blog

Behringer X32 Effects Tutorial – Sound Maxer

GET THE X32 ROUTING WORKSHEET FOR FREE!

I FOUND THAT OVER THE YEARS, HAVING MY ROUTING WRITTEN DOWN NOT ONLY MADE MY JOB EASIER BUT IT MADE ME FASTER AT MY JOB!

AS A THANK YOU FOR COMING TODAY, I WANT TO GIVE IT TO YOU!

Subscribe Me
FEATURED ON...
July 14, 2016 1 comment
Behringer X32 Effect Tutorial Sound Maxer

Welcome to my Behringer X32 FX Series tutorials. Today we are going to be looking at the Sound Maxer. Be sure to watch my YouTube video that I released on the Sound Maxer as it goes along with this blog post!

The Sound Maxer is a Behringer X32 Effect that is an audio enhancer. This effect is emulated after the BBE 482i Sonic Maximizer. The original theory behind the Sonic Maximizer is that the low frequency of a speaker would reach the listener slightly before the high frequency. This is because the woofer is placed at the front of a speaker cabinet and the tweeter is placed slightly back into the cabinet to give space for the horn. The Sonic Maximizer was designed to slightly delay the low end so that the high end would arrive at the same time as the lows creating a better listening experience. In actual reality, the low end barely delayed, and the high end is slightly delayed, in fact, 20kHz is about 360º out of phase (aka one wavelength delayed), and 20Hz is 15º out of phase as we can see below:

Behringer X32 Effect Tutorial Sound Maxer - Lo Contour - 0 Process - 0

Another thing to mention is that the hardware version of the BBE Sonic Maximizer is not a true bypass when you deactivate the effect. So, when someone would go and insert it into their signal chain, and deactivate the effect, it would roll off the bottom two octaves of low end. Then when the effect was activated again, the low end would come back. Tricky tricky!

Thankfully, Behringer has decided to give this effect a true bypass, so no gimmicks here!

Behringer Sound Maxer

Behringer X32 Effect Tutorial Sound Maxer

There is a single layer for the controls that we can see here:

Behringer X32 Effect Tutorial Sound Maxer Controls

  • Lo Contour – Gives us our low-frequency processing amount for Channel A.
  • Active – Allows us to deactivate the effect for Channel A.
  • Process – Gives us our high-frequency processing amount for Channel A.
  • Gain – Allows us to add or reduce gain for Channel A. Contol allows for adjustment from -12dB to +12dB in 0.5dB increments.
  • Lo Contour – Gives us our low-frequency processing amount for Channel B.
  • Active – Allows us to deactivate the effect for Channel B.
  • Process – Gives us our high-frequency processing amount for Channel B.
  • Gain – Allows us to add or reduce gain for Channel B. Contol allows for adjustment from -12dB to +12dB in 0.5dB increments.

Insert Delay

  • 0.67ms delay

Default Settings

Default settings for the Sound Maxer is Lo Contour at 0.6 and Process at 0.8. We can see that below:

Behringer X32 Effect Tutorial Sound Maxer - Default Settings

Lo Contour

Lo Contour is a boost/adjustment for the low end. We can see by the control there is only one parameter that we can adjust for this. Below I have shown the Lo Contour adjustment for 1 through 10.

  • Lo Contour 1 = +3.5dB
  • Lo Contour 2 = +6.0dB
  • Lo Contour 3 = +7.8dB
  • Lo Contour 4 = +9.5dB
  • Lo Contour 5 = +10.5dB
  • Lo Contour 6 = +11.7dB
  • Lo Contour 7 = +12.9dB
  • Lo Contour 8 = +13.8dB
  • Lo Contour 9 = +14.6dB
  • Lo Contour 10 = +15.4dB

Behringer X32 Effect Tutorial Sound Maxer - Lo Contour

Process

Process is a boost/adjustment for the high-frequency. We can see by the control there is only one parameter that we can adjust for this. Below I have shown the process adjustment for 1 through 10.

  • Process 1 = +3.4dB
  • Process 2 = +5.9dB
  • Process 3 = +7.8dB
  • Process 4 = +9.4dB
  • Process 5 = +10.7dB
  • Process 6 = +11.9dB
  • Process 7 = +12.9dB
  • Process 8 = +13.8dB
  • Process 9 = +14.7dB
  • Process 10 = +15.4dB

Behringer X32 Effect Tutorial Sound Maxer - Process

Lo Contour & Process Together

We are able to use the Lo Contour and Process adjustments together, and then by using the gain you could make a high & low-frequency boost and then by bringing the gain down, you would apply a mid-freqency cut. Below I show Lo Contour & Process at 5 and again at 10.

Behringer X32 Effect Tutorial Sound Maxer - Lo Contour & Process

Practical Use of the Sound Maxer

The thing that I love about the Sound Maxer is that the controls are very simple, and a little bit goes a long way. As you will see in the YouTube video that I linked at the beginning, you can place this on the LR Bus as a polishing tool if you wish. I was able to get some great sounds with using this on a thin sounding guitar and a weak sounding keyboard. But, you could also do similar results using channel EQ.

Want to see more Effects Tutorials?

To view more of my Behringer X32 Effects Tutorials, click here: dBB Audio FX Series

1 Comment
  1. Martin says:

    Hi Drew, fantastic work you are doing with the x32. Thanks for all the tutorials, I have learned a lot, having only been an x32 user for a year.
    Having worked with a genuine BBE Sonic Maximiser many years ago, I think you are kind of missing the point regarding the delays introduced by the device – I note your confusion at the start of the video – and that your phase diagrams may tell more story.
    What the delays can do is to increase the *apparent* level of some frequencies, without increasing their *actual* level (much). A sound that arrives at your ear slightly before another sound will be perceived as louder, even if they are actually exactly the same level. This was the key “trick” of the Maximiser I think. The effect is similar to careful use of EQ, but whereas EQ increases the overall power of a signal, the Maximiser does not and is therefore very useful for making small PA setups or – when I was using it – a broadcast radio station seem bigger than they are.
    M.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

GET THE X32 ROUTING WORKSHEET FOR FREE!

I FOUND THAT OVER THE YEARS, HAVING MY ROUTING WRITTEN DOWN NOT ONLY MADE MY JOB EASIER BUT IT MADE ME FASTER AT MY JOB!

AS A THANK YOU FOR COMING TODAY, I WANT TO GIVE IT TO YOU!

Subscribe Me