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BBE 482,882 or Aphex 204??

elwoodblues1969

For the purpose of achieving reasonably close results to the sound quality of my Reason 4 software,I have been considering some signal processors to improve the the clarity of my hardware set up.
The gear I'm using: Korg Triton Extreme,Korg M50,Zoom 8HD,Mackie 1202-VLZ3 & I'm running Planet Waves audio cables.
While I do not expect the exact pristine quality of PC software,I have noticed that-for the most part,there are dramatic differences in quality between the songs I've done in Reason & what I've recorded on my Zoom multi-tracker.
Since I convert my Zoom recordings into WAV files directly to my PC,I was not expecting such a loss in quality with any of my songs,but some are fairly decent in quality-while most others are not,despite the fact that I put the equal amount of effort in the mixing process,each & every time and I just cannot remain consistent with the audio quality.
A large contributor to this problem however,is that my Korg Triton is considerably muddier sounding than my Korg M50...so this particular piece of gear prompted me to consider a BBE sonic maximizer,as well as a Joe Meek Mc2 processor.
The reason that I want the Joe Meek Mc2,is that it's the only budget processor that has a stereo width processor(which is a feature of Reason 4 that has produced great results,in terms of depth & presence)...that being said,I don't have any use for the compression functions of the MC2-but ultimately,if I choose the MC2 & the sonic maximizer together,I imagine this will be the best cost-effective solution to my hardware problem.
I know my hardware gear very well & I have reasonably decent gear,so I've pretty much ruled out the possibility of operator error in terms of sound quality(being that I've tried every conceivable tweak imaginable).
I know that the stereo width processor in the Mc2 will be very effective,but as for the aural exciter processors...I'm not so sure-especially about which one to buy....BBE or Aphex?
The Aphex has more controls for "fine tuning",but the BBE units have level indicators which I like,& I wonder if the additional controls are really all that necessary on the Aphex unit?
I've read good reviews on both the Aphex & BBE & for the most part,the reviews on both companies have been equally positive.
I was wondering if anyone here had any experiences with either of these products & are in the same situation as me?
Any advice,suggestions & input would be appreciated.
Thanks,
-Thom
April 29, 2009 @07:43pm
DAS

I have a good understanding of (and experience with) both units, though much of it is from years ago. They are fundamentally different, in that they achieve their results from very different processes. Consequently, while the end result is kinda' the same in some respects there are potentially important differences.
The Apex relies a lot on adding harmonic information (a.k.a. distortion) to the signal. The idea is to restore lost higher frequencies by sort of synthesizing new ones. This gives a brilliance or sheen to things without adding a lot of amplitude information.
The BBE relies a lot on expanding (opposite of compression) the higher frequencies. The idea is to restore lost dynamics in the high frequency range. This adds a sort of brilliance and crispness to things without the potentially grating effects of increased distortion. It does add amplitude information to your signal though.
Neither method is "right." They are just different, and bring different things to the table. In fact, many pros and audiophiles will argue that both of these boxes are nothing more than band-aids for correcting problems that should be sorted out in other ways (by fixing the problem instead of just the symptoms). I don't have that hard of a stance on them. i think they can be useful at the right times under the right circumstances, just like any device that manipulates audio.
Not sure how much this really helps. Either one will make that duller/muddier keyboard jump out much more than it has been. And, as with most things, too much of it will eventually cause either one to grate on your nerves after a while (be subtle with it until you really understand the long term effects).
Good luck.
April 29, 2009 @09:18pm
elwoodblues1969

DAS,
I'm still not 100% sold on the idea that an aural exciter is the most appropriate direction for me to go in,but your articulate illustration of the differences of the two processors & how they effect sound, is knowledge that is important to be aware of in general-so in that respect,it is helpful to a degree...so thanks for that.
If it is possible that I can achieve better results without these extra devices & with my existing gear,than I'd probably have to go through sound engineering school to accomplish this. :D
Since I've exhausted my strategies for further improving my hardware recordings with my existing gear & since it's not within my budget to upgrade any further,I suppose that me being intrepid enough to experiment with an aural exciter,may produce some sort of benefit..somewhere down the line.
If nothing else,than I am sure that an aural exciter will become useful for brightening up old movie samples,that I occasionally incorporate into my recordings.
Thanks again for your prompt & detailed reply,
-Thom
April 29, 2009 @11:39pm
ShreddyTeddy

I have a 882i
I love it.
I know someone that has a aphex aural exciter... and it is tempermetal.
I have used both and I like the BBE better.
May 12, 2009 @02:53am
elwoodblues1969

Ted,
Thanks for the input,but I've had the 482 for a couple of weeks now & I've come to the conclusion that-in terms of recording purposes,the BBE is good for cleaning up old deteriorated recordings,such as old movies that I sometimes use for samples....but apart from that,I found it to be true that the BBE is ideally suited for what it was originally created for; PA systems.
-Thom
May 12, 2009 @11:34pm
star

I have a good understanding of (and experience with) both units, though much of it is from years ago. They are fundamentally different, in that they achieve their results from very different processes. Consequently, while the end result is kinda' the same in some respects there are potentially important differences.
The Apex relies a lot on adding harmonic information (a.k.a. distortion) to the signal. The idea is to restore lost higher frequencies by sort of synthesizing new ones. This gives a brilliance or sheen to things without adding a lot of amplitude information.
The BBE relies a lot on expanding (opposite of compression) the higher frequencies. The idea is to restore lost dynamics in the high frequency range. This adds a sort of brilliance and crispness to things without the potentially grating effects of increased distortion. It does add amplitude information to your signal though.
Neither method is "right." They are just different, and bring different things to the table. In fact, many pros and audiophiles will argue that both of these boxes are nothing more than band-aids for correcting problems that should be sorted out in other ways (by fixing the problem instead of just the symptoms). I don't have that hard of a stance on them. i think they can be useful at the right times under the right circumstances, just like any device that manipulates audio.
Not sure how much this really helps. Either one will make that duller/muddier keyboard jump out much more than it has been. And, as with most things, too much of it will eventually cause either one to grate on your nerves after a while (be subtle with it until you really understand the long term effects).
Good luck.

the conclusion they are different ,not one better ...but as far to joy more the music overall , played trough a laptop or CDP ' does one do it better ? or the resolution may be to go with ART 351 Single Channel 31-Band Equalizer ?
December 13, 2013 @04:57am
TimmyP1955

Once information is lost, nothing can recreate it. Forget the exciters and such.
January 2, 2014 @03:57am
dshriver

Save your money. The BBE is the audio equivalent of magical potions. Do yourself a favor and look at a real anaylsys of this device. Its 11 minutes that will save you lots of money
January 10, 2014 @05:39pm