Bricasti M7

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Henry Olonga
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Bricasti M7

Post by Henry Olonga » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:49 pm

Hello everyone,
As a few people keep asking me about this and reverbs are the FoTM I thought I ought to give bit of an update and also get some thoughts before we plough ahead. Firstly, apologies for letting this one run without any clarification but I didn't want to give too much away in the last few months because I didn't want to get folk's hopes up and then disappoint. We have had some challenges.

Anyway for those who are unaware Michael of CDsoundmaster and I have been permitted to sample this crazy good Reverb by the kind people at Bricasti. I will be sampling and Michael will be editing. If you don't know how good it is you ought to know that some have called it one of the best reverberators out there. I invested in serial number 44 a few years ago and it has been updated to version 2 of the software so all is up to date. Casey has kindly offered his expertise and know-how and between myself and Michael we have had much head scratching as we attempt to bring this library to the Nebula world. Many, many months of failed attempts and many hurdles to overcome but all seems promising now. :D

In case you are unaware it will be provided for free. Yes for free - Michael and I cannot or anyone else for that matter cannot sell it. The goal is of hopefully allowing for the world of Nebula to expand and have a wider user base through the accessibility of folk to sounds as incredible as the Bricasti.

I will be honest, it has been the single most frustrating project that I have attempted to date and many times I have wondered if it were even do-able to sample this beast to a satisfactory standard. It will never be 'exactly' the same but today saw a breakthrough that gets us very, very close and instead of answering questions posed in another thread, I thought that I would start a new post as there are few things to share going forward and hopefully this can be the anchor thread from here on in.

So - good news :D - I have managed to find a very involved workflow that gets us almost there with the Bricasti M7. I would say 70 % to 90 % of the hardware is retained. It's just the last few percentage points that the most extremely fussy of users would complain about and if you didn't have the hardware with you in the room to compare it to it probably wouldn't bother you. Modulation had to be turned off so sorry - no lush chorusy tails. The stereo image is not as accurate as I would hope but I may have a solution for that.The hardware envelopes the sound more and smothers the audio in a more realistic way. But that is just me picking differences. A tweak here and there and we may be in business with total authenticity. Having said that we hope this will add immense value to the world of Nebula even with all it's tiny issues.

I will now begin final sampling in the coming weeks as I get breaks in my schedule and will be passing the files on to Michael for processing and packaging and I believe that the reasoning is that it will then be incorporated into the Acustica Audio library - I think. :?. I could be corrected on that front.

Please note that the Bricasti is intended to be used fully wet in your effects bin as a send effect. That is the advice for the hardware so I would imagine that the same goes for the Nebula version when things start to roll. Assuming all seems in order and there are not too many resamplings required then it will be up to the 'bosses' to decide on a release schedule after Michael has edited but I will begin passing items across the pond from now on through to the end of the year.

So how can you help - well give us feedback here - mainly for Michael as he is editing. At this point in time I have already gathered that some folks would like to have it work with all versions of Nebula including free. Is that agreed - some felt that it would help the community for new customers to have an incentive to invest in the platform - others felt free is good to get as wide a user base as possible - please discuss - suggestions.

Nebula server comes into its own with this coming package as it would really be desirable to run the Bricasti on anothr machine. My advice - get started setting up and practicing with Nebula server if you haven't got it. You will be much less frustrated as this is such a nice reverb you may wish to use it all over the place with little cpu penalty.

Now from a sampling point of view - I need some suggestions.

Sample rates - 96 khz is what we are sampling it at and we are doing it all digital. 44.1 khz means more work but we appreciate many work at this sample rate.I will not be sampling at 44.1 khz so if folk want 44.1 khz then it will have to be provided in post production. In my experience Michael's libraries work just fine even though many are only 96 khz. Put it this way - 96 khz only is simpler with over 100 presets to sample.

Ummmmmm - the most important - distribution. The library will be huge when done. A 3 second plate is 280 MB. That is 30 dynamic layers. We can lower the layers for efficency. Would people want smaller file sizes or quality? What we would need is a fast reliable always up online service that doesn't cap users if this gets the kind of traffic we imagine it might. Suggestions.

Are there any talented skins producers who can make a Bricasti themed skin?

Length of tails? There are the default tail lengths. Obviously the machine can go from short tails to a ridiculous 30 seconds. What lengths would folk desire to have as standard for most presets - the defaults or perhaps one on either side of the defaults? One longer and one shorter? This is especially important for example for the halls and plates as they have the most spread.

Lastly - and I hope that this is obvious without me having to say this and that you can have grace to understand - this won't happen soon if we aren't supported in what we do in our own projects that does make this viable. As we cannot charge for our time it is up to the community to help us bring this to fruition.

I have a couple of choice beta testers to help along the way with getting feedback. If there are any other experienced beta testers who would like to be able to help along the journey do get in touch with Michael or myself soon.

Apart from that - have a great year and hopefully stuff will begin to roll in weeks rather than months.

Take care
H
Last edited by Henry Olonga on Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bricasti M7

Post by david1103 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:18 pm

this is exciting stuff! thanks for all the work you guys have done.

i have to ask, have we got a true stereo update for nebula ready to go? i remember that was one of the stated reasons for the delay ages ago. i think its needed to sample this reverb, if not, some kind of modular setup of 2 nebula's to make a true stereo patch from 2 programs (can be done easily in reaper)

i have the Samplicity free impulses:

http://www.samplicity.com/bricasti-m7-i ... responses/

the true stereo (quad channel) ones are much better and can be used with reaper's own reaverb with this setup:

http://forum.cockos.com/attachment.php? ... 1278789866

also, if there is no modulation, how does this differ from a normal impulse and what are the dynamic layers used for?

cheers :)

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Re: Bricasti M7

Post by Henry Olonga » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:49 pm

Hi David -
No true stereo as far as I know but my hack may circumvent it for now.
With no modulation it just means that the chorus type lush reverb tails won't be getting sampled. In fact if you attempt to with convolution using sweep tones it just doesn't get captured that well. It doesn't make it sound bad in any way because IMHO the real strength of this box is the realism of the modelled acoustic spaces.

The dynamic layers that I am referring to basically means that I sample from 0 Dbs input gain to say - 30 dbs in 1 Db steps. The more layers you sample the more variation per layer you get and the more realism. Not referring to distortion - just for clarity.
Last edited by Henry Olonga on Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bricasti M7

Post by SWAN » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:11 pm

Hi Henry - thanks for opening up the dialogue on this one - hopefully as a community we can discuss it and get the best result together

With regard to sample rate my view is it could be sensible to sample at 96 but then maybe Michael could do the downsample to 44.1. Because they will be big programs I think there is a strong argument to have them in 44.1

This goes to my second idea. Perhaps 50% of the Bricasti library could be available for Nebula free at 44.1. Then the remainder and 96k option could be there on purchase of N3Pro. That might be a compromise - however there is a good argument for all free on NebFree - or only on full version...I think it could really widen the appeal of Nebula if it were given totally free....shame you cant do local area testing to see which launch is the best!

In terms of tails - I suppose that is partly related to a decision on the total library size. Longer tail = larger and if there were 2 variants then also larger...It depends how much control over a longer tail can be had eg within Nebula and / or by transient designers/gates...I will prob pick up the AITB Photocampia to see how he did it and the best way to work regarding changing tail lengths...

With regard to quality - this is interesting. Im not 100% clear how it works however I did notice that in the Nebula commercial library there are some great sounding reverbs that dont appear too heavy in size. Years ago when I beta tested Nebula they were the first really nice ITB reverbs I ever heard-PCM70 presets. However when I tried the Nebula sampled L*****n PCM91 free library which was a 20Gb library - it was quite unweildy (and unstable) to use. Personally I wonder if it is worthwhile to make the libraries very large if the difference isnt that big. I think there is an argument to making a library that offers a fantastic and usable ITB reverb rather than the closest 'possible' emulation of the Bricasti - which becomes too massive and unweildy for a few percentage point increases.

Ideally we could do a blind beta test at different qualities...perhaps if you could sample 1 preset at different quality and then upload audio demos unlabelled as a blind test - that could be a good way of deciding...

In terms of reverb modulation - Im just curious if thats a limitation with reverb sampling in Nebula in general - or the complexity of the bricasti modulation?
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Re: Bricasti M7

Post by jpchartrand » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:16 pm

Nice to see this post Henry!

For me, 44kh is not useful if I have 96kh. So I really don't mind not having 44kh.

Tail lenghts should be from 0.5 sec to 4 secs I think it would be enough.

I'm volunteering for beta testing if you need me. I've never tested on Nebula but my actual day job involves a lot of systems testing so I'm quite experienced with providing quality testing and testing scripts.

Cheers!

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Re: Bricasti M7

Post by yr » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:17 pm

Hello Henri,

Thank you for taking the time to do this- I can only imagine how much work is involved..

I have 2 questions- I've noticed that sampled reverb presets always sound colored and different from the original because NAT has issues dealing with complex phase patterns (which are typical in this case). So my first question is- have you found a way around this problem?

What I've also noticed is, that long Nebula reverbs generate artifacts/clicks (to varying degrees). I was told that this issue is inherent to the way Nebula works and can't be solved. So my question is- did you encounter this and do you think the Nebulized Bricasti will be "artifact free".

Concerning what should be free and what not- I support the complete set being free and available to all. That seems more in line with the (generous) spirit of the Bricasti creator.
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Re: Bricasti M7

Post by jpchartrand » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:17 pm

oh and IMO, the bigger the better. I would love to have a huge reverb library. I don't care if it's 20gb! :D

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Re: Bricasti M7

Post by futur2 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:04 pm

jpchartrand wrote:oh and IMO, the bigger the better. I would love to have a huge reverb library. I don't care if it's 20gb! :D
same thoughts here!

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Re: Bricasti M7

Post by Henry Olonga » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:34 pm

yr wrote:Hello Henri,

Thank you for taking the time to do this- I can only imagine how much work is involved..

I have 2 questions- I've noticed that sampled reverb presets always sound colored and different from the original because NAT has issues dealing with complex phase patterns (which are typical in this case). So my first question is- have you found a way around this problem?

What I've also noticed is, that long Nebula reverbs generate artifacts/clicks (to varying degrees). I was told that this issue is inherent to the way Nebula works and can't be solved. So my question is- did you encounter this and do you think the Nebulized Bricasti will be "artifact free".

Concerning what should be free and what not- I support the complete set being free and available to all. That seems more in line with the (generous) spirit of the Bricasti creator.

Hi Yr,
As far as the sound changing - yes there is the sense that the reverb is separate from the audio even when fully wet that you don't get with the hardware but I I don't get a very specific sound shift. Just different - less real. But we are talking about tiny percentages of course.

No clicks with a 3 second test so far - still as xml and wav files however - not crypted yet. Not gone further so cannot comment on the likelihood of issues with longer tails but so far so good. I am making these in a special way that goes beyond how I would normally sample a reverb because the situation has led me to having to create a hack. To me the final results are more important than methodology so i have modifified my method - trade secert of course/ :D ;)

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Re: Bricasti M7

Post by jeffbdavis » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:50 pm

Thanks to Henry, Michael and Casey! Great to see this moving forward.

I agree with a 44k 'community' version that works in nebFree and a 96k version available to commercial nebula users.

As far as distribution, maybe a torrent? Cheap, fast downloads and everyone shares the bandwidth...

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Re: Bricasti M7

Post by richie43 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:03 pm

jeffbdavis wrote:Thanks to Henry, Michael and Casey! Great to see this moving forward.

I agree with a 44k 'community' version that works in nebFree and a 96k version available to commercial nebula users.

As far as distribution, maybe a torrent? Cheap, fast downloads and everyone shares the bandwidth...
Torrents are a great idea. The only thing I see wrong with separate packages available for Neb free and Neb Pro is that the Bricasti developers are very serious about it being very good and very free. If the Pro users are the only people with access to the higher quality 96kHz version, than isn't that one (even small) step toward making a quality distinction based on what you have paid for? I am a Pro user, so this isn't about me. But fair is fair, and free means free. Besides, offering 2 packages makes more work for the devs who are not allowed to make money from this, so maybe we need to really look at this as a total community thing and decrease the work for devs, offer up the same package for everyone for free. Just my opinion, of course.
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Re: Bricasti M7

Post by Definity » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:38 pm

Could you tease us with some audio demo's yet Mr Henry? or are we gonna have to wait ;)

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Re: Bricasti M7

Post by mweldridge » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:55 pm

I would have to vote for the 'free to all' option. I think that is in keeping with the Bricasti developer's generosity and the Acustica manifesto of equalizing the toolsets available to all.

While I agree that torrents are probably the most efficient way to distribute a large library like this, among many in this field they carry the taint of cracked software. If the goal is to use the leverage of a free Bricasti library to encourage a broader acceptance of Nebula then I think you have to pursue a distribution method that encourages the widest possible audience.

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Re: Bricasti M7

Post by Henry Olonga » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:19 pm

Definity wrote:Could you tease us with some audio demo's yet Mr Henry? or are we gonna have to wait ;)
I would love to but we are not quite in the clear yet. We are just still testing and sending stuff out to beta testers in the very early stages of critical listening. It would be fair to unleash only what the golden ears believe is worth releasing so we may have to just wait a little bit longer for demos and comparisons.

As an aside, I am also kind of a video guy and delve in various forums and what tends to happen is there is always excitement with a new camera release. Some dude steals a few seconds of footage under less than ideal conditions and then the pixel peepers come out the woodwork and complain about a product that hasn't even been released. Nay sayers queue up to say what is wrong with it and and every blogger on the planet then regurgitates the info and before you know it it's hard to back track. So for now it will just be a select few and once it's agreed that we have it perhaps almost there then there will be plenty of demos I am sure. Hope you understand. :P

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Re: Bricasti M7

Post by CoolColJ » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:02 pm

You could always host it on a free cloud service like Mediafire - much faster than torrents

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