BBE Sonic Maximizer users?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by hentor2112, Sep 9, 2013.


  1. hentor2112

    hentor2112

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    I was looking thru the site trying to find a thread on this but didn't see much. Can anyone offer any opinions on if these devices do much for their sound, and are they designed more for live playing or recording - or both? And if recording with one, is it run in-line or thru an effects loop? Thanks for any help!
     
  2. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,125
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I used to own one, and frankly, if a bassist came to my studio with one, I'd have them bypass it entirely.

    It's one of those "a little goes a long way" type effects. I found it gave a great sound at home playing solo, but really buried me in a live mix. That said, I've heard of plenty of guys really liking it.
     
  3. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,403
    Location:
    St. Louis
    I used to use one. Forgot to turn it on one day and realized it sounded better without it. I still use it in my PA rack, where it actually is pretty helpful sweetening up vocals.
     
  4. ma4rk

    ma4rk

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    Messages:
    343
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    +1

    It'll help bury you in the mix.

    Saying that, it's nice to have one in your home studio - pro engineers will probably get you to not use it.

    Mine went on & off my board many times until I traded it.
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,125
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I have a DBX channel strip with a similar LF and HF enhance circuit. I use it on vocalists without much presence in their voice, but only in small amounts. In that regard I do have a use for that type of circuit, but as part of a bass rig I'd pass.
     
  7. Slough Feg Bass

    Slough Feg Bass

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Messages:
    958
    Location:
    San Francisco
    same here....tried it on bass, didn't like it.
    I use it sometimes on the stereo drum buss, to broaden the spectrum......once in a while on vocals or keys, or if a not so great recording has a stellar performance, that's when I use it.
     
  8. hentor2112

    hentor2112

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    Thanks for the responses; very helpful!
     
  9. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,241
    Location:
    Studio City, SoCal, USA
    The Sonic Maximizer is basically a high frequency equalizer/expander. The more highs you have, the more it boosts them.

    It can add nearly 25 dB (!) of high end boost so you have to be very careful about clipping the next stage, and it can sound very brittle.

    Because of the extreme HF boost, it also has to have a fixed bass boost to help try to "balance" the sound.
     
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    11,051
    the classic maximizer analogy is to salt on food;

    if the food is yucky or bland, dumping salt on it makes it edible; if it's a good,well-cooked meal, more salt will ruin it.
     
  11. Tractorr

    Tractorr Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,226
    Media:
    4
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    THIS

    When you first turn these things on you go wow that sounds great because what the device does to the high end. Then after awhile you realize that it doesn't really sound better. Also, you are better off just experimenting with the controls on your amp. Most decent amps will give you a better, less artificial tone when you get them in the sweet spot.
     
  12. chicago_mike

    chicago_mike Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    2,703
    Location:
    Chicago - LA - Rome
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist : Genz Benz
    Its really just a 50hz and 5Khz EQ. After dissecting, repairing and throwing away a few of those its nothing fancy and really should be avoided.

    The EHX attack pedal is similar.
     
  13. srxplayer

    srxplayer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,284
    Location:
    Highland, CA
    Good Analogy. I like the Sonic Maximizer technology but there are times where it's not needed or needed in small doses or it will ruin the mix. Used properly it's a nice tool.
     
  14. Floridabwoy

    Floridabwoy

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,271
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Fl
    I use one on my subwoofer channel on my pa. It just evens out the lows IMO.
     
  15. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    943
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    My preamp (BBE Bmax) has a built-in Sonic Maximizer. I never run it past 25% of its range, mainly because the BMax already has a scooped (Fender) tone stack, but I do end up keeping it on more often than not. Every once in a while I'll play for a bit with it off, then flick it on, and I generally find the "on" tone to be very slightly more pleasing. It's not a big enough difference that I would buy a stand-alone Maximizer stomp or rack though.
     
  16. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2004
    Messages:
    8,870
    There are plugin versions. Give them a demo try.
     
  17. Projectile

    Projectile

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Messages:
    408
    Despite all of the associated marketing nonsense, it's basically just a typical scooped "smile" EQ preset in a box. What makes it a little bit different than a normal EQ is that there is an expander attached to the highpass part of the filter, so it boosts the highs more when you play harder. That's really all there is to it. The whole part about aligning phase is just a bunch of marketing bull IMO. Any analog EQ causes phase delay at certain frequencies. The BBE sonic maximizer is no different in this respect. This phase shifting is usually seen as a negative side effect of analog EQ, but somehow the BBE marketing team has spun it around to make it sound like it's some sort of intended benefit. Complete bollocks if you ask me!

    Personally, I think a dedicated graphic EQ would be more flexible and useful, but if you tend to like that kind of scooped EQ preset, then it can simplify things, and the expander can add some intensity to the attack. Though, they often make your bass get lost in the mix due to the mid cut.

    From a purely technical standpoint, I think it's a cool little circuit. You don't see a whole lot of state-variable filters or expanders in stomp box circuits. It's kind of unique and interesting in that respect.
     
  18. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Messages:
    3,480
    I have one, it is awesome to stick under the front lip of a speaker cab to angle upward so you can hear it better.
    Best use of the bbe sonic maximizer i've found to date.
     
  19. hentor2112

    hentor2112

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    Thanks again for the responses.
     
  20. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8,609
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I use one to sweeten up our marginal monitor system. It certainly works better with a sound reinforcement system than it does in a bass rig. I have no experience with recording. They're dirt-cheap secondhand...and for good reason. The Aphex 204 is a much better choice IMO but works along different lines.

    Riis
     
  21. nojj

    nojj Guest

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,100
    I have an 882 I use in the studio on the room recording system.
     

Share This Page