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Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

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Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby RJHollins » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:32 am

IT would behoove anyone dealing with gain staging issues to head over to Bob Katz site and read up on system calibration for starters. AND [importantly] calibrate the entire listening chain.

Even BEFORE the advent of digital, this 'calibration' was required for a pro analogue studio.

Here [USA] we used -18 as the [general] cal point for all digital gear [ADat, RDat, etc] as the ref level from the console. In other words, set the console's oscillator to show 0Vu, then set all digital [PEAK] meters to read -18. Once cal'd, you never needed to look at meters.

As for NEBULA's own metering ... I've set mine to display RMS [from the MSTR page I believe] ... on the custom skin I use, there is a specific -18dB marking, as well as a numeric IN/OUT value. SURE, I would LOVE to see a display that would remind me of the plasma meters with standard VU meters built-in ... I read that Giancarlo is addressing this ...

Maybe my 30 years as a full time engineer can't appreciate the complaints ... but to be fair ... this IS the nature of ANALOGUE [dressed in digital]. Not only is the workflow different, but so is the methodology.

Bottom line ... do yourself a big favor, and calibrate the entire listening chain.
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Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby faun2500 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:17 am

I think that the meters in Nebula should be a priority to sort out. I completely understand (and implement) -18db with Alex B programs but then when I go into say an AITB EQ, do I have to change that gain staging to 0dbfs?

This is something I'm not really clear on and yes, I have read every thing on the matter! ;)
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Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby apollo soul » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:42 pm

I understand the bohemian aesthetic of nebula being a trufula tree (bone up on your Dr. Seuss, kids) to developers and that the tide of 3rd party development will carry nebula to it's uncharted destination.

... but that doesn't have to mean that no one is steering the ship.

If I were to place a wager, I would bet that MORE than 75% of all nebula users are NOT adjusting nebula when they use verb trails over 2sec.

I would also put money down that over 90% are not getting gainstaging right as they switch between programs from different developers.

I personally have 6 friends and acquaintences locally that I know are using nebula. Out of curiosity, I called them all the other day and asked about this. 2 of 6 knew about the reverb trails, and not one was switching back and forth for gainstaging. Additionally, only one was even aware that there was even a debate as to comp settings. These are 4 professional engineers, and 2 teachers at an audio engineering school. Obviously, the hitrate among hobyists will tend to be worse.

What that means in practical terms is that the majority of people who paid to use this product are NOT getting the sounds out of it that the developers intended. I'm no doctor... but that sounds like a problem to me.

Whether or not it fits the bohemian lifestyle manifesto, this is clearly a case where steering the ship is in order. Nebula is still young. If this is ironed out now, in a couple years, no one will even remember that there used to be an issue. If instead, nebula throws it's fate to the winds, it's only going to get more problematic as hundreds more programs are released.
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Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby faun2500 » Mon May 02, 2011 10:39 am

You lost me on the 'bone Dr seuss' bit!

:P
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Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby RJHollins » Mon May 02, 2011 6:13 pm

and you lost me on the 'Professional Engineers & Instructors'.

It's a pity that todays plug-in-play mentality has become the expected.

Oh ... but then I'm old school ... I remember my first encounter with the N**e V-series. The 3 'manuals' [which would make War&Peace trivial in length] was absolutely intimidating. There were no hands being held. You had to learn it.

And now you say we have to be 'concerned' that OTHER's don't know what they are doing. :roll:

This is as trivial as your console 'sound' opinion, and as others have stated ... the degree that a console can destroy a sound is fractional to what the 'so called' engineer can or cannot do ...

You do realize that music was being recorded WELL BEFORE a computer, and consoles were at the heart.
BTW ... some of those songs that were recorded on that old analogue equipment is still finding its way to the airwaves :P

Welcome to NEBULA ... a learning curve is required.
:mrgreen:
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Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby apollo soul » Tue May 03, 2011 1:46 am

Kindergarten literary references aside:

The hundreds of conversations I've had with other nebula users both online and in person have revealed that most are simply unaware of one or more parameters being set incorrectly on at least some of the instances they use. I lost count of the number of pm's I've received from people wanting more detail because they didn't know they had an issue until they read one of my posts.

Either their verb tails were cut off because they didn't know they had to change lfreqd, or their emulations were off because they didn't realize their libraries do not have the same calibration, or they were unaware that they needed to make adjustments for the SRC to work. In many cases, MORE than one of these is not right.

... and I'm talking with audio geeks who paid for the program, read the manual, etc. Naturally, one would assume that hobbyists (the majority of users of any plugin) would be LESS inclined to have hunted down that info.

So... It seems fairly clear that MOST nebula users are using a plug that is not working properly at least some of the time.

I don't know about you, but I'm not sure I know of any other product in the world with that kind of miss-rate.

Seemed quite sensible to point out that there is nothing about nebula itself that necessitates the confusion, but rather it is the result of a system that places necessary technical adjustments in the user's hands while doing very little to illuminate the issue's existence, let alone, it's solution.

Seems quite reasonable as well to state the obvious: That if it were possible to have a program automatically make any REQUIRED changes to parameters in order for it to work properly whenever it is loaded (or any other basic implementation that achieves the same result)...

... then the number of properly working instances of nebula out there would shoot from a percentage that would receive an F on any test I've ever taken... to 100%.

I'm sorry if that seems trivial.

This is actually ot, however, since calibration is the one of three mentioned oft-misaligned settings that would not benefit from such a system in it's most basic form.
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Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby RJHollins » Tue May 03, 2011 2:54 am

I'm sure there are plenty of users ou there that don't employ proper gain staging and levels whether they are using pure digital DAW or fully analogue.

When bands were attempting to multi-track their own recordings [from TEAC 8 trk -> fostec 16 trk] ... some would book time in the studios to mix.

I can tell you ... the 'issues' came well before :|

Now that every & anyone can call themselves a producer or engineer ... along with the 'there are no rules' mindset ... to, 'I don't need to read a stinkin manual',or 'go with the feel' attitude. I'm sure you'll find plenty.

To those that REALLY want to learn the craft ... they'll seek out the answer, or through experience, develop.

Nonetheless ... I glad to hear that you've taking it upon yourself the major challenge to save the recording industry ... you are a better man than I :D
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Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby yr » Tue May 03, 2011 8:40 am

Asking 3rd party developers to follow the same guidelines doesn't seem childish or trivial at this point. It will save us all some unnecessary confusion.
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Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby faun2500 » Tue May 03, 2011 10:25 am

I agree with the last 3 posts.
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Re: Gain Staging AlexB and R2R

Postby apollo soul » Tue May 03, 2011 3:15 pm

I don't really see where simply stating the obvious and giving a common sense suggestion that would fix a chronic problem for most users puts me on a quest to save the music industry...

... or makes me ignorant of how things were before. (I was an engineer 15 years ago, and just getting back into it with ITB rig over past couple years)

I'm not suggesting how Fedex could get their packages somewhere 2 seconds earlier, or McDonald could serve 3 more cheeseburgers a year

Most users don't have the plug working correctly, and most of those are probably unaware. That's an epic fail that's hard to spin otherwise. That is NOT true of MOST console users or MOST tape users... partly because they have better instructions... and no, this stuff isn't in the manual. I read the entire manual on day 1 and was rather amazed at how obtuse it was... lots of technical definitions with an absolute bare minimum of practical guidance.

In fact, it is the same few things tripping up nearly all users. Some get it figured out in a few days... some get very frustrated, and work them out over longer periods, and MANY simply abandon it since those same few little things are buried neck deep in pages of techie stuff. Even those who DO have technical knowledge and who ARE seeking details are STILL in for a healthy dose of obfuscation.

One vote for "don't care."

Noted.

You've hit the nail on the head with:

"And now you say we have to be 'concerned' that OTHER's don't know what they are doing. :roll: "

Could be the manifesto's title.
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