Remove harshness from vocal and instrument recordings

bx_refinement is a plugin that removes harshness from your recordings without negatively impacting articulation, clarity, and detail. When you adjust the plugin’s large Damping knob, it targets and reduces unpleasant frequencies in vocals and instruments, making it an essential tool for mixing and mastering. Use this plugin to improve edgy vocals and improve the sound of harsh cymbals, spiky acoustic guitars, and resonant masters.

Add warmth to your audio with analog tube saturation

Experience a unique combination of harshness smoothing and analog tube saturation. Rather than emulating a single piece of hardware, bx_refinement combines several desirable musical characteristics of audio enhancement found in tube-based equipment. Enrich your sound with saturation, then infuse it with a sense of openness using the built-in shelving filter.

Choose between subtle or surgical enhancements

Adjust the character of the processing applied with bx_refinement by choosing between second-order filtering (Soft) or fourth-order filtering (Hard). With a gentle slope, second-order filtering preserves the natural character of your audio, making it ideal for subtle enhancements. Fourth-order filtering applies sharp frequency cuts and provides a more defined sound, best suited for severe audio issues.

Apply dynamic and groovy modulation for an organic feel

The Dynamics and Oscillator options allow you to modulate the smoothing (Damping) effect applied to your recordings. Intelligently adjust the de-harshing filter based on the input signal’s peak level using the Dynamics option. Additionally, use the Oscillator section to create rhythmic warming effects that perfectly sync with the tempo of your track.


  • Removes harshness from vocal and instrument recordings
  • Applies soft or surgical enhancements
  • Adds tube-style saturation to your audio
  • Increases the openness of recordings
  • Applies de-harshing based on peak levels
  • Introduces free or tempo-synced rhythmic saturation
  • Mid or mid/side processing
  • Mix control to apply parallel smoothing effects


VENUE AAX format is no longer available for this product. 
As of May 24th, 2018, the VENUE AAX format will not be part of the license. Current VENUE users don’t need to worry, everything that currently works will continue to do so. Only further development and support will end.

Audio Examples

Industry Reviews

  • Joe LaPorta

    Joe LaPorta

    Grammy Nominated Senior Mastering Engineer (Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Vampire Weekend)

    Since a majority of my chain consists of analog gear, I'm very selective when it comes to which plugins I use. bx_refinement has definitely been a great addition to my arsenal.

  • Siegfried Meier

    Siegfried Meier

    Songwriter/Producer/Engineer/Mixer/Mastering Engineer

    This plugin is the coolest and strangest tool we've come across. It works wonders on harsh overhead and guitar tracks that we've had come in for mixing. In a mastering setting, it really helps… Read More

  • Glenn Schick

    Glenn Schick

    Mastering Engineer (Future, J. Cole, Missy Elliot)

    I've been an analog based mastering engineer for the past 20 years. When people used to ask what plugins I used, I would always respond with "Plugins? I don't use no stinking plugins." And then… Read More

  • Chris Dennis

    Chris Dennis

    Mixing Engineer (Roddy Ricch, Pop Smoke, DaBaby)

    I love using the BX Refinement plugin near the end of my Pro Tools vocal buss to tame harshness and add presence with the saturation knob. 

Customer Reviews

  • plugin

    by Noaksey
  • Great alternative to tape plugins

    by Alan Brucke
    I love this on the mix bus. I use a lot of amp sims, and I get a buildup of harshness in the upper end, typically. This plugin corrects that, and simultaneously adds some analog mojo to the mix with… Read More
  • analog sweeten...

    by Synthitize
    I remastered an old 4-track recording and after several treatments I had a "staircase" effect on the signal. Refinement allowed me to sweeten the signal with the "analog" charm
  • Surpreendente

    by Rafael Oliveira
    Simplesmente surpreendente como esse plugin melhora a mix de metal pesado com um tapa. Ele consegue retirar as frequências incômodas sem perda de naturalidade e brilho. Há 10 anos que tento tirar… Read More
  • Shhh... Don't tell anyone

    by Ettienne Lane
    I place this magical plugin on the master bus early on to see how close I can get the sound to my favorite mixes. It makes mixing a breeze and helps me achieve the sound I want much faster.
    The… Read More


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

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

Intel, or Apple Silicon

x64-compatible CPU

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


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.



Brainworx bx_refinement - Changelog

Version 1.12.1 (Oct 9, 2023)
- General: fixed CPU spikes on Mac OS

Version 1.12.0 (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 1.11 (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 1.10 (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

Version 1.9 (May 27, 2020)
- General: Qualified for use with the Windows 10 May 2020 Update
- General: VST3: Fixed potential hangs in a DAW upon loading
- General: Fixed logical issues in undo / redo behavior
- General: Fixed UI resizing issues in Ableton Live on Windows
- General: Fixed audio processing initialization issues on amp and delay products

Version 1.8 (Nov 06, 2019)
- General: Qualified for use with macOS 10.15 Catalina
- General: Qualified for use with Windows 10 November 2019 Update
- General: Fixed plugin validation in Logic under macOS Catalina
- General: Fixed preset name restore in Logic when reopening a session
- General: Fixed opening authorization dialog triggering automation
- General: Improved instantiation times for plugins
- General: Improved license functionality and branding for subscription
- General: Removed 32-bit support on macOS and Windows

Version 1.7 (Jul 10, 2019)
- General: macOS 10.14.5 Update compatibility
- General: Windows 10 1903 Update compatibility
- General: Fixed activation issue in Windows hosts set to non-English language (e.g. Cakewalk)
- General: AU: Fixed issue with increased CPU and memory on reopening UI
- General: VST3: Fixed issue with adapting to host knob mode, and now prioritizing linear
- General: VST3: Fixed issue with VST3 preset permissions
- General: VST3: Improved synchronization between parameter states and some UI functions, e.g. toolbar reset

Version 1.6 (Nov 16, 2018)
- General: macOS Mojave compatibility
- General: Windows October 2018 update compatibility
- General: adding Windows High DPI support for VST2/3 plugins
- General: Fixed potential crashes in Cubase and other VST2 / VST3 DAWs
- General: Fixed potential CPU spikes and audio dropouts
- General: Fixed rendering in Pro Tools on the start of a session
- General: Fixed missing presets in Wavelab and other VST3 DAWs
- General: Improving keyboard control, fixing issues with catched keys preventing it from passing through to DAW
- General: Fixed parallel use of host sessions (e.g. with Live)

Version 1.5 (May 24, 2018)
- General: Microsoft Windows Redstone 4 compatibility
- General: Added computer keyboard control for plugin parameters
- General: Fixed Mouse scroll wheel not working in Windows 8
- General: Fixed an issue where plugins will not validate or load after a certain amount of plugins have been loaded (Windows)
- General: Fixed visual GUI freezes when adjusting DAW parameters, meters, analyzers (Mac)
- General: Fixed possible issue with Pick Pack licenses
- General: Small licenser stability fix

Version 1.4 (Oct 23, 2017)
- General: Mac OS High Sierra compatibility
- General: Fixed possible crash on online activation (Mac OS High Sierra)
- General: Fixed Logic Pro X not validating AU plugins (Mac OS High Sierra)
- General: Fixed CPU spikes and crashes with Cubase (Windows)
- General: Fixed bug that could lead to "AAE -6 error" in ProTools (Windows)
- General: Fixed crash with FL Studio
- General: Fixed crash when cross-opening plugins in various hosts
- General: Fixed crash when using mixdown in Audition
- General: Fixed crash in Final Cut Pro
- General: Fixed delayed parameter handling and crackling issues in Cubase with VST3
- General: Fixed bug where plugin settings were not saved in Harrison Mixbus
- General: Fixed bug that led to AAE error -9317 in ProTools when instantiating plugin
- General: Fixed bug where plugins did not render properly when "x ray" option is enabled in Sonar
- General: Modifications to factory presets were lost when reopening session
- General: Fixed mouse wheel behaviour with second monitor setup (Windows)
- Some plugins: Value labels do not appear every time when clicking on parameter in UI
- General: Faster instantiation time for plugins (Windows)
- General: Adding support for automation highlighting in Presonus StudioOne

Version 1.3.1 (Dec 20, 2016)
- General: Mac OS Sierra compatibility
- General: Fixed automation issues in AU and AAX
- General: Fixed license dialog use of special characters
- General: Improved AU preset support
- General: Performance improvements

Version 1.3 (Apr 1, 2016)
- General: Major UI codebase update
- General: Fixed possible crash when authorizing plugin
- General: Added gain reduction meter support for StudioOne 3
- General: Installers show version info in Windows "Programs And Features"
- Added EUCON/ProControl pagetables (VENUE-172)

Version 1.2 (Jan 18, 2016)
- General codebase update
- Fixed AAX DSP load issue (BUGS-1113)
- Removing RTAS format support

Version 1.1.3 (Jul 18, 2015)
- General codebase update

Version 1.1.2 (Jun 22, 2015)
- General codebase update

Version 1.1.1 (May 27, 2015)
- Fixed wrong installation path for 32-bit Win VST plugin version

Version 1.1 (Apr 14, 2015)
- Fixed bypassed meters
- Fixed parameter order in the generic view to comply with the GUI (422)
- Fixed oscillator naming in the generic view (382)
- Fixed meter inaccuracies

Version 1.0 (May 07, 2014)
- Release version