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BBE's Sonic Maximizers

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [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. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I have an old 401 - and I never play without it, even at home.
  3. I'm going to move this thread over to misc, i feel it may be a bit misplaced over here in recording gear.
  4. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Used to have one, then realized that they are utter bunk. SO not at all necessary.
  5. Not bunk:

    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 non-linearity, 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 linear phase filter as some have suggested. The phase curve is a nearly perfect logarithmic function vs. frequency. If you choose to measure 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, on BBE's 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. instant 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 have.

    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 for. 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

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Theo" <t.hogers from home nl>
    To: <music-dsp from shoko calarts edu>
    Sent: Friday, May 31, 2002 8:06 PM
    Subject: Re: [music-dsp] Re: BBE Fraud?

    No doubt the BBE sonic Maximiser is described in a patent. I would suggest you try your luck here:

    Best way to look might be to find out who invented (company founder?) the BBE. And look for something like "apparatus to improve perceived quality of recorded music".

    From what I remember from a test report the BBE it is a dynamic controlled (loudness) EQ.
    That is the upper/lower frequencies are boosted IF there is sufficient energy in the band.
    At full blast your frequency response will be a loudness curve. Lower the level and the curve should flatten. Unless well designed, filters tend to ****up the phase of your signal so the "phase processing" could be by product from the EQ.
    Then again I might mix up the Sonic Maximizer with some other wonder box here.
    My 2 cents,

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