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Stoner Rock mixed and mastered with Nebula: the review.

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Stoner Rock mixed and mastered with Nebula: the review.

Postby buattipaso » Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:53 pm

Hey there, I'm Riccardo Pasini italian sound engineer.
This is my first review of my new mixing and mastering techniques using Acustica Audio's Nebula, AlexB and Cdsoundmaster programs.
I own a recording studio (Studio73, Italy) fulfill with analog equipment, so my goal was to add Nebula in my weapons, not to substitute my gear.
So let me describe the recording process of this band, Void of Sleep, hoping that this reading will be helpful for you.
Everything was recorded @96 (highly recommend) with Motu 1296 converters using Digital Performer Daw. With Motu Dp I never had a trouble with Nebula, and in the future I'll plan to switch to Nebula server, but now I'm happy on Nebula pro.
For drums I've used Akg112 on bass drums, Sm57 on top snare and Audio Technica 4050 bottom. Sm57 for tom and floor tom, Akg 451 for overheads and a couple of Neu Tlm103 for ambient mics. With bass guitar I've used a Sansamp Para driver Di and a Shennheiser 421 (the ampli was a Gallien Krueger and the distortion was generated by mighty Rat)
On the guitars side I've used a couple of 57 and a Neu Tlm103, I had 2 different setups for guitars: a Marshall plexi, with Mesa Boogie 4x12 cab and a Hiwatt with its own cab, distortions come from various stomp boxes, handmade fuzzes, Rat and an old Tube Screamer.
For vocals I've used my favorite mic: Peluso 2247 Le.
My main preamps (that I've used almost on everything) was the amazing swedish handmade Tk Audio Dp1. Only for tracking drums I've used some different gear: Tk Audio Dp1 on snare and overheads, Bellari Rp520 on ambient micas, and Tl Audio Pa5001 on kick and toms.
No compression was added during tracking, except for vocals (I'm used in this way…) adding a touch of Anthony Demaria 1000.
Right before the mix session Nebula comes in: adding the Studer emulation on every track. I don't need too much analog color, I prefer to stay as close as possible to a simulation of using a real 2" 24 track. In this way I've choose Studer running @30. The program may vary, mostly the 10b, my favorite. and right after the tape simulation I've added the "input of my virtual desk" , of course, with Nebula. My choice was the Black Modern Console from AlexB programs.
Except for Nebula, I never feel fine working with plugins. And I have some good stuff here, so I decide to work with my desk (an old Soundtracs Console) first, settings the balances and starting adding some compression. Then when I was fine with the overall sound I've recorded every track that was processed with an external device.
Kick, snare and toms was compressed with Empirical Labs Distressor, ambient on drums was compressed with 1176, bass guitar was running thru a 1176, the on a M****y elop, while I've leaved guitars and vocals untouched.
On the equalization side I've used exclusively the Black Modern Eq and the 1073 Eq from AlexB: 10 times better that any other gear here in my studio.
After this I'm ready with my tracks "tape simulated" "mix desk input simulated" compressed and eqed right in my computer.
To complete the simulation of a desk I've used, of course, the Bus and Mix out programs from the Black Modern Console. And for bus compression I was forced to use plugins simulations. But thanks to Alex, I was happy to use the 4kd dynamic collection library.
Mastering: as tape simulation I've used the Otari from Cdsoundmaster (always @30, in my opinion @15 there's too much artifacts) and I've used the great German Mastering Console from AlexB. Analog compression was given by Crane Song Stc-8 while eq in this case was still analog: M****y massive Passive. And for the last digital limiter I'm on Izotope Ozone, that I consider, for rock music, the clearest one.
I really hope this would help you, and for any question I'll be pleasant to answer you! Thanks!
The links:
http://snd.sc/jd4Sin
http://snd.sc/jR4fae
Enjoy them!
buattipaso
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Re: Stoner Rock mixed and mastered with Nebula: the review.

Postby wusch » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:38 pm

very nice!

i like the sound, very earthy, warm and organic. fits the music.

great guitar sound and i like the song, too. and thanks for the interesting info.
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Re: Stoner Rock mixed and mastered with Nebula: the review.

Postby mathias » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:46 pm

great song, fullbodied sound! very nice!

sometimes this kind of music sounds thin and screachy, but here you brought everything in a good balance. nice work.

only thing i want to mention:
is -8 db rms really necessary ??? :shock:

this really blocks the strongest parts of the song out.
i think the song would win greatly, if it could develop dynamicwise a little more.
(-12 db rms ?)
at the moment, the most dramatic parts can't bring the song forward, compared to the part before. it turns a little muddy then (i mean "a little" :D ).

okay it is soundcloud, compressed format, but anyway....

greetings to italy,
mathias

p.s.
by the way, congratulations to you italians, that you don't went the nuclear path any further! very wise :ugeek:
system 1: windows 8 32 bit - samplitude prox, tracktion6, reaper
system 2: mac osx yosemite - reaper(32+64bit), tracktion6(32+64bit)

both systems on: macbook pro (late 2009), core 2 duo 3,06 ghz, 4 gb ram, graphic: nvidia geforce 9600M GT 512 MB
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Re: Stoner Rock mixed and mastered with Nebula: the review.

Postby buattipaso » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:00 pm

@ Mathias

First of all thank you very much, you are really kind!
Then... that damned -8 rms. I totally agree with you, but, sadly, the clients always demand for a -8 rms (and sometime more...) master.
Usually I give 2 options to my clients: one "hot" let's say about -8 rms and one clean and dynamic, let's say -12 but often -14 rms. Well only the 5% choose the clean one. You know it is a psycoacoustic matter: if you switch from a loud, commercial cd to a less compressed cd this last one seems to sound poor and "homemade". While everyone know that this is absolutely false, they continue to prefer loud mastering to stay "on the safe side". I hope things will change in the near future.
I think Foo Fighters with their last cd have thought the same: they was so happy with their only analog recordings, so proud to have old style sound... and then smashed by a ultra loud mastering. I ask to myself... why?
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Re: Stoner Rock mixed and mastered with Nebula: the review.

Postby mathias » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:31 pm

yes that is a sad truth.
so our work is not done yet, to get over it.
there is maybe a chance with the new EBU R 128 Loudness Recommendation, which is starting to be applied in tv and hopefully radiostations soon.
when you hear overcompressed songs loudness-normalized in comparison to dynamic material, they really sound flat and energyless.

i always wonder, that some musicians don't hear/feel the damage, that is done to the music.
or maybe they hear it and just fear they can't compete??

greetings,
mathias
system 1: windows 8 32 bit - samplitude prox, tracktion6, reaper
system 2: mac osx yosemite - reaper(32+64bit), tracktion6(32+64bit)

both systems on: macbook pro (late 2009), core 2 duo 3,06 ghz, 4 gb ram, graphic: nvidia geforce 9600M GT 512 MB
mathias
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