- Does the Lowender do the same thing as Waves' RBass or MaxxBass plug-ins?
Although they are often confused, the Lowender is a very different animal than Waves’ Renaissance Bass (aka RBass) or MaxxBass plug-ins. This is not just marketing babble - the effects were designed to do two completely different things.
(For the sake of this explanation, I’ll be collectively referring to the Waves bass enhancement plug-ins as “MaxxBass” because, according to the Waves website, RBass is just a simplied version of MaxxBass.)
In a sense, Lowender and MaxxBass are actually opposites. Lowender is creating new frequencies lower than the existing ones (that’s the “sub” in subharmonic, meaning “below-the-existing”), whereas MaxxBass creates new frequencies higher than the existing ones.
Here’s how they work: MaxxBass generates additional harmonics in the lower-midrange, to give the impression of louder bass (for example, on small TV speakers not capable of low frequency reproduction). In contrast, Lowender generates new subharmonics an octave down from the original signal, to actually create deeper bass frequencies.
To illustrate, here is a graph of affected frequencies, taken from a screenshot of MaxxBass in action:
Compare that to this graph of a 101 Hz sine wave, first by itself, then run through Lowender:
As you can see, the Lowender is adding a strong sub-harmonic under the 101 Hz fundamental tone, but NOT adding in higher frequencies.
Those are the essential differences between Lowender and MaxxBass. To clarify one small point about Lowender, it is actually capable of generating some higher frequencies, through use of the Drive control, as distortion by its nature creates upper harmonics. That is why we provided the Lowpass control after the Drive - so that you can overdrive the bass frequencies, yet keep those upper harmonics suppressed if you wish.