Native Instruments have announced the launch of Brainworx bx_console AMEK 200, a powerful new channel strip plug-in that promises to deliver the transparency, precision and detail of a selection of 1980s mastering-grade AMEK hardware.
The plug-in’s EQ section is based on the AMEK EQ 200, and contains five fully parametric bands. By default, they each offer a ±15dB gain range, but the overall amount of processing applied can increased or decreased by a (0 – 200 %) Gain Scale control. Turning the Q control fully counterclockwise on the low, low-mid, high-mid and high bands will allow them to function as shelf filters, making it possible to apply Pultec-style EQ curves. In addition to the five-band EQ, there is also a dedicated filter module that offers variable high- and low-pass filters.
There are three routing options for the EQ module: Pre, which places it after the high- and low-pass filters and before the dynamics processing; Post, where it is placed after the compressor but before the limiter and clipper; and SC, which places it at the beginning of the side-chain circuit before all other modules. The filter section also offers multiple routing options: In, which places it straight after the input; Post, where it is applied between the compressor and limiter; and SC, which places it in the side-chain of the Gate/Expander and Compressor sections.
The Gate/Expander section is the same processor found in the company’s bx_console AMEK 9099 plug-in, and offers variable Threshold, Range, Ratio and Release controls, along with Fast, Med and Slow attack time options. There are also dedicated high- and low-pass filters for the section’s side-chain signals. The Compressor module then promises to deliver the sound of the AMEK Mastering Compressor, providing users with Threshold, Ratio, Timing and Make Up parameters, along with a Mix control that allows for built-in parallel compression.
A Limiter module follows, which emulates the AMEK Mastering Compressor’s peak-detection circuit to help avoid unwanted clipping and signal overloads. Finally, a VCA Clipper section based on Brainworx’ bx_clipper provides a way to increase loudness and introduce saturation.
The final section houses input and output level controls along with functions such as mute and polarity reversal, and offers a set of meters that provide visual feedback over levels and the behaviour of the dynamics processors. There are THD and V GAIN parameters that govern the amount harmonic distortion and artificial noise introduced, as well as a TMT (Tolerance Modeling Technology) setting that allows users to control the consistency of processing between the left and right channels. A Pan control is also present, whilst Mono Maker and Stereo Width knobs provide some control over the image of stereo material.
Brainworx bx_console AMEK 200 is supported on PCs running Windows 8 and above, and Macs running macOS 10.11 or higher. VST2, VST3, AU, AAX Native and AAX AudioSuite plug-in versions are available.
Pricing & Availability
Brainworx bx_console AMEK 200 is available now, and is being offered for an introductory price of $299 (reduced from $399) until 7 December 2023.