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Question about Nebula 4 Plugins that we are starting to see

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Question about Nebula 4 Plugins that we are starting to see

Postby kindafishy » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:12 am

From another thread (unanswered)...

Very interested in N4 and what it will do for workflow. In my mind, what I've seen so far solves half the "workflow problem" with Nebula. There is still a question of number of instances that can be run. With these new kinds of plugins, one should be able to have 100 instances of misc N4 plugins without causing CPU or memory issues. Even with a modern rock session, 35 tracks with tape, console and EQ puts the session over this number. Ideally, the upper limit would be much, much higher than that - many hundreds, ideally - think of cinematic or symphonic mixes that have 100 tracks.

Assuming a quality i7 machine built within the last couple years, what can one expect from the number of N4 plugins that can be run?
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Re: Question about Nebula 4 Plugins that we are starting to

Postby jorismak » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:03 am

this has been somewhat answered in another thread where (I guess you) the same question was asked, and it's not the answer you're gonna like.

Nebula will always be a resource beast. Be it RAM or cpu, you can't expect the algorithm to be optimized to only use 25% of cpu that it is now for example, things like that don't happen unless there is a mistake somewhere made :).

Loading can be faster, a couple of % cpu can be saved, RAM utilization can be better (or even more 'streamed' from the files without having to hold it in RAM) and who knows what Giancarlo will think of... but if you now (for instance) can run 25 instances, don't expect Nebula ever to come to the point where it can do 4 times as much suddenly without you upgrading your computer :). And who knows how fast CPU's will become in the next years.

Also, bouncing is part of it and a lot of people don't see it as a problem. I also bounce a lot when not using heavy CPU's :). I always learnt it's a good thing to 'commit' at some points during the mix, having everything done in realtime all the time makes it too easy to start questioning your mix-decisions :).

But still, 'number of instances' of Nebula is all down to what kind of programs you run of course. I can easily have 100 in one project now I guess, and I have an outdated quad-core. If a lot of those programs are simple short vectors with only 1 kernel Nebula is _very_ light on CPU :P. If I have 4 EQ bands on one track, I start with one with all the kernels and the other 3 are AlexB's 'ND' programs which are about just as fast as a regular impulse-response :).

Think about those people with UAD cards. They also have to work with a limited number of DSP power no those things. They have the situation where a new plugin instance suddenly says 'out of DSP units' and they have to bounce something..

Since most of my Nebula stuff is console+tape I 'print' it on the files before I start mixing, and in a simple demo project of 16 tracks I use about one or two Nebula instances per track then. Runs fine, as long as there are no big long reverbs in there :P. For surgical cuts I use regular DSP-EQ (like Reaper's built-in) and only for broad shaping (like high-shelving heavy guitar tracks or something) I reach for Nebula stuff of N**e EQ's for example.

So 1) 'number of plugins that can be run' is a very bad question to ask, because it all depends on what those plugins are doing

and 2) A lot of people (myself included for example) think there is more important work to do in the user-interface side of things. Having a plugin require heavy CPU usage is OK as long as it is justified in the sound. But if it's a pain to work with in the interface (and having to use 4 instances to get a 'simple' 4-band EQ) people will shy away from it. That is where the Aqua plugins come in (in these days), and why I think the new skinning stuff in Nebula4 is way more important than a bit of resource optimization.
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Re: Question about Nebula 4 Plugins that we are starting to

Postby kindafishy » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:06 pm

Excellent answer, thank you!
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Re: Question about Nebula 4 Plugins that we are starting to

Postby Support » Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:26 pm

kindafishy wrote:From another thread (unanswered)...

Very interested in N4 and what it will do for workflow. In my mind, what I've seen so far solves half the "workflow problem" with Nebula. There is still a question of number of instances that can be run. With these new kinds of plugins, one should be able to have 100 instances of misc N4 plugins without causing CPU or memory issues. Even with a modern rock session, 35 tracks with tape, console and EQ puts the session over this number. Ideally, the upper limit would be much, much higher than that - many hundreds, ideally - think of cinematic or symphonic mixes that have 100 tracks.

Assuming a quality i7 machine built within the last couple years, what can one expect from the number of N4 plugins that can be run?


Run one instance of Nebula with a AITB reverbs is equal to run 30 instances of "other companies" convolution reverb plug-in, for make a simple example. Also Nebula is running audio at 64 bits and AITB reverb are 96 kHz. So typical rock mix template with 4 AITB reverbs is like run 120 instances of "other companies" convolution plsg-in. Similar situation with EQs and Preamps. You still thing that Nebula is not enough optimized?

You should run x2 i7 4770 computer to run 50/100 instances of Nebula, the exact number depends of the emulation preset and your MAST page settings.
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Re: Question about Nebula 4 Plugins that we are starting to

Postby kindafishy » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:37 am

Support wrote:Run one instance of Nebula with a AITB reverbs is equal to run 30 instances of "other companies" convolution reverb plug-in, for make a simple example. Also Nebula is running audio at 64 bits and AITB reverb are 96 kHz. So typical rock mix template with 4 AITB reverbs is like run 120 instances of "other companies" convolution plsg-in. Similar situation with EQs and Preamps. You still thing that Nebula is not enough optimized?

You should run x2 i7 4770 computer to run 50/100 instances of Nebula, the exact number depends of the emulation preset and your MAST page settings.


I don't have an opinion one way or another on how optimized or not Nebula is, hence the question.

Thanks for the answer. The UI hurdle is very likely a bigger barrier to people adopting Nebula than the resource requirements. A stunning sounding plugin that is heavy on CPU is acceptable.

Just have to hold out for quantum computers, I guess ;).
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