This set is ‘based on’ a very highly regarded remake of the classic 660 compressor. This comp is widely considered to be one of the out there. It can sound ‘creamy’, yet still clear and detailed. It has been called the best compressor around for vocals by many, as well as for slamming drums, and among other uses it can even give sounds a nice sheen without engaging the compression. It’s commonly cited as a favorite for vocals, acoustic guitar, and other material.
Many commonly use it with just a few dB of reduction solely for it’s velvety sound. I think the positive qualities of the comp have translated well to this set, and I would imagine that almost anyone could find several uses for these programs.
In this set:
- 4 different sample sets (vectors) taken from the unit in different ways, to get 4 different ‘core’ compressor effects.
- 4 sample sets for 4 pass-through effects (sampled without compression). These can be used like preamp/console programs, to give subtle to not-so-subtle tone from the unit. One used a 1176 to drive the unit hot enough to saturate, and another 76 after it to bring the level down before a/d. Check the vocal audio demo below to see how that can sound.
- Each of the 4 compressors has a program designed to work closest to the hardware that I could get Nebula to do, based on my ~3 yrs experience doing this, and based on plenty of tweaking and analysis of the hardware using many custom tones to see what’s going on. Some people seem to think that this stuff happens on its own when sampling. It doesn’t. It takes work. Going beyond those main programs, there are an additional 3 alternate versions for each comp, which use various alternate detection modes and tricky envelope follower setups. These have more thought and time put into them than any of the alternate versions I made in the past, which is why there are fewer this time around.
- Every program has an SHQ version for rendering. This time I think I got the SHQ versions more optimized so that they use the least CPU while still giving all the benefits. This means they don’t take as long to render. These give a slightly better sound in a few different ways (all explained in the manual).
- I’m pretty confident that this marks the first Nebula compressor release to do program dependent release behavior, or at least the first one to get it right. In the past I think it was assumed that this was handled automatically when sampling hardware, and again, that’s just not true. To get it working was pretty tricky, and took some thinking to figure out how to make it work. Then there was more time to fine tune it to match the hardware. Probably a couple days work just on this alone. How it works is that you get slower release times with less compression. Below 2dB gives the slowest times. This of course scales depending on what you have the release control set to, which is partly why it took so long to recreate.
Demo program: grab a free set of demo programs here. Both 96khz and 44.1khz versions are included in the set. This is really the best way for you to get a good idea of how these things sound, even if the demos have some controls limited/removed, and if it doesn’t let you hear every program in the set. You really should check out the demo programs.
This first one is shows what it can do to a full mix. This mix probably has the vocals up too high, but you can still easily hear just a few examples of the kinds of slick sheen that this thing can impart on audio. First you hear it dry, then the entire mix is processed together, a few different times with different programs and settings, with short static bursts between each change.
This one is a drum mix. First the hats+cymbals and the kick+snare are compressed separately as two separate mixes, for a few db of compression each, then those groups are mixed together for another round of compression. First you hear dry, then compressed, then again with everything really squashed.
Another bit of drums, done exactly the same as the last clip.
This one is a kind of minimal mix with drums and a bit of backing, and vocals. This time only the vocals get compressed. First you hear everything dry, then first the vocals are ran through the special pass-through program that used a 1176 to drive the 660 and another after it. You can use it as a compressor that acts differently from the others since its actually the 660 being overdriven/saturated. Then you hear a couple examples of different compressor programs using different settings on the vocals.
Manual: You can take a look at the manual here! You probably should take a look at it to get an idea of the effort that went into this set, and the scope of it!
Price = $38.50 US – Programs available for download immediately after purchase. You must be a registered user of the full version of Nebula to use these programs. Nebula 3 Pro or Server is recommended.
Buy 96khz version here:
Buy 44.1khz version here:
Pay $1.00 extra (total of $39.50) and get both versions here: