Qu-Bit Nebulae V2

That was it. It’s working and it’s really amazing. Great work!

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cool… yeah I really like the Nebulae,
when I get time, I’d really like to do some more patches for it…
(now that Ive make things a little easier for myself on the dev side)

I think perhaps Orac was a bit ‘ambitious’ for it, because whilst it works - the Nebulae ‘UI’ is a bit too limited for generic patches - and in Eurorack we generally don’t want to have to resort to external displays (like iPhones) for creating patches.

I think what Id like to do is create patches that are more ‘variations’ around the granular theme, where the UI controls still have meaning. after all there are many approaches and variations to how granular can be done (Clouds is an example of this, as its very different to the Nebs granular, Morphagene is different again!) - so it would be fun to have the Nebulae as a module that explores all things ‘granular’.

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I approve of this and can’t wait to try them out.

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20 characters of Yes Please!!!

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Technobear the clouds clone sounds really nice on the Nebulae
I kept trying to use the original factory looper as a way to measure and i am yet to get something working that is as nice as the original factory granulator but the clds is quite fun and sounds good

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@shreeswifty Anything from your Smorphagene (which was still in progress last I checked) usable for a Morphagene-inspired patch?

i really like your take on it. @TheTechnobear looking forward to trying your patches.

I’ve made changes previously to the default granular looper instrument, and I thought I’d go ahead and share them here.

  • I’ve reworked how the blend knob works. It blends the same regardless of source, blending between the phase-vocoded signal and the granular signal, ccw to cw. The secondary control now blends between the incoming signal and the phase-vocoded/granular mix. Like morphagene’s sound on sound. This addresses something said above about having the time stretched and granular signals at the same time, and allows for the granular effects to be made subtler.
  • I’ve added a second option for the secondary pitch controls. While holding source, hold the pitch knob for about a second, and its leds should turn green. Now, turning it cw increases the odds of producing a grain that is pitched up by one or two octaves, the former more likely than the latter. Fully cw, there is a 100% chance of each grain being pitch-shifted two octaves. As it stands, this however also increases the speed, like a normal tape, but it seems like the default secondary pitch control did this also.

These should be compatible with @TheTechnobear’s firmware changes, as I’ve merged them together. I haven’t extensively tested this though. The firmware is on my github, click on the file then click download.

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Sounds good :slight_smile:

Why did you need to release the firmware for this - rather than just the instrument?!

id personally not want the factory granular instrument overwritten. I’d want as an alternative- at least that’s how I’ve released my variations on the granular instrument.

When I do firmware releases for Nebulae I do quite a bit of testing - against a ‘clean’ image because if it goes wrong there is a chance it won’t boot - and the majority of nebulae users will not be able to recover it.
eg the ‘failsafe’ fallback to nebulae factory firmware can fail.

This is a good point, and I probably should have written it in as a second instrument and left the default one.

Regardless, I have it as firmware because the UI changes (relating to the second alt pitch mode) required changes to non-instr files (I think only a few python files — ui, controlhandler, and conductor, give or take). These changes aren’t necessary, but are small qol improvements that I’d like to make more of as I further edit the instrument/others.

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i dont know where the best place to put this is but i was wondering if i could get some advice from people with firsthand experience. I’m mostly interested in making concrete soundscapes but after acquiring some analog gear in the past year i’ve found that i enjoy doing sound design a little more musically as well. I previously worked within the computer completely. I liked things like audio damage’s quanta and the m4l granulator. how they can sort of create playable clouds and ambiance, but mostly for the way they can also take tiny windowed grains and scatter them around to make more textured/less blurry particulate … clouds. so i don’t know what exactly im looking for, but its hard to tell if the modules i’ve always wanted are actually going to do the trick. I’ve used Clouds in vcv rack and i like it, but that’s not really worth buying to me because its not the effect im really after. Morphagene/Arbhar/er-301/tastychips gr1 were the top of my list but they seems to be kind of similar to the Outward V2 that I bought recently, which i like but is pretty limited. and I recently got the Bastl thyme because i had the thought that maybe granular effects aren’t that interesting in an analog framework and are just really micro-scale versions of loops. and the Thyme is cool, but i have a habit of buying the cheap alternative rather than saving for the thing i really want. I do like that is is very malleable though. and is fun in a performative experimental way. Good for making elastic sound and really mangling them, but doesnt really do microsound.

so somewhere here said the qubit does exactly what they always wanted things like the Morphagene to do. It’s one i never looked much into but after scanning this thread a little it seems like it might be the best option. Does anyone have an opinion on what they would do gear wise if they didnt have much expendable cash for gear? trade Outward and Thyme for a small 4ms powered case, a pamela’s workout, and a nebulae v2? keep the thyme and swap the outward for a magneto? I really put myself through a lot of stress trying to decide whether or not im getting the best possible tools for the kind of sounds i want to make, so just wondering if anyone could help with suggestions maybe. I like the Thyme, but i feel like maybe if i tried one of these granular modules, i would realize its what i’ve wanted for sound deconstruction all along and possibly easier to integrate into a full track.

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I don’t own a Nebulae, but do have experience with a lot of the other gear you’re considering. Are you working primarily in the studio? Or is live performance part of the equation?

no just in the studio, but lately i have only been recording things i have made it a live context. like almost no computer production except for the mixdown and mastering. its almost how people with eurorack work i guess. i have a lot of hardware running via midi, so it would be hard to recreate the tracks. but yeah im not performing anymore. i do want to have something i can use in realtime, processing incoming audio. i think i have found that granular works better as an effect in real world applications. for example, i like how the outward v2 has built in lfos and a lot of automatic modulation in the alt functions. so its really performance oriented. i like the random/generative experimental side of this type of sound design and composition

Got it. I have an Outward V2 as well, and I think it’s just about the best expression of granular in pedal form that I’ve played. That being said, part of the charm of any granular process (for me) is the spread of grains across the stereo field- something that Outward cannot do. I just finished building a very small modular system expressly for the purpose of mangling audio, and the 301/Arbhar are both present, and both are very good at exploring all the nooks and crannies of any given audio source. I’m very new and still learning, but can certainly give some context there or answer questions if you’d like. The other tool you might consider is Slate and Ash’s Cycles (if you have the full version of Kontakt). It’s granular engine is fantastic for reinterpreting your material.

I think you’re on the right track, FWIW. Decisions decisions right? :grinning:

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thanks, that is helpful. i know what you mean with the stereo panning. i agree, but yeah i like it a lot too. i just wonder how it would compare to the arbhar or morphagene. i should probably just spend more time with it and learn to make the most of the gear i do have, but by that point, i wont be able to return them if i feel like i made a mistake and should have bought something else. i think the only reason i haven’t gotten one of the eurorack granular modules is because i know if i buy a powered case, im going to want to start filling it up, even a smaller one

I have Nebulae v2, Clouds and Morphagene.
They have overlaps and at the same time each does different things best.
So clouds is live processing and Arbhar is looking like a really advanced and beautiful version of clouds (clouds 2020 if you want).
Morphagene and Nebulae both can do live processing, though i personally tend to use Morphagene for that and Nebulae for preloaded samples. Mostly due to how simple it is to plug a stick with samples into Neb.
But, Neb has a limit on overall samples size (meaning all samples) of 75 MB.
Morphagene does not have that, but you have to name your samples (or reels how Make noise calls 'em) properly and there can be only 32 of them.
Nebulae has two layers of controls one is on the panel and secondary with same knobs and Source buttoh held (there are settings for grain size, grain skipping and pan randomisation as well as some others). So overall it lends itself to precise settings better than Clouds of Morphagene.
Nebulae can do pitch change and speed change separately, which i think is what a lot of users want. It also tracks 1v/o without hassle of having to set attenuator into very specific position (as on Morphagene).

In the end all of them are nice modules that can do awesome mind blowing sounds and most of their differences come down to user experience choices their creators made :slight_smile:

UPD: forgot to mention that Nebulae needs attenuators near it and Morphagene has some built in :slight_smile:

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that’s a more detailed explanation than i’ve seen so far. i appreciate it.

you’re right, separate pitch and stretching are important to me too. I never heard that about arbhar. pretty intriguing. maybe i’ll just have to get all of them

this clouds patch from the ugens in pedalboard is pretty nice too. I like Angl a lot as well, as far as norns scripts go. it would be cool if you could have a live input with a script like that

@mattlowery i don’t thinki can justify spending that much on software, but i would love to have Cycles. i think dan derks said that he was working on a norns script similar to that. i think that would be pretty amazing. the main reason i got the norns was so i could have a bunch of really high quality experimental & original audio processors in one little box. i would also like to have at least one of these modules though i think.

I keep loving the Thyme more and more and the Outward is really nice. so I can actually get some really cool results with those combined, plus some reverb from the ventris. With that in mind, and the norns’ abilities, i think the ideal module would be one that does what all of those pieces of gear combined cannot do

thanks for all of the advice, this was extremely hlepful

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Honestly Cycles looks like most powerful of them all (and it probably is).
As for ideal module, they gain meaning in the context of a system and you tweaking them (it’s more important how you going to modulate them than anything). In itself they don’t do a lot :slight_smile:

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Totally know where you’re coming from. I just got Kontakt last holiday season after fretting over it for a long, long time.

The other thing you could think about is sourcing your grains from the Outward, but doing your stereo distribution with a ping pong delay, where the taps are set to pan randomly. I do this in Soundtoys EchoBoy all the time using the “rhythmic delay” setting. When you twirl down the “tweak” menu, there are several preset panning behaviors, and the ones labeled “alt” are really nice for this. If you don’t have Soundtoys, you can try it for free right now. They have extended evaluation trials due to covid.

Have you given @crim’s TimeParty a whirl? It can cover a ton of ground as far as awesome delays go.

In my experience, yes, that is true. It kind of feel like cheating :grinning:. But it’s also a thing in the computer, and I’m starting to really cherish my computer-less sessions as they become more of a reality.

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In software, I’ve been hugely impressed with Bitwig’s sampler instrument (also present as a sample module in their modular Grid instrument), which has a fully-featured granular mode. See this video for an overview. It covers a good majority of Nebulae’s features - independent pitch and speed controls, freeze, grain size, playhead motion, density, position/loop/length parameters, etc. All modulatable. With some things Nebulae doesn’t have like visual playhead and glide depth, not to mention being polyphonic and MPE compatible. I don’t really feel like I need to look elsewhere, although there’s still something to be said for having a dedicated granular module with hands on controls and patch points. Of course, I’ve already bought into the Bitwig 3.0 ecosystem for many other reasons and so this was more of a “wow, this software I already have and love does this, too!”; your cost-to-value calculations may be different if you don’t already own it.

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