My first time here in the Nebula forum and can say that after using Nebula for less than a week I am very happy to have chosen it over other plugins. I have the slate VBC as well and think that AlexB console library, for instance, sounds more "analog" than slate's, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, my question is about Henry Olonga presets. I am not sure if those compressor presets will actually gain reduce the signal going through. I know some presets are sampled only to the signal going through the sampled unity without any compression, but other presets say like "-2", "-3" or something else. I couldn't find a better explanation in Mr. Olonga website as how to use this presets or how to drive the Nebula instance nor if this would actually do gain reduction.
Also my input meter with those HO presets doesn't show any signal. Only if I push hard the g-drive or drive knob in Nebula something appear in the input meter. The output meter always shows the same and I normally do gain staging before mixing and the level is always around -18 dB RMS.
I hope you could help with this and that my doubts are not too dumb.
Compressor presets won't do gain reduction. They'll add character of comp. Very useful. For example, you have NI LA2A on Vocal and gain reduction around -5. You choose HO preset of LA2A Mojo -5 GR and gain that suits you well (a lot of gain causes really noticable harmonic distortion) and has almost perfect LA2A) You canexperiment with presets to choose the flavour that you need.
About gain - dunno. Most of the presets has a subtle effect, some more noticable. Better to listen to it in the mix with other instruments.
as far as I know Henry doesn't have real compressors.
He labels all the 'just-going-through' stuff as 'Mojo'. So if you see a 1176LN Mojo or a LA2A Mojo it's the real deal sampled, only with a 'preamp' style session instead of real compression.
Most of his Mojo style programs come with a few different settings for it. To capture the 'going-through' at different settings of the device (like different ratios or compressor-mode / limiter-mode). But they still won't do compression, only capture the differences in signal path.
That's it. Only the "MOJO". I heard from Mr. Olonga himself (by email).
The input level I really don't know yet. I'll do some testings here. But there's something going on in the output as it compensates for the g-drive. Anyway, if I go hard with the g-drive in some cases the output doesn't seem to compensate fast enough and some "exploding" transients scape and make my Reaper output to mute instantly (that's a reaper very good tool indeed not to blown your speakers).
Those "exploding transients" as you described it, are artifacts which occur when the input level is too high, so Nebula can't handle it anymore. The GDrive is nothing other than an increase of the input level and decrease of the output level by the same amount, but it is not dynamic.
some programs are recorded at low volume, but have an internal parameter 'pad in' which boosts your signal by a set amount before being processed. In those cases, you get the very-low input meter while everything sounds OK. (Also explains why you have a input meter that is hardly registering anything yet the output meter is showing good signal coming out ).
Can be that I have it backwards now, that something is recorded to strong and the program has an internal parameter 'pad in' which pushes your signal down so it gets within the dynamic range... but the same story goes: The program has 'pad in' and 'pad out' parameters which can toy with the volume and kinda mess up the meters.
If it sounds OK it sounds OK.
And remember, not all programs create a (Very) audible difference when pushed hard. If a compressor is sampled 'mojo' style with it's input drive set to -20 driving the g-drive won't do much sonically I guess.
That's why you see certain preamp libraries (gemini's 76 for instance) which are sampled at multiple positions of the gain knob / input-knob on the hardware.
Anyway, don't worry too much about the meters. If you got audio coming out which sounds OK, you're doing it OK . Not hearing much when toying with the gdrive is normal, it depends on the hardware and if there is really an audible difference in the hardware (harmonics + frequency wise) at different levels anyway.
jorismak wrote: But they still won't do compression, only capture the differences in signal path.
This is sort of not true. Many of the "mojo" compressor libraries, as well as similar presets from other devs (like Cupwise "pass-through" presets) do indeed compress the signal, you just don't have any parameters to tweak. In a nut shell, some of these presets are doing some heavier saturation, which IS compression. This is also true with many tape presets. Saturation is another form of compression, it's just handled differently depending on the hardware sampled. I have great results with some mojo and pass-through presets, some are just right for some light buss-glue, or in a series with other compressors.
Thank you all for the kind replies and explanation. I am getting to know better the way Nebula works day after day. It's being nice to do some tests and learn about it. And the Nebula community here is being very helpful.
About the compression behaviour of some presets, yes, I can feel that some of them actually do some sort of compression in terms of saturation and distortion.