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BBE Sonic Maximizer- the horses mouth

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by judd levison, Jun 16, 2003.

  1. judd levison

    judd levison

    Jun 2, 2003

    i want to identify myself upfront...my name's Judd and i am the product manager at BBE.

    knowing that the Sonic Maximizer is pretty popular with bass players, i want to make myself available to anyone with questions about any of the products we manufacture.

    i don't want to sell you guys anything, i'll leave that to the retailers. i just want to make sure that the info about our products is accurate.

    we've recently released new direct boxes and bass preamps...if you're a BBE fan, they are probably worth giving your ears a peek.

    i hope you will enlighten me with your questions or concerns.

    happy fwapping!
  2. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    Thats very cool of you to stop by.
    Do you have a link or some info on the pre-amps.
  3. judd levison

    judd levison

    Jun 2, 2003
    thanks for the reply...

    here's a link to the website with all the new stuff listed: http://www.bbesound.com/home.asp

    let me know if you have any questions.
  4. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    Wow! what a strange coincidence. I was just talking to my board guy (I'm the A/V director for my church). I asked him if he thought there was anything the booth needs that it doesn't already have, and he suggested a BBE sonic maximizer. The problem is, he couldn't describe what thge darned think does, he just likes it.
    THe web site isn't much help, allm it says are things like this "The 362 series delivers the sound-improving benefits of a BBE SONIC MAXIMIZER™ signal processor with the convenience of ganged-stereo operation."

    Sorry, that doesn't help. What does it do????
  5. judd levison

    judd levison

    Jun 2, 2003
    try this page: http://www.bbesound.com/technologies/BBE_HDS/

    in a nutshell:

    BBE looks at the issue of the higher frequency elements of the complex waveform (the sound) having more impedance than the lower frequency information. this is called "phase distortion". it makes the "attack" of things sound muddy and not very well defined.

    so, the Sonic Maximizer process introduces a really slight, really broadband phase rotation...the net result is that the low freq information is slightly delayed...in a sense, so that the higher freq elements can catch-up (in time). thus, proper phase coherency is achieved.

    the resulting sound is like taking a blanket off your speakers.

    it's hard to explain to folks who've never used it, but almost everyone that's uses it can't live without it.

    thanks for the questions!
  6. int


    Jan 21, 2002
    Phoenix, AZ
    If you send me one, I'll write a review for the talkbass members. ;) :D

    That aside, one of my buddies has one, although he does electronic music. Still, he swears by it. I've tried to convince him to let me borrow it for some studio work but he won't give in.
  7. judd levison

    judd levison

    Jun 2, 2003

    your buddy should know that we now have the Sonic Maximizer in plugin form for VST and DirectX

    check it out here: http://www.bbesound.com/home.asp

    regarding a sample...that's a tempting offer!

    actually, Bass Player is doing some reviews in next months issue...

    thanks for the input
  8. Wownirvana


    Jul 7, 2002
    Athens, GA
    I have a BBE 461 Sonic Maximizer and I can't find any information from this model on your site, is there a reason for this? I would really like to read up on my model~Josh
  9. judd levison

    judd levison

    Jun 2, 2003

    howdy josh,

    the 461 was a single channel version of the then current 462.

    the BBE chip and some of the circuitry was upgraded on the release of the 482 (now the 482i).

    i posted a link to the manual for the 462, all the specs will be the same. if you already have the manual then the link will not mean much for you.

    the 461/462 is identical in function to the current units. the headroom wasn't quite as good and there was a higher noise floor.

    the old process also exhibited some funny mid-range artifacts that are corrected in the current version.

    and finally, the current version has a true hard-wire bypass...the older version (462 and older) did not.

    hope this helps.
  10. Wownirvana


    Jul 7, 2002
    Athens, GA
    Thanks for the info~Josh
  11. Hi Judd, My understanding is that the BBE process was used for correcting the inherant problems associated with speakers' inability to reproduce the sound in a room enviroment. So, why would you want the BBE process in an application that does not involve speakers?
    I have a 362 and a 462. One for bass and one for home stereo. My experience is that is I stand there and compare the "process ON" and "bypass", I favor the ON. But when I sit down and listen to music a bit, it gets too "sparkley" and I get relief form turning it to "bypass"
    The same happens with the bass guitar in a live applicaton.
    I do favor the process "ON" with old program music titles like "Cream" or "Traffic", Etc. It gives them the "take the blanket off" effect that you stated, and EQs the bass better....Thanks, Bob
  12. Sam V

    Sam V Guest

    Aug 3, 2002
    Canada - Calgary AB
    well i have tried an aphex 204 aural exciter and that soon after trying it that it was a necessity but could you tell me the similaritys/differences between aphex and the BBE products?
  13. judd levison

    judd levison

    Jun 2, 2003
    Sam V,

    thanks for the inquiry.

    there are no similarities between the two. the BBE is not an enhancer or an EQ. it really is meant to correct an inherent problem that occurs when you turn an analog waveform in air into an electronic signal. the signal becomes corrupt and the BBE's function is to restore the waveform to something closer to it's natural, original state.

    i addressed this (sort of) in another thread and i will show you what i wrote;

    "My only point in the reply to your post was that lumping the BBE process in with artificial harmonic generators (like the aural exciter) and hi frequency equalizers (like the plethora of enhancers out there) is doing a great injustice to what the Sonic Maximizer actually does, which is correct for a common problem in all electronic gear trying to reproduce sound: phase distortion."

    i hope this helps.

    thanks again for your interest.
  14. judd levison

    judd levison

    Jun 2, 2003

    thanks for the question.

    i guess the best answer i can give you is that all music (recorded music, particularly) eventually gets reproduced by speakers. the benefits of the BBE Sonic Maximizer can be realized by applying the process all along the recording chain.

    the BBE process is "single-ended" which means that it doesn't need to be "de-coded" once it's been applied. so when your mixing-down your song, you can apply BBE to individual tracks as well as your overall mix.

    regarding the issue of needing some relief from it occaisionally. you can definitely have "too much", try backing out the "process" a little. i usually live with it at about 12 o'clock and very rarely adjust, unless i'm listening to something old like the things you mentioned.

    at the 12 o'clock position i find that i can't listen without it. it's more subtle but as soon as it goes away i feel like there's things i'm missing.

    additionally, in the the 482 and the new 482i we have changed the response slightly in the mid-range, it's not so "scooped-out" now which means that the top-end won't sound so bright and out-of-balance with the mids. you should have a listen at your local music store.

    i hope this answers your question. i'll be happy to answer any other questions you have.

    thanks again
  15. My usual settings are Bass 12:00 and Process 10:00. I will however listen to the newer one. I like what you said about the mids being less scooped.
    BTW,I am using Rotel stereo equip run flat with Klipsch Forte II speakers (Plenty of presence).
  16. Sam V

    Sam V Guest

    Aug 3, 2002
    Canada - Calgary AB
    thanks for replying so fast. From what you've said, the maximizer is something I could definitly use (and possibly never look back soon after using it). when I'm playing live, my volume is pretty high and even for a tuned cabinet (mesa pwrhouse 610) like mine, I cant get a pronounced rich sound at those levels... in this case would the maximizer benefit me in terms of clearing out the mud?

    also, the recording aspect I'm very much interested.. although I'm not sure exactly the best way to be using it, the way its been described is that it helps out on anything.

    and for one last uestion on this post, whats the price? (canadian if possible)

    again, thanks so much for answering my uestions and informing us all,
  17. Hey Sam,
    I just wanted to add that you may want to check the "amps" forum for your mud problem. It may be an EQ problem that is typical of not using your amp flat enough.
  18. judd levison

    judd levison

    Jun 2, 2003

    sorry, i just realized i never answered your last post.

    the general response from folks who use the Sonic Maximizer in a bass rig is that is tightens-up the low-end and adds richness so i guess the answer is "yes" it will clear up the mud nicely.

    regarding recording, the new BBE BMAX bass preamps have direct outputs for recording. otherwise, you could insert one channel of a 482i over the track when mixing down or even on your mixers input channel when putting the track to "tape"...certainly the 482i, because it is a dual channel unit, can used on your overall mix during mixdown.

    for pricing on any of the units, you can contact Kief Music @ (604) 590-6999.

    thanks for the interest.

    best regards
  19. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    dj ~

    Please compare and contrast the differences in signal processing between the BBE Sonic Maximizer units and the Aphex 204 Big Bottom and Aural Enhancer.

  20. Now,Munji, Another way way to get big bottom is 15s with 10s. C'mon, admit it....;)
    flameworker likes this.