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Aphex Aural Exciter & Big Bottom


Alchemist

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Depends on if you like the sound.

 

The thing I notice is when you use that then that is the sound you get. No matter how else you try to change EQ Aural Exciters it makes things sound the way it wants to sound.

 

But if it is a sound you dig then cool.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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It sort of a Rock 'n' Roll Smile on roids. Smile meaning the shape of a graphic EQ. In my opinion it is a good device for a lot of poeple who do not have 31 band EQ or don't understand how to EQ. It is an easy way to sort of get decent generic scoop EQ sound. Which isn't always optimal but can be useful.

 

But that is my opinion. I've done some sound work and recording work but I no expert to say the least.

 

Personally I wouldn't run my keyboard rig through one. I tried a BBE sonic maximizer on my keys in the 80's and thought it sucked because it nullified my EQ changes I would make for different patch setups. .... or that is the way my ears interpretted the output.

 

Again I am just some crazy opinated guy on the internet.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Depends? You may love it. Peronally I would hate it for jazz and playing solo. It might work in a band with my particular board because I cut the heck out of lo-mid on my Kawai anyway but that has more to do with the character of the MP-5 and MP-8ii pianos. The Kawai does NOT have a good rock piano sound.

 

My guess is the meat of the piano sound would sound really thin. You have to just try it and see if you would like. I don't think I would but I am not you. I stay away from external effect for keys these days. No matter how quiet they all still add to signal to noise ration IMO.

 

Personally I wouldn't mess with it on keys or individual instruments. If I were to use it at all it would be through a sound reinforcement effects loop. I would be inclined to not mess with one myself but if your sound guy doesn't know how to EQ the mains it MAY be of use.

 

Again I probably biased. I would NOT write a magazine review on one if I was asked. :)

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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The BBE instructions specifically state put it after the EQ. What a BBE does is correct for phase differences between the woofer and the tweeter/mid driver caused by the crossover. If you put an equalizer after it the equalizer can nullify that. In many modern active speakers, phase correction is built in making the BBE redundant. Use of a BBE sparingly can add clarity to your mid range tone.

 

The Aphex & Big bottom adds some phase correction and an extreme V pattern EQ, accentuating the extreme end harmonics. Its like pressing both a loudness, and Bass Boost button on a boom box.

Works well with acoustic guitars if again used "sparingly". They only way to know if it works for you is to get one and try before you buy.

Boards: Kurzweil SP-6, Roland FA-08, VR-09, DeepMind 12

Modules: Korg Radias, Roland D-05, Bk7-m & Sonic Cell

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Given that it affects the signal you put through it, it might help to know what you're planning on using this on, and what you're using to hear yourself. Is this for recording? Live?

 

Forum rule of thumb: the more information you provide in a post, the better we're able to give you meaningful and valid feedback. :thu:

 

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I've never liked them. I think they generally overemphasize the typical "loudness" sound and result in a sound that's both boomy and harsh. It's the sort of thing that when you first engage it, sounds like an improvement, just like listening to any hotter signal will trick you into thinking it's better. But in the end, it destroys the detail and clarity of the sound. Just my opinion from hearing mixes from somebody who, admittedly, probably overused it.

 

 

EDIT: looking back, I see you're inquiring on the Aphex. My experience is with the BBE sonic maximizer, but it's my understanding that they do the same thing.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I thought this was a porno thread with a name like that. :)

 

You're confusing it with the oral exciter with big bottom.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I thought this was a porno thread with a name like that. :)

 

You're confusing it with the oral exciter with big bottom.

 

Dude, look at the shape of the letters. You sure that's what he's confusing it with? :evil:

 

OK, I'll stop now. Really.

 

--Dave

 

Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.

 

My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/

 

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It's really a sort of combined EQ boost and low-end compressor. As far as synthesizing higher harmonics, that aspect of the unit isn't terribly useful these days, except in certain cases to "improve" the sound of something that was poorly recorded (improve is subjective). I'll use it from time to time for it's low-end properties on a kick drum or bass to give the bottom a little perceived boost/tightness. Just a touch, because it can easily "take over" the sound, and usually don't even touch the exciter controls. It definitely has a "processed" sound to it. I don't know how to explain that further, but try one and you'll know. Sometimes it sounds right though. Just another tool.
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BBE comment.

 

In the early 90s I did a couple of years with a five piece electric folk band -

 

main vocal/flute+sax

bouzouki/guitar

electric bass

percussion

 

and me on ep.

 

They ran the whole mix through it before it went to the power amp stage.

 

Mostly busy pub gigs - lots of people soaking up the sound. When you switched it on/off it it was like the "loud" button or "rock" preset you'd see on little home stereo systems.

 

Worked for them. The PAs I see out and about these days sound better - not convinced you'd need it now.

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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I have both the BBE 882i and the Aphex Aural Exciter. I tend to use the BBE as the last thing in my signal chain (studio use only). I add just a slight touch to the sound and every once in a while I audition the overall sound bypassed. I'm still using the BBE on a daily basis.

 

I find the Aural Exciter to be waaaaay too much for most studio uses. The best use I've found for it is when I transfer old tapes to digital. The worse condition the tape is in, the more I find the Aphex usable.

 

Like it was said above, it's a fix waiting for a problem.

 

Stephen

 

 

 

 

.

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Had them years ago, as well as the BBE (much later). Would never go near such gear again (except maybe the Distressor). All of that gear corrupts the sound going in and muddies it up, even when "bypassed". Those are really tools for super-low-end systems where the sound degradation won't be noticeable but the effect will be.

 

So, just be aware of that going in. If you need to keep your real sound for any reason, find a way to split the signal.

 

In terms of the effect of such gear, it's kind of a quickie fix for stuff you can deal with in other ways (such as moving gear about, repositioning speakers, etc.).

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