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This is a tip I picked up from our friend Bob Norton which I tried and I was amazed by the clarity improvement in sound quality on a selection of different types of speakers.

This is to use a BBE Maximiser module in line pre-amp.

It brings all the frequencies into "focus" - the treatment of these frequencies vary widely across different speakers and by the turn of a couple of knobs you can get the best from any speaker for any ambiance on gigs.

With normal EQ you can adjust the level of frequences but this does not bring them into "focus".

As Bob stated "I wouldn't go to a gig without it"
Brian

Last edited by Jazzman; 09/25/07 07:40 AM.

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But this is not something that you should do on your output signal chain to your monitor speakers. It's fine to print it to files, or use it live, but if you don't print the effect to files, and yet you have it in your output signal chain, your printed audio will be missing the sparkle that BBE provides.

I would strongly advise against having this constantly 'on' in one's signal chain as a result. Perhaps you aren't suggesting that, it's difficult to tell from your post.

-Scott

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Hi Scott,

I was really talking about a live gig situation where I have had very noticeable improvement.

It can be used directly from a computer - a CD/mp3 player - Midi file player or from the output of a mixer.

I also know of a top recording studio that uses the BBE module after the mixing desk to enhance the final stereo mix.
Brian

Last edited by Jazzman; 09/25/07 08:25 AM.
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The Maximizer or any of the other products of this nature just add noise to the signal to fill in the missing gaps in the high frequency spectrum.The result is noticeable and adds sparkle but after awhile as it is just noise it produces rapid ear fatigue.


John
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Just in case an incorrect or wrong impression is given -

Unlike all other current products we have seen or tested the BBE Maximiser does not add any nothing artificial to the process but simply corrects the frequencies - high - mid and low.

Quote -

" BBE technology is not an equalizer or sound "effect", and is not based on reverberation or related to simulated "3D" effects. In fact, BBE technology will improve the sound quality of any audio signal, and will also improve the quality of audio signals treated with "3D" effects. BBE technology does not add artificial elements to the audio signal, it actually restructures the original audio signal to compensate for fundamental limitations inherent in all loudspeakers, regardless of their size, quality or price."

Quote from our review -

"Unlike some "exciter" devices which add fatiguing artificial harmonics to the signal, BBE adds nothing artificial to the signal but instead restructures it to faithfully allow all the detail and nuance to be heard".

Brian

Last edited by Jazzman; 10/08/07 06:57 AM.
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Brian,
Right you are. I was thinking of the Aphex Aural Exciter.
The BBE Maximiser, to the best that I can figure and makes sense, provides for time alignment of the individual speakers--low, mid & high in a loudspeaker box.
I've used two of the biggest names in live sound speakers, Myers and EAW and they both use, although proprietary to there systems, time alignment processors.

PS- sorry I didn't realize I was in the "TIPS & TRICKS" forum. This is supposed to be were everyone posts there own personal tips and shouldn't be open to debate. Sorry


John
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Hi Silvertones

No problem - I thought that you might be confusing it with something else and there are so many types of products out there.

This one is special

Brian


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Brian,

How are you running the BBE? Example: Mixer, Effects, EQ, BBE and then to the speakers?

I've been thinking about getting one myself but was just curious about the placement in the "chain".

Regards,
Bill

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hi Bill,

As long as the Maximiser is directly before the speaker then you get the full benefit.

My set up in reverse order is Speakers - Maximiser - Mixer/EQ/Effect unit.

However the EQ need is much less and is nearly set to neutral as the two controls on the Maximiser seem to do the work.

I have found that since using Maximiser less is more and artificial additions are not really needed or much less depending on what final outcome you require.

BBE have bought out a new range but the previous model is still available at a big discount - I have the 482 which is a reduction in price of 45% over the new 482i - there is little difference between them.
Brian

Last edited by Jazzman; 10/10/07 03:09 AM.
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Thanks for the info Brian, I'll have to do some shopping here in the near future.

Regards,
Bill

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Brian,
I made my own little crude maximiser with my SBLive with KX drivers. Quite attonishing.


John
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Hi Silvertones,

Thats great - the difference is amazing.

Besides the Maximiser 482 for gig work I also have the BBE software maximiser DX/VST version on my computer so that I can record onto CD's with the same benefits.

I turns all the sounds from the computer into something else
Brian


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This is the latest but not complete. It's 3 bands insted of 2. I still need to build modules so that I can also alter the phase relationship of the 3 bands.
The cool thing for me as I don't have a computer with a lot of horse power is that this whole thing resides on the DSP chip of the SBLive.
Anyone on a low budget should really check out the power and versatility of a Creative Live 5.1 or A2ZS with KX drivers.


John
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Hi Jazzman,
Do you happen to know the differences between the 482's & the 882's? Also, what about the (i) makes it different from the non- (i)

Thanks,
Mick

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Hi Mick,

The difference from 482/882 to 482i/882i is simply the i for improved and this is to do with construction and components but as far as I can tell the difference in performance is noticeable - but $70 more expensive.

New Models-

"BBE Sound Inc has launched two new models, the BBE 882i and 482i Sonic Maximizer signal processors. According to BBE Product Manager, Judd Levison, both were designed to offer far greater strength under demanding applications such as sound reinforcement and touring.

These units, which feature a ¼” thick extruded aluminum faceplate anchored to chassis via hex head bolts, also benefit from improved graphics which are easier to read in poorly lit environments. In addition, new knurled, aluminum knobs have been incorporated for ease of control and a more positive feel, often critical to musicians, live sound mixers and DJs making fine adjustments mid-performance.

Both models employ 1% metal film resistors and military spec PCBs with extra thick traces. Further optimizing signal flow, all pots, switches and jacks mount directly to the PC boards of these units, which also feature the extremely quiet, proprietary Sonic Maximizer op amp, designed by BBE".

Difference between the 482 and 882.

882i features dual-mono operation with balanced XLR inputs and outputs. It is designed for applications requiring low noise, high headroom and +4dBu input levels.

The 482i is perfect for semi-pro applications not requiring balanced jacks. With true dual-mono operation, the 482 is two independent BBE SONIC MAXIMIZER™ signal processors in one chassis.

There is also a DX/VST software plug in version which is ideal for using for anything from a computer

You can hear some demo's on this link http://www.bbesound.com/demo/demo.asp and obviously they cannot truly reflect the improvement achieved on your speakers but will give you the difference.

Hope this explains

Brian

Last edited by Jazzman; 10/10/07 03:07 PM.
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Hi Silvertomes,

When you have completed the exercise you are doing I think that it is well worth you opening a new Tips and Tricks post giving all the details of what you have done and how to get the KX drivers

I see that not all Soundblaster soundcards are compatible and a link to that page would be good.

I find your experiment very interesting

Brian


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Hi Brian,
Thanks for the link.
I played 4 of the interactive demos. Quite honestly, I could hear no difference either off or on. None. Is that it, or am I missing something? Not even slight differences! Maybe my ears are shot more than I knew!

Mick

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Hi Mick,

Although you don't get the complete effect online you should still notice a considerable difference - not as artificial additions but in the seperation and clarity of each sound - do you have a load of EQ/treble/bass on your playback setting - if so put these settings to neutral 0.

When you switch from - off to on - then there is a second or two before it kicks in.

I can assure you that the sound is greatly improved and they would not put a demo on that did not show this - with the proviso of not getting the same online.

Please try again.

Brian

Last edited by Jazzman; 10/11/07 03:15 AM.

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Has anyone tried the BBE Sonic Maximizer Plug-In? If it works as well as the hardware version, I will probably get it, it is only $100, and would be a good addition at the end of the recording chain.

I imagine it would be good at a live gig too if you take a computer for backing, but I wonder about adding the live channels into the mix and being able to run them through the BBE. The less stuff I have to carry, the better. I have whittled my PA down to a very small, light package. If I ever have to play a big venue, I figure there is usually a house PA, or I could afford to rent one.


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Hi PR,

I have the plug-in version as well and it works just as well through the computer output as the external modules.

It has allowed me to go to a gig with a laptop and just a mixer - however if you want all the instruments and voice to benefit then you will need the 482 which goes between the mixer and the speakers.

I do not use an EQ unit anymore.
Brian


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