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Shootout - Nebula VS Britson & Satson
Old 20th March 2014
  #1
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djanthonyw's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Talking Shootout - Nebula VS Britson & Satson

Here we have a shootout which includes an AlexB Nebula console vs Sonimus' Britson & Satson Consoles. This is primarily a test of algorithmic vs Nebula / hardware, not necessarily a test for a specific console as I feel that algorithmic options such as these have now caught up. Lets see who can figure out which is which in a blind test.

Please post your guesses below. I will reveal the answers after at least 30 people post guesses, so the more people that actually guess after listening the sooner I will reveal. Thanks!

Here are the wav files if you want them: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/17303607/wavs.zip

Audio for shootout is from this mix-off: http://mixoff.org/index.php/topic,485.0.html
Attached Files

1.mp3 (2.88 MB, 7074 views)

2.mp3 (2.88 MB, 5695 views)

3.mp3 (2.88 MB, 5477 views)

4.mp3 (2.87 MB, 5381 views)

5.mp3 (2.86 MB, 5402 views)

6.mp3 (2.87 MB, 5388 views)

7.mp3 (2.86 MB, 5083 views)

8.mp3 (2.88 MB, 5413 views)

Old 20th March 2014
  #2
Dgr
Gear Nut
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
In order of descending preference:
85374162
Old 20th March 2014
  #3
Gear Head
 
Agustin Mongelli's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Hi all,

At first listen I prefer: 6 - 7 - 5 - 2
Still I can not determine which is which..Tomorrow morning I'm going back to listen with fresh ears.

Excuse my English, I'm using a translator

Greetings from Buenos Aires
Old 20th March 2014
  #4
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HamHat's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Wow those all sounded so similar, crazy. I would have to say I liked 5 the best followed by 8. 1 2 and 4 the least, they didn't sound as open. But All of those options would be fine for a mix. Certainly not seeing a reason to have all of them.
Old 20th March 2014
  #5
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
It's really close, I pick 5-3-8.
Old 20th March 2014
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
hooh, very difficult. just wild guessing:

3 - Britson
6 - Satson
8 - Nebula
Old 20th March 2014
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I am not guessing as it is how the hp and lp filters are used with Britson and Satson that show their power. I bought Britson tonight and it is incredible. The power is in the filters. They are the most amazing filters I have tried. I am stunned at how great this plugin is. I also have Satson, which is excellent too.
Old 20th March 2014
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
A little more info on how you've used the plugins would be in order. I'm not going to put down the hour or more it takes to do this blind test properly (I'd be using your .wav files as sources and Christian Budde's excellent SimpleABX tool) with this little information.

It's also a bit disheartening to do an AB test when the one who prepared it has a strong bias one or the other way.

But yeah, if it's done in good faith (and we can verify it later by the posted settings) then I'll be glad to do the test seriously.

So, some questions:

1) I assume you didn't use the HP and LP filters of neither Satson nor Britson.

2) Did you use the 'FAT' button where it suits the track in question? That is, did you try to "mix" with the plugins to get the best possible results or did you just have one version with all the 'FAT' buttons turned on and one with them off?

3) Who did the Nebula tests? And same questions apply here as well.. were they "mixed".. that is, was any specific group programs used (in the AlexB console emulations there are several specific programs which contain EQ settings of +/- several dB).. or were simply the line or mic programs used?

4) Did you insert one plugin per channel or did you insert it only where it suited the track in question, again to optimize sound?

Anyhow, you see where this is going.. it's NOT TRIVIAL to setup a proper blind test to check for preferences in these kinds of plugins. It's a bit like setting up a blind test for EQ plugins with differing curves which ends up being a blind test on the preferences of mixing technique rather than the actual plugin/tool in question.

Finally.. is there really no other more suitable track for this? The song has some extremely nasty sibilance issues and some other rather bad recording flaws (some drum hits rattle/distort badly).

I'll probably do this test anyway because I happen to like these challenges a lot and one always learns things from them so thanks for setting this up! A little more information and thought would be greatly appreciated before I commit.

Cheers!
bManic
Old 20th March 2014 | Show parent
  #9
Reviews Editor
 
Diogo C's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanic ➑️

It's also a bit disheartening to do an AB test when the one who prepared it has a strong bias one or the other way.
You're also biased (towards Nebula) so...just saying!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanic ➑️
It probably depends on "how you hear" things. To me the difference was not at all subtle.. it's massive.

ALL the other examples, except the two nebula ones, felt "less real". I can't describe it in any other way. The funny thing is, even the mix without any effects sounds "less real" than the nebula examples, especially the MFC which just seems to have an added dimension and depth to it (all hype words with little meaning, I know.. but these things I can not explain properly or why they happen).

If you can't hear this then you can't.. not my fault. If you want to call me a fanboy for that then so be it. That's your right (does make you look like a ****** though, even if you say "nothing wrong with that").

Old 20th March 2014
  #10
Lives for gear
Again I can't guess, but I would say this....

Preference would be between 854 and 1
8 and 5 sound the most console like to me, so I would guess those are Nebula (only based on comments I've heard about Nebula, never used it myself)
1 Sounds the most open to me
4 Sounds the warmest and is probably my fav, as I think it suits the track
Old 20th March 2014 | Show parent
  #11
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djanthonyw's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanic ➑️
It's also a bit disheartening to do an AB test when the one who prepared it has a strong bias one or the other way.

But yeah, if it's done in good faith (and we can verify it later by the posted settings) then I'll be glad to do the test seriously.
I wouldn't say I have a strong bias. I used Nebula "religiously" for years touting how great it was, and moved away from it when I felt there were good algorithmic options for things that I used Nebula for.

I still think Nebula is really great, but I feel that algorithmic options have caught up now. I see little point in still using it for my own work when algorithmic workflow is superior while not have much more to gain, if at all, from Nebula and hardware sonically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanic ➑️
1) I assume you didn't use the HP and LP filters of neither Satson nor Britson.

2) Did you use the 'FAT' button where it suits the track in question? That is, did you try to "mix" with the plugins to get the best possible results or did you just have one version with all the 'FAT' buttons turned on and one with them off?

3) Who did the Nebula tests? And same questions apply here as well.. were they "mixed".. that is, was any specific group programs used (in the AlexB console emulations there are several specific programs which contain EQ settings of +/- several dB).. or were simply the line or mic programs used?

4) Did you insert one plugin per channel or did you insert it only where it suited the track in question, again to optimize sound?

Anyhow, you see where this is going.. it's NOT TRIVIAL to setup a proper blind test to check for preferences in these kinds of plugins. It's a bit like setting up a blind test for EQ plugins with differing curves which ends up being a blind test on the preferences of mixing technique rather than the actual plugin/tool in question.

Finally.. is there really no other more suitable track for this? The song has some extremely nasty sibilance issues and some other rather bad recording flaws (some drum hits rattle/distort badly).

I'll probably do this test anyway because I happen to like these challenges a lot and one always learns things from them so thanks for setting this up! A little more information and thought would be greatly appreciated before I commit.

Cheers!
bManic
1. No HP / LP used.

2. I used the FAT button accordingly for the mix. I didn't render a different version for testing FAT on VS off.

3. They are not a member of the forum. It is someone that I occasionally collaborate with. They used programs on channels, busses and master buss. They sent me the project after they did the processing, and I replaced the instances where Nebula was used with Britson & Satson. There was no double processing with multiple consoles or mixing console emulations.

4. Channels, busses & master.

I think these recordings are more than suitable for a test.
Old 20th March 2014
  #12
Here for the gear
 
faxe's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
5 3 4 are the ones I prefer. Btw - The sibilances of the singer are horrible and need heavy deessing. :D
Old 20th March 2014
  #13
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Thaks for the files djanthonyw.

I prefer 2 and 3 for the clarity and separation and 8 for warm.

I'm curious to know which is which.

\<.
Old 20th March 2014
  #14
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Eric Dahlberg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Based on the brightness I've heard in other listening examples, I think Britson is either 5 or 8. It's easy for me to spot because those were my least favorites.

123467 are close enough to not matter and I'm guessing one of these is dry. If any of those are Nebula, I certainly wouldn't put myself through all the things that go with it over such minor differences. If any of these are Satson, I personally drive it harder than you have in these examples.
Old 20th March 2014
  #15
Gear Head
 
Agustin Mongelli's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Hi all,

I went back to listen to the test today and...
I prefer 3, 7 and 4. It is very difficult from several options, also never work with Nebula or the other plugs.

Excuse my English, Im using a translator

Greetings from Buenos Aires...
Old 20th March 2014
  #16
Gear Guru
 
SWAN808's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
its a good idea to do blind tests for consoles IMO. THe differences are so small...and the effect is often pretty small...when we were on the Britson thread I really wondered if people would reliably be able to pick these out...

however this test design no one really has much of a chance - its a bit of a Slate test where we have no idea on the structure ie how many of each type, etc. Better to do A,B,C or something where one is Nebula, Britson and Dry...when humans do listening tests on fine differences structure is important and its quite easy to set up a test which people will mostly fail.

I will take it anyway later
Old 20th March 2014
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Nice - an actual test. I'll take it later but isn't it funny when there's possibly some prof for a little bit sciency that I can almost guarantee this is going to be a fairly short lived thread.
Shame - I always do these
Old 21st March 2014
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
7 for me.

Cheers.
Old 21st March 2014
  #19
Gear Addict
 
WasserSpitzer's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
First listen through i liked 3 and 5 best .
After going a bit back ond forth i also liked 1 and 8 .
Old 21st March 2014
  #20
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Taurean's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
hi djanthonyw, thanks for posting. I'd like to do this as well, so please hold off on posting the answers!
May be until Saturday?
Old 21st March 2014 | Show parent
  #21
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djanthonyw's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
No problem.
Old 21st March 2014
  #22
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Honestly, not hearing a difference. Would you be able to PM results?
Old 21st March 2014
  #23
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MusicJesus's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
How about limiting the test to those who have actually used a console.
Old 21st March 2014
  #24
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Mercado_Negro's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Why are there so many of them, Anthony? I just gave them a quick listen and they all sound different so this is confusing because you say it's "AN AlexB Nebula console vs Sonimus' Britson & Satson Consoles". Did your friend(s) just use one console and approached the song differently each time? Did you approach the mix differently as well several times? I just don't understand why there are so many of them heh

Anyways, let's keep listening...

EDIT: well, to be completely honest I think nothing was processed with Nebula there and mixes 5/8 are really bad.
Old 21st March 2014 | Show parent
  #25
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djanthonyw's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercado_Negro ➑️
Why are there so many of them, Anthony? I just gave them a quick listen and they all sound different so this is confusing because you say it's "AN AlexB Nebula console vs Sonimus' Britson & Satson Consoles". Did your friend(s) just use one console and approached the song differently each time? Did you approach the mix differently as well several times? I just don't understand why there are so many of them heh

Anyways, let's keep listening...

EDIT: well, to be completely honest I think nothing was processed with Nebula there and mixes 5/8 are really bad.
You have to account for "modern" and "vintage" modes with Briston and Satson. Nebula was definitely used.

I personally like what is going on in all of them better than the version without any console emulation. Ideally, people should at least be able to tell which version this one is, but I'm surprised those that tout Nebula and hardware to still be better than algorithmic processors such as Satson and Britson can't tell the difference so far. I would like these people to guess which one Nebula is.
Old 21st March 2014 | Show parent
  #26
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Mercado_Negro's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by djanthonyw ➑️
You have to account for "modern" and "vintage" modes with Briston and Satson. Nebula was definitely used.

I personally like what is going on in all of them better than the version without any console emulation. Ideally, people should at least be able to tell which version this one is, but I'm surprised those that tout Nebula and hardware to still be better than algorithmic processors such as Satson and Britson can't tell the difference so far. I would like these people to guess which one Nebula is.
Then I can't tell the difference.

Maybe you're wondering why I am saying Nebula wasn't used. Well, when I dragged and dropped the files they were time stretched by default (my mistake), so I went to their properties and reset that but then something jumped at me: all files were exported from Logic Pro X with tiny differences in time between them so 1) either you still processed everything yourself, including Nebula (which would be weird because you don't have it); 2) your friend(s) also use Logic Pro X, you had everything set up already and just dragged and dropped your Britson/Satson instances from that project they sent you and exported your versions very quickly (yeah, time differences are really small) or 3) I'm totally wrong (though BWF chunks don't lie).
Old 21st March 2014 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Head
 
Agustin Mongelli's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by djanthonyw ➑️
I personally like what is going on in all of them better than the version without any console emulation. Ideally, people should at least be able to tell which version this one is, but I'm surprised those that tout Nebula and hardware to still be better than algorithmic processors such as Satson and Britson can't tell the difference so far. I would like these people to guess which one Nebula is.
As I said before, never worked with Nebula or the other plugs. Anyway, I think it is number 3. I feel certain depth and dynamics. (Ok, it's easy to go wrong with so many options) but ...

Excuse my English, I'm using a translator

Greetings from Buenos Aires!
Old 21st March 2014
  #28
Gear Addict
 
vicnest's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Could you please explain how many track and how these consoles are used?
8 setups.

"You have to account for "modern" and "vintage" modes with Briston and Satson". Not exactly 7 setups to me.
Is a dry included in these audio clips?

Have to consider MFC has line/mic input, and MFC has 4 different master buses.


Why the intro has so high white noise level? (from vocal mic?)


6 sounds like Britson to me (based on other Bristson audio demos).

5 could be MFC.

Haven't got a favorite yet. Maybe 1 could be it.

It's all comes to which console suit best for specific sound.
Old 21st March 2014 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicJesus ➑️
How about limiting the test to those who have actually used a console.
And how would that work?
Unlike the dsp here which is in fact completely repeatable there are so many variations in consoles let alone the fact that a very small, small percentage would have even worked on something like an 88rs - in fact you where joking right?
Old 21st March 2014 | Show parent
  #30
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djanthonyw's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercado_Negro ➑️
Then I can't tell the difference.

Maybe you're wondering why I am saying Nebula wasn't used. Well, when I dragged and dropped the files they were time stretched by default (my mistake), so I went to their properties and reset that but then something jumped at me: all files were exported from Logic Pro X with tiny differences in time between them so 1) either you still processed everything yourself, including Nebula (which would be weird because you don't have it); 2) your friend(s) also use Logic Pro X, you had everything set up already and just dragged and dropped your Britson/Satson instances from that project they sent you and exported your versions very quickly (yeah, time differences are really small) or 3) I'm totally wrong (though BWF chunks don't lie).
They are different times because I exported the full track, then edited the file in Audition, as well as encoded the MP3 to 320 / constant bit rate.
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