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BBE Sonic Maximizers

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by lostcausebass, Nov 6, 2002.

  1. lostcausebass


    Oct 29, 2002
    The BBE Sonic Maximizer 422 is a key component of my bass rig...Am I crazy, or do they just make the sound a million times better? Does anyone else swear by these other than me?
  2. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Though the effect seems relatively subtle to me, I miss it's presence when I A/B the IN/OUT option.

    I've gotten used to having it around.
  3. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Maybe I'm crazy too, because I love my enhancer. I have actually challenged myself: I've tried to get the same phat tone using just EQ, with no success. Whatever voodoo those enhancers do, I like it.

    My enhancer happens to be the Aphex 204, which uses different voodoo than the BBE, but from what I've read the end result is similar. That said, I'd like to borrow a BBE sometime and A/B it with the Aphex.
  4. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I don't play without my BBE. Good deep fatness on one knob, treble clarity on the other.

    Does anyone know if the cheap 1/2 rack version sounds significantly different than the 362? I'm thinking about downsizing.
  5. Stu L.

    Stu L.

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    But what does a BBE actually do? Is it a fancy EQ? An effect? I think I read somewhere that someone actually used his as a pre-amp. So, what does it do?
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  7. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    It maximizes sonics.
  8. I won't play without my BBE 362NR.
    The Noise Reduction feature is a major bonus!

    Here's what Chris Belcher sez:

    As the individual who personally modeled the BBE Sonic Maximizer for the
    plugin, I feel that I am qualified to comment here. Now, I did not invent
    the process, I simply created the digital model from the existing hardware
    product. Some of the hype surrounding the BBE process is exaggerated,
    however, the following are true, and are within the bounds of what I can
    disclose under the NDA which I have signed with BBE.

    1. While the sonic maximizer has a large linear range, it is not
    completely linear. If you haven't found the nonlinearity, you haven't
    looked very hard. The magnitude response of the system will change under
    certain circumstances. I'll leave it to any interested parties to discover
    this on their own. (And I'm not talking about clipping)

    2. The phase response/group delay is a critical factor. When modeling
    the process, I had to be very exacting in both magnitude and phase response
    in order to get the buy-off from BBE. Look at the phase response - better
    yet, the group delay - and you will see that the claims regarding larger
    amounts of delay at low frequencies to be precisely true. It is not a
    phase filter as some have suggested. The phase curve is a nearly perfect
    logarithmic function vs. frequency. If you choose tomeasure the phase,
    be careful to factor out the linear phase (constant delay) component which,
    in all plugins, is a result of the integer sample delay through the
    processing path.

    3. There is no fraud, either on BBE's part, or Virsonix part. Take your
    favorite EQ (parametric, graphic, linear phase FIR) and try your best to
    achieve the same magnitude response. With a good parametric, you probably
    can get pretty close. Now examine your phase response. For the average
    parametric or graphic, the phase will be a real mess, for a linear phase
    FIR, it will -of course - be linear (ie. constant delay at all frequencies).
    And you
    still haven't got the nonlinear aspect. The product works as advertised, and
    you cannot achieve the same result using the "free" EQ that you already

    4. There is no accounting for taste. Many people love the product. It is
    widely used on recordings and live performances. There are others who hate
    the effect. Cakewalk has commented that he plugin has been one of, if not
    the, top selling plugin that they distribute. We continually recieve email
    from customers, often professionals, who rave about the product, and
    invaribly make comments such as "Nothing else I have tried can give me the
    sound that I get from the Sonic Maximier". I contend that, even if it were
    just a "loudness curve" plugin (which is a falsehood that I hopefully have
    dispelled in my previous comments), then the popularity alone demonstrates
    the need for such a plugin in the market. No one is being conned, cheated,
    or defrauded. If you like the result, and you can't get the result with the
    existing equipment/plugins that you already have, then it is worth paying
    If you don't like the result, don't buy it. I invite anyone
    interested to download the free demo at www.virsonix.com.

    As I said before, I did not invent the BBE process. You can read all the
    gory details in any of the many patents held by BBE. It is likely in the
    near future that Virsonix will transition the plugin product completely to
    BBE, so we can concentrate on other endeavors. Since my "stake" in the
    Sonic Maximizer is coming to an end, it really doesn't matter to me whether
    people like it or don't like it. I simply could not sit and read this
    thread without providing the facts - mingled with my own capitalist opinions
    of course.

    Thanks for listening,
    Chris Belcher
  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Yeah, Donne, I forgot!

    The Virsonix DirectX plugin version is very cool also!

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