Overview

Meet Your mix buss’ best friend
Celebrated mix engineers like Dave Pensado, Bob Horn, and Jack Douglas rely on the sweet tubes and creamy-sounding transformers of the Black Box HG-2 to help their mixes sound louder, bigger and punchier at the same peak level. Now, the HG-2 MS version offers mid-side processing,  advanced filters and more for even greater sonic refinement.

“MS” in more ways than one
The HG-2 MS is a Mid/Side version of the acclaimed HG-2. But it’s more than that. It also includes dedicated Mono mixing and Stereo buss versions, and now delivers More Saturation options and a wider variety of colors than ever before thanks to its new filter section. Select from highpass, lowpass, bandpass and bandstop filters to tailor your saturation separately for each channel.

Sweeten your audio in mono, stereo or mid-side modes
For the first time, process your audio with the rich, brilliant sound of the Black Box using mid-side processing for more sophisticated control over your sound. Saturate the sides, while keeping the center clean and punchy, or use more edgy odd-order saturation on the side and more warm even-order saturation on the center—or vice versa.

Paint Your Tracks with a Whole Palette of Tube Colors
HG-2 emulates four different vacuum tube stages combined in series and parallel circuits to color your mix and individual tracks with a wide range of rich and varied harmonics. Separate gain controls for emulated 6U8A pentode and triode tubes are placed in series between buttery virtual transformers warming the plugin’s input and output.
 
Dial in the perfect blend of pentode and triode tube sweetness
...then adjust the Density control to drive both tubes harder without changing their relative balance or the plugin’s output level, adding more girth and mass. The Calibration menu emulates the effect of an internal trim adjustment in the original hardware unit, instantly modifying the HG-2’s high-frequency response to produce Dark, Normal or Bright coloration.
 
Sprinkle, punch and tube softness
An added Air knob lets you control how much high-frequency fairy dust you sprinkle on vocal tracks, string instruments, piano and full mixes. Turning down the Mix control adds back dry signal at the plugin’s output, combining HG-2’s beautiful tube softness and luster with your mix’s perfectly preserved detail and punch.

Features

  • The MS version of the Black Box offers Mid-Side, Mono/Stereo and More Saturation options 

  • TMT — Brainworx patent-registered “Tolerance Modeling Technology” (US Patent No. 10,725,727)
  • Additional digital-only controls like Input Gain, Density, Calibration, Air and Mix

  • Separate gain controls for virtual 6U8A pentode and triode tubes 

  • Parallel Saturation circuit selects one of two modeled 12AX7 tubes—one voiced more aggressively than the other

  • Saturation Frequency selector to add generated 12AX7 harmonics

  • Calibration menu to mimic internal trim adjustment 

  • Variable Density control to boost gain equally for virtual pentode and triode tubes

  • Variable Air control to add silvery sparkle and sweetness above 10 kHz

  • Added Mix control to adjust wet/dry balance

Audio Examples

Industry Reviews

  • Josh Gudwin

    Josh Gudwin

    5x Latin Grammy Awards, 3x Grammy Awards

    This new Black Box HG-2MS is a welcomed upgrade with its new flexibility. The additions like TMT, Density, Mono Maker, Stereo Width, calibration, MS capabilities, and selected frequency… Read More

  • Michael Brauer

    Michael Brauer

    7 Grammy Awards (Coldplay, John Mayer, The Rolling Stones)

    I love that you can really dig into the different parameters of width and tone to achieve pretty much anything your creativity desires.

  • Heba Kadry

    Heba Kadry

    Mastering Engineer (Slowdive, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Deerhunter)

    The moment I heard about the Black Box harmonic saturation unit in M/S mode, I was on board! It’s not something you see very often with saturation units; a depth in subtleties which I’ve long… Read More

  • Marc Urselli

    Marc Urselli

    3 Grammy Awards (U2, Elton John, Foo Fighters)

    I like how subtle but present the Black Box MS is, I love the extra grit, warmth, and saturation you can achieve and I've been trying it on different instruments and on the mix bus.

  • Koen Heldens

    Koen Heldens

    Mixing Engineer (XXXTentacion, Trippie Redd, Swae Lee)

    I love the new M/S function! You can add subtle width to a mix or source without it becoming a phase issue or collapse issue when summing to mono. Very nice!

Customer Reviews

  • HG-2MS Tube Saturation

    ★★★★★
    by Dubcats
    HG-2MS Tube Saturation sounds very good and really adds something special to a lot of sounds. I really like it on guitars and bass but sometimes use it on drums and vocals. You can use it for… Read More
  • Best Mastering Saturator In The Market

    ★★★★★
    by Trevor Gordon Official
    Hands down - HUGE addition to the master chain. Bx does it again!
  • Analog depth

    ★★★★★
    by MiamiDude
    This adds analog depth, width, low end, air and so much character, punch, saturation, RMS, and what ever you want! Check the presets and start from there.
  • Crunchy

    ★★★★★
    by Ed Brandon
    I love this on the guitar bus. The ability to dial in some extra crispy high end saturation with the high pass mode is GREAT for increasing perceived brightness without harshness. Great plugin.
  • Instant Satisfaction!

    ★★★★★
    by Swisha G
    This literally takes your track to a whole new level with the simple click of a button! A must for every track I mix and master.

Specifications

Supported Plugin Formats
AAX DSP, AAX Native, AU, VST2, VST3

Supported Operating Systems
macOS 14 down to macOS 11
Windows 11 down to Windows 10

Mac
Intel, or Apple Silicon

PC
x64-compatible CPU

System Requirements
Display resolution: 1440 × 900px or 1280 × 960px or higher
Memory: 2 GB RAM

Downloads

With the Installation Manager you can select, download & install all the Plugin Alliance products. Select any and all formats you need for your system! Mac & PC.

ChangeLog

HG-2MS

Black Box Analog Design HG-2MS - Changelog

Version 1.3.1 (Oct 9, 2023)
- General: fixed CPU spikes on Mac OS

Version 1.3.0 (Aug 15, 2023)
- General: added native Apple Silicon compatibility for AAX
- General: added macOS Ventura support
- General: improved plugin loading time in the DAW
- General: fixed issue causing Logic to crash when closing the plugin UI
- General: improved font drawing behavior

Version 1.2 (Mar 15, 2022)
- General: added native Apple Silicon compatibility for VST3, VST2 and AU
- General: added macOS Monterey support
- General: added Windows 11 and Windows 10 21H1 support
- General: discontinued Windows 7 support
- General: discontinued macOS 10.9 and 10.11 support
- General: fixed metering behavior in block sizes of 2048 samples and higher

Version 1.1 (Mar 22, 2021)
- General: Compatibility with Logic on Apple Silicon devices via the Rosetta-2 layer
- General: Fixed possible artefacts when freezing or bouncing tracks in Pro Tools
- General: Fixed automation highlighting disappearing in Studio One
- General: Improved license dialog visibility in dark mode
- Fixed artefacts at render start when freezing or bouncing

Version 1.0.1 (Mar 9, 2021)
- fixed an issue with parameter linking

Version 1.0 (Mar 9, 2021)
- Release version