Plugin Alliance and Brainworx have announced bx_subsynth, a massive digital makeover of the legendary dbx 120XP Subharmonic Synthesizer.
At the heart of bx_subsynth lies a meticulous model of the original hardware's Waveform Modeled Synthesis technology, which generates discrete bass frequencies one octave below its input signal. To this quintessential subharmonic generator Brainworx added a ton of powerful, new features that create even tighter, clearer, bigger and more resonant bass. The result is a modern-era processor with vintage soul that gives mix engineers, sound designers and DJs horsepower and control in sculpting a bone-rattling bottom end.
A multiband sub-bass generator, bx_subsynth offers exacting control over the distribution of energy in the audio spectrum's bottom two octaves. Separate knobs independently boost synthesized subharmonics in three discrete bass-frequency bands (versus the 120XP's two bands); the addition of a higher bass band for resynthesis allows bx_subsynth to capture the fundamental frequencies of a much wider variety of instruments. Helpful signal indicators show at a glance which subharmonic bands to boost for the most dramatic effect on different sources, while a signal-boosting input-trim screw for each band helps generate strong subharmonics even when input signals are weak. A solo function and output level meter for each band further guide the user in achieving the perfect balance of bass energy, and a master-volume knob adjusts the output level of the summed subharmonics.
An additional Edge processing block offers two unique modes that compress and saturate the signal to powerful effect. Smooth mode compacts the low end and reduces room tone—great for tightening and beefing up percussive tracks such as snare drum. Harsh mode clips signal peaks and increases average levels for a fuller, more saturated sound on pitched instruments such as bass guitar and for creating explosive, trashy-sounding drum tracks. Squeeze and Drive controls tame transients and adjust saturation depth for both modes, dialing in the perfect dynamic response and coloration in the sub bass. Adjustable Low Cut and High Cut filters focus the Edge processing in an optimized frequency range.
Yet more filters—and imaging controls—add to bx_subsynth's feature set. At the plugin's input, a Tight Punch control adjusts the cutoff frequency of a resonant highpass filter, simultaneously accentuating punch and taming excessive bass before subharmonic synthesis. The Low End control provides boost or cut around 55 Hz to sculpt the generated subharmonics' bottom-end response. And of course, being a Brainworx plugin, bx_subsynth is also a surgeon's knife for stereo imaging: On stereo tracks, users can choose to process only the mid channel or both left and right channels, collapse the processed bass to super-tight mono below an adjustable corner frequency, and widen the stereo image up to 400%.
Whether adding punch and weight to select tracks in music production, extending bass response on thin vinyl masters and old recordings made on narrow-gauge multitrack tape recorders, pumping up weak cinematic FX with theater-rumbling lows, or turbocharging a DJ sound system to woofer-shattering extremes, bx_subsynth gives users control in crafting the perfect, powerful bottom end.
Brainworx bx_subsynth is provided in AAX (native and DSP), VST and AU formats for Mac OS 10.8 or higher and Windows 7 through 10.
Pricing and release TBA.