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Do u guys find working with nebula effects mastering?

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Do u guys find working with nebula effects mastering?

Postby hollo321 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:21 pm

Hey before i was using nebula all my mixes were mostly in the box and id send my tracks to mastering houses and would get them back better than before. But now since ive been using all these awesome emulations like consoles, pro mastering grade eqs...i work on getting the sound as balanced, deep and prestine/crystal clear as i can and now whenever i send my tracks off to mastering there is always loss in definition,depth, nd balance. Like the music would always go from 1080p to 420p. Thought might just been the mastering engineer but i tried 4 different houses with different nebulized tracks and all were much better before mastering n this was confirmed through many mixing engineer friends, so since sort of gave up on mastering and just work getting mix as good as i can. Is it just me or do you guys have similiar experiences? thnks
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Re: Do u guys find working with nebula effects mastering?

Postby musicgreator » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:53 pm

That's very interesting. All i can say is, that i have also been disappointed with mastering before, but that have been pretty obvious artefacts which i couldn't even imagine how they got produced by analog gear. Besides that, achieving the loudness might always come with an side effect. There might also be mastering engineers with great gear who don't know how to use it properly. There must be a reason why certain engineers are "stars". Also, i think it's always good to be present when mastering.
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Re: Do u guys find working with nebula effects mastering?

Postby dagovitsj » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:40 pm

Agree, very interesting posting. I have also thought about if the "Nebula sound" will be affected in a bad way if one master with algo plugins and not Nebula. I haven't tried it yet myself (it's on my list though...!)

I have read that Henry Olonga suggest using an algo plugin before many of his Nebula libs (i.e. EQ etc),and in this case the "Nebula sound" will be added I suppose since it's after the algo plug.

But I haven't seen any commented or done an audio test like the one you have described, where the mastering process is done without any Nebula plugins.

Is it by any chance possible to post a snippet of your audio file, before and after mastering, so it's possible to hear what you talk about?
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Re: Do u guys find working with nebula effects mastering?

Postby RJHollins » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:44 pm

Personally ... I would not use a mastering facility that only used 'algo' plugins for processing.

However, I would also plan to have the budget that would afford top hardware/experience to put the final touch to the masters.

For my mastering work Nebula is the main processor.
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Re: Do u guys find working with nebula effects mastering?

Postby dagovitsj » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:04 pm

Agree, if you have the budget to get your music mastered with hardware and an engineer with many years of experience - that's the best.

But AFAIK more and more try to master their music themselves and in that respect it would be interesting to hear more about experience regarding the use of algo plugins and Nebula. I reckon for example if you want to use a multiband compressor, you have to use an algo plugin?

Could you share your mastering chain, RJHollins - do you use the same setup regardless of type of music, or do you change it for different genres?
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Re: Do u guys find working with nebula effects mastering?

Postby mertayy » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:32 pm

How loud do they send them back? :)

Mastering is a balance issue, whatever you add you'll always lose something along the way. The best mixes are probably sent to sterling but producers always crush them to ridiculous levels...thing is this is considered "normal" for a while now so if one just sends them and don't explain what he wants then be sure it will be loud.

I also have to add no matter how good the hardware is its all about the room and speakers. I believe if the mix is decent, a pro mastering engineer can accomplish a lot with a simple min-phase eq and a limiter.
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Re: Do u guys find working with nebula effects mastering?

Postby Cupwise » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:01 am

dagovitsj wrote: I reckon for example if you want to use a multiband compressor, you have to use an algo plugin?


has anyone tried to use any of the various free bandsplitter vsts out there which can split your input into different bands then send those to different output channels, with nebula?
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Re: Do u guys find working with nebula effects mastering?

Postby hollo321 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:44 am

dagovitsj wrote:Agree, very interesting posting. I have also thought about if the "Nebula sound" will be affected in a bad way if one master with algo plugins and not Nebula. I haven't tried it yet myself (it's on my list though...!)

I have read that Henry Olonga suggest using an algo plugin before many of his Nebula libs (i.e. EQ etc),and in this case the "Nebula sound" will be added I suppose since it's after the algo plug.

But I haven't seen any commented or done an audio test like the one you have described, where the mastering process is done without any Nebula plugins.

Is it by any chance possible to post a snippet of your audio file, before and after mastering, so it's possible to hear what you talk about?


https://dl.dropbox.com/u/80928016/Nebula%20compare.rar

sure heres 2 tracks with and without mastering. These are the best job out of the 4 houses and this is just two of liek 11 tracks that was demolished in mastering. Yes they are louder but i dont care about loudness as many do, i dont see its worth the sacrifice for things i care more about like quality pristine sound/depth/seperation... which nebula is so amazing at. Some of those mastering engineers were pretty high end with lots of analog gear so not sure its plugins issue. Even on couple tracks when i told mastering engineers no compression seems just adding additional processing in some way always degrades the sound. Dont want to waste any more $ and headache on masters not gonna use so thinking either leave tracks unmastered or try to learn mastering on my own with nebula, thnks
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Re: Do u guys find working with nebula effects mastering?

Postby fpoitevin » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:00 am

Ouch !...
I understand your disappointment... It's all flat and dull after mastering.
I think we (sound guys) have to understand the role of mastering. Back in the days, it was the step between the mix and the outside world (vinyl cutting, tape duplicating) with all the constraints related to these media (the bass in the center, the piece with less bandwidth at the end of a side,...). Now, the outside world is a file, exactly what we provide at the end of mixing. The "technical" problem has disappeared. BUT, mastering is the occasion to place our work in another environment (the mastering studio) with other ears (the mastering engineer's). In my opinion, this is the only role of mastering these days for skilled sound guys like all of us.
You don't need any "standard mastering". Your tracks are wonderful in depth, space and emotion. All you maybe need is to give your tracks to a friend (sound engineer of course) that you trust, just to check your work in another environment with another point of view. I
I think that mastering can now be replaced by a kind of cross-check between us (it's so easy to send files).
Your examples show again that gear doesn't the job itself. It's all a question of ears.
By the way, I've had the same problem with a CD made for a band in France. I did the mastering in one of the most famous mastering studio in Paris. The result is more cohesive, well balanced, but with less depth and transparency, even with a GML eq and an Elysia compressor.
All the best.
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Re: Do u guys find working with nebula effects mastering?

Postby dagovitsj » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:22 pm

Yes they are louder but i dont care about loudness as many do, i dont see its worth the sacrifice for things i care more about like quality pristine sound/depth/seperation... which nebula is so amazing at.


- Thanks, Hollo321! Very interesting to listen to the difference - and very nice music, I like it a lot!

I imported the two files called Reborn (unmastered).mp3 and Reborn Mastered.mp3 into Wavelab7 and made a montage. Then I tried to level match with VUMT and listen to different parts of the file.

Yes, agree, the depth and separation, specially in the higher frequency bands is better with the Nebula version, I think. (However I know it's kind of strange to compare a mastered version and an unmastered version, because only a slight portion of compression probably will alter the sound of the mastered version, although it's level matched.)

I also think that the mastered version is a little harsh in the higher frequencies - I listened with headphones (Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro) and recognized that the mastered version was fatiguing to listen to at higher volumes compared to the mixed version, which didn't have this problem. But, this could be due to the mastering engineeer and not the equipment used. Would be nice to know!

@cupwise: That would be very interesting to have a kind of multiband compressor for Nebula. I reckon 2 years from now we will have better functionality (EQs with several bands, multiband compressors etc., better GUI) - at least I hope so!
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