Looking at the screencap above you can see I'm hitting the PAD IN really hard, and leaving the input knob really low so that I can get more harmonic distortion going than normal, I don't know how to keep programs the same (return to default load when I reload a program) so I'm thinking I can mess with the PAD IN and PAD OUT to adjust gain staging going in and out of Neb3Pro Rev vst. Am I in effect gettting the same thing as pushing the input knob on the left as I am with upping the PAD IN? Or is PAD IN doing something Totally different? I'm thinking if I gain PAD IN I'll get more harmonic content just as pushing the input knob. And I'm also thinking if I hit the input knob after slamming PAD IN I'll drive Neb3 to a point of unusable distortion. Is this correct or should I just use the input knob, and not worry about the factory settings of 3rd party libs such as RASS AlexB etc . . .
Also I am hitting Neb3Pro at -18dbFS no matter what source I'm using. Is this good practice or should I be hitting Neb3Pro at -18dbVU (meaning RMS level) or should I transparently compress going into Neb3Pro to get -18dbFS continual peak while keeping a sense of dynamic range, or again -18dbVU? Thanks a lot guys
I'm no expert but I am fairly sure that the pad in does the same thing as the regular input slider, so by raising one and lowering the other you are not getting anywhere. +35db seems like a pretty huge increase. I would guess with a pad in that high and the main input set to 0db, with any program you are probably going to get unrealistic distortion with most typical inputs.
Driving the input to high levels may or may not produce an effect that sounds good on whatever you are processing, even if it isn't accurate to the hardware anymore. The main thing to be worried about is the 'over' indicator going off/lighting up. If that happens, then Nebula will hardclip the signal. All you need to do in this case is lower the pad out or output slider until that quits lighting up. You can slam the input all you want, but just make sure to drop the output so you don't get the 'over' to light up.
As far as 3rd party factory settings, they are set the way they are for a reason. You can change them, but if you want to save your new setting, you should save it to a new program instead of over-writing the original.
Thanks cup and enrique. Between you two I think I have the question answered. Seems like PAD IN and input knob are one in the same. As far as some programs go they are insanely low so I have to gain them or send a signal WAY over -30dbfs or -18dbfs. Usually somewhere in the ballpark of -2dbfs to get a useable signal or overload the signal going into nebula just to get level. One prime example is Hi Lo Boost from the RASS library from CDMastersound. Other than that I think I've got it.
Hey Larry yea they are basically the same. With the pad though, dev's can set a sort of "trim" so to speak for a particular program so that it's basically close to "0" when first instatiated. This helps then creates a workable range of plus and minus for the input and output faders/knobs on the GUI. Makes life easier and more sensible for the operator really.
The idea about PAD I/O is to setup a EP with the same I/O levels. When a 3rd developer create a library they don't sample at -0.01 dBFS, so some times the created EP new some extra dBs for reach same I/O levels with I/O Nebula sliders at 0.
So in NAT or in a sequence if you send a 1 kHz pure sine tone at -0.3 dBFS to Nebula you should get -0.3 dBFS in the output with I/O sliders at 0. In addition if you send a 1 kHz pure sine tone at -18 dBFS (Europe standard) or -20 dBFS (America standard) you receive the same level in the output.
In conclusion Nebula sliders are for users and PAD I/O for developers, but if you find that a emulation preset were created without using the -18 dBFS/-20 dBFS standard the correct way to fix it is editing PAD I/O. This is a this is a common fault into an EPs created by NAT users.
An important reminder is that almost every pro audio gear has more than +18 dBVU headroom (0.00 dBFS) but at that levels saturation plus compression occurs, Nebula/NAT can not sample and model this behavior at once emulation preset due dynamic model and compression models needs different sampling approach that's is the reason that CDSM release Tape Booster +.
Other important reminder is 0 dBVU = -18/20 dBFS on the recording, editing and mixing stage but in pre mastering stage level is boosted to get peaks at -0.03 dBFS and about -14 to -6 dBFS of RMS level. Obviously a lot of sound technician are not agree with that an the try to use K standard instead to destroy the audio signal with brickwall limitation.
Other important reminder you should work at -18/20 dBFS RMS value but depending the type of audio source you can have a more or less peak value, normally is about a -12 to -8 dBFS but that can change from a voice to a rock guitar, so use peak level normalization has no sense, you should use RMS level normalization.
I'm attaching a SS from a TV spot that we record at location, is a fake press conference with only one spoken voice. I add +3 dB to get the correct RMS value +/- -18 dBFS RMS and the maximun peak value is -8 dBFS.
VoiceTVSpot.jpg (138.67 KiB) Viewed 1328 times
Enrique Silveti. Acustica Audio customer and technical support.