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General NAT Help needed

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General NAT Help needed

Postby mansardian » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:24 pm

Hey guys,
I´m sure this topic is out there in this forum somewhere; Please forgive me for a likely already answered question, but I just don´t have the nerve to search and search and search...

So: I´m absolutely new to hardware-sampling though I´ve done some IR-sampling of rooms before - so I understand the concept. I have NO idea how this Nat thing works. Not at all. And, to be honest, I find it almost ridiculous that there is no user guide or manual of a paid programm which the bundled NAT is, in fact. Could someone please describe step by step what to do when you want to sample a compressor? Don´t redirect me to another thread unless it really does so!
I found a thread named something like "sampling a compressor" but it doesn´t help at all. That guy is talking about things that require basic knowledge of this application - which I don´t have...

I´d really appreciate some NAT for Dummies
regards
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Re: General NAT Help needed

Postby enriquesilveti » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:25 pm

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Re: General NAT Help needed

Postby voidar » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:02 pm

I don't see how that link could be relevant to this?
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Re: General NAT Help needed

Postby RJHollins » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:11 pm

There are 18 'tips' on using NAT.

It's a start ... at least.
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Re: General NAT Help needed

Postby mansardian » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:38 pm

voidar wrote:I don't see how that link could be relevant to this?


Thanks to voidar! I didn´t want to appear unappreciative, however I think Voidar is right.
I understand the point in forwarding me to those tips but that´s not what I was asking for. I can´t believe that sampling a compressor is so complicated it can´t be described in a few steps! :?:
At least I wonder if noone ever wanted to make a tutorial for youtube!

Is there nobody who can help me the fast way?

In case it really is too complicated to explain that process it is even more frustrating there is no manual.
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Re: General NAT Help needed

Postby enriquesilveti » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:53 pm

I'm working in NAT user manual (yes, the official one!). Today I was setting my mastering converters. NAT sampling is based into models and that leads us into NAT session and templates but depending the technology and topology of the gear to sample you should use different NAT sessions. I never done a compression sample with NAT so If you are looking for a guide you should ask directly to 3rd developers that already release compressors like Alessandro or Eric.
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Re: General NAT Help needed

Postby Cupwise » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:19 pm

well yeah as enrique says, first you want to load a compressor session into NAT. if you don't have the latest sessions/templates pack you need to get it. then load a compressor session.

then, the first thing you should start with is doing programs with only one ratio setting.

so set the ratio to whatever position on the compressor, and sample that. look at the resulting .wav in an editor. i think you want to try to get it so that the lowest sampled dynamic set (the quietest one) will be where the compression has let up. so at that point there is no compression, that last sample is just below the knee. if you have a soft knee compressor where the knee keeps going, then it would be a little more complicated to accurately capture that. i have my own theories on how that should maybe be handled, you are just starting out so completely forget about that for now, even if yours is soft knee only. if it can do both, switch to hard knee.

sample it, this first time is just to check and see where you are at, you will have to do it again at least once. look at your wav, and if you still see significant compression between the 2nd to last and last sample (use wav editor and analyze the db levels for each sampled step), then you need to redo it with more dynamic steps. if you did capture enough steps, see which one seems to be the first one where there is close to exactly 1db between it and the previous (louder) one. count how many are AFTER that one (the quieter one), and go back into NAT and take away that many dynamic steps. you do that on the expert tab. you want the first one with 1db between it and the previous one, to be the last sample.

at least i THINK this is the right method as i've seen described by giancarlo.

that's pretty much it. if your compressor has attack and release controls, you can sample those. go to the multi page in the compressor session and add in however many values for those knobs you want to sample. you'll have to turn each knob a little at a time to capture each position.

i know i didn't word any of this in the best way possible, so if you have any specific questions about any of that feel free to ask. to some degree you are going to have to figure some of this out for yourself though, and if you can't or don't want to try, then i'd say maybe it isn't for you. sampling stuff can go from easy to tricky as hell depending on what you are trying to do. a preamp is easy. a compressor... well it's one of those things where there is more wiggle room, and maybe different developers have developed their own techniques that might be a little different. i have my own ideas about how to handle soft knee compression, for example. i haven't tested those ideas so i'm not going to discuss them. :)

also when you open a compressor session, you should save it to a new folder somewhere, with a new name so you never mess with those sessions provided by acustica. and any time you change anything in a NAT session, such as dynamic steps, anything, SAVE before you sample, then close it, and reload. NAT can be buggy. so it's best to save any changes, close the program, and reload it just to make sure the changes 'stuck'. at least it's a habit i've developed.
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Re: General NAT Help needed

Postby Cupwise » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:23 pm

actually when i tell you to look for samples where there are 1 db between them (to see that there is no compression at that point), that might be wrong. i forget, it would depend on what the setting in the NAT compressor session says. look at expert page, and where you can adjust the number of dynamic steps, right beside that is a box where you can change the distance between each step. in preamp style sessions i'm pretty sure it's usually set to 1db, but i think in compressor sessions it might be less than that.

you can either change it to 1db (and make sure to save afterwords, as i've said) to simplify things for you, or just note what it is set to, and analyze samples for the point where that value is actually the distance between adjacent samples. that would be the point where the compression has let up.
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Re: General NAT Help needed

Postby Cupwise » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:31 pm

so let's say the distance between dynamic steps is set to .5 db, you'd want to find where the compression has let up, so find where there begins to actually be .5db between each step. it would depend on where you set the threshold control on your compressor. obviously you need to set it to a level where it actually compresses a fair amount of the tones. so maybe like -20db or less, i'm not sure how much that matters, exactly.

so anyways, let's say you find out that with the threshold set at -20db, you sample the compressor, and you look at the wav that was recorded, and you find out that the 35th and 36th sample have .4 db between them, but the 36th and 37th sample have .5db between them. let's say you have 40 dynamic steps total, so 40 samples. go back into NAT, and reduce that number to 37 and sample it again.

that way the last sample is 'uncompressed'.


i might be wrong but i'm pretty sure this is the method. if the 'official' method is different, it shouldn't be by much... i hope :)
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Re: General NAT Help needed

Postby mansardian » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:57 pm

Hey, Cupwise:

WOW! Now THAT was exactly what I was looking for! :idea:

You made me want to open NAT again and perhaps - when I get it done right - I could share some programs with you all. I´ve got a F*******e Compressor I want to start with, an old Siemens graphic EQ, and then I go over to a big German broadcast console, converted for recording purposes. And who knows, I´m possibly allowed to sample a true 1176 at a pro-audio store around here...

Thanks a lot!

PS: I forgot to ask: Where do I get those templates from?
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