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Re: Nebula Compressors

Postby SWAN » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:38 pm

ngarjuna wrote:
SWAN wrote:if this helps/stops the problem should it not be implemented into the program?

This is a potential problem with the kind of wild west situation we have with the current "let's tweak the hell out of Nebula" mentality


good post thanks. I agree and would really like to get an impression of Nebula compressors under optimized conditions - whatever they may be.

In terms of it being a 'wild west' - Im not sure...I dont see any bandits around - just trying to get clarity in operation of the programs - and best performance.

The idea that the user needs to handle this great responsibility is a little unfair IMO - because the documentation and instruction is quite obscure and often buried in retrospective forum posts. I also dont think its a question of AA support. If there are specific settings and tweaks that can be made per program - surely it is the responsibility of the developer who sells the program - to give tips for optimal use to get the best out of it?

It just seems crazy to release and sell a program with knowledge that many users will not understand how to get the best out of it.

...if the transient response can be improved - surely that is a key tweak that should be public knowledge with clear instruction...
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Re: Nebula Compressors

Postby ngarjuna » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:49 pm

SWAN wrote:good post thanks. I agree and would really like to get an impression of Nebula compressors under optimized conditions - whatever they may be.

However the idea that the user needs to handle this great responsibility is a little unfair IMO - because the documentation and instruction is quite obscure. I also dont think its a question of AA support. If there are specific settings and tweaks that can be made per program - surely it is the responsibility of the developer who sells the program - to give tips for optimal use to get the best out of it?

It just seems crazy to release and sell a program with knowledge that many users will not understand how to get the best out of it.

...if the transient response can be improved - surely that is a key tweak that should be public knowledge with clear instruction...

Right, but the point I was trying to make is: Nebula comes optimized already. Every "essential" tweak that users perform in the background, that's not the way the program was designed to be used; it's no longer optimized for the best possible compromise between the various oft-discussed limitations that come with using Nebula.

You do have such an option to tweak further (to your own specification) but the fact is none of that is intended to happen for average customers; Giancarlo et al do NOT expect the user to perform this kind of optimization per program; nor do the developers selling these libraries (unless they specify in their manuals, and I've yet to see a manual which encourages TIMED tweaking). The fact that some of these tweaks have risen amongst some users to the level of "requirement" is something that happened in the user base; it was never recommended by A-A nor would they encourage it; it is, in fact, kind of them to support it to the degree that they do (providing advice and information for using their plugin in a variety of non-standardized ways). But to suggest that they haven't gone far enough to support what are effectively unsupported uses of their product is a bit off base.

So I maintain: before we begin this discussion about the limitation of compression in Nebula yet again (and yes, it has limitations for sure), maybe we should make sure everyone is using them the way they were designed to be used and not introducing any further problems into the setup with tweaks and variables.
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Re: Nebula Compressors

Postby highvoltage » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:08 pm

I can assure everyone , that for these tests, i have used the default settings that nebula AND the programs come with. And anyone can do them on their own, maybe only my Nebula works this way. :P

Sure i made tests with tweaked programs and settings, but none of those helped the uneven transient response on fast attacks. With every tweak i gained something and lost an other thing.


Enrique wrote:Did you try to add more look ahead time in Nebula and in the emulation preset or 0 latency limiting or both at the same time?


I think i tried look ahead, but will do further testing.

Im not sure what 0 latency timing is??
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Re: Nebula Compressors

Postby SWAN » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:17 pm

highvoltage wrote: none of those helped the uneven transient response on fast attacks.


just to clarify - did you see the uneven attacks on longer attack also...? I dont have the programs to test and am away from the studio so....

Nebula comes optimized already. Every "essential" tweak that users perform in the background, that's not the way the program was designed to be used;


Well - from what Ive read it appears that Nebula comes set-up for generalised usage. It appears there are different uses/processes Nebula can do - so that the standard settings are as you say - a compromise. A sensible one at that. I understand the TIMED and SPLIT compromise which I think you are referring to. ngarjuna this thread is not intended to be an attack on Nebula - merely Im trying to demystify its approach to compression to understand it better, and get some feedback on the recent programs. This is so I can make an informed decision on my studio purchases. You appear to be launching a defence of AA when I dont think anyone is attacking-just observing and discussing.

"
But to suggest that they haven't gone far enough to support what are effectively unsupported uses of their product is a bit off base."


The only suggestion I have made is that if there are tweaks that can improve things like the transient response on compressors (on a per program basis) - then perhaps the developers should be advising on those tweaks.

I am trying to get the best result and get into these programs - it sounds like your message is "we all know the limitations just use it or shut up".

With regards to compressors which is what this thread is about Enrique already suggested a tweak to the look-ahead so I dont think any of this discussion, which is intended to be a neutral investigation, is off base so far...I for one am interested in what difference these tweaks make...
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Re: Nebula Compressors

Postby highvoltage » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:24 pm

With longer attacks, youre generally in a somewhat safe zone. But there will always be artifacts that you can see on my pictures, the attack shape has very awkward spikes and whatnots, maybe most of the times thats not really audible, but whats REALLY audible, is when it misses and hits some of the fast attacks. Look ahead doesn't help that at all.
It's just the way the engine works, it processes blocks of audio, and those block's sizes depend on the program rate (as far as i understand) So if your attack time is getting closer to the size of the blocks, all hell breaks loose. And that block size happens to be the same as a very fast compressors attack time. Like under 2ms.

As im writing this, im making other tests, now with real audio samples. So far i had more trouble getting an even attack response from a kick drum, than from a snare.
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Re: Nebula Compressors

Postby SWAN » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:06 pm

highvoltage wrote:With longer attacks, youre generally in a somewhat safe zone. But there will always be artifacts that you can see on my pictures, the attack shape has very awkward spikes and whatnots, maybe most of the times thats not really audible, but whats REALLY audible, is when it misses and hits some of the fast attacks. Look ahead doesn't help that at all.
It's just the way the engine works, it processes blocks of audio, and those block's sizes depend on the program rate (as far as i understand) So if your attack time is getting closer to the size of the blocks, all hell breaks loose. And that block size happens to be the same as a very fast compressors attack time. Like under 2ms.

As im writing this, im making other tests, now with real audio samples. So far i had more trouble getting an even attack response from a kick drum, than from a snare.


thanks - yes I think as you explain it it makes sense. I had not realised Nebula worked with blocks of samples which is based on the prog rate...according to this understanding - there will always be a variable in the point at which the compression starts - according to the point at which the prog rate occurs...how much this affects in the real world is the important consideration. For example I remember well a waveform from both a Lin Drum and 909 hi hat where you can see clearly differences in the hat waveform transients due to the analogue nature of sound production...even tho the hats sound the 'same' the small variation was there. Actually those slight differences in analogue transients are what makes the sounds more listenable-so perfection not necessarily required....!
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Re: Nebula Compressors

Postby highvoltage » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:35 pm

Here is what happens on a kick drum transient.
White is 4KD 6dB reduction 3ms attack *(which is more like 8-10ms)

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/634580/pic/Com ... apture.Gif


And a snare:

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/634580/pic/Com ... %204KD.Gif

Interestingly enough, the kick drum artifacts were clearly audible, while i couldn't really hear problems with the snare despite the strange visible behaviour.

(red is Glue for reference, with matched settings)
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Re: Nebula Compressors

Postby SWAN » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:27 pm

highvoltage wrote:Here is what happens on a kick drum transient.
White is 4KD 6dB reduction 3ms attack *(which is more like 8-10ms)

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/634580/pic/Com ... apture.Gif


And a snare:

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/634580/pic/Com ... %204KD.Gif

Interestingly enough, the kick drum artifacts were clearly audible, while i couldn't really hear problems with the snare despite the strange visible behaviour.

(red is Glue for reference, with matched settings)


very cool with the animated gifs...

when you say 3ms=10ms is that referring to an idiosyncrasy of the S*L bus comp labelling?

Its those peaks that occasionally arise that might be problematic...and if it sounds noticeably different...

Id be curious to see how it with 10 or 30ms attack...
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Re: Nebula Compressors

Postby highvoltage » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:07 pm

Ok, this is my last picture, cause im really tired of this :D
Its a 15ms attack on the 4KD channel compressor. Its actually more close to 30ms on a graph. Around 6-7dB of reduction happening, which is i think a pretty reasonable need (especially on an S*L)

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/634580/pic/Com ... around.jpg

You can see 3 BARS of [kick, kick, snare, Hh] i marked the same hits with a coloured symbol. The levels are jumping 3-4dB. Now this can be very hard to hear, cause your ear cant respond that fast to transients, but it's there.
And this behavior is quite the opposite to what a compressor is made for. To EVEN out levels.

Just my 432 cents.

I still say use what sounds good to you. Personally Im staying away from nebula compressors for serious duty.

But i think this is the reason people recommend using a good algo compressor for the actual gain reduction, and adding nebula before or after just doing its thing: adding a sweet tone.
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Re: Nebula Compressors

Postby SWAN » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:23 am

thanks for the graphs highvoltage...very helpful...
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