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Exciter users...what's your favorite exciter/enhancer?
Old 28th January 2013
  #1
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Exciter users...what's your favorite exciter/enhancer?

I just finished a mix & realized it was a tad dull. I added a touch of hardware mixer eq and got the shine on it, but felt like it was too much volume and knocked the balance off a bit. I backed off the eq and instead used some exciter/presence plugins from the Reaper JS suite and everything came together--detail, clarity, and some air. The tracks are sounding nice.

I used the exciters on guitar mics, keyboard DI (B3 sounds), and snare. No vocals in the tracks.
Guitar was tracked with a CAD e100 and Vin Jet ribbon, snare was a Heil PR35 about 6-8 inches back pointed at snare side...kinda Stax/Daptone style...blended with Victor ribbon overhead. (phase, i know...sounds good, tho). Band is kinda Medesky, Martin, & Wood and Soulive sounding. Funk jazz jam...very solid musicians.

I'm trying to be as OTB as possible, but hybrid is ok.

Note: I'm mainly looking at budget/project gear. $100-500 each. Or are these Reaper plugs good enough (loser, liteon, stillwell)? Sorry for not posting tracks, may have some tomorrow. Internet woes, yadda yadda.

The tracks are pretty good, but looking to grok the exciter/eq issues.

1) What is your favorite hardware exciter/enhancer? (instruments, not vocals)
2) Favorite exciter/enhancer plug?
3) And haters gonna hate...if you don't like exciters, what are your tips for adding clarity and brilliance? Without adding too much volume? (fyi...i,m using a Soundcraft EPM8--soon to be Tascam M312B--so my eq is probably a bit limited after the usual mid cuts)

Thanks!
Old 28th January 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
filipv's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Behringer Dualfex worked really well with my acoustic guitar recordings. Surprisingly for a Behringer, it produced no hum AT ALL. It is quiet as the vacuum of space.
Old 28th January 2013
  #3
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Ben B's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
In the box, I will usually mult the signal, and use a linear phase high pass filter followed by distortion and possibly compression. Blended with the unprocessed signal it makes for a fine exciter. I like being able to set the filter cutoff frequency myself, and I find that I get better results with this method than with other exciter plugins. FWIW, I just use the Waves linear phase EQ, and the generic Pro Tools LoFi plugin for this.
Old 28th January 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
Bbe sonic maximiser or aphex vintage exciter. But I prefer in most cases to add a precise tight eq peak boost at 10.5k or 12k in most cases where I would think I might need to use an exciter. Otherwise bbe sonic maximiser is my first choice

They are both available as plugins or rack gear.

Keep in mind that exciters were more popular when people used to track to tape. There are not used as much these days

Sent from my GT-I9100
Old 28th January 2013
  #5
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
My favourite exciter plug at the moment is the waves aphex aural exciter. It has a great vintage sound and it works on everything! It can basically take a sound to a whole other level and can make dull sounds cut through the mix.
Old 29th January 2013
  #6
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
So here's my two tracks...this is a version of Speak No Evil, by a new local band called Swindler. These are meant to be for demos.

Both versions below used a mastering plugin, but no mastering compression. All track compression and reverb was done with outboard gear. The only plugins used were 3 or 4 notch filters and the exciters, and MaxxBass on the bass track. Recorded & mixed with a Soundscraft EPM 8.

This is the version WITHOUT the exciter plugs on guitar & keys.


Here's the version WITH exciter plugs on both guitar mics & on keys. It's louder because I was a little more aggressive with the mastering plugin. So not a totally apples to apples comparison, but EQ/Exciter-wise, you can easily hear the difference.


The exciter is used on the snare in both tracks. Set at 3.1k.

Thoughts on using the exciter? How would I *not* use the exciter to get the same results?

Any thoughts on the mixes in general?

Thanks in advance for your help!
Old 29th January 2013
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
There is only one name in exciters and that is the Aphex.

You can pick one up at Sweetwater for 299 usd.

I own one and it definitely adds some sheen and oomph to otherwise dull tracks without having to add eq and plug in colouring.

At least download the manual of Aphex to understand the principles of the aural exciter and optical big bottom. Its quite detailed and you can make your mind up from there.

Hope this helps.

Cheers
Old 30th January 2013
  #8
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fhames's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I do not use one.
Old 30th January 2013
  #9
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funkycam's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
sounds like what you want could be achived during tracking , but to answer your question I would go with
Clariphonic DSP
Old 30th January 2013 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkycam ➑️
sounds like what you want could be achived during tracking , but to answer your question I would go with
Clariphonic DSP
What would you recommend I change during tracking? Looking for tips....
Old 30th January 2013 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Addict
 
Jazzcrisis's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by brassmoose ➑️
So here's my two tracks...

Any thoughts on the mixes in general?
I actually liked the non-excited one better. Especially for the snare, it just makes the snare seem like it doesn't belong. The guitars just seem to sit better in the first one as well, they remind me of a vintage sort of tape sound.
Old 30th January 2013
  #12
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
exciters are like sugar, salt, treble, reverb and heroin

you get used to them, then you need more just to think you have "any"

I have Aphex and BBE hardware units. I haven't turned the Aphex on in a decade, and only bring out the BBE for something that is really "needy".

I have also used the enhancer on one of the Joe Meek compressors. Sounded good for some vocals.
Old 30th January 2013
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Showcase's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I like the Aphex used carefully
Old 30th January 2013
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I have Aphex and BBE hardware units. I haven't turned the Aphex on in a decade, and only bring out the BBE for something that is really "needy".

Alan Parsons swears by Aphex products however he is sponsored by them.

Cheers
Old 30th January 2013
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Personnally I would rather use the Aphex than have to eq the **** out of everything.

Cheers
Old 30th January 2013
  #16
Gear Addict
 
21 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
The best enhancer ever released is the rare and ultra expensive (at the time) hof hofex spectral exciter. Stupid me i sold it for a spl tube exciter. Doesnt sound as good at all! It instantly made your tracks rich, analog and huge. Still kicking myself.

Sent from my GT-I9100
Old 30th January 2013
  #17
Gear Addict
 
sbechristos's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I am not a big fan of Ozone, but the Exciter on Ozone5 is just dope. I use it a lot when mixing ITB. I havn't used the one from Alloy2 yet, but I think its the same build in they put into the Ozone5.

For Vocals I most often use just a copy of the layer I want to excite and eq out all the lows up to 7-8K. I put it under the original and raise up the volume till I get a proper excitement.
Old 1st February 2013
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
I just picked up an Aphex 204 with Big Bottom on ebay for Β£85 delivered. Pretty decent price I think. I bought it with the intention of selling it on for profit, but I will have to give it a try first I think .
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