Getting the warm, musical sound of dusty large-format consoles into DAWs’ clinically pure audio engines has been top priority for software developers over the past few years. The result is lots of unusually great-sounding music and a severely saturated market where coming up with yet another SSL emulation or whatever, and claiming it’s better than “those other guys’ products” hardly cuts it any longer. Then again, those interested in such processing in the first place usually know what they are after, rarely having trouble finding the right tool for the job.
Anyway, let’s give bx_console N a big, warm welcome. Like the original bx_console, Brainworx‘s plug-in models the 72-channel Neve VXS analog console, this time with the addition of per-channel saturation control and one-click random channel assignments. The way bx_console N is designed, it doesn’t provide 72 equal copies of a single Neve VXS channel. Rather, channel-to-channel variances in analog components’ values are modeled and you have the liberty of assigning a different console channel to each of your tracks. This way, the plug-in gets much closer to how a real Neve VXS does things.
With Brainworx’s own TMT (Tolerance Modeling Technology) driving the backend, over 150 individual electronic components specified by Neve are recreated in the name of realism. They are put to good use, for bx_console N comes with fully functional emulations of the Neve VXS channel strip – including a Compressor/Limiter, Gate/Expander, a 4-band equalizer, and wide HP/LP filters. Due to component tolerance modeling, the EQ and Dynamics response curves vary between the 72 channels, too.
Overall, bx_console N is a mighty piece of virtual kit that’s likely worth the investment if you are into the thick, wide Neve sound. As far as we know, no competing products offer such an elaborate recreation of the Neve VXS, which is the British brand’s flagship 90’s era analog console. One of them happened to be owned by George Lucas, serving its duty in Skywalker Sound Studio 1 – albeit with custom modifications to the EQ and preamps. That makes for an interesting little bit of trivia!
Price and availability
bx_console N is available now from Plugin Alliance at an introductory price of $179, down from $299 regular. The plug-in is compatible with Windows and Mac machines. We find the pricing competitive, and there is no direct alternative to the product at the moment.