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Nebula 3 Pro for live use with Ableton on Windows notebook

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Nebula 3 Pro for live use with Ableton on Windows notebook

Postby murian » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:33 am

Hi,

I've spent a few hours reading posts and the FAQ section. I've learnt that this program can be tough on the CPU and it can increase latency (especially with time based effects like reverbs etc.)

I would like to know if I could use Nebula 3 Pro in a live performance scenario with Ableton Live 8 and Thinkpad T400 with a 2.5 GHz Core 2 Duo processor and 2 Gigs of RAM (planning to upgrade to 4).

I'm doing voice and guitar, so I would need like a two instances of reverb, some eq, perhaps some compression...

Or should I just stick with what Ableton offers me?

On a side note: I'm also doing voiceover and I was hoping that Nebula may come in handy to warm up (add some colour) to the very transparent preamp on my interface (Sound Devices USB pre2). You think I could get away with Nebula and not have to buy the Great River ME-1NV I've been salivating at...?

I would appreciate any response.
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Re: Nebula 3 Pro for live use with Ableton on Windows notebook

Postby richie43 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:19 am

I have a quad core desk-top with 8GB's of ram and while I can handle quite a few instances of Nebula, I never track with it. It's really not ideal for real-time stuff. It's specialty is in the mix-down. I have a hard time imagining it working live....
To spice up your interface? Absolutely. Just do it post recording (not while tracking) and it will be awesome.
It won't replace Great River, but it will add much to your recording.
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Re: Nebula 3 Pro for live use with Ableton on Windows notebook

Postby ngarjuna » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:29 pm

Well I don't track with any FX normally but especially Nebula, the latency is pretty big. Personally I fear you might be disappointed with the live performance, it's just a very processing load all around. There are people around here who have tweaked the latency down; not sure if we're talking tracking/live latency times, though, hopefully someone more in the know will contribute.

For the voice-over, there are many Nebula programs that can help spice up program material recorded on generic/low-end-ish pres. That's not a direct 1:1 replacement for an excellent preamp but it can often do the job. You'll have to experiment but I'll bet you could indeed get by with your current pre and some Nebula processing.
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Re: Nebula 3 Pro for live use with Ableton on Windows notebook

Postby richie43 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:06 pm

Besides, unless you are dong theater or very quiet and dynamic live performance, I think that most of the best lovely nuances that Nebula imparts to your material will be lost in a live environment. For live, get the job done. Other recordings; experiment with numerous Nebula presets or even better, check out some 3rd party libraries.
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Re: Nebula 3 Pro for live use with Ableton on Windows notebook

Postby yr » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:35 pm

I think you could try the free GR presets that "lordnielson" posted to see if it brings you closer to the sound you are after: http://www.acustica-audio.com/forum/ind ... pic#p12613

If the preamps in the usb pre2 are identical to those in the SD744T then I know them quite well- used it for recording dialog&effects. I think it's an excellent preamp, but I can imagine it sounds too "crisp" on some voices (especially with brighter mics). You could try some of the free/demo Nebula preamp presets (both AlexB and cdsoundmaster have some nice & useful ones). If the effect they give you is too subtle, you could also try some of the 3rd party eq libraries.
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Re: Nebula 3 Pro for live use with Ableton on Windows notebook

Postby murian » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:08 pm

Thank you guys for your replies. It's a shame it can't be used live, yet. I'm looking forward to that day, though. I hope it's not too far.

In the meantime I think I'll give Nebula a try. Thanks for the Great River link.

They say the sound devices preamp is the same topology as the 744T. It's transparency is a very good starting point for warming it up via software. I was looking at a UAD card, but I've read about numerous compatibility issues with Lenovo Thinkpads. So here I am exploring the Nebula (haha, good name).

How future proof is the program? If I buy now and there's a Nebula 4 coming out in 6 months, I assume it would be fairly inexpensive to upgrade?
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