BBE sonic maximiser.

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by golli, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. golli

    golli Active Member

    Apr 17, 2003
    Any experience here, with that unit??

    web page

    I'm thinking of the plugin, just to sweeten things up in the end. It's rather cheap and simple to use.
  2. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    I used to use the 201, 822 etc BBE sonic maximizers back in the days of heavy gtrs and tape. They would be the answer now and again to add some air to a track(s) that needed it. If they're not too expensive they'd be another tool for the situation that would warrant it.

    While they're are no rules...I'd shy against using it too often on a stereo mix...a little goes along way.
  3. musicalhair

    musicalhair Guest

    Wow, I'm glad to see Recorderman not ripping the BBE. I've seen so many people rip it like it was made by Behringer or something, and I've avoided posting my own feelings about it.

    I don't know nothing about the plug in version but, I and most bass players I know and even a couple of guitarists use something like the 462 or 362 or 422 or the small half a rack unit in their live rig. I've used many years ago to try to liven up poorly recorded audition tapes done on old Porta-1's (not to much success, but I tried), but I never really thought about it for recording. I've run synths through it.
  4. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    Fairfield County, CT
    Home Page:
    I haven't used the plug-in yet, but I still have my 422. I like to use it on sampled drums, especially toms and cymbals. I push it until it distorts and then back it off a few db. It makes them sound more "real." It also brings old grungy samples back to life.

  5. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    I own both the BBe 322 and 822A. It gets some use here and there on bass, kick, snare, and when doing turd polishing duty. It also get some use on tracks that need rescue after being over compressed. Very easy to over use and make things worse if your not carefull.
  6. Bill Park

    Bill Park Guest

    I never met a BBS that I liked.

    But I have stuck them on monitors with very loud bands. Helps the singer to hear himself over the general din, so long as he isn't too concerned with tonal quality.

  7. Paladyne

    Paladyne Guest

    is this a product similar to the Aphex Aural Exciter?
  8. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Yes. The Aphex Aural Exciter was the original and was so popular and well liked back in the days of tape, that you could pretty much only rent them at hundreds of dollars per hour.
  9. Paladyne

    Paladyne Guest

    HUNDREDS PER DAY!!! I need a time machine!!!
  10. NolanVenhola

    NolanVenhola Guest

    I used to use the plugin a fair bit. It's simple and easy, but you can quickly ruin a mix with it. It's a matter of balance. If you have a guitar/bass sitting too far back in the mix and you don't want to raise the instrument's level, this might be the ticket. Maybe the same with drum sections and piano/synth.

    But again use with caution. However, it's worth getting.
  11. TACurtis

    TACurtis Guest

    I had trouble with it at first but only because I was too dumb to realize it's an insert, and not a true plug-in. Once I got that straight it was smooth sailing.

    I think it's a good investment.
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    These things have their uses rescuing old cassette and slow speed rtr tapes but in a digital recording rig, they should not be needed.

    The Aphex is different from the BBE... The Aphex actually re generates some high end distortion and feeds that back into the signal, while the BBE runs the audio through a crossover network and then applies a small amount of delay to the lower freqs, thereby makeing the mids and highs more apparent, taking advantage of the phenomenon the human ear exhibits of perceiving the first sound that arrives to it as being the loudest.
  13. TACurtis

    TACurtis Guest

    Kurt, I suppose it all depends on the quality of your gear. I'm using lower-end stuff (Alesis QS6 with a Tascam 429 DAW).

    Most of my instruments are actually sequenced and played through the QS6. The sound quality is less than stellar and the BBE really helps. I rarely use it for "live" instruments and never on my bass track (I record with a SansAmp RBI). Then I usually use it on the final mixdown to perk things up a little.

    For me it was a good investment.
  14. d-dmusic

    d-dmusic Guest

    I've got the BBE plug-in and to me it's another flavour in the spice rack. For somethings, sometimes, it's just the ticket. I never use it on a mix though.
  15. ryanhewitt

    ryanhewitt Guest

    The 422 is the one to get... It's distortion is actually useful! I use it in 2 ways in a mix, depending on what's necessary:
    • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Take a couple of buses to the BBE, return on 2 faders and flip the phase.
    • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">On toms take the insert send to a gate then to the BBE, return on 2 faders, flip out of phase, and tune the BBE to taste to add attack and lo-mids. The gate keeps leakage from getting obtrusive when the toms are not being played.
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Possibly the best thing about them is you can find them in almost any junky music shop for under $100. The other good exciters are the Aphex B and Aphex 204. They all do something different, and are great cheap tricks to have in your bag...
  16. Paladyne

    Paladyne Guest

    I use my Aphex all the time on my personal electronica stuff. It really adds "oomph" to those heavily distorted oscillating basslines in jungle/drum and bass. A little does go a long way.
  17. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2003
    Kansas City, KS
    Home Page:
    The BBE is NOT the same thing as the Aphex. Completely different approach. The Aphex was not originally addressing the low end, just the highs. Then Barcus Berry came out with the Sonic Maximizer many years later.
  18. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Nobody, including I said it was the same. But it is a similar type of product as to you get as the end result just as the EXR Exciter is, or rather was a similar, but different type of product.
  19. kinetic

    kinetic Guest

    If you ask me, steer clear of using any exciters across a mix. Sure, on individual tracks they are very useful. It's just too easy to stick either an Aphex or a BBE across the mix. In time you'll find that all your mixes will have a samey sound about them and you can't get rid of it after the fact. So far as the differences between the two are concerned (not getting into techncalities and having used both) the BBE certainly has an immediate impact on the bottom end that the Aphex doesn't seem to have. Both of course add that top end candy, but I am very wary these days of such devices - even while my hearing must be on a downward slide due to age.
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