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Harrison Mixbus Reviews DAW Software
Old 23rd November 2009
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seablade View Post
Heh ok two now

Of course I gotta respond to things a slight amount...



If by this you mean complete delay compensation on tracks and busses, and ping style delay compensation to allow for total delay compensation with external hardware... I believe this is already developed and going in



See Snapshot (Session>Snapshot)

The rest would be a lot of personal choice and splitting hairs if we got into the details I bet, but sometime you should make certain to swing by IRC or at the very least EMail Harrison with your opinions and details so that they can be addressed

Seablade
Yes I bet that the next version of this will address the delay comp issue no doubt, I'm just commenting on the present...what's IRC?...yeah if Harrison is into user opinions, I'd be more than happy...the "summing engine"...or whatever the reason...sounds really great as do the 4 buses...this alone is worth more than $80 bucks...the whole idea is fantastic..as with any new product, there are issues...not so sure it's personal choices/splitting hairs though...there's certain things that folks need to happen in order to work efficiently...that's the fun of a console...the meat and potatoes is definitely there...


BTW URS Classic console strip's input stage has a similar greatness...it's just that throwing that on all your buses and then trying to decide between all those different inputs and the weight of it...and then all the compressor and eq choices is just mind numbing...they made a way too great plug...If URS made three classic consoles with set functions (less choices) like the harrison I'd buy those too...in fact it'd be cool to own 10 virtual consoles wouldn't it?

Harrison has started something great I think
Old 23rd November 2009
  #32
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robot gigante's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seablade View Post
Sometime catch me and ask questions then I am usually more than happy to help people out, and know a good deal about Ardour's editing.



There are some people using loopback devices to route between PT and Mixbus I know of, but you are correct in that Jack only works with CoreAudio programs and hardware, which ProTools uses their own protocol to talk to their hardware which bypasses CoreAudio IIRC.

Seablade
Actually, loopback doesn't seem like that tough of a thing to do, despite my joke about it. In fact, I may be tempted to try it at some of the places I freelance at. Of course you know a lot of these HD guys are running their setups on old computers...

Mixbus and PTHD sounds like a sweet combo actually. I'd like to hear what some of my old favorite plugins like the Massenburg EQ sound like when routed to Mixbus.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #33
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I've been running ardour for ages now ( the daw mixbus is integrated in),
and I'm very happy with it. I used to work with protools before I switched to linux. and yet today I just found out about mixbus, unfortunately it is not yet available for linux users. But Ardour is heading for the right direction. I can't argue about mixbus' stability, but ardour sure is stable.

When buying mixbus, please contribute to the ardour project tho, since it is a free daw.

I'm glad harrison jumped on board of this project. SSL was kind enough to finance this project in the earlier days. Then SAE financed it, but they dropped financial support when ardour made the mac version for sae.

I can't wait to see future development of this great daw.
Will it ever outgrow Protools/ Nuendo? Probably not, but for me as a linux user this is the best daw i could ever wish for. Although it is free, it doesn't feel cheap and that is what is so great about and it is versitile.
I don't use the plugins tho, I use hardware. But I won't go into that discussion haha.

Well the ardour mixer needed a visual upgrade and thanks to harrison, the mixer has faders. Like PT.

p.s. I know ardour is in my avatar, but I'm not affiliated with them tho.

toulcit
Old 23rd November 2009
  #34
Lives for gear
OK. I bought it. I got it to record 18 stereo tracks from Logic into Mixbus thru Jack in one pass. These ended up being 44.1/32bit files. Then once you've got actual files in Mixbus, you can start to mix and dispense with Logic. So that was the first hurdle for me: getting stuff out of Logic relatively quickly into Mixbus. I know you could just run Logic, but I got sick of going back and forth. Maybe I'll try that with another song.

My first impressions are that it does something different from the UAD Harrison EQ. In other words, you couldn't slap a UAD Harrison EQ on every Logic channel and have it sound the same.

This thing has an identifiable sound. I'm wondering if people are going to get sick of it really fast because it sort of does one thing really well: a kind of in-your-face very saturated sound simply going through the channels with no effects at all.

I think this Mixbus sound will be great for rock and possibly other pop genres. I don't think it will be as suitable for jazz or orchestral music but I could be wrong about that. The high end at first listen seems a little strange to me. I'm not sure it will be possible to get a glossy sheen on an acoustic guitar if that's what you're going for. But I haven't really mixed yet. I'll know more in a few days and post my impressions.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glissando View Post
Yes I bet that the next version of this will address the delay comp issue no doubt, I'm just commenting on the present...
No problem, I didn't want to address to much of it in here, as I mentioned before I like the concept of keeping this thread for reviews, and you gave an honest one, which I also like whether or not I agree with all of it

Quote:
what's IRC?...
IRC is a realtime chat protocol. There is a URL in the documentation that came with Mixbus that should take you straight to the chatroom for Mixbus. While some people may not respond in there right away depending on the time of day and where you are, it can provide for some good feedback on issues and other things. Some people I know have hung out in there even beyond just reporting their issues as they are enjoying some of the development discussion going on between the Harrison and Ardour folks in there as well and providing feedback and their opinions on the issues that come up.

Quote:
yeah if Harrison is into user opinions, I'd be more than happy...
Pretty certain they are, course as I mentioned before i don't work for em so it really is just a guess in the end

Quote:
not so sure it's personal choices/splitting hairs though...there's certain things that folks need to happen in order to work efficiently...that's the fun of a console...the meat and potatoes is definitely there...
Some of it will be personal choices. Obviously there are some issues, not going to lie about that, but there are also things that come down the personal workflow as well that many people disagree about. That is what I wanted to avoid getting in a debate about here as that could go on for a WHILE But talking about it in IRC can be fun and useful

Seablade
Old 23rd November 2009
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seablade View Post
No problem, I didn't want to address to much of it in here, as I mentioned before I like the concept of keeping this thread for reviews, and you gave an honest one, which I also like whether or not I agree with all of it



IRC is a realtime chat protocol. There is a URL in the documentation that came with Mixbus that should take you straight to the chatroom for Mixbus. While some people may not respond in there right away depending on the time of day and where you are, it can provide for some good feedback on issues and other things. Some people I know have hung out in there even beyond just reporting their issues as they are enjoying some of the development discussion going on between the Harrison and Ardour folks in there as well and providing feedback and their opinions on the issues that come up.



Pretty certain they are, course as I mentioned before i don't work for em so it really is just a guess in the end



Some of it will be personal choices. Obviously there are some issues, not going to lie about that, but there are also things that come down the personal workflow as well that many people disagree about. That is what I wanted to avoid getting in a debate about here as that could go on for a WHILE But talking about it in IRC can be fun and useful

Seablade
cool Seablade
Old 23rd November 2009
  #37
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beanface's Avatar
 

I hope they make a PC version of this, but I'm not sure they will. I can't see jack being ported to windows.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #38
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarsBot View Post
OK. I bought it. I got it to record 18 stereo tracks from Logic into Mixbus thru Jack in one pass.
Not sure I'm understanding you...

RECORD stereo tracks from Logic to Mixbus? Why don't you just Import them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarsBot View Post
So that was the first hurdle for me: getting stuff out of Logic relatively quickly into Mixbus. I know you could just run Logic, but I got sick of going back and forth. Maybe I'll try that with another song.
Again nothing is going to be quicker than just Importing the audio files directly into Mixbus.

R.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Betsey View Post
Not sure I'm understanding you...

RECORD stereo tracks from Logic to Mixbus? Why don't you just Import them?



Again nothing is going to be quicker than just Importing the audio files directly into Mixbus.

R.
I've got a bunch of soft synth tracks in Logic on this song. So I'd have to render them out to get them into Mixbus anyway. Logic will only render out at 24 bit. I'm trying to get the streams that are going on internally in Logic at 32 bit into Mixbus. Logic freezes stuff at 32 bits but renders only at 24 bits. I have projects I've done in other DAWs where all the tracks are ready to go or I could just do a 32 bit dump of everything and import. So yeah, if I can just import, I'm definitely going to do that.

I think I'd rather just run Logic as the DAW with every channel streaming into Mixbus on its own track. Then I guess you'd have to run the output of Mixbus back into Logic and record it in order to write the final mix to a hard drive. Or you could use Audio Hijack to capture the Mixbus Master output. How are you guys rendering a final mix if you're streaming multiple channels into Mixbus?
Old 23rd November 2009
  #40
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Dysanfel's Avatar
I am mixing my next release on Mixbus.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarsBot View Post
I think I'd rather just run Logic as the DAW with every channel streaming into Mixbus on its own track. Then I guess you'd have to run the output of Mixbus back into Logic and record it in order to write the final mix to a hard drive. Or you could use Audio Hijack to capture the Mixbus Master output. How are you guys rendering a final mix if you're streaming multiple channels into Mixbus?
AudioHijack??? Why?

Jack, just route back into Logic if you really wanted. Or record to a track in Mixbus, no reason you can't route the Master out to a tape or a regular track in Mixbus.

Of course if you are recording into mixbus, you could just export out of Mixbus as well.

Seablade
Old 23rd November 2009
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beanface View Post
I hope they make a PC version of this, but I'm not sure they will. I can't see jack being ported to windows.
Jack already exists and is ported to Windows actually. That isn't the issue.

Seablade
Old 24th November 2009
  #43
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Using ADAT or similar interface with Jack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seablade View Post
Yea I think what most people that are using it with ProTools are doing is with LE they are running in and out an ADAT interface or similar, and using Jack on the ADAT to provide routing between the software. Not ideal, but it seems to be working for them.

Seablade
How would one go about setting that up, please?
Old 24th November 2009
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarsBot View Post
I've got a bunch of soft synth tracks in Logic on this song. So I'd have to render them out to get them into Mixbus anyway. Logic will only render out at 24 bit. I'm trying to get the streams that are going on internally in Logic at 32 bit into Mixbus. Logic freezes stuff at 32 bits but renders only at 24 bits. I have projects I've done in other DAWs where all the tracks are ready to go or I could just do a 32 bit dump of everything and import. So yeah, if I can just import, I'm definitely going to do that.
Do tell us how they sound streamed from Logic. I had been importing but was interested in retaining the 32-bit that Logic unfortunately doesn't allow us to render, but I read a couple posts saying that it imparted too much of what they didn't like about the Logic sound. ???
Old 24th November 2009
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenton View Post
In fact the last mix I did used nothing but Mixbus eq and comps with a little Reverb and Delay Designer from Logic.
Are you saying you found a way to use Logic effects in Mixbus -- does Jack let them function outside of the app, remote-like, when the two apps are linked? Or had you already rendered them in the Logic track?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenton View Post
Stereo positioning seems better defined somehow as does low level detail.
As soon as we patch our Logic tracks into Mixbus we can hear an improvement - not just me either. Reverb is more apparent, fader moves are more audible & the low end seems more controlled too. Metering is better than in Logic.
+1. I took tracks from a mix done in Logic and recreated it in Mixbus. Big difference to my ears, and much faster and easier to achieve it. Richer, more open... what others are saying I have found myself. And I didn't need all the plugs.
Old 24th November 2009
  #46
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ProducerBoy's Avatar
 

...Back on topic...

I think it sounds fantastic. It makes mixing ITB fun cause it sounds right.
As soon as UAD plays nice with MixBus, I'll be mixing exclusively in MixBus.
Old 24th November 2009
  #47
Gear Maniac
 

OMF?

Unfortunately Digidesign is under the impression that although their competitors give the support for free, Digidesign should charge to support this format which was created by Avid in the first place.

Man... it's just so easy to be angry with ProTools.
Old 24th November 2009
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixinman View Post
How would one go about setting that up, please?
Using an ADAT interface, running out one ADAT and into another. Much beyond that I can't tell you as I haven't updated my ProTools license in some time and haven't bothered keeping up with the hardware to know what is or is not available.

Seablade
Old 24th November 2009
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmuse View Post
Are you saying you found a way to use Logic effects in Mixbus -- does Jack let them function outside of the app, remote-like, when the two apps are linked? Or had you already rendered them in the Logic track?
I was streaming audio from Logic to Mixbus via Jack - so I could set up a reverb and Delay Designer (doing an AMS harmonizer thing) on two Logic Busses and the output those FX to Mixbus inputs. The downside is that these now appear as PreFade to the Mixbus faders, i.e. if you alter the fader level in Mixbus the reverb level doesn't change like it should, it stays constant.

If you wanted to do it another way, you could set up a send from the Harrison into Logic insert an effect on the send and then route it back into Mixbus. I haven't tried it and I don't know if there would be latency or delay problems...
I'll give it a go in a bit.

*** tried it - it works but you get a buffers worth of latency ***

K.
Old 24th November 2009
  #50
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tysonviolin's Avatar
 

I am having a problem with mixbus and my Apogee Ensemble. When I start-up mixbus it crashed trying to establish audio connection. What am I doing wrong?
Old 25th November 2009
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenton View Post
I was streaming audio from Logic to Mixbus via Jack - so I could set up a reverb and Delay Designer (doing an AMS harmonizer thing) on two Logic Busses and the output those FX to Mixbus inputs. The downside is that these now appear as PreFade to the Mixbus faders, i.e. if you alter the fader level in Mixbus the reverb level doesn't change like it should, it stays constant.

If you wanted to do it another way, you could set up a send from the Harrison into Logic insert an effect on the send and then route it back into Mixbus. I haven't tried it and I don't know if there would be latency or delay problems...
I'll give it a go in a bit.

*** tried it - it works but you get a buffers worth of latency ***

K.
I suspect the latency won't be an issue once the ping style delay compensation that has been worked on gets implemented. Also...

NOTE: IF YOU USE A SEND OR ROUTE DIRECTLY INTO A MIXBUS WITHOUT GOING THROUGH THE GUI ON THE CHANNEL STRIPS, YOU WILL BYPASS ALL AUTOMATION ON THE MIXBUS!

Figured that was important enough for the caps there. I would STRONGLY suggest you route into a standard Bus in Mixbus rather than directly into a mixbus, and then use the GUI channel strips to route it into a mixbus if you desire. This will maintain all processing in the Mixbus.

The main thing is that Mixbus does not simply use Jack for its routing to the mixbusses or master. It uses its own DSP and summing engine as part of that process, part of what many people are enjoying the sound of. If you route into it via Jack, you are effectively bypassing this DSP, which most people probably do not want to do.

Seablade
Old 25th November 2009
  #52
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonviolin View Post
I am having a problem with mixbus and my Apogee Ensemble. When I start-up mixbus it crashed trying to establish audio connection. What am I doing wrong?
Either follow the URL in the documentation included in the download to get on IRC and find me or someone else there, or send an email to harrison, complete with the crash report that comes up when it crashes.

Seablade
Old 25th November 2009
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonviolin View Post
I am having a problem with mixbus and my Apogee Ensemble. When I start-up mixbus it crashed trying to establish audio connection. What am I doing wrong?
This is quickly turning into a lesser version of the mamoth thread where you can find out the many millions of things that can go wrong and how to deal with them. Let's not make this thread a short cut for that.

How about some more "reviews" please???

I love it. Had a few bumps up front but the sound is brilliant. Don't really know why but it doesn't really matter to me. Very wide, very nice. EQ/Filters are fantastic, so easy to get a nice mix quickly.

I don't have any extended experience with a real console so where does this thing stand?

The future seems bright to me.

F
Old 25th November 2009
  #54
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I bought HMB and I gave it a day and I will unistall it first thing tomorrow.

Regarding bugs I don't know where to start, has this thing really been beta tested?

Crashed for 20 different reasons today.

I really like the concept but I did NOT find the sound of HMB very nice, to me it sounds closed in/pushed/2D. logic has no sound , as I see it. I like tape/saturation from analog tape recorders and distorsion boxes but they add "depth" in my world, HMB does not.

.. that's just my opinion but don't trust me, try it out. It's not expensive and well worth the money if the bugs are fixed.
Old 25th November 2009
  #55
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I've been listening to and mixing with Mixbus for a couple of days now and I don't think the excitement is going to last after people have lived with this for a while. It sounds good initially and that's mainly due to the huge built-in amount of saturation and added harmonics on each input channel in Mixbus along with some roll off of high frequencies. This happens to every channel even if you run it without EQ, Comp or Tape saturation. I can achieve this basic sound in Logic with the following chain: CL-1B, TCelectronics Brickwall Limiter set to soft saturation, VTAPE, EQ with a roll off at about 15K.

So I think that's why people say it's easy and present and all the other good things. This is a nice saturation/harmonics effect on each channel. It works well on some instruments and not so well on others. I wish it was a plug-in so I could use it in other DAWs. I think Mixbus would be much more usable if they made this saturation/harmonics treatment accessible and let you dial in however much you want of it. Right now you're stuck with the predetermined amount of it that they've decided to include and it's pretty heavy-handed.

The problem comes in how Mixbus handles transients which get smeared and radically reduced to my ears. If you want this it's great. But on stuff with lots of high frequency transient content like cymbals, piano, etc Mixbus does not shine (pun intended).

Something flaky is going on in the high end IMHO. Harrison advertises this as a return to the golden age of audio and they are getting that kind of sound up to about 8K. But compare the "air" in a Mixbus mix to something like Steely Dan's Asia which really is from the golden age of audio. The high end on Asia sounds way better and you immediately hear where Mixbus has problems. The high end on the major DAWs I've used sounds better to me. Tape does NOT sound like Mixbus. Tape has a lot more high frequency air and clarity if you want it. Yes, I have experience with tape.

I'm glad I got Mixbus because I'm going to use it on certain instruments that need this kind of tape saturation thing (which it does very well, better than most of the plug-ins that attempt this). But I want to be able to retain "air" and clarity when I need that. I think when people get over the initial enthusiasm for the built-in, unavoidable saturation, a lot of folks will be moving away from Mixbus because it's overkill. I think you might be able to take some tracks that have been run through Mixbus and mix them in with unMixbused tracks on another DAW to great effect. And that way you could have some instruments without this Mixbus effect. Actually, I'm going to try that on my next mix.

Also, people are talking about how the summing is better, but I just don't hear that. It sounds like other 32 bit native DAWs with a very nice sounding saturation plug-in on every track to me. I think a lot of the "separation" people are hearing is a by-product of the attenuated high frequencies in Mixbus.
Old 25th November 2009
  #56
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I've now done three mixes...just fun ones no pressure...through Mixbus...it shined most for me on open sparse less agressive material...on the rockier stuf, I found it also to affect the transients a bit too much, however as with anything new, I was probably applying a little too much saturation...I'm also not experiencing width and depth benefits...seems to play really nicely with rock guitars and rock vocals..drums and bass...not yet for me...I'm gonna try just routing those to the master instead of busing...I'll report back....

...got a stupid question...what is the difference between and TAPE track and a REGULAR track? Did I miss something..I can't see where it's easy to flip back and forth so i can't A/B them...or am I ridiculoously missing the point...I seem to be using tape tracks assigned from logic outputs
Old 25th November 2009
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glissando View Post
I've now done three mixes...just fun ones no pressure...through Mixbus...it shined most for me on open sparse less agressive material...on the rockier stuf, I found it also to affect the transients a bit too much, however as with anything new, I was probably applying a little too much saturation...I'm also not experiencing width and depth benefits...seems to play really nicely with rock guitars and rock vocals..drums and bass...not yet for me...I'm gonna try just routing those to the master instead of busing...I'll report back....

...got a stupid question...what is the difference between and TAPE track and a REGULAR track? Did I miss something..I can't see where it's easy to flip back and forth so i can't A/B them...or am I ridiculoously missing the point...I seem to be using tape tracks assigned from logic outputs
When you add tracks in Mixbus you have a pull down menu where you can select "normal" or "tape." As far as I can tell you can't switch between them on that track later once you've made a choice in this menu. If you are using audio files within Mixbus, you can create a new "tape" track and then drag relevant file into that track to hear the difference. The quickstart guide has something about these, but I don't think they're supposed to sound different. After listening to the same audio on tape and normal settings they seem the same to me.

I'm also having issues with the nonexistent documentation. I guess I've got to search around because somebody posted some links to it somewhere or there's supposed to be a chat room for questions.

I can't even get the playback head to go where I click in the file and play from that point. I guess I inadvertently hit some command key and now it won't go to where I want playback to begin. Everybody's thinking about the sound, but actually trying to use this on a daily basis would be a lot of work. It's not even close to being in the DAW major leagues on many, many levels.
Old 25th November 2009
  #58
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robot gigante's Avatar
Press 'P' and the playback cursor will jump to wherever the mouse is. Or you can click at on the top.

I'm not sure how much of the saturation comes from not being able to bypass the tape sat on the master bus, but bypass and an input trim on the master is coming in 1.1 I believe, which should help clean things up a bit.

Of course the hotter you push things the more saturation you seem to get so that is how I dial in the amount I want, similar to the way I use CS Phoenix in Pro Tools. If the tracks are too hot then I trim their inputs down on the popup menu (or gain them down in PTs before export) just like I use the input trim with Phoenix to get the right amount. I've done Mixbus mixes where levels are slamming and I like it though.

Personally the fact that I don't have to instantiate a stack of plugins for the sound I want is one of the draws of Mixbus. I don't like to use too many and with Mixbus I don't use hardly any. Quite frankly I think stacking up a track with plugins sucks most of the time, you get problems that you don't hear with the Mixbus processing.

I use this on a daily basis no sweat. Yeah, it's a learning curve without a doubt, the saturation is an instant gratification thing but once that wears off it is the stuff like the EQ's, the perfectly time compensated bussing (believe me, I wish this was perfect in PTHD), the metering, and the console style routing in addition to the saturation that make it so cool to work with.

I agree it does something with the highs (along with the mids and lows), as do all digital tape simulators I've tried. Personally I'm happy that it doesn't add a bunch of shrieky highs like the Cranesong tape process does, which is the only one before Mixbus that I ever liked (both have their up and down sides). I don't have problems with getting air in my mixes, but it has been a learning process to get there.

It is a little buggy right now though, not too buggy to work on but I hope 1.1 takes care of most of them.
Old 25th November 2009
  #59
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tysonviolin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seablade View Post
Either follow the URL in the documentation included in the download to get on IRC and find me or someone else there, or send an email to harrison, complete with the crash report that comes up when it crashes.

Seablade
I got my MIXBUS working today and and felt comfortable after tests so I recorded a 4 hour session. WOW!!!! This sounds great. I A/B'd the tracks in logic and Protools with no mixing and the MixBus sounded WAY better. The sound reminds me of the ease of throwing up a mix on a big Neve or API at Cello!!! SWEEET! Thanks to the guys at Harrison.

Now I have to get to work learning the editing features :P
Old 25th November 2009
  #60
Gear Maniac
 

I got this yesterday so I've not spent much time with it yet. The first 3 hours were nothing but pure frustration, trying every combination of settings in Logic, Jack and HMB before I got any sound from it at all. There are just too many variables and not enough help. The fact that the Ardour website and forum seem to have collapsed hasn't helped! Wading through 40 odd pages on here looking for answers is not my idea of fun either.

However - once I eventually got it all working my first impressions are that I really love the sound this has. There's something extra to the depth and resolution of the sound, more separation I think, the bass seems warmer, parts more defined in space, it's hard to explain.

I was looking to buy a channel strip and some sort of warmth/ saturation plugin, and was pretty much decided on the Waves SSL bundle with either the URS or WaveArts saturation. Now I don't need either! Having a really musical eq and compressor/limiter on hand on every channel without inserting anything is great. It's easy to dial in a great sound straight away.

I think the magic in HMB lies in the gain staging and the closed nature of the mixbus routing. Which you wouldn't get slapping assorted plugins on every channel (for over 10 times the price). Hoping for a less buggy update (and stress free integration with Logic) soon. Good work! thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
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