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Nebula vs Hardware EQs - any tests?

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Nebula vs Hardware EQs - any tests?

Postby SWAN » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:01 pm

Ive become interested in buying hardware EQ again - but Im wondering if it is really necessary...or maybe its in my head. I tend to think for bigger gain adjustments hardware grabs and shapes the sound better. Also bass seems more solid, and you need a smaller change to get the required result. Am I dreaming?

Has anybody done A/B testing here?
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Re: Nebula vs Hardware EQs - any tests?

Postby Mercado_Negro » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:16 pm

I had the opportunity to mix an album about a year ago with some A*I, UA, Siemens and N**e stuff (I've done some random mixes here and there in this very same studio after that), and the ones that really impressed me when I compared them were AlexB VBeQ and CDSoundMaster Siemens W295B. AlexB's Neves sounded a bit thin to me but very coloured, just liked the hardware (I used a vintage 1073 and 1084 in that album). If I could find a Siemens W295B... or 3, 4 or them, here in Vzla, I'll buy them for sure: best hi-shelf ever. I mean, there are good hi-shelves out there, we have the acqua W735EQ, the Doc Fear, even the Mammoth (though I don't like its "silky" sound, that color is my not style), but the frikkin' W295B IS my favorite hands down. I think I haven't used any other hi-shelf in Nebula for the past year or so. The VBeQ low end is awesome, you just need to load it to get that nice warm and color on the bottom end; I even used it without moving anything, flat. I love its LFp band. This is another EQ I'd buy if I could find it here for a reasonable price (550A). Now, the question is, if I had a more powerful computer, you know, like those big dual processors servers with tons of juice, would I still buy them if I find them for a reasonable price? No, I won't, Nebula's EQs ARE the HW, in my opinion.
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Re: Nebula vs Hardware EQs - any tests?

Postby dacaveprods » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:31 am

Yep...That's Correct!
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Re: Nebula vs Hardware EQs - any tests?

Postby SWAN » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:59 am

interesting thanks Mercado. So you mean the Alex B N**e libs sounded thinner than the real hardware?
I will have to look at the VBEQ...I was considering the MWEQ due to its functionality...

Do you use Alex B libs @ 96k?
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Re: Nebula vs Hardware EQs - any tests?

Postby Mercado_Negro » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:25 am

SWAN wrote:interesting thanks Mercado. So you mean the Alex B N**e libs sounded thinner than the real hardware?
I will have to look at the VBEQ...I was considering the MWEQ due to its functionality...

Do you use Alex B libs @ 96k?


Yeah, AlexB's Neves have that magical punch that's so hard to find in the digital world but they lack "body". It's not dramatic, though, just a bit but noticeable. The N**e stuff I've used has more of that when they're not driven so it's possible to maintain a solid low end if you're conservative with levels. AlexB's Neves sound like "driven" Neves, so to speak. I never liked the MWeQ, it has a very particular sound that doesn't fit my style, just like the Mammoth, too "silky" for me. Now, the VBeQ is something else, I love that EQ. It sounds "solid, tight and focused".

Yeah, I mix at 96kHz with all libraries, it doesn't matter if they're 44.1kHz. Even after Nebula's SRC I consider them all way above the rest of the algo plug-ins (and man, I've tried so hard to find replacements for Nebula's EQs and up to this point I've failed miserably). Long story short: it doesn't matter what sample rate you're using with Nebula, these EQ's will always sound better than the competition so don't worry.

Btw, I had high hopes with the Maag plug-in... :( it pales in front of the Siemens W295B. It's the best hi-shelf in algo plug-ins, though (a notch above NobleQ's, in my opinion).

I can finish great mixes without Nebula's consoles/preamps/tapes... but it's impossible for me to get a "perfect" mix without its EQ's.
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Re: Nebula vs Hardware EQs - any tests?

Postby dpclarkson » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:36 am

I did a test a while ago with a BAE 1084 and CDSM's N**e 1084.
The Brent sounded just slightly thicker and it grabbed the transients
also slightly better.
Other than that, the difference was incredibly minimal, but all the
'mojo' is definitely there!
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Re: Nebula vs Hardware EQs - any tests?

Postby RJHollins » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:07 am

Ok Mercado !!! You sold me on the Siemens W295B :twisted:

Somehow, this one slipped through ... so THANKS for
reminding me to push that PayPal button.
:lol:

Sincerely.
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Re: Nebula vs Hardware EQs - any tests?

Postby yr » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:19 pm

@SWAN- I can remember 2 comparisons that were posted online: Henry (h-man) had some RND/Nebula (& Steinberg) guitar tracks, and there were some HW/Nebula MP3's for the Cooltec on Michael's website. The files are probably still available.
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Re: Nebula vs Hardware EQs - any tests?

Postby SWAN » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:29 pm

thanks all for the input.

Interesting comment about the BAE comparison. I wonder how close they were. One thing that a lot of people seem to report about ITB EQ vs outboard is this grab aspect - which is important when it comes to mixing drums...I will have to seek out the H-Man audio samples...

I shall also have to look at the Seimens!

The issue I have with the A*I style EQ is their restricted Freq ranges-at least in the low end. I have the Alex B S*L EQ which is cool for the low end tho...

Mercado - have you ever done a A/B mix 44.1 vs 96k?
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Re: Nebula vs Hardware EQs - any tests?

Postby dpclarkson » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:40 pm

One thing that a lot of people seem to report about ITB EQ vs outboard is this grab aspect - which is important when it comes to mixing drums...


I shouldn't worry about it; regarding drums, I think phase is
far more important than a certain piece of hardware/software grabbing
the transients slightly better than the other.
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