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BBE Sonic Maximizer Plug-In

Sound Quality

The presets are quite good and I use them about half of the time with no changes. Occasionally I add a little more or less. The sound effect is a bit like adding brightness and presence .....yet it also increasing the bass. It also increases the perceived loudness. The music source seems more "alive" with BBE and you can control how "alive" you want it to be. Best I can tell it is for mono only but in Cakewalk I can create a stereo sound field from a mono source that corrects for this. The sound improvement as good as it is it isn't perfect. The over use of this effect can give a "graininess" to the sound (for lack of a better word) that sounds a bit like smooth distortion. It effect becomes too real and is evident in the recording. I frequently have to resist the temptation to over increase the settings. Mind you with just minimal restraint it sounds great. I use it in several busses at the same time and it doesn't seem to strain the computer that much. I can't think of a song I have tried it in that didn't sound better. I don't know what the current cost is but you can get it on EBAY or PSP networks cheap. Good news for those on a budget. I can't think of anything that will improve sound this dramatically this inexpensively. True, I doubt major studios are using the software version of BBE since a hardware version is available (never use the hardware version so I can't compare the performance differences).



General Comments

I first found it on the internet (P2P forums). At that point in time I wasn't aware that it was available in software plugin format. I haven't compared it against any other software or hardware enhancers of this catagory. In this day of complicated and ill tempered software this is the one you can sit back and mix music with over a bottle of wine and not get tangled up. It is that easy. If there is a weakness it could be that it only looks at lower (bass) and higher (treble) sounds. Not like equalizers with several bands. For me that is just fine and keeps me focused on music not the technology. For some it might be a limitation.

Reviewer's Background

I have been playing for about 40 years. Mainly guitars,mandolins, keyboards. I have been digitally recording now for about 8 years. I no longer use tape at all. I have use BBE about 3 years now. I use this with Cakewalk Guitar Studio 2 on a Gateway Solo laptop with 256 meg ram and 30 gig HD. Works fine. I record using a Roland Ready Strat into a Roland VGA-3 amp and mainline it directly into the computer sound card input. I usually use MIDI drums and bass (converted from MIDI to waves to add effects)then add vocals using dbx provocals and guitars etc. I use Sonic Maximizer in my mix down in Cakewalk and it alway improves the clarity. I listen through an old pair of old JBL L-19 two way speakers (8" woofer) and a pair of Sony MDR V600 headphones. I have finally minimized of all my equipment down to my computer, guitar amp, mic and mic preamp.

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