We have had the great fortune to obtain high quality Nebula Libraries of much sought after gear. There is a wonderful selection of 'flavors' available.
My entire Nebula experience has expanded since I began developing 'master' controllers. After nearly 30 years of professional audio engineering, I am aware that the equipment is only part of the equation. The critical link is squarely on the engineers' talent, knowledge, and tastes. Functionality and ergonomics are to assist the creative flow and process. Much like a musical instrument, the engineer must be able to interact quickly and intuitively with all involved ... and imperative ... with his equipment.
This 'lofty' goal I set out is introduced with these debut, version 1 releases, of the NVC series. Personal tools that have allowed me to employ these wonderful sonic tools in a comprehensive, interactive, graphical interface that puts a list of FX chains, windows opening/closing, and countless search and mouse operations into the quiet background.
A heighten focus is on the Music, because I can now listen as I work. If I could turn the lights low, close my eyes, and still be able to work this darn mouse I would be back to my hay daze in the studios.
To that goal, I have a line up of NVC controllers that have evolved with features and conveniences that look to assist the engineer work-flow and decision making. I have also tried to stay 'familiar' to the hardwares' look and layout as a start point. Throughout all of the NVC designs, I'm being aware of a consistency in design and configuration to ease the transition from fragmented, isolated presets ... into a single coherent GUI.
One of the difficult decisions ... what Nebula library to start with After early testing with the very first unit, it became most obvious that they ALL needed a controller.
The very first was the Mammoth. An experiment in feasibility. The concept worked ! As I learned more about programming, the main directive was to streamline, simplify, automate.
The Mammoth is such an important piece I needed, and it became the 'opener' The second classic, the PoolTeq equalizer [don't leave home without].
These are 2 wonderfully different, colorful units. In my current work as a mastering engineer, there are many times that I'm called on to be as sonically discreet as possible. To make the necessary 'corrections' without changing the flavor/ color or sonic character. There were several libraries to consider ... and then CDS releases the SONGTEC equalizer. After a few days testing it out on a variety of sources, I began to hear how each preset sounded ... or should I say, how it did not sound This is a powerful eq, but nearly invisible ... and I mean in a GOOD way !
Since each library created has its own unique construction and preset layout, much of my early designing is looking how to, both, organize and implement controls and link them effectively.
Even in the early NVC stages, this SongTec library proved to be premier, and moved quickly up the 'Top Ranks'. [in my opinion - only - the SongTec has seriously challenged the Massenburg GeQ, and often became THE choice. Talk about the envious position to choose between any of these units!
Well ... this WAS to be a rather quick announcement of what's in the pipeline ... but as I try to unwind from a hectic schedule, I wanted to talk and share some of my thoughts and experiences on all this.
I trying to learn this programming as fast I can, as there are so many things that I would like to see developed. Hopefully someone else will code up another type of tool we need so I can just buy it. If not ... I'm gonna have to figure out how to program it myself This wasn't in the 'job description'
Nah ... I do hope the community will check out the demos. And please, don't be shy ... these designs I my singular ideas, influenced by the general plugins I see. There are definitely things I wish were possible, like 64-bit along with MAC support. These are not in my control
But if I may be so bold ... since the NVC's are purely MIDI controllers, and have ZERO audio processing, if it is possible, bridging may be only a slight annoyance.
OK ... got to get back to it here ... but before we do, a preview of what I'd like to release next:
I've added a few extra links to my web site that points to some available documentation. It was written for an earlier version of the PoolTec.
As to the Docs ... I want to assemble a set of general documentation that applies to all NVC's universally ... as that is one of the design goals. Setting up and using one NVC, you can set and use all of them [nearly] the same.
Also ... I need to work to simplify the docs. When I read them, it sounds way more involved than it actually is. Yes, there are several areas that need to be attended too ... but it seems the 'written' version is soo much.
I did a video, which is in the doc section, that shows the fxchain built in Reaper. This might be more useful. All I can say is that I'm looking for a better simpler way, cause it really is not difficult. Obviously, the first time can be more methodical ... anyway ... I'm working on that.
As to fully working versions ... absolutely. They are used on most every session ... which ones depends on the session needs.
I wanted to give time for people to test these out on their system and have a chance to answer any questions before purchase. But the number of emails I'm getting suggests that this will happen soon.
But there is a situation
oh, oh ...
I've been working on a concept that ties directly into NVC and all the possible Nebula's it controls.
For anyone that has struggled with 'Unity Gain Staging' across a list of effects in a chain ... I have a module that I've been refining.
It is working so well, and the results that it yields have surprised me ... not just how quickly an entire chain can be 'unity' balanced [maybe 15 sec or less] ... and things just sound even better Being old school, this is not a new idea or concept ... but what we have is both speed AND accuracy [+/- 0.1dB].
This module has simplified a typically tedious process, that usually needs addressing multiple times throughout the tweaking of a track, that this must be added to the NVC controllers !
It is basically a 'plug-in' that is going into the NVC plug-in. I'll put it on its' own 'tabbed' window for easy access, and out of the way otherwise. It was something I was shown back in the Ages before computers, automation, and total recall ... ... it's so simple ... and it works so well ... it's got to be there.
There is a good chance that it could be a part of the 'preset management' system ... and if so, would alter the previous file format ... not a big deal, but I prefer to avoid anyone having to swap out a file early in the release.
This Gain-staging is going to be always a part of quality engineering ... but we also have some difficult libraries [such as the AIR library]. This added 'feature' is going to really help calibrating that unit into something very useful [there are AIR patches that have nearly +14 dB gain above input.
Anyway ... will implant this new module into the current posted controllers first ... and it will be a 'stock' tool in all of them.
I'll do a short vid tutorial ... just because it is now actually FUN to balance out a chain !
... ok ... back to it for me
---- edit --- ok ... Got to love the module design.
The NVC-SongTec has been modified ... the other NVC's are next.
I'll post info here when all have been uploaded to the site. I've only had 3 hrs sleep ... so I plan this for tomarrow. Will notify. I'm tired ... but I gotta play with the NVC's
The NVC-MEP [SongTec] controller has been updated with the new Gain-Stage Calibration module.
Because of the multiple instances of Nebula usually required [as compared to a single 'algo' plug-in], a typical Nebula equalizer might consist of 6 or more instances. This means we have multiplied the number of plug-ins to monitor and adjust.
As we change EQ settings, the output 'Levels' traveling from one plug-in to the next can change each time ... affecting the entire chain.
These level imbalances can have a detrimental impact on how a library performs. Locking onto a units 'sweet spot' becomes a constant cycle of re-balancing. Beside the sonic impact, the hit to our work-flow and efficiency can distract us from the job at hand.
We now have a simple 'old school' solution conveniently built into each NVC controller. Combined with your favorite VU meter [with gain control] or Nebula's IN/OUT, you can quickly bring the entire FXChain back to 'unity gain' throughout, and this can now be done in seconds! I would highly recommend the http://www.klanghelm.com VU meter.
Here's a screen shot:
Placed in its' own 'tabbed' window, this will allow quick access to a recurring process.
Beside the 'CAL NOISE', I've included various tone frequencies and waveform shapes that have key 'calibrated' output levels. When powered up, I've designed it to 'ramp up' the level in a gentle way
I've also included a stereo 'pink' noise generator that some engineers like to mix inside of.
The internal metering and display include PEAK and RMS referenced to 0dBfs. PEAK would be the preferred choice, though this has no impact to the output level.
Side note ... It seemed logical to exclude the parameters of this module from the NVC's PreSet management system. However, I did change the filename and structure the PM uses, so I've included a new 'default' file that must be used. Hopefully this will not mess with any 'test' projects you have. I really try to avoid changing these parts, but I noticed that the generic filename the PM was using could lead to confusion. From now on, these files will include the NVC's name.
OK ... The MEP-SongTec controller file has been updated on the website http://www.upallnite.us. Replace the old folder with this new one.
As quickly as I can, I'll add this feature to the other posted controllers. I'll notify this in the respective threads at AA.
Also working on some docs and some videos, along with linking in a PayPal service.
I'd apologize for the recent delay ... but once you experience how easy and convenient it is to get your fxchain gain structure under control ... you'll intentional make EQ changes JUST so you can go back and re-balance it is that nice
Thank-you for your patients and your interest. Please let me know how you're getting along with.
BTW ... the latest 'MetaPlugin' has been posted. Seems further improvements. I'm also going to look into the BC 'Patchwork' plugin. I have written a small 'MIDI Channel Filter' VST plug-in utility that I need to get posted. This can help route the CHannel data [isolated] to each Nebula. --- Nebula really needs to allow single channel assignment, rather than OMNI mode. Without the NVC, how can DAW automation be used to a specific NEBULA We can do that now with the NVC, but single CH assignment would eliminate 'external' channel filters in the chain.