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Brainworx release bx_XL V3

Mid-Side limiter gains news modes & features

Brainworx bx_XL V3 Mid-Side limiter plug-in mixing mastering

The latest release from Brainworx takes the Mid-Side technology featured in bx_digital EQ, and places it in a mastering-focused limiter plug-in. The resulting bx_XL V3 splits the Mid signal into two bands for more detailed dynamics control, and has been designed to deliver loud masters without sacrificing clarity. 

Mid-Sides & Band Splits

As well as encoding a stereo signal into the Mid-Sides format, the plug-in also provides users with a crossover section that allows the Mid signal to be split into two frequency bands, and provides an identical set of dynamics controls in three sections labelled Mid Lo, Mid Hi and Side. Each section then offers independent Gain, Threshold, Attack and Release controls, along with an XL parameter which introduces third- and fifth-order harmonics to increase the signal’s perceived level without significantly increasing the actual output level. 

A Fader Link switch in each section can be used to link the movement of the band’s Gain and Threshold faders in order to drive the signal harder into the limiter without affecting the overall channel volume, and a Sidechain button allows a custom side-chain signal (more of which below) to govern the limiter’s behaviour rather than the channel signal itself. There’s also a Solo button that makes it possible to listen to each band in isolation. Using the Global section, users are able to apply changes to the XL, Gain and Threshold parameters across all bands simultaneously while maintaining their relative differences. 

Side-chain, I/O & Summing

Ever since the first version of the plug-in, bx_XL has allowed users to create their own custom side-chain signals, and there’s no change to that with V3. Information can be routed freely between each band, as well as being mixed with an external key source, offering a huge amount of control over the way that gain reduction is applied. 

Once the signal has made its way through the three processing bands, it reaches the TP Limiter section, which now boasts Modern and Classic operating modes and includes some helpful functionality derived from the company’s bx_True Peak Limiter plug-in. Gain, Ceiling and Release controls are joined by a toggle switch for the two operating modes, and a Channel Link dial offers continuously variable control over side-chain linking. An IO Level section then provides control over the left and right input levels as well as Mid and Side levels within the plug-in, and finally, a Summing Amp panel offers stereo placement of Mid and Sides signals along with a master output level. 


bx_XL V3 is supported on PCs running Windows 10 and above, and Macs running macOS 11 or higher. VST2, VST3, AU and AAX plug-in versions are available.

Pricing & Availability

bx_XL V3 is available now, and is being offered for an introductory price of $89.99 until 8 July 2024, when it will increase to $299.

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