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*could* Neb do heavy distortion?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:05 pm
by adambones
I like to use blend distorted kicks and snares in with my drums tracks to make them extra crispy and attacking, and generally use plugins like Davastor and Decapitator for this, even though they sound even more 'digital' than other plugins. If I had the money I'd buy a Culture Vulture.

I have Neb programs like Vcult, Henry Olongas distortions, Eric's RAT program, and while these are really nice, you can only achieve a mild harmonic distortion - not the proper dirty effect I'm looking for.

Is this a technical limitation or in theory could Nebula model something like a Culture Vulture in heavy crunch mode?

Re: *could* Neb do heavy distortion?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:37 am
by Cupwise
one problem is that Nebula can basically only handle 9 orders of harmonic distortion. there is a development that was supposed to allow up to 19, but it doesn't work well, nobody has been able to implement it.

with a heavy distortion you would have many many many harmonics. you could say that only so many would matter, and you could figure it out by looking at audio in the lower frequencies, around 100hz, and multiplying that by however many times it goes into the upper limits of human hearing, around 18khz. so you'd need ~180 orders of harmonic distortion to get that high with the 100hz input. that's why you can run a low bass through something like that and come out with a buzz saw effect.

my scenario isn't exactly 'fair' in many ways though. for one thing you are probably rarely or never going to want to take a relatively pure tone at 100hz and distort it that much. also, 'relatively pure' tones are kind of rare. any string instrument already has harmonics, for example, and those harmonics would be 'distorted' and create their own harmonics if ran through a distortion effect. also, going up in pitch, sounds with their fundamental being around 1-2khz could have distortion from nebula extend almost fully beyond human hearing, so for those inputs nebula could provide all the distortion you'd need, theoretically.

i personally aimed for the heaviest distortion i could get from nebula with my 'tube fm 4' and 'casspressors a' sets. i think they can get pretty distorted, but it doesn't keep extending well into the high end on bass inputs, so it's not full on 'heavy distortion'. i haven't personally looked into any other developer's attempts at anything like this so i can't speak for them, but i would assume results would be similar, the same limitations are always in effect.

i think a fair compromise is using algorithmic plugs for heavy to medium distortion, then going into some nebula stuff to add some more and to get it a little more 'analog' sounding.

Re: *could* Neb do heavy distortion?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:12 pm
by adambones
Thanks, really insightful. I think the idea of getting the sound I want with other plugins then sweetening it with Neb is the way to go.

There was a similarish thread somewhere where someone suggested stacking up instances of tapebooster or something similar. The problem there is you end up with a mushy kind of distortion, not the aggressive sound that something like culture vulture produces.

Re: *could* Neb do heavy distortion?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:15 pm
Or get yourself a couple of distortion pedals. Of course you can't run multiple instances of them but the sound is unbeatable.

Re: *could* Neb do heavy distortion?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:20 pm
by prosodio
Well, why don´t we try to get our own arsenal of tricks with the great tools that nebula brings to the table? Try to put a FM4 preset followed by a lofi sony tape machine and send all your drums to that aux (blend to taste), just like a reverb.... I don´t like heavy distortion for mixing, I belive in adding little brushes of little distortion to get a big fat sound, for me this is way better that adding a big distortion from only one device.. use the casspressor, tubebooster+ from Cdsoundmaster, tapebooster+ and so on... add them in little bits and listen how your sound is becoming fat and (unlike that digital distortion tools) thanks to nebula, very analog sounding....