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jazzfan's picture
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 8:55am
Aphex Aural Exciter System


Prisoner in Disguise, Asylum, 0698.

"Pick me up if my feet are draggin'
Gimme a lift an' I'll hay your wagon..."

The tiny gal with the big voice. She's a belter, all right!
When she went fer that Brown feller, ah cried mah eyes out!


What is/was the "Aphex Aural Exciter System"? Which was used on some of those great sounding Linda Ronstadt LPs of the 1970s.

Buddha's picture
Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: Aphex Aural Exciter System

" is a nose but you better not pick it..."

I've always wondered how, in the analog domain, that Exciter worked.

What is was supposed to do is add harmonics to the sound that went in it. It must have been like a reverb and parametric equalizer in one package, or something.

But how would an analog electronic device know how to add harmonics?

Anyway, I used to wonder if maybe this device looks at some cut-off frequency that was commonly used and then adds harmonics to that frequency to give you the impression of greater frequency extension.

I have no clue if that's true. I'd love to see someone 'splain it properly.

I also used to like pondering the DBX 3BX, but it was easier to figure out.

Given the compression of today's pop mixing, it may be time to introduce a new generation of dynamic expansion and "contraction" DBX-like devices to our new pieces of "perfect sound forever."

In fact, I have an old 3BX in a box somewhere - I wonder, with a disc like that Santana CD described in Stereophile, if I could get blacker blacks and whiter whites?

Ah, but that would mean having to buy that disc. Sadly, that's a deal killer.

jazzfan's picture
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 8:55am
Re: Aphex Aural Exciter System

Well I've answered my own question, sort of. Through the wonders of the internet I did a search for the "Aphex Aural Exciter System" and lo and behold what should pop up but Aphex's website with infromation on their latest and greatest version on the Aphex Aural Exciter.

the following is taken from the PDF of the User Manual for the Aphex Aural Exciter. The entire manual and other information can be obtained by following this link:

Aphex Aural Exciter


The AURAL EXCITER is an audio processor that recreates and restores missing harmonics. Harmonics are musically and dynamically related to the original sound, revealing the fine differences between voices and various instruments.

Reproduced sound is audibly different than the original live sound because of the loss in harmonic detail, often sounding dull and lifeless. The Aural Exciter adds harmonics, restoring the sounds natural brightness, clarity and presence, effectively improving detail and intelligibility. Using the Aural Exciter on specific instruments and/or in the final mix brings life back to the recording.

The original Aural Exciter patent disclosed a method for generating harmonics which was amplitude dependent. In nature, generally speaking, the higher the amplitude, the higher the amount of harmonics. There are instances, however, in which there are high level sinusoidal waveforms, which should not have harmonics added, and other instances which have low level transients, which could be enhanced by additional harmonics. Our latest patent, the Transient Discriminate Harmonics Generator, recognizes transients (transient discriminate) over a wide dynamic range and generates harmonics on them. The result is a more predictable and natural sounding enhancement over a wider range of inputs.

The Aural Exciter extends the high frequencies, unlike EQ

JoeE SP9
JoeE SP9's picture
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: Oct 31 2005 - 6:02pm
Re: Aphex Aural Exciter System

Send me the 3BX and I'll let you know. I've already wasted my money on the Santana disc.

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