I was talking a bit, in another thread, about the behavior of Nebula when used to run compressor libraries.
I get the feeling that it's 'not quite there' in many peoples view. I'm new to using Nebula for compression and have only just started doing this in the last couple of days with 4KD and MWD from Alexb and the Zodiac from Eric.
To my ears these libraries sound very nice, I have yet to compare them to my waves A*I stuff but I look forward to doing that and will report back on that front.
It seems that the attack part of the compression when using Nebula is the area I would say is weak link. I am very interested to know what you guys make of the compressors and where you think improvements could be made, is it with the Nebula engine itself?
I am loving the newer Nebula compressor libraries. I hardly ever need huge compression, I like to let my music breathe with dynamics, so the slippery attack times are ok with me. But the character and tone from some of these is amazing to me. I have a fairly large collection of some really good vst compressors; Stillwell, URS, PSP, etc (not a Waves fan, BTW), but little by little I am finding myself liking one of the Nebula compressors better. use your ears and trust them. if it sounds good, it's good!
Nebula in general is very good at depth and capturing the smoothness of the analog source. But its yet to sample fast attack times and capture higher levels of compression .I guess the two go hand in hand.
When attack and big gain reduction is sorted in nebula it will be the best in depth compression.
The sound of compressors is awesome. As you said the weak link here is the attack and signals with strong transients like basses or kicks.
I think the 4KD is one of the best sounding compressor so far but the true sleeping monster is "Draw Her" by TrascendingMusic. I recently re-discovered it while mixing a song and it was the only compressor who maintained the low-end intact and it actually could handle high gain reductions amount without destroying transients. I don't know how Bob did it but it behaves much better than the rest. The good thing about this compressor is its versatility: no threshold but compression based on input levels where everything changes depending on the knee used (you can go from smooth/soft compression at low knees levels to "steady" rock-solid compression at higher values). In my opinion this is like the CLeQ by AlexB or the R2R by CDSoundMaster, you have to have it! heh It just works on most things you throw it at.
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I'm using 100% Nebula compressors now. I've found that I am using less compression (not less compressors) and getting a better overall result.
I have the following:
4kd (probably my favourite) DME 1968 (another fav') 165a Fate comp Varimu (great for sheen/presence) MC77 Zodiac
R2R + Tapebooster (this is great for compression too)
(update - just bought Eric's 76 stripe compressor and its also very nice. Would also like to add that I have UAD with pretty much all the compressors and I have used many, many, software comps (and a few hardware) over the years and nebula gives me want I want).
Last edited by faun2500 on Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mercado_Negro wrote:I think the 4KD is one of the best sounding compressor so far but the true sleeping monster is "Draw Her" by TrascendingMusic. I recently re-discovered it while mixing a song and it was the only compressor who maintained the low-end intact and it actually could handle high gain reductions amount without destroying transients.
I'm with you on this , i loved this one!
But it wasnt in 96k , if it were it would of been my main compressor!
I am also liking the 4KD very much, I'm going to grab that DrawHer comp and try that out, too.
Compression is very much part of what I am doing at the moment, both for sound design purposes and corrective ones. So, in this case, that fast reaction is really key for me. If you get a chance, please do check out the Waves A*I compressor - it's actually one of the only algo compressors that I have been impressed with for it's bite.
I might try to incorporate the A*I into a dual processing chain with Nebula using Reaper. If I can fudge that initial bite and get out quick enough to let Nebula chew on the rest of the signal then I might just have the best of both worlds.
Last edited by darren on Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I probably use Nebula for about 50% of my compression right now. Not because I don't trust it I just have other VST compressors that are already part of my work flow so I still use them when it seems appropriate. There are also still several classic flavors missing from the Nebula universe (this whole compressor thing being pretty new).
In addition to the 4KD, which as mentioned is very nice, I have gotten a lot of mileage out of the VariMu and the Fate (N2254e).
What people have said about the attack is true; however...I have never heard a VST compressor that handled the clamping of attack better than Nebula either. But Nebula is really, really close in most of the newer developments, certainly closer than the VST emulations those programs have started to replace.
I have a sweet spot for Nebula compression. It took a long time for me to test/figure out it's limitations. Once you understand them it's a very musical tool.
I'll start off with the "cons" There are 2 main areas that it can fall short. *Extreme compression (greater then 15/20db) *Extreme attack times (Less then 2-5ms)
The attack limitation isn't of much concern to me. I rarely if ever use an attack time faster then 10ms. 10-50ms is the "punch spot" for drum transients to pass.
The extreme compression limitation is an issue if I wanted to really slam a buss to all hell (drum bus obliteration). In those cases i'm not going for pristine sound & other tools can do the job better.
Ok the pro's. *Best itb channel compression I've used. Can deliver the real world 1-10db of gain reductions with a response & color that I much prefer over standard digital envelopes. *It comes together in the mix really well. Might be the most important advantage to my ears. *naturally has a 0-20hz (minimum) side-chain rolloff. Do to most physical hardware limitations. This is something I always have to do manually with most digital plugins.
In the end if you treat it as a musical enhancer & use other tools for surgical/brick-wall tasks it's a great combination.
Last edited by rhythminmind on Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.