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Harrison MixBus

Discussion in 'Harrison MixBus' started by DonnyThompson, May 31, 2013.

  1. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    They were offering this program at a sale price of $40, so I thought I'd give it a chance.

    Mixbus v2.3 – The next generation DAW at ONLY $39 ? | DontCrac[k] News

    Harrison Mixbus

    Harrison Mixbus Overview Seg 1 - YouTube

    (I'm using it in a Windows environment, XP Pro... apparently it will not work within XP Home Edition.) There is also a version for Mac and Linux.

    Initial observations:

    absolutely what it claims - a GUI very reminiscent of working on an older analog desk. I like the sound. I like the layout. If you are from the old school and like the layout of a classic console, you'll probably like the GUI on this.

    The built in GR processing and tape saturation sections on the track level, as well as on the master 2-bus, are nice. Certainly for the money, and maybe even better than just for the money, they sound very good. I like the way the per channel EQ sounds and the built in channel compressor/limiter/leveler does exactly what you would expect it to do, without a lot of fussing around. Hell, you could drop a lot more than $40 on a tape emulation or decent GR processor plug alone, never mind an entire platform that gives you access to these processors at both the track and bus levels.

    I found the various parameter controls and settings to be very similar to that of an older console. Not too sensitive, like a lot of plugs where if you barely breathe on them the sound changes dramatically, but not too clunky where you have to make serious alterations and crank $*^t up to +20 to even hear a minor difference. It's smooth in its translation and action of commands and settings.

    I've been pushing it, and have yet to get it to freeze up or crash.

    (I am using an Athlon dual core 2.2 ghz, running Windows XP Pro, with 2 gig ram available, and so far I haven't encountered any issues).

    The program even puts up a warning window in reference to the vst scanner, saying that crashes upon first use of the scanner are common and even to be expected... but I didn't have any problems at all. Plugs that are not recognized, or those that are recognized with the caveat that there may be difficulty in using them, are put on a "blacklist" so that the program doesn't continue to scan these every time the program is booted up.

    Getting it to recognize plugs took a little bit of doing at first... don't use the plug-in manager, as this only seems to recognize the Harrison plugs that come resident with the program. Instead, go to the "Window" pull down menu at the top, select "preferences" at the bottom of this menu, and then "scan for plugs". You can then select the various directories that hold your vst's for scanning.

    It seemed to recognize and accept most all current major plug formats I have - waves, steinberg, cakewalk, etc, as well as some other third party stuff I have by Blue Tubes and Kjaerhouse, etc.

    It did not seem to recognize any of my Antares plugs, which includes auto-tune and the microphone library/emulator.

    Midi implementation? Forget it. There is none... but ...then again, that's not really what this program was designed for.

    It was designed to be emulative of the classic Harrison analog mixer. If you want to work with midi tracks, my advice would be to do so within a DAW like PT, Sonar, Samplitude, Logic, etc., and then convert those midi files to audio tracks, at which point you would then import them into the Harrison prog for mixing.

    All in all, certainly not what I would consider a waste of $40.

    I'll continue to post comments and observations as I learn things.

  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Interesting. No where in the Q&A is there any reference to any Avid product. I wonder if it works in PT?
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    it's a DAW within itself ... i've never heard of anyone using 2 DAWs at once ... can that be done?
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Guys, it's a DAW program. I'm not using it in conjunction with another DAW. I just thought I'd try a different program for a bit...one that was built more around the layout of a console.
  5. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    You can track with it, but most import their tracks for mixing/mastering, to get a bit of the Harrison console saturation.
    It's audio only, doesn't host virtual instruments.

    Don't crack currently has a deal for $39.

    New version released last week with some new effects, I haven't explored them yet.
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Correct. It's strictly audio and aimed at those users who might like the feel of a console-based GUI instead of the standard full blown DAW layout. It does have a track view for editing, although I haven't actually done any editing on it yet. I've worked within the mix environment only. So far, I like it - and it's not as if I had to break the bank to try it.

    As I mentioned in my original post... midi implementation is non-existent, but that's not really what the program was designed for, anyway.
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    well i think it's pretty cool. i don't use midi and i like that it's available for linux, so for me it's perfect. i'm a big fan of Harrison stuff ... it's very much like the old MCI consoles ... Harrison had a hand in the design of the early MCI' s so for me it's a kindred spirit. i'm going to check out what the system requirements are.
  8. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Just for that sake of adding some generally useless information, Mixbus is built on top of Ardour. Yes the Linux/OSX program that is donationware. Mixbus however is considerably more complicated and far more user friendly.
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i'm gonna have to get a better comp to run it ... it requires a dual core ... i found one on the CL for $239 i got a buck and a half saved right now so maybe in a few when payday rolls around i'll get the computer.

    then i'll get Mixbus next pay day ...

    yeah i tried Adour on my existing computer and i couldn't make much sense of it ... the comp i'm looking at is an HP (yeah i know hps suck) but it's been stripped and reloaded clean with vista ... has a firewire port and hi speed usb an an Nvida video card. it should do for what i want ... this is gonna be coool.
  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    So far I'm really liking this prog. If you are a fan of working in a console-based environment, you should give this a try. It is limited in scope as far as DAW's go... It's midi implementation is non existent, and I find editing to be easier in other progs like PT and Sonar, BUT.... I love the layout of this program, and I'm really digging the EQ section and the GR. I've worked with the tape saturation a bit, and so far I like the response it gives as well.

    Again, for the $40 it cost me, I'm certainly not disappointed.
  11. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I'm not sure I'd stick with Vista, Kurt. You may want to either downgrade to XP Pro or move up to W7... that's just my opinion of course, I'm not a Vista fan. I had it on my laptop and I found it to be buggy, and it didn't work well with some of the progs (and plugs) I was using. I upgraded to 7 and the problems disappeared. I'm still using XP Pro on my desktop and it's as stable as a rock. Other users may disagree... so take the advice for what it's worth.

    LOL here's the other thing I hated about Vista:

    > install program or give computer a command
    Vista: Are you sure you want to open this program?
    > click yes
    Vista: okay... we see you clicked yes. Is that a yes to open the program or a yes to say you're not sure?
    > I'm sure. Click Yes I'm Sure
    Vista: But are you really sure? I mean, really, really sure?
    > click YES I"M REALLY F+++++G SURE!
    Vista: okay, no need to get hostile about it.
    > Click open program
    Vista: okay, but don't say I didn't warn you.
    > click yes
    Vista: CRASH

  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i think the comp is being sold by a computer repair shop so i will ask about an upgrade to a newer version of windows. .... maybe even ask to have linux put on it too. thanks for the heads up Donny.
  13. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    You could install linux yourself. It's free after all.
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    don't you have to install linux first then windows? that's what i have heard.
  15. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    You can install Linux after but you need to install grub along with it. If you use Ubuntu or Mandriva it will prompt you to install a boot loader.
  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Yeah. You're not going to like Vista at all. Doesnt matter what you try to use it for. XP Pro is one of the best windows programs ever released. Its not really a 'downgrade' since it actually works so well. The only problem is a lot of third party stuff has been setup to only run on Win7 or later. Same problem I have in the office with Mac OS. I have a power PC and nothing runs on it anymore even though it still works great and cant be corrupted.Fortunately I have an Intel Mac in the studio.

    BTW....Donny, that was some funny stuff....and ITS BASICALLY TRUE!!!!
  17. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i'll get the shop to install windows 7 and linux. i also want to make sure they remove all the bloat ware that HP has ... thanks for the advice guys.
  18. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Uhhhh... wouldn't that just leave you with DOS 3.2?
  19. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i wouldn't know to tell the truth. what i have read / heard is that one of the things that make HP's no good for audio is there is a bunch of extra software and functions more suited to home computers that is called "bloatware". that's what i mean ... if i were a computer expert, i wouldn't be asking someone else to do this for me i would be doing it myself.
  20. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    ok i'm still looking and i have another question ... can someone comment on windows 8? some of the laptops i am finding are running 8 and i was wondering how it plays with DAW software.

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