BBE Sonic Maximizer

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BBE Sonic Maximizer

Postby CHEEZOR » 04 Feb 2015, 22:57

I just watched this video and wondered if anyone else had any input on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LosL-gdHLpk

Btw, I own a pedal and a rack unit. I like both, but I have always thought they sounded like an eq. Thoughts?
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Re: BBE Sonic Maximizer

Postby sinner » 04 Feb 2015, 23:15

What do u mean?

It is traced - search forum
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Re: BBE Sonic Maximizer

Postby CHEEZOR » 04 Feb 2015, 23:23

Yeah, I know, but nobody ever came out and said that it was just a 2-band EQ (as far as I recall). Why did Baja make his version of the Sonic Stomp if it was just a 3 band EQ? Is there anything else going on? I thought there was supposed to be some phase/timing stuff being processed. :scratch:
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Re: BBE Sonic Maximizer

Postby sinner » 05 Feb 2015, 00:30

Fuck I know :D

What I know is that it works really well with lifeless digital preamps like line6 stuff. Does it almost playable
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Re: BBE Sonic Maximizer

Postby JudgeMingus » 05 Feb 2015, 00:59

I'm not surprised to find the knobs are just EQ ,and it is disappointing that the 'bypass' has so much low end roll-off...

...but the video barely mentioned the phase 'correction' which I gather is the main selling point of the unit.

The commentary did point out that the phase was being shifted, and the big diagonal phase trace sure showed it clearly, but it was dismissed pretty much out of hand.

Anyone have any thoughts on how useful that phase shift is?
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Re: BBE Sonic Maximizer

Postby induction » 05 Feb 2015, 10:35

It's an EQ that works via an all-pass filter and a state-variable filter.

In Bajaman's Sonic Stomp thread, estragon linked to some posts on diysb where stm explains how the BBE process works. I can't link to estragon's post, so I will just repost those links.

If you don't want to follow the links, here's some highlights:
stm wrote:As an avant premiere, the things going on can be grouped in three main categories:

1) A larger delay to the lower frequencies than the mids and than the highs. In particular, we are talking about a 1.5 msec delay for frequencies below 100 Hz or so, which drops gradually as the frequency increases. Can be implemented by cascading two properly tuned first order all-pass networks.

2) A shelving-type boost equalizer for the highs and the lows, centered around 750 Hz or so. It is a second-order type shelving response thus, when highs and/or lows are boosted then impact on mid frequencies is minimal. IMHO this is key to the good sound of the device.

3) A dynamic expansion of the highs based on the input level of the audio material. This is the tricky part to implement.

...


Regarding the "time alignment" between the lows, mids and highs, I can state that the 1.5 msec delay mentioned in the related literature is a consequence of the state variable filter itself. When the "Lo Contour" and "Process" are set to the minimum, and leaving apart the dynamic expansion of the highs, one ends up with a 2nd order all-pass filter that has a group delay of exactly 1.5 msec below 100 Hz or so. Adjusting the "Process" knob and the dynamic expansion on the highs do not affect the group delay on the lows, thus this particular "time delay" maintains. When the "Lo Contour" is increased the 1.5 msec time delay varies a little, but remains essentially within +/- 10% of its original value or so, thus the delay relationship between the different frequencies maintains. In other words, the frequency-selective delay can be thought of rather as a consequence of the Eq implementation.

Ah, but someone might argue that the big merit of the Eq lies in the inherent time alignment it introduces, beyond the high and low frequency equalization, and that this is essential to the good sound. Well, that's what I first thought, however when I decided to try the delay alone, i.e. having the filter set just as an all-pass, A-B testing revealed the difference in the perceived attack and brightness when playing chords was really small. There were differences, but very subtle. I tried different delay times and Q's for the pure 2nd order all-pass network in an attempt to find an optimum, however I would rather describe the options as different, but none of them significantly better than the others.



So, according to stm (who knows his shit, in my experience), it's essentially just a 3-band eq. Not a simple one, but not an especially complex one either. The 'phase correction' stuff is mostly marketing hype, not because it isn't true, but because it doesn't make much difference. It seems like you could get something pretty similar with well-tuned 2nd order high and low-pass filters.

There's lots more good info in the links, so read them if you're interested in more details.
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