Franci Zabukovec from Zabukowski Software interviewed

Published in Acustica Audio December 2012 newsletter.

Acustica Audio: How did you know about Acustica Audio and Nebula?

Franci Zabukovec: I’ve heard about if mostly via internet – several audio related forums and web sites. I’ve also found some information about it in music magazines. Finally, my good friend, musician and Nebula user, recommended it to me as the Holy grail of the plugins – he was right, I must say 🙂

Acustica Audio: Which studio configuration do you use. ITB, OTB or Hybrid?

Franci Zabukovec: I use ITB configuration 100%.

Acustica Audio: Do you use external DSP processing?

Franci Zabukovec: I still own and use UAD cards, but I don’t invest in new UAD plugins anymore. In these days, native is the way to go.

Acustica Audio: Do you think that audio engineering is better today?

Franci Zabukovec: If there weren’t computers and software, I probably wouldn’t be in the music production anyway. So for me, audio engineering has never been better 🙂 One thing is for sure – today, there is no excuse to blame the tools for bad results. No matter when – in the past, present or future, all that really matters is the human factor – musical talent & skills, knowledge and good taste!!!

Acustica Audio: Did you have formal study in audio engineering?

Franci Zabukovec: No.

Acustica Audio: Tell us the main features of NebulaMan, Nebula Set-ups and NRGUI

Franci Zabukovec: NRGUI and NebulaMan are both standalone programs for rendering audio files with Nebula.

NRGUI (freeware, windows only) was my first successful attempt (with enormous help from Giancarlo Del Sordo) to make Nebula rendering more simple and user frendly. Program is still supported, but its development has been stopped.

NebulaMan is my ‘flagship’ product, a NRGUI’s successor, much more advanced, it runs on Windows and OS X and it introduces many new attractive features. Previewing and rendering with Nebula has never been easier and faster.

Nebula Set-ups is a freeware program for creating customized versions (set-ups) of Nebula VST plugin. For each plugin version, a desired program(s), skin and default program can be selected (for example, you can have one version of the Nebula plugin containing tape programs only, the other with consoles etc.). This is a very powerful solution, which allows you to efficiently organise and use your evergrowing Nebula repository in your DAW 🙂

I should note that I personaly use these programs for my everday production work in my studio.

Acustica Audio: Will you explain us NebulaMan difference of true peak normalizing from R-128 or peak normalizing?

Franci Zabukovec: There is a difference between those two. NebulaMan’s True peak normalizing (adapt input gain option) is placed at the INPUT stage of the rendering process, when audio file is adapted to desired gain/volume. True peak normalizing is more suited for percussive material, opposite to peak RMS normalizing.

R-128 loudness normalizing (not to be confused with a R-128 True peak !!!) is placed at the final, OUTPUT stage of the rendering process. If needed, audio files are normalized to -23 LUFS loudness at the very end. R-128 True peak value is also calculated, but it is not used for further processing.

Acustica Audio: What new features can we expect in the next update of NebulaMan

Franci Zabukovec: Currently, NebulaMan 1.5 is under heavy development (version dev 1 is already available for preview). Main new features are Preview sources, Category tree, FX chains, Project Pool templates, True peak input normalizing and the one I am most proud of – FX chains linked to the file, folder or group. IMHO, this will be the most powerful NebulaMan update since version 1.0.

Acustica Audio: Will there be soon a Nebula Set-ups OSX version?

Franci Zabukovec: I hope, in the future, improved Nebula Set-ups will become a NebulaMan extension. Then, it will run on OS X as well 🙂