Overview

The Brainworx bx_opto compressor combines some of the best colors, character and features from what Brainworx has learned modeling the optical circuits of some of the world’s best-loved compressors. Rather than recreating a hardware product in software, the bx_opto takes the best aspects and anomalies from these legendary light-dependent circuits to create a software compressor you’ll wish you could buy a hardware version of. The result is a beastly little dynamics processor, teeming with character and spitting out sounds no analog optical compressor can.

Most optical compressors are appreciated for their musical, program dependent character introduced by anomalies in the light dependent circuitry of the sidechain; the general speed of compression is cemented by the given behavior of the compressor’s Light Dependent Resistor (LDR). Hardware opto-compressors can only allow users the ability to adjust the effect of this character by introducing a separate resistance circuit that gives some control over the compression envelope.

After intense experimentation and listening tests, Brainworx found a way to adjust the compression envelope by allowing users to adjust the speed at which the LDR regains its dark resistance, producing a sonic character impossible to replicate with a hardware optical compressor. Combine that with the sweepable sidechain filter (20 Hz – 20 kHz) and you have a potent way to smash and pronounce your way to a most unique sound.

The end result is a compressor that can beautifully perform seamless dynamics management or create dramatic compression effects. The musical characteristic that optical compression circuits possess, that is, responding differently to different input signals (often referred to as “program dependency”), has made optical compressors a favorite of professional engineers and producers for decades. The Brainworx bx_opto not only delivers that musical quality, but opens up new sonic possibilities with its variable speed knob, simulating changes in speed at which the photo cell in an optical compressor reacts to light. This gives you control over release times that shape transients in such a manner no hardware optical compressor can match.

Download the 14-day full function demo today to try out this amazing new compressor from Brainworx on your tracks.

Features

  • Analog, optical compression colors with more control
  • Content-dependent peak reduction / compression with one knob
  • ‘Speed’ knob controls the coefficient of Light Dependent Resistor, creating unique transient response
  • Fully sweepable (20 Hz – 20 kHz) LP/HP/BP (wide)/ BP (narrow) sidechain filter 
  • Wet/Dry mix for parallel compression 
  • Accurate metering for reading amount of gain reduction
  • NOT a transparent compressor; gently level or completely raze your sound with harmonically pleasant results

Audio Examples

Industry Reviews

  • Tony Vincent
    Tony Vincent

    I find myself using this on bass guitar habitually. It adds a presence and clarity that is completely its own.

  • Jody Wisternoff
    Jody Wisternoff

    Lovely compressor, just sounds very natural and really glues the drum buss together nicely!!

Customer Reviews

  • ★★★★★
    Clean as can be
    by Off-Beat
    bx nailed the opto compressor topic with the bx_opto so much that I upgraded from the pedal version, that I got for free, to the slightly more versatile 'full' version, just to say thank you to… Read More
  • ★★★★★
    Beautiful Sonic Character
    by J
    Unexpectedly surprised how musical this sounds on the master bus. Notes just bloom yet transients retain their punchiness. This compressor has easily become one of my favourite plugin discoveries.… Read More
  • ★★★★★
    Very nice for vocals
    by Sappho192
    Simple and clean compressor makes me handle the vocal easily. Indeed brainworx!
  • ★★★★★
    nice on warm instruments
    by Niels Dettenbach
    The red interface color might have influenced me further, but i really like this comp on typical "warm" instruments / sounds. Very slight compression on pianos, organs and wurlies sounds just awesome… Read More
  • ★★★★★
    Juicy Goodness
    by Tommy
    This thing is always in my vocal chain. I can dial down the boomy without losing fullness. Dial down honk without losing presence. the side chain function is brilliant for this. Like a single… Read More

Specification

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

Supported Operating Systems
Mac OS X 10.8 through 10.12
Windows 7 through 10
Pro Tools 10.3.10 or higher or any VST/VST3/AU-compatible host running on a supported operating system

Mac
Intel CPU only (minimum 2 GHz recommended)

PC
Intel-compatible CPU with SSE2 instruction set (Pentium 4 compatible or higher; minimum 2 GHz recommended)

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

Downloads

With the Installation Manager, you can select, download and install just the Plugin Alliance products and formats you need for your system. During this initial release, we at Plugin Alliance look forward to hearing the feedback of our valued customers, as your input will help shape future versions of this utility.