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Boards of Canada style warbly VHS tape, please.

Nebula feature suggestions

Boards of Canada style warbly VHS tape, please.

Postby wagz » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:52 pm

Please, will one of you great developers sample some VHS tapes? Occasionally, I try to get a Boards of Canada style warbly VHS tape sound. I have lots of tape libraries, but none of them nail the Lo-FI, slightly mangled, sound of a VHS tape with it's pitch drifting. The random pitch drift is the hardest thing for me to create in Cubase and I'd prefer not to buy a real VCR. Cupwise, is this do-able in Nebula?
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Re: Boards of Canada style warbly VHS tape, please.

Postby david1103 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:30 pm

Afraid Nebula can't alter pitch.

I am a massive fan of Boards of Canada, been listening to Tomorrow's Harvest nearly everyday since it came out.

In the future i am going to attempt to recreate some of these incredible sounds. Its not easy. I think of it as 'hi-fi lo-fi'. I think the ingredients are going to be:

- Nebula with a very special selection of programs chained
- Other plug-ins (or DAW tricks) to do the pitch drift + background noise and maybe the compression too.

Its all about the raw sound quality needed, just altering the pitch of a digital sound is a huge subject. We need maybe the real time SoX algorithm from Audacity... not sure how much of that can be accessed for drawing 'warbles'.

One thing i am sure, you cant put in some crummy VSTi, add some magic and it now sounds like BOC. I think even if you put a VSTi through the REAL BOC chain it will sound not so good.

For example, on the new album when i listen on 1 system the synths sound great, when i listen on the DAC1 and HD600 headphones, holy shit! you can hear into the sounds... this is the kind of sound i associate with great 70s synth albums and very expensive high end stuff. Their production skills are amazing. Its taken them years to get this good... listen to the early EPS, like demo tapes in comparison.

Even something like oversampling can be enough to take away this 3D sound... its the holy grail! I am certain Nebula can enter this realm, but it needs a lot of listening and experimenting.

How much effort do you want for that old sound? If you can afford the time and money just go and buy the old gear. If you buy the right stuff it will go up in value anyway, its an investment!

Maybe start a thread called 'Nebula sounding like BOC' and people can post their findings :)

PS I am not sure VHS will get that sound, I don't think any warm saturation coming from it. At least Hi-Fi VHS audio is recorded on an FM carrier and doesn't do that. There are loads of posts on VHS on Gearslutz...
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Re: Boards of Canada style warbly VHS tape, please.

Postby wagz » Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:04 am

Thanks replying, David! Too bad Nebula can't do pitch mods...
I've already got some great analog outboard gear. I'm down to two analog synths(Roland SH-101 and a Kawai SX-240), but I have access to other hardware synths and some good VSTIs. I'd like to use this LoFI sound on more than just synths, though.

I found some plugins that can kinda do what I want.
This is the closest, so far: Speakerphone.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0iMqdOqymA

I do think that the saturation and LoFI can be achieved with a VCR is what I'm looking for, David. Listen to this example:http://computermusicguide.com/the-tape-test/

Well, I'm off to try Phonec FX.
Tried DyVision(sounds ok. not organic enough.) it seems to be crashing Cubase...
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