Updated another older library of mine. Here’s the info:
* Frequency response jaggyness reduced, the same as with my recent Cassette Deck 1 and 2 updates.
* Dropped the ‘A’ from the original library name- “Casspressors A”. I originally thought I might do more of these, but I really doubt it now.
* SHQ versions added, with increased frequency response accuracy.
* Programs are using the more recent method I’ve been using in my compressor programs, which is faster and more accurate.
* Impulses have all been looked at and edited by me. Fixed lots of little minor issues, too many to list or remember. End result is the dynamic behavior is a little better.
* Moved to a new category name in Nebula, CT (TC, for Tape Compression).
* Completely re-did the attack/release behaviors of the programs. They now use 4 different sets of behaviors, taken from 4 of my compressor releases, and which are using the most up to date adjustments (the Rayphlex attack/release behavior is updated).
* Set each program to use different detector types as well as feedback/feedforward signal ratios for the detection path, to increase variety in the sound across the effects.
* Got rid of all of the alternate programs in the various sub-categories. Now there are just two programs for each sampled tape effect. The main one, and a secondary version, which uses alternate attack/release behaviors from a different compressor than the first one, as well as different detector modes, and feedback/feedforward signal ratios.
* Lots of harmonic samples were removed, which had no actual impusle (it had fallen below the noise floor). Some kerns were removed too, when the harmonics just weren’t contributing anything.
* Added Wet/Dry control. It’s pretty cool.
* Probably lots of other things little that I don’t remember.
I’m just about to send out updates for another older library of mine. In fact, it’s my first reverb to include any kind of sampled controls, and if I’m not mistaken, the first Nebula reverb to offer any at all. This is still pretty uncommon in Nebula, but most of the reverbs I released after this release do offer some kind of sampled control.
I think this library went a bit overlooked because of how unusual the sampling source hardware is, but the library does offer some nice delay effects for the price. I got pretty experimental with lots of the effects in here, after making programs that represent the hardware in a more straight-forward way. So ultimately it’s just a lot of cool and sometimes weird, but always very, very analog sounding delay effects (feedback control can be really good in a lot of them too).
Anyway, here’s the info!
* Updated some program settings to be more like my recent reverbs/delays. I think this improves the dynamic behavior.
* Removed all of the programs that were set up as insert style effects, leaving only send style programs (only real difference is that the send programs load with ‘dry’ control dropped to minimum setting by default). Reduces clutter in the Nebula program select menu.
* Removed most of the various programs with different kern amounts, leaving only 2 options. Renamed these ‘lite/clean’ and ‘full’.
* Fixed some issues with the dynamics in the actual impulses. Really, I did lots of editing to the samples that fixed several various issues but I can’t even remember them all to list here. Lots of little things that I think add up to the programs just being nicer (one example I can remember is that the levels are more consistent as you adjust any sampled controls in the programs that have them).
* Greatly improved the dynamic response with fast inputs like drums. Could sometimes sound glitchy in the old programs, sound great now, nice and smooth.
* Removed lots of the harmonic impulses. There were just too many, and removing them improves performance. Quality was not hurt. Also removed most of the upper kerns for harmonics altogether. The impulse .wavs actually had harmonic content in most of them, going all the way up to 10k, but in actual use those upper harmonics come out at around -150dB. It kind of blows my mind that they look so loud and clear/well above the noise floor, in many of the upper harmonic samples, but yet they’re somehow still so quiet in actual use. I would expect them to be below the noise floor in the samples. It’s kind of a mystery to me but it is what it is, so I removed them. They’re impossible to notice at those low levels. All of this lowered CPU use and load times.
* Some dry (non-delayed) signal existed in some of the impulses. Fixed/removed.
* Some impulses had the two channels out of phase with each other (inverted). This is how the hardware works, but it’s not good because it makes the delay effect not be mono compatible. If reduced to mono, the delay largely disappears (not completely). I inverted one of the channels to fix this.
* Bionic Duet C had some phase inconsistencies between settings on the tune control fixed. Bionic Reverb C had phase and delay length inconsistencies fixed, so now the EQ control functions much smoother, as intended.
* Moved the library to the same category inside Nebula as my recent Super Time Tube release. That release also includes some samples from a unit very similar to this Pioneer, so having all of those analog delay effects in the same place makes for a more convenient user experience, in my opinion.
I actually released this a little over a week ago. An older library of mine got a pretty significant update. Here are the updates:
*’Rebranded’ this library to now be a part of my Plates of Legend series. The main reason for doing this is just so I can place the programs in the same category inside Nebula, as the PoL programs. I’ve been working to group lots of my smaller and similar releases in shared categories, so users will have quick access to lots of similar programs if they own multiple libraries that are grouped together. I think it improves the experience.
*To go along with the other Plates of Legend sampled plates, I gave the custom plate a new program name- Artemis.
*Noise floor lowered a bit. This was done using a few methods I’ve come up with, which don’t involve noise reduction software and don’t affect the actual impulses at all. It’s not always applicable and doesn’t always make a big difference but here it made a decent one.
*SHQ programs removed. They were crazy and I’m not sure what I was thinking when I released the library with them in it. They just used way too much CPU. I now don’t personally believe that TIMED mode inherently makes anything sound better (which was commonly believed years ago). Only in some specific cases (compressors mainly) does it allow you to get other benefits like faster program rate.
*Edited the impulses manually to remove samples that were below the noise floor (in the harmonics) and to edit for length so there’s no excess, as well as removing superfluous samples (there were just too many). CPU, RAM, and disk space use all lowered by this, and it was done without hurting the quality of the programs.
*Standard programs renamed to ‘full’.
*Made feedback control less sensitive.
*Lite program improved- lowered CPU use drastically by removing dynamics. The old versions still had dynamics but just removed the harmonics.
*Lowered the harmonic kern count for the full program, in the name of performance.
*Simplified how the programs work with regards to the sampled damper control and the separate fade control the old programs had. The sampled damper didn’t really decrease the length, or do much of anything but a very subtle change to tone. So I added a separate control to shorten the length with a nice fade when originally making the library. Now I’ve combined both controls in one. It makes way more sense and I’m not sure why I didn’t do it this way in the first place. It also lowers CPU/Ram use further.
*Some changes were done ‘under the hood’ in the programs, reflecting my other more recent reverbs and how I think things should be for the most realistic results.
Mix pack 3 got a minor update, very similar to the recent updates for MP1+2. Now all 3 libraries are in the same category in Nebula again.
Bigger news- An older library of mine- Raybon + Wyte HP/LP filters, has just got a pretty major update, bringing it up to date with my more recent filter programs. These filters have also been moved to the same category as the MP 1-3 filters, so now if you have all of these libraries, you have a lot of cool HP/LP (and other types) filters all in one spot. It makes using them a lot more enjoyable imo.
But the filter programs in this library got a lot more improvements than just being moved to a new category. Here’s the info:
* Fixed some issues with the Tee-B-one program. First off, it wasn’t using its dynamic samples… at all! I just noticed this after all these years. The program still worked fine, but it just didn’t respond to incoming dynamics of your input at all, to use the different dynamics I sampled for the effect. Fixed. When selecting different filter positions the overall level would change a little bit. Now it’s consistent.
* Removed ‘drive’ control, added ‘trim’ for the pass-through programs, doesn’t really matter either way since the harmonics are so low, but I don’t like the old drive control.
* Reduction in CPU use for most filter programs, without sacrificing sound quality. Also the load times and ram use are reduced.
* Removed all harmonic kerns from all Raybon programs. Upon closer inspection of the actual impulses for the harmonics, the highest dynamic steps I sampled actually had very low level harmonics. There was barely any harmonic content captured in my sampling. What was there is more than 100dB below the level of the fundamental in almost all normal use of the programs. Removing the (barely existant) harmonics brought down CPU use GREATLY. It’s around 1/10th the original use for the LP and around 1/4th for the HP. I have no idea why the unit has such low distortion, but this is what I got out of it. If you look at the old programs in Christian Budde’s vst analyser, it appears that they actually have *higher* than normal harmonics, but even though I really like and regularly use his vst analyser, it can be misleading in some cases, and harmonics with Nebula is one of the cases where it can be misleading (it would take a lot of effort for me to explain why I think this happens). If you just run a test tone at 1khz through the old programs and view it in a spectrum analyzer plug-in you get an entirely different result, and can see that the harmonics are actually very very low, almost non-existant, even with high level input. The actual impulses themselves were even a bit deceptive. They *looked* to have harmonic content across a 40db range in some cases but they’re always very low in level, and really close to the noise floor. This is all why I was fooled into having the LP originally be a 10k program. Long story short- trust me, the harmonics weren’t doing anything but drastically increasing CPU use. At least removing them now reduces it!
* Removed most harmonics for Wyte programs also. Left a couple of kerns of distortion. Did this for the same reason as above with the Raybon, but the distortion wasn’t *quite* as low here as with Raybon programs, so I left a few kerns in. I also shortened the harmonics that are left. This lowered CPU use with these programs too.
* Removed the one harmonic kern for the tb1 program. Again, it was just too low to be worth keeping.
* Moved filter programs from the RB* and RB categories for 44.1khz and 96khz libraries, to the ‘CM4’ and ‘CM9’ categories. These new categories are shared by some of my other releases, including Mixing Filter packs 1-3, and soon, the YouRei HP/LP release. So now if you have all of those releases, you have access to many different HP/LP filters, all in the same place, which is really nice.
* Drastically reduced the number of programs, because they just aren’t needed. There were lite, full, and shq versions for all of the filter programs in the past. Now lite isn’t needed, because the full versions have had their CPU use lowered. So lite versions are gone, which helps reduce clutter. This really matters now since I’ve also moved the programs to a category shared by other filter releases of mine, so if you have those releases, you can quickly pick from many different filters, without too much visual clutter in the list. I also removed the SHQ programs. Trust me, they aren’t needed now. The full versions are now the best quality versions. I also removed the pass-through programs from the category with the filters. Now they’re only found in the ‘PRE’ then ‘CW9’ and ‘CW4’ categories where I put all of my pass-throughs from other releases.
* Fixed irregularities in the T-BeeOne program, when selecting different filter positions the overall level would change a little bit. Now it’s consistent.
So I’ve updated Mixing Filters Packs 1 and 2. A big point of this update is to move all the filters to a new folder and organize everything so there’s nothing that’s unnecessary. I’m moving some of my other older HP/LP filter releases to the same location, because I think it would be really nice to have all of my LP/HP filters in one spot so anyone who owns all or some of those releases can have multiple choices to choose from, all in one spot.
* Moved all of the filter programs to a new category inside Nebula. They were in ‘FLT’ then ‘CW’ and ‘CW*’, now they’re in ‘CM9’ and ‘CM4’. This is part of a big effort on my part to re-organize all of my older libraries so they’ll look nicer inside Nebula.
* Removed the SHQ programs. I made some very subtle adjustments to the main (non-SHQ) programs, and I don’t think the SHQ programs are necessary now. Honestly I think the difference was very small. In other libraries, like my compressor ones, SHQ programs are definitely providing something the other programs can’t, but here they weren’t really that different from the main programs.
* Removed the pass-through programs from the filter category, because I don’t want that category to be cluttered with lots of pass-through programs. I want only filters in there. So the pass-throughs are now only found in the ‘PRE’ then ‘CW9’ and ‘CW4’ categories.
* Updated the manual to reflect the changes to the Nebula categories now used.
A couple of weeks ago I released a pretty comprehensive update of Color Springs, one of my oldest libraries! I’ve had people saying it really lowered the CPU use for them and is still one of their favorite libraries. One of the main points of the update is also to reorganize where it’s found in the Nebula categories. I’m trying to go back and group some of my older releases together, into the same categories, because I think it will make the experience a lot better for any people who own several of my similar libraries, to have more options to choose from right in the same place. My last reverb release, ReelVerb1, is grouped with Color Springs now, and very soon I’m releasing another one with two more springs which will be placed there. I think I’ll move the Raybon Spring release there too. To me, that’s a key point of the update, but if you don’t own those other libraries there’s still a lot of improvements here:
*Trimmed reverb lengths in a lot of cases, where the actual reverb had faded into the noise floor during the original sample lengths. Usually not a whole lot was trimmed but every bit helps lower CPU use. The original library was made well before I had begun editing the impulses directly, which allows for a lot of optimizations like this.
*Two of the bionic reverbs were actually lengthened because the reverb continues beyond where it was cut off in the older programs. These are the lower pitched ones.
*Trimmed lengths of the harmonics also, much shorter. This lowers CPU use and probably has no noticeable effect on sound.
*Attack, Release, and Dist controls have all been removed. The attack and release have been set internally, to settings that should reflect what I sampled as close as possible. The dist control allowed you to adjust the level of the harmonics but it’s not the same as an input overdrive so it’s not really authentic. You could get some weird distortions by boosting the dist control really loud but i doubt anyone used it much, so it’s gone.
*Added feedback control.
*Some other changes to how the programs work were done under the hood, to reflect how my more recent reverbs have been done, for the past few years.
*Removed all the different versions of each reverb. There were 1k and 6k versions, and short and long versions for each of those. The short versions just had the lengths truncated in the ‘kern’ page of nebula. This isn’t really very good because it just creates an abrupt gating, which wasn’t really what I wanted with those presets. They were just there to give a lower CPU version. I don’t really feel that these are needed now since the main programs have been reduced in CPU use.
*Some unwanted artifacts were removed from some of the reverbs.
*Added subtle fade outs to the tails of some of the reverbs that were previously just cut off at the end, even in the full length versions. I could’ve re-rendered them to have the longer tail but they would have then used more CPU and I didn’t think it was worth it. So now they fade out nicely at least.
*Removed a weird ‘direct’ portion from many of the impulses. It was almost like a bit of dry signal getting through in some cases. It could throw off the balance of the reverb/dry mix, so it’s a nice improvement to be rid of it.
*Programs are now set up as sends by default upon loading, as I do with all my reverbs for the past few years now.
*The library is much smaller, due to the samples being trimmed, so it takes up much less space on your drive. The programs load faster, they use less ram, and in almost all cases they use less CPU (compared to the 6k originals).
*Turned off the smoothing which was for some reason being used in the originals. Probably not much of a noticeable difference, but smoothing isn’t needed with reverbs.
*Renamed all or most of the programs. The original names just weren’t very descriptive or creative. Now they’re either more descriptive or at least more memorable.
*Moved the programs to a new category- “CS9” for 96khz and “CS4” for 44.1khz. I have some other spring reverbs from another library in that same category, and there will be more.
Jpn wanted to do an N4 skin for Flucti, so I decided to do a quick, simple update to the programs that makes a few improvements.
Flucti updates list-
*New N4 skin by JPN!
*N3 skin has been updated. Cosmetically improved, and also the knobs in the old skin were a little buggy. You had to click on the top half of them to get them working. Fixed. Also, the following updates have been reflected in the skin.
*Dry control in the past was a control that just added some dry signal back in, but didn’t lower the wet signal, so it was awkward to use. And actually, for this release, the dry control didn’t even work at all! I didn’t have it set up properly so it did nothing. Now the control is called ‘wet’ and acts as a wet/dry mixer control, which is WAY BETTER. Awesome.
*The hi-pass control for the internal side-chain went all the way up to 5khz, which was way too far. I don’t think there’s any real reason for it to go over 500hz, probably. Going all the way up to 5khz makes the range you might actually use take up a tiny range on the control, so it was harder to fine tune. Now it only goes up to 500hz.
*Fastest attack setting has been made even faster. It’s barely noticeable but it allows for ‘instant’ peak reduction with less look-ahead.
*The look-ahead control used to go up to 10ms. Now it only goes up to 1.5ms. This allows me to remove the instructions about modifying the nebula .xml to get the old maximum of 10ms from the manual. You can get the instant peak reduction with less than 1.5ms now so it’s not really needed to have so much look-ahead.
*Programs are now found in ‘FM9’ and ‘FM4’ categories inside Nebula.
*Program names have added numbers prefixed so they stay in the order I want them to appear in, inside N4 (which uses a different ordering scheme than N3).
*Removed the SHQ pass-through programs, because they really weren’t necessary. The standard pass-through programs have been slightly updated and are just fine.
*Manual updated to reflect these changes. Skin install instructions moved to its own separate mini-manual.
I’ve just released a HUGE update for my very old (~6yrs) Cassette Deck 2 library. It’s very much like the recent update for Cassette Deck 1. I’m not going to show graphs with comparisons of the before and afters of the frequency responses this time, but the differences are very much like they were with CD1 (so you can just look at the graphs I posted for that update a couple posts back).
In this update, the library got reduced down from about a gigabyte, to ~65mb for the 96khz version. And it sounds many times better, even with the much reduced size! Here are the updates:
*Used the same method I used with Cassette Deck 1 to get a cleaner frequency response. The original programs had a ‘jaggy’ frequency response in the higher frequencies. This is due to wow/flutter speed fluctuations, which happen with any recording/playback medium that uses a motor. The fluctuations throw off NAT, which is the program used to create the impulses from the tone recordings, which results in the jaggy response. Sometimes you could hear it as a subtle ‘sizzle’ in the high end. Now the sound is perfectly smooth in the high end, like it should be.
*Edited/trimmed every impulse using techniques I’ve developed since originally releasing the library. This makes sure that the programs load and sound exactly as they’re supposed to. The old programs had some impulses that were out of sync, dynamically, especially in the higher dynamic steps. This would result in a very badly distorted sound if you drove the input too much. Now you can drive the programs a lot further and still have very useful results. The usable range of the sampled dynamics has been fully realized finally. This and the first update listed are HUGE. The effects are completely different now, they’re improved that much. You can get all sorts of interesting compression effects by driving the input differently, where in the old versions you’d just get bad distortions.
*Adjusted how the dynamics are handled internally, resulting in even more improvement to authenticity.
*Removed Attack control, the attack is fixed (and customized) internally to be as close to instant as possible with this type of Nebula program. Release control is still available, but with a much extended range. Now this control is actually useful and can be pretty great for fine tuning the dynamic response a bit. Increase it for a smoother result when driving the programs.
*Removed liquidity control. No need for it.
*Weeded out a few bad impulses that caused flaws in the sound of some of the programs.
*Weeded out a lot of harmonic impulses that contained only noise, no actual impulse (the lower sampled dynamic steps especially). These contribute nothing but still take resources. Removing them improves CPU use, RAM use, and the programs/vectors take up less disk space and load faster.
*Reduced kern amount for some of the programs because the higher amount just wasn’t needed for those programs. Further reduced resources needed.
*Shortened impulse length for harmonics since in my opinion they don’t need to be as long as the fundamental impulses. Reduced resources needed.
*Increased length of the fundamental impulses. In some cases this increases accuracy of the frequency response in the bass range, and maybe improves tone.
*All of the changes resulted in the CPU use being about 6-10 times LESS than the original versions, while the programs sound and work multiple times better than they did.
*Got rid of the different kern options, because the CPU use got reduced so much anyway. They aren’t needed now.
*Removing kern options allowed me to simplify the program names so they look nicer.
*The category in Nebula where the programs are found has been changed. Now they’re inside ‘TPE’ then ‘C39’ for 96khz and ‘C34’ for 44.1khz.
*Simplified the ‘Generic’ tape program. It was intented to be different from the others, and act as kind of a delay effect with a fixed repeating delay around 60ms. I cut out the delay because it didn’t work out so well.
*About 3 programs had their harmonics lowered in level a bit, because they would get too loud if those programs were driven hard. It didn’t sound very good.
*Updated the manual to finally have my logo (didn’t have it back then!), and kind of touched it up a bit here and there. Also updated the graphs of the frequency responses. Put in new tips.
I have as a goal, going through all of my older libraries and updating them, to be more in-line with my more current programs, in terms of how things run under the hood and how the programs are organized, etc. So this is the next one to get that treatment!
I expect to release the update… hopefully tomorrow. There are a lot of improvements. All the reverbs are using my current internal settings for reverbs (mainly talking about how the dynamics are handled). This alone probably should make a noticeable difference. I’ve moved the programs to a new category, looking to get some of my older programs better organized and have some different libraries grouped together.
I’ve edited the impulses so they don’t have excess length (as they used to), and weeded out a lot of impulses that just weren’t contributing anything (harmonic impulses where it’s just noise floor, no actual impulse). Also reduced sample count for harmonics that actually were above noise floor because there were just too many. These changes resulted in the reverbs being greatly reduced in filesize, which hugely reduced RAM use and in some cases also CPU use.
I simplified the library by removing 1k, 6k, and DIST versions, leaving only one version. I just don’t think the CPU use was that different between the 1k and 6k versions, or at least it isn’t now, with the better CPUs out there. Plus the reduced CPU use from weeding out the excessive impulses makes up for not having the 1k programs anymore. The DIST ones, I just don’t think were really necessary. Probably few people used them.
Last big addition- I made new alt versions for every reverb. Some are only subtly different, others are more noticeable. I think it gives more variety to the library.
Just sent out links for downloads for the update for Part 1. The updates for 2 and 3 will be released in the coming weeks.
Part 1 and 2 both get a new reverb- a bonus ‘fake stereo’ reverb I made by processing the original sources for the mono plates from both releases with a cool old Orban Stereo Synthesizer unit I have. All it does is use inverse comb filtering to produce a stereo output from a mono input. I discovered it can sound very cool for reverbs. So each of the formerly only mono plates now gets a new program with 6 selectable pseudo stereo reverbs.
I also fixed a bug in my internal program settings/programming that affected the release of the dynamic behavior. Probably nobody will notice unless they directly compare, but the fix probably makes them more accurate to hardware, in my opinion. It’s subtle.
Lastly I spruced up the names of the programs as they show up inside Nebula. Plates of Legend III will only be getting this and the previously mentioned bug fix- no new programs for it.