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BBE Sonic Maximizer Opinions?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by sampsoniter, Oct 13, 2004.

  1. sampsoniter

    sampsoniter Guest

    I was reading some reviews on the BBE Sonic Maximizer plugin, and it's sounds to be so beneficial that it would be essential to me, and can't be bad if michael jackson, ect. uses it.........

    though, all the information i have read about this plugin comes from this product website, soooo..... I would like to hear what everyone 'round hurr's opinion is on this plugin.........

    thnx & peace
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I never cared much for BBE or Aphex "exciters".

    I have never use the plug in versions (as IMO, they are totally not needed in digital recording), only the hardware ones.

    While they do have a use in recovering content from old worn tapes (especially cassettes) other than that, I have always viewed them as a "fix" for poorly recorded tracks that lacked sparkel and high end content. Rather than polishing a "turd" I have always preferred to just record something correctly in the first place.

    So for me the best sound the BBEs and "Aural Exciters" could make was when they were chucked into a dumpster. Just be sure to mic them correctly! You only have one chance to capture that first "hit".

    They had their place IMO, in project studios 15 years ago when people were still using narrow guage recording formats like 1/2" 8 & 16 tracks and 1/2" & 1/4" 8 tracks as well as cassette based 8 & 4 track recorders, but were never of much use in pro studios where 2" tape was king .. of course there are exceptions to this but most of the engineers I know never really used them..
  3. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    Right on Kurt.

    A poor Band-Aid to stop the bleeding from a poor recording.

  4. boheme6

    boheme6 Guest

    they certainly have their uses.
    I have one - used to use it to punch up the output from certain dull digital synths.

    the guitarist from Disturbed uses one in his FX loop - claims it's an integral part of his sound.
  5. kinetic

    kinetic Guest

    I would shy away from using any sort of exciter across a mix. Once it's been applied you can't get rid of it and while intially the effect can make your recordings sound great very soon you realise they all sound the same and there isn't anything you can do about it after the fact.
  6. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    *MAYBE* on a track - *NEVER* on a mix.

    That being said, I have a modified version that I bring out for laughs...

    (Dead Link Removed)

    It's the "vintage" version - I see they've redisigned the old one to sound more "red." :? [/img]
  7. nak

    nak Guest

    if you use it wrong it will do you no good. use a maximizer right and you will reap the rewards of a great sounding mix
  8. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    I bought the BBE plugin when it first came out since I had good success with it in a live rig.

    Never really lived up to my expectations, and it is very easy to overdue...

    That being said, I just drug it out again on a few tracks, and when used sparingly, it can be an effective addition.
  9. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    If you have a great sounding mix, I wouldn't get a Sonic Maximizer anywhere near it...
  10. kinetic

    kinetic Guest

    I totally agree with Massive Mastering. As stated earlier, there may be a place for an exciter or whatever you want to call them on a track or two, but across a mix? - Never.
  11. EricK

    EricK Guest

    I think Kurt pretty much covered it. There may be a very occasional instance when a BBE might be handy, but usually due to poorly recorded tracks. The real problem is that once you use it, you start to lose perspective pretty quickly. Next thing you know you're using it on all sorts of tracks, and then you add a little more, and a little more and..... All the while you think you are really making things sparkle and sound great. What you really wind up doing is making your mix extremely brittle.

    I remember when I first was starting out and "discovered" the Sonic Maximizer. Boy did I do some damage. They're sort of like cocaine. You do a little and think "man, this is good". Then you do a little more and it's even better. Next thing you know, you lose your job, run out of money, lose your wife, house, etc. You wind up living in a cardboard box. It's not so good any more. Don't let your mixes wind up living in a cardboard box! Like cocaine, it's probably best to just not even try it.

    Friends don't let friends use Sonic Maximizers !
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    :mrgreen: this really cheered me up!
  13. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    Erik, you are funny dude. I defenitely got a good laugh out of that post. I have had an aural exciter for some years now & can count the times I've used it. I consider it a TOOL for which I've had plenty of uses. But that was back when I used my trusty old Tascam 688 multitrack, which needed a little sparkle on some tracks every now and then. I still have it (aural exciter that is), but basically don't use it at all since the converters in my sound cards do a better job. But if you insist on using one, remember this, as they say... a little goes a long way.
  14. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I bought a BBE box a few years ago, before it had the pretty new red face and the cool new nobs. I bought the balanced version and thought that I was going to be the shiz-nit. Of course, recording only classical and jazz, I thought, wow, this will tighten up sloppy bass drums and string basses.

    Now I find that I use it every day.
    I have it sitting on some papers so they don't blow away when the doors open AND I set my drink on it so I don't get those nasty drink rings on my work surface. This really is a double duty tool! Though, I don't think the balanced inputs helped me any. :cry:

    These are the kind of boxes that I like to call stupid boxes. You never really know what they do, you just like to twist their nobs and hear some "really cool effect."

    Your best bet - spend your hard-earned cash on something worthwhile - like the cocaine that EricK was referring too!

  15. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    No doubt the newer ones make better door stops. They're just easier to see.

    Unless you have red carpeting... Hmmm... Gotta think that one through for a while...
  16. nak

    nak Guest

    hahaha you people need to understand what a bbe sonic maximizer does. (i love it so i'm its advocate) the bbe delays low frequencies so the lows and his reach our ears at the same time. i would recomend using it one entire mix not just individual instruments. bus drums together and go through a bbe will dramaticly increase the warmth and punch.
    also, saying that you dont need one in the digital realm is rediculous for the above reasons.
  17. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    I think the delay isn't worth the loss of fidelity from simply having it in the chain.

    On rather "nasty" sounding stuff, I've plugged one in here and there for a "quick 'n dirty" fix. I've also used it on the occasional bass track or in a guitar rig, but only as a "band-aid" for the most part.

    IMHO, YMMV, etc., etc., yada, yada, yada.
  18. BitBurn

    BitBurn Guest

    any of you folks that hate thier BBE's have the rackmount version? I have been thinking of trying it out for my live rig, so if you hate it so much why not sell it cheap? how much do door stops go for these days??? :lol:
  19. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I sold mine to a guitar dude down the street for $50. I still felt like I ripped him off.

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