finally i figuered it out how to build whole hardware like units with multiple nebulas, store them and even give it an allmost acurate gui!!!
yesterday i finished my first one and it wasn't quite the simplest device one could think of for such an undertaking: the modern S*L eq from alexb. it's not simple because i wanted the exact hardware with the bell-switches and two widerange mid-bands instead of 3 smallrange mid-bands as alexb provides them.
i used mainly 2 software for that. first, plogue bidule and second ni reaktor. bidule can run as a plugin and host multiple nebula instances at the same time, which is important at this point. bidule also provides enough tools to configure the behavour of the nebulas through manipulation of the midi signalpath. reaktor is used for the gui. i made an instance which looks like the hardware unit where every knob and every button is just sending midi data to control the right parameter within the right nebula.
it works awsome!! the cpu load will be quite high caused by the 12 nebula instances. it also requires a huge loading time. but once loaded, it feels like you just got the hardware! it's so much better to work, because you can just try every knob without delay and interruption to find the sweetspot for the track. because of the high cpu load, the work procedure will be like adjusting the first track, render or freeze it, adjusting the second track, render or freeze it and so on. as you see, it's not all perfekt, but it gives you an alternative to the also not perfekt "normal" nebula workflow. i prefer this one for sure, because it leads in my case to much better results, in general it's certainly a matter of taste.
if enough people here are interested in such racks, i'll think about to give them away for a small fee of money. not free, because it may need a lot of support which i can't give for free. i'd also think about developping a vst plugin for the gui part to get rid of reaktor. you then only have to get a copy of plogue bidule which is free at the moment, but will cost 95$ for the early bird and the later lite license. at this point i can't tell what the full price will be and if it'l be required after all. may i find a cheaper solution to replace bidule in the future, but at this time it's the only stable solution so far.
let me know, if you are interested. the more positive feedback i get, the sooner i'll start and the cheaper my price will be
i did quite a bit of research to get this working well. i tried every "host"-plugin i could find. namely vstforx, vstboard, ddmf metaplugin, acon digital chainer, the vsl host, the xlutop chainer and of course bidule. when it comes to making a unified gui, bidule is the only solution that provides all the tools one would need for that. for exemple you'll get the following problem: assuming you want to make a two band eq out of two nebula instances, both having the gain parameter on slider 1. to control the two gain's independently, you'll need to give them different midi controler. but the midicontroler on a nebula slider will be always the same as long as the instances share the same xml file. that's why there must be possibilities to remap midi controller. farther i like to be able to switch between instances for example to change a bell into a shelf eq band. or to change a compressors ratio. this also works best with bidule, so bidule is the way to go. during the testing, bidule also seamed to be the most stable software. others crashed after loading more than 5 instances of nebula, bidule didn't.
but i'm still looking for a decent solution to create the guis. synthedit would be just perfect, but i hate this awful hand appearing instead of the mouse arrow
another possible way i just realized, is to develop a specific nebula wrapper with the juce framework. that would mean that i have to license juce and learn c++. the main benefit would be that you just have to have this wrapper and no bidule. the installation would be simpler as well. a perfect solution. but its a long way to go.
of course, that's very important! the bad thing on bidule is, that you have to measure the resulting delay and then manually define it for the setup. but i think because of the lack of automatic delay compensation bidule is so stable compared to the other software. however, if i'd give away such bidule-presets, i had to deliver also a predefined vst-folder for the use with bidule where i have to define the nebulas xml files regarding the latency and the midi-controlers. otherwise the delay compensation of the presets would be wrong and/or the gui wouldn't work well.