enigma2win wrote:So, one last question for all you nebulaholics:
When mixing with these consoles, whats the best way to mix?
Ill give u an example of a mixing situation:
1 bassline 1 synth 1 kick
a) should I mix their volumes by using nebula input control and not exceeding -18RMS in either track? What I mean is lets say id put kick at -!8RMS, bassline at -19RMS and synth at -21RMS
b) Put everything at 18RMS with nebula input control and use DAW volume mixer to set volume of each track?
I am assuming that you will get equal numbers of answers from both sides, so I'll treat it as a loose survey and be the first response: I personally try to hit the Nebula presets at the optimum level to make it sound best for that specific application (not always -18db, whatever sounds best to me) and adjust the actual final levl with the DAW fader. If the Nebula preset had other fx (Nebula or algo) after it, I may also use the Nebula output fader to adjust the outgoing levels so it hits the next plug at it's own optimum level, much like working with an all hardware set-up.
enigma2win, do you really have to post the same question in 2 threads? C'mon man!
Richie43 nailed my thoughts exactly. Bottom line is the sound, always. If you pushed everything to -18db, well first, it wouldn't be that way in the analog realm or any mixing realm, second, it wouldn't sound as good (most likely wouldn't anyway, no one I know drives EVERYTHING to the max... but different strokes), and third, it creates another step for you in your mixing process that has no benefits in terms of time, sound, or practicality.
Sorry, thought my post didnt go through on the other thread, internet was being a bit gay. And yea thats what i thought, i should treat the -18rms as i would treat the 0db on my DAW. Like for example if in my DAW i mix in -6db my kick and -10db my bass, than in Nebula i should do the same, but without exceeding the -18rms mark ever. Is that what ur trying to say?
enigma2win wrote:Sorry, thought my post didnt go through on the other thread, internet was being a bit gay. And yea thats what i thought, i should treat the -18rms as i would treat the 0db on my DAW. Like for example if in my DAW i mix in -6db my kick and -10db my bass, than in Nebula i should do the same, but without exceeding the -18rms mark ever. Is that what ur trying to say?
Nope ... or at least, not maybe
It's all about 'head room' ... to start.
Based on the sound source, if you hit your 'PEAK' meters ~ -6dB, this [may] put your RMS levels around -18dB. It very much depends upon the nature of the sound. i.e.: a Snare drum and a Fender Rhodes can have very different 'looks' when comparing 'PEAK'/RMS levels.
First things first. We are narrowing the topic to get an initial understanding of 'levels' and gain staging.
It's been suggested to insert a dedicated VU meter plug to help visualize this. [The Klang ... something] is the best one I've been made aware of. [and it's cheap]. When set to reference -18dB = 0 dB you can easily gauge your levels.
Remember ... 'proper' gain-staging states 'what goes IN is what goes out. [related to the mis-used term 'Unity Gain' - which has many application relevances.
OPTIMAL GAIN structure is hitting a unit at 'best' specs.
Once comfortable with 'optimal' results, then the skills to push or pull into a unit become much more understood and repeatable ... because 'optimal' is a known. [knowing when to slam a drum track to tape [or not] is understanding how to set optimal levels.
This has to be a personal learning experience as not too often is someone going to be looking over your shoulder and keeping watch. Some feel that they have mastered every concept in less than 5 minutes.
From the original posters question ... put the notion that there are 'No Rules' out the window. Remember ... EVERYBODY was a beginner ... in the beginning. Nothing to be embarrassed about ... but something definitive to learn as early in the process as possible. Chasing tail is fine ... you'll appreciate the learned concepts afterwords. Unless you are just hoping or guessing to get it right.
When all said and done ... the 'understanding' will expand the [so called] RULES ...
This is in fact a tricky question. Even if Nebula is reproducing the analog sound, it has no way the same workflow. In a console, the "sweet spot" (ie the level at which you get the best sound) includes the channel strips, the subs and the master section. You can't change this configuration and you learn to hear how it sounds days after days.
In Nebula, you may insert only the "input" color (not on every track, a different program on each track if you want,...) and/or the master section. You may have infinite configuration making the learning process very long. All this to say that what is natural on an analog console (find the levels at which it sounds) is way more difficult in Nebula as it goes thru an intellectual process of understanding what we do instead of simply listening. For me "Less brain, More emotion".
Now, for the Console input emulation, I consider an input program (like AlexB CLC Input) as a whole channel strip. Thus, I try to hit it at the right level (-18dBFs is the nominal level and always a good start). The fader in the DAW has no color, no problem of sweet spot. It's like a perfect fader at the Channel strip's output. You use it to make your mix. Tweaking the levels at the input of the channel emulations would be like mixing with the gain knob on a console !
The problem is the same for the master section. You should always watch after the input level in your master emulation, like in an analogue console. Here, the DAW's master fader is almost useless. It may be set to 0dB as the final level of the track is always set during the mastering process. Hope this helps. Cheers
Ok so after reading everything, I kind of got some things and other kind of confused me...
So here is a simple question to probably solve these minor confusions Im having...
The -18dbfs = 0 VU , is like saying:
In the digital domain 0 DB is the max u can go. In the analog domain (or nebula consoles) -18dbfs is the maximum u can go.
So, if this is correct, then basically when mixing with the consoles, I should use a VU meter and mix everything so that each individual track doesnt exceed -18dbfs? And what I mean by this is, when mixing a track, lets say I start with my Kick at -3 VU, and then i mix my bass at -5 VU, I continue mixing everything and dont let anything surpass 0VU?
Maybe what you meant was, when mixing with consoles, u basically just push the signal of each instrument until it sounds good in the console, without exceeding 0VU... But in this case, how the hell do u know when something sounds good? Like, when mixing with the MLC, I can't really tell a big difference for each individual instrument... BUT, if I mix things like I said in my example before (-3VU kick, -5 VU Bass, etc) I do see a difference in the space nd 3D image of a track... While, if i mix with every single instrument at 0VU and then use my DAW fader, to set levels in the mix for each instrument, everything just sounds kind of boring and stale...