any Nebula users? (hardware emulation)

djdizzy

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#1
i was wondering if there were any Nebula users here. i have a few libraries - mainly some AlexB stuff for EQ's/consoles/preamps/etc, CDSoundMaster tape/tube, Cupwise compressor, and VNXT EMT140 reverb. Nebula has a crappy GUI and is a real CPU hog and that's the reason why it cramps the workflow of anyone who doesn't have a powerful CPU because you'll have to resample the tracks. luckily i have a pretty hefty CPU so it's not too much of an inconvenience. after doing some A/B's between the AlexB EQ's vs FabFilter Pro-Q and the Ableton EQ, i was really very impressed. likewise when i compared the Cupwise compressor vs FabFilter Pro-C, Cytomic and Ableton's compressor, i was very impressed with Nebula yet again.

i also slapped AlexB's "synth line amplifier" (from his "vintage synth filters" library) on a WIP track which gave it nicer-sounding saturation than i've ever heard from software. i haven't tested the consoles yet, i need to read the PDF manuals first because this is a new area for me.

if there are any other Nebula users here, what libraries do you like?
 

djdizzy

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#3
generally speaking, nebula tends to be more subtle than other software when it comes to saturation but it also sounds so much better. it provides more of a less-destructive warmth compared to other software emulation.

as far as the EQ's - i still use Pro-Q for surgical EQ cuts but anytime i high-pass or low-pass an important sound, i use Nebula. same with EQ boosts, that's where it really shines. these days i use nebula EQ's exclusively whenever i boost a frequency, it makes such a difference.

i just gave some console emulation a try - AlexB's modern white console, vintage blue console and CDSoundMaster's globe console. i did some a/b comparisons to each other and a plain version of the song w/o any console emulation. it's really hard to put into words how it changes the sound because the console emulation is very subtle because they're typically neutral in regards to any amplitude change. the vintage blue console took away too much from sub frequencies but the modern white console and CDSM globe console were great in a subtle way, seemed to glue everything together really well and gave it more dimension. playing around with different instances of console emulations won't radically change the sound but it gives that extra finishing touch like sprinkling a small dash of fairy dust on the mix.
 

logikz

I Am Not The King
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#4
tried to install it once, damn thing wouldnt work. its freeware right? i remember i really wanted it at the time, but it seemed totally amazeballs awesome. is it? and is there still a free version? its a vst, right?
 

Dugg Funnie

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#5
There is a freeware version, but I think you can only use a few libraries. And yeah the installation is a bit of a hurdle, but it's totally worth it.
 

djdizzy

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#7
yep there is a free version but I've never tried the free version or free libraries before. I read on gearslutz that the free libraries are good but not as good as the 3rd party libraries like cdsoundmaster, alexb and analog in the box. I also remember reading about some people having issues with the free version but didn't have the same issues with the pro version. the gui isn't that great, 3rd party skins definitely make it look better but nebula isn't without it's quirks, basically it's not as user friendly as it easily could be. the menus take some getting used to and so do the actual parameters. you get the best results from nebula if you gain stage, each library seems to come with a pdf that is a must-read. I just throw an instance of ableton's utility plugin prior to nebula so the right amplitude is going into it. nebula can be a pain in the ass but it's worth it imo. it took me a couple weeks but i'm fairly comfortable with it now. i'm using it on my current wip and am very happy with the results.

it'll have 2 different vst's to pick from, "nebula" and "nebula reverb". "nebula" has less latency but is more cpu intensive whereas "nebula reverb" has more latency but is far less cpu intensive. I use "nebula reverb" for everything from eq, console, preamp, compression and of course actual reverb; the extra latency hasn't been any issue for me at all and I can put many more instances of it simultaneously when I use the "nebula reverb" dll.

they're supposedly working on nebula 4 and they claim it's gui with be much improved with a november target release date. in the meantime it's worth the extra hassle imo.
 
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#9
There is a freeware version, but I think you can only use a few libraries. And yeah the installation is a bit of a hurdle, but it's totally worth it.
yeah, it only comes with a set library, and you can't use any third party ones (well, theoretically there is some type of freeware library designation thing that no actual libraries seem to exist for), and it does eat cpu like crazy, but I'd definitely try it, sounds pretty good!
http://www.acustica-audio.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=20&Itemid=101
 
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