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How can I emulate the BBC Sonic Max app on iTunes?

NoahL

Member
Messages
1,423
This isn't about recording, guys – sorry – it's about listening, but you're the experts regardless. I love the little BBE Sonic app for my iPhone and I wish there was something like it for other system audio on my Mac. Is there a solution that's as quick-and-dirty as the BBE app, or am I looking at endless tweaks with an EQ program? No matter how I tweak iTunes' EQ panel, it's not as good as what BBE does magically. Thanks.
 

SinglecutGuy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,775
Your best option is to run a USB interface out to a set of studio monitors. If you're just using the speakers on your Mac, you're only going to get so far with them. Internal speakers will never come close to an external speaker system, including one with a subwoofer. I would suggest something like a Yamaha Audiogram and prior to sending the signal to a pair of speakers, run them through a BBE if you'd like. You can have a great set up for a couple hundred bucks, provided you already have monitors.
 

NoahL

Member
Messages
1,423
I think I've confused you guys. I already run my Mac-based music through a receiver and monitors when I'm at home. If I happen to be listening to iTunes, I fire up the $3 BBE Sonic App on my iphone, and the difference, through any speaker, is significant. But Sometimes I'm listening to Spotify or TuneIn Radio, and the BBE iphone app won't grab this audio. And at work, on my laptop and through good headphones -- that's when I'd really like the BBE process for Spotify, etc. I'm thinking my best bet is to get the BBE patch and run it with Audio Hijack Pro, which I already use to do voiceover scratch tracks (I'm in advertising). Right? Basically I want to sweeten the sound of ALL my music on all me OS and IOS devices and not be limited to itunes on iphone.
 
Messages
1,102
Most audio engineers have had a brief fling with the sonic maximizer, then cast it aside to never pick it up again. It is a strong psychoacoustic processor (I use one in my acoustic guitar rig), but it's like nails on a chalkboard for critical listeners. The excited affect sounds cool at first, but then....

It was available as a vst plugin for a while (I think Cakewalk had something to do with it), so that might be a way to integrate it.
 

speakerjones

Member
Messages
2,299
You could run your laptop into a PCDI, then into a small mixer with a hardware BBE inserted and monitor that way. Or you could skip ahead a year and realize that it's not really making the music sound better.
 

NoahL

Member
Messages
1,423
Or you guys could quit pretending to offer advice when you're really just being snarky. I'm not an audio engineer – I'm a guy who listens to MP3s and streaming music via Spotify. My "stereo" is an old Marantz receiver and some 20-year-old monitors on my kitchen window for when I cook. I have some Bose earbuds, which I'm sure by your lights I overpaid for. My benighted ears tell me that when I run my iTunes MP3s through my $2.99 BBE app, it sounds a helluva lot better. Maybe I'm an unsophisticated fool, or maybe if you were in my place you'd agree with me. But my request was pretty simple: is there a simple app for improving the listening experience of ANY audio when I'm not listening to iTunes MP3s from my phone, which is the only context the BBE app works in. Apparently there really is no solution – no analogous (and perhaps sonically more "evolved"?) patch for Audio Hijack or Garage Band, or perhaps some other application that can capture and process system audio? I daresay you guys meant well, but honestly, "Your ears are wrong" isn't a good answer. If you can't bite your tongue and give advice in the same spirit it's requested, then why waste your precious time?
 

filtersweep

Member
Messages
4,878
Or you guys could quit pretending to offer advice when you're really just being snarky. I'm not an audio engineer – I'm a guy who listens to MP3s and streaming music via Spotify. My "stereo" is an old Marantz receiver and some 20-year-old monitors on my kitchen window for when I cook. I have some Bose earbuds, which I'm sure by your lights I overpaid for. My benighted ears tell me that when I run my iTunes MP3s through my $2.99 BBE app, it sounds a helluva lot better. Maybe I'm an unsophisticated fool, or maybe if you were in my place you'd agree with me. But my request was pretty simple: is there a simple app for improving the listening experience of ANY audio when I'm not listening to iTunes MP3s from my phone, which is the only context the BBE app works in. Apparently there really is no solution – no analogous (and perhaps sonically more "evolved"?) patch for Audio Hijack or Garage Band, or perhaps some other application that can capture and process system audio? I daresay you guys meant well, but honestly, "Your ears are wrong" isn't a good answer. If you can't bite your tongue and give advice in the same spirit it's requested, then why waste your precious time?

I wasn't pretending anything. ;-)

It is good that you can recognize snark. It leads me to believe there is hope for your ears :)


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

NoahL

Member
Messages
1,423
@Sunbreak: Your first explanation made perfect sense, and I took no offense; I understood that I was asking a bit of a foreign question, and I said as much at the very top of my OP. Your answer was interesting, and it made me wonder what you guys might suggest for an average guy who senses that his system isn't doing justice to the sound of his recreational tunes. But no such friendly advice was forthcoming. I appreciate that many of you did try to help me out with a BBE solution, but @speakerjones, "skip ahead a year" tells me nothing of practical benefit. Sunbreak had already made that point quite respectfully. And @filtersweep, I didn't understand your post until now. You were in a snit because my naive question wasn't advancing the state of audio science? What's my next offense, I pee on your bushes? Some of you remind me of the people who used to hang out on the Apple newsgroups, who would pummel innocent noobs with blurts like, "How am I supposed to tell you how to get a stuck DVD out of the tray if you don't tell me which version of Mountain Lion you're running?!?!" at which point the other basement-dwellers would chuckle and eat another Ritz cracker straight out of the wax-paper sleeve. Anyhow, I'm glad you think there's hope for my ears, but seeing that no one here suggested a single piece of EQ software that might fit my needs and save me from BBE sonic delusion, we'll just have to hope against hope, apparently. Thanks, everyone! Now back to remastering "America's Funniest Home Videos," eh?
 

speakerjones

Member
Messages
2,299
Noah, while I admit my reply was snarky, I did point out a viable hardware solution, that while not as elegant as an app or plug-in, will be able to be used across pretty much any platform, if hooked up properly.

FWIW, the Aphex Aural Exciter is a similar process, so you may want to include that in your searches. What most critical listeners find with all of these devices/processes is that it fatigues your hearing quickly. What they are good for is livening up a dead/dull sounding instrument after the fact. I would never consider strapping one across an entire mix though.


Sent from my iBrain using telepathy
 

pfflam

Member
Messages
7,124
And anyone worth their salt knows, its the inverse ratio of time spent in travel from the wax-paper tube to the mouth that ensures maximal freshness and crunch with minimal salt-loss on every Ritz!!
 






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