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Sonic Maximizer

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by wsiler, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. wsiler

    wsiler Active Member

    Does anyone use a BBE Sonic Maximizer at all for recording, mixing, or mastering? I have one that I have used while performing to bring life back to the sound and which I have used with my DI signal to improve the sound.

    Does anyone else here use these?
    Any thoughts on this practice?

    2 cents?

    Bueller? Bueller?

  2. johnwy

    johnwy Well-Known Member

    Makes a nice doorstop........ rack filler.....paperweight......coaster for my coffee mug :lol:

    my $0.02
  3. wsiler

    wsiler Active Member

    OK. So that is a strong NEGATIVE. What are your reasons though?

  4. frob

    frob Well-Known Member

    i heard bbe is releasing a DI any one know any thing about this?
  5. wsiler

    wsiler Active Member

    Have you got a bomb in your shoe, frob?
  6. johnwy

    johnwy Well-Known Member

    If you record whatever instrument right the first time, there is really no need to fiddle around with one of those units. Seriously, I think the last time I actually used one (a BBE 882) was maybe 1998, and before that I think I tried using an aphex aural exciter type II a couple years before that and (on both occasions) it was because a producer requested it. Both times we fiddled around with the unit, loving it one minute, and then hating it the next minute, ultimately pulling it out of the signal chain.

    Most of these "exciters" were designed in an era where you were trying to get the best out of your 8 or 16 track recordings on your 1/4" or 1/2" analog reel to reel recorders. Sure these things can restore presence, add even order harmonics, yada yada, but they can also add noise in the process (which can be a bad thing).
  7. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    BBE Sonic Maximizer.

    Stay away.

    It's like doing brain surgery with a monkey wrench.

  8. wsiler

    wsiler Active Member


    Thanks for the response, you answered my main question perfectly. I do like the sound of my 362 when I am playing through my PA so I had to ask. Then again, I don't have my Preamp yet...

  9. frob

    frob Well-Known Member

    im afraid i dont quite follow???
  10. wsiler

    wsiler Active Member

    Well, if you are gonna hijack my thread, I just wanted to make sure you were armed and dangerous....

  11. boheme6

    boheme6 Guest

    the guy from Disturbed uses one in the FX loop of his amp.. been meaning to try it. Supposedly gives a heavy, edgy sound.
  12. EricK

    EricK Guest

    (Dead Link Removed)
  13. AB2

    AB2 Guest

    Everything has its place

    A small dose of BBE (the very latest model) can be good. It can also be bad. It is just another way of adjusting the sound. I did ruin a project I did a while ago when I used too much of it. So if it is to be used, use a small dose - in fact use a lesser dose than you think you like when you are listening to it - because too much adds brittleness that is not totally perceive until it is too late.
    It may be too strong a statement to say never use it. There may be a way to have safe BBE without total abstinence. However, the dangers of it are real. But you may be a person with a lot of control and someone who has a mix or submix that will benefit from its effect.
    Perhaps BBE needs to make a unit where it takes a full turn of the knob to get to the "one" and then it ends there!
  14. Nemesys

    Nemesys Guest

    My comment herein pertains specifically to the Aphex exciter insofar as what it specifically does to an incoming signal. My comment doesnt apply to the BBE because I have not laboratory tested it like I have the Aphex exciter.

    While I may be taking your comment slightly out of context.... I'm going to take this oportunity anyway to make a countercomment because I've seen this comment made one too many times, and I just don't feel it is correct, even though I'm sure people really do understand how the exciter works.

    In general, I disagree with these types of comments on electrical engineering grounds. The exciter is NOT merely EQ'ing. It is not the same as EQing in any way, shape or form, and you simply cannot do the same thing with an exciter that you can with EQ'ing. I really wish people would stop saying this; if this is indeed what they are really saying.... I dont know... unless I misinterpret.... because its simply wrong from an engineering standpoint. The exciter adds in harmonics in a very specific pattern, and that is not the primary goal of EQ'ing so the two are no analagous.

    If anyone wants to know what the Aphex exciter does from an electrical engineering perspective, I'll see if I can dig up a brief "white paper" article I wrote last year. I thoroughly bench tested an exciter using my EE equipment and took all my resultant data and made a little article out of it explaining how the thing basically really works...

    I basically "reverse engineered" the thing so to speak, because I wanted to know for my own edification if this thing really did what the manufacturer claims it does. While I never did form a clear-cut subjective opinion about whether it can really make music "sound better", the unit does nevertheless do very specific and quantifiably measurable things to an incoming signal... and what it does CANNOT be reproduced merely by EQ'ing or using better miking techniques.
  15. wsiler

    wsiler Active Member

    I have used my BBE for the final mix out before going to the amp and in my guitar rig. Both work excellent and add back some really nice harmonics.

    For recording is where I was really worried. Now I have agood cautionary place to start. Thanks all!
  16. StevenGurg

    StevenGurg Guest

    I have both a BBE 482 Sonic Maximizer hardware unit and the sonic maximizer plugin. I have not found them of any value to my recordings or mastering a recording. However, I run the home television/DVD/VHS signal into a 15 year-old home Onkyo stereo system with my 482 Sonic Maximizer as the last step before the power amp and Bose 901's... and it really adds to the perceived sound for watching recorded movies, television, CDs, and radio. I tried to make it work for my recordings, but it only detracted, whereas other mastering tools work much better.

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