But I am here to tell you that you should use ACD/2D NMR Processor…and it’s not solely because I work for ACD/Labs.
When deciding which application to use, there are many things to consider. Of course capabilities and features are probably close to the top of the list and I am sure level of comfort and ease of use are very valuable to a user. But one question I think that you absolutely need to consider is, "how far is this software solution going to take me?"
Perhaps you use a different software right now. You’ve used it for over 20 years, you know all the shortcuts, and it is very easy to use. Even if there is something better out there…it isn’t worth the dip you will have to face to learn a new interface and workflow.
I am not going to lie. There is a learning curve with 2D NMR Processor. But that learning curve generally comes because you are used to using another software. This learning curve does not mean the software is difficult to use. In my opinion it is dead easy. Many NEW users (when ACD/2D NMR Processor is their first encounter with NMR software) tell us that the software is incredibly easy to use. I’m a PC guy…so when I try and use my friend’s Mac there is a learning curve just because I am used to doing things the PC way.
So the purpose of this blog entry is to convince you that it is worthwhile to get through the learning curve or Dip. If you use ACD/2D NMR Processor, it’s worthwhile to get through the dip because I believe the rewards you reap and the opportunities it opens up are something that no other NMR software can provide.
Sure ACD/2D NMR Processor has it’s own benefits over other software packages by itself:
- Support of Indirect Covariance
- The ability to electronically assign multiplets and correlations to atoms in a structure
- Vendor-neutral support
- Flexible reporting tools
NMR processing is a means to an end.
So certainly there are many different softwares that can do NMR processing. But NMR processing is only the beginning. Generally after running an experiment and processing the data, you have to interpret the spectra and report your results. What more can software provide?
Once ACD/2D NMR Processor is used exclusively you have the opportunity to use NMR prediction in a completely integrated way. That is, you can attach a structure and get immediate feedback on the consistency between the experimental spectrum and the structure.
Every time you process a data set in the software, you can very easily database all that information.
If you run a significant amount of 2D NMR experiments, my guess is that you do many structure elucidations. If that’s the case, getting comfortable with 2D NMR Processor will in turn provide you with access to comfortably use ACD/Structure Elucidator.
Which brings me to my final point. ACD/Structure Elucidator is a terrific tool. It works very, very well when good quality data is obtained and prepared. However, it is not necessary to use Structure Elucidator for every dataset you encounter. Some of the problems you will face will be solvable in a matter of minutes. You may be able to solve the problem faster than it takes you to prepare the data and run it through the software. But it’s those oh so difficult ones that you face once a month, three times a year, etc. where Structure Elucidator delivers. However, the point is, if you adopt 2D NMR processor now, and process all your data in it on the occasion that you hit the tough one, it’s easy. Your data is already completely worked up and ready for Structure Elucidator if necessary.
Structure Elucidator has a learning curve associated with it as well. However, the learning curve with Structure Elucidator in fact, almost exclusively surrounds the transition an NMR spectroscopist has to make from their own processing software to ACD/Labs processing software. So if you adopt ACD/2D NMR Processor, get through "the dip" and use it on a regular basis, you now have the opportunity to explore so many of the other benefits that ACD/Labs provides to NMR spectroscopists, chemists, etc.
Steve Coombes talked about this very topic at our 5th Annual UK User’s Meeting and sums it up much nicer than I have here. His presentation is available here.
The take home message for me, is that Structure Elucidator is not a black box where you input data and receive a structure as output. It’s a software package that can complement a spectroscopist’s elucidation workflow. I think Steve shows many of the additional benefits in his presentation.