- Publisher: Cupwise
- Product: CupReels Ax102
- Format: Nebula Library
Three reel to reel tape decks of the same model, typically used for mixdowns/masters, were sampled for use in Nebula. The resulting four tape programs are usually subtle but can be driven for more noticeable harmonics and tone. There are also 6 reverb programs which were sourced from my other reverb libraries, then printed onto and back off of tape with two of these decks. These reverbs give you some tools for mixing use, rounding out the collection.
Here’s what’s in the CupReels Ax102 library:
Ax 102 (deck #1) – 2 track ½” with ARIA Electronics, Flux Magnetics standard response heads, running ATR Magnetics tape, sampled at 15IPS, 30IPS, and with no tape (that’s 3 separate programs).
Ax 102 (deck #2) – 2 track ¼” running SM911 tape, sampled at 15IPS and with no tape (two programs).
Ax 102 (deck #3) – 2 track ½” running SM900 tape, sampled at 30IPS and with no tape (two more programs).
That’s seven programs altogether that were sampled from these decks (a total of four tape, and three ‘pass-through’ programs).
There are also ‘EQ flattened’ programs I made from each of the tape samplings, where I used a linear phase equalizer to provide a flatter frequency response, which you may find more suitable for use in some cases where you’d like more transparency (for example, mastering). These programs are even more subtle than the main ones, but they still have the same harmonic content.
Deck #1 was driven hot enough to provide some compression/saturation (decks 2 and 3 were not). Because of the intricacies with how Nebula works, I found it better to separate the compression aspect from the deck 1 programs, into a separate program. This program only provides the tape compression itself (and is otherwise 100% transparent) and can be coupled with the tape programs to give a more complete model if you want to drive them into compression. It can also be used by itself as a general purpose limiter.
Lastly, there are 6 bonus reverb programs which I made by ‘resampling’ a selection of reverbs from my other libraries, onto and off of these tape machines at 15IPS (only decks 1 and 3 were used). These reverbs include 2 from my plate releases and 4 from my various spring reverb releases (including one from my CX20). They don’t have sampled adjustable dampener controls like many of those reverbs have in their own releases, but they are still very usable and there’s a range of decay lengths and tones. These do sound different, yet similar, to the standard versions of those reverbs.
Altogether there are 18 programs, and all of them are available in 44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96khz sample rates (you get all 4 sample rates when purchasing).
This library comes with excellent custom skins by Max Ponomaryov, aka azzimov! (You might want to consider contributing to his patreon here to help him continue doing Nebula skins, or check him out on facebook here). There are skins for both N3 and N4 which allow you to switch between the different programs by pushing buttons on the skin. My N3 skins have had this type of feature for years now, but Max found out that it can work with N4 also, which is really cool!