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What's Your Opinion On Nebula VST?

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

So, vote your opinion if takes too much to write a post:

Get it, you can't live without it
33
44%
Good but limited
25
33%
Avoid at all costs
17
23%
 
Total votes : 75
gavriloP
KVRist
 
175 posts since 3 Feb, 2005

Postby gavriloP; Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:13 am

Well, Tp3 wrote that I don't know how to operate Nebula because I don't like everything in it. I can assure you he is wrong. I mentioned the gain staging and I've dived into the heart of Nebula so to speak. Fact remains that compressors and such don't really work well in Nebula. I do have 3rd party compressor programs, tapes etc. but they are all gathering digital dust.

The use of EQ with separate plugins for each band etc. is just unintuitive. Call me a control freak but I don't like the idea that I batch process my files through some nebula programs. I like to hear what I'm doing hands on and not go through presets. When you use presets with images of real hardware in your head, placebo effect goes to the next level. Yes, the sound changes but for the better?

I don't deny that many Nebula programs do sound good, but the hassle isn't worth it. And it doesn't teach you the valuable thing that is to know your tools.

And like I said, stuff like TB Reelbus is so much better than Nebula. You can really tailor your sound with it, and it is smooth. Is it authentic? Well who cares if I can make my bongo tracks sound like overdriven tape in 1969, that's good enough for me. And I don't have to select the exact right gain tape program with just exact input gain trim.

Compressors with hardwired settings and couple of dB max reduction (slow I might add) isn't suitable as dynamic tool, it is polisihing. And distortions are ridiculous. No wonder there is no guitar amp programs. You'd think that they would be ideal with Nebula.

I really think that if you want hardware sound, get hardware and guit dreaming.

People get too fixed about that final 1% fairy dust polishing. Nebula can help you with that (although so can many algo plugins too nowadays). Fact remains that the music is shaped in the rest 99%.

With the ease of digital we tend to do layers of fairy dust processing, but more than once I've found that in the end I like the original sound best. Right mic and pre can give you mojo that no code can replicate. If your stuff is "too digital" get some old dynamic mics like EV stuff or even some lofi consumer reel to reel mics. Or even some cheap ribbon mic.

EDIT: just one tidbit: yesterday I was using Tank Verb with Nebula once again and because of the naming of files I can't even tell which program I am using! Well there is that little number which tells it but still, it feels like I'm messing with led display hardware from 90s. Going through menu pages with limited characters etc. AAARRGH! :)
maxxxter
 

Postby maxxxter; Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:57 am

DELETED
User avatar
bduffy
KVRAF
 
19380 posts since 13 Feb, 2003, from Vancouver, Canada

Postby bduffy; Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:58 am

I'll side with the detractors and say that I've never had a good experience with Nebula. I've patiently read up, followed instructions, listened to evangelists' advice, followed gain-staging...but always come up empty.

For the hell of it, I'm going to download and install it again (I'd like to hear a comparative mix). After blowing over an hour figuring out how to install it on the Mac (no mention in manual or FAQ), hunting down ".SER" files which don't exist and waiting for manual authorization via email, I'm reminded why I somehow keep forgetting to use it... :?
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Breeze
KVRAF
 
1589 posts since 13 Oct, 2002

Postby Breeze; Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:19 am

sorohanro wrote:For now, all the videos about Nebula or programs are like: some music, followed by the title of the program with something like "the sweet sound of *****, with it's legendary analog warmth....", and then some pictures of gear and stop. No actual mix with it, no solo instruments or groups using it, no examples how to use it...

I remember listening to a mix comparison with and without Nebula, and I remember not hearing much of a difference. My monitors are very decent and so is my room. The ear is one of the easiest organs to fool and we often do it to ourselves.

Which is not to say that Nebula does nothing! Some of the commercial library presets I've tried are very nice. I own the VNXT reverb, which is great, but these days I find just as much satisfaction reaching for B2, Lexicon and others. The same is true of other processing. Someone asked me about preamps and channel strips: preamps I get from hardware and I'm very happy with Waves SSL and the various other comps, eq's and character plugins that I have. Some will no doubt say that I have not achieved the level of sensitivity required to appreciate the sonic improvements that Nebula provides. All I can say to that is right or wrong, maybe it's just not MY time for Nebula.

So for ME, Nebula is simply not worth the time and trouble involved dealing with its idiosyncracies. YMMV: we don't all make the same music, have the same needs, priorities, resources, etc.... In the end, whatever works for you, works.
Cooker
KVRian
 
625 posts since 29 Jul, 2008

Postby Cooker; Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:33 am

To me...

Cab.s; The free/donationware cab.s created by users is easily in the top 3 of what available today. On my i5 I can play instant with an amp plug-in (+fx) in 96khz with no problem. I always adjust the drive to as much as I can.

Recabinet might be the best out there but I'd say cause of ease of use, I don't think it sound better than the nebula cab.s. Its a great deal for guitar players.

Tubes, tapes, preamps...; I use them when subtle is needed like rather than surgical eq a vocal or piano, they work much better. I'm not really into the console vibe.

Enhancers;
Mainly transcending music librarys. There are like chains combined in tweakable presets, when it works its great. Really time saving.

EQ's; Most are too colored for mastering but I do use them sort of like a coloring tool (just insert and toggle drive)when needed. On mixing I insert max 1-2 instances to channels then go with regular min.phase eq, thats actually how they are ment to be used.

Thats about it for me. There are other tools but I don't have to use them just because they're there :)
gavriloP
KVRist
 
175 posts since 3 Feb, 2005

Postby gavriloP; Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:31 pm

maxxxter wrote:
gavriloP wrote:...Fact remains that compressors and such don't really work well in Nebula. I do have 3rd party compressor programs, tapes etc. but they are all gathering digital dust.

...


That's just not true, they work perfectly, you just have to have the PRO version of Nebula to run them (they don't work in Neb 2 and 3 standard because of engine differences, only PRO and Server).


Well, that could be it: I have Nebula 3, not the PRO version. Good catch there. But still, before the pro version some folks were already praising compressor programs on Nebula. And I know that it wasn't really so. Anyway, I won't be upgrading, I'm covered on dynamics department. Well, if anything I'll buy some hardware in the future. Even though 3rd party Nebula programs are cheap per se, I've blown way too much to them already. Everything adds up.

But if the PRO version is much better than regular 3, then it really might be worth it for some folks. :)

I still prefer ear-hand coordination with mixing and better user interfaces.
FeelingMachine
KVRist
 
56 posts since 16 Sep, 2012

Postby FeelingMachine; Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:25 pm

Cooker wrote:To me...

Cab.s; The free/donationware cab.s created by users is easily in the top 3 of what available today.


Dude ! Where are these ?

There is a possibility that i have downloaded them somewhere, but just to be sure !
Cooker
KVRian
 
625 posts since 29 Jul, 2008

Postby Cooker; Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:40 pm

FeelingMachine wrote:
Cooker wrote:To me...

Cab.s; The free/donationware cab.s created by users is easily in the top 3 of what available today.


Dude ! Where are these ?

There is a possibility that i have downloaded them somewhere, but just to be sure !


I find myself using these the most;

http://damyfx.altervista.org/free-nebula-programs.html

these aren't bad too;

cabs.kalthallen.de

This guy once shared a beta, all he has is payware but that beta was really good;

http://www.ownhammer.com/store/

So besides ownhammer, the 2 freeware site has a total like 300 cab.s :) they are 3 to 5 kernel, I drive them as much as I can and most sound similar to the recabinet dynamic knob :D

Oh also I notice on nebula 2 the kernel's open at zero, I have to go to the kern menu and adjust to 10 on every preset...I'm not sure if this also applys for 3 or pro?
User avatar
bduffy
KVRAF
 
19380 posts since 13 Feb, 2003, from Vancouver, Canada

Postby bduffy; Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:31 pm

Where is the best place to get free/best Nebula libraries these days? I seem to recall torrent sites a couple years ago, but my memory is fuzzy.
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User avatar
djanthonyw
KVRAF
 
6681 posts since 20 Jul, 2004, from Boston

Postby djanthonyw; Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:38 pm

Nebula is awesome. I think to get the most out of it you have to use it like a rack of hardware and bounce the audio you want after processing or use it on the master buss.
You are currently reading my signature.
Lenticular
KVRian
 
511 posts since 7 Apr, 2010

Postby Lenticular; Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:58 pm

With today's computers you can run many more instances in real time than in the past.
3rd party: AITB, AlexB, VNXT, Signal To Noise, CD Soundmaster are all very good quality & useful programs.

Never do the A/B thing. You have to mix using these plugins (just like console emu's) yourself. Use & develop your own skills & ears, not others who may or may not know what's up to begin with.

I will say that vst plugins are catching up to Nebula's quality & they need to
keep improving & developing or they will become irrelevant.
Cooker
KVRian
 
625 posts since 29 Jul, 2008

Postby Cooker; Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:06 am

bduffy wrote:Where is the best place to get free/best Nebula libraries these days? I seem to recall torrent sites a couple years ago, but my memory is fuzzy.


Yeah the torrent isn't used anymore. There is a 3. party developers list on webpage at "company", I guess besides that the forum is the place to search or ask for specific tools. Almost all of them offers demo programs, users also share free stuff often at forum.
User avatar
bduffy
KVRAF
 
19380 posts since 13 Feb, 2003, from Vancouver, Canada

Postby bduffy; Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:36 pm

Cooker wrote:
bduffy wrote:Where is the best place to get free/best Nebula libraries these days? I seem to recall torrent sites a couple years ago, but my memory is fuzzy.


Yeah the torrent isn't used anymore. There is a 3. party developers list on webpage at "company", I guess besides that the forum is the place to search or ask for specific tools. Almost all of them offers demo programs, users also share free stuff often at forum.

Thanks, man!

Well, over two days now, and still waiting for my authorization. Can't even use the f**king demo. This is ridiculous.
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analoguesamples909
KVRian
 
1487 posts since 28 Dec, 2007

Postby analoguesamples909; Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:34 pm

some plugins like slate vtm are getting close to Nebula but when you hear a A/B Nebula always sounds better to me.

Nebula is a hassle but one Im willing to pay for in small amounts...I try to do as much eqing with Nebula as poss...also tapebooster...and a bit of preamp colour suite. The consoles IMO are too subtle to be worth the bother. Reverbs are cool but no modulation - now days there is Lexicon, VVV and Exponential for that.

So really its all about a bit of subtle saturation, EQ and tape. The only compressors worth buying are the rayflex and CDSoundmaster The Drum Compressor is cool to give some analogue vibe to drums...it definitely gives analogue tone to a digital mix.
richinmusic
KVRist
 
33 posts since 22 Jul, 2011, from Minneapolis, Minnesota

Postby richinmusic; Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:01 am

Oh good, my turn. I am 47 years old and have over 25 years in the audio industry, and up until 4 years ago, this experience has been 100% analog. I avoided digital audio at all costs, especially all ITB work. I tried to like it, and my distaste was not due to some bias or trendiness, my ears that were accustomed to a certain "feel" or "vibe" in my audio did not like what I was hearing. I tried the free Nebula and like many people, I hated it. It performed poorly, was clunky, I just didn't understand the hype. One day while pouring over the Reaper forum, looking for an answer to a particularly serious issue I was having in the middle of a session with a real client, I noticed a mention of Nebula (unrelated thread to my issue) by a long-time forum person that I had not only received a ton of help from in the past, but also was a person whom I had collaborated with on a few business related projects. I trusted this person, so I bookmarked the thread and moved on. After the session, I went to my computer and found the thread about Nebula. After reading all of this praise, but still reluctant because of my own terrible experience with it, I impulsively took the plunge and purchased the Nebula pro package. Yes, it took some time to figure it out, to get the work-flow. And the supplied presets were ok, but nothing stellar. But when I started buying some of my first 3rd party libraries, from Analoginthebox. CDSM, Alex B, Signaltonoise, Own Hammer..... my audio brain exploded and realized what I was missing from ITB digital audio. Reverbs not good? You are kidding me. Preamps not affecting the source? You are either deaf or have never worked with a good preamp.....I still have some of my favorite algo plugs, not many, but some. But no algo plug can deliver the mojo that a well sampled Nebula preset can.
For all of you people who don't like it: fine and dandy, it certainly is not for everyone. I have had to completely restructure not only my work-flow, but my gear, my pricing to clients.... almost redefined my work entirely. But I don't ever plan on going back to all algo based plugins with digital audio. No thanks, my ears have been spoiled and things sound too good to be swayed by the convenience of flat sounding audio. For the record, I voted "Wouldn't live without it".
Music folds and unfolds the universe.
http://soundyaudio.com/
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