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balance.lv2 - LV2 stereo balance

balance.lv2 is an audio-plugin for stereo balance control with optional per channel delay.

balance.lv2 facilitates adjusting stereo-microphone recordings (X-Y, A-B, ORTF). But it also generally useful as "Input Channel Conditioner". It allows for attenuating the signal on one of the channels as well as delaying the signals (move away from the microphone). To round off the feature-set channels can be swapped or the signal can be downmixed to mono after the delay.

It features a Phase-Correlation meter as well as peak programme meters according to IEC 60268-18 (5ms integration, 20dB/1.5 sec fall-off) for input and output signals.


Compiling this plugin requires LV2 SDK (lv2 lv2core), gnu-make and a c-compiler. The optional UI depends on libftgl-dev, libglu-dev, libx11-dev and the fonts-freefont-ttf (or any other .ttf font).

  git clone
  cd balance.lv2
  sudo make install PREFIX=/usr
  # test run

Note to packagers: The Makefile honors PREFIX and DESTDIR variables as well as CFLAGS, LDFLAGS and OPTIMIZATIONS (additions to CFLAGS).

Signal Flow & Controls

signal flow

The plugin has six control inputs, all of which are interpolated and can be automated or changed dynamically without introducing clicks.


Simple gain stage to amplify or attenuate the signal by at most 20dB. This knob equally affects both channels.

This stage also allows to individually invert the phase of each channel.


Left/Right signal level balance control. Gain Mode defines the behaviour of the Balance knob.

  • classic "Balance" mode.
    • Attenuate one channels at a time; no positive gain.
    • 100% left: mute the right channel, left channel is untouched.
    • 50% left: attenuate the right channel by -6dB (signal * 0.5), left channel is untouched.
    • 29% left: attenuate the right channel by -3dB (signal * 0.71), left channel is untouched.
    • 50% right: attenuate the left channel by -6dB (signal * 0.5), right channel is untouched.
    • ...
  • "Unity Gain - Equal Amplitude" mode
    • behaviour of the attenuated channel is identical to "Balance" mode. Gain of the previously untouched channel is raised so that the mono sum of both retains equal amplitude.
    • 100% right: -inf dB on left channel (signal * 0.0), +6dB on right channel (signal * 2.0).
    • 50% left: attenuate the right channel by -6dB (signal * 0.5), left channel is amplified by +3.5dB (signal * 1.5)
    • 29% left: -3.0 dB (signal * .71) on left channel, +2.2dB (signal * 1.29) on right channel.
    • ...
  • "Seesaw - Equal Power" mode
    • -6dB .. +6dB range, equal power distribution
    • The signal is at full-level in center position and becomes progressively louder as it is panned to the right or left.
    • The overall slider range is identical to the other modes. Values > 50%..100% in either direction are fixed to +-6dB.
    • 100% right: -6dB on left channel and +6dB on right channel.
    • 50% right: -6dB on left channel and +6dB on right channel (!).
    • 29% right: -3dB on left channel and +3dB on right channel.

Regardless of the Gain Mode, at center position the signal remains unmodified.


Allow to delay the signal of either channel to correct the stereo field (signal runtime) or correct phase alignment.

Channel Map

The "Downmix to Mono" option will attenuate the output by -6dB. Other options will simply copy the result to selected channel(s).


The plugin comes with a built-in optional user interface.

screenshot screenshot


Many thanks to all who contributed ideas and feedback. In particular Chris 'oofus' Goddard, who inspired the current signal flow, provided the diagram and beta-tested the plugin. As well as tom^_ for feedback on the GUI in general.