With more than a dozen digital audio workstations to choose from, the Harrison Mixbus is one of the only full-featured DAW which is well equipped for recording, mixing, editing and controlling your music the way you want to.
Mixbus is the first featured DAW equipped with true analog style mixing.
Music consoles from Harrison have been used since the 1970s (which is truly impressive), and some of the most iconic records such as Thriller, Spider-man, and Graceland are the genesis of Harrison Mixbus Consoles.
Alright, let’s get to it already!
Harrison Mixbus Review
Basic Features of Mixbus / Software Overview:
- Knob per function mixer console
- Unlimited stereo/mono input channels and each channel can support multiple plugins, hardware inserts and sends
- Unlimited MIDI tracks
- High-pass filter, input trim, polarity, sweepable 3-band EQ and compression
- Stereo master bus with tone controls, k-meter, stereo correlation meter, limiter, and analog tape saturation
- Automatic plugin delay
- DAW editing features include – ripple edit and configurable keybindings
- Mixbus loads AU plugins on OSX and is equipped with both VST and LV2 plugins for all platforms
Here are some professional features that make the DAW stand out:
- Loudness Analysis, LTC generation, and sync and video pullup/pulldown
- Persistent undo
- 4th generation Harrison “True analog mixing” processing unit equipped with enhanced limiter/compressor algorithms; consists of a built-in sidechain bussing, and an increased plugin flexibility
- Export features: multitrack stem export, CD track, silence trimming, normalization, multiple export ranges, simultaneous multi-format exports, file management scripts, third party encoders
- Equipped with “At-a-glance” metering with compressor gain reduction, peak, peak hold for every track and bus
- Easily support video timelines, audio+video export, and video window
- The plugin “pin connection management” provides you a rich editing experience of signal flow, including complete support for mono-to-stereo, dual mono, sidechaining, and other advanced flows
- Consists of Mackie control protocol for the purpose of motorized fader controllers
- Open Sound Control protocol to support Ethernet-based wireless tablet controllers like TouchOSC
- VCA faders
- Tempo Maps and Tempo Ramps
- Lua scripting, to automate all your tasks related to track creation, adding plugins, renaming, or creating macro operations
The Mixbus is specifically designed to create great-sounding EQ, dynamics, filters, and bus summing. It is one of the only mixers that work efficiently with all the three operating systems – Mac OS, Windows, and Linux.
Harrison Mixbus 4
Harrison has a reputation for building high-end and large format mixing consoles.
They started using digital technology from 2009 and since then have added one more logical step in their product line – the Mixbus, which is rightly considered as a consumer-level DAW.
The Mixbus 4 is filled with various new features and comes in two different versions, the Mixbus, and Mixbus 32C.
Originally Mixbus was not conceived as a standard digital audio workstation.
Instead, its original design was built around Harrison’s console-based background only.
Since its inception, the intention of Mixbus was to provide the same experience as that of a large-format console and, most importantly, their USP the analog sound.
Keeping the fundamental design at its heart with respect to the console workflow and console sound the Mixbus has generated a number of fans, including many people who record using some other DAW but for the purpose of mixing use only Mixbus.
The Mixbus 4 is definitely a step forward, especially when compared to other similar products available in the market, but a few absolutely new and key features make this mixing console one of my favorites.
This console supports unlimited VCA faders, and each of them offers level, solo and mute controls over any slave channel.
Any VCA fader can be fully automated. Another very useful purpose of the VCA fader is with the mix bus channel, which is the Spill buttons. This feature enables you to focus on just one thing at a time.
This is one of the only mixing consoles which is available for Mac OS, Linux, and Windows.
Harrison Mixbus VS 32c
The latest version of Mixbus 4 comes with an array of new and very efficient features, which comes in two different versions. The Mixbus and the Mixbus 32C.
Both of these share some common features such as:
- Unlimited number of audio tracks, MIDI tracks
- Plugin support which includes third party plugin support
- Video playback, LTC/SMPTE sync, ripple editing
- Various audio and MIDI editing tools
The key difference between Mixbus and Mixbus 32C is that with Mixbus you get a three-band sweepable EQ with a high-pass filter for each channel.
Whereas, the Mixbus 32C is inspired from the Harrison’s 32-series hardware consoles and offers you four-band EQ with the switchable top band between shelving and peaking. It also consists of both high-pass and a low-pass filter.
The second major difference between the two mixing consoles is that Mixbus has eight stereo mix buses and the Mixbus 32C increases this to 12 stereo mix buses, which enables more flexibility.
Both the versions are very similar, especially in terms of basic operation, and the user interface for both is designed keeping in mind the conventional studio workflow approach, where tracking and mixing both are separate parts of a project.
Harrison Mixbus Manual
You can either take the help of the online version of Harrison Mixbus Manual available on its website harrisonconsoles.com or download the pdf version on the same page.
An image in the website will help you in understanding the conventions used in the online version of the manual.
You can also use the “Feedback” feature present in the website which is to be used for manual specific items only. For any kind of tech support or a feature request, it is recommended that you either email or make use of their user forum.
There is a lot more to be said about Harrison Mixbus and Mixbus 32C, but this overview of the main features of both and their differences / similarities should definitely help you to make a better and more well-informed decision.