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NVC-MAMMOTH [virtual controller]

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Re: NVC-MAMMOTH [virtual controller]

Postby RJHollins » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:53 pm

update news ...

I have built FXChains in both METAPlugin and Bidule that have been working really nice.

Using these 'chainers' has eliminated the need for any special REAPER support plugins too.

I have built a special 'support' VST that is used as an 'interlink' in the routing chain that does the MIDI CHANNEL filtering AND also handles the BYPASS routing. Works great.

Working with the NVC-Mammoth has been really nice.

I've made a couple of changes to this unique unit. Some are just GUI enhancements, such as, a INIT indicator that helps to see if a given band is set to INIT [rather than a preset]. Not a big deal generally, but as I start moving quickly through, it helped me to see the preset status.

I've also added a 'MIDI DIS-ABLE' button to this controller.

Since the NVC-Mammoth can expand to handle all 13 NEBULA's [if one wants a full blown NEBULA experience], temporarily allowing the MIDI to be 'Dis-abled' allows for easier configuring by temporarily blocking MIDI messages going out of the NVC as the added NEB modules are brought in.

I'm also trying to improve the 'status' indicators of the 'hidden' sub-modules.

... more to come!
i7-5820k, MSI X99A Plus, 16 GIG Ram, Noctua NH-D14, Win-7 Pro [64-bit], Reaper-64

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Re: NVC-MAMMOTH [virtual controller]

Postby RJHollins » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:50 am

update news ...

The NVC-Mammoth has been getting more attention ... and well deserved.

Test flying the NVC during a recent mastering session, the Mammoth library was indispensable to provide beautiful sonics and shaping.

The power of the NVC to navigate this library within NEBULA is a joy.

Since the re-design of this controller to mirror the operational properties of the hardware, the NVC display is deceiving, because it is NOT limited to only 4 bands and a filter. The library has 13 main presets along with kernel variation that goes beyond the hardware capabilities ... meaning, you would need more than one hardware unit ... but we have all this via NEBULA.

During the last session, I found that the 'stock' M/P layout was all I needed ... so basically 5 Nebulas in the BIDULE chain [4 EQ bands and a FILTER]. If I needed more bands, I just add them to the chain.

As I worked, I found that I wanted to have simple access to the 'hidden' modules at a fundamental area.

First ... because the MAMMOTH flavors the audio even in 'flat' mode, I wanted to be certain of the 'on-line/off-line' status of each module ... and I wanted to quickly control this.

I have add this function to each of the modules. Now, without changing screens, each of the related modules can be hard bypassed at the click of a button.

Similarly .... I have found the EQ IN/OUT feature a very special decision making addition. You know the scenario ... add or cut some EQ gain and things can start to sound more to what you want ... but have you ever added or cut TOO MUCH ... :?: Just bypassing NEBULA is not the best way to A/B check [although that is what to do] ... ideally, rest the 'gain' to zero and compare before and after. Try to do that from Nebula's knob or fader ... no way :roll: Click the eq IN/OUT button available on each module of the NVC. Near instantaneous toggling of the eq in or out. In fact, you can even adjust gain with eq is out and snap the gain back in on the switch. You may very well mack better eq decisions.

But we needed something more, particularly with the hidden eq modules.

Located at the bottom of each module are the available eq bypass switches that are always available and active whether the module is visible or not.

Again, improved work-flow ergonomics means less distractions and interactive decision making and status awarness.

I'm going into rigorous beta with these new features ... that means real-time, real-world testing. I want to be certain they perform flawlessly and intuitively. At the moment that work, but its such a new feature that I catch myself 'playing' with it. Such be the testing process.

One feature that has been great is the 'Calibration' module. I've mentioned this before, but, maintaining proper 'gain staging' that can involve a half dozen or more NEBULA's in a chain, has never been easy. Not that the process is hard ... it's the opening, checking, setting, closing all the windows ... do any other eq changes and you have to re-balance the entire chain.

The chain still must be balanced out ... the sonic improvement can be a pleasant surprise, and sometimes startling. Using the integrated CAL module the entire chain can be unity gain balanced in seconds.

Another point to mention.

A complaint has been setting up the DAW to handle the NVC and the various Nebula.

Each DAW has its' own ways and means ... but we now have a couple of simple solution.

METAPlugin and Plogue Bidule.

I've written a special purpose VST plugin that is both a Midi Channel FILTER... AND ... an audio router [to handle complete by-pass mode]. It has some very nice built-in abilities that transition the 'normal' bypass into a smoothed transition.

Now, for any NVC controlled package it comes down to 2 EFX plugins in your chain.

1. NVC
2. METAPlugin or Bidule

That's it ... save it as a DAW chain, or use the chainer's ability to save templates. Done.

To the 64-bit complaints ... I understand. Nothing I can do about it at this time. If bridging 1 VST-32 plugin [NVC] is to much of a hassle ... then the NVC capabilities are beyond your needs ... still, you should try the demo :P

Just to get a peek ... here's a new screen-shot of the NVC-Mammoth ... doesn't tell you all that much, but give a hint.
Main Screen shot-2.jpg

I post the latest version after further testing.

As always, questions, comments, suggestions are welcomed. Thanks to the new high speed site, this should be nice!

Thanks ... off to play 8-)
i7-5820k, MSI X99A Plus, 16 GIG Ram, Noctua NH-D14, Win-7 Pro [64-bit], Reaper-64

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Re: NVC-MAMMOTH [virtual controller]

Postby richie43 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:38 am

Very exciting news RJ. I apologize for bailing on the testing a few months ago. I am glad that you simplified the chain, this has also made it more usable in ANY DAW, not only Reaper. Nice work! I am emailing you.....
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Re: NVC-MAMMOTH [virtual controller]

Postby RJHollins » Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:41 pm

richie43 wrote:Very exciting news RJ. I apologize for bailing on the testing a few months ago. I am glad that you simplified the chain, this has also made it more usable in ANY DAW, not only Reaper. Nice work! I am emailing you.....

Hi Richie,

No apologies needed from you! 8-)

Those 'early' days were challenging AND time consuming as you well know ... but I know that I learned a lot in programming during all that.

I think the biggest issue that we dealt with ... the one that stopped us in our tracks right out of the gate, was that Master channel of Reaper ... when nothing would work.

I found out the cause ... and it had NOTHING to do with the NVC programming. What I learned is that the Master TRK is just that :? If there is not a 'subordinate' track, there is nothing to be Master of :shock:

That might sound strange at first, but a way to think of it would be things like 'project sample rate'. Although it is a global setting, it is the individual track that gives purpose to the Master.

Anyway ... what I found was, YES ... the NVC controllers CAN live on the Master Trk of Reaper. If that is all there is ... the NVC [or really any plugin that loads configuration data, will just sit there waiting. The moment a NEW track is added [doesn't even need media], the Master trk is now 'active' ... and so is the NVC.

Anyway .... things learned along the way :lol:

As to the NVC-Mammoth ... it has, more or less, become the framework for the 'less than straight-forward' library designs ... including those that could easily fill a screen with controls.

A simple example is an EQ that provides a 'shelf' and a 'peak' as 2 separate presets. Sometimes we'll want both presets available and visible ... but other times, the design might be best as a choice [one or the other]. These are tough decisions, because some libraries allow design layouts that exceed the original hardware accessibility.

There is no way I want to limit my access ... these are controllers that I use all the time. Even on my old quad-core, there is no problem loading up 13 Nebulas to handle the MAMMOTH library with the NVC, and have every option that the library affords. Problem was ... I think this overwhelmed everyone ... not what the NVC was designed for. True, there is some set-up involved, like making a custom Neb with Zab's SetUp app. Need to set the MIDI controllers numbers in the main XML file [but that is a ONE TIME edit]. Reaper routing was needed ... but again, once the concept was seen, it only takes a few minutes in do. Once a chain is saved, the setting up is already done.

The big thing was BIDULE, and the updates to METAPlugin ... ALSO the recent updates to NEBULA itself. This has become a real working solution.

With the addition of a very small VST plug I put together, each Nebula can be easily channel isolated and have the routing to handle bypassing.

For my chain, I add the VU meter from Klanghelm between each Nebula ... when it comes time the balance the gain structure, I turn the master volume down, turn the CAL on, the visit each of the VU meters and set them to 0 [the CAL can be configured for any operating level, including the popular -18dB, -14, -12, 0 ... whatever is needed... it really takes only seconds to balance ...

OK ... so I'm a bit biased ... but for anyone NOT to try out the NVC, you just don't know what you are missing ... it's algo controls with the NEBULA advantage.... and then some. I find myself just PLAYING with an equalizer ... because THAT is the way to learn how it works ... when you combine 'interactive' control, you'll do things in a way that the isolated components don't intuitive lend itself too. It's like playing a guitar with the 6 strings separated ... try to play a chord that way :shock: More importantly ... WHY would you ever want to try to work/play that way ... if it was anything other than the Nebula sonics ... it would make no sense [which explains why feeding an algo eq into a NEBULA preset was even considered] ... problem is ... those ALGO's are not transparent nor to they enhance the dimensional aspect ... in fact, they tend to do the opposite ... which is why I chose NEBULA. :roll: BUT ... Nebula came at a cost to my work ... it just took way more time and effort to do things. Yes .... the sonics made it worth the effort ... but, I like to ENJOY while I listen/work.

Anyone that has not demo'd the NVC ... and I mean put it though its' paces can not begin to appreciate how good NEBULA and whatever library can really be.

Maybe the 'young guys/gals' are laughing at the old-timer for not being able to bounce around between a 1/2 dozen Nebula windows and controls and pull a coherent sound strategy together. I can understand ... I'm from the era where both hands were twisting/turning knobs, buttons, dials ... even in the darkest of Control Rooms. :lol: Even though hindered to a single mouse, I can't play an instrument that is separated into isolation. I enjoy it too much to deal with the distraction ... and the wrist was play getting tired opening an closing windows [after I final located the NEB I needed]. :o

Next ... I hook up my hardware controller linked directly to the NVC :mrgreen:

Hey ... this started as a HI to Richie ... but became a message to the Nebula community. Let's hear from you ! :P Some feedback, questions, experiences, comments ... I might be old and cranky, but I try to have a sense of humor about it :lol:

alright ... it's 5:30 am ... off to play with some music tracks and one of the NVC controllers ... even us old guys still study how these tools work and sound. It how we get 'Experienced'.
8-)
i7-5820k, MSI X99A Plus, 16 GIG Ram, Noctua NH-D14, Win-7 Pro [64-bit], Reaper-64

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Re: NVC-MAMMOTH [virtual controller]

Postby lbhms » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:52 pm

Hi, I've been playing with the demo a bit over the weekend. Great work.

I managed after lots of experimentation to get it working fine loading instances of midifilter + nebula into the track mixer in reaper.

I've also got Bidule and have set it up in there but was wondering about PDC as this isn't automatic in Bidule. I'm new to Bidule and have worked out that if you attach all the third outputs (latency) from each nebula instance into the latency compensated bidule output - it appears to do something regarding the timing... But I'm not convinced it's perfect. When I double up with the same audio on a separate track - something happens to the sound which doesn't sound right. Also - using this method - what happens when you bipass a nebula (take it out of the chain) - is the latency output from the nebula instance ignored?? I could of course set the latency compensation manually for howevermany instances of Nebula are chained together - but then what happens if one is bypassed...?

I have done loads of research regarding how Bidule can deal with PDC - but there isn't a lot of useful info out there it seems. So I'm wondering how you are dealing with this (to see if I'm doing it correctly).

If I can suss this out - I'll definitely be buying a licence for the NVC :o) I much prefer the Bidule route as opposed to loading all the Nebula instances and filters on one mixer channel.

Oh - a final thing - Bidule loads VSTs according to their UniqueID number. If I've used nebula setups to create a new Nebula setup just for Mammoth - this stops the Reverb version of Nebula showing up in Bidule. So for future NVC's using their own Nebula setups - is it possible you cannot load the new nebula setups in Bidule due to them all having the same UniqueID???

Sorry for all the questions... :o)

Thanks,
Leon.
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Re: NVC-MAMMOTH [virtual controller]

Postby RJHollins » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:11 pm

Oh - a final thing - Bidule loads VSTs according to their UniqueID number. If I've used nebula setups to create a new Nebula setup just for Mammoth - this stops the Reverb version of Nebula showing up in Bidule. So for future NVC's using their own Nebula setups - is it possible you cannot load the new nebula setups in Bidule due to them all having the same UniqueID???


Yes ... Bidule DOES use the 'UniqueID' method. That did catch me the first time ... it is supposed to be THE standard ... but many don't follow the protocol.

I look closer at Bidule's PDC ... I've read conflicting info on this too.

Back later tonite 8-)
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Re: NVC-MAMMOTH [virtual controller]

Postby lbhms » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:00 pm

Thanks for looking into this.

I'm guessing there is always MetaPlugin when I can afford it - but I liked the Bidule way - as it required only Nebula (it has built in channel filters) - and I'm running 64bit. I did try the demo - and JBridged your MidiFilter plugin - but this didn't work in MetaPlugin - even jbridged - the GUI didn't show up and trying to alter the only parameter using the parameter function didn't work.

I could try the 32 bit Metaplugin and bridge that in Reaper - but then would require Nebula 32bit and the last time I tried that - it deregistered my Nebula64... I'm sure you can have both running ok at once - but alarm bells started ringing when I had to reauthenticate Nebula64 - and I was worried each time I ran a different version of Nebula - it would create a new .ser file and ruin my previous authentication - eek.

Anyway - if all else fails I can load everything into Reapers mixer channel - but this will be annoying if I want to add other plugs to the fx chain...

Regarding the VST UniqueID - is there any way of changing this for each Nebula setup?? I guess it depends how deeply this is encoded into the plugin as to whether it's hackable.

Thanks again.
Leon.
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Re: NVC-MAMMOTH [virtual controller]

Postby RJHollins » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:28 am

Some BIDULE info I found from the Dev:
seb@plogue KVRer


The Bidule Plugin Device (which represents the audio/MIDI I/Os to/from the VST/AU host) comes in 2 different types:

- one where you can specify in textboxes, the latency and tail amounts, any changes to these are reported back to the host

- one which has 2 extra connectors to send the latency and tail values, again with any changes reported back to the host.

Any plugin introducing latency will show up with an extra output with the current latency amount in samples which you can use to build up your own latency compensation using delay lines or send that to the Plugin Device to send to the host. The latency amount output can be used with any operator, meaning that you
could do things like sum the latency for an entire chain, find the maximum between several chains and add delays to all the other chains set to (maximum - current chain latency) so that everything syncs up.

Keep in mind that some hosts do not expect to get latency changes once the plugin is running and expect the plugin to tell the maximum possible latency upon initialization and have the plugin internally delay any cases where the latency is less than the maximum, while other hosts will have no problems dealing with dynamic latency changes.

Sync info from the host is available to any loaded plugin require sync but this needs to be set manually for each plugin (but is saved in the state).


Just getting back in myself ...

As to the Midi Filter utility plug ... I have a new version that I'll try to get posted ...

8-)
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Re: NVC-MAMMOTH [virtual controller]

Postby lbhms » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:47 am

Thanks for the info. What I've done is connect all the 'latency' outputs from the nebula instances within Bidule to the latency input on the output bidule device. This does seem to align the audio pretty well but I've noticed with the track I'm testing it on - the hats seem to disappear when I double with the same audio on another reaper track (with no fx). So alignment either isn't perfect or perhaps it's to do with the 'nebula imprint' sound that you get just running audio through instances of Nebula.

What I will try (tomorrow) - is doing the same but not using Bidule - just use nebula instances in the track mixer and the built in PDC to see if it does the same... That will give me an idea as to whether the timing is out or the unexpected sound is actually Nebulas imprint.

I have tried adding a sample delay on the unprocessed (and bidule processed tracks - not at the same time!) - and I can get away with adjusting the sound by up to 2 samples!! - suggesting to me it could be infact Nebula's imprint sound - as the tracks are clearly pretty well lined up. It's just slightly disconcerting that that hats seem to shrink so much... Could it be a spacial thing maybe?

Anyway - I still think your NVC series is going to be a great help and I'll continue to try to find the solution that works best for me...

The new midi filter sounds interesting? A bridgable version perhaps - or 64bit even better :)

I've also looked into changing the VST unique ID. An old SoundOnSound article suggests it can be done - but I'm wondering whether this will invalidate the authentication for the nebula setup instance (if the authentication uses the uniqueID to identify the dll)... I guess I'd need to try it to find out.

Will let you know how I get on with this :)

To the mods: I don't know your opinions on discussing 'hacking' the unique ID on here - please tell me if this is a problem. I'm guessing the worst that will happen (if I do it correctly - and don't kill the dll and my system) is that the instance won't authenticate.

All the best,
Leon.
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Re: NVC-MAMMOTH [virtual controller]

Postby giancarlo » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:59 am

modifying your magic id is not an issue, we support it in our xml. Anyway some host could be fooled and it could stop recognizing your vst. Someone just check the name, someone name+vendor, someone else checks this magic string only. There is not a rule really. Cubase itself changed recently.
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