How it started

Looking at the skills and expertise that our team has been able to build over the last 10+ years, we at Brainworx asked ourselves what would happen if we applied our dark magic to virtual instruments.

To that date we had already tackled many analog circuits and successfully ported them to a digital world. We knew how to algorithmically model them accurately and had created environments and workflows that allowed us to match the digital counterparts to the analog originals to a degree that they phase-cancelled each other. Everyone loves a good challenge and so did our development team. We quickly found out, that we have quite a few synthesizer enthusiasts among us.

During the next months we modeled the originals circuit by circuit and had quite a few listening sessions in our in-house studio were we compared hardware and software. During this time we developed ideas for the additional features like the M/S filtering and tested those in the same environment until we were happy with them. It was clear to us by that time that we want this to be a product and that our modeling approach and the Tolerance Modeling Technology gives the bx_oberhausen something many software synths lack. Some would describe it as an analog sound - it is the effect of small nuances and differences caused by TMT which make bx_oberhausen behave more like its analog counterparts: not all voices sound exactly the same, they differ (slightly) in envelope, VCO pitch, LFO speed and other characteristics.

We included synth experts from an early stage into our development cycle and collected their feedback on sound and features. We received a lot of very positive reactions, like people spontaneously sending us songs they have done with (the early version) of bx_oberhausen. To us receiving such songs was the greatest feedback as it meant that using bx_oberhausen inspired them to make music.

Sphere Studios

With bx_oberhausen maturing we tried to find a time and place where Plugin Alliance could introduce the Brainworx bx_oberhausen to a crowd of professional artists. It was an easy decision to do this around NAMM as many people whom we wanted to be there were in the same spot.

As for the location we were looking for a studio location which gave Plugin Alliance the space and ambience to present bx_oberhausen, DS Audio Thorn and Unfiltered Audio LION. Of course we wanted there to be a professional listening environment as well. With the help of CEO and founder Dirk Ulrich who has become a local to Los Angeles we quickly found Sphere Studios and were very exited to find out that they had time for having us on NAMM Sunday.

Studio A (Sphere Studios L.A.)

Not only are the Sphere Studios a very professional surrounding - just looking at the recordings that have been done there makes that clear, but they are an ambience which makes working there a pleasure. Francesco Cameli, the owner of SPHERE Studios and his team made us feel at home from the first minute.

Mischke (Michael Jackson, Gwen Stefani, Britney Spears) & Dave Pensado (Pensado’s Place)

Our goal was of course to invite artists which have a background that includes synthesizers, so that we could collect their feedback. We were very happy to find that some artists who like our mixing and mastering tools also have an impressive experience with synthesizers.

Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL (Mad Max, Deadpool)

Others were not so close to our existing product portfolio and we were very happy that they took the time to visit us and engaged in very fruitful discussions.

Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater)

We had setup the rooms so that a group of people was always in the engineering room having a close listen to bx_oberhausen in a perfect listening environment Sphere provides. Others could take a closer look at the three products and play with them at individual stations. It's not easy to transport the many conversations, ideas and studio anecdotes that were exchanged, I hope the pictures give you a good impression of the atmosphere.

The story continues

We have now released version 1.0 of bx_oberhausen and I am proud and happy to have been part of the team behind its story. I am very much looking forward to the discussions with our users, the articles and videos and most of all the music made with bx_oberhausen.

Since we started this project we have heard solid proof that it was a good decision to step on this new territory and we have already made sure that we will cover more ground in the future. We are already working on additions to our new portfolio of virtual instruments and look forward to making this a full product portfolio.

Christian Diehl

Want to know even more about the bx_oberhausen? Here’s a follow up interview with Christian Diehl in the Brainworx Audio studio: