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Psycho-acoustic enhancement for Bass

Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:12 pm
by MesaMan
Anyone using any form of psycho-acoustic enhancement on their bass? I used an Aphex Type C many years ago. Then about 4 years ago I brought an Aphex Bass Xciter with Big Bottom foot pedal and a 'Punch Factory' optical compressor (I got a really good deal buying new units off eBay :). Any way the Bass Xciter developed a fault and is now unuseable so I'm thinking of trying a BBE Sonic Maximiser - anyone else tried one on Bass? The Aphex Bass Xciter gave bass a *sparkle* that you can't get with anything else and helped to tightened up the bottom end.
I use a Mesa M-Pulse 600 through an Alesis 3630 compressor and a 2x12 and 4x10 Mesa PowerHouse cabs.


Re: Psycho-acoustic enhancement for Bass

Posted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:23 pm
by timi
I might be wrong here, but isn't the Sonic Maximizer just "mid scoop and make it louderer" as apposed to the Aphex Exciter which is actually doing some harmonic and phase related stuff?

Also so seems a shame to be using an Alesis compressor with your otherwise high quality setup.

Re: Psycho-acoustic enhancement for Bass

Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:28 pm
by MesaMan
Thanks for the reply timi,
I have experience with the Aphex devices but the BBE device is an unknown to me. I'll research more to find out about if it is similar to the Aphex device or something else entirely.
What compressor would you recommend? I used to run the Alesis inline between the BOSS GT6B and the amp (Bass>GT6B>Aleis>Amp input) but recently I moved the whole chain to the amps effects loop which has a mix control so I can get some balance between the amp sound and effects chain. This improved the overall sound significantly.

I've used different types of compressors and I have this one set up reasonably well but keen to know what other options are available.

Looking forward to your recommendations.

Re: Psycho-acoustic enhancement for Bass

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:44 am
by timi
Cheap compressors seem to flatten and dull the sound, I know compressors obviously flatten dynamics but cheap ones often do it in a very uninspiring way. The 3630 would want to see line level which is why it works better in the loop (along with being able to blend).

I'd probably look at a DBX160 or an 1176 (new Warm Audio clone might be worth a look) as far as rackmount line level comps, or for pedals (inline not in the loop) the MXR bass compressor or Origin Cali76.

However you say you've used a few and are happy with the Alesis then cool, my first thought was that you're using an exciter to counteract the dulling of your tone from that compressor.

Re: Psycho-acoustic enhancement for Bass

Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:26 am
by MesaMan
Thanks for your recommendation timi. You wouldn't be the first person to suggest the DBX160 to me :). I'm going to investigate that. I had the Aphex device way before the compressor and I find if it is used carefully (not to extremes) then it really lifts the overall sound.
Here at work this morning I'll start to research some other compressors including the DBX unit.

Have a great day!