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BBE, what do they do?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Art VanDelay, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Holic

    669
    May 20, 2018
    Arcata
    What is a Sonic Maximizer or Sonic Stomp? Is it just me or does BBE go out of it's way to NOT tell you what the pedal does.
     
    GGardner and RyCo1983 like this.
  2. Deeve

    Deeve Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Dec 7, 2009
    Ballard
    Same thing as tippin' yer Esteban sombrero to one side.
    YMMV
    ;)
     
    magicfingers99 likes this.
  3. DougM

    DougM Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 5, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    It's a sound enhancer, which works off some proprietary audio processing technology. Some people swear by them and some think that it's BS. I'm on the fence, as I haven't spent enough time with one to decide whether I think it provides any sonic improvement, rather than just a sonic difference.
     
    RedRock likes this.
  4. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Holic

    669
    May 20, 2018
    Arcata
    ?
     
  5. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Holic

    669
    May 20, 2018
    Arcata
    They don't even say what kind of pedal it is...not even a vague "it's a modulation pedal".
     
  6. DougM

    DougM Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 5, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    It's not a pedal in the usual sense. It doesn't create any effect, but is supposed to improve tone and dynamics, hence the Sonic Maximizer moniker.
     
  7. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Holic

    669
    May 20, 2018
    Arcata
    Hilarious. These pedals have been around for decades and known touring musicians have them yet nobody, including BBE, can produce an explanation other than vague terms like "maximizes", "improves", etc.
     
    magicfingers99 likes this.
  8. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 10, 2018
    In space with Ziggy
    I think they are basically a kind of eq pedal. Possibly with a mild boost function?
    I have not tried one but I watched a bunch of reviews on them years ago when they were all the rage. I considered getting one of the rack mounted versions so looked into them and the pedal version.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  9. edvard

    edvard Tele-Holic

    865
    May 15, 2016
    Bremerton, WA


    The best explanation I've seen from somebody who actually was contacted by BBE. I don't like the sound of them, but some folks think they are nice. I think they are trying to fix something that wasn't broken in the first place, but what do I know?
     
    fendrguitplayr likes this.
  10. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    They provide increased clarity and definition of music material, especially upper mids and treble. IMO, they are best suited to a stereo entertainment system, not a guitar effect. Although I did do a home studio recording of a strat through one and it was very sparkly clean and bright.
     
  11. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2014
    kamloops bc
    its like being able to hear a compressor , it works when you dont hear it , in an A/B comparisons you can hear the difference , these items Sonic Maximizers , Compressors / Limiters/ Aural exciters / all do a similar function , albeit through different processes , sonic maximizers and aural exciters reinstate higher frequencies that are lost in the recording process , high frequencies are direcional and are relatively short sound waves , and due to that nature they are the first to degridate and get lost, in a mix 2 things happen
    1) you cannot boost a higher frequency if there is no audio in that range so a maximizer would useless under those circumstances
    2) if a higher frequency is present but has diminished the maximazer and aural exciters will attempt to reinstate those frequencies by boosting them past a set threshold , in a master mix this is really benificial, just as compression and limiting .

    I call these transparent effects because you dont really hear a difference but once applied properly the mix just pops and comes alive and muddied frequencies seem to clearify and find their correct place in the mix.

    in my studio rack I have a 2 chanel aural exciter and it does enhance the top end of my signal , plus if I run a 5.1 guitar signal the sound moves fluidly.

    I hope my explanation is not too esoteric.
     
  12. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2014
    kamloops bc
    the BBE sonic Maximizer: sorry it did not copy smoothly

    The BBe ProceSS — “Wha
    T iT iS”
    Loudspeakers have difficulty working with the electronic signals supplied by an amplifier. These
    difficulties cause such major phase and amplitude distortion that the sound reproduced by a
    speaker differs significantly from the sound produced by the original source.
    In the past, these problems proved unsolvable and were thus delegated to a position of se
    ondary importance in audio system design. However, phase and amplitude integrity is essential
    to accurate sound reproduction. Research shows that the information which the listener trans
    lates into the recognizable characteristics of a live performance are intimately tied into complex
    time and amplitude relationships between the fundamental and harmonic components of a given
    musical note or sound. These relationships define a sound’s “sound”.
    When these complex relationships pass through a speaker, the proper order is lost. The higher
    frequencies are delayed. A lower frequency may reach the listener’s ear first or perhaps simulta
    neously with that of a higher frequency. In some cases, the fundamental components may be so
    time-shifted that they reach the listener’s ear ahead of some or all of the harmonic components.
    This change in the phase and amplitude relationship on the harmonic and fundamental frequen
    cies is technically called “envelope distortion.” The listener perceives this loss of sound integrity
    in the reproduced sound as “muddy” and “smeared.” In the extreme, it can become difficult to tell
    the difference between musical instruments, for example, an oboe and a clarinet.
    BBE Sound, Inc. conducted extensive studies of numerous speaker systems over a ten year
    period. With this knowledge, it became possible to identify the characteristics of an ideal speaker
    and to distill the corrections necessary to return the fundamental and harmonic frequency struc
    tures to their correct order. While there are differences among various speaker designs in the
    magnitude of their correction, the overall pattern of correction needed is remarkably consistent.



    aural exciter

    For other uses, see Exciter (disambiguation).
    An exciter (also called a harmonic exciter or aural exciter) is an audio signal processing technique used to enhance a signal by dynamic equalization, phase manipulation, harmonic synthesis of (usually) high frequency signals, and through the addition of subtle harmonic distortion. Dynamic equalization involves variation of the equalizer characteristics in the time domain as a function of the input. Due to the varying nature, noise is reduced compared to static equalizers. Harmonic synthesis involves the creation of higher order harmonics from the fundamental frequency signals present in the recording. As noise is usually more prevalent at higher frequencies, the harmonics are derived from a purer frequency band resulting in clearer highs. Exciters are also used to synthesize harmonics of low frequency signals to simulate deep bass in smaller speakers.
    Originally made in valve (tube) based equipment, they are now implemented as part of a digital signal processor, often trying to emulate analogue Exciters. Exciters are mostly found as plug-ins for sound editing software and in sound enhancement processors.
     
    Paul in Colorado likes this.
  13. Zeonoid

    Zeonoid Tele-Holic

    551
    Dec 17, 2008
    Slovakia, EU
    these are pedals with two filters that cut off certain frequencies and they work well
    not for everybody and not for every instrument but it work really well on guitars and organs
     
  14. Billnchristy

    Billnchristy Tele-Holic

    965
    Sep 21, 2017
    Georgia
    I had a rack mounted bbe unit. I decided to put it in my hifi one day. It always does something but you can't put your finger on it, except it's "better".

    I found myself leaving it on. I then found myself feeling guilty for using eq, what kind of an audiophile fixes problems with knobs when clearly you need to buy new gear??

    It's long been sold now. The pedal shouldn't even have a switch if it's anything like the rack version.
     
    zippofan and DougM like this.
  15. Guitandanza

    Guitandanza Tele-Meister

    245
    May 31, 2015
    Connecticut
    It provides an infinitesimal delay between lows and highs. These frequencies don’t spring forth from the speaker at the same time, so this corrects that issue. I think that’s what it’s supposed to do. My beef, is it has knobs on it. What for? It should just be a plug and play deal. I also recall this technology being used in stereo hi fi systems in the 80s. I can’t say it’s an important effect to have. I don’t use it anymore.
     
    rand z likes this.
  16. darren7

    darren7 Tele-Meister

    367
    Jul 31, 2009
    Toronto
    It’s something that was designed to correct the time delay between frequency bands. It seems marginally useful in mixing and mastering, but utterly pointless in a guitar signal chain.
     
    twr102 and rand z like this.
  17. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Meister

    350
    Jun 2, 2015
    Arkansas
    I had a friend who had one hooked up to his stereo. He demonstrated it by playing with it on and off. The difference was astounding, akin to taking cotton out of my ears. I bought one for my guitar. It did next to nothing. I assume the guitar alone does not put out a wide enough frequency spectrum to benefit. That is my experience.
     
    twr102 likes this.
  18. RyCo1983

    RyCo1983 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Aug 15, 2012
    Central PA
    I don't care for them. At all.

    They make a fine door stop.
     
    Deeve likes this.
  19. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie TDPRI Member

    83
    Oct 11, 2017
    Oregon
    An old school trick that lousy sound engineers would use to cover up their inadequacies. After 30+ years behind a live sound desk, I can tell you that simply producing a clean mix in a large hall does the same with no need for gimmicks. Quick, somebody get Kanye a vocoder...
     
    magicfingers99 likes this.
  20. luckett

    luckett Friend of Leo's

    Jun 14, 2011
    .
    It doesn't "correct" anything. There is no single phase relationship between frequencies that is "correct". The phase relationship gets changed every time the signal passes thru a capacitor or filter. To "correct" the phase, the sonic maximizer would have to somehow know the circuit of your pedals and amp to make the appropriate phase changes in order to recover the phase of the original signal. And even then it would be nearly impossible to do so in practice. You can't just make a one simple phase shift like the sonic maximizer is doing and get the same phase of the original signal.

    It's basically a loudness button off of your old stereo from the '80s wrapped up in some snake oil technobabble.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
    magicfingers99 and Dennyf like this.
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