? on order of effects

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Doug_Les
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? on order of effects

Post by Doug_Les » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:18 am

Hey guys, I just got the Alesis 3632 compressor/gate and I have a question. I currenty have a BBE sonic maximizer and a Behringer eq, all rackmount. They are all 2 channel which works out great, I use one channel for my PA and recording and the other channel for the mesa or marshall effects loop. I have never had a compressor or a noise gate and am very excited to use it. My question is, in what order should i hook up these effects??? Right now i'm goin in the sonic maximizer out to the eq, sound great. Should I put the compressor/gate in front of the maximizer?? I'm pretty sure I should leave the eq last in line right?? Thanks guys for the help!!!!!!

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Jackie
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Re: ? on order of effects

Post by Jackie » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:07 am

I'd put the compressor as early as possible. To me it seems most effective that way.

BTW if I were you I'd get rid of that Sonic Maximizer abomination if you're using with you amps too.
I'm no one to tell you what gear to use but that thing makes anything sound worse instead of better IMHO.
I know at least two people who got rid of it and both were grateful that they did. It's nothing but an EQ change anyway, nothing you can't do with an actual EQ (which you have). It's a good product for PA systems that have trouble with clarity but I don't see the benefit of it on a guitar rig.
Again, not trying to jack the thread to hate on the Maximizer or your usage of it just throwing a piece of advice out there.
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benjamin801
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Re: ? on order of effects

Post by benjamin801 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:03 am

A good rule of thumb for effects order is:

guitar --> gain-based effects --> pitch-based effects --> time-based effects --> amp

Compression would fall under the category of "gain-based."

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Doug_Les
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Re: ? on order of effects

Post by Doug_Les » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:55 am

Thanx guys

Chris McKinley
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Re: ? on order of effects

Post by Chris McKinley » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:54 pm

Doug_Les,

I'd like to provide some clarification to some of the advice you've received. The Alesis 3632 compressor/gate is optimal placed between the guitar and the amplifier's preamp...that is, before the amp. However, the same is not true for the BBE Sonic Maximizer or the Behringer EQ. These items are tone effects, and like all such effects, have a much stronger influence on the sound you hear coming out of the speakers when placed in the amplifier's effects loop. Ideally, you would place the EQ first, straight out of the amp's Send socket, then place the Sonic Maximizer after it, then back into the amp's Return socket.

Here's a link to a thread where I cover a lot of the relevant information in one place:

http://www.forum.grailtone.com/viewtopi ... =4&t=19660

Here's another one that covers effect placement about as comprehensively as you'll find:

http://forum.grailtone.com/viewtopic.ph ... 49#p228149

You may find that the BBE Sonic Maximizer is useful in some circumstances more than in others (e.g., certain songs, nailing a specific tone, etc.). That said, and whether you are a fan of the effect or not, I must provide a clarification of what Jackie posted about them. The Sonic Maximizer is definitely not "nothing but an EQ change", and you physically cannot fully reproduce the effect with an equalizer of any kind.

Here's a link to a thread where I describe what the effect actually does:

http://www.forum.grailtone.com/viewtopi ... lit=+sonic

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elvis
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Re: ? on order of effects

Post by elvis » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:49 pm

The BBE stuff is billed as a "time corrector". This is very unlikely. First, the phase distortion in a wire is almost unmeasurable at audio frequencies, and is certainly undetectable. There is FAR more phase delay coming from the DC blocking caps in all of your guitar gear than from the alleged delay in wire and transmission through air.

Second, a "time aligner" would need to be calibrated to the signal for which it is aligning. That means it needs to know what the phase delay in your equipment is exactly, then use some sort of all-pass-filter to delay the other frequencies accordingly. The BBE has no way to do that. It is not enough to control the AMOUNT of the process, you would have to be able to program in specific frequency delay information about the system.

The sound of the BBE is such that it seems to clearly boost some frequencies. The "clarity" much more likely comes from additional mids than from proper time alignment. It has a similar effect as Dolby did in the '80s. Many (or most) people preferred to play back recordings that had been Dolby encoded on systems with the decoding turned off. The effect was to boost high frequencies (and "clarity").

There is no question in my mind that the BBE does do some sort of "time alignment" via phase delay. However, it is not a "time corrector", as it has no ability to judge what is correct. I agree that it would be difficult or impossible to reproduce the BBE effect with a simple graphic EQ, as the phase delay is linked to frequency gain. An all-pass filter allows the change of phase without change in gain.

Ultimately, it's up to your taste as to whether you like it or not. But I ALWAYS recommend that you start with one piece of gear at a time, and tweek it as far as it will go, then add the next. I see so many people start with a new amp, an EQ, and something else (BBE, FX box, whatever). It's way too difficult to dial it all at once. Taste the steak before you add salt & pepper.
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Re: ? on order of effects

Post by Chris McKinley » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:42 am

elvis is correct in that true time correction would require not just real-time monitoring, identifying and adjusting to the frequencies involved, but also the exact distance from the speaker to the listener. Thankfully, such is not needed to accomplish the task. All that really needs to happen is a slight staggering of the bass frequencies vs. everything else so that they don't muffle the rest of the signal, then a small boost to taste in the range of psychoactive frequencies, roughly 3 - 5kHz. The amount of stagger only needs to be just noticeable at distances less than about 30 feet, and even a 2db boost in the psychoactive range can be noticeable enough to make a qualitative difference in clarity.

Obviously, one could use even the most basic graphic EQ to apply a small boost in the 3 - 5kHz range. Whether that provides needed clarity or excess stringency to a signal already strong in this range is a matter of subjective preference and will change from song to song. Personally, I've found that the Sonic Stomp I have, which is the Maximizer in a box, works best when it's used very subtly. It also fits better with my Recto when I'm not using Channel 3 with silicon diode rectification without the presence pulled way down, which is already very near to being shrill and strident without any effects.

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Doug_Les
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Re: ? on order of effects

Post by Doug_Les » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:28 am

Thanx again for all the info. I too use the BBE just to add a subtle boost/clarity, I love what it does to the overall sound.

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