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The future of Nebula

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The future of Nebula

Postby jpchartrand » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:46 pm

As I see more and more competitors putting out amazing sounding plugins and emulations of hardware, I really wonder where Nebula is going to end up. Having a target date of November for a new version is just not going to cut it. I'm already upset about the fact that the 64 bit AU doesn't exist but now this is just too much. Nebula sounds good but looks awful and the usability is by far the worst around. I think anyone would admit that. As a businessman myself, I can't understand why a company wouldn't have pressed on the gas pedal sooner. I think it's already too late. By the time November comes, most of the Nebula libraries that imitate hardware will exist in a good plugin format. That's my prediction anyways. What do you guys think? I'm not interested to know what the creators of Nebula think but what the people who spent their hard earned money on it think.
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Re: The future of Nebula

Postby david1103 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:15 pm

I think you are being a bit negative. At last Nebula is in active development again, now is the time to be happy! NO WAY is it too late for Nebula to improve and gain more users. You are going to have to get a bit more Italian and sit back and relax with a cappuccino for Nebula 4 :)

Yes, other plug-in tech has got better, but not THAT much better. The only real breakthrough I have heard is NI Monarch, the first soft synth that sounds real to my ears. Other plug-ins have remained sounding as flat as ever. Can anyone name an EQ that sounds nearly as good as a good Nebula one? How about beating the VNXT Plate 140? Nebula is still bossing it today, I am going to assume Nebula 4 is going to redefine excellence... they have had quite a bit of time to think about it.

Nebula is STILL the only emulation that actually samples the hardware fully, the rest are approximations. The only real threat to Nebula's domination of sound quality is if another company creates a Volterra Kernel sample based product that delivers all the workflow improvements Nebula has missed. I think they would have done that by now. The main reason I honestly think they have not is that the majority of the market can't actually hear the difference in what Nebula can do and are not willing to take the CPU hit.
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Re: The future of Nebula

Postby kels » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:43 pm

Having a target date of November for a new version is just not going to cut it.


Indeed, new version doesn't look promising to me. Just more Acqua plugins which are a closed architecture.

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=70&start=20

...can do and are not willing to take the CPU hit.


Once other companies will realise that FPGA parallel computing (very cheap) is the perfect answer to CPU hits AND piracy, they will eventualy come with something like Nebula. Clearly, Acustica has no interest into it and generaly speaking, I don't think they want to position themselves as top pro. This is clearly in contrast by the fact that Nebula is THE perfect emulation of hardware at the moment.
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Re: The future of Nebula

Postby giancarlo » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:44 pm

too late for competitors I would say:
https://www.facebook.com/AcusticaAudio

check latest announcements. They had a lot of time for releasing products meanwhile ;)

You can create in acqua something not possible in nebula now
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Re: The future of Nebula

Postby giancarlo » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:48 pm

kels wrote:
Having a target date of November for a new version is just not going to cut it.


Indeed, new version doesn't look promising to me. Just more Acqua plugins which are a closed architecture.

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=70&start=20

...can do and are not willing to take the CPU hit.


Once other companies will realise that FPGA parallel computing (very cheap) is the perfect answer to CPU hits AND piracy, they will eventualy come with something like Nebula. Clearly, Acustica has no interest into it and generaly speaking, I don't think they want to position themselves as top pro. This is clearly in contrast by the fact that Nebula is THE perfect emulation of hardware at the moment.


sorry, it's not a matter of cpu cycles. We can increase quality again, you need something you can port to an higher quality. General dsp approach does not feature a parameter named "quality" you simply tune on a fpga (btw, I am a fpga programmer, I coded a math co-processor several years ago)
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Re: The future of Nebula

Postby enriquesilveti » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:06 pm

jpchartrand wrote:As I see more and more competitors putting out amazing sounding plugins and emulations of hardware, I really wonder where Nebula is going to end up. Having a target date of November for a new version is just not going to cut it. I'm already upset about the fact that the 64 bit AU doesn't exist but now this is just too much. Nebula sounds good but looks awful and the usability is by far the worst around. I think anyone would admit that. As a businessman myself, I can't understand why a company wouldn't have pressed on the gas pedal sooner. I think it's already too late. By the time November comes, most of the Nebula libraries that imitate hardware will exist in a good plugin format. That's my prediction anyways. What do you guys think? I'm not interested to know what the creators of Nebula think but what the people who spent their hard earned money on it think.


They are good sounding plug-in out there! Also awesome digital processing on spectral processing topic. But in the emulation side algorithm plug-in are using different modeling approach. They are simple synthesizer we are complex sampling/synthesis approach

Nebula versus algorithmic plug-ins
Strictly speaking, all digital audio processor, including plug-ins are based in algorithms, but the main different among themselves is the type of modeling applied to simulate the behavior of the original gear or circuit. Unlike other products Nebula modelling is based in signal modelling where the original gear is sampled using a method called brute force. To make this happen Acustica Audio developed NAT stand alone sampler application and Vectorial Volterra Kernels Technology that permit Nebula playback emulation preset create by NAT.

Nebula versus static and dynamic convolution plug-ins
Static and dynamic convolution plug-ins use the same type of modeling, signal modelling, and the force brute sampling method, but static convolution ends up being a single impulse response and it can not be used as a model, is just a single snapshot of an specific gear setup. Dynamic convolution is one step ahead from static convolution, sampling several levels or values and using a basic type of interpolation allows the emulation of a basic analog gear or circuit but does not model the non lineal distortion present in any analog gear. Nebula do static and dynamic convolution but also sample non lineal distortion and all those sampled parameter are played in real time using a vector engine and a hybrid convolution audio engine.
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Re: The future of Nebula

Postby kels » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:28 pm

We can increase quality again, you need something you can port to an higher quality


sorry, I though we were talking more about utlility and workflow than quality because, as I said, absolute quality IS already there. In fact, we are talking about everything that cruelly missed to Nebula.

btw, I am a fpga programmer, I coded a math co-processor several years ago)


I'm sure you know your subject GianCarlo, for sure, that's not the point. :) But I'm an electronic engineer before being an sound engineer and I have proposed this idea of FPGA to some 3D softwares dev (small to medium companies) and, above everything, they all agreed that it's THE future for really demanding cPU apps as well as abolute copy protection. I've been told several times that it's not possible w Nebula, which I deplore ... I know there are some real time issues that 3D apps don't have.

So, using Nebula in render tracks mode then mix on my 40 channels AMEK/N**e with plenty of analog gear is what I'm stuck on at the moment and undesrtand me, I'm just looking to have the same speed/workflow/quality with DAW/Nebula than with a real console.
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Re: The future of Nebula

Postby Tim Petherick » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:34 pm

Nebula will come through, nothing sounds like nebula. Things are slow but I think it's purely because Nebula is a beast. No other plugin quite does this amount of different sampling function from what I know of.
Nebula is still young....give development time.


I've just finished a phaser set and again I was quite shocked with how well nebula can do this,nothing comes close in terms of depth that nebula can produce!
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Re: The future of Nebula

Postby giancarlo » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:56 pm

kels wrote:
We can increase quality again, you need something you can port to an higher quality


sorry, I though we were talking more about utlility and workflow than quality because, as I said, absolute quality IS already there. In fact, we are talking about everything that cruelly missed to Nebula.

btw, I am a fpga programmer, I coded a math co-processor several years ago)


I'm sure you know your subject GianCarlo, for sure, that's not the point. :) But I'm an electronic engineer before being an sound engineer and I have proposed this idea of FPGA to some 3D softwares dev (small to medium companies) and, above everything, they all agreed that it's THE future for really demanding cPU apps as well as abolute copy protection. I've been told several times that it's not possible w Nebula, which I deplore ... I know there are some real time issues that 3D apps don't have.

So, using Nebula in render tracks mode then mix on my 40 channels AMEK/N**e with plenty of analog gear is what I'm stuck on at the moment and undesrtand me, I'm just looking to have the same speed/workflow/quality with DAW/Nebula than with a real console.


you was speakng about fpga, and I told you it is not a matter of cpu load. You can't start from a biquad algo and increase the quality and get trinityeq (it will be released soon). We dont need fpga any more, because we have enough powerness now (and we are even working to a scalable cloud nebula for the sake of knowledge but it's for crazy scopes). If you speak about workflow, acqua plugins are a fast answer today. And if you need something more cohesive, nebula4 will be the answer. So what is the deal?

btw, fpga is not the answer any more. Take a database: netezza (ibm, fpga based) is fast AND expensive. Orion (my database I'm working on) it is simply fast. The answer today is sharding, consistent hashing, and so on, and everything is pretty clear now since facebook, twitter, yahoo are adopting these solutions instead of old fpga database ones. It should be cheap, not only fast
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Re: The future of Nebula

Postby kels » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:29 pm

btw, fpga is not the answer any more. Take a database: netezza (ibm, fpga based) is fast AND expensive.


Data mining here (sound+vibration measurements) also use fpga all the way. At 15$+pcb, sorry, but it's cheap and I don't really need FaceBook's power ...

If you speak about workflow, acqua plugins are a fast answer today.


I like to swith to pure time mode when rendering which, I believe, is not possible with Acqua. And speaking of workflow, I already have a small app that switch between 1 kernels-frequ mode/full kernels-time mode in one click for the whole session.

But let's close this slight off-topic, don't you think so because :

and we are even working to a scalable cloud nebula for the sake of knowledge but it's for crazy scopes


... this sounds interesting to me. Please let us know.
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