Gear reviews

Brainworx – shredspread

Generally speaking

I could imagine having an option to display 2x 4x12” cabinets on each side, that would  make it more usable for metal-mixers (joking).

The plugin is pretty easy to control, except the autopan-thing, which became clear to me, when watching this video:

shread spred

Problems & Technicalities

First I tried it on a mono track, which obviously does not work for the MS thing, but the shred functionality addes something nice to the signal. Don’t use it for mono tough.

Sound

Well, actually I discovered that I am usually doing M/S anyway (with some other processors and additional routing inside my DAW) so I was able to compare it to my already existing mix.

What I really like is the bass “adjustment”. If you have untight doubled guitar tracks on the left and right side of your mix, and you always wondered if you try to shoot those musicians or look for another job in this case, the brainworx can help here. It’s kinda intelligent bass-cut filter and helps to tighten the bottom end. Still you need a proper plaid bass-track below to make it big sounding but it’s definitly a life-saver.

The Shred-function added a lot of midrange to my signal, which I don’t always like. The mid-range is the mainproblem of demo-recordings, or homestudio productions. I get a lot of recordings to mix, from Demo-bands and the guys always tell me, that they have a huuuge recorded guitar sound. When I load the tracks in and make them usable for a mix (means cutting the bass-area and the hi-end of the guitars) usually there is not much left. The huuge sound is becoming small due to the bass-cut and the guitarsound is drifting to the back because of the hi-frequency cut.

I am able to record guitars with enough mid-range, so I changed to another project with POD home-recorded guitars and used the spreadshed on a guitar-track (stereo)-group. Cool: it really adds meat to the signal, while not disturbing the low-end. really like that. The shred also tames some interesting digital high-frequency content from the POD guitars. Great work Brainworx!

The M/S feature is cool and on the other hand disturbing. Like explained in the video, the spreadshed does intelligent M/S processing, and like also explained in the video, with M/S you have the disadvantage of running into phase-problems. So you need to use that feature with gloves. Don’t overdo it, or your mix will drive people crazy (check their video on headphones, if the guy goes full M/S the signal starts to mangel your brain and make you seasick). I haven’t used that feature in a real life test (means: importing new tracks into my DAW and play around with them including spreadshed) but I can imagine that it can be helpful. I usually copy a recorded guitar tune to a new track, EQ this one to taste, send it to a stereo guitar-subtrack and use a stereo spreadcontrol and mix it in softly under the main guitars. That helps tremendously. I will do the same with spreadshred.

Conclusion

This plugin is worth a test. Don’t expect a life-changer, if you already have well recorded guitars (tight playing guitar guys, good arrangement).

I will definitly use it on my next project. Thanx Brainworx!

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