BBE DS26 Digital Speaker
The DS26 loudspeaker management system features 2 inputs and 6 outputs, and has
a 5 band parametric equalizer for each output. Outputs all feature crossover filters,
5 band parametric equalizer, selectable high and low shelving filters, fully featured
limiter and delay. Full metering is provided for inputs and outputs, with mute
and access buttons allowing quick set up and gain adjustment. Other features included
a choice of 12, 18 or 24dB/Octave roll-off, and Butterworth, Bessel or Linkwitz-Riley
responses. Independent control of each high and low pass filter allows asymmetric
crossover bands to be created. The DS26 can also be controlled from a PC via the
DS24’s RS232 connection. Along with XLR input/output connectors, DS26 comes
complete with selectable line voltages between 90 and 250 VAC operations.
• 24-bit AD/DA, 48k sampling rate
• Internal 32-bit DSP processing
• Parametric EQ provides -40dB to +6dB of gain with frequency
• gain and bandwidth adjustment
• Full limiter for each output
• 7ms delay per output
• RS-232 Computer control
• 5 year warranty
The Color Codes of Sound
To understand how BBE¬ sound processing works, consider the characteristics
of a loudspeaker and what we expect from one. Among a loudspeaker's most important
requirements is the ability to reproduce transients — the brief high-energy
bursts at the beginning of sounds. The transients then evolve into harmonics.
It is the particular amplitudes and phase relationships of these transients and
harmonics which add the unique color and character to each sound. Varying either
the amplitude or the phase of the transients and harmonics within signal causes
distortion of the sound's characteristics. By drastically altering the transient
response of a sound, it's possible to make a cymbal crash seem like a car crash.
Similarly, altering amplitude or phase relationships of the harmonics in a clarinet's
tone can make it sound more like a flute, or a French horn like an oboe.
Amplitude and Phase
A loudspeaker's transient response is typically expressed in terms of amplitude
response (how quickly it reacts to an incoming signal), with little or no regard
to phase response (whether high and low frequencies are reproduced at the proper
time). The ability to accurately represent a sound's phase and amplitude define
the quality of a loudspeaker's transient and steady — state, or sustained,
response. If a loudspeaker's amplitude response curve were linear, then the relationship
between the high and low frequencies would be correct. And if a loudspeaker's
phase response curve were linear, then the low and high frequencies would reach
the listener's ears in their correct time order. This would result in faithful
reproduction of the sound. However, this isn't normally the case.
Why is Live Sound so Pleasing?
When we listen to live music, all of the highs and lows reach our ears in the
same relationship to each other as when they were created by the instruments.
If this same live music were to be recorded and played back through a loudspeaker
system, the loudspeaker would introduce frequency-dependent phase shifting. The
inductance of the speaker's voice coil creates a stronger impedance as the signal's
frequency increases, resulting in a time delay. Consequently, frequency components
with large negative phase shifts (high frequencies) arrive at the listener's ear
later than signals undergoing small phase shifts (low frequencies). The resultant
signal is distorted in the time domain to the listener's ear. Audio material containing
sharp transients (e.g., percussive and plucked sounds such as drums, guitar, piano,
and harpsichord, etc.) suffers the most from this phenomenon, making it seem unfocused,
In order to address these problems inherent in basic loudspeaker design, BBE Sound,
Inc. has developed a circuit that has 2 primary functions. The first adjusts the
phase relationships of the low, mid, and high frequencies. Since a loudspeaker's
natural tendency is to add progressively longer delay times to higher frequencies,
the BBE¬ circuit adds progressively longer delay times to lower frequencies.
This creates a kind of "mirror" curve to the time delay curve created
in the speaker and neutralizes its distorting effect.
The second major element in BBE¬ sound processing is the augmentation of the
higher and lower frequencies. Loudspeakers tend to be less efficient in their
extreme treble and bass ranges. Most sound-reproducing systems include a circuit
for boosting high and low frequencies, showing an accepted awareness of the loudspeaker's
efficiency problem. BBE¬ sound processing, however, provides a dynamic, program-driven
augmentation which combines with the phase compensation feature to restore the
brilliance and clarity of the original live sound. The result is, as one professional
journalist phrased it, "The most hearable advance in audio technology since
high fidelity itself!"
The Benefits of BBE¬ Technology
With BBE¬ sound processing technology, music has great "live presence."
Highs are clearer, naturally brilliant and more finely detailed. Lows are tight,
well defined, and harmonically rich.
Electric and acoustic guitars have sparkle, clarity, and definition. BBE¬
sound processing brings out the harmonic complexity and bite significantly increases
cutting power. Each note of a chord becomes more distinct. Brings your guitar
out of the "mud."
Keyboards and synthesizers take on new realism. Percussive and plucked sounds
are clear and sharp, chords are rich and full-textured, each note in the chord
retains its integrity.
Electric & acoustic basses take on that rich, earthy "CD" sound.
Five string players love what it does to the "B" string. Extremely tight,
punchy bottom end with all the presence, clarity and bite of the top end.
Vocals cut through the amplified instrument so you can be heard better. Lyrics
of the sound are no longer "buried in the mix".
Recording studios, home and professional, on individual tracks, multi-track down
to 2 track, cassette duplication and mastering, BBE¬ sound processing brings
out the full spectrum of sound. Mixes are fresh and sparkly. BBE¬ sound processing
expands the spatial dimension of stereo reverb and chorus.
BBE¬ sound processing will give you enough sparkle to restore instrument clarity
or increase vocal intelligibility without appreciably adding level.