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 Nebula Plug-In By Acustica Audio
 Nebula-Programs- What Works Where Thread
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clubvst
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Posted - 09/07/2009 :  02:04:31  Show Profile  Visit clubvst's Homepage Send clubvst a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is an excellent thread begun by our friend David!
I'm posting it here so that I can add comments without getting in anyone's way (unless they want me there!)

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clubvst
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USA
169 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2009 :  02:32:54  Show Profile  Visit clubvst's Homepage Send clubvst a Private Message  Reply with Quote
OK,
So excellent thread!

I want to give some input here so I don't clutter things up.

There have been many discussions about how to re-introduce the Nebula programs- the original batch, the re-sampled, and re-edited re-issues of the original programs, and also the freebies that have come along from myself and others over the past 2 years.

Personally, I have been streamlining a great deal behind the scenes. Since Mac has recently become a new addition to the community, I've created zipped versions of everything that has been .rar'd in the past.
I think that the choice, somewhere, to download individual programs is nice. But, I would say that I think it is a better issue with huge programs like reverbs over others.

Truly, the best organizational thing that can take place at this stage is exactly what David is doing, which is to create a permanent thread spot for people to announce their favorites.

There have been so many specific eye-opening member situations with mixes over the past year, I'm hoping they will take the time to post examples of what has worked and even sample mixes or tutorials. I have come to realize that as much as I want to make all of this available myself, I will always be behind on 'something'. My plan is to have an entire database of info very well organized and easy to access: from mixing to mastering to individual tracks and styles- everything that can create a world of mixing/tracking/mastering advice within the Nebula world specifically.

Regarding the R2R tape collection specifically. I noticed that in a specific mixing session David wasn't hearing anything major in use of the Otari Studer and Revox machines. The three machines that take the most time and effort to get to know are these three, at their highest IPS settings.

It is truly easiest to learn their distinctive sounds on individual tracks, dynamic instruments, and comparing harmonically rich sound with sustain and fast pulses of sound. I have posted a graph chart of some of the Studer and Otari settings to give a visual of what is happening and what is involved in their classic 'that sound' settings, from the slight bumps and curves that give the appearance of more kick drum/bass glue and less mud.

Please visit here and save the image:

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Personally, for THE Studer sound, I gravitate towards 15 IPS -6dB, where you can see there is the slight roll-off between 70-200Hz and the slight camel-hump from 30-90Hz or so. When compressed, this combo of smooth cut and boost matched with subtle but very rich harmonics will bring some wonderful ambience to room mics, ribbon mics (if they are already warm, you may want to brighten above 12kHz), overheads, and this is among the most widely used 'history of rock' settings for electric power chords that exist.
The Studer at 30 IPS -10dB is about as perfect a response as you are going to find a machine running at. But, in a dense mix looking for an obvious sound- it is not going to jump out at you until you've found the sweet spots, which I think this chart helps with.

The Revox personality is more obvious at 7.5 IPS.

Ths Sony and Akai machines are excellent for showing off the combination of tape-to-machine. Although they are consumer machines, they give some incredibly wonderful effect when wanting to add more obvious harmonic distortion and eq color. I am about to provide a free preset collection for library owners to make use of higher distortion levels without the need for extra editing.

The best way that I can describe the Otari is to state that it leaves a signature, from the preamplification section to the tape itself, on every mix. It is resolved well enough in eq, dynamics, phase, and low distortion to use in 30 IPS for Mastering. But, it definitely has a quality of its own. I counter the Studer quality of always sounding musical, warm, and smooth in response, versus the Otari having an amazing effect on faster transients in a dense mix. They both maintain the sound stage depth and width very nicely, but where the Studer always tends to support the harmonic overtones and fluidity of the sound, the Otari can help accentuate faster instruments in a mix.

The other element that the entire collection represents, and thus takes a learning curve to get to know, is that every machine and combination with tape, has a different point where it works best and most pleasant, in the transfer from clean to distorted. The obvious Wollensak and Lafayette models can give you the effect of overloaded tubes and early 'hi-fidelity', adding some fuzz and ringing just like the real devices. The Sony and Akai can give you warm, distant, or overloaded guitars, vocals, pianos, the 'early film noire' string ensemble effect, etc.

I hope this gives some creative ideas and inspires taking some time to study the machines. Keep in mind what a value to have all of these in the same room, let alone in one program! Thank goodness we don't have to demag and get out the swabs and denatured alcohol every week just for giving them a test drive!

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