Plugin Alliance has announced the release of bx_subfilter, a freeware utility for adding clarity and definition to the low-end of your mix. The effect was developed by Brainworx and is available as a VST/AU/AAX plugin for PC and Mac.
The plugin is based on the common concept of using a resonant high-pass filter to clean up the extreme low end and boost a target frequency range at the same time. Essentially, the filter tames the content below the cutoff frequency and adds clarity and definition at the cutoff point. It’s a pretty neat technique and certainly a good alternative to using a combination of a non-resonant HP filter and peak filter to do the job.
Although you probably already own a few high-pass filters that are up to the task, bx_subfilter was developed with this specific technique in mind and I’m pretty sure that Brainworx designed its curve and behavior to translate well to processing the sub-bass frequency range. Apart from the cutoff knob (which is labeled Tight Punch on the user interface) bx_subfilter also features a fixed band-pass filter control which boosts the low end, a resonance control for adjusting the amount of volume boost at the cutoff point, and input/output gain controls. Also worth noting are the standard goodies found in Brainworx plugins, including four snapshot slots for comparing different settings, undo/redo functionality, and copy/paste functionality for transferring the settings between multiple instances.
In summary, bx_subfilter seems like a great little tool for controlling the sub-bass content of a mix, even for users who already own a decent parametric equalizer that does the job. It’s easy to use and can lead to great sounding low-end if used well. The video posted by Mix Better Now (embedded below) demonstrates the benefits of opting for a dedicated sub-bass utility like bx_subfilter quite well.
The best part, of course, is that the plugin is offered completely free of charge via Plugin Alliance. Please note that you’ll need to sign up at Plugin Alliance in order to activate your copy of the plugin. The registration process is completely free. The activation process consists of entering your username and password when launching the plugin for the first time.
bx_subfilter is available for free download via Plugin Alliance (23.2 MB download size, ZIP archive containing EXE installer, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/VST/AU/AAX plugin formats for Windows & Mac OS).