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I could read the manuals but I'm feeling lazy today. Who has used both and can shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of each?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I've used MaxxBass and RenBass for years and have been using LoAir for about a year. Here are my observations:

MaxxBass and RenBass have a similar sound. RenBass has simpler (slimmed down) controls. While they sound the same, they also can sound different :) I use them for adding punch, thump, or weight to a sound. Sometimes MaxxBass works sometimes RenBass, it all depends on the material.

LoAir is completely different. It is supposed to be like a subharmonic synth (I've never used one). I use LoAir when I want boom, when I want to shake the house, and when I want my sub bumping. While I find LoAir is much more of a "wow" effect than the others, I also find that it is easier to make things sound terrible using it.

When I'm designing guns, I rarely use LoAir but often use MaxxBass or RenBass. LoAir works better for me on things like explosions or big monster footsteps/bodyfalls. I also tend to use LoAir at more extreme settings than the other 2.

That's my take on it, others may have different experiences.

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As I understand it, LoAir enhance/adds in subharmonic or low end content. MaxxBass adds in harmonic content in the upper registers to help perceive the low end of a track as more present and louder witout overdriving the low end (it's really good for that too).

So MaxxBass=adds/enhances upper registry harmonics for low end sound, LoAir=adds/enhances lower frequency content for higher end/thin sounds.

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Thanks for this Shaun! –  C3Sound Oct 13 '10 at 23:56
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If you're considering LoAir also checkout LowEnder - its based on the dbx subharmonic synth & has just been released in RTAS format and works wickedly well, is very affordable & theres no WUP bizo...

http://www.refusesoftware.com

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@Tim, thanks - had not heard of it before now. Looks good, and killer price. Will check out the demo. Have you done a taste test between it and LoAir? –  Jay Jennings Oct 14 '10 at 3:03
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@Jay I do plan to sometime - I also have an outboard dbx120XP so would like to compare them with it too –  user49 Oct 14 '10 at 18:32
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I have also been wondering the same thing and Tim Prebble's LowEnder suggestion does look good. What about Waves RBass? How does it compare to LoAir and Maxxbass?

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Shaun's description of the differences between Maxxbass and LoAir are spot on. To my ears, RBass and Maxxbass do relatively the same thing. Although I like Maxxbass more for bumping around 60kHz, while RBass is much better at adding body more in the 120kHz-200kHz range. As Tim said, LoAir works like a dbx subharmonic synth...great for your next earthquake disaster movie. –  Justin P Oct 15 '10 at 2:56
    
@Justin, thanks for that. I think RBass might be a useful addition. –  Bern OReilly Oct 15 '10 at 12:33
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