Waves Ltd has announced the release of MaxxBCL, a new processor that combines Waves’ MaxxBass enhancer, Renaissance Compressor, and L2 Ultramaximizer limiter in one hardware unit for the first time. In addition, the new unit’s analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters exceed the performance of the acclaimed converters in the L2 Ultramaximizer hardware unit, a processor used on countless hit records and soundtracks.
MaxxBCL incorporates three of Waves’ well-known audio processors in a sturdy 2U rack-mount configuration: MaxxBass enhancer (which features a second-generation algorithm used in the company’s Renaissance Bass); Renaissance Compressor; and L2 Ultramaximizer limiter. All processing is performed in a 48-bit end-to-end path.
MaxxBass uses psychoacoustic principles to generate harmonics that add bass sound without adding bass frequencies, allowing listeners to hear bass lower than physically present. The dynamics of the original bass are duplicated in these harmonics, resulting in a very natural-sounding bass enhancement. The MaxxBass harmonics and the original bass can be mixed in any proportion at the output.
This allows mastering and post production engineers to create audio that translates well to consumer systems of varying size and capability by creating a “second level” of bass sound specifically aimed at small systems. Used in this way, the original content of the low frequency spectrum is retained, while MaxxBass is dialed in to generate harmonics that actually allow listeners to hear the lower notes, even on small systems. In addition, MaxxBass is ideal for adding deep and warm low end to archived music that lacks the powerful bass expected today.
The Renaissance Compressor provides the classic sound of analog compression, adding warmth and control to full mixes, vocals and instruments alike. Two compression modes are offered: ‘Opto’, which models a vintage optically driven compression system; and ‘Electro’, a modern-sounding compressor implementation. Full control of threshold, ratio and attack are included, along with Waves’ ARC™ (Automatic Release Control) that tailors the release time to the input signal, reacting in a way similar to the human ear, and dramatically increasing overall RMS level without sacrificing clarity or introducing artifacts. The Renaissance Compressor is also capable of low-level compression/expansion.
The L2 Ultramaximizer limiter, heard on countless hit recordings and soundtracks, has a very fast overshoot-free response that puts the sound up-front with astonishing transparency. The first Waves hardware L2 Ultramaximizer unit became a standard piece of gear in the best mastering and post facilities because of its ability to significantly increase signal level without introducing audible artifacts. In addition, the L2’s converters’ performance was equal to the best dedicated converters on the market. Now the MaxxBCL goes further, retaining the signature L2 algorithm and adding new converters that offer even better performance.
MaxxBCL features analog (both balanced and unbalanced) and digital inputs and outputs, the latter including both AES-EBU and S/PDIF capabilities at sample rates up to 96 kHz, allowing flexible analog and digital format conversion at the highest possible quality. Independent input and output level matching is provided in six steps from 9 to 24 dBu, with 12 additional 1 dB steps of level trim per channel available on the front panel. The input trim rotary switch is based on 1% resistor networks. Transformer-coupled analog I/O (with Jensen transformers on the input) is provided and the unit features a dynamic range of 125 dB. Post-requantization processing is supplied by Waves’ IDR (Increased Digital Resolution) dither system, which includes 9th order noise shaping to minimize audible noise while dithering to 16- or 24-bit output. The unit features a backlit panel and precision metering.
Waves MaxxBCL is now available with a U.S. MSRP of $3200.