Machine Pagan wrote:
Thanks Casey for the technical dissection. Personally, it has been hard to get a good explanation of what, exactly, the BBE process was doing.
Personally, I use a 882i unit for both mastering and for PA applications. Both of which IMO provides a perceived tightening of bass response (primarily). I suspect that the BBE process is most effective is treating full mix representing a broad range of bass, mid and high frequency content.
My experience with the pedal version in the JVM's loop or in front of the amp was not as impressive. I wonder if applying the process to a single mid-range instrument such as a guitar would benefit from the bass processing in any discernible way.
The way I see it is a very specific "correction" attempt for the inherent shortcomings of a loudspeaker. A speaker has a slight delay - potentially noticeable on trebles but not on lower frequencies - so the Sonic Maximizer delays the bass to match (or at least an approximate match based on BBE's determination of what should be done). There is also some phase "correction" to account for the phase shifts of a speaker, and EQ boost at 50Hz and 5kHz to account for a speaker's natural attenuation around those points (that's the part that can be done with simple EQ).
So, because a speaker naturally does those things to a signal, what you hear coming from a speaker is not exactly like what you would hear from an instrument "live". BBE is attempting to bring the "live" sound through a speaker by their delay, phase and EQ "adjustments".
Regardless of the impact those types of corrections may or may not have on the results, the intended application appears to be on the final recorded product... so the sound that comes out of your stereo more closely matches what the live performance sounded like. I don't see how it was ever intended to be used on live instruments because a live instrument is already live. The applications, as I see them, were intended to be when playing back recorded music (to "correct" for the speakers so the recording sounds "live"), when miking instruments through PA speakers (to "correct" for the PA speakers), or when recording so that the "correction" is already built in to the final mastered recording. I don't really see why you'd use it as an effect on a guitar amp (in the loop or otherwise) because the speaker is an integral part of the sound
. Why would somebody agonize over Greenbacks vs. V30s vs Alnicos, then "correct" their characteristics away with a Sonic Maximizer anyway?? Of course, if someone simply likes the sound through their amp with the BBE on then that's not "wrong", just a matter of preference... but from Crooks' patent (and the circuit itself) that's not the original intended application.
I won't have the BBE until tomorrow, but based on my understanding of what it is, does and it's intention, I'd use it for recording and playback and before PA speakers, but not on a guitar amp as part of the live sound... but, like I said, a matter of taste as well.
If you have the pedal version and want to get rid of it you could always sell it to Jackie. He loves them.