Trying to get more of a realtime workflow with nebula. I have server and main machine. They are choking with full resolution mixing.
So my question is this. Is there value to turning the kernels in the master page to clean for everything on both machines and then mixing? I should be able to then get high instances with lower cpu usage and then at render time I can turn the kernels back on to max. Anyone doing this guys? A bit like in Sony Vegas for video - mixing in low res but rendering at full quality. Realtime full quality is always a strain for most programs of this sort - video and audio - when exceptional compute-intensive plugins are used.
I know that mixing is intuitive and that you mix into what you hear but the sound with the clean kernels and the distortions will be very similar right? We will be just missing a little bit of distortion due to the harmonics right? Not enough to drastically change the mix? Opinions please
Last edited by Henry Olonga on Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
When we look at some of the 'charts' of, say, an equalizer, showing its shape in one graph, and its harmonic content in another ...
If knocking down the kernals to 'clean' also results in the turning off of the harmonic content ... then I would think the relationship between 'work mode' and 'render mode' could/would be quite different ... level and sonic wise.
Just to keep it confusing ... I see that certain libraries come with a 'special' patch, which I thought was to be akin to an 'econ-mode' type of patch ... honestly, I've not tried them in a long time. I know I can't offer any brilliant solution on the issue ... Since I've updated to the 'server' version [still running on 1 machine], I seem to be able to run more instances ... but I always am aware the edge is closer
Thanks for your input. I guess for me the last hurdle I have to cross is how to get nebula to play as nice as my other plugins without dragging my system to its knees. It is too good to not use but modifies my workflow too much to simply enjoy it.
Did a quick subjective test clean vs full and the differences were there but not enough to stop me working. Will keep trying to go this route - it shows promise but a way to go yet. Would be good to hear of possible compromises from the experts. Kind regards. H
Edit - Friday. With an Alexb console all kernels enabled on my server one of my eights cores has 35 % usage . ( Using FX-teleport by the way ) by going clean - my one core uses 14 % . That is quite a power saving if it allows smooth editing and then turn the Kernels on for render. I am going to keep testing this to see how I go.
Edit - Saturday.Working on a mix today that I have had in mind to do for months. SO FAR SO GOOD. For the first time in my life I can mix in realtime in Sonar X1 without having to bounce. Details coming soon.Anyway - for the curious - this is my setup.
All my work is at 96 khz so I am pushing the limits. Systems
Sonar X1c build 319 Windows 7 64 bit versions Two 3 Ghz intel Xeon workstations. Dual CPUs(Cloverton CPU) 16 cores total with server. Total power comparable to the top of the line very expensive Dual CPU Intel Xeon server today. Networked together with 3 Gigabit lan cables ( 3 ports teamed by using Link Aggregation through an HP procurve 1810G-8 - gives more bandwith ) 16 GBs RAM each 4 TC Electronic powercore cards - Two powercore express cards and two PCI-X. VERY STABLE - the firewire was a waste of time for me.
Using server version of Nebula. All 3 versions of Nebula set to Clean in master page. No Harmonics set. ( I will change this setting once I have finished mixing to full and then bounce ). I would need to do this in the three plugin DLLs I have. The local reverb, local compressor version ( I use this to run eqs and other non long tail libraries and finally the server version )
Edit - Saturday afternoon. Finally finished going through various settings. . Hallelujah!!!!! So far so good!!!! I think this may be the way to go for me. I can finally do this thing without bouncing. It means I can get a little more than double the instances with this setup on the server.
I am mixing with other cpu hungry plugins as well which helps with the core balancing such as Q-clone, VSL Panner, Valhalla stuff, Waves, L*****n and many powercore plugins.
The powercore stuff is amazing as the quality is excellent with very little cpu strain so it allows me to balance my mixes without relying too heavily on Nebula for everything. It also allows more cpu to be allocated to Nebula if you get my drift. For example the filters of the S****x eq are on lots of stuff and the reverbs are great. I know that they are not being developed anymore but they are incredible value for mixing now in a hybrid way where everything is moving to Native. Ebay sees some cards going for like just over a hundred bucks now and some have nice plugin licenses too boot.
For the first time in a while I am not pulling my hair out over the joys of using nebula. I have mentioned in another thread about the poor core balancing of the server. One core loads more than the others and leads to crackling way before the system is heavily taxed. Will watch that as the mix builds up. Also not really happy with the local CPU usage when using the server version. I am supposed to be saving power and it seems a minimal setting. FX teleport uses so much less power so perhaps some more optimization of the server version can happen. Love the fact that the GUI is local however. Great job Gaincarlo.
Assuming this works, why hasn't someone thought of this before? If it works fine Giancarlo - how about a button on the front end of Nebula that with one click turns the plugin into Clean mode in the master settings and then when it is time to render we can just click it, restart the project and off we go to the bounce? Unless of course that is what the Econo mode is for. Not sure on that one.
Edit - Saturday evening . Lots of intermittent dropouts piling up once I add more than five Server plugs. Not a deal breaker as I still have plenty of power on the main machine. Decided that I will use the server machine for all buss work. Seems to hit my local CPU the most if I put one one the master out for example..
Last edited by Henry Olonga on Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Edit Sunday morning - late at night. Well guys I am pleased to say that this little experiment worked. I was able to get from the start of my mix to its conclusion without dealing with the usual issues surrounding needing a little more power. The mix sounds stellar and I am absolutely over the moon!!!:D
Working at 24 bit 96 khz the server running at about 20% CPU and the main machine running at 54 % beautifully balanced on the cores.
4 Nebulas on the server - doing all the buss work. Tape booster, R2R and some drums.20 % Total CPU.
4 Powercore cards loaded. Out of 4 cards 1 is free.
7 Nebulas Non-reverb on main machine doing eq and console duties.
So not a lot going on but I had previously bounced down most of the instruments via Nebula. 29 Channels in total and managed to even run in realtime as a trial.
Haven't reached the limits yet but not far off. I am sure mixing at full res would have been tricky all the same. It was so much more responsive with the master setting on clean.
So what was the difference? Well with all the kernels initiated the whole song just gelled a whole lot more and was obviously warmer and deeper. My Mix decisions were intact.
Will try Monday with FX teleport which uses up more of my server cpu without the core issue.
Last edited by Henry Olonga on Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Monday evening update. Finally migrated my project across to Reaper and guess what - it is soooooooooo much better with Nebula. 24 tracks going here at 96 Khz. Using it with FX teleport and my server has 13 Nebulas loaded. Total CPU is twenty percent and the cores are balanced beautifully. Powercores have 9 chips free. Local CPU is 30 % and there is not a glitch.
In theory I could run 60 instances of Nebula with my server alone in clean mode. WOW. Practice may prove a little less but WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!!!!
Goodbye Sonar. Never again when it comes to final mixing. Smooth editing and boy is Reaper snappy.
Okay I am done testing now. Conclusions.If you want realtime performance with Nebula then these are my suggestions. Don't try and mix at full resolution in realtime unless you have a super computer.
Try using Reaper - the snappy editing and the core balancing with glitch free playback makes other daws seem rubbish. To increase the available DSP power for nebula us FX teleport, reamote, VSL Ensemble pro or the server version from Acustica. Add one instance of the server plugin and set it to Clean only in the master page ( Kernels ). Do the same for any local plugins. Restart project. You can find your own middle ground for this. Some may get away with mixing with three kernels for example.YMMV based on how powerful your computer is. Mix in Realtime to your hearts content. Trust me - you probably won't run out of power any time soon if your server is as powerful as your main computer.
Once finished mixing, Set one instance of the server plugin and any local plugins to Full Resolution in the master page of Nebula - Kernels setting is 10 ( 9th harmonic ). Restart the project and render. Figure out if you are happy - bear in mind that the render with harmonics will sound somewhat smoother, fuller and more 3D etc so when making mix buss plugin decisions bear that in mind.
Job done. See ya
Last edited by Henry Olonga on Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
h-man wrote:Reaper is soooooooooo much better with Nebula.
Man, please don't say that!! Now seriously, I'm kind of annoyed about how Samplitude deals with Nebula, so I think I'll have to learn the Reaper basics... Learning another DAW is one thing I don't want to (I'm getting old!), but everyone is talking so nice about Reaper...
Been hesitating to make the move myself. Have used Sonar since 1999. The changes they put into Sonar X1 meant I was almost learning a new DAW. So I have just concluded I may as well learn Reaper. Had a licensed copy for a few years and upgraded every time but never had the incentive for the big move. Now that I have seen the power - there is no going back. For mixing I mean. Sonar is still easier for me when it comes to editing midi.