Brainworx bx_XL is a very interesting mastering limiter. Unlike its most competitors, it works with M / S principle. This gives a totally new perspective to the limiting compared to the normal stereo. Except that the signal can be divided using  M / S principle, the mid signal can be further divided into in two frequency bands and the crossover frequency can be freely adjusted.

How well does the Brainworx bx_XL mastering limiter work in practice? I did a quick comparison with one of its competitors. When you drive signal really hard to the limiter, of course in some point you will hear audible side-effects. Put to the extreme, Brainworx bx_XL sounds warm but the sound just doesn’t breathe anymore. But still, this limiter plug-in takes considerable amount of signal in before disturbing side effects start to grow obtrusive.

There is a little thing to complain, too. Despite of the fact that the user interface is looking cool, I think it could be lighter or the colors could be adjustable. Well, this feature doesn’t affect the sound quality and I guess some users may like it just how it is.

Overall, the greatest benefit of this plug-in is its large various controls over the signal yet being just a limiter. The argument that you can get a lot more sound levels out of it compared to its competitors, however, is not true. You can get much the same, but there is no significant advantage in terms of loudness. Anyway, Brainworx bx_XL is a very good limiter and I would consider buying it.

Pros:

  • Offers much control over the signal being just a limiter

Cons:

  • The darkness of the user interface

Verdict: 4 / 5

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