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Brainworx bx_digital V3

M/S Mastering EQ Plugin by Plugin Alliance
MyKVRFAVORITE24WANT6
Brainworx bx_digital V3 Brainworx bx_digital V3 Brainworx bx_digital V3 Brainworx bx_digital V3 Brainworx bx_digital V3 Brainworx bx_digital V3
Brainworx bx_digital V3 by Plugin Alliance / Brainworx is a Virtual Effect Audio Plugin for macOS and Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin, a VST 3 Plugin and an AAX Plugin.
Product
Version
3.9.1.0
System Requirements
Intel-compatible CPU with SSE2 instruction set (Pentium 4 compatible or higher; minimum 2 GHz recommended)
** We do not currently support Windows 10
Product
Version
3.6.1.0
System Requirements
Intel CPU only (minimum 2 GHz recommended)
*We do not currently support OS X El Capitan
Effect
Formats
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Brainworx's revolutionary flagship product, bx_digital, was the first commercially available Mid/Side equalizer plugin, and it still reigns supreme today as the EQ for mixing and mastering. The 11-band equalizer's forward-thinking feature set includes parametric bell, high- and low-shelving, and high- and low-pass filters for each channel; mono, dual-mono (L/R), stereo and mid-side modes of operation; a mid-side decoder (especially useful for recording acoustic instruments, drums and even bigger ensembles in a super mono-compatible and extremely natural way); spectrum-balancing Bass and Presence Shifters; the pioneering Mono Maker summing tool; and comprehensive imaging, monitoring and metering facilities for high-level mastering. The seminal plugin's first major upgrade, bx_digital V2, was voted #1 Best Plug-in of the Decade by Future Music and quickly became the standard by which other equalizers are judged.

Now Even More Powerful

With the release of bx_digital V3, the bar just got raised again. The major update extends the High Frequency band's upper range to 40 kHz to sweeten and add 'air' to high-resolution audio tracks, mixes and masters. A Dynamic EQ module, API-style Proportional Q filters and six notch filters (three per channel) have been added to handle any surgical mix or mastering task, making it a perfect tool for film mixing and post production as well. The unique Bass and Presence Shifters have been made much more versatile, each now offering a selection of three different tilt filters that balance and unmask hidden details in your mixes. V3's transparent high pass and low pass filters now provide alternate slopes to sculpt your tracks' high and low end and selectively weed out rumble and hiss with greater precision. And the new, global Gain Scale control makes proportional gain changes to all parametric, shelving, and Bass and Presence Shift filters at once—preserving your carefully wrought balance across all bands as you dial in the perfect overall amount of EQ.

All this power comes in two workspaces—separate component plugins for mixing and mastering—to help you work faster. On individual tracks that don't need surgical equalization, the "bx_digital V3 mix" plugin simplifies operation by excluding mid-side processing and additional meters. On your main subgroups and the master stereo bus during mixdown and mastering sessions, use the "bx_digital V3" plugin to roll out the big guns: a full complement of Mid/Side equalization controls and separate meters for pre- and post-EQ signal levels, L/R balance and correlation. Advanced imaging controls let you independently pan your mix's mid and side channels, widen the stereo image, swap left and right channels and center the phantom stereo image.

V3 for Clearer and Cleaner-Sounding Mixes and Masters

V3 is not a "character" EQ. It's eminently pristine, using ultra-transparent filters that minimize phase shift and frequency masking to deliver clearer and more focused mixes and masters. The Bass and Presence Shifters produce opposing boosts and cuts in adjacent bands to prevent excess spectral energy buildup that can make mixes sound boomy, blurry or edgy. Each Shifter in V3 offers a selection of three different tilt-equalization sounds featuring different boost and cut frequencies, bandwidths and relative gain. Use them, for example, to boost your mix's low-bass punch while simultaneously clearing out muddy upper-bass and low-midrange frequencies. Or increase presence to spotlight guitars and vocals, while softening searing cymbals. You'll work faster: a mouse click and single knob twist are all it takes.

V3's new Proportional Q filters are another huge plus. These filters progressively adapt the Q as you increase or decrease gain, focusing your boosts and cuts exactly where they're needed and without suffering tradeoffs in neighboring bands. Boost bass frequencies on male vocals to accentuate the singer's powerful chest register—without muddying the lower midrange. Cut honky midrange frequencies on the kick drum track while fully preserving the beater's high-frequency slap. V3 is precise.

The V3 update also updates the simple De-Esser that was included in bx_digital V2 to a much more versatile Dynamic EQ that can compress or upwardly expand any frequency band from 20 to 22 kHz. Sure, the Dynamic EQ can still de-ess sibilant vocals and cymbals. But you can also use it to automatically attenuate bass frequencies on an acoustic guitar track only when the guitar gets boomy, leaving it unprocessed at all other times. Or use it to boost bass drums in complex signals. You can also tame the high frequencies of a vocal performance automated, only when a singer hits the top of their range. The Dynamic EQ is all about consistent tone—and less need for time-consuming EQ automation. Setup is a snap: a Solo function lets you hear the frequency band that the Dynamic EQ will treat as you dial it in. Set the Speed switch to Fast to nip speedy sibilance in the bud or Slow to tame boomy bass frequencies without pumping. Place the Dynamic EQ before or after V3's main filter section with the click of a mouse.

V3's innovative Solo functions help you make smarter EQ decisions while working fast. Activate the Auto-Solo and Auto-Listen switches to add touch-sensitive functionality to Gain, Q and Frequency controls in all bands. With Auto Listen, the Gain and Q controls will automatically solo the respective changes they apply to each band, while doing the same to a Frequency control will automatically solo the filter in the channel. Auto Solo automatically switches monitoring to the respective channel (M or S, L or R) on which Gain, Q and Frequency are being adjusted. Separate frequency-response graphs for each channel constantly update to illustrate the results of your tweaks. You'll see and hear your EQ adjustments like never before.

Incredibly powerful but easy to use, bx_digital V3 sets a new standard for equalization. Activate the fully functional 14-day demo with your Plugin Alliance account today to hear for yourself! (No dongle required!)

Features:

  • Three operational modes: L/R (dual-mono), M/S Master (Mid/Side) and unique M/S Recording (processes Mid/Side signals in real-time and outputs L/R stereo).
  • Mono, dual-mono, stereo and Mid/Side configurations, multi-mono (Surround).
  • Two component plugins simplify and speed workflow for mixing and mastering.
  • Eleven broadly overlapping bands per channel.
  • LF, LMF, MF, HMF and HF bands are fully parametric (offering separate Gain, Q and Frequency controls in each band) and can be switched globally for Proportional Q response.
  • LMF, MF and HMF bands each provide notch filtering at their lowest gain setting, while offering adjustable Q per band.
  • LF and HF bands provide respective low- and high-shelving EQ at their lowest Q setting.
  • Separate, continuously variable low-pass and high-pass filter for each channel, each offering 6dB or 12dB/octave slope or bypassed state.
  • Bass Shift and Presence Shift modules each offer three tilt-equalization sounds.
  • Dynamic EQ module boosts or cuts only when needed to correct undesirable, momentary peaks or enhance your signal with creative boosts.
  • Gain Scale control adjusts all gain controls for parametric, shelving, and Bass and Presence Shift filters at once; negative values invert the EQ curve to change boosts to cuts and vice versa.
  • Mono Maker folds frequencies to mono below its selected corner frequency (20 Hz to 22 kHz), lending focus to any part of your mix and helping to preserve the side channel's headroom when tightening the low-end.
  • Extremely flexible control linking: Each band and filter can be independently linked with its respective counterpart in the opposing channel (left-channel filter linked to its corresponding right-channel filter, or mid linked to side).

{See video at top of page}

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 3.00 from 1 review

Brainworx bx_digital V3
Reviewed By RobertSchulz
October 5th, 2022

bx_digital is a great overall tool for mastering (offers a lot of special features combined), which I will use it for, but in my honest opinion not the best M/S EQ or EQ in general for mastering and I want to tell you why:

  1. The interface is a bit clumsy and hard to read. Sections aren't clearly separated, parameter which obviously belong together aren't layed out as close as they should be and some parameters are placed on quite unusual places or their use is not easy to understand due to an confusing parameter name. - Now this is a problem I encountered in many brainworx plugins, and although I know the guys of brainworx work hard and do great things to their plugins under the hood, this a thing which turns me away from using their plugins, everytime I feel to dig into it/them again.
    -.
  2. No Mute/Bypass for MID or SIDE processing. - Now bx_digital offers plenty of options to solo a single band and the section (Mid or Side) connected to it. But it doesn't offer a way to bypass or mute the EQ processing of a section, which is in my opinion quite a vital feature to an M/S EQ (especially for a high-end MS/ EQ of that kind) and I really was suprised that bx_digital didn't has it.

    Why would you need that, you ask? Well, You want to bypass just the mide or sides to adjust the EQ bands and control whether the processed signal really sounds better than before (look how the EQ altered the signal of that section only).

    In this plugin, you need to disable all other filters of a section to achieve that. A No-go for me.
    -.
  3. No fixed solo for bands. - The only way in bx_digital to solo a specific band is to tweak (actually change its setting) and hold a band-related parameter or disable all other filters. It is not possible to solo more than 1 band and not possible to solo a single band in a fixed manner. Bad.
    -.
  4. Auto-Solo and/or Auto-Listen itself is a mess - Auto-Solo soloes the section (mid or side), Auto-Listen actually the frequency band, but Auto-Listen only soloes while you tweak, if you rest the parameter, it stops soloing.

    Beside this you can choose between whether you want to solo the gain, frequency and bandwidth of the soloed band. Why should anyone need that?

    If I want to solo a band, I want to hear how I change it, not anything else. Here I think Dirk went too much into the detail in a rather unneeded feature and wasted time and capacity in place of more important aspects of the plugin.

    Conclusion: The logic and sense behind the concept of these both functions I feel as very unuseful.
    -

  5. The slopes of High and Low Shelves are fixed, not adjustable. - When not providing a Q-value (which is common), you should provide at least different types of slopes. But here nothing.

    Tip: You can use reduce the presence or bass shift to alter the slope a little but as described in a minute this also affects adjacent frequencies.
    -.
  6. Parameter values do not reset to its default value at double or right click. - It is only possible by using CTRL or CMD and click. - You might say this is nitpicky, but if you use the plugin more often you definitely have a problem with that.
    -.
  7. Presence and bass shift features affect other bands. - I think the idea behind that is great and unique to bx_digital but however it isn't as useful for me when bass or high-end boost reduces the frequencies ranges around. Yes, a Pultec is based on doing exactly that, but this one is not a Pultec-EQ, it is a transparent mastering EQ, which you use for sublte changes, not to deconstruct the EQ-curve of your entired mix.

    Speaking about the controls of Presence and bass shift in the dedicated sections, the layout is actually assymetrical between the Mid and the Side sections. On the left side, the dynamic EQ is at third place, while at the right side the dynamic EQ knob is at first, shifting both controls. This can be a little inconvenient if you're adjusting them both, but that just a simple note.
    -.
  8. Dynamic EQ does not offer threshold and adjustable times. - This a new feature of V3 and a succesor to the in-built De-Esser and you can adjust the frequency but to use it as clear dynamic EQ it is limited in what it can do (no threshold, no accurate Attack and release times).
    -.
  9. The visualized graph does not give a clue about which filter is doing what exactly. - There is no visual help to detect immediately which filter does what in the signal. You need to tweak the filter to get an impression what is doing what.

    Especially on long sessions with many filters engaged a bad thing, where you don't recognize the setting in an instant. Just a little mark with the name or number of the filter could help, but isn't there.
    -.
  10. No quick reset for Mid or Side section. - If you completely think with the eqing of the side and want to readjust the parameters for the mid (or vice versa), there's no way to reset all parameters for a section only at once.

bx_digital might have been a great tool for years and a pioneer as M/S equalizer once, but there are really better options available today, just for the EQ part.

Other feature wishes:

  1. Gain Scale - independent for Mid and Side.
  2. Disable the graph with the discontinued lines of the unused filters in the analyzer (Quite distracting).
Read Review

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