Nebula Compressors

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highvoltage
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Re: Nebula Compressors

Post by highvoltage » Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:18 pm

Tested your Rayphlex too.
Its much more consistent in the attack, cause its indeed a rather slow compressor. Even on the fastest attack, which is around 0.5ms on display**, it matches a 10ms attack time on an other compressor. (This time its The Glue.)


http://prntscr.com/f90ai
(Glue white, Neb red)


http://prntscr.com/f90cv
(The other way around)


Here is the full picture, just for reference
http://prntscr.com/f90ge


Here you can see that a 6ms is around 30 on Glue.
http://prntscr.com/f90kv


An other intersting thing with (some?) Nebula compressors, is that large chunk of flat attack portion. Its like its been chopped off.
http://prntscr.com/f91cv
(red is nebula)

I just want to state that im not in any way criticising any of the developers products, just merely pointing out the probable artifacts of the engine.
After all, if it works on your audio, then who the fxk cares for these tests. But i for one, started to make these tests on the first place, cause i HEARD that inaccurate behaviour on fast attacks. I still use slower compressors fromtime to time. And i will use this Rayplhex too, cause it seems to be pretty predictable on slower settings.

For fast attacks, i will still go HW.



** Btw, i found a little bug(?), where any attack time lower than the 0.5ms, results in a very slow attack. It just starts to increase inversely below ~0.5ms.

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Re: Nebula Compressors

Post by highvoltage » Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:27 pm

Also worth mentioning, that i had a Dedicated Nebula Compressor, with tweaked XML, to get faster prog rates than 2.
But it resulted in much more atrifacts on lot of the programs, so i switched back the 2.

Other thing is, don't ever rely on the gain reduction Nebula displays. It's so far off on some programs, it's not even funny. You can see on the posted pictures, that a 15dB reduction is displayed as ~7dB on nebula.

Sometimes there is like 4-5 dB of reduction happening while nebula stays on 0.
Just sayin' use your ears :D

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Re: Nebula Compressors

Post by Cupwise » Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:51 pm

wow, i hadn't noticed some of these things you pointed out. i just deleted a couple of my always overly wordy paragraphs addressing them all, because i don't want to steer too much towards my own stuff when the OT is neb comps in general. but, i checked out your findings and you're right. one thing, if you lower the thresh a lot more (so you're basically squeezing the crap out of the tones now, and will mostly just see the attacks on the oscilloscope), the attack envelopes become faster and more close in time to the readout in the program. i think it's because of the dynamics in the envelopes themselves and i don't think that's 'correct' behavior so i'll probably look into fixing it, and i think i might be able to address some of the others (like the flat tops, and attack getting slower after you go below .5ms). the blocky shape compared to soft comps is definitely a nebula limitation that i can't do anything about.

i would try to get you to beta test for me but i think this will be my last comp for a while ;)

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Re: Nebula Compressors

Post by SWAN » Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:02 pm

highvoltage wrote:Also worth mentioning, that i had a Dedicated Nebula Compressor, with tweaked XML, to get faster prog rates than 2.
But it resulted in much more atrifacts on lot of the programs, so i switched back the 2.

Other thing is, don't ever rely on the gain reduction Nebula displays. It's so far off on some programs, it's not even funny. You can see on the posted pictures, that a 15dB reduction is displayed as ~7dB on nebula.

Sometimes there is like 4-5 dB of reduction happening while nebula stays on 0.
Just sayin' use your ears :D
hi dude - thanks for your contributions here - very interesting stuff...I was wondering - do you have any of the other comps that use slower attacks? Such as Alex B MWC/FENIX/4k...? Im wondering if they are more accurate...
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Re: Nebula Compressors

Post by highvoltage » Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:13 pm

@Cupwise
Actually i think sometimes that blocky shape is welcome :D The Fate compressor has the same thing, and i think it contributes to the 'fatness' of the sound.

ps.: I'm happy to betatest so drop me a pm anytime, not just compressors. Your cassette programs are one of my most used libraries.

@Swan
I dont have any of AlexB's , just the S*L demo. That has a slow attack. I stopped buying compressors for the above stated reasons.
From the slower ones, I have

Fate compressor (should be fast, but it has the same flat attack portion),

Michael's Drum Compressor lib, (which has varied attack times from super fast to slow.)

Generally most of the times, the faster the attack, the more unreliable it gets.
I just tested it again with real world scenarios like drums, bet even with slower speeds, you will have jumps of volumes. Just put Schope* on a drum channel, and see how the attack of the same exact sample will sometimes have +/- 2 dB of gain.

* you can find it here:
http://www.stillwellaudio.com/?page_id=26

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Re: Nebula Compressors

Post by SWAN » Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:54 pm

highvoltage wrote: Michael's Drum Compressor lib, (which has varied attack times from super fast to slow.)
on a side note - how do you find CDS Drum pack?

I think Im still gonna try some of these programs...the tone sounds pretty nice on the drum compressor...
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Re: Nebula Compressors

Post by highvoltage » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:28 pm

I love the tube ones from the Drum Compressors.

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Re: Nebula Compressors

Post by enriquesilveti » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:54 am

Generally most of the times, the faster the attack, the more unreliable it gets.
I just tested it again with real world scenarios like drums, bet even with slower speeds, you will have jumps of volumes. Just put Schope* on a drum channel, and see how the attack of the same exact sample will sometimes have +/- 2 dB of gain.
Did you try to add more look ahead time in Nebula and in the emulation preset or 0 latency limiting or both at the same time?
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Re: Nebula Compressors

Post by SWAN » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:55 pm

enriquesilveti wrote:
Generally most of the times, the faster the attack, the more unreliable it gets.
I just tested it again with real world scenarios like drums, bet even with slower speeds, you will have jumps of volumes. Just put Schope* on a drum channel, and see how the attack of the same exact sample will sometimes have +/- 2 dB of gain.
Did you try to add more look ahead time in Nebula and in the emulation preset or 0 latency limiting or both at the same time?
if this helps/stops the problem should it not be implemented into the program?
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Re: Nebula Compressors

Post by ngarjuna » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:45 pm

SWAN wrote:if this helps/stops the problem should it not be implemented into the program?
This is a potential problem with the kind of wild west situation we have with the current "let's tweak the hell out of Nebula" mentality; you have, on one hand, people who don't really know all of the background tweaking various things in various programs, in the XML, and elsewhere; then we have people bringing problems, some of them as a result of the homebrew tweaking that has taken place, to the forums where G/E can only guess what condition the Nebula installation or program files might be in while people yell and complain about how their product is unprofessional or doesn't live up to full sonic quality or whatever the complaint of the day might be.

All of that, to me, further obfuscates whether or not programs are released in their "ideal" state; ideal for what Nebula setup, default? Tweaked TIMED setups? With no dedicated support personnel that makes for a somewhat unreasonable situation for A-A to support (though it would be a problem even with dedicated support personnel). Many other companies would have said a long time ago "You tweak it, you fix it" and/or hidden the Guru controls. But A-A keeps its users in the driver's seat; with great power comes great responsibility.

So I have to wonder...how many of the tests (whether listening or otherwise) being performed on Nebula compressors involve default Nebula setups with default programs? We should really start tweaking apples before we move on to wondering about oranges.

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Re: Nebula Compressors

Post by SWAN » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:38 pm

ngarjuna wrote:
SWAN wrote:if this helps/stops the problem should it not be implemented into the program?
This is a potential problem with the kind of wild west situation we have with the current "let's tweak the hell out of Nebula" mentality
good post thanks. I agree and would really like to get an impression of Nebula compressors under optimized conditions - whatever they may be.

In terms of it being a 'wild west' - Im not sure...I dont see any bandits around - just trying to get clarity in operation of the programs - and best performance.

The idea that the user needs to handle this great responsibility is a little unfair IMO - because the documentation and instruction is quite obscure and often buried in retrospective forum posts. I also dont think its a question of AA support. If there are specific settings and tweaks that can be made per program - surely it is the responsibility of the developer who sells the program - to give tips for optimal use to get the best out of it?

It just seems crazy to release and sell a program with knowledge that many users will not understand how to get the best out of it.

...if the transient response can be improved - surely that is a key tweak that should be public knowledge with clear instruction...
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Re: Nebula Compressors

Post by ngarjuna » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:49 pm

SWAN wrote:good post thanks. I agree and would really like to get an impression of Nebula compressors under optimized conditions - whatever they may be.

However the idea that the user needs to handle this great responsibility is a little unfair IMO - because the documentation and instruction is quite obscure. I also dont think its a question of AA support. If there are specific settings and tweaks that can be made per program - surely it is the responsibility of the developer who sells the program - to give tips for optimal use to get the best out of it?

It just seems crazy to release and sell a program with knowledge that many users will not understand how to get the best out of it.

...if the transient response can be improved - surely that is a key tweak that should be public knowledge with clear instruction...
Right, but the point I was trying to make is: Nebula comes optimized already. Every "essential" tweak that users perform in the background, that's not the way the program was designed to be used; it's no longer optimized for the best possible compromise between the various oft-discussed limitations that come with using Nebula.

You do have such an option to tweak further (to your own specification) but the fact is none of that is intended to happen for average customers; Giancarlo et al do NOT expect the user to perform this kind of optimization per program; nor do the developers selling these libraries (unless they specify in their manuals, and I've yet to see a manual which encourages TIMED tweaking). The fact that some of these tweaks have risen amongst some users to the level of "requirement" is something that happened in the user base; it was never recommended by A-A nor would they encourage it; it is, in fact, kind of them to support it to the degree that they do (providing advice and information for using their plugin in a variety of non-standardized ways). But to suggest that they haven't gone far enough to support what are effectively unsupported uses of their product is a bit off base.

So I maintain: before we begin this discussion about the limitation of compression in Nebula yet again (and yes, it has limitations for sure), maybe we should make sure everyone is using them the way they were designed to be used and not introducing any further problems into the setup with tweaks and variables.

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Re: Nebula Compressors

Post by highvoltage » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:08 pm

I can assure everyone , that for these tests, i have used the default settings that nebula AND the programs come with. And anyone can do them on their own, maybe only my Nebula works this way. :P

Sure i made tests with tweaked programs and settings, but none of those helped the uneven transient response on fast attacks. With every tweak i gained something and lost an other thing.

Enrique wrote:Did you try to add more look ahead time in Nebula and in the emulation preset or 0 latency limiting or both at the same time?
I think i tried look ahead, but will do further testing.

Im not sure what 0 latency timing is??

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Re: Nebula Compressors

Post by SWAN » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:17 pm

highvoltage wrote: none of those helped the uneven transient response on fast attacks.
just to clarify - did you see the uneven attacks on longer attack also...? I dont have the programs to test and am away from the studio so....
Nebula comes optimized already. Every "essential" tweak that users perform in the background, that's not the way the program was designed to be used;
Well - from what Ive read it appears that Nebula comes set-up for generalised usage. It appears there are different uses/processes Nebula can do - so that the standard settings are as you say - a compromise. A sensible one at that. I understand the TIMED and SPLIT compromise which I think you are referring to. ngarjuna this thread is not intended to be an attack on Nebula - merely Im trying to demystify its approach to compression to understand it better, and get some feedback on the recent programs. This is so I can make an informed decision on my studio purchases. You appear to be launching a defence of AA when I dont think anyone is attacking-just observing and discussing.

"
But to suggest that they haven't gone far enough to support what are effectively unsupported uses of their product is a bit off base."
The only suggestion I have made is that if there are tweaks that can improve things like the transient response on compressors (on a per program basis) - then perhaps the developers should be advising on those tweaks.

I am trying to get the best result and get into these programs - it sounds like your message is "we all know the limitations just use it or shut up".

With regards to compressors which is what this thread is about Enrique already suggested a tweak to the look-ahead so I dont think any of this discussion, which is intended to be a neutral investigation, is off base so far...I for one am interested in what difference these tweaks make...
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Re: Nebula Compressors

Post by highvoltage » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:24 pm

With longer attacks, youre generally in a somewhat safe zone. But there will always be artifacts that you can see on my pictures, the attack shape has very awkward spikes and whatnots, maybe most of the times thats not really audible, but whats REALLY audible, is when it misses and hits some of the fast attacks. Look ahead doesn't help that at all.
It's just the way the engine works, it processes blocks of audio, and those block's sizes depend on the program rate (as far as i understand) So if your attack time is getting closer to the size of the blocks, all hell breaks loose. And that block size happens to be the same as a very fast compressors attack time. Like under 2ms.

As im writing this, im making other tests, now with real audio samples. So far i had more trouble getting an even attack response from a kick drum, than from a snare.

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