How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Nebula - Speaker Cabinet Simulation programs
parlance
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How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby parlance » Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:45 pm

After trying Nebula I was extremely impressed with the quality over impulses, but I was a little let-down by the latency in Nebula3Free Reverb due to which it is unusable for realtime recording or playing live. Using the normal Nebula3Free VST solves the the latency problem but the quality gain is marginal over standard impulses. I'm betting this is where most the debate and confusion come in where some people say Nebula isn't much of a gain over impulses and other swear by it, they're probably talking the 2 different versions of the plugin.

Well this isn't a problem anymore! After doing a little research, the only difference between the 2 is an XML configuration file located in the VST DLL plugin folder which sets up the kernel simulation parameters in a way for the Reverb version that gives higher quality but introduces that latency. After several hours of tweaking I was able to achieve 99% of the quality of Nebula3Free Reverb with 0 latency by altering the XML configuration. You will probably need a fast CPU but it does run in realtime alongside GR3 with no buffer under-runs on my Core 2 Quad Q6600 which is looking dated nowadays.

I've attached the configuration file. Simply replace your existing XML configuration by dropping this into the folder that contains your Nebula VST DLL plugins and then (if you already have it open) restart the plugin and prepare to be amazed.
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Alec246
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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby Alec246 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:32 am

Are you using the new Nebula 3 with CORE engine? It´s the latest, with faster and more stable engine, but it doesn´t seem to work with your .XML.

thx

parlance
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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby parlance » Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:52 pm

I'm using the absolute latest version off their website http://www.acusticaudio.net/modules.php ... t&lid=1137 which it says uses the "Core II" engine. I've also tested it on other computers and it works fine.

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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby Alec246 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:26 pm

Well I get the following message on Nebula3Free

ROM MEMORY KO: rom descriptor not found (rom.xml)

I´pm using WIndows 7, maybe that has something to do

parlance
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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby parlance » Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:50 pm

Sorry, I forgot to mention that when you use the modified XML you need to edit it and change the path to the nebula repository directory in it to the path of your nebula repository (probably c:\nebularepository). Even though this information is in the Windows registry for some reason Nebula needs it in the XML file too.

Also I'm using FLStudio7 as my DAW so that might have something to do with it.

Alec246
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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby Alec246 » Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:58 am

Got it to work now, chanced the .xml from e: to c:

However, I´m getting much latency, it does bothers me a lot, I use my E-MU on 2ms, and with your .xml I get like 5ms of latency or more, I just can´t use it to play live, any guess?

parlance
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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby parlance » Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:05 am

That sounds normal. For me I don't mind about ~3 or 4ms which is all I get since I have a very fast computer and can use the lowest latency setting for my Rig Kontrol 3. It's a personal preference whether or not you'd say that's playable. I thought it was worth the small sacrifice considering it sounds identical to the Nebula3Free Reverb mode which has what, like a full second of latency?

Alec246
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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby Alec246 » Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:09 pm

Hmmmmm I see

Well, thanks for the file anyway, I´ll try some more testing another time, to check if I can hear the quality difference!

thxx

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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby greyanaroth » Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:15 pm

Hey!

Could you reattach the xml file only? The rar file says it's corrupt!!!
* Schecter C-7 Blackjack with BKP Cold Sweat Bridge & stock SD Neck * Fractal Audio Axe FX Ultra * Tech 21 Sansamp PSA-1 * Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 * BSS AR133 Active DI Box * Radial X-Amp Reamping Box * Peavey Revalver mkIII.V (FOR SALE! Pls PM if interested! Going cheap!) * LePou, Ignite Amps, TSE & Nick Crow Amp Sims * Cabinet Impulses and Nebula Programs * Dual Xeon 8 Core Workstation * Macbook Pro * Cubase 5 & Logic 9 *

Coming soon: Cubase 6, Windows 7 64 bit!


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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby lesliesitbon » Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:29 pm

still impossible to download the file... (tryed the two links without success!)

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PVDHP
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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby PVDHP » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:53 pm

No way to take this without latency.

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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby Soulintruder » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:43 pm

Does anyone who have better sound cards like RME can confirm how Nebula 3 Pro works,little better as latency problem consern? :roll:

jorismak
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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby jorismak » Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:54 pm

The difference between the stock Nebula 3 and stock Nebula 3 Reverb is just the DSP buffer and 'look ahead' setting.

The default normal 'Nebula 3' has 128 _samples_ latency (at 96khz this would be 1.33 ms).
The default 'nebula 3 Reverb' has 16384 samples (I believe), which would be 170.66 ms latency at 96khz.

You see the difference in 'ms' numbers :).
In theory there is _NO_ quality difference between those two, the algorithm is exactly the same. But there are certain Nebula captures that need a big block to work properly (like long reverbs, compressors which need a lot of lookahead time to keep the transients alive, etc..) and since it works at big blocks of 16384 samples at a time (instead of a lot of smaller 128sample blocks) it might consume a little less cpu, although this will be minimal.

So, if you get a program that doesn't sound right with the normal one, use the Reverb version. Better yet, if you are _mixing_ (not tracking / recording) always use the reverb version and you'll be good.

If you really want to _track_ with nebula, you must always use the normal ones, and you can try to get less than 1.33 ms latency, but it might not work OK.

I now by experience that OwnHammer's nebula cab-programs and Carthallen's Nebula-cab-programs all work OK on the normal version, and thus can be used with only 128 samples latency. If that's really too much for you (understandable, if you're overdubbing and you already have 2ms input latency and 2 ms output latency of your audio-interface, adding another 1.33 ms can make it tricky to get the timing as precise as possible) just don't use it till the mixing stage.
I track with Ignite TPA poweramp + (now) nadIR with OwnHammer's regular impulses. When I'm happy with the takes and the overdubbing sounds fine, I add a nebula poweramp after TPA and replace nadIR by the nebula version of OwnHammer's stuff. Match the output level and bounce it.

Since I normally use a console-program + tape-program from nebula anyway I need to bounce the tracks in the mixing stage anyway, so that's where I replace the regular impulses with Nebula-versions, bounce it down and then start mixing on the .wav files without any plugins to be loaded (since I'm gonna add a lot in mixing I like to have as little as possible in realtime on there, makes it easier to play around and to move the project to other places like the studio at my work).

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Xupito
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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby Xupito » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:55 pm

jorismak wrote:The difference between the stock Nebula 3 and stock Nebula 3 Reverb is just the DSP buffer and 'look ahead' setting.

The default normal 'Nebula 3' has 128 _samples_ latency (at 96khz this would be 1.33 ms).
The default 'nebula 3 Reverb' has 16384 samples (I believe), which would be 170.66 ms latency at 96khz.

You see the difference in 'ms' numbers :).
In theory there is _NO_ quality difference between those two, the algorithm is exactly the same. But there are certain Nebula captures that need a big block to work properly (like long reverbs, compressors which need a lot of lookahead time to keep the transients alive, etc..) and since it works at big blocks of 16384 samples at a time (instead of a lot of smaller 128sample blocks) it might consume a little less cpu, although this will be minimal.

So, if you get a program that doesn't sound right with the normal one, use the Reverb version. Better yet, if you are _mixing_ (not tracking / recording) always use the reverb version and you'll be good.

If you really want to _track_ with nebula, you must always use the normal ones, and you can try to get less than 1.33 ms latency, but it might not work OK.

I now by experience that OwnHammer's nebula cab-programs and Carthallen's Nebula-cab-programs all work OK on the normal version, and thus can be used with only 128 samples latency. If that's really too much for you (understandable, if you're overdubbing and you already have 2ms input latency and 2 ms output latency of your audio-interface, adding another 1.33 ms can make it tricky to get the timing as precise as possible) just don't use it till the mixing stage.
I track with Ignite TPA poweramp + (now) nadIR with OwnHammer's regular impulses. When I'm happy with the takes and the overdubbing sounds fine, I add a nebula poweramp after TPA and replace nadIR by the nebula version of OwnHammer's stuff. Match the output level and bounce it.

Since I normally use a console-program + tape-program from nebula anyway I need to bounce the tracks in the mixing stage anyway, so that's where I replace the regular impulses with Nebula-versions, bounce it down and then start mixing on the .wav files without any plugins to be loaded (since I'm gonna add a lot in mixing I like to have as little as possible in realtime on there, makes it easier to play around and to move the project to other places like the studio at my work).


Man, this is quality posting. Congrats, extremely helpful. Cheers :wink:
Sorry for my English. I'm working on it.

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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby Antipodes » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:13 pm

Agree with everything jorismak said about Nebula 3 versions and their use in tracking vs mixing - and very clearly expressed. Some great suggestions there on tracking and putting it altogether for mix.

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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby dennyps4 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:46 pm

Thanks for this bro, I never really experienced the FULL effect of the reverb side of Nebula, as mentioned prior, due to being a latency freak. I will certainly use your advice, great thread! Just when I think Nebula is a lost cause, new light brings me back to it. I really do believe in the Volterra kernel but, man is it hard to find anything for it, cab wise. I do have the Ownhammer ones though, which I think are the best out there, they smoke Redwirez IMO.

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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby GonWild » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:07 am

If one is constantly bouncing down tracks because of Nebula killing your CPU, try this out:

http://www.henryolonga.net/Blog/?p=2202

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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby jorismak » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:42 am

That's a nice tip that I actually use. You can copy the Nebual3 vst DLL to another name of your liking, and put a XML config file with that same name in the VST directory. You then 'create' a new VST plugin with it's own config in the XML file.

So besides the normal 'Nebula3' (lower latency) and 'Nebula3 Reverb' (high latency, long tails), I have a 'Nebula3 Fast' that is low latency and no THD distortion (making it more a dynamic impulse, but very low on CPU) which I use during previewing / mixing. If I think I'm done, I save and closer reaper, change the value of 'max kernels' from 1 to 11 in the XML file, open the project in reaper again and hit render :). What was first previewing fine on my Core i7 @ 3.5 ghz is now rendering at 0.25x realtime :S.

But like I said, I normally record my tracks and then bounce anyway because I have a selection of Nebula stuff I _always_ throw on a track. Preamp flavor -> Console -> tape -> tape boost -> tape compression -> console -> 'mojo of a 1176'. That gets bounced (well, batch rendered) and I start a new project with those files to do the actual mixing. In those mixing project, I use nebula for EQ (specially high shelving) and for a subtle bus-compressor on the master while I'm mixing, and I never ran into CPU problems then. The real hard-hitting stuff is already bounced into the files.

That being said, the reverb programs (be it 3rd party free demo library or the Nebula-supplied 44.1khz libraries) I'm having a hard time running realtime. Since a single track can only make use of a single CPU core, a nebula3 with an actual reverb program (with a long tail) will take up a single core on my i7 and it will stutter, I really HAVE to bounce those to even preview what it sounds like. I wonder if the 'max kernels at 1 (clean)' trick will also help with those CPU killers :).

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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby Xupito » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:31 am

dennyps4 wrote:Thanks for this bro, I never really experienced the FULL effect of the reverb side of Nebula, as mentioned prior, due to being a latency freak. I will certainly use your advice, great thread! Just when I think Nebula is a lost cause, new light brings me back to it. I really do believe in the Volterra kernel but, man is it hard to find anything for it, cab wise. I do have the Ownhammer ones though, which I think are the best out there, they smoke Redwirez IMO.


Indeed. I bought in Ownhammer nebula presets and impulses of a Mesa Recto 4x12 v32 and I did the comparison, at first it seems that sound the same as the IR, but when you change the volume the nebula leaves behind the IR and its loader. I think is precisely one of the strongest points of nebula engine: response non linear to the input volume.
Sorry for my English. I'm working on it.

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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby No019 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:24 am

jorismak wrote:That's a nice tip that I actually use. You can copy the Nebual3 vst DLL to another name of your liking, and put a XML config file with that same name in the VST directory. You then 'create' a new VST plugin with it's own config in the XML file.

So besides the normal 'Nebula3' (lower latency) and 'Nebula3 Reverb' (high latency, long tails), I have a 'Nebula3 Fast' that is low latency and no THD distortion (making it more a dynamic impulse, but very low on CPU) which I use during previewing / mixing. If I think I'm done, I save and closer reaper, change the value of 'max kernels' from 1 to 11 in the XML file, open the project in reaper again and hit render :). What was first previewing fine on my Core i7 @ 3.5 ghz is now rendering at 0.25x realtime :S.

But like I said, I normally record my tracks and then bounce anyway because I have a selection of Nebula stuff I _always_ throw on a track. Preamp flavor -> Console -> tape -> tape boost -> tape compression -> console -> 'mojo of a 1176'. That gets bounced (well, batch rendered) and I start a new project with those files to do the actual mixing. In those mixing project, I use nebula for EQ (specially high shelving) and for a subtle bus-compressor on the master while I'm mixing, and I never ran into CPU problems then. The real hard-hitting stuff is already bounced into the files.

That being said, the reverb programs (be it 3rd party free demo library or the Nebula-supplied 44.1khz libraries) I'm having a hard time running realtime. Since a single track can only make use of a single CPU core, a nebula3 with an actual reverb program (with a long tail) will take up a single core on my i7 and it will stutter, I really HAVE to bounce those to even preview what it sounds like. I wonder if the 'max kernels at 1 (clean)' trick will also help with those CPU killers :).


Greetings.
Can you plase share with the panel what Nebula programs do you use for tape compression?

Sory on my bad English.

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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby jorismak » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:48 am

You don't use Nebula for tape compression :). Nebula isn't too good with compressors at the moment, and tape compression is kinda the same. CDSoundMaster wrote (ordered someone to write :)) a VST plugin 'VTM-M2' to do exactly this part. One of his tape libraries + vtm-m2 will get you pretty much the whole signal chain. His 'TapeBooster+' you can insert in between as many times as you like to get the saturation effect. So you get tape -> tape boost -> tape compression.

I _think_ (really a noob on this) but how it would work with a real analog console is that you plug stuff in the console which writes it to tape. Then when mixing / playing back you play it back from tape and it goes back into the console.
So a lot of people render console -> tape -> console. Warning, getting the whole chain of CDSM's tape stuff will get expensive, and in the end you'll mostly stick to one or two tape flavours that you like :).

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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby Scottxx » Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:15 pm

So, for using Ownhammer Nebula Cabs Programs, could it be better to use the normal version of Nebula, Not the Reverb one? That for getting the lower possible latency to use it in real time.

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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby jorismak » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:37 pm

Yes, he uses it itself that way while tracking.

But Nebula will always add _some_ latency. If you open the normal one, go to the 'MAST' page and set the DSP buffer (bottom right) as low as it can go while still making it usable (kinda like ASIO buffer), it will help with the latency. But there will always be some.

Reverb-version has benefits, as for example it can spread the workload better over multi cpu-cores.. but low-latency realtime tracking is it not :P.

Differences are small enough that I mostly just track with ownhammer regular IR's (or even when listening to my own real amp at low volume), and replace it with nebula programs after I decide on a way to go :).
Last edited by jorismak on Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

No019
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Re: How to get Nebula3Free REVERB quality without latency

Postby No019 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:27 am

Thank you mister jorismak, you are very informative.


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