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Brainworx bx_refinement

Harshness Control Plugin by Plugin Alliance
bx_refinement bx_refinement bx_refinement Brainworx bx_refinement
Brainworx bx_refinement 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.
Intel-compatible CPU with SSE2 instruction set (Pentium 4 compatible or higher; we recommend at least 2 GHz)
Windows XP or higher (Windows 7 or higher recommended)
Pro Tools 9 or higher or a VST/VST3-compatible host
Display resolution of 1440 x 900 px / 1280 x 960 px or higher
Intel CPU only (we recommend at least 2 GHz)
Mac OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or higher
Pro Tools 9 or higher or a VST/VST3/AU-compatible host
Display resolution of 1440 x 900 px / 1280 x 960 px or higher
Copy Protection
Online Activation (Challenge / Response)
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bx_refinement allows you to eliminate unpleasant high frequencies from complex signals and mixes. The intuitive controls let you adjust various aspects of the sound with ease. Based on M/S (Mid/Side) processing, it imparts a tube-like analog smoothness and is a boon for mix engineers looking to tame unpleasant digital hardness on individual tracks.

Now You Can:

  • Bring the sound of a tube-like analog mastering chain to your workstations.
  • Easily soften high frequency harshness in mixes and masters.
  • Inject saturation and presence to subtly enhance your tracks.
  • Use the Solo feature to hear exactly what you're removing from the recording.

Add Tube-like Tone

bx_refinement is not an emulation of a certain tube sound per se. Instead, it combines several characteristics found in ultra-musical tube-based equipment to give you an effective tool that is easy-to-operate. As you tweak the bx_refinement controls, the tube graphic gives you precise visual feedback showing you how intensely the process is being applied. Simply by looking at the tube's glow you'll see how much, how fast, and how dynamic the processing is affecting the signal.

Easily Target Problem Areas

With powerful, simple controls, bx_refinement allows you to quickly identify and discard offending frequencies. The core of bx_refinement is the Damping control. It features a dynamic peak band EQ, reducing harsh frequencies. The Solo Filter button lets you listen to only the frequencies you're removing while the Soft/Hard function sets the character of the processing.

Dynamic Flexibility

The Damping Modulation section lets you tweak the processor according to the peak level of the input material. You can also implement an oscillation option to create nice warming effects and adjust the speed of the oscillator with the duration knob. Just sync the oscillator to your DAW's tempo to emphasize rhythmic aspects of your mix or master. It's a processor that will truly stand alone in your sonic toolkit.

Native Free Trials

Click here to download a fully functional 14 day trial for Windows.

Click here to download a fully functional 14 day trial for Mac.

Also Available on UAD

For more information about the bx_refinement on the UAD system click here.


Glenn Schick | Mastering Engineer - T.I, Elton John, Janet Jackson, Of Montreal.

I've been an analog based mastering engineer for the past 20 years. When people used to ask what plug-ins I used, I would always respond with "plug-ins? I don't use no stinking plug-ins." And then Brainworx came into my life. The bx_refinement tool is not for people looking for wow factor on a mastering buss. But it did wow me. Its subtle way of de-harshing, smoothing, making things smooth and cohesive, deserves a wow. It brings the round and warm back into a master that is different than tradition EQ and compression. The bx refinement is a great tool for for today's over processed and harsh tracks. Bravo Brainworx.

All Things Gear bx_refinement Review

{See video at top of page}

More about the bx_refinement on YouTube

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 4.33 from 3 reviews
Brainworx bx_refinement

Reviewed By Stoogie [all]
November 11th, 2016
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows

This plugin is amazing. Since buying it it has helped me achieve better resulting mixes on a few projects.

I only tend to apply about 2-3 dB of the filter to get rid of any harshness and this certainly helps create a more 'analogue' warmth. The solo function is fantastic as it lets you hear exactly what is being removed from the original source.

I don't often write reviews on things but his one deserves it. It's not an 'in your face' effect but if you bypass it you certainy notice the difference. I have tried recreating this effect with various EQ's but it just doesn't compare.

I grabbed it when it was on sale and I have never regretted it. I use it mostly when mastering but I have also used it to tame down the harshness on tracks in projects. One example was doing some post production work for a client's video of a school choir. The audio from the cameras microphone was extremely bright and harsh. This plugin helped tame that source audio sufficiently without losing any of the useful high frequency information.

As their website suggests, grab the software and give it a go for yorself. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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Brainworx bx_refinement

Reviewed By Aleister7 [all]
July 11th, 2014
Version reviewed: Win 7 64 on Windows

I've been doing music production for 25 years, working with tape, digital, you name it. 5 years ago, I focused my business almost exclusively on mastering.

I had just received a New Orleans Jazz Brass Band CD to master when this plug-in came out. Perfect timing! This plug-in was just the thing to smooth the rough edges of the brass section (800 Hz - 5 kHz range) without damaging the tonality. It is also useful for smoothing in the mix context - anything that has that biting, harsh, grainy edge that is so often the downside of digital, especially the prevelent cheap converters, microphones and pre-amps in project studios.

Many of my clients send me mixes that have an excess of digital harshness. Though I had developed ways to smooth out their mixes, the bx_refinement tool is a kind of 'One Stop Shop' for the job; better than any tape emulation, eq, multi-band compressor or other effects I have used for this purpose.

The bx_refinement is not just useful for mastering. If more of my clients used it in their mixes on the harshest tracks, it would make their mixes a lot better and my life a lot easier..

The presence effect is nice too. Just don't overdo the Saturation on tracks that already have a lot of character.

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Brainworx bx_refinement

Reviewed By medienhexer [all]
July 8th, 2014
Version reviewed: 10.9 on Mac

I'm usually cautious when a company claims to have found the magic sauce to make anything taste better. In the past months, I've tried and used a whole lot of tube/tape emulating plug-ins and improved my understanding of saturation a lot. However, so far, I found that it mostly helps make good sorces sound more interesting or shape them into something else. Bad sounding sources continue to sound bad.

And along comes this nice plug-in. So far, for everything I sent through it, it has indeed been an improvement. I would describe the effect as cleaning up the high mids and extending the audible information into the treble end. Interestingly, this also balances the perception of lower mid and bass.

What that means is it will remove annoying characteristics first and then allow you to enhance the remaining signal without sounding artificially excited/enhanced (if you resist the temptation of over doing it). When you bypass it, the original signal will sound unpleasantly resonant in the upper mids and more restricted towards the treble end, as though treated with several low-pass filters with resonance turned up.

So far, I tried it on self-recorded acoustic (one Røde NT5) and electric guitar (classic Strat through Lehle Sunday Driver into FireFace Hi-Z), on vocals, on Logic's drum kits and on a church choir recorded by my dad with a Stereo mic. In all cases, the results were an improvement. Easier to mix in case of the single instruments because there seems to be more space available after treatment with the bx and more up front and more pleasant in case of the stereo recording. So basically, what you'd expect from gentle saturation, with the added benefit of being able to gradually tune out nasty frequencies.

i do wish there was a frequency knob in addition to the intensity knob, but even at its current state, it's a very helpful tool which makes any further processing and the mixing process much easier.

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