An Acustica audio’s Nebula user reflective

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.

Nebula presets emulation list

I get requests once in a while about which hardware was sampled in my online shop. For those wishing to get their heads around what I sampled for Acustica Audio’s Nebula download the PDF list below check it out.

Best wishes

The Console strip for Nebula released

The console strip for nebula is now available along with a plethora of other new products. I have been working very hard to bring great Nebula programs and presets and all my presets reside here in my new webstore.


I am also a member of the official Acustica forum and can be found here on this thread.

Acustica audio forum

Two new websites launched.

Just in case you may have missed my movements in the last few weeks, I have just launched a new website to sell my book and another for my nebula presets.

My books new website is easy to follow as it is the title of the book…..Blood, sweat and treason

My nebula presets website is equally easy to find. Get your nebula programs and presets here and say hello to a new way of mixing…..Nebula Presets


Another free Nebula preset – Valve preamp

Right guys – this one is pretty special IMHO. That’s all I am going to say really. Smooth tubes – gorgeous mid range.

Sampled at high resolution – Provided at 96 khz – enjoy and if you like it let me know.

Why all the free stuff one might ask – what’s the catch you may think. Simply put – my Father is very generous and has taught me to be the same. I am patron of a charity that I support in Zimbabwe. I have been accepted as a third party provider for Acustica and my soon to be released commercial libraries will help support the charity. It also allows me to practice the art of sampling which has a learning curve. Watch this space. More freebies coming as usual.


Get it HERE

Free Mastering tools for Q-clone


Been busy again and added a few free Q-clone presets for your professional use all for FREEEEEEEE!!!!! These are mainly good for adding presence in the high end to tracks. Some do subtle things like add ‘zip’ or ‘fizz’ as I call it while some tighten things a little. Most are easy to hear so experiment with diferent sources. These are really aimed at full mixes as if you add too many in your mix it can get a little too hard – if you have dull stuff then go for it!!!!

Get the package here – Henry_Olonga

Also Check out my free Nebula Distortion presets that add that analog glow to tracks to help get rid of ‘digititus’.

Power Distortion

Henry Olonga’s Commercial libraries for Q-clone

Have fun!!!

New free Nebula Valve Distortion preset


Into the new year with a free new Valve distortion preset. This is the sampling of a compressor that sits on my two buss some of the time. Sampled at 24 bit 96 khz through Prismsound Orpheus, it is a faithful representation of the compressor’s sound IMHO. 10 Kernels so you better have a beefy CPU!!!!! I have not sampled it as a compressor but as a pre. Not the most revered of Comps (T__eL) but gives your digital mixes a nice analog warmth. I replaced the ageing valves with valves from Watford valves. These were deep cryogenically treated and sound awesome on individual tracks and even full mixes for mastering (for adding a nice warm glow). Sampled for use at 0 dbfs – within reason of course. The valves sampled were Phillips Jan 12AX7WA. Nice enhancing to the mid range – slightly forward, it has excellent dynamics and nice oozing lows.A word on the high end. It gives a nice valve sheen but be careful on already bright stuff as it may get frizzy quick. Perfect for dull stuff needing a bit of a lift. Having said that do enjoy this Nebula recreation to help you attain true analog ITB sound.

Depending on your source I am convinced that one instance of valve distortion followed by my Power distortion plugin will make you smile.

Power Distortion

I was selling this in my shop but took it down because I am moving to a new shop soon. You can have it for free as a welcome to 2012 gift. Do give me some feedback.

Get it here Valve distortion

Also try my new FREE Mastering tools for Q-clone – these add presence and tightness to your tracks and work VERY well with the Nebula free presets. Place them at the start of the chain

Free Q-clone presets

For even more control over the colour of your mixes and for quick mixing – consider combining my free Nebula distortion presets with the wonderful curves of Q-clone – I have some libraries that will give you instant mix options with lower CPU usage than just using Nebula exclusively.

Henry Olonga’s libraries for Q-clone

Have fun!!!

Acustica nebula

Can I just say that this is about the best plugin I have ever used period. It is amazing. Today I was pretty frustrated with a mix that I am working on for my next album. So I decided to pull out the old trusty Xlutop chainer and chain a few Nebula effects together.

Had another go with using the consoles and now I can say I GET what it is all about. You need to chain these suckers together. So – I updated to the latest version of nebula and also got Alexb’s 4K compressor recently.

What I did was set up a chain in Xlutop chainer. For those who don’t know it is a piece of software that let’s you well – chain a series of FX together. It has horrible latency as it does not report plugin latency to the daw. Anyway – here is what I did.

R2R – MLC input – 4K compressor – Chain of ML eQs ( Hshelf, Hmids, Lmids,Lshelf ) MLC Buss out,R2R

After bouncing down the track and adjusting for latency I am blown away. Get a chainer plugin and it all comes together from a workflow point of view. It is one track at a time and you do need to commit but boy does it sound like I have an SSL anmd Real tape in my home studio.

The great thing with chainer is that you can set up your default chain and adjust per track. Thumbs up from me now….

Now here is the roll call of the top nebula third party producers that take your nebula universe to the next level.

Michael Angel




Analog in the box





All my Q-clone presets available now via Paypal




Update 07/09/2012 – More stuff on the way so watch this space.

Buy each product as an immediate download using Paypal with just a few clicks right here

Colour Mix Total Price £ 40 [wp_eStore_fancy:product_id:3:end]

NEW!!!!!!!Titan EQ Q-clone Pack Price £ 12 [wp_eStore_fancy:product_id:22:end]

NEW!!!!!!!Girthy Mastering EQ Q-clone Pack Price £ 12 [wp_eStore_fancy:product_id:21:end]

NEW!!!!!!!The Console strip Q-clone Pack Price £ 6 [wp_eStore_fancy:product_id:20:end]

NEW!!!!!!!Transparent digital filters Price £ 10 [wp_eStore_fancy:product_id:4:end]

NEW!!!!!!Prized Mastering EQ Price £ 10 [wp_eStore_fancy:product_id:5:end]

NEW!!!!!!Exquisite EQ Price £ 10 [wp_eStore_fancy:product_id:6:end]

NEW!!!!!!Tape tones Price £ 5 [wp_eStore_fancy:product_id:7:end]

Updated – Colour Mix pro Price £ 10

Superlative EQ Price £ 10 [wp_eStore_fancy:product_id:1:end]

Smooth EQ Price £ 10 [wp_eStore_fancy:product_id:2:end]

Scrunch EQ Price £ 5 [wp_eStore_fancy:product_id:9:end]

Silky tube mastering shelves Price £ 3 [wp_eStore_fancy:product_id:10:end]

Poooltech EQP-1A3 Price £ 3 [wp_eStore_fancy:product_id:11:end]

Passive Tjee Price £ 3 [wp_eStore_fancy:product_id:12:end]

Enhanced Pooltech Price £ 3 [wp_eStore_fancy:product_id:13:end]

Subtle Kneev Price £ 5 [wp_eStore_fancy:product_id:14:end]

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Waves Q-clone price drop!!!!!

All my presets are here

Well if you haven’t heard -the good folk at Waves have dropped the price of Q-clone to affordable levels for everyone. Last I heard they were selling it for $ 48 in their webstore

So what are you waiting for!!!! Go and buy it and then try some of my free q-clone presets and then tell me what you think. I think it is an amazing plug.