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This release is really like a bundle of maybe 3 complete collections of different types of Nebula programs, plus a bonus effect. Most of these effects were made using a Marantz 4020 cassette deck, which has 3 heads and can record/play at double speed, giving increased performance (extended high freq range is one example), however some of the reverbs and one of the comps used the Tascam 122 mk3.
Essentially these are like alternate versions of those compressors (the C660, C254-E, and Rayphlex softer knee comp), but with the rounder, smoother character of tape with just a bit of high freq roll-off. In my opinion these alone are worth the whole price of this release. I’ve been wanting to try this idea out for years and I’m just really happy with how it came out. Whether you have those comp releases or not, I think you’ll find these versions very unique, and useful.
The next portion is CassetteVerb 2, a continuation of my previous CassetteVerb release. Again, I did things differently from that previous release this time. This time I took reverbs from across my entire release output, of various types, including- springs, plates, echo chambers, and even my tube radio reverbs and the previous CassetteVerb release, and ‘re-sampled’ them onto and off of cassette.
I used both the Marantz and Tascam decks for all 10 source reverbs, and for some of them I used the Tascam multiple times, using its varispeed control to play back the impulses at faster or slower speeds, pitching the reverbs up or down. This is also an idea I’ve really wanted to try for years! The end result- I think these 29 very different reverbs you have to choose from are much better than the first CassetteVerb release. Much more useful, and this time I made sure to have more typical things like room sounds, plates, springs- just simpler reverbs but with a nice tape tone added. The reverbs really add a lot of value to this release and could stand as their own release easily.
Of course there is also the ‘Cassette Deck 3’ portion of this release, which continues from parts 1 and 2. 21 tape programs here, made from that many different tapes of various brands, and all four types- I, II, III, and IV. Sometime dolby NR was used, other times not, and in some cases I even messed with the internal tape EQ trimpots to get different results to get a lot of variety. These can give you some nice tape tone, and if you drive the input level just right you can get a nice saturation effect, with some clamping on the signal and some harmonics.
I used double speed mode for all of these, so there are many programs which actually provide a very flat response almost up to 20khz. Some of these are the flattest cassette programs I’ve put out yet. In double speed mode the deck probably sounds better than a lot of consumer grade reel decks out there, and that comes across in the sound in these programs. However, I made sure to get some more lo-fi results too in case you want a more obvious cassette sound.
As a bonus, there is what I call a Sample and Hold Cassette Tape Flanger program It doesn’t work like typical flangers, with a sine or triangle LFO waveform modulating the delay, but instead it jumps to random positions at a rate determined by the controls. There are 6 different tape tones you can select between, to get different sounding flange results. This really needs to be thought of as a ‘free bonus’ thrown in, because you may or may not find it useful, and it has some flaws (outlined in the manual). For a few out there it may be a useful tool (sound design, etc).
I could have released this stuff separately but I liked the idea of having a big treasure trove of different things in one package. There’s enough to digest here that I think it will take you quite a while to really come to grips with what’s available.
Last but not least, this library comes with excellent custom skins by Max Ponomaryov, aka azzimov! There are skins for both N3 and N4. The N3 skins allow you to switch between the different programs by pushing buttons on the skin (these are the versions shown in the product picture and in the video below). Unfortunately this isn’t possible with Nebula 4.
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