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Changing XML file for high quality sound and rendering?

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Changing XML file for high quality sound and rendering?

Postby superhero81 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:18 am

So I've been doing a lot of research about Nebula 3.
I was looking at which 3rd party libraries to get and I read about changing a few things for better quality.

1) Timed Kernels? When you do this should you change the ms under Kernels or keep it the same?

2) Changing the <Rendering> 1 to 5 under the XML file.

3) Changing the L TIMED ms to a higher number when bouncing down.

Has anyone ever did this? Is it needed? Any advice or help would be great. I would like to be enlightened.
Thanks
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Re: Changing XML file for high quality sound and rendering?

Postby botus99 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:06 pm

You're a new guy trying to tackle a plugin that confuses many people :lol: I like your moxie.

1. Timed Kernels seem to sound better than the FREQD algorithm in a couple ways. First, the transient response is night and day better. Second, the thickness in tone seems to be represented much stronger. Really, the audible effect is subtle, but once you hear it, you'll know its worth torturing your computer a little harder for that sound. I use Timed Kernels for EVERYTHING, as much as possible!

I usually push the time up to 50ms. This WILL hurt your computer 8-) With that in mind, mix with FREQD, then before you bounce change the kernels to Timed at 50ms.

2. You have me confused. I'm not finding a <RENDERING> category. I have <EXPORTAUDIOQUALITY> which is set to 5, that's about as close as I can find :oops: TBH I have wondered myself exactly what this is doing that's different/better than stock as I haven't tested bounces with Nebula both ways. Hmmmm....

3. Change LTIMED to 100000 and then leave it. Its the internal limit within Nebula for the length of Timed Kernels. It affects nothing except when you make your Timed Kernels longer than 10ms (which I highly recommend 50ms). Nebula will still default to FREQD mode (unless you save the program using Timed Kernels instead or load one that a developer set as Timed, obviously)
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Re: Changing XML file for high quality sound and rendering?

Postby ngarjuna » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:48 pm

Before you fall down the rabbit hole that is TIMED mode, here's my suggestion: ask someone who swears by TIMED mode being "higher quality" or "better sounding" to compare 2 audio samples, one in normal FREQD and one in TIMED. I've asked in several TIMED threads and in all the years I've seen this tweak nobody has ever delivered. Makes me wonder about this "miraculous" Nebula tweak that nobody has ever tried to demonstrate in their zeal to promote it on the forums. Personally I wouldn't suggest using Nebula libraries in ways other than their developers hand tweaked them (there are a few developers who produce TIMED programs; that is a different story, obviously, as you're running the program as its creator intended) unless you've heard (and prefer) the difference.

Further: if TIMED is so far superior to FREQD why haven't hardly any of the developers started using it for "High Quality" or "render quality" variants of their programs (I only know of 2 or 3 devs making TIMED programs)?
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Re: Changing XML file for high quality sound and rendering?

Postby ngarjuna » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:55 pm

My last post has a distinctly anti-TIMED tone; it's not that I'm against the practice (the engine is wide open specifically so users and devs can tweak it). I do maintain that there's a distinct lack of evidence (both from my own personal tests and all of the text-based endorsements you read) of this superiority of TIMED mode; for something that's so obviously better it should be pretty easy to demonstrate...and yet...

But to me the bigger issue is that part of the whole Nebula deal is to perseverate over a library/program's fidelity to the original hardware. I think it's extremely unfair to developers to review or otherwise judge their work publicly on this somewhat delicate standard if you have, unbeknownst to them, altered their programs. So from a pure fidelity to hardware standpoint I tend to take the view that these devs have worked hard (apparently in many cases hand tuning in NAT is required) to release programs which are as close as you can get; I can't believe that they would leave switches turned off that could get those programs even closer. That's a lot of assumption on my part (for what it's worth, I've tried the TIMED tweaks and I don't have anything to say about the experience; neither did it help nor hurt any of the sources I checked out) but the logic just doesn't add up for me here.
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Re: Changing XML file for high quality sound and rendering?

Postby RJHollins » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:49 pm

Hi ngarjuna,

There is a nice tutorial that was posted [just trying to remember the site] that provided A/B samples for comparison. If I recall, they used the FATE compressor preamp for the example.

This helped me do my own testing and comparison.

From my Mastering suite perspective, certain libraries caught my ear in a pleasant way. The difference can be subtle, but identifiable. It is difficult to describe, but particularly with the FATE, the TIMED mode has a 'dryer' texture [for lack of a more imaginative descript]. Of course, the 'source' audio must be considered ! There are other libraries I've tried that were to subtle to not be worth the CPU hit.

IMHO ... this is NOT a game changer. I would not hesitate using the 'factory config'. Nothing wrong with experimenting with critical listening. With ZAB's 'SetUp', I have 2 versions of a library that I can A/B. As <G> stated, these are 2 different methods of convolution. Should one want to experiment, an Engineer should do their own tests and evaluation.
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Re: Changing XML file for high quality sound and rendering?

Postby ngarjuna » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:59 pm

RJHollins wrote:Hi ngarjuna,

There is a nice tutorial that was posted [just trying to remember the site] that provided A/B samples for comparison. If I recall, they used the FATE compressor preamp for the example.

This helped me do my own testing and comparison.

From my Mastering suite perspective, certain libraries caught my ear in a pleasant way. The difference can be subtle, but identifiable. It is difficult to describe, but particularly with the FATE, the TIMED mode has a 'dryer' texture [for lack of a more imaginative descript]. Of course, the 'source' audio must be considered ! There are other libraries I've tried that were to subtle to not be worth the CPU hit.

IMHO ... this is NOT a game changer. I would not hesitate using the 'factory config'. Nothing wrong with experimenting with critical listening. With ZAB's 'SetUp', I have 2 versions of a library that I can A/B. As <G> stated, these are 2 different methods of convolution. Should one want to experiment, an Engineer should do their own tests and evaluation.

Thanks for the comment, RJ, that's worth considering; I hadn't really thought of the fact that certain programs would likely change more or less depending on a great many behind-the-scenes factors.

I think in the end I tend to agree with your conclusion: while not a game changer, there is tweaking available in the engine and with some care one can leverage some of those minor differences. I guess what sets me off lately (this isn't the first time I've felt this sort of reaction to exactly this sort of thread) is that people who are totally new to Nebula have been led to believe that these are somehow essential, ubiquitous settings that every long time user has long since setup; I don't know where that impression is coming from but I think it's pretty far from the mark.
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Re: Changing XML file for high quality sound and rendering?

Postby Tim Petherick » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:18 pm

ngarjuna wrote:
RJHollins wrote:Hi ngarjuna,

There is a nice tutorial that was posted [just trying to remember the site] that provided A/B samples for comparison. If I recall, they used the FATE compressor preamp for the example.

This helped me do my own testing and comparison.

From my Mastering suite perspective, certain libraries caught my ear in a pleasant way. The difference can be subtle, but identifiable. It is difficult to describe, but particularly with the FATE, the TIMED mode has a 'dryer' texture [for lack of a more imaginative descript]. Of course, the 'source' audio must be considered ! There are other libraries I've tried that were to subtle to not be worth the CPU hit.

IMHO ... this is NOT a game changer. I would not hesitate using the 'factory config'. Nothing wrong with experimenting with critical listening. With ZAB's 'SetUp', I have 2 versions of a library that I can A/B. As <G> stated, these are 2 different methods of convolution. Should one want to experiment, an Engineer should do their own tests and evaluation.

Thanks for the comment, RJ, that's worth considering; I hadn't really thought of the fact that certain programs would likely change more or less depending on a great many behind-the-scenes factors.

I think in the end I tend to agree with your conclusion: while not a game changer, there is tweaking available in the engine and with some care one can leverage some of those minor differences. I guess what sets me off lately (this isn't the first time I've felt this sort of reaction to exactly this sort of thread) is that people who are totally new to Nebula have been led to believe that these are somehow essential, ubiquitous settings that every long time user has long since setup; I don't know where that impression is coming from but I think it's pretty far from the mark.


Page 1 of transient loss
Quote from G

"yes you are correct. Imho freqd doesn't sound as much correct as timed but it's used just for the tail. Freqd is the classic fft algo used by best plugins around, so it's not so bad"


When I a/b against hardware for testing I use Timed player. On release I generally use split Freqd.

I think its more that Freqd/split makes thing sound wetter rather than timed makes things sound dryer.

EDIT-It's subtle! split is very good at what it does.
Last edited by Tim Petherick on Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Changing XML file for high quality sound and rendering?

Postby superhero81 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:37 pm

Wow, that's a lot of info. Haha. I am starting to get a migraine. Haha. I think I might do an A/B test of a full mix. One using Timed at 50ms. The other using FREQD.
My last question, when changing the TIMED KERNALS to 50ms and then bouncing down, do I have to save and exit? Or will changing the kernels take place right away?
Thanks guys!
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Re: Changing XML file for high quality sound and rendering?

Postby Tim Petherick » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:45 pm

superhero81 wrote:Wow, that's a lot of info. Haha. I am starting to get a migraine. Haha. I think I might do an A/B test of a full mix. One using Timed at 50ms. The other using FREQD.
My last question, when changing the TIMED KERNALS to 50ms and then bouncing down, do I have to save and exit? Or will changing the kernels take place right away?
Thanks guys!


It should change straight away but Enrique said that there could be some errors. You'd be better making another preset to be on the safe side. Back up your original N2p's then go to the memo page in edit and make a new named version and save.
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Re: Changing XML file for high quality sound and rendering?

Postby botus99 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:46 pm

First off, not trying to fight here, just friendly debate perhaps.

ngarjuna wrote:ask someone who swears by TIMED mode being "higher quality" or "better sounding" to compare 2 audio samples, one in normal FREQD and one in TIMED.


This confuses me :?: Technically, I compare 2 audio examples EVERY TIME I switch over to Timed from Freqd and 99% of the time it gets better (through better transients and thicker tone, as mentioned). So, were you asking for someone to put up a heavily documented A-B scientific comparison? Is this not enough?...
http://www.learndigitalaudio.com/blog/n ... ed-kernels

ngarjuna wrote:Personally I wouldn't suggest using Nebula libraries in ways other than their developers hand tweaked them (there are a few developers who produce TIMED programs; that is a different story, obviously, as you're running the program as its creator intended) unless you've heard (and prefer) the difference.



I definitely prefer the difference 8-) While your suggestion to refrain from tweaks outside of what the developers have already tweaked is commendable, it isn't always practical. Giancarlo himself has said that Timed Kernels are more accurate and (usually, by the nature of the beast) sound better. Given that Nebula allows for tweaks, what's wrong with tweaking something IF you KNOW (and WANT) what it does? The options were put there not just for developers, but for everyone to run their own experiments and to use Nebula how they see fit. Kind of a freedom of usage thing. Of course, with anything in life, you're not going to get better results than what you currently have without being properly educated on the tools you are using and Nebula is no different so...

ngarjuna wrote:Further: if TIMED is so far superior to FREQD why haven't hardly any of the developers started using it for "High Quality" or "render quality" variants of their programs (I only know of 2 or 3 devs making TIMED programs)?


My guess is that loading up a program that is set on Timed can be a real crapshoot. What I mean is that when I open up a normal Freqd program, I know my computer isn't going to blow up. When I open up a program that's defaulted to Timed, well...

It makes much more sense to me, given the state of computer processing power and Nebula itself, to have programs load in a lower-quality FreqD state. Those of us looking for superior sound already have it just from working with Nebula, but those of us that want to push it (and our computers) a little farther still have an option to.

Also, it would really be a pain to set up a compressor (or even a preamp with G-Drive or simulated G-Drive with the input and output knobs), and then have to reopen and redial in the compressor in the "render version". Plus, imagine how many extra programs would be eating up your folders. That would be a mess IMO.
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