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Harrison Mixbus Reviews DAW Software
Old 20th November 2009
  #1
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Harrison Mixbus Reviews

The other thread is too long and I thought it would be good to have a fresh thread specifically for those that have used it...

...I just bought the $80 Demo and mixed with it for four hours...here's my thoughts


...it is an $80 Demo....however well worth the price...very limited in what it can do, but SOUNDS good...I ran it and Logic together and after figuring that out for two hours, it was pretty easy and makes sense...like a console, everything you need is right in front of you...eq is pretty good (not harsh)..love the three comp/limit/level choices...that's fun and can be dialed in appropriately...best thing about it is the saturation stages...very nicely done by whoever designed it...allows you to dial it in and easily see in steps and that is what I really like is that you can use a little limit on the chanel, a hair more on the bus along with some saturation...and then a little more saturation on the master and possibly a smidge of comp and before you know it...you have some good glue going on ITB without using a hundred plugs...and you don't have to rack your brain thinking about which of your 20 eq's. 30 comps and 4 saturation plugs to use...I like this idea a lot...it helps take some thinking away and encourages mixing the damn thing already!! Very good job...there;s lots to improve on, but it's a good piece so far...has immediate impact...methinks this is the way of the ITB future....have a uniform soound of a console console that works best for you and have key pieces of outboard gear (plugs)...all ITB....what a concept...having a shape to your ITB console
Old 20th November 2009
  #2
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Kenton's Avatar
 

I agree.
I finally got around to doing my own null test last night - One mix direct from Logic, one mix (same audio files, same levels 0dB) in Mixbus.
They DON'T null - differences in the lower 16 bits of 24 - possibly due to the master bus saturation (which was all the way down). Also 1 sample time difference from start of file.

Subjectively, I enjoy mixing in Mixbus far more than Logic - it seems quicker and I seem to use less eq and comps. In fact the last mix I did used nothing but Mixbus eq and comps with a little Reverb and Delay Designer from Logic.
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.

Looking forward to v1.1 and being able to use my favourite UAD plugs.
No regrets spending $80 on this AT ALL...

K.
Old 20th November 2009
  #3
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anyone else?
Old 20th November 2009
  #4
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getreel's Avatar
I bought Mixbus a week or two ago and I've used it to mix a couple of songs that I had previously mixed in Sonar. Mixbus was easier to get a good sounding mix faster and I love the built in comp/level/limit on each channel. The mixbuses work amazing well also. That's something I could never get to happen in Sonar. Always latency issues. I've found that it even appears to run fine on 10.6 for me and it's not officially supported. I used the newer Jack version for 10.6 though. I do wish I had more plugins for this because all my stuff is VST on PCs on my main rig. So right now, I'm still working in Sonar and exporting for use with Mixbus on my Macbook. This software, to me, does sound like a real console more than some others I've tried. I still like Sonar an awful lot but Mixbus looks like it's going to get better and better. They are on the right track.
Old 20th November 2009
  #5
Here for the gear
 

first impressions..
sounds great.
buggy as hell.
what little bug free glimpses i've had, have been promising.
and i am still quite excited about testing it out, but I am starting to feel like a paying beta tester;(
Old 20th November 2009
  #6
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getreel's Avatar
My understanding is that if we bought it, we will get at least one free upgrade to the next version in which they are fixing suggestions and bugs. It was such a good deal, I don't really mind testing. I haven't found it to be all that buggy on my unsupported version of Mac OS.
Old 20th November 2009
  #7
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This software looks great but am I correct in thinking that there is no PC version?
Old 20th November 2009
  #8
Here for the gear
 

At last, after some pretty impressive and responsive technical support, I hope I have some stability now. I will report back over the next few days and let you all know how this baby sounds.
Old 20th November 2009
  #9
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marcpl's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJBlueDrink View Post
This software looks great but am I correct in thinking that there is no PC version?
you are correct sir. it's only for mac.
Old 20th November 2009
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenk View Post
first impressions..
sounds great.
buggy as hell.
what little bug free glimpses i've had, have been promising.
and i am still quite excited about testing it out, but I am starting to feel like a paying beta tester;(
we are paying beta testers...I feel that it's kinda worth it though...I'll be doing more roughs through it over the weekend, at which point I'll know if I still like it as much...there's not a lot to it (which I want!)...we'll see how it stands up..
Old 20th November 2009
  #11
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FadersmakmeHappy's Avatar
 

Downloaded Harrison Mixbuss the other night. Pretty cool....

I definitely think this in the harbinger of things to come for the plug in industry. I don't like the summing in logic and have been using a console and summing units and I much prefer the Harrision sound and workflow to Logic for mixing. Without using it much I can already see an improvement in the speed of workflow. I also found the channel strip usable and the layout refreshing. The filter did not disappoint.

While I don't think it will replace my hardware rig for mixing, I do think its a great idea and hopefully some others will build native systems that tie into. I do a lot of rough production demos that I don't want to take the time to mix OTB but want some polish on them for clients.

Wish list: I know waves, UA, and Chandler could build this. What would be awesome is the ability to sidecar them too.

SSL 4000 Console with Lexicon's new verb plug.
Vintage Neve Console with EQs and comp.
Classic UA tube console
Chandler Console
Old 20th November 2009
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FadersmakmeHappy View Post
Downloaded Harrison Mixbuss the other night. Pretty cool....

I definitely think this in the harbinger of things to come for the plug in industry. I don't like the summing in logic and have been using a console and summing units and I much prefer the Harrision sound and workflow to Logic for mixing. Without using it much I can already see an improvement in the speed of workflow. I also found the channel strip usable and the layout refreshing. The filter did not disappoint.

While I don't think it will replace my hardware rig for mixing, I do think its a great idea and hopefully some others will build native systems that tie into. I do a lot of rough production demos that I don't want to take the time to mix OTB but want some polish on them for clients.

Wish list: I know waves, UA, and Chandler could build this. What would be awesome is the ability to sidecar them too.

SSL 4000 Console with Lexicon's new verb plug.
Vintage Neve Console with EQs and comp.
Classic UA tube console
Chandler Console

mmmm...sidecar
Old 20th November 2009
  #13
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robot gigante's Avatar
I also bought it a short while ago and have done maybe five or six mixes on it. I did a couple mixes where I had previously done mixes in PTs before, and everyone I showed them to preferred the Mixbus mixes by a large margin. So I guess it works for me... It's been a little buggy but useable.

The sound: I think it raises the bar in a lot of respects. I think it is the first digital platform where I can do parallel routing with sends and not have the sound fold a little. It is definitely colored when you push things.

The tape saturation is impressive. I think it hangs in there with the Cranesong stuff, perhaps even better- the interface with the mixbusses and the metering definitely makes it simpler and funner to dial the right amount in. The EQ's are great. Last night I did some console style sweeps on some pads for a electro track and was really impressed. The compressors are grabbier than most plugin compressors, very cool, and the level, compressor and limit settings make them very flexible.

Overall it seems to bring out low-level detail more than PTs. Imaging and lows/low mids can be dialed in better as well to my ears. I don't find myself using as much compression either other than for effect.

The interface: The console style routing combined with the Ardour/Jack style routing gives you a lot of possibilities. Since you can output a track to the mixbusses and master bus at the same time, the four mixbusses are not nearly as limited as it would seem, although six or eight would be prime. The console style routing speeds up my workflow a ton.

I like being able to stack send/plugin/send/plugin with the Ardour routing. Right now setting up Ardour sends is kind of clumsy, would like to see a more refined way to set up a simple internal send (it lets you literally route anything anywhere though).

It has fader grouping but it is kind of limited there. Automation... would like to see an in-depth manual about it just to get an idea of what its limitations are- kind of seems like a game of hit and miss (other than simple volume and group automation) where some things work and others I'm not sure.

Metering is great.

This has replaced my personal PTLE setup, and I think I will invest in something like a Prism Orpheus and more analog hardware instead of saving up for PTHD like I was planning to do- whew! I also freelance at a couple places and will continue to mix on PTHD there until/unless they release a more stable, capable version of Mixbus, in which case bye bye PTHD, I'll ask them to get Mixbus.

Looking forward to 1.1 as well.
Old 20th November 2009
  #14
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante View Post
It has fader grouping but it is kind of limited there. Automation... would like to see an in-depth manual about it just to get an idea of what its limitations are- kind of seems like a game of hit and miss (other than simple volume and group automation) where some things work and others I'm not sure.
If you haven't already looked at them, for the time being these are a nice breakdown of Ardour's basics for editing, a LOT of which(But not all) carry over into Mixbus....

Andrew Johnston on Vimeo

We (Ardour) are working on a tech reference manual at the moment so hopefully that will fill in more holes as well in the long term.

Seablade
Old 20th November 2009
  #15
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ryst's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante View Post
I also bought it a short while ago and have done maybe five or six mixes on it. I did a couple mixes where I had previously done mixes in PTs before, and everyone I showed them to preferred the Mixbus mixes by a large margin. So I guess it works for me... It's been a little buggy but useable.

The sound: I think it raises the bar in a lot of respects. I think it is the first digital platform where I can do parallel routing with sends and not have the sound fold a little. It is definitely colored when you push things.

The tape saturation is impressive. I think it hangs in there with the Cranesong stuff, perhaps even better- the interface with the mixbusses and the metering definitely makes it simpler and funner to dial the right amount in. The EQ's are great. Last night I did some console style sweeps on some pads for a electro track and was really impressed. The compressors are grabbier than most plugin compressors, very cool, and the level, compressor and limit settings make them very flexible.

Overall it seems to bring out low-level detail more than PTs. Imaging and lows/low mids can be dialed in better as well to my ears. I don't find myself using as much compression either other than for effect.

The interface: The console style routing combined with the Ardour/Jack style routing gives you a lot of possibilities. Since you can output a track to the mixbusses and master bus at the same time, the four mixbusses are not nearly as limited as it would seem, although six or eight would be prime. The console style routing speeds up my workflow a ton.

I like being able to stack send/plugin/send/plugin with the Ardour routing. Right now setting up Ardour sends is kind of clumsy, would like to see a more refined way to set up a simple internal send (it lets you literally route anything anywhere though).

It has fader grouping but it is kind of limited there. Automation... would like to see an in-depth manual about it just to get an idea of what its limitations are- kind of seems like a game of hit and miss (other than simple volume and group automation) where some things work and others I'm not sure.

Metering is great.

This has replaced my personal PTLE setup, and I think I will invest in something like a Prism Orpheus and more analog hardware instead of saving up for PTHD like I was planning to do- whew! I also freelance at a couple places and will continue to mix on PTHD there until/unless they release a more stable, capable version of Mixbus, in which case bye bye PTHD, I'll ask them to get Mixbus.

Looking forward to 1.1 as well.
You can't route audio from PT into Mixbus though, correct?
Old 20th November 2009
  #16
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robot gigante's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seablade View Post
If you haven't already looked at them, for the time being these are a nice breakdown of Ardour's basics for editing, a LOT of which(But not all) carry over into Mixbus....

Andrew Johnston on Vimeo

We (Ardour) are working on a tech reference manual at the moment so hopefully that will fill in more holes as well in the long term.

Seablade
I did watch them, unfortunately he didn't cover what I was looking for. Not really looking to use Mixbus for editing anyway.

Quote:
You can't route audio from PT into Mixbus though, correct?
I don't think so... "Anything, anywhere" except for PT that is! Although maybe with a 192 digital you could do some shenanigans where you route to its outs and back into Mixbus via another digital interface or a digital router, not that I would want to try...

I've been running Mixbus standalone. It does work with digi's coreaudio driver albeit with some hiccups, so I am currently monitoring with a Benchmark DAC-1 hanging off a 003.
Old 20th November 2009
  #17
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ryst's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante View Post
I don't think so... "Anything, anywhere" except for PT that is! Although maybe with a 192 digital you could do some shenanigans where you route to its outs and back into Mixbus via another digital interface or a digital router, not that I would want to try...

I've been running Mixbus standalone. It does work with digi's coreaudio driver albeit with some hiccups, so I am currently monitoring with a Benchmark DAC-1 hanging off a 003.
That's my only issue. I really enjoy recording/editing/mixing in PT. I guess when I'm almost finished with the mix I could create stems to load into Mixbus. But I usually automate a ton of stuff so I guess the mix would have to be completely finished before I load any audio into Mixbus. Regardless, I'm gonna download the demo and see how I can make it work for me.
Old 21st November 2009
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante View Post
I did watch them, unfortunately he didn't cover what I was looking for. Not really looking to use Mixbus for editing anyway.
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.

Quote:
I don't think so... "Anything, anywhere" except for PT that is! Although maybe with a 192 digital you could do some shenanigans where you route to its outs and back into Mixbus via another digital interface or a digital router, not that I would want to try...

I've been running Mixbus standalone. It does work with digi's coreaudio driver albeit with some hiccups, so I am currently monitoring with a Benchmark DAC-1 hanging off a 003.
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
Old 21st November 2009
  #19
Gear Nut
 

This program seems very interesting.

How and Why does it sound better?? Does it "Saturate" just by running audio through it?

Am I able to get the same sound with Saturation plugs in PT?

Does it have ADC?

cheers...
Old 21st November 2009
  #20
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by evillain View Post
This program seems very interesting.

How and Why does it sound better?? Does it "Saturate" just by running audio through it?

Am I able to get the same sound with Saturation plugs in PT?

Does it have ADC?

cheers...
Check the 30-40 page thread in the new product forum, most of these got answered there.

There is Plugin Delay compensation on the tracks and Mixbusses.

And general consensus thus far is that no, you won't get the same sound by just using saturation plugins in ProTools(Or any other software).

If you have other questions, the other thread is a great resource, and that way we can hopefully keep this thread focused on the reviews, which I am finding interesting

Seablade

PS This thread.... https://www.gearslutz.com/board/new-p...w-os-x-38.html
Old 21st November 2009
  #21
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H-Rezz's Avatar
 

Simply put Harrison Mixbus ROCKS

Those who haven't tried it and have an extra $80 to spend do yourself a favour and see where the future is heading ..
Old 21st November 2009
  #22
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H-Rezz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryst View Post
But I usually automate a ton of stuff so I guess the mix would have to be completely finished before I load any audio into Mixbus..
I find this to be a positive thing, this helps me commit quicker instead of getting into the endless touch-ups and tweaks that can last forever if you're not careful !

Wearing the production hat and mixing hat on the same platform becomes a struggle IMO, with Mixbus not only does it sound and feel better to me than any DAW for mixing, it actually helps in putting me in a different mode in the creative process ....

I have pretty much most saturation plugs around and none that can re-create what the mixbus is doing, not to mention having a great eq/filter and comp on every channel is so practical ....
Old 21st November 2009
  #23
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The MPCist's Avatar
 

Bummer about not being able to use MixBus with Pro Tools HD directly.... Would be nice to try it out if it did.....
Old 21st November 2009
  #24
Gear Nut
 

thank you seablade....
Old 21st November 2009
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The MPCist View Post
Bummer about not being able to use MixBus with Pro Tools HD directly.... Would be nice to try it out if it did.....
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
Old 22nd November 2009
  #26
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So I'm about to get the Harrison Mixbus. I've looked through all the threads including the short one on UAD where some guys are raving about it even though it won't quite work with UAD plug-ins yet. I haven't seen anyone who bought it who doesn't like it. Have there been any nay sayer who have actually used it? I've seen plenty of BS from people who are dismissive of the whole concept but haven't actually tried it.

Edit: Oh yeah - Is this sound that everybody likes similar to the UAD Harrison EQ plug which I have. I'm just trying to get an idea.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #27
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarsBot View Post
So I'm about to get the Harrison Mixbus. I've looked through all the threads including the short one on UAD where some guys are raving about it even though it won't quite work with UAD plug-ins yet. I haven't seen anyone who bought it who doesn't like it. Have there been any nay sayer who have actually used it? I've seen plenty of BS from people who are dismissive of the whole concept but haven't actually tried it.
In my wanderings on the web, I found one person that simply said, "It wasn't for me"...

That is honestly the worst I have read. There are some people that had technical issues, some bugs, some setup problems, but in general most of those once they got going I think were happy with the result.

Standard Disclaimer Applies of course: I do NOT work for Harrison, however I am involved in the Ardour project and was/is one of the beta testers for Mixbus.

Quote:
Edit: Oh yeah - Is this sound that everybody likes similar to the UAD Harrison EQ plug which I have. I'm just trying to get an idea.
I haven't used the UAD plugin, but from the people I have heard that have compared UAD's Harrison plugins, I would bet probably not exactly identical, but that is about the best I could tell you.

Seablade
Old 23rd November 2009
  #28
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...negative...this is definitely not ready for serious production...I and others can make it work, but it is really buggy at the moment and fairly limited in it's capabilities....it just sounds good and the design idea is great...a couple steps away from being a great program IMHO...things to improve on...ease of operation with another DAW..complete delay compensation....save as...Jack...I can't see what freq I'm adjusting....clunky edting etc there's lots...personally I'd like to see it just as a mixer, with no editing capabilities whatsoever...just like a console...meant to be used always with another platform.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #29
Gear Addict
 

Heh ok two now

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by glissando View Post
complete delay compensation....
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

Quote:
save as...
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
Old 23rd November 2009
  #30
Gear Addict
 
beanface's Avatar
 

Yeah, I knew something was going to happen with ardour / linux developement - just didn't quite happen on Linux. When I got the Waves API bundle, I set up 2 32 channel session templates with either 550a/b's or 560 and 2500 on each channel, and 8 stereo busses with an EQ compressor of my choice on each one, al la M Brauer and left it at that - maybe inserting an oxford EQ if I needed hp/lp filters. With the saturation / analogue output on the plugs, even with extremely low levels, it didnt sum for sh*t and there was defintely other subtle euphonic benefits too- not to mention the easy workflow! I bet its a bit more stable too :0) Great idea, somehow I feel a bit robbed though
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