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Topic: OT: BBE Sonic Maximizer

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  1. #1

    OT: BBE Sonic Maximizer

    I know of people using this plugin on rock and pop-type music, but has anyone here had any experience using it on an orchestral, world, or instrumental piece? I'm curious to know how it worked, and IF it worked... I'm tempted to invest the $100 in it.

    Kerry
    Mr. Kerry Muzzey

  2. #2

    Re: OT: BBE Sonic Maximizer

    If you are using DAW software, I would recommend spending that money towards a new VI, or a plug in. To me, peices of outboard gear at that price will end up just collecting dust.
    www.energiestudios.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nigel W's Avatar
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    Re: OT: BBE Sonic Maximizer

    Actually, it is available as a plugin and is pretty good- easy to use, sounds good. It's ok for all kinds of music, but because it gives you fatter bass and compressed, brighter transients, you wouldn't automatically want to use it for the other styles you mention.

    I'd instead recommend spending the money on a really good convolution reverb like Altiverb, if you don't have one. The BBE is basically a kind of glorified EQ plugin.

    Nigel

  4. #4

    Re: OT: BBE Sonic Maximizer

    Thanks guys -- I'm looking for a magic bullet that'll put the finishing EQ touches on some orchestral stuff, but in an automatic/preset sort of way (e.g. minimal thinking on my part because I"m not good at EQ'ing).

    I've been using Altiverb for the last couple years... it continues to be the best investment I ever made!

    Kerry
    Mr. Kerry Muzzey

  5. #5
    Power Profile User lukpcn's Avatar
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    Re: OT: BBE Sonic Maximizer

    Can any1 list for me all IR sample presets available in altiverb 5 ????
    Please

  6. #6

    Re: OT: BBE Sonic Maximizer

    There are too many to mention! But this link will take you to the categories... click on each to see the IR's that fall under it. There are plenty of sound-design types, and a TON of great concert hall spaces.

    http://audioease.com/IR/index.html
    Mr. Kerry Muzzey

  7. #7
    Power Profile User lukpcn's Avatar
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    Re: OT: BBE Sonic Maximizer

    Oh man it's pricey and no sample own IR's in the PC version ???

  8. #8

    Re: OT: BBE Sonic Maximizer

    Quote Originally Posted by composernyc
    I know of people using this plugin on rock and pop-type music, but has anyone here had any experience using it on an orchestral, world, or instrumental piece? I'm curious to know how it worked, and IF it worked... I'm tempted to invest the $100 in it.Kerry
    I own a BBE Sonic Maximizer, an Aphes Aural Exciter, and the SPL Vitalizer as hardware devices. I've played around with the BBE Plugin as well, at a friends studio.

    Any of these can be very useful for adding a little shimmer or air (don't you love these technical terms?), and for the most part, they all do the same basic thing - add some correlated high frequency energy to sound in question.

    Of the bunch, in my case (YMMV), the BBE is sitting on a shelf somewhere, as is the Aphex. Before I got the SPL I usually preferred the Aphex, but not always.

    These days, not using analog tape at the moment, I find very little use for any of these, except for audio recovery projects.

    A little background - an equalizer is a group of filters, and filters can not create energy. They can increase or decrease the relative energy in some part of the bandwidth, but if there is no significant enery in a part of the band they can't create it!

    That's a very important consideration... in other words, if your cymbals are missing that sparkle, adding boost at 8KHz or higher will only appear to add hiss - it really can't add hiss (well actually, a really poorly designed device could<G>), it just increases the level of the nosie floor, since there is no energy there in the form that you are interested in.

    One of the demonstrations I used to do was play back a cassette (anyone remember them?) and then insert and remove a low pass filter. Users would swear the highs sounded sweeter without the filter, but when I showed them the output on a real time analyzer they would see that we had not really changed anything. It was an aural illusion.

    Devices like the Aphex, BBE, and others do their magic by purposely distorting the signal (think fuzz box!), and then adding some of that distortion to the mix.

    It works, and sounds "good", because the new energy that is added is harmonically related to the original signal! That's where some of the marketspeak about aligning phase comes from.

    There was once a concept called an auto-correlator, a type of noise reduction and signal recovery device. It would insert either a fixed or dynamic low pass filter that cut off well within the audio band, and a distortion circuit that would replace the original high frequency energy with harmonically related energy.

    I doubt very much that the result really sounded like the original recording, but in general, it did sound much better than the old, muddy, azimuth-challenged tapes it was used on.

    Probably more than you cared to learn about these things...
    Bill Thompson
    Audio Enterprise
    KB3KJF

  9. #9

    Re: OT: BBE Sonic Maximizer

    Quote Originally Posted by composernyc
    Thanks guys -- I'm looking for a magic bullet that'll put the finishing EQ touches on some orchestral stuff, but in an automatic/preset sort of way (e.g. minimal thinking on my part because I"m not good at EQ'ing).

    I've been using Altiverb for the last couple years... it continues to be the best investment I ever made!

    Kerry
    Glad to hear you use Altiverb!

    There is no magic bullet.
    Setting equalization on a stereo mix (part of the mastering process) is unique to every song. If there was a "magic box" that knew how to fix problems, it would be the hottest selling plugin of all time. Until these computers can use their experience and ears to detemine what is bad in a mix, there won't be any such thing.

    I do understand your desire for such an item, The best thing to do is to send your mix to someone that you know who does a great job of mastering, and ask them if anything needs fixing. That's my recommendation.

    What the others have said about the Aural Exciters and BBE units is absolutley true, they are all little boxes that effect the sound to some degree, but to use one just because it is sitting there is not good.

    Dan

  10. #10

    Re: OT: BBE Sonic Maximizer

    Guys, thanks a million -- that was more info than I could've hoped for, and a lot more than I've been able to cull from a handful of user reviews on different websites.

    kerry
    Mr. Kerry Muzzey

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