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Nebula: is it any good? Equalizer Plugins
Old 15th March 2014
  #31
anyone not convinced - just take the test I posted above!

It was made completely independently of Acustica by someone who specialises in scientific testing! It is completely blind and within reason about as bias free as you could hope to be! The OP will give you the answers by PM.

It is a listening test of a good library from a 3rd party developer. Not a sine wave test on non-specific library...(PS there are analyser graphs of that library on Alex B website)
Old 15th March 2014
  #32
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MusicJesus's Avatar
 

Not sure why you equate - "it is not accurately modeling the hardware" with "it sounds like garbage". All along I have said - if you like it, fine then use it. In fact, I don't particularly have an opinion about whether various "emulations" sound good or not.

What I am saying is that in a simple test used to bench hardware (not the only one surely, but one of the simplest), Nebula doesn't stand up as accurately modeling either an harmonic spectrum, "distortion", or non-linear variations. It does, however, introduce aliasing, unusual harmonic high and low passes, and lots of "stuff" that isn't being generated from the hardware. And it amazes me that people who purport to be "engineers" don't bench their equipment (hard or soft)—it is typically the first thing you do with a new piece of equipment before you integrate it into an environment.

By all means - if you like what various emulations do, and you think they sound like the hardware—then use it. Put it on every channel. Obviously, it is doing something that a number of people like. And for that, I congratulate the developers.
Old 15th March 2014
  #33
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uuh ... sacrilege! someone pissed on the holy grail nebula ...

interesting to see which peoplereact hysterycally to the thread of a simple sine wave.

so nebula is from now on out of discussion for me. I trust science and I mistrust anyone that comes across as a holy warrior, regardless of the cause.

so, nebula is out.
Old 15th March 2014
  #34
Gear Nut
 

I downloaded a 44.1K 5 second sweep from Professional Online Audio Frequency Signal Generator. Put it in Reaper 4.6 44.1K project.
Gain-staged the sweep ahead of the Nebula 3 Pro instance using FreeG (Sonalksis) to -18dbrms. Loaded several commercial EQ presets from AlexB, CDSM, TimPetherick using the 44.1K preset. (All at 44.1K so there's no resampling)
Saw some good stuff (harmonics) & "garbage" (aliasing) in Span below -90dbfs, if I turn the nebula drive knob down then visually the "garbage" goes below -105dbfs and into the sample noise floor. Is that what we're looking at?
Old 15th March 2014
  #35
Gear Addict
For sure the harmonics engine adds some "stuff". I usually end up turning those down anyway to save CPU and because harmonics abovethe 3rd or so are negligible.

But I'm hearing same visual analysis argument that is pointless. I repeat, POINTLESS.

Saying (paraphrasing) "it might sound good but it does all these things" is no different than me saying, "Well, Nebula is great but if you don't have a good song/musicians/room/etc than nothing will sound good.". You're proving nothing of value.

You're just trying to WIN the thread.
Old 15th March 2014
  #36
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arnew's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zabukowski View Post
For god's sake - if you can't hear and understand Nebula after all debates, tests, comparisons, reviews etc., why bother with it at all ? What exactly is your point ?

Just use something else and enjoy feeding it with sine waves. I won't do it for sure, it was done a million times before, but i would expect you to provide results of your tests, instead of repeating "try it yourself" phrase.

Cheers, Franci
I could not agree more. Gearbashing seems to be popular here at GS, and sometimes there are absolutely no point to it - none at all.

I have been a Nebula user for years, and are astonished with recent libraries development. The forthcoming version 4.0 will be a game changer for workflow and usability. Recent development shows great enhances in quality, stability, less RAM use, less CPU usage, faster load times and libraries are just getting better and better from a broad range of 3rd party developers. Nebula have many professional dedicated users who provide constructive feedback to development. G and his staff do listen to input from the users. Acustica Audio are a small company with very dedicated and smart developers, with thorough engaging testers and with a friendly user community. For me, Nebula has a bright future and 4.0 will arrive later this year. Looking forward to it.
Old 15th March 2014
  #37
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gussyg2007's Avatar
Quote:
musicJesus

has spoken.
I guess us nebular users/developers are all wrong ....musicjesus did a sweep and he has the right of it
Old 15th March 2014
  #38
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Yeah because all my music is entirely constructed by sine waves.
This has turned into a ridiculous argument because of a sine sweep.
So what if it looks different - music is made up of so many complex waveforms and nobody not nebula, not slate - nobody can claim to have modelled anything entirely accurately and probably never will entirely if chaos theory is at all correct.
So can we agree that yup the sine wave looks different - what this means is entirely irrelevant - you said you liked nebula so use it! I love nebula and that's why I use it - warts and all.
Old 15th March 2014
  #39
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norbury brook's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnew View Post
I could not agree more. Gearbashing seems to be popular here at GS, and sometimes there are absolutely no point to it - none at all.

I have been a Nebula user for years, and are astonished with recent libraries development. The forthcoming version 4.0 will be a game changer for workflow and usability. Recent development shows great enhances in quality, stability, less RAM use, less CPU usage, faster load times and libraries are just getting better and better from a broad range of 3rd party developers. Nebula have many professional dedicated users who provide constructive feedback to development. G and his staff do listen to input from the users. Acustica Audio are a small company with very dedicated and smart developers, with thorough engaging testers and with a friendly user community. For me, Nebula has a bright future and 4.0 will arrive later this year. Looking forward to it.
Absolutely, I've been a Nebula user for a long time and yes, the workflow can be a huge PIA and in those cases I'll use slate/Waves products. However if I've got the time(budget) I'll use Nebula on my mixes.

Regardless of what a sine sweep shows the EQ's are the most hardware sounding from any software EQ I have used/owned, and the plate 140 reverb is just superb.

I'll point out I own high end hardware too so do have something to compare it with.



MC
Old 15th March 2014
  #40
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicJesus View Post
Nebula might be doing something, but it is doing it so poorly that it borders on being a fraud.

As I have used about 85% - 90% of the analog gear made over the last 25 years, many of which are in Nebula libraries, I can say as a tool for in the box work, Nebula gets closer to hardware than anything else we currently have available to us today. My ears and finished Nebula mixes compared to the same outboard gear and mixes are my tests.... Nebula passes big time. I have thousands of big board hours logged and Nebula is the only in the box tool that truly gets close to the sound of hardware.

I know so many outboard pieces with dried out caps that people prefer the sound of compared to up to spec parts. if you tested many of the analog gear, I'm betting 50% of what's used would fail your test also in some way. I'm also betting that same 50% would be used daily in making great art. It's almost impossible to find a room today with perfect equipment, if you find it, let me know. When was the last time you sat behind a big board, I can't remember the last time I could get any 2 channels exactly sounding the same, lol. Instead, you learn your tool, remember what sounded good with what, and get working.

You can run any test you want, in your setup, in your room, with your conclusions. You can not use the tool, that is your choice. Calling it almost a fraud is overstepping it a little. Nebula has never claimed to be perfect, there are issues, but going this far with fraud being discussed starts to show that your professionalism is lacking, and lowers you creditability.

Your opinion is valid but your flawed argument is akin to Pro Tools being a fraud because their mix buss was not perfect,. Many great records were made with it, they slowly improved the quality but everyone knew there were sound issues. It was slowly fixed but there was never fraud, just work in progress.

I know many pros who also use Nebula, it's a great tool. The day it's GUI, small aliasing and speed issues are worked out, it will take over in the box plugins. I will keep using Nebula until a better tool is released.

As always, to each their own.
Old 16th March 2014
  #41
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MusicJesus's Avatar
 

^^ Glad you like it Will. Keep up all the good work.
Old 16th March 2014
  #42
Gear Addict
 

I'm primarily mixing these days. I love Nebula. I think it's fantastic. With that said, I do not use it.

I don't know about you guys, but every time I fired up my demo of Nebula and started experimenting, I felt like I was tinkering with my old erector set, not making music.

Again, I think the work the Nebula team and all the developers have done is amazing, but what are we trying to do here? Make records or make emulations?

I just haven't found a single thing about Nebula sound-wise that was worth the tax on workflow and performance I incurred during my test drives.

Once more, super cool technology. An interesting proof-of-concept for their modeling methodology. Nevertheless, in the course of day-to-day business, I just care more about the music I'm mixing than the extra 2% of "real thing mojo" Nebula offers.

The tools I use every day ITB e.g. Soundtoys, FabFilter, Waves SSL, McDSP, etc. are plenty good in 2014.
Old 16th March 2014
  #43
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javahut's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteaxxxe View Post
uuh ... sacrilege! someone pissed on the holy grail nebula ...

interesting to see which peoplereact hysterycally to the thread of a simple sine wave.

so nebula is from now on out of discussion for me. I trust science and I mistrust anyone that comes across as a holy warrior, regardless of the cause.

so, nebula is out.
This is hilarious. So you only trust science, thereby meaning you only trust scientific proof. Oh yeah... and the one guy on an internet forum who says so. Now THAT is scientific evidence if ever there was any!
Old 16th March 2014
  #44
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gussyg2007's Avatar
but...but this guy said so on the internet forum ...It must be true then
Old 16th March 2014
  #45
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Kindred's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteaxxxe View Post
uuh ... sacrilege! someone pissed on the holy grail nebula ...

interesting to see which peoplereact hysterycally to the thread of a simple sine wave.

so nebula is from now on out of discussion for me. I trust science and I mistrust anyone that comes across as a holy warrior, regardless of the cause.

so, nebula is out.
My favourite post on GS. Ever. Easily up there with some of Secretmountain's best work.

Complete and utter gold!!

Translation - Some dude made vague unsubstantiated claims regarding something so I will believe every word without requiring anything empirical.

Mate, that's not science, that's homeopathy.
Old 16th March 2014
  #46
Lives for gear
Ah-ha...feeding sine waves in to plugin for which apparently many people don't even know how to work with (not their blame) let alone test it properly..

Nice..Revealing as well..

edit: guys this is slightly offtopic and i apologize for that but it seems that "moment" is right so i'll ask here for all you nebula lovers and followers (i used it but quit due convoluted workflow and too much of delay) - can anyone of you tell me what main points Nebula 4 is going to bring on the main table? I really tried to search on web but i can't see any highlights? Will it have even less delay. Will it address compressors (sorry i think EQ is amazing but comp. aren't there)...?

In other words can anyone post a useful info on Nebula 4 release and highlights..Or post a link..So if i am pleased i might spending some cash yet again..

Thanks guys.. once again sorry for being offtopic..
Old 16th March 2014
  #47
Im not sure the details of Nebula 4 but they are working on most of the issues people have...it may start to become preferable for some people who are non tweakers to buy the upcoming Aqua plugins like Trinity EQ...



They are also working on a multi band CoolTec eqp1 as we speak...
Old 16th March 2014
  #48
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nickelironsteel's Avatar
 

Dunno what gearbashing party is going on up there

But being mainly a hardware guy i was scarred when i first did a shootout against my hardware (pultecs, neves, reverbs etc).

Forget about the workflow issues. If you know what you want to achieve nebula will get you there. Badly tracked vocals? Henry olongas c12->neve 1073->tubetech cl1a->la2a->1176 = holy shhhh

I use metaplugin to load a series of nebulas tailored for specific purposes

Works super fast i.e. Faster than hooking up hardware. But i know most software guys wont let count that argument

Old 16th March 2014
  #49
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barryfell's Avatar
Has anyone tried their/Alex B's Aqua plugins?

AlexB Audio Engineering by Alessandro Boschi - Nebula Programs - Audio Upgrade

Neo Console


Stratipad (preamp) - free version available


Aquavox (preamp) - free


I've just tried the two free ones and they are nice. They definitely add some nice warmth, especially the Stratipad, which is great on pads/strings. I can see myself using them quite a lot.
Old 17th March 2014
  #50
Lives for gear
Good stuff, this thread......

Old 17th March 2014
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryfell View Post
Has anyone tried their/Alex B's Aqua plugins?

I've just tried the two free ones and they are nice. They definitely add some nice warmth, especially the Stratipad, which is great on pads/strings. I can see myself using them quite a lot.
Not AlexB's but I have CDSM's Cooltec EQP1 & it sounds great.
An 'all in one' v2 released tomorrow along with 'Trinity'.
Old 17th March 2014
  #52
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imloggedin's Avatar
 

Let's not beat around the bush. Anyone with a decent set of ears knows Nebula is the best EQ plugin available at the moment. The programs are so cheap its one of the best investments you can make. Anyone who says otherwise can't hear or isn't setting it up right. Not all programs are created equal also.
Old 17th March 2014
  #53
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ultra171's Avatar
 

BTW, switch to 96k and long TIMED kernels = no aliasing.

Also, proper gain staging (MAX -18dBfs) is crucial.

EDIT: Inspired by this thread, I just switched my Nebula EQs to certain highly regarded top-notch algo EQ, thinking that maybe I was after all biased and infected by placebo and it could improve my workflow.. immediately switched back to Nebula. The punch was gone. Unfortunately I switched back using different VST compression, the nebula just simply doesn't do fast, semi-heavy compression properly, no matter how much you tweak it.

For me, the circuitry saturation is what it's all about. Smooths out stuff without actually touching the mid-higs i.e.
Old 17th March 2014
  #54
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultra171 View Post
BTW, switch to 96k and long TIMED kernels = no aliasing.

Also, proper gain staging (MAX -18dBfs) is crucial.

EDIT: Inspired by this thread, I just switched my Nebula EQs to certain highly regarded top-notch algo EQ, thinking that maybe I was after all biased and infected by placebo and it could improve my workflow.. immediately switched back to Nebula. The punch was gone. Unfortunately I switched back using different VST compression, the nebula just simply doesn't do fast, semi-heavy compression properly, no matter how much you tweak it.

For me, the circuitry saturation is what it's all about. Smooths out stuff without actually touching the mid-higs i.e.
I'm using Cupwise's 660 and 33609 for most everything. The SHQ versions (which take a bit of time for my lowly machine to render) are just unheard of. Amazing.
When I need a ton of movement/pumping/effect compression, I use UBK or the IK comps, in parallel. I actually like the Tim Petherick comps for this too (TNT and CDL). His stuff has a lot of action unlike any other Neb comps, whether it's realistic or not.
Old 17th March 2014
  #55
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ultra171's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReckNC00 View Post
I'm using Cupwise's 660 and 33609 for most everything. The SHQ versions (which take a bit of time for my lowly machine to render) are just unheard of. Amazing.
When I need a ton of movement/pumping/effect compression, I use UBK or the IK comps, in parallel. I actually like the Tim Petherick comps for this too (TNT and CDL). His stuff has a lot of action unlike any other Neb comps, whether it's realistic or not.
As much as I love the Neve, it just simply cannot handle 3-4db buss compression without becoming snappy (even those tweaked FF presets) like "normal" VST plugins do, so I use Elysia Alpha for the pretty transparent compression wit the 33609 program.

Maybe in the future better compression with proper metering will be possible, now I'm just sticking with VST compression with Nebula mojo..
Old 17th March 2014
  #56
Gear Nut
 
parquix's Avatar
I am new to Nebula, I just tried to put the mammoth and GEQ together (4 band each )on my master output, and it is just awesome!
I am actually in a stage of migrating my system from Mac Pro tower (w/UAD PCIe card) to my MacBook Pro Retina 2012 (2.3Ghz i7 16gig ram)system. So basically I got no UAD plugin for over a month now, and to be honest, I am totally fine with it!
I was seriously thinking of buying the Apollo quad interface, but now i think I will just stick with my ff800 w/ Nebula.
I do love my UAD since 2007 and I have just upgraded the la2a two months ago, but this Nebula mojo thing you guys talked about is really a game changer.
Old 17th March 2014
  #57
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BTW Trinity is online now-
Trinity eQ
Old 17th March 2014
  #58
Lives for gear
 

Bad news.
Trinity is for Windows only.
Old 17th March 2014
  #59
Quote:
Originally Posted by goshalev View Post
Bad news.
Trinity is for Windows only.
it will be available soon for mac
Old 17th March 2014
  #60
Gear Nut
 
arnew's Avatar
Purchased Trinity - Nice to finally have a multiband parametric EQ with Nebula technology - Cool! Testing this "british" sounding EQ. Cooltek v2 may arrive in same fashion tomorrow.
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