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New User Tweaks for Smooth Sailing?

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New User Tweaks for Smooth Sailing?

Postby winterfox » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:12 am

Hello, everyone. After a month or more of struggling to grasp the nebulous, I finally just finished reading the manual, which gets me only a fraction closer to understanding Nebula. I loved the sound so much that it compelled me to build a fast custom PC (i7 3930k, SSD drive, 16G Ram, P9X79 motherboard) just to be able to run many instances without issue and to stay in the box. I've been auditioning many 3rd party libraries over the last week, and so far I've bought the following:
AlexB: MWC, CLeQ, PTeQ, VBeQ, PC&S, MTP
AITB: Mammoth, EAR Rooms
VNXT: EMT140, BX20E
Cupwise: FM1
Henry O: Girthy Q, Titan Q, EMI-pre, 12 mics, 2 mojos
STN: NAG Tape, Vintage Iron U21
Gene Lennon: GLP Reverbs

Even with my fast computer, I have problems with some programs. The EAR Rooms and a few other reverbs are crackly even though my 6-core CPU doesn't seem to be taking a significant hit. I emailed AITB a couple of days ago because their site's contact and support page wouldn't go through, but I haven't heard anything yet. I absolutely love the sound of the EAR Rooms and VNXT offerings, and I'm sure this is just a setting adjustment, but I don't know where to turn.

So to start, is there just a bunch of settings that I can change to take advantage of my computer's power so that I don't run into any issues?

Also, here are some questions I wrote down while reading the manual if any of you are up to answering them. Thanks!

1- The PRF figure in Nebula is a more accurate indicator of overall CPU hit? I'm using Reaper 4 and it shows no more than about 5% on the heaviest programs, but PRF% is much higher than that. If PRF goes to say 35%, does this mean that 35% of my overall CPU capacity is used on just one instance on an i7 3930k 6-core CPU?

2-The "c" means Nebula is resampling all of the program's wav files once or continuously? Is it only when you load the program initially?

3-Does anyone know any more about "Nodrop" than the cursory explanation in the manual? What effect does it have on performance and sound?

4-What do I need to know about Program Rate (RTE) and when would I need to adjust it? Also, does RTE length only effect sound or does it effect latency as well?

5- The manual says it explained the "T" parameter, but I don't see where. What is it?

6- On pg. 17 it shows the KERN page. Are the timing settings on that page directly related to total RTE, and if so how would you decide how long to make any of the kernel players play for that particular program with that particular program's RTE?

7- Is the smooth "S" kernel something a user adjusts, and if so, when?

8- When is MONO L not preferable to use?

9- Program Rate: "the period used by Nebula for recalculating all internal synthesis parameters and
controls." I don't understand what that means. What do I need to know about Program Rate in order to make adjustments on the fly?

10- I don't understand the explanation of Input Pins and FUNS. What are they?

11- Attack and Release times in the EVFS page are listed in several columns. Is each column for a separate kernel player?

That's about all for now, but not because those are all the questions I have. It's because there are too many questions to ask, and I don't want to overwhelm anyone. :(

What a beautiful advancement in plugin sound Nebula is, but I feel like I'm back in college failing my exams all over again. :shock:

I'm grateful for anything you can answer to help me creep toward my Nebula PhD.
Thanks!
Last edited by winterfox on Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New User Adjustments for Smooth Sailing?

Postby Cupwise » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:04 pm

to be honest, most of that stuff is stuff you should just leave alone. it should probably even be hidden from you. most of that stuff is stuff that devs who make programs may or may not need to adjust to get the programs to work how they want them, but usually shouldn't be touched by an end user.

program rate you shouldn't adjust because it will change how a program works. it's probably usually going to be set to the fastest time it can be set to anyway. if you increased it you might get some cpu back, but you are also making the program react to changes slower. i just don't see why you should ever touch this.

kern page has lengths of the impulses/samples that are played. you actually can adjust those if you want. like if you want to shorten the reverb. in my opinion this should be available as a main control for reverb programs. the h1 length is the main one you'd lower to shorten a reverb length (which would also use less cpu). the fadeout can be increased to make the fadeout smoother but to me it seems to sound weird. it could just be me though and i haven't looked at it closely. you adjust the times under the freqd column. but for other cases like a preamp or eq program or anything that isn't a reverb, again, you should leave those things alone.

mono l you should leave alone because it's set the way it's supposed to be by the dev. if something was sampled in stereo that should say 'mono L'. which means nebula is set to stereo. kind of confusing, yes, but that's how it works. if you hit that, you are switching it to mono which means you lose the slight stereo sound that was sampled. i can't think of any reasons why an end user should ever touch that.

the stuff in the fun page, there's pretty much absolutely no reason for you to ever touch this. well, there is one reason. that is if you decide to start making your own programs and want to customize them a lot. most programs out there probably had nothing done in the fun page by whoever made them. so it's rarely even used by devs. it pretty much never should be used by an end user. you aren't going to get some super secret boost in performance or sound out of it.

same thing with the evf, env, lfo, and dyn pages. this stuff is all there for devs to be able to make specific changes to specific elements about how programs work, if they need to. imo all this stuff should be hidden from end users for the most part. it just leads to confusion and i think your post is a perfect example of that.

.. but I feel like I'm back in college failing my exams all over again
you really should not feel like that over a bunch of stuff that isn't really there for you to do anything with. there's nothing you are going to gain from the stuff i said to leave alone, for almost all intents and purposes. it's like if you bought a car and started panicking about maybe the engine isn't set up right so you just opened the hood and started rewiring things in there. don't do that.

now some of those things maybe COULD be used to get a specific end result. even by a user. BUT you are new to nebula. you can't just go tinkering around without knowing what you are doing, you have to know what you want and think about how to get it. it's fairly advanced stuff. none of the stuff you specifically mentioned is going to help you with your reverb problem though, and the main point is that most of that stuff is set by devs who make the programs, if it's set at all. and that means you aren't 'supposed' to touch it because they put it the way they want it to work (if they adjusted it). so if something in there would improve performance of the reverbs, it should have been done by them. if they didn't do it or know how to, what are the chances you will?
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Re: New User Adjustments for Smooth Sailing?

Postby winterfox » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:47 pm

Awesome reply, Cupwise. Thanks for putting my mind at ease that I don't need to know how to rewire the car! My aging mind doesn't want to have to store that info.

Now that that's taken care of, are there any standard tweaks that Nebula users have decided to make to solve the reverb problems?

And is the PRF really an accurate indicator of overall CPU hit?

Thanks!
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Re: New User Tweaks for Smooth Sailing?

Postby Cupwise » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:58 am

i dont really know how accurate prf is, maybe someone else does. but the reverb problem you're having sounds kind of weird. your system looks pretty good so i wouldn't expect you to have that.

are you using nebula reverb.dll or the standard one?
have you done any mods at all to the config .xml files for nebula, or changed anything in the mast page and hit save?
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Re: New User Tweaks for Smooth Sailing?

Postby winterfox » Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:39 am

Hi. Yes, I'm using the Nebula Reverb for everything so far. I haven't changed any settings yet, and I haven't done anything to xml files, so still the original settings.
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Re: New User Tweaks for Smooth Sailing?

Postby gurth » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:50 pm

Mostly dropouts occur when dsp buffer is not high enough, try 2048 on yor daw and nebula. Tweak your pc, the factory settings are not perfect for audio.
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Re: New User Tweaks for Smooth Sailing?

Postby winterfox » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:22 pm

Thanks, gurth! I finally figured the dsp buffer thing out a couple of days ago. It helps the reverbs greatly!
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