Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now. Parks Hall, CPBE In our world of ones and zeros, we tend to overlook the analog devices still in use throughout the broadcast and recording industry. Not only is analog not dead, many audio professionals seek its use […]. In our world of ones and zeros, we tend to overlook the analog devices still in use throughout the broadcast and recording industry.
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Aphex update their famous Aural Exciter and Big Bottom processes for the 21st century. The first generation Exciter could not be purchased, only hired, and it wasn't until the release of the Type 2 Exciter in that studios were able to purchase the system. Of more interest in the context of this review, the C2 also included the Big Bottom circuit for the first time. For more details on these processes, see ' The Aphex Technology ' box. The rear panel carries the ubiquitous IEC mains inlet with integral fuse holder and two sets of inputs and outputs for each channel.
Adjusting this control allows the most appropriate range of frequencies to be enhanced by the processing. The Drive control sets the threshold for the dynamics processing and should be adjusted until the adjacent green LED flashes on bass peaks, indicating the onset of processing.
Advancing the Drive control increases the amount of processing, and the LED reflects this quite well with its duration and brightness. The Mix control simply determines the amount of enhanced signal which is added back to the original, thereby determining the strength of the effect. The Aural Exciter controls are equally as simple to understand and operate.
This determines the frequencies above which harmonics will be generated. The Harmonics control affects the quantity, number and nature of harmonics generated. The final control is Mix, which determines the amount of harmonics introduced at the outputs.
The most important controls on the entire machine are the illuminated push buttons which switch the processing in and out of circuit.
As with any form of signal processing, it is incredibly easy to fool the ear so that you end up adding more and more enhancement — brighter and louder is always perceived as better. Too much can be very fatiguing and artificial, with an easily recognisable sonic signature. You are advised to leave the unused 'leg' floating instead.
Model rear panel connections. With all moderate settings the material can be made to sound substantially louder and fuller without any significant increase in the peak level.
If you are mixing on small monitors you have to be especially careful as, depending on the Tune setting, the lift may be confined to frequencies below the effective range of the speakers. Drums and percussion could also be brought to life.
However, where processing instruments while recording is necessary, caution should be exercised as the effect can't easily be undone. More usefully though, processing tracks through the Model prior to encoding seemed to help them survive data reduction rather better.
It doesn't restore uncompressed WAV quality, but it certainly improves matters. Although the circuitry has evolved considerably since its first release, the basic concepts behind the Aural Exciter have remained the same throughout the product's long life and various incarnations.
If these harmonics are lost or reduced in amplitude, the music will tend to sound dull and lifeless, lacking in clarity and detail. The inclusion of the Optical Big Bottom process extends the usefulness and creativity of the unit substantially. The Aphex Technology Although the circuitry has evolved considerably since its first release, the basic concepts behind the Aural Exciter have remained the same throughout the product's long life and various incarnations.
Pros Easy to use. Works well on individual tracks and complete mixes. The HF and LF processes complement each other well. Has both corrective and creative possibilities. Fatiguing if pushed too hard. Previous article Next article. Need help understanding these specs please? Where have I been going wrong in my mixes?
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Field Report: Aphex 204 Aural Exciter and Optical Big Bottom
The original Aphex Aural Exciter, first offered in , came without the Big Bottom circuit, which was added in Aphex released in 1 the Model Aural Exciter and Optical Big Bottom, yet another refinement of the original unit. Also for: Aural exciter, Optical big bottom. Aphex Model - soundonsound. I got the idea of putting the Aphex Aural Exciter after the Behringer preamp. Wow, what a difference.
Aphex 204 manual