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Thread: Aural Exciter - Aphex / Orban

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    Aural Exciter - Aphex / Orban

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    I am rummageing thru a local guys for sale stuff and there is a lot of radio staion gear. He has a couple Aphex aural exciters.

    Can someone explain exactly what these do and if they are something worth having?
    Also quite a bit of Orban processing gear. Good quality?

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    Orban is good quality broadcast equipment. What an exciter does, is after you compress vocals or an instrument, they can feel a bit lifeless, the exciter goes after the compressor and adds a certain energy to the signal with what sounds like a pleasing harmonic distortion. I've played with a few exciters, they definitely have their place, I've found the older the better. I have a single-knob EXR, not sure of the era, but at least the 80s. If the Orban stuff and the others are the right price I'd buy him out. Broadcast stuff s a way better bang for the buck compared to anything in the new market.
    Cavetone Records is a vinyl-only record label that records and mixes only to open reel through a series of tube devices and magic to release mono records. http://www.cavetone.com

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    Aphex's process is different than the BBE processor, but they do wizmo gizmo stuff to the sound that usually boils down to (as hungovermorning stated) harmonic augmentation at specific frequencies, sometimes program dependent, and I don't know about the Aphex unit but the BBE processor phase-aligns source material accross the frequency spectrum...My 462 has two controls, one for "Process" and one for low-frequency. IIRC the "Process" knob is mostly the phase-alignment circuit and the LF knob is a harmonic enhancer...

    I use my 462 in different ways...sometimes it is handy when remastering live material. I really like what it does but I've learned to use it sparingly unless I'm using it as a multi-effect...using the LF enhancer to get really fat distorted kick drum sounds in conjunction with other processors. I also have used it as an insert along with a compressor on my electric bass. Its an old Ibanez Roadstar II...the neck has some stability issues so the intonation is funny sometimes, but it is a passive bass with two soapbar pickups that are individually switchable humbucking or single-coil on push-pots...three knobs total: one volume, one tone and one fader between the two pickups...anyway, with those two processors I've been really happy with sounds I've gotten recording direct without any sort of schmancy preamp...just a hi-z input with the 462 and compressor inserted.

    Anyway, there's my 2p.

    I've heard lots of people that prefer the Aphex exciters to the BBE. Different process but harder to overdo, and Aphex (IMO) makes quality rugged stuff for the professional environment.

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    I really like the Orban stuff. I have a parametric eq (622) that is great and this amazing stereo synthesizer thingy that takes a mono signal a simulates stereo. I use it on accoustic guitars with great results. What does he have?

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    I'd get any Orban gear you can. I have the stereo synthesizer as well. Also, I have both a Behringer and a very old EXR Exciter, an old one with four color coded selection buttons. One channel is mostly shot on the EXR, (and the innards are all apparently super secret and potted...) so I used it to add a bit of depth to a mix, using an aux send. The EXR adds somethign that is hard to describe. Makes a mix of mostly digital synths sound a bit ?richer? ?Brighter?

    The Behringer actually isn't bad either, expands the stereo image somewhat and adds a bit of depth. The Aphex has been around. One ELO album I have lists all the gear they used, and I remember as a kid wondering what an Aphex Aural Exciter was.

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    Besides a few exciters (one with Big Bottom.....hehehehe) there are several different compressors and at least one eq. , and a reverb with what looks like two tanks. The reverb has just a few controls on a single rack space panel and the tanks look they they remotely mount....funky.
    all told there is probably 20+ pieces of rack gear, like I said mostly Orban and Aphex. Didn't get a real good look at all the stuff...place was PACKED with stuff. reel to reels, turntables, cart machines, amps, rack gear, an old broadcast console, ...even a transmitter!!
    Not giving the stuff away, but surely some deals to be had.

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    Can't go to wrong with Aphex or Oban. We run an Aphex Dominator multi band limiter as the last step in our 1/4" to 1/4" mastering setup and it's quite neat with what it does. You see Aphex stuff coming up on eBay all the time but not that much Oban stuff. Like Sweatbeats, we run a BBE but it's an 882. It sits before the Aphex but after the Rane Parametric. Agree with Hungovermorning's opinion on radio gear too - I like the radio stuff, it's usually pretty good value.

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    i currently use an aphex 204 for playback of some of my up to 36 year old cassettes i have made and collected over those years.
    it's only used on tapes that have lost some of their high freq content. used in moderation, it can really help. other than harmonic augmentation, i dont really know how it works.

    i did have a small 8 track studio back in the '70s and '80s but got out of it (and playing in bands) back in '91. wish i'd had the aphex for the studio.

    sources are a nakamichi mr-1, nak 600, zenith cd player, akai gx230d r2r; all connected to an off brand 4x1 switcher, then into the aphex, then to amp.
    the cd player and r2r are in the chain cuz i needed them all to share 1 input on the amp but the 204 is only used with the cassette players (as needed).

    edit-need to know definitions of any musical or audio words?
    looky here>http://www.sweetwater.com/expert-center/glossary/

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