Once in a while I see a comment on a forum of whether somone should buy ‘another’ program or preset pack and I often have a quiet chuckle. Its as if we in the Nebula world have had a big meal and are well and truly stuffed. ‘Okay no more! There’s no more room in my belly. I have had enough. I don’t need anymore’. Until the next hunger pangs kick in and the next release comes along LOL. Can you ever build a studio with too many hardware options?
A little personal story if I may. Not directed at just a rambling on my obervations. When I arrived in the UK and started my life from scratch I almost cried at the expense of owning tools to allow me to pursue my musical dreams. I almost thought someone had played a joke on me. Back in the day about 2003 I discovered the usual large retailers who sold the usual mass appeal mid priced stuff sold be college graduates. Etcetera, The now defunct Turnkey on Tottenham road, DV247 and so on. But then I realised that in spite of having an M-box, Protools and the Sony Oxford bundle, there was something missing. I had a Rode NTK microphone which was a nice valve mic but was limited in options. I needed a high quality low cut switch and a preamp that gave me some eq options. I did a bit of research and ended up getting the GML 2032 from HHB. I had heard of and read of George Massenburg on various forums and was in awe of his Discography. His music was music I had grown up with. So off I went and got that piece only to discover that it actually would be nice to crank up the input and get a nice warm fuzzy sound once in a while. Well GML won’t give that to you if that’s what you want. So eventually got another one for stereo work but still had the rock sound in my head that was fat, distorted and distinct. I knew I needed more options.
So I got q-clone and it helped with a few options but where was the warmth and distortion. Antares came out with a plugin modelling tubes. Aaah that’s a bit better. But wouldn’t real tubes be even better? Off to a shop called KMR after a lengthy research. Wow what a catalogue. Now we are talking, re-issues of stuff the Beatles recorded on, The Who, The Rolling Stones, all the 80s musicians I had listened to. That sound was now in one place under one roof. So many options, but so out of luck, why? Well none of that stuff was cheap. Forget middle of the road kid, this is the high end. Welcome to the kind of shop that can wreck marriages and cause you to sell your children’s future. You could easily spend 100k in that place and come away with 5 pieces. I could never save nearly enough in a lifetime to own ‘those sounds’ nor could I justify it.
But a little community begun brewing. People like me, frustrated by the high price point if entry into ‘those sounds’, the high cost of plugins that didn’t quite do what the hardware did and a lack of CPU. But a revolution begun with the lab techs at Intel leading the way. Suddenly Giancarlo and company’s skills could be matched by the CPU grunt of a workstation and the third party devs begun to flourish. I discovered a simple website run by a very nice, courteous and refreshingly knowledgable American called Michael Angel. He always replied my e-mails and gave very good explanations for any enquiries I made. I bought all the stuff he produced in a heartbeat. He and the Nebula family understood what we all now know. It actually is possible to get ‘ that sound’ and deliver it over files on the internet and into a computer. It had happened to the CD and now it happened to ‘sounds’. No postage, no waiting, no cash tills. Instant on-demand, virtual cheap studio sounds. But many still don’t appreciate how HUGE this is. Like, dude you can own the sound of a $10 000 eq in your computer for like 1/ 300th of the price.
I stopped crying then about not being able to get ‘that sound’ anymore. I embraced the revolution for what is was. Absolutely Mega! This game has changed.
So when I go to the GS forum and see another member ask in the high end forum – Help me spend 75 k on my studio, what to get? First I chuckle and then I think to myself either you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you are blind to the revolution ( and find fault with the website, the GUI, the documention, the CPU hog etc ) or you simply need to visit another forum errrrrrrr . . . . the Acustica audio one.
I’m laughing all the way to the bank thanks to the community coz I have saved so much and can get comparable results to the big guys – well sorta – just my own skills the dividing factor. So big thanks to guys like Michael, Alex. AITB. Wisecup and the rest.
All of this to say. The revolution only works if you support the guys who started it. I know it may sound odd coming from a developer but I am not saying this for me. I am a late comer. We should honour these guys who had the vision to start it off by buying their products because some of them went into this fulltime. Don’t buy it cause it’s just another tool that you may need. Buy it because it has enabled us all to smile when we push a slider and know that this is our little secret despised by the unitiated. Haters be gone. Buy it because it sounds incredible. Buy it to keep the revolution going forward. Viva democracy in Pro Audio. Being spoilt for choice is a tremendous privilige we must never take for granted because this rev is a double edged sword. It can be tarnished as easily as someone placing a free file of anything on the internet.