As we're all looking forward to Nebula4, here's some of the approaches to using modular vst hosts to get different results and using eq's without a serial path. I follow this up with a little walk through for cubase users on how to get the Nebula comps side chains working as its not very obvious and took me a while to work out. Hopefully it may save some newer users some time and some members may wish to chip in with comments and teach us some things to expand our knowledge, I'm definitely no expert and have just learnt what I'm sharing here from testing with my trusty analyzer to help me out, it should be interesting to see how nebula4 is going to deal with multi eq's.
I'll start with bluecat's mb7 which I'm demoing and is tempting for me as it is the easiest one to setup as it saves having to use splitters so its relatively straight forward. you can add split points to create more channels but I've set this one up to use just a bass, middle and treble eq
Next up is another bluecat host called Patchwork where you just add a row to match the number of eqs instances you wish to have, I've set this up again with 3 in a hotchpotch of different types. I overlooked setting the split points all the same on the high split here, but as this one only deals with the signal over 7Khz it matters not. The reason I thought of using splitters was based on the summing of the signals of which more very shortly. Patchwork copes better than mb7 when eq's Q values come into play and if you want to use a pretty wide eq in nebula in this host then you could add it either in the pre or post slots which would make it run in series to the parallel slots in the middle and not be effected by the splitters cross-over points negating their width.
Now the reason I originally though about using splitters was because if you sum all the parallel instances up the final signal would get very loud and by using a splitter you avoid it from adding up the same signal, without the splitters you would have to put a volume control after them, here I put one before the parallel Nebula instances instead as the pink noise was at a fairly high level and I wanted to bring it down to Nebula's preferred operating zone and using one volume control is a lot easier than setting each nebula input separately, I'm using a different modular host this time called Console. I'll call this picture figure C
I thought I'd explain this next bit with some flattish noise charts to help, here's some of the pink stuff
With some splitters I stumbled upon last week (kindly supplied for free from the STN RhythmInMind site, with 3 different db ranges 6,12 and 24 db in the downloaded zip I can see I'll be making good use of these in the future, thanks Eric ) I set Console with 4 Nebula instances and this shows that with no presets loaded into Nebula, all showing the init file that the signal hasn't changed
But when I load just one eq preset even if set to no cut or boost we then see some of the shape of the eq hardware and its effect when mixed with the original signal (x3 in this case) and also trust that the developers checked its phase alignment.
The next image below shows in the graph at the bottom of the picture that its adding the GRM's unique mid shape at 1Khz with a 8db boost.So while using a splitter a 8db boost is a 8db boost.
Now if we go back to the picture that I labelled figure C you'll notice that due to the fact no splitters have been used that the same 8db boost shows a reading that looks according to the analyzer to be somewhere nearer a 2-3 db boost, (there's probably a mathematical way of working this out but I'd presume that it would also depend on what else the gear is doing to the signal to affect the way it behaves when mixed back with the original one) This picture is more magnified than the other analyzer ones I've used
You can then save your configurations and use them in any host as you can do with all the others that I've covered, Metaplugin is fully functional as a demo but you won't be able to use the save function
Another thing to consider when using multiple eq's from different libraries is the signal levels as they will probably be slightly different and I like to check that they are all the same when all loaded up but not doing any cutting or boosting
OK now its the Cubase side-chaining walk through
start with adding a group and choose quadro Then goto your Vstconnections and add child buss