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Sonic Maximizer ... Good or Bad?


cmw

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If there was ever an effect that I have a love/hate relation ship with, it's my BBE Sonic Maximizer. Sometimes can't decide if it's the next best thing since sliced bread, or a destroyer of tone.

 

It can really spice up your signal sometimes, other times it sounds overly harsh and brittle.

 

Any thoughts?

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I used the newest version of their plug-in last week. I had a metal guitar track which I needed to be buzzsaw sharp so I created a copy of the track, added a highpass, then compressed the living bananas out of it, then added the BBE -- and mixed just a little of that back into the mono track of dubious sharpness and VOILA! Worked perfectly. Gave it that hint of "processing" that this particular track needed for this particular song. Sort of like an early Satriani thing...

 

Other than that I would most certainly avoid using these things on anything important personally. Definitely not in a guitar rig, not only does it homogenize your tone but it also fatigues your listeners ears after a while. All aural exciters seem to have that effect, so be careful. So many bar bands burn their audiences out in between sets with their sizzly Def Leppard CDs that it makes me want to sue Ed McMahon.

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If there was ever an effect that I have a love/hate relation ship with, it's my BBE Sonic Maximizer. Sometimes can't decide if it's the next best thing since sliced bread, or a destroyer of tone.


It can really spice up your signal sometimes, other times it sounds overly harsh and brittle.


Any thoughts?

 

 

I don't like them.

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Here is a question that i've never had answered: what does it do?

 

I've heard BBE guys say that it makes it sound better and cleared, I've heard the haters say that it makes it sound crappier..... but I want to know just what type of processing it does, not just some adverb of what the results sound like

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Here is a question that i've never had answered: what does it do?


I've heard BBE guys say that it makes it sound better and cleared, I've heard the haters say that it makes it sound crappier..... but I want to know just what type of processing it does, not just some adverb of what the results sound like

 

 

It's a false sense of security. :poke: I had an 882i and sold it within a couple of months. Take the time to dial in your tone and you'll never need it.

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I think they're generally hated around HC.

 

I know I sure think they suck. :wave:

 

You will find a few advocates who claim they're really good with some specific setup or amp but I really question even that. ;)

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Here is a question that i've never had answered: what does it do?


I've heard BBE guys say that it makes it sound better and cleared, I've heard the haters say that it makes it sound crappier..... but I want to know just what type of processing it does, not just some adverb of what the results sound like

 

 

Think of it acting like a crossover does, seperating your highs and lows. IMO, as suggested by others, if you take the time to dial in your core tone properly, you won't need one. I don't like that they tend to make the natural guitar tone sound processed and synthetic.

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I don't like them.

 

Shortest post by zachman ever!

 

:thu:

 

I fully agree... I do not have much love for the BBE sonic maximizers though I have dialed them in on some bass rigs for live sound...

 

The general consensus on HC forums is that BBE = :facepalm:

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Shortest post by zachman ever!


:thu:

I fully agree... I do not have much love for the BBE sonic maximizers though I have dialed them in on some bass rigs for live sound...


The general consensus on HC forums is that BBE =
:facepalm:

 

Not :lol:

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Here's an example where the BBE plugin does work...

 

So ignore the keyboard playing, that's not the point -- I just quickly played 4 mono parts into a D888 directly from an SP250 for the purposes of the demo:

 

http://boomp3.com/listen/bzzyhbt9z_p/before

 

So that's 4 tracks recorded into a cheap 16 bit recorder with just the onboard pre, a little onboard reverb, bounced down -- then USBed to the computer. Obviously lackluster. Levels are OK and it's not too noisy but it lacks the "air" and dimension needed to use in an audio or video project...

 

Quick tweak with the BBE plugin:

 

http://boomp3.com/listen/bzzy42ds2_x/mst

 

If you're trying to make an album that competes with Dark Side Of The Moon that isn't for you -- but if you, like me, often just need to be able to quickly put together audio/video which satsifies a [non-audiophile] client this is useful at times. Could I have done the same thing, or better, using other tools? Absolutely. But this was a quick 10 second "no brainer" fix which makes the track usable in an audio/video project -- and if you have a client sitting beside you or waiting on you, that can be handy at times.

 

I guess it's more useful in that sense for multimedia projects, etc.

 

Kind of like Liquid Channel. I don't like the way it sounds but a filmaker friend of ours who owns a fairly large studio uses it for everything and I can see his point because he's not out to win a grammy, he just needs to be able to dial up usable sounds quickly and easily. If he spent a bunch of time on his audio he'd be bankrupt, his business model is all about getting stuff approved and in the can quickly.

 

Anyhow I felt I should post a "usable" maximizer demo example least this poor plug be battered defenslessly here... To be fair I don't think the crew at BBE are evil. Hee. It's a tool like anything else, and all tools have their place. If I were running raves for example I would definitely keep a BBE in the rack because it has "that sound". :)

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I don't have any problem with the Sonic Maximiser as a Hi-Fi tool, or indeed in certain circumstances in a mix (I've used it as a plugin on drum overheads in the past to good effect), but it has no place in a guitar signal IMO.

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I don't have any problem with the Sonic Maximiser as a Hi-Fi tool, or indeed in certain circumstances in a mix (I've used it as a plugin on drum overheads in the past to good effect), but
it has no place in a guitar signal IMO
.

 

 

That is what I was thinking too

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Sure, who ever heard of people like Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, Marty Friedman, Billy Sheehan, Don Was, Tommy Emmanuel, Jennifer Batten and Tony McAlpine?


http://www.bbesound.com/users/index.asp


Someone should email those guys, clearly they didn't get the "no place" memo.
:)

 

LOTS of players lived to regret things they did w/ re: to their guitar sound

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LOTS of players lived to regret things they did w/ re: to their guitar sound

 

Sure, one can nary find a Joe Satriani or Marty Friedman interview where they don't ramble on and on about regretting their tone...

 

:)

 

Anyone who claims to have a tone formula which puts all those folks and their various historical tones to shame, I'd love to hear it. Please post MP3(s).

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Sure, one can nary find a Joe Satriani or Marty Friedman interview where they don't ramble on and on about regretting their tone...


:)

Anyone who claims to have a tone formula which puts all those folks and their various historical tones to shame, I'd love to hear it. Please post MP3(s).

 

I used to visit Marty at his house in Hawaii and we talked about gear and tone stuff he tried. ;)

 

Tone is definitely subjective and if you like what a BBE Sonic maximizer does for your guitar rig tone, that's fine. Waits for amazing position altering clips

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I used to visit Marty at his house in Hawaii and we talked about gear and tone stuff he tried.

 

Well that's different. Why didn't you say so? By all means then, speak directly on his behalf...

 

Tone is definitely subjective and if you like what a BBE Sonic maximizer does for your guitar rig tone, that's fine. Waits for amazing position altering clips

 

Wait not! Youtube holds all ye need young pirate! Arrrrr. Seek ye out all the historic clips by the aformentioned endorsees and sink ye yar teeth into them arrrrr.

 

I've seen a few of those folks live, with telltale BBE red in their rack -- and you'd be hard put to insult the sounds delivered during those performances. Jennifer Batten in particular comes to mind. She was rocking that highly processed tone back in the day but she'd twist your cap back with it -- and I can assure you there were no musicians lined up backstage after the show to criticize her tone. :)

 

FTR Jennifer Batten is one of the most amazing guitarists I've ever seen. Pure brilliance on every level. A musician's musician.

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Well that's different. Why didn't you say so? By all means then, speak directly on his behalf...




Wait not! Youtube holds all ye need young pirate! Arrrrr. Seek ye out all the historic clips by the aformentioned endorsees and sink ye yar teeth into them arrrrr.


I've seen a few of those folks live, with telltale BBE red in their rack -- and you'd be hard put to insult the sounds delivered during those performances. Jennifer Batten in particular comes to mind. She was rocking that highly processed tone back in the day but she'd twist your cap back with it -- and I can assure you there were no musicians lined up backstage after the show to criticize her tone.
:)

FTR Jennifer Batten is one of the most amazing guitarists I've ever seen. Pure brilliance on every level. A musician's musician.

 

 

Let me restate my position... I don't like them (BBE Sonic Maximizers), if you do... fine. I'll keep my own rig... happily :lol:

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Let me restate my position... I don't like them (BBE Sonic Maximizers), if you do... fine. I'll keep my own rig... happily

 

 

I don't really like them as I've stated except for a couple specific applications... Would I go so far as to say that they have no place in a rig given what I've seen some really great players do with them? No.

 

Any MP3s of your rig you'd care to share? Definitely always interested in hearing a tonemeister at work.

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I don't really like them as I've stated except for a couple specific applications... Would I go so far as to say that they have no place in a rig given what I've seen some really great players do with them? No.


Any MP3s of your rig you'd care to share? Definitely always interested in hearing a tonemeister at work.

 

I used one (BBE) in a previous rig, and found it un-necessary for me, in my current rig.

 

The currenty rig:

 

http://www.netmusicians.org/files/76-zach%20rack%20tales.mp3

 

http://www.netmusicians.org/files/67-saxfuchs.mp3

 

NAMMpicscropped020.jpg

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Beautiful rig. Wish I could plugin to it right now frankly. Hee. :)

 

"Great tone" is always relative and in flux -- the audience's opinion is "the truth". There are no blankets rules... Telling someone "I tried one in my rig for a while and eventually ended up removing it" is more constructive than "it has no place in a rig". :)

 

found it un-necessary

 

All processors are "unnecessary". Give Jeff Beck a strat and plug him into any decent amp and pure sonic magic will ensue... Everything has a place and time.

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Beautiful rig. Wish I could plugin to it right now frankly. Hee.
:)

"Great tone" is always relative and in flux -- the audience's opinion is "the truth". There are no blankets rules... Telling someone "I tried one in my rig for a while and eventually ended up removing it" is more constructive than "it has no place in a rig".
:)



All processors are "unnecessary". Give Jeff Beck a strat and plug him into any decent amp and pure sonic magic will ensue... Everything has a place and time.

 

I'm not the guy who said they have no place in a rig. I said... I don't like them, and find that if the amp is selected and dialed in appropriately, that I find them unneccessary, but that is only my opinion, based on the gear that I've used.

 

RE: the audience... I don't factor that in to my tone preferences. I like what I like and use what I use for me, NOT the audience.

 

I disagree that ALL processors are unnecessary. I feel that ALL gear are tools to get a job done, and when you have access to the right tools for the job, coupled with knowhow to operate and route them effectively, then it's like a painter's color pallette... We can just choose what is appropriate, or leave out what we don't wnat/need. I'd rather have more and not need it then to need more and not have it.

 

IF what you were saying there were true re: all processors being unnecessary, Bob Bradshaw would not have any clients, and he certainly does. ;)

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I'm not the guy who said they have no place in a rig.

 

You quoted it and said. "That's what I was thinking..." Same diff. :)

 

I like what I like and use what I use for me, NOT the audience.

 

:facepalm:

 

I disagree that ALL processors are unnecessary

 

nec

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