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Optimizing Nebula3 Free Presets

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Optimizing Nebula3 Free Presets

Postby Shuriken » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:31 pm

Hello,
I'm trying to get most out of Nebula3 Free Presets, especially from the preamps and reverbs, since CPU is not much of an issue. I was trying to optimize the "4KG To Heaven" preset, so I've accessed MAST mode, changed the mode from "Simple" to "Guru" and raised the Kernel number to 10 Kernels.

Anything else I can do, so I can have best ITB emulation?

P.S. What's the difference between "4KG To Heaven" and "4KG To Heaven S" presets?
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Re: Optimizing Nebula3 Free Presets

Postby yewtreemagic » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:40 pm

Hi Shuriken!

I don't think there's a lot of point increasing the number of kernels - this is set by the developer for each preset to reflect the number of kernels (harmonic contributions) that have been captured.

When set to 10 the fundamental and up to nine harmonics can be replayed, but some gear (some hi-end preamps and tube FX that offer extra warmth and phatness for instance) simply do not have significant harmonic data extending above the 5th or 6th harmonic.

Increasing this number in the Mast page won't add any more data to the preset, so it won't improve the sound either - it's simply there so that those with slower computer can drop the number to restrict the number of kernels that are used to enable some presets to run on their machine at all.

I would leave it at 10 so that libraries load and play back as intended ;)

As for the 'S' presets, as far as I remember these use the Stone optimisation:

STONE: Minimum phase filters are applied on sampled kernels in order to minimize high/low frequencies roll-off, to fix issues caused by poor AD/DA converters or by the intrinsic behaviour of the target system (e.g. tape sampling).

From the FAQ pages here if you want to read more:
http://www.acustica-audio.com/index.php ... Itemid=247

The audible differences are subtle to say the least :ugeek:


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Re: Optimizing Nebula3 Free Presets

Postby Shuriken » Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:15 am

Hello, Martin

Thank you for responding to my question.

It seems like Nebula is configured by default for giving you the best quality possible.
Although, in the FAQ, it says that Nebula reverb yields better quality, because it access longer kernels. But when I load Nebula reverb it only has 5(4th harm) kernels, opposite to Nebula normal version which has 10(9th harm) kernels. Why it's like that?

Also, thanks for clearing that up about the "S" presets.

I've stumbled upon a tutorial here, about switching to TIMED kernels, which should give better sound quality, so I'll give it a try.
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Re: Optimizing Nebula3 Free Presets

Postby botus99 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:34 pm

Shuriken wrote:Although, in the FAQ, it says that Nebula reverb yields better quality, because it access longer kernels.


Correct.

Shuriken wrote:But when I load Nebula reverb it only has 5(4th harm) kernels, opposite to Nebula normal version which has 10(9th harm) kernels. Why it's like that?


First off, ALWAYS use Nebula Reverb. I haven't even opened my regular one in... well, a really long time. This is because the LONGER kernels just sound better, the latency takes getting used to though FYI. There may be other reasons too, but I'm still no genius with Nebula so I don't want to spout too much jibberish :oops:

The reason your 2 Nebula's differ may vary. Are you loading up the same program? Did you SAVE the program you "customized" at 10 kernels (which doesn't help the quality at all by the way, if the program comes with 5k, then 6k-10k DO NOT EXIST)?

The ONLY time you should change the amount of kernels in a program is when you need to lower your CPU usage and shave off a kernel or 2. Increasing them does nothing.

Shuriken wrote:I've stumbled upon a tutorial here, about switching to TIMED kernels, which should give better sound quality, so I'll give it a try.


Do it! It's worth it :mrgreen:
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Re: Optimizing Nebula3 Free Presets

Postby Shuriken » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:01 pm

botus99 wrote:The reason your 2 Nebula's differ may vary. Are you loading up the same program? Did you SAVE the program you "customized" at 10 kernels (which doesn't help the quality at all by the way, if the program comes with 5k, then 6k-10k DO NOT EXIST)?

Yes, I'm loading the same program and nothing has been customized. When I access MASTER mode in Nebula3 Free there are 10 (9th harm) kernels by default, unlike Nebula3 Free Reverb, which has 5 (4th harm) kernels by default and can be raised up to 10 (9th harm).
Any explanation about that?


By the way, I was trying to assign midi controls for each slider, following the user guide, but when I was moving my knobs and sliders, there was no response. I've tried to manually change the controls, which are all "127" by default, using my keyboard, but nothing happened. Any idea?
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Re: Optimizing Nebula3 Free Presets

Postby botus99 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:53 am

Sorry, but I have no idea about the midi controls or the 5k default for your Nebula Reverb instance :?

Maybe someone else can chime in?
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Re: Optimizing Nebula3 Free Presets

Postby RJHollins » Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:11 am

I believe that the number of 'kernals' are established by the maker of the library.

Some libraries come with a 'lite' version that will be set with fewer kernels. Some of the 'clean' presets may also contain fewer kernelskernels.

I have never manually changed the kernel setting, nor desire to. :|

Somewhere on the board a document exist that has the midi implementation chart posted. It might be in the FAQ's are one of the newsletters.

As for optimizing NebulaREVERB ... The factory default is NOT set to lessen the quality. Some users [including myself] are experimenting with some of the TIMED function, etc. These take a serious CPU hit. There is a subtle difference in most cases that I've listened, and those that do sound different seem to be source dependent [along with the library being altered]. My 'testing' has been limited to pre-amps.

There was a tutorial posted recently that goes into setting detail with examples. I don't have a link, but a search on 'TIMED' should find it.

About the ONLY setting that needs to be adjusted is the PROGRATE [I think that's what its called]. It's the setting that affects the loading of a library. I have mine set to 9000 [max]. The last time I checked.

You'll know if your setting is wrong should you see a flashing arrow next to the sample rate display on NEBULAs main page. If its flashing, the library did not have enough loading time. Important that there is no flashing arrow.

As for work flow ... I have found that many of the libraries should be added before you begin work ... and not something that you paste on afterward. You can, of course, but you may then need to adjust other things.

For example. If speed is needed, I'll often use a clean algo plug-in EQ driving a Nebula Pre-amp. All decisions are made through the sonic character of the pre-amp. If I switch it out, or use a different PRE, the EQ may need to be re-evaluated. As 'subtle' as preamps can be, it striking how much influence they do have on the outcome.

A side note. Now having work in my new mastering room for several months, I am still evaluating, listening, studying and experimenting with Nebula and the huge collection of libraries. I've had to narrow my use to only a select choice of libraries in order NOT to be totally overwhelmed. The dynamic capabilities that NEBULA provides makes it much more involved than most any algo plug that I've worked with.

In the process, I'm sure that I may not have chosen the most absolute perfect tool for the job [although I'm familiar with the sonics of many of the hardware piece from over the years. But the ability of switching from a N**e console to an S*L or A*I was not always convenient :shock: :lol:

I think it is imperative that should anyone decide to use NEBULA in their audio work, that plenty of time be invested in the 'woodshed'. This is very much like the study we had to do before jumping in on, say, a N**e console [with its 5 manuals the size of 'War & Peace' ... with foldout pages]. :o

For each piece of NEBULA gear, I try to locate the hardware manual [in conjunction with the supplied library PDF's] just so that a better understanding would be the result. I want to get my 'chops' back to the point where I didn't have to think about what equipment I was going to use ... or at least have a solid, intuitive, plan in place with the experience to choose plan 'B' or 'C' when called on.

Hope some of this helped.

Sincerely.
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Re: Optimizing Nebula3 Free Presets

Postby Shuriken » Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:57 pm

botus99 wrote:Sorry, but I have no idea about the midi controls or the 5k default for your Nebula Reverb instance :?

Maybe someone else can chime in?

It's all right, thanks for you input.


RJHollins wrote:There was a tutorial posted recently that goes into setting detail with examples. I don't have a link, but a search on 'TIMED' should find it.

I've found that tutorial and customized my Nebula few days ago. I'm going to analyze the results later.

RJHollins wrote:About the ONLY setting that needs to be adjusted is the PROGRATE [I think that's what its called]. It's the setting that affects the loading of a library. I have mine set to 9000 [max]. The last time I checked.

PROG RATE only goes up to 40 ms, it seems like you are talking about RATE CNV which goes up to 9000 ms.
You suggest to set this to maximum for every program? How would that help?

RJHollins wrote:You'll know if your setting is wrong should you see a flashing arrow next to the sample rate display on NEBULAs main page. If its flashing, the library did not have enough loading time. Important that there is no flashing arrow.

There is a flashing arrow on all the libraries above 44100 KHz (48000 KHz and 96000 KHz).

Thanks for your in-depth explanation.

P.S. I've tried to assign the midi controls in Reaper, but still without success. I could change the controls using my keyboard (unlike FL Studio, which didn't react), but as soon as I press enter, it goes back to default (127).
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Re: Optimizing Nebula3 Free Presets

Postby RJHollins » Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:03 pm

ahhh, yes ...

I meant to say 'RATE CNV' set to 9000.

RATE CNV is a global setting, so all libraries are affected.

A 'flashing arrow' is a warning that the library did not fully load. [i don't recall the specifics - a forum search will get you better info].

By setting RATE CNV to max, you avoid the flashing arrow. You can always tweak it to a lower value once you fine tune everything.

just remember to hit the 'save' button inside Nebula, then remove that plugin, then reload Nebula back into your sequencer for the setting to activate.
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Re: Optimizing Nebula3 Free Presets

Postby Shuriken » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:23 pm

RJHollins wrote:ahhh, yes ...

I meant to say 'RATE CNV' set to 9000.

RATE CNV is a global setting, so all libraries are affected.

A 'flashing arrow' is a warning that the library did not fully load. [i don't recall the specifics - a forum search will get you better info].

By setting RATE CNV to max, you avoid the flashing arrow. You can always tweak it to a lower value once you fine tune everything.

just remember to hit the 'save' button inside Nebula, then remove that plugin, then reload Nebula back into your sequencer for the setting to activate.

Thanks for the tip, I'll do that.
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