SAFETY WARNING: It may be dangerous to your hearing if you monitor the audio signal being passed. Improper use of the tones on playback systems may damage your speakers and earphones.
Q.1.1 What is N.A.T.? Native Application Tools or N.A.T. is the FX Sampler. It is able to sample the great part of audio signal processors like: compressors, equalizers, filters, preamplificators, guitar and bass amplificators, tapes, reverbs, microphones, Time variant effects and HRTF (head related transfer function). N.A.T. is based on VVKT too and CORE II technology, also permits to sample the original linear impulse responses (traditional convolution), the original not linear impulse responses (original harmonic distortions), the dynamic behaviour (for example compressors) and the time variant behaviour (for example choruses, flangers and generic time variant processors).
Q.1.2 I have N.A.T. What should I do now? Should I just borrow the ultimate preamp and start posting questions? You need to read carefully instructions. There is a quick starting guide in .PDF format. When you have finished, you should read this F.A.Q. completely. You should make at least a couple of attempts before starting sampling serious gear. We studied a learning path for you and if you don't follow our path, your questions will be not answered properly, or simply we'll not able to help you. We'll be stressed and our answers will be wrong. You'll damage other customers who are following our instructions.
Q.1.3 What is the best learning path? [i]A) You should sample a software reverb, in offline mode. B) You should sample an hardware reverb, in ASIO mode. C) You should sample an hardware preamp, in ASIO mode. D) You should sample a dynamic device (for example a tape), in ASIO mode. E) Etc.
Q.1.4 But I'm not interested in sampling reverbs. I want the ultimate preamp. The learning path is mandatory. We find easily a mistake both in our application and in your setup. A software reverb is a piece of cake, an hardware time variant is not so easy. You should be sure you have a good results on every step before going on.
Q.1.5 Could I sample chains of effects Yes, and this is an important feature of our technology. But not everything is possible. A reverb with a long tail chained to a chorus can't work. In such a similar case the tail should not exceed 100 milliseconds. You would have similar issues in the image processing area. You can't sample a fast sport sequence in the complete darkness. You need at least a good spot-light. For the same reason, in your preferred reverb is combining a fast modulation and a long tail, probably the program will not turn good.
Q.1.6 How could I sample properly a software or hardware time variant device? We suggest to you to sample offline a software chorus or flanger before starting with an hardware one. What is trivial is the the period parameter. Period is a sort of setting for the shutter in a sort of video camera. More black (= longer kernels) you need an higher time and you need something which goes slower (the result is less good). A phaser or a tremolo have a lot of light (like the daylight), a flanger is like something in the evening or at the sunset, a chorus is like something in the night. A reverb+chorus is something like in the middle of the night, without moon or external light at all. A software is better than hardware, it is more lightened. We suggest a period of at least 80 milliseconds for hardware flangers and 100 milliseconds for hardware choruses. An hardware phaser could be even shorter, around 10 milliseconds. For a software flanger you could tune period around 40 milliseconds, a software chorus around 60. A common technique, you make it really slow tuning it in your hardware for example a slow rate for the flanger. It is like moving slower a subject when the shutter has longer times, then you play it quickly. More samples you capture, less the stepness. In fact in nebula phasers are REALLY good, chorus are criticized more, especially when you adjust the RATE setting. Using time-variants you could sample exciting things, like you had a camera. For example even an equalizer with a moving knob. This is what we call "the sampler", because, even if not perfect, it is the first step towards a true revolution in this area.
Q.1.7 Should I tweak parameters or asking new sessions and templates? It is better if we prepare them for you. You will save a lot of time. At the moment you can't edit a template. But we'll provide new templates as soon as they are ready. Every kind of Nebula program is possible using a proper template. When you feel yourself comfortable with the technology and the sampling procedure, you could tune the expert settings by yourself.
Q.1.8 N.A.T. sessions and templates have strange names. Could you explain it better? An offline session has the "OFFLINE" suffix. Every ASIO session could be an offline session, you just need to open the "offline" form. But offline sessions are optimized for offline processing. A proper ASIO session is longer than 1.5 hours and gives to you the best result possible. For every ASIO session you'll find a short session with the "TEST" template. Use it for a quick attempt. If it turns out good, start a long session.
Q.1.9 What are the hardware requirements for run N.A.T.? You need plenty of RAM, 1 GB is recommended, otherwise the deconvolution will be too much slow. You need at least a couple of free GB, but 6 free gigabytes are recommended on the hard drive you chose for temporary data. A fast CPU is recommended too.
Q.1.10 Could I sample gear in my MAC based studio? Yes, in offline mode. You export your test tone (which could be a .WAV file), process it and import again in your Windows PC. If the other studio doesn't support 32 bit floating WAV files, you could convert them. NAT supports 16 and 24 bit fixed, 32 and 64 bit floating point WAV files.
Q.1.11 Could I sample gear at a rate different from 44.100 Yes, but almost all the shipped sessions are based on 44.100 Hz. If you plan to use a different sample rate, you should open the expert form and check that your actual frequency rate was automatically selected. If you select an high rate value, you could ran out of RAM easily.