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"COOLTEC EQP-1A3S" Now Available !!!

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Re: "COOLTEC EQP-1A3S" Now Available !!!

Postby TranscendingMusic » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:21 pm

lordnielson wrote:@ Michael, From the manual:

"For low levels the "Drive" effect can be increased by a few decibels if desired"


The Drive function is a "no fly zone" in virtually every Nebula library so far because it produces fake harmonics. How come you recommend using it here ?


Actually this generalization is usually applied to the notion of cranking the drive fully [but even that can sound good at times]. Any way, each preset or library has different "safe zones" so simply using the drive doesn't always mean fake harmonics. There are different sweet spots. Listen to know when you've gone too far.
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Re: "COOLTEC EQP-1A3S" Now Available !!!

Postby lordnielson » Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:03 pm

Misunderstanding on my part I guess. I've honestly always understood that the drive button was to be avoided because what it produced was not part of the original hardware.
:o

Ps. This wasn't a critique of the library or Michael at all (since I'm diggin' it much). Just a question is all.
Last edited by lordnielson on Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "COOLTEC EQP-1A3S" Now Available !!!

Postby HIFIDELITY » Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:20 pm

Hi Micheal, Im really exited about this release! I mainly mix/Produce Drum and Bass/EDM and i really think this will shine shaping the kick and bass! I do have one question! You said in another post that you will be releaseing other libraries from different hardware, im just curious to know if you will be sampling an original EQP1A with Peerless S-217-D output trannys and Triad HS-56 input trannys? Many thanks for all your hard work.
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Re: "COOLTEC EQP-1A3S" Now Available !!!

Postby rrrobo » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:54 am

lordnielson wrote:Misunderstanding on my part I guess. I've honestly always understood that the drive button was to be avoided because what it produced was not part of the original hardware.


I thought the same!
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Re: "COOLTEC EQP-1A3S" Now Available !!!

Postby cdsoundmaster » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:28 am

Hi everyone!
Comments about the "drive" function in this thread are definitely of the right thinking, but since there is some confusion I will try to give the full explanation and if it requires more input we can take it from there.

Here are the main variables that make it more than a yes/no black/white issue. First, we have the recording of the initial hardware. Then, we have the translation of that into the Nebula engine. There are variables in how the signals are sent out to the hardware, calibration to and from, inside, and then further variables for Nebula to piece this all back together.
Forget the harmonic content for a moment...
If dealing only with non-dynamic spectrum, then we are pretty much set the moment that we get an accurate reading from eq point to point.

Then, let's add in the variables that go with a dynamic clean preamp program. We are recording the difference from one volumetric vector point to the next, as many times as it takes to cover the personality of the machine. If there are changes in the spectrum, which there will be from overload to reading flat above a noise floor constant, they will occur over the same volume range as the recording. Calibrating this is relatively easy for Nebula, but mainly involves deciding on a formula for input and output, which can appropriately be based on a few ideals, like power, average, peak, full scale, etc. With a clean program, the range of volume will align with the original concept from step to step regardless, but the start and end of that range will depend on how we edit levels in Nebula. If we recorded a device from -50dB to -10dB, then we have a 40dB range. We may tell Nebula that a +0dB input +0dB output is equal to -10dB so that the loudest digital input level in Nebula is equal to the loudest setting measured from the hardware dynamic range.

Now, let's add in the factor of harmonics. These are very complex, and they are dependent upon the accuracy of volume change (dynamics) and spectral change (eq/frequency). So, let's view tow different important scenarios:
1- eq
2- preamp

With the eq, our dynamic changes are happening one step at a time, with gain change happening with the adjustment of the volume of actual filters, inductors, impact on ratio and make-up gain, transformers, etc. It is extremely non-linear. The harmonics tend to chase the moves of the settings around even in a very clean machine.

With a preamp, we are typically measuring a pretty high end, clean machine that shows little change from all moderate settings until heavier input and the quietest levels. Changes in harmonics are subtle from step to step, but eventually we will find that they are at the lowest setting at the best unity setting, and harmonics increase when the level is pushed into higher gain, but also they read with high levels of non-linearity with very low levels, because like spectral change, the change in harmonics has tendencies related to the noise floor as well.

To keep the concept really simple, let's pretend we are sampling one single setting of an eq. The volume is +0dB and we have 3 kernels of harmonic distortion. The first order (1) odd is followed by (2) even and we see a typical mathematical drop in amount of non-linear energy. We may sample the exact same item a second time with second order, and find that it does not look the way that we expect it to appear, or the way that it looked when we measured the same setting from the actual hardware. Somewhere in the chain something is either recorded wrong, or needs to be edited. Usually, the full accurate picture takes either many layers of repetitions in a preamp study or at least several bands of +/- gain being studied in eq to know where the best alignment is going to come from. In the end, there is some kind of editing that will take place that aligns the correct looking/sounding harmonics with the volume level that created them. When that happens, the Nebula input responds the same way as the signal path from out of our converter, into the hardware, out of the hardware back into our converter. When we lower the Nebula input, the harmonics follow the volume change +/- with the same accuracy as how the hardware reacted at that anticipated level range.

Only when the source has been measured accurately, then recorded accurately, and edited within Nebula accurately, do we end up with a Neb program that relates the harmonics correctly with the input, dynamics, and eq changes. With practice this becomes fairly quick to recreate with 3 kernels, and not terribly tricky with 5 kernels, but with 7-10kernels I always like to run a lot of tests before I feel confident that I know all the variables that are leading to the right alignment/relationship. Why does it matter? It is like focusing on an image before taking a photo. I suppose you can describe phase alignment similarly, but even that seems a little too one-dimensional. Every layer of a harmonic relies on the accuracy of the previous order, and every order has a specific volume that it is attached to.

With Nebula, there is usually not a problem of accuracy of using too low a volume and harmonics. the spectral and dynamic balance will remain true and subtracting harmonic levels simply decreases the harmonic effect, so we never hear anything 'wrong' so to speak, when reducing the effect. But, once the maximum setting is established, we can loose the proper relationship of harmonic to source harmonic by over-using the "drive" function or pushing the input too far into the red. The most obvious non-linearity that becomes inaccurate is an over-exaggeration of spectral response, like a boost in lows that is non true to the original, or small ripples in the eq becoming cartoon-like over-emphasized. If the program is edited correctly, it usually takes a lot of over-inflating the level to reach this, so a little bit of imaginative level boosting is ok.

The main thing about "fake" harmonics is this- Nebula is in fact an engine- it handles processes, calculates what they mean, and spits them back out, all in digital. But, it does these functions with harmonics and frequencies always based upon the original recording. So, yes, it is always "real" harmonics, but they are real harmonics that must remain properly aligned with the original hardware. With analog, if it were mis-aligned, it may go out of spec in the form of increased distortion or other faulty signals, but when digital becomes mis-aligned, it doesn't necessarily know what it is supposed to sound like anymore. It can pump very strange distorted fuzz or makes strange whistling sounds etc. This should only happen in an extreme over-boosting.

In the case of the Cooltec settings, we are dealing with a very beautiful sounding, clean device. The op-amp, passive circuits, transformers, power supply, all run very clean, so obviously it is intentionally edited to give as much of a noticeable level of harmonic content as possible without affecting the frequency response. At its most perfect snr the device can stay under 1% distortion. For the sake of pushing it to produce its analog flavor, it can be tuned to its highest degree to output 4-7% with full spectrum tones and remain flat. I've made certain that you cannot over-reach this amount of content in Nebula even with loud signal levels, but there is in fact a range of flexibility between what was sampled, and what Nebula can reproduce from the engine. There is essentially a little 'wiggle room' where you can increase the drive separate from the signal level and the increase will remain within spec. If you want perfect response, I recommend keeping ins/outs for the eq programs at +0dB unless you lower them for large boost amounts. If you want a little more of the harmonic content, you can increase the input a little and reduce the output to compensate, and it will remain true to the hardware. If you increase "drive", yes it is becoming an exaggeration, because your dynamic range has not changed, yet you have increased the harmonic content. But, it is not "fake" automatically, in that it is still measured from the true levels of the hardware. For at least a couple of decibels +/- the difference in actual levels and increased/reduced levels is so slight that you will get a very similar reaction to what the equipment would have done. But, when overdoing this concept with a ton of drive, you are now asking the engine to reproduce something that is too far deviated from what was measured for it to know if it is accurate or not. Now, we can often tell the difference by measuring the unit at say _0dB, and then +6dB, and +12dB. Then, edit a program in Nebula and align these analog settings to where they are the same, look at the compared harmonics. Then, we can set Nebula back to 0dB and increase the "Drive" and see how it compares. Sometimes the result of boosting drive will be similar to the original because of the nature of the design. It is possible for a linear correlation of impact volume and overtones to remain the same, but usually it becomes very signal-dependent at every micro-setting above unity. The biggest issue with accuracy with all of this is when the increase of harmonic content causes an adverse effect on the quality of the distorted sound or spectral relationship. When it becomes noticeably wrong, it no longer sounds analog.

I hope this describes the relation of things to make more sense of it.

To summarize:

There is the measure of hardware settings, the interpretation of settings, and the Nebula engine's reproduction of settings. The "Drive" function exists to provide independent control of harmonic content separate from gain or dynamics. This can remain fairly accurate sounding even over a few dB +/- if a program is recorded properly and edited to align correctly to the original machine. The perfect response is a well-edited program left to its regular setting, with adjustment made to the input gain +/- to keep harmonic details linked to the dynamic changes of the hardware. However, a tiny bit of boost/cut of the "Drive" function will normally remain closely linked to the original response until going too far, where it can behave very different from the real effect. This does not make "drive" a fake harmonic producer, but it means that it can be pushed so far that it no longer resembles what the source is telling it to do. Since this is all dependent on the source file that is played through Nebula, if you are working with very low signal levels, you are affecting the harmonic "drive" much less than a louder signal will impact it. Thus, if you desire to increase harmonic "drive" even a little bit, you have the freedom to do so without completely messing things up, but in general it is always better to simply increase the input and lower the output if you wish to do this.
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Re: "COOLTEC EQP-1A3S" Now Available !!!

Postby cdsoundmaster » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:38 am

Hi there! Yes, the solid state is really quick and punchy on kick and bass. Some prefer the SS slightly over the tube for this purpose- I personally can't decide.

I can't tell you anything about the next libraries yet, but I can tell you that this Cooltec is using the original transformers. I could be wrong, but I believe the tube "1A" uses the Peerless at the intermediary stage and Triads input/output? The "1A3S" is using the same ins and outs as the tube units and I think it does not require the mid-stage step. I can't remember if the "56" was mid-point or primary input, but the ins/outs are the same on these two units and the middle stage is the only variation that I am aware of in the two units.

HIFIDELITY wrote:Hi Micheal, Im really exited about this release! I mainly mix/Produce Drum and Bass/EDM and i really think this will shine shaping the kick and bass! I do have one question! You said in another post that you will be releaseing other libraries from different hardware, im just curious to know if you will be sampling an original EQP1A with Peerless S-217-D output trannys and Triad HS-56 input trannys? Many thanks for all your hard work.
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Re: "COOLTEC EQP-1A3S" Now Available !!!

Postby lordnielson » Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:28 pm

cdsoundmaster wrote:Hi everyone!
Comments about the "drive" function in this thread are definitely of the right thinking, but since there is some confusion I will try to give the full explanation and if it requires more input we can take it from there.

Here are the main variables.....


:shock:


........will impact it. Thus, if you desire to increase harmonic "drive" even a little bit, you have the freedom to do so without completely messing things up, but in general it is always better to simply increase the input and lower the output if you wish to do this.


Could you elaborate on that Michael ? :mrgreen: J/K

Thanks for demystification. I'm still a bit weary about the drive function but I'll give it a spin.

Cheers.
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Re: "COOLTEC EQP-1A3S" Now Available !!!

Postby tumburu » Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:43 pm

Nice library, very sweet sound.

Too many programs though, and also huge programs containing the whole bands making you to wait to load all the frequencies just for that 16k boost. It's the same thing that makes GEQ a PITA to use. And you need a translator to know what to use.
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Re: "COOLTEC EQP-1A3S" Now Available !!!

Postby Fishmac » Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:59 pm

tumburu wrote:Nice library, very sweet sound.

Too many programs though, and also huge programs containing the whole bands making you to wait to load all the frequencies just for that 16k boost. It's the same thing that makes GEQ a PITA to use. And you need a translator to know what to use.

:shock:
WHAT? GEQ has 4 Eq programs, Medium/Narrow/Wide/Shelf. What's the problem with that?
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Re: "COOLTEC EQP-1A3S" Now Available !!!

Postby tumburu » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:04 am

It loads lows mids and highs in the same program. Eats resources and time.
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