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BBE or EQ?

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  • BBE or EQ?


    I've seen a lot in the archives about the BBE sonic maximizer and how it can really fatten up the td-8 sounds....especially live (could REALLY use that!) So, I got psyched and started planning to purchase one. Then, I started thinking perhaps the better solution is to go with a real EQ unit. What are the pros and cons? You can't beat the price for the BBE 362. But, can I do better with EQ for comparable cost? Help? Thanks as usual!

  • #2
    They are really two totally different technologies. Maybe you should go to BBE's web site to get an explanation of how their processing works. If there is any way to try both units in the store before you buy, or buy from a store that will let you exchange one for the other, that would be good too.


    • #3
      Yes, the BBE does more than just raise or lower the amplitude of certain frequency ranges. As Bagman says, the best thing to do would be to test drive it yourself. Make sure you listen to it over a good PA speaker at high volume. Then, try to reproduce the results with a good EQ. I notice that the BBE has a more profound effect on certain samples in my TD-8, really bringing out the tone and dynamics on them -- giving the sample a "personality" it never had. On other samples, the BBE does little more than what I could achieve with the 3-band EQ on my mixer. Also keep in mind that many people don't like what the BBE does to cymbal samples. It seems to work better with samples that cover a wider range of frequencies, i.e. drums.
      Roland TD-20 v1.08, various v-drums and v-cymbals, Yamaha KP65's, Axis pedals, Gibraltar hardware, Mackie 1202/SRM450 (pre-china)


      • #4
        I also have looked a little bit into getting a BBE. Depending on whether you want to use it live or just recording then from what I have deduced from a few people I have talked to that it makes more sense live than using it to record. With the BBE your are kind of introducing extra stuff to make that fat sound, kind of like trickery if you will. I think live you can and should be able to get away with that. But when recording I think it might start getting in the way when trying to process the signal for pre-mastering. What I mean (I think ) is that when you record the extra information to fatten the sound up will be added to the signal. Now if you are mixing down and adding effects and such that extra information or frequencies if you will will be altered too. I think you can fatten the signal up in other/better ways while mixing down a recording with other techniques/sources. I don't know if this makes sense at all. Now I'm sure people use the BBE during recording too and get great results but I'm just going by what I have heard and understand about what it does.

        My 2 cents

        Brian Kidd


        • #5
          I don't think the BBE introduces anything "extra" to your signal, as effects units do -- the BBE just manipulates what's already there, like a compressor or EQ. This is why the BBE is employed as a "serial device" instead of a "parallel device" (did I mix those up?) i.e. the input signal itself is altered rather than mixed with another signal. The result, supposedly, is a signal that is more "compatible" with open-air speakers.
          Roland TD-20 v1.08, various v-drums and v-cymbals, Yamaha KP65's, Axis pedals, Gibraltar hardware, Mackie 1202/SRM450 (pre-china)


          • #6
            Yup, the bbe adjusts the 'true' signal coming in so that the output that's sent into a speaker will causing vibrations that better approximate the actual input signal. The physical characteristics of the speaker will alter the input signal (impedance of the coils and inertia of the drivers). The BBE unit estimates these effects in advance and adjusts the music signal so the speaker output will be more in phase, and the air vibrations will better match the signal variations.

            This is a really crude explanation; pop over to the Patent Office site at uspto.gov and check out patent # 4,482,866 for more details!


            • #7
              Great info guys! Thanks! Ok, all your feedback is consistent with what I am getting from a couple of local music store dealers with whom I spoke. The consensus appears to be that it is a great device for enhancing one's live sound and should probably left alone for studio work (or use other, more traditional effects, e.g. EQ). No problem. I really just want it for live sound. Had a ***** of a time at a small venue a couple weekends ago in which mixing sound was aweful! I had a super fat tom, kick sound...but, struggled mightily with my cymbal and snare sounds. They just kept getting lost in the mix. The room/floor of the venue was all wood/glass too. Very weird. And very tough to mix/optimize in. A few earlier threads on BBEs here had some doing flips over the capacity of the BBE to enhance V sounds live. So, after playing that show, I was very interested in finding out more. Looks like there is a trip to my local guitar center for a demo in my future Thanks guys!!