS X. If you are using homebrew, you can use the Formula from the homebrew-audio tap. This allows you to use calf plugins under any LV2 capable host or via jack using calfjackhost. Be aware that the LV2 GTK dos not work reliably, so you should use the generic UI only.

Installation using homebrew

brew tap david0/homebrew-audio
brew install --HEAD calf

Team

Calf is brought to you by:

Krzysztof Foltman

Krzysztof Foltman - The Head of the Pack

A versatile cross-platform programmer and senior software engineer, Krzysztof is interested in various technologies from Python and Linux to C++ and Win32. He also is a jazz/electronic musician wannabe and software musical instrument creator in his spare time. Krzysztof initiated the project in 2007 and is the main developer of the Calf codebase. He implemented most of the DSP routines and all delay effects as well as the framework Calf is based on. Moreover he designed the synthesizers of the Calf suite. Additionally he maintains the Git-repository and keeps an eye on code quality and effectiveness.


Markus Schmidt

Markus Schmidt - Studio Plugins and Design

A german designer, producer, musician and programmer, Markus joined the team in 2009 and signs responsible for the design of every visual aspect of Calf. Annoyed by the lack of high quality open source sound processing plug-ins he has supplied the Calf suite with limiting processors, enhanced dynamics modules, equalizers, the Analyzer, some modulation effects, lots of tools and different saturation effects. His other projects include traGtor - a GTK-UI for FFmpeg under GNU Linux, xplanetFX - HQ renderings of mother earth as a wallpaper and JAMMIN*INC - a pure CreativeCommons band.


Christian Holschuh

Christian Holschuh - Limiter, Analyzer, Transient Designer

A competent mathematician and physicist, Christian is one of the core developers of the lookahead limiter routine, the multiband limiter solution, the FFT Analyzer and the Transient Designer. As a member of JAMMIN*INC he directly profits from a professional audio processing suite under Linux and was highly motivated to pull one all-nighter after the other to create a musically sounding loudness maximizer.


Thor Harald Johansen

Thor Harald Johansen - Dynamics Foundation

A professional programmer from Norway, Thor is responsible for the development of the dynamics routine all the Calf plugins are based upon. After a lot of discussion and intense brainstorming with Krzysztof he built one of the best and most flexible level detection and gain reduction modules for audio production. His routine drives all compressors and the deesser and supplies the foundation for the expander plugins.


Damien Zammit

Damien Zammit - Gate routine and different plug-ins

Applying his mathematics skills to problems in biology, Damien also finds time to contribute new audio processing plugins to the open source community. Having released the Zam suite of audio plugins he has also made valuable contributions to Calf such as the Mono Compressor, Phono EQ and added the basal gate routine to the package.


Tom Szilagyi

Tom Szilagyi - Distortion Routine

While taking refuge from corporate IT consulting, Tom developed the TAP-plugin pack available for Linux audio workstations as well as Aqualung, a feature-rich cross-platform music player. His distortion routine taken from TAP Tubewarmth is the base for the saturation effects, namely Saturator, Exciter and Bass Enhancer. He kindly contributed his code to the Calf team, thus improving quality and functionality of the package a lot.


Hans Baier

Hans Baier - Filterclavier and Line Graph Improvements

Making a living as a crossplatform developer in Java and Python, free EDP trainer and author about Linux and UNIX, Hans once contributed the Filterclavier to the Calf plug-in suite. In late 2012 he re-entered the team with some improvements to the line graph displays. Read more about Hans @ hans-baier.de.

And many more people filing bug reports, sending in patches or just offering a beer.

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