bx_console E review
I was tempted to start this by saying that this is the best E Channel emulation I have ever heard - because it is - but of course that is not terribly convincing; there are so many fantastic emulations of the E Channel that it is really down to personal preference. Brainworx's reputation at this point precedes it, and this plugin pushes that lauded reputation to new heights; presumably you already know this is a killer plug. With that in mind I will focus on what makes this one different.
The first thing you notice upon loading it up -- aside from the smooth and easy-on-the-eyes GUI -- is how "alive" it sounds; the second you start twisting the EQ knobs, the sound begins to jump out at you in ways that are fun and exciting without being cartoony in the least. As many other reviewers have noted, the knobs do feel much more sensitive than a certain venerable old workhorse of a native SSL E Channel emulation -- and while at first this lead it to feel less "precise" than the old standard, it quickly becomes apparent that it is equally tweak-friendly while also offering a much more vibrant and -- for lack of better wording -- "real-sounding" color should you desire it.
While the EQ is usually the star of any E Channel show -- I have already mentioned the liveliness of it; I also need to mention the fact with the choice between black and brown knobs you basically have two EQs here in one; both are excellent -- the dynamics here are also very interesting, mainly because they are enormously usable; the compressor moves very smoothly from invisible level control to smashy overcooked VCA vibes, which is awesome for an on-every-track compressor, and with the addition of a hysteresis control on the gate you can say goodbye to gate chatter forever.
Finally, the available saturation in the output section is a very nicely executed bonus, one that would be of only very limited use if it had not been executed so thoughtfully. If you need pristine, you can turn it off, if you need heat, you can crank it; most tracks sound better with the subtle sparkle it defaults to.
The TMT business is very interesting but not something I have dug in to too far as of yet. It definitely does do something cool when applied to every track, but as a real console is going to have quirks that you need to learn, the fact that I have not yet come to grips with the different channels here yet is hardly something to criticize. For now it remains something of bonus at the end of a long list of obviously killer features, but I suspect that I will come to appreciate it as yet another killer feature.
One last thought -- I LOVE having both a VU and a dBu meter right next to each other. Hardly a killer feature, but a very nice touch, and an example of the thoughtful touches that are Brainworx's signature.
In conclusion -- this is a fantastic piece of work, that has drastically simplified my mixing process (always a good thing), and I expect it to be living on virtually all of my channels for a long time to come. I will close with the (very) short mention of minor quips I have: 1) My main complaint, which is perhaps more of a peeve than anything else, is that the mouse wheel behavior with the knobs is not great, in that they require a VERY light touch for anything less than 1dB jumps. Perhaps I will be able to teach myself to go lighter on the mouse wheel, but so far it remains a minor source of frustration; and 2) I'm sure there is some reason for it, but capping the input gain at +10dB has been a minor annoyance a number of times for me. If you are as austere about headroom in your mixes as I am, you too may find yourself struggling if you ever want to overcook a channel and get it to scream. While I will be running my sessions hotter to make accessing the color of this plugin easier in future, having to modify my workflow for what feels like an arbitrary reason is not an awesome thing.
As I said, those are both very minor complaints; I present them here more so that anyone who sees this can jump in knowing how they might want to handle them themselves, and also to illustrate how good this plugin is; two minor workflow complaints on such an ambitious piece of work is VERY impressive.
Update: This plug has been on every channel for the last three mixes I have delivered. The vast majority of tracks are 95% done after bx_Console E.
Powerful, transparent, authentic and lovely sound, intuitive operation, pristine sound. the processors are sophisticated and beautiful. bx_console E is a great processor for designed, and get a creative sound in your productions.
Soundscapes & Music for Films
Musician - Composer
Sound design & Synth programmer
What else can I say! Totally astonished with this Plugin! It's so natural and intuitive getting awesome results with this channel that in only a couple weeks it has become my go-to channel! Congratulations PA for putting this incredible tool together in such an elegant but effective way! I demoed first and then I bought it the first day without hesitation! Top notch!
Un excelente plug in , muy buen sonido , tienen que probarlo
My first impression was: put it in a Slot of my DAW. In default. It Sounds brighter and gave me more width. No Knobs turned. I had not enough time to check all features yet, but the bx_console E is an outstanding tool i will use from now on.
I've been using other emulations and channel strips for years, but never allowed them in much on my tracks or busses. With bx_console E the story is different - it's now on all my tracks and busses. Smooth, warm, rich sound and easy to work with. Most important for me is that the E console preserves the the original signal while adding an appealing dimension to it. The E console just makes everything sound so natural and open while the compressor mix knob makes life a whole lot easier. I wish I had this years ago...
Dirk and his team nailed it big time. Not only does it sound awesome - the console E translates the vibe and the feel of the 4000! The most authentic emulation on the market - period!
This is probably hands down the best plugin I ever bought. This makes ITB mixes a practical reality verses using an actual ssl. Game changer!
Holy plugin!!! This sonic stick of dynamite makes everything sound SSL like (obviously), but the width and musicality are indescribable! And I have 72 distinctive SSL channels to choose from with EACH instantiation! I CAN afford a $2,500 a day board after all!!!!
vary nice sound and easy for use
i think this plug ins better then other