Nebulae v2 - Alternate Instruments

Hi all,

Starting this topic for sharing Nebulae v2 Alternate Instruments.

I have created two alternate instruments which have been merged into QU-Bit’s GitHub, but haven’t been linked and added to their main website (yet? :sweat_smile:).

A wave table synth with functions like the morphing and cloud terrarium (E350/352). It reads the same WaveEdit wave table wav files, 8x8 grid XY and 64 Z morphing and with a detuning function, extra octave up and down oscillators and a unique stereo morphing between XY and Z you can create very rich sounds!

A stereo delay and reverb with some features of the Mimeophon (skewed stereo delay, short up to karplus strong and flanger effects) and Desmodus Versio (random/lfo modulated chorus delay, unlimited reverb tail). It also includes a unique 2x mono mixing possibility (L and R being mono ins, stereo out). A World of Echo on steroids. It lacks being clocked though (any hints to program this in CSound is appreciated).

Also I have worked with Robert Pabst (Cinematic Laboratory), creating his idea of the Realms instrument for him. There are no plans of releasing this to the public yet…

Any issues, let me know, enjoy!

Cheers, Airell

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I finally was able to spend some time last weekend messing around with Nebulae’s alternate, and I’m glad I did. I think this has really cemented this as one of my favorite modules, although I I wish the instrument selector was a little easier to use.

I’m curious to try out your Avalon wave table synth later this week. I currently have a Piston Honda Mk2 in my rack but Im curious if Ill end up liking this more.

Durm is also certainly worth checking out, I dont think it really mesh with the style of music that Im interesting in making, but I cant deny that it was a ton of fun to mess around with. The random ratchets makes some crazy sounding beats very quickly.

If you need any help (with Avalon), just let me know. Detailed instructions (including loading instruments) are on my webpage.
When you have more than 5 alternate instruments on a USB stick, selecting becomes a bit confusing on with ‘page’ you are, but with 5 or less, I think it’s pretty doable:

  • Long press Speed, turn it counter clock wise until left top LED is green (right is off).
  • Select 1 to 5 from the bottom lid buttons, corresponding alphabetically with the files on the USB.
  • Press Speed again.

You can always revert to the stock internal Granular Looper by long pressing Speed again, rotate to “12 o’clock” and press the first button (Record) and short press Speed again.

Let me know what you think of Avalon! :smiley:

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Is there a way to remove instruments? Ive been experimenting with a bunch and is cluttered up my banks. Would be nice to keep it limited to just the few I find Ill use.

I’m not sure what you mean exactly.

All the the custom Alternate Instruments you add on the USB, but also remove them from the USB of you don’t want them to be loaded. The Neb should also delete these ‘in memory’ (from the SD card on the back) when they are not on the USB. “Any change on the USB should clear the SD ‘internal memory’ an copy everything again”, so you can play and restart without have a USB connected.

Internal instruments (press and hold Speed and have the top two LEDs green) are always the 5 stock ones.

However, I have seen issues with hanging Nebs when loading ‘wrong’ Alternate Instruments (buggy ones).

If you encounter this, there are maybe two solutions;

  1. Reset the Neb to firmware version v1.0 and update firmware again to 2.1.1 (or 2.1.2 from git, but there is no functionality difference I believe). See last page of the manual how to do this.

  2. It should definitely be fixed by ‘re-imaging’ the SD card with a fresh image. For this, contact Qu-Bit and ask for a fresh SD-card image and instructions. As a tip, use a new better SD card (at least class ‘10, u1, v10’, any higher is better).

Not the nicest solutions, but worth a try as I don’t know the situation where you are in right now…


Hey @Airell, thank you for sharing your awesome insturments! I took the liberty to add them to our Nebulae v2 Alternate Instruments page. We are looking to send users to this page instead of GitHub in hopes that it will be an easier process for those who aren’t Git savvy :wink:

Thank you for adding the instruments!

The way of adding instruments and buxfixes still work by updating your Git repository with pull requests? Only the official page needs to be updated by request?

Kind regards,

The official page’s file are held locally on our site, so just reach out directly either by email or DMs on the forum when you are looking to update your instruments, and we’ll get them up there!

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Okay, after weeks of messing with the alternate instruments. I realized my understanding of the bank was completely wrong. Thank you whoever wrote the steps on the unofficial website. It much more clear than the manual is.

Im glad I revisited all of this again. I was constantly struggling trying to figure out which instrument I was on an what not. I also highly recommend renaming each file with a number prefix so that they are in the order you expect once loaded in. Now that I’m a bit more organized with everything my workflow feels much smoother.

Also thank you Airell for Avalon, it’s proven to be a great aid for the industrial sounds I usually aim for and I find myself using it more than my Piston Honda mk2 at this point. It rocks!

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You’re welcome, any feedback appreciated!
I was reading about the E350 / E352 and thought, hey, I might be able to do a lot of this in the Neb! :smiley:

If you need any explanation, just ask :slight_smile:

Cheers, Airell.

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I do have a question actually. Im trying to wrap my head around what the blend modes are doing exactly. You describe the waves as blending into each-other? Im not sure I understand. For example on blend mode four you have.

  4. 3 o'clock
  Left:  XY -> XYZ ->  Z    : Blend XY to XYZ to  Z
  Right:  Z -> XYZ -> XY    : Blend  Z to XYZ to XY

What is XY → XYZ suppose to signify? Is it summing the XY wave form and XYZ wave form in some way?

I love stereo blend mode 4 myself! :smiley:

Basically in Avalon you choose which two waves you want for ‘XY’ and ‘Z’. This will be in Blend mode 4 on the L (XY) and R (Z) output when Blend is fully CCW.

When Blend is at 12 o’clock, both L and R will output a 50/50% mix of XY an Z on L and R. When dialing Blend to CW, the ‘mix’ will invert to XY on output R and Z on output L.

Using light CV for Blend and Blend knob on CCW (because knobs are offset when CV cable is present), you can achieve subtle (slow or fast) movements of waveforms in stereo.

It actually means Blend moving from CCW → 12 o’clock → CW.

Does this help?

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I see so its blending the wave forms that is being sent to the L/R outputs. That makes more sense, thank you.

I was very impressed with the soundscapes produced by the Realms project you built for Cinematic Lab, lots of potential for experimenting.


For anyone that wants to see it

Looks/sounds pretty cool. Also looks overwhelming to grasp/prep.


Thank you. It is a big journey. It started as a ‘light’ version of my Avalon instrument, but like Robert said , it was hard to understand what he actually was looking for.

In the end it’s playing 14 stereo files like a wave table with a 7x2 grid. But because it are stereo files and ‘rotation’ and movement is involved, it’s much more complicated than playing single cycle waveforms.

We are still finetuning different parts of the instrument, like having a clock out to synchronise external gear. I am pushing the limits of the csound software version of the Nebulae. It are some complicated ‘workarounds’ of unavailable functions.

Hoping for a newer version in the future (coming with the Granular Instrument v2). I don’t want to update the firmware (csound version) myself, because I want to keep the firmware original so people are still be able to load and play all the other instruments as well.

Cheers, Ian


Any updates on this? I haven’t managed to find a download link so I suspect it’s not in the wild yet. I only just discovered it - looks great!

Hello Oblique,

Thanks for your interest in Realms (that sounds like the introduction of a manual, doesn’t it :D). You are correct, it is not released in the wild (yet). Although I think there is a mention of downloading it at QU-Bits’ site in the video, but this is for Alternate Instruments in general, but not for Realms.
After Robert’s video, we have discussed some functionalities (trigger out mainly) for which I actually just send him a new version which fixes issues and implemented some new ideas. It is not in a ‘final release’ state yet…

We are still discussing how to release this, as the idea is complicated and the panel labels is way off from the labels on the Neb.

– Ian Hoogeboom (or Airell or studio48nl).

Hello draugr, i’m really struggling with the bank organisation of the alt instruments and i can’t figure out even after re-named the files with a number prefix follow by an underscore. If could help me, thanks a lot.

Hi Data,

Do you have trouble with the organisation of the .instr files themselves or the organisation of .wav files for a certain instrument? The order of both is always ‘ASCII’ lexicographic, so “1, 12, 3, 7, A, B, a, c …”.

So if you start with 1_, 2_, 3_, 4_, 5_ for the .instr files, they are in order of the buttons left to right. More than 5 is possible, but over complicates the ‘menu diving’ of scrolling… When only having 5 .instr files, it will correspond to the 5 while LED buttons on the bottom.

If you have trouble with the audio files (.wav / .flac), let us know which Alt Instrument. You advance to the ‘next’ audio file with the ‘file’ button.

Or are you referring specific to the ‘Avalon’ instrument? That Alt Instrument uses “WaveEdit Online” sound files. One of those .wav contains all the 64 shorter waves for the grid…

oh, if you use the “WaveEdit Online” files, the ‘.wav’ extention must be changed to lower case!!!
They provide the extension ‘.WAV’ in uppercase, which seems to be ignored by the loading process of the Nebulae hardware.

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