Test Drive: The First B.A.S.E. from Gamma Electronic Systems, Inc.

by Jerry Vigil

First BASE

It's called First B.A.S.E. and comes to us from Gamma Electronic Systems, Inc. in Glendale, California. B.A.S.E. stands for Bedini Audio Spatial Environment. Bedini is the last name of the inventor, John Bedini, who is better known for his high-end stereo amplifiers. The B.A.S.E. unit is a stereo "enhancer" of sorts, but it is more than just a box you put on line to increase stereo separation. It separates stereo information from the mono information in a stereo input and lets you manipulate these separate signals individually.

To understand how B.A.S.E. works, you must first understand a little about how the brain works. Our brain receives audio in mono, but it receives this mono information binaurally -- with two ears. If a lead guitar appears to come from the left channel of a stereo system, that left speaker is a mono source, as far as our brain is concerned. Because the lead guitar is closer to our left ear than our right ear, our brain perceives the audio as coming from a direction to our left. This "spatial" perception is a result of the tiny difference between the time it takes the lead guitar to reach our left ear and the time it takes the audio to reach our right ear.

The B.A.S.E. process focuses upon this timing aspect of audio perception and manipulates the timing so as to "fool" our brain into thinking that the audio is coming from a place other than the actual source, or the speaker. This manipulation is basically (very basically) a 180 degree reversal of phase between left channel and right channel information, but the degree of phase reversal is not constant. On a scope, this phase relationship may look constant, but the rate at which the phase relationship is changing is so quick that conventional test equipment is unable to show you what is really happening. As a result of this special process, when you sum the outputs of the B.A.S.E. box by putting your console or amplifier in the mono mode, there is very little, if any, apparent cancellation of audio, as is the case when you sum two normal signals that are 180 degrees out of phase.

Now, consider that it is only the extracted "stereo" information that the B.A.S.E. system is messing with. Since the mono information is separated from the stereo information, the mono information of the signal can be re-introduced into this modified "stereo" signal and provide a unique blend of audio, some of which is out of phase and some of which is in phase. In the studio, the result is quite interesting.