Review: Brainworx Digital V2
Positives:Surgical accuracy, M-S processing, stereo width, mono Bass feature is amazing and tons more!
Negatives:Option overload, resource intensive - kind of expected for what it does though.
I was looking for a M-S EQ unit for a session a couple of years back and stumbled across this plugin while parousing the UAD plugin store. After watching the video I quickly realized that not only was this a REALLY powerful plugin, but it was going to be convoluted as hell to figure out! I purchased the plugin and quickly figured out how to do what I needed it to do, and it kind of sat on the “plugin shelf” for a while. One very slow day, I decided to take it out, blow the digital dust off and dive into this plug to see what it could do. After a few hours of tinkering around I discovered a lot of it’s secrets but for every one thing I learned about it, I found my self asking 2 or 3 more questions. Eventually, I bit the bullet and RTFM (read the F’n manual) and that pretty much answered the rest of the questions I had… so if you’re look at this plug (either for UAD or standalone through plugin-alliance.com) do yourself a favor and RTFM before you start tinkering, you’ll save a lot of frustration and hair!
So what does this do? Well, the question now, is more, what doesn’t it do… answer… compress. Yeah, pretty much it, it DOESN’T compress. Does just about everything else though. It features a stereo width function, that when used sparingly, does a REALLY good job at making things wider but not too phasey. (is that a word? according to spell check it’s not). The EQ section is a typical mastering EQ setup that you would see on any plugin suited to the task (ala Manley Massive Passive). When working with individual bands, the plugin can solo that band so you can hone in on the problem without hearing things around it. There is a mono bass function that will essentially take the low end material (you set the frequency threshold) and collapse it into the center channel. You would be amazed at how this can immediately clean up a muddy mix and tighten up the bottom in a few clicks. Another feature is the MS record mode which allows you to use MS recorded tracks and process and assemble them on an aux channel. There is a video of this being used to record a drum set, which I later tried with ASTOUNDING results. (talkin a 4 mic setup for an entire drum set that sounds almost better than when using 12 mics… its a very “special” flavor of a recording and not for everything, but that big 60’s sound or dare I say Zep drum sound…. yeah, there it is!!)
The plugin is a bit of a resource hog (which is why i got the UAD version over the native version) so if you’re trying to use this on a mix bus or as a channel processor be warned that you’re going to need some horse power.