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Harrison MixBus

Discussion in 'Harrison MixBus' started by DonnyThompson, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I purchased this program last year, and I really enjoyed mixing with it.

    I wouldn't recommend it for full-scale production - being that MixBus has no midi function at all - you are best to use your current DAW to record if your project includes midi or soft synths.

    Think of this program as a virtual analog mixing console. It's as if you have the classic 32/MR series mixing surface on your monitor.

    While it's not designed to do integrated audio/midi production, it's still fun to import audio tracks (wav's) into this platform from another DAW , and use it to mix the audio.

    The EQ is very responsive, gain reduction is smooth, and overall it sounds very defined. The layout is exactly how you would expect it to be - if you have any experience mixing on actual analog desks, you won't be lost on this one.

    The PC that I had originally installed this program onto is circling the drain, and as many of you know, I recently updated my system with a new quad core PC.

    I went to Harrison's site, hoping I could re-download the program, but couldn't find a link anywhere.
    I sent them an email explaining the situation, and they replied, with a link for download and a new license number, within 1 hour. I was very impressed by their customer service.

    LOL, I have 2 year-old emails into customer service divisions with other manufacturers that I'm still waiting for a response to. ;)

    Anyway, if you are looking for a program that emulates the surface of a classic console, you might want to take a look into Mixbus.
     
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    glad to hear you like it Donny. i too purchased MixBus when it was "on sale" last year but i still have yet to use it. my studio re-vamp is stalled due to finances, still need monitors :<(. hopefully in the next few months the property taxes will get caught up and i will be able to purchase some and get to use it. the customer service rave is good news. thanks.
     
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I think you'll like it, being the analog lover that you are. I wouldn't use it for everything I do, as I stated, it has no midi capability whatsoever, but... if you were working on a project with VSTi based tracks, you could always compose those in your regular DAW, and then simply export them as 16/24 bit mono / stereo wav files, and then import them into MixBus, along with any other analog tracks you have in the project.

    The Tape Saturation function on the "console"...is, well... you know me... I've said it many times within these walls
    before - I've yet to hear anything sound like tape but tape itself, but as digital sims go, it's not too bad.

    I like the GR, and the EQ is also very "analog-ie"... you're not going to get that uber-hi frequency "sizzle" that you'd get with an EQ plug from Waves... It's got a a smoother top end than that.

    There's not a whole lot of "digital air", either... because it doesn't give you the EQ controls to crank 18-20k through the roof LOL.

    Then again, even the real Harrison consoles weren't as upper-end tilted as something like an SSL. The top end is limited at 15k, so if that EQ limitation doesn't work for ya, then open up your other DAW, insert the Waves Renaissance EQ and boost as much 18k as you desire.

    I worked on a Harrison 32 Series years ago as an assistant engineer, and truthfully, I thought it most closely resembled the sound of an MCI (Pre Sony) than anything else I'd worked on at that time... warm and smooth. I'd say that it was probably a perfect match for a 2" deck.

    The architecture of the GUI is similar to the way that you'd remember from working on actual decent analog desks - I like that you can assign your tracks to any number of different "mix buses" where you can set up various EQ , GR and Saturation scenarios, and then compare the different mixes by simply switching between the various buses, or, if you want, by combining them, too.

    I am impressed thus far that I haven't heard anything yet that comes off as "harsh or brittle" sounding,,, you know, that not-so-pleasant but all too common artifact that you can hear in third party plugs...and I'm including some pretty big name plug manufacturers in that comparison, too.

    Let's face it, it's not "just like the real thing". But...if you don't have 50 grand burnin' a hole in your pocket, or if your spouse isn't nuts about the idea of you knocking out the dining room wall so that you can fit the beast into your house, then for the money, well, I'd call it a pretty decent substitute. ;)
     
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Dave Harrison worked with Jeep Harned on the original MCI's and i would agree the build and sound of the early MCI's strongly resemble those of a Harrison. as for midi, never use it except for time code or locking 2 different devices together. if i use a drum machine i will program the machine. keyboards are all played live, punched in for mistakes and edited. i think it will serve me well. now if i could just fine someone to trade me my large Tannoys for some small powered nearfield i would be ready to rock ...
     

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