Introducing BassMX

Introducing BassMX

One of the things I have always enjoyed on my Amigas is watching demos. Close the curtains, turn off the lights, turn up the volume and enjoy.. Especially when using a Hi-Fi system with proper speakers instead of the little speakers in the monitor.

As a bit of an audiophile, the one thing that has always bothered me a little is the Amiga's perfect channel separation, also sometimes known as "drums on one speaker and the bassline on the other". This can cause the sound to be a bit unbalanced. I know that some people have been advocating to simply switch to mono, but that is a bridge too far for me - I'd like to keep it stereo.

So here is my solution, called "BassMX". It takes the audio from one channel, filters it so that only the low frequencies are kept and mixes that with the audio from the other channel. In short, it mixes the bass. And it does that for both channels of course.

In theory this means that the bassline and drums are now on both speakers while the locations of other instruments are unaffected. In practice it depends on the actual instruments used. While the bass drum will be centred, the high-hat will not be, for example. Similar with a slap-bass, where the slap part will still be only on the original channel but the bass sound itself will be on both channels.

I'm aware that this is not something that everybody will like, and that is fine of course. Below I have provided a couple of audio files that show the effect that BassMX has so that you can make up your own mind about it.

 Lotus Turbo Challenge 2
 (by Barry Leitch)

BassMX
Original
 Phenomena - Enigma
 (Musiklinjen by Firefox and Tip)
BassMX
Original

 Sanity - Arte
 (Livin' Insanity by Moby)

BassMX
Original
 Budbrain Megademo 2
 (YoAfrica-dia by Diablo)
BassMX
Original

Please note that BassMX is meant to be used with a standard stereo setup. If you are using a sound system with a subwoofer then you may not hear much difference.

While I am finalising the new V1.1 design that can take a power supply between 5 to 12 Volt I still have some finished modules of the initial 5V-only V1.0 design available. As described at the end of the design process post, these 5V versions do need a clean power supply with no noise on it - otherwise the power supply noise will be audible in the audio output. If you're interested in one of these pre-release BassMX modules then please shoot me an email at edwin at edsa dot uk.

As soon as the final version of the BassMX module is available I'll update this post..

Posted on