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what does a sonic maximizer do?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by schmittuml, May 23, 2005.

  1. schmittuml


    Oct 25, 2004
    Lowell, MA
    im still a bit confused..... whats the lamens term def. for this?
  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    "layman's" term . . .

    It enhances certain frequencies by isolating certain ones and throwing them slightly out of phase. Some say it makes the high-end "sweeter", crisper, more transparent, less harsh.

    Its hard to define using words, you just have to get to a store and play with one to understand.
  3. It's a distortion box (no kidding) and a compressor. The distortion makes your sound have more harmonics and seem louder and the compressor squashes down any artifical peaks created by the distortion unit. The "phase correction :eyebrow: " alluded to in BBE's ads is the resulting phase shift of having a signal distorted and compressed. They're cute toys, but there is nothing they do that can't be done better other ways.
  4. bino


    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    doesn't it just maximize your sonics?
  5. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    From BBE's website....

    Do BBE Sonic Maximizer processors create any harmonics like exciter and enhancer effects units?

    No. BBE technology does not work like exciter and enhancer effects. Typcially, exciter effects are associated with creating artificial harmonics through small amounts of overdrive in the high frequency band. This can prove useful in some recording studio situations, particularly in remastering older analog tapes. However, in today's recording and playback audio environments, there is no need to artifically simulate high freqencies lost through degradation of the original source tapes.

    Enhancers are generally associated with equalization, however there are some products which attempt to combine exciter and enhancer effects with the result being harsh and fatiguing to the ear with no actual improvement in clarity and definition. Generally, enhancer products are marketed to appear as though they are more sohpisticated than multiband or parametric equalizer units, however, this is seldom true.
  6. tbitsky


    Apr 15, 2005
    The understanding of the BBE Maximizer I had was this: It seperated the frequences into bands, and then delayed each band about 3 milliseconds from each other. A person can't truly detect a 3 millisecond delay ( I think < 20 milliseconds is imperceptible, and pro drummers are said to be able to detect no less than a 10 millisecond difference), so the listener doesn't hear the delay.

    But the bands are more seperated, so the high end isn't so mudded-out with the rest of the mix.

    Some people swear by these, some people can't stand them. I go back and forth on them. If you have a cheap PA, they're great for bringing out the vocals when you only have $50 handy. My Power Amp was underpowered for my club system, so I bought a sonic maximizer used for $25 and people stopped complaining about not hearing the vocals. Many guitar players throw them in their rack, too, although I think they are a bit tinny for guitar playing. Although, if you're doing 80's glam rock, it's probably a good unit to have.

    I don't know how well it would work for bass. I believe the idea is to allow the higher end frequencies to stand out better, and a bass shouldn't be in that part of a mix. Also, most bass lines involve one note at a time, and I think that the maximizer is most effective across a wide spectrum of audio (multiple notes, multiple instruments).
  7. All I have to say is A/B a BBE versus an unprocessed signal on a distortion analyzer and calculate an RMS value from the output voltages for identical inputs. ;)

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