As far as I am concerned, the word "should" means much less in this software world. This compressor's hardware counterpart was designed for mastering purposes, used on a "master buss:, I guess you would say. But I have used this Nebula preset on individual tracks with great results many times. If it works in a particular place, then it belongs there.
Generally yes, this is an emulation of a full mastering console, so you would use it mastering your finished mixdowns, on the 2buss. I use this almost exclusively on all of my mastering. Input, filter, various eq bands, filter, output, THEN the compressor (I use a nebula compressor also, usually the German Mastering Comp, but sometimes one of the other many Neb comps that are coming lately). If you are emulating the hardware, your hardware compressor would come after the console outputs.
Once again, if you are emulating a hardware signal chain, for mastering the tape would be after the compressor, even last. Think about it, if you are mastering from a real console, you would most likely go from the console chain to a compressor, and from there go to the mastering tape for the final. But DO experiment and see what your ears like. And if you really want to get geeky about it, you would have a different chain on the 2buss of the mixdown session, and that too would have some tape on it to emulate mixing the premaster onto tape.... the possibilities are endless, do what sounds good and what your computer and work-flow can handle.
enigma2win wrote:interesting, never thought about it that way.
was just confused because i remember reading a post of alexB saying that he puts the R2R before the console...
Maybe he does. Like I said, there is no wrong way, if it sounds good. I suppose it makes sense to have a tape preset before the console if you didn't have one already on your 2buss on the mix-down. The possibilities are endless (and fun to mess with). I used to work in analog audio, so I enjoy the "geeky" approach by trying to re-create the signal path. But it probably doesn't improve (or hinder) my end product, I am just being geeky about it, it makes me feel connected to the analog world I am most familiar with. But I tell you, I DON'T miss the room full of gear required, the maintenance, or the ever-present wondering if a particular piece of hardware will sound the same today at a specific setting as it did yesterday.... I love Nebula for that!!
yeah. i think this is an interesting topic, because things were done in the analog days at least to some extent out of necessity. but now you can simulate/emulate each step separately so you can create any chain you want. on one hand you can follow the time tested methods and set up chains that got great results in the past, but on the other hand you could use the advantage of nebula, which ironically, and ultimately, in my opinion, is that it's DIGITAL. it means you don't have to be confined to using those (now almost arbitrary) chains, and you could come up with new ones that weren't even possible in those days. it's like the best of both worlds.
so there's the maybe 'safer' approach of using time tested 'chains' of processing, which is ok to do and makes sense, but then if you want you could do an eq, a tape, then a pre, then a console, then an eq, then another tape, etc etc etc and if your cpu is good enough you can keep it all in place. then later if you don't like it you can undo all or some of it and replace the whole thing. it's the real beauty of nebula.