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MANTIS, the first Nebula library by SoundDrops is out! Dynamics Plugins
Old 17th April 2018
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

MANTIS, the first Nebula library by SoundDrops is out!

MANTIS PWM compressor, the first creation by Acqua/Nebula 3rd party developer SoundDrops, is out!



Introductory price is 65€ (more than 15% off).

MANTIS is part of the MetaWare product line (see below) and models a device that was expressly designed and built with the creation of a N4 library in mind. Its sonic behavior has been especially optimized with a view to produce a program that could replicate all its desiderable musical features, yet without the inevitable drawbacks of the analog realm, such as unwanted distortion, noise, lack of repeatability, etc.

MANTIS PWM compressor is characterized by an extremely wide knee and a uniquely engaging musical action that always seems to 'bounce' along with the signal in an inspiring and complimentary fashion. Mantis can morph from almost invisible all the way to downright sonic abuse. It can act quite fast, since the minimum attack time is 0.1 mSec, still it always seems to mantain a certain musicality with its transparent and forgiving attitude… Unless it is set to “Nuke”, that is. The rightmost position of the Ratio control can produce a negative compression action that in a way reminds the well known All-Buttons-In setting of the 1176-type devices.

MANTIS comes with a streamlined, clear 2D GUI and includes two programs: the regular one, precisely MANTIS, and an external side-chain enabled one, MANTIS_SC. In this case, the sidechain signal must be sent to inputs n. 3 & 4, as is the norm with Acqua/Nebula compressors.

MANTIS started as an experiment just out of technical curiosity, but eventually the way this circuit worked and sounded made it worth of being sampled and offered in a convenient N4 library format.
MANTIS will surely find its place of honor in many mixing and mastering chains.

Commercial version available here.

Fully functioning 30-day trial version available here.

In both links you can find the manual in the download section, at the bottom of the page.


Please note: as is the case with all Acqua plug-ins, also trial and commercial versions of Mantis aren't presently compatible.
If you plan to buy Mantis after testing the trial version, you'll have to manually transfer all your settings to the former from the latter. For this reason it is advisable to:
- buy the commercial version before the trial period expires or
- save a screenshot of your settings (or alternatively write them down).



MetaWare – Augmented Reality Acqua Libraries

MetaWare = “Beyond the Hard/Software”. A series of Acqua/Nebula libraries for N4 by SoundDrops based on an innovative concept. Proprietary hardware processors are specifically conceived, designed and built from the ground up with the creation of N4 libraries in mind.

Great care then is taken during the sampling and deconvolving process. Thanks to Acustica’s innovative technology, each aspect of the device’s behavior (frequency and phase response, harmonic and dynamic action and so on) can be separately sampled and then reassembled in an optimized form. The final outcome is a series of extremely clean and noiseless vectors, as it is easily apparent from the resulting response plots.

This procedure allows the creation of virtual machines that would be plainly impossible (or, at least, extremely unpractical) to build in the real world; a series of consistent and dependable digital processors that yet retain all the great sonic traits of real world analog hardware, down to the tiniest detail.
Attached Thumbnails
MANTIS, the first Nebula library by SoundDrops is out!-mantis.jpg  
Old 17th April 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Arionas's Avatar
Welcome to the party!
Downloading the trial right now.
Old 18th April 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Great SteDal. I'll try this when I have time. Looks promising.
Old 18th April 2018
  #4
Gear Head
 
Roadside's Avatar
Looks cool! Congratz!
Is there an intended use? Busses? Guitars? Vocals?
Old 18th April 2018
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SameOh View Post
Great SteDal. I'll try this when I have time. Looks promising.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arionas View Post
Welcome to the party!
Downloading the trial right now.
Very good!

I'd love to know your opinion, if you feel like...
Old 18th April 2018
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadside View Post
Looks cool! Congratz!
Is there an intended use? Busses? Guitars? Vocals?
Well, being a very transparent compressor Mantis surely excels at bus/mastering duties, even more so when acoustic instruments are involved.

But I also had great results with parallel compression on drums (ratio set at 10:1 or Nuke), vocals (if you're after a smooth action) and brass/winds.

But as it's always the case with music, your ears are the best judge!
Old 18th April 2018
  #7
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

So this runs inside N4 only, correct? Does N4 player suffice? Smells of Pye....I can smell that smell.....bounce bounce ....hmmmm
Old 18th April 2018
  #8
Gear Addict
Downloaded the trial.

It feels like a really tight compressor. Im no expert in any area, but i feel it tightens the stereoimage, and at the same time widens it.
It feels like it can really handle some abuse to.
It does something to clear things up when i put it on. Less muddy sound with it on, and no dial moved.

A good "glue´r".. Just started to play with it, but this one might steal some money from me damn it!! I just bought pink...
Old 18th April 2018
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
So this runs inside N4 only, correct? Does N4 player suffice? Smells of Pye....I can smell that smell.....bounce bounce ....hmmmm
Yes, the free N4Player is all you need!

Actually, the process of installing all new Acqua/Nebula libraries is now much more streamlined than before, as everything is handled by Aquarius.
In the end, if everything works as expected it's just like installing a plug-in.

As far as a Mantis/Pye comparison... Well, both are PWM compressors, so they could share some common sonic traits, but the circuits are completely different.
You may find some more info about the idea behind the hardware, etc. in the manual (link in the first post).
Old 18th April 2018
  #10
Gear Addict
The Mantis operating manual link, got me to Box, and there i couldnt see the manual.
But going into to Mantis page on acusticas site, i could read the manual.. Just a heads up.
Old 18th April 2018
  #11
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteDal View Post
Yes, the free N4Player is all you need!

Actually, the process of installing all new Acqua/Nebula libraries is now much more streamlined than before, as everything is handled by Aquarius.
In the end, if everything works as expected it's just like installing a plug-in.

As far as a Mantis/Pye comparison... Well, both are PWM compressors, so they could share some common sonic traits, but the circuits are completely different.
You may find some more info about the idea behind the hardware, etc. in the manual (link in the first post).
Ok....when you said 'bouncy' and PWM my eyes opened wide. So perhaps more of a Cranesong then. Might have to try this out at some point soon.
Old 18th April 2018
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Ok....when you said 'bouncy' and PWM my eyes opened wide. So perhaps more of a Cranesong then. Might have to try this out at some point soon.
Well... bouncy it is indeed!



Just go take a listen yourself!
Old 18th April 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
 

MANTIS warning ... hide wallet before listening.

Old 18th April 2018
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteDal View Post
Well... bouncy it is indeed!



Just go take a listen yourself!
I will. But my wallet is a bit busy with hardware at the minute, I'll get back to it.
Old 18th April 2018
  #15
Lives for gear
 

I did not expected it but it is actually a very musical compressor. They say it's a library and certainly loading is from N4 library but using is very "plugin" like which is a good thing. I mean interface is clean and easy to work with.
Old 18th April 2018
  #16
Very Impressive!!
Old 20th April 2018
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Everyone needs to test this comp, it's one of the smoothest bus comps out today..... FANTASTIC work SteDal!!
Old 20th April 2018
  #18
Lives for gear
 

MANTIS has been getting the call on some of my latest Mastering projects.
It has been going up against a variety of effective comps I've used.

For the most part, I only look for a dB or so of compression ... but Mantis is so TRANSPARENT that I don't seem to mind some extra. Whether I use more
or not ... its' nice knowing I can

When I do level compensated ByPass ... that is a surprise. Actually ... I think it is important TO A/B level compare this Compressor, just so you realize what you
have done.

I've soo many Comps with 'character' ... it is vital to have a Compression tool that doesn't NEED character to bring benefit ... in fact, a more 'transparent' compressor
allows all the colorful tones come through via the tone shaping equalizer and such, as TOO MUCH 'colors' can turn things to a muddy mush. [BTW ... I think I recorded that Band back in the 70s].

Since I'm well within deadline for these two MANTIS test projects ... I'm taking time to audition, evaluate. Right now the consideration is FEEL ... how the Comp grooves with the track. And 2 ... when I have more than one Comp in the chain tapping on the dynamics that might be there FOR its added colors/tone. Having a choice that play 'their' special roles are the combinations I study for.

Well done SteDal !
Old 20th April 2018
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Beatworld's Avatar
My first Nebula experience.
Mantis is very nice, great work SteDal, thanks
Old 20th April 2018
  #20
Gear Nut
 
Marchenoir's Avatar
 

Trying to download Mantis trial but always redirected to this blank page: https://app.box.com/s/XXX

Am I doing something wrong?
Old 20th April 2018
  #21
Lives for gear
 

How long is the intro price on for?
Old 20th April 2018
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marchenoir View Post
Trying to download Mantis trial but always redirected to this blank page: https://app.box.com/s/XXX

Am I doing something wrong?
Aquarius is the only way I know of.
Old 20th April 2018
  #23
Gear Nut
 
Marchenoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJHollins View Post
Aquarius is the only way I know of.
Thank you RJ for your answer. Well, I've got Aquarius but Mantis doesn't show up. I tried to download it from my account on Acustica Audio, but still get this blank page...

Did you only use the Aquarius app to get Mantis?
Old 20th April 2018
  #24
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marchenoir View Post
Thank you RJ for your answer. Well, I've got Aquarius but Mantis doesn't show up. I tried to download it from my account on Acustica Audio, but still get this blank page...

Did you only use the Aquarius app to get Mantis?
Buy the trial at the checkout first
Old 20th April 2018
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eklo View Post
How long is the intro price on for?
One month. So the launch offer is going to last until about May 15th.
Old 20th April 2018
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will The Weirdo View Post
Everyone needs to test this comp, it's one of the smoothest bus comps out today..... FANTASTIC work SteDal!!
Thanks Will!
Old 20th April 2018
  #27
Gear Nut
 
Marchenoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by james_bond View Post
Buy the trial at the checkout first
I did. But still cannot download it.
Old 20th April 2018
  #28
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marchenoir View Post
I did. But still cannot download it.
Make sure to check under both tabs in aquarius. Other than that I've no idea.
Old 20th April 2018
  #29
Gear Nut
 
Marchenoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by james_bond View Post
Make sure to check under both tabs in aquarius. Other than that I've no idea.
Ok, I will check as soon as I get back home. Thanks for your help!
Old 20th April 2018
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJHollins View Post
MANTIS has been getting the call on some of my latest Mastering projects.
It has been going up against a variety of effective comps I've used.

For the most part, I only look for a dB or so of compression ... but Mantis is so TRANSPARENT that I don't seem to mind some extra. Whether I use more
or not ... its' nice knowing I can

When I do level compensated ByPass ... that is a surprise. Actually ... I think it is important TO A/B level compare this Compressor, just so you realize what you
have done.

I've soo many Comps with 'character' ... it is vital to have a Compression tool that doesn't NEED character to bring benefit ... in fact, a more 'transparent' compressor
allows all the colorful tones come through via the tone shaping equalizer and such, as TOO MUCH 'colors' can turn things to a muddy mush. [BTW ... I think I recorded that Band back in the 70s].

Since I'm well within deadline for these two MANTIS test projects ... I'm taking time to audition, evaluate. Right now the consideration is FEEL ... how the Comp grooves with the track. And 2 ... when I have more than one Comp in the chain tapping on the dynamics that might be there FOR its added colors/tone. Having a choice that play 'their' special roles are the combinations I study for.

Well done SteDal !
Again, thanks RJ!

Actually, your findings about Mantis are exactly the same as mine.
In a way it seems to react 'emphatically' with the music and become a part of it, rather than fight against it.

Of course, on occasions you do need an aggressive colorful compressor, but I must confess that I have a hard time finding other processors that are better than Mantis at reining the dynamic range in such an effortless and transparent way.

And in the end I really don't know why, either... but it must be something related to Mantis' unique compression curve with its two-stage soft knee, as it can be seen on the graph in the manual.
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