INTRO Mixbus is a Digital Audio Workstation developed by Harrison, a famous high-end American large format console company. It's an analog style mixing environments with great-sounding smooth EQs, filters, compression (leveler, compressor, limiter), analog tape saturation (super impressive), dynamics, bus summing, and a knob dedicated to each function. The GUI is clean, and the transports are familiar and comfortable to anyone who has worked in a "real" pro studio. The workflow is simple and powerful with a choice of importing audio from another source/DAW or recording. The design and layout is intuitive, straightforward, simple, and powerful. You won't have to labor through endless windows, popups, and menus to track, mix, and master. Yet, the most impressive thing about Mixbus, IMO, is the sound. Whatever audio I run through it simply sounds better. I don't know if it's because of feel of classic, vintage tweaking or if there is an invisible little wizard inside helping me. To quote another reviewer, "Mixbus improves in areas where others fall short and offers something no other DAW can boast: a million-dollar mixer." I have found this to be very true.
MY FAVORITE Features:
Classic console interface/GUI (based on the famous 32 and MR-series).
Two window approach (editor and mixer).
Small learning curve, especially for those who grew up pre-digital.
Plays nice with other DAWs via Jack.
Flexible looping and auto-punch.
Versatile audio routing.
Levels can be dragged up and down by swiping across the waveform.
Phase, trim, filters, compression, mix bus sends on every track.
Impressive shuttle wheel speeding, slowing, and scrubbing audio with or without pitch-changing.
Excellent metering (channel meter, compressor gain reduction meter, tape saturation meters, peak limiting meter, K-14 average level meter, and a final peak limiting meter).
Amazing $ value.
Responsive, innovative developers (frequent updates + great communication).
I have heard that Mixbus will soon release a version with advanced MIDI capabilities. Wow!! At that point, "Fully Featured" will have a new meaning.
Snapshot saving is something I have never encountered before.
Sync via Jack can be buggy at times.
Hey, throw in that highly acclaimed G-verb. I'm greedy.
SUMMARY Harrison Mixbus delivers the very best of analog-style mixing to eMusicians, producers, film/game scorers, DJs, sound designers, etc. It helps to create great tracks; it does not get in the way and suck the creative juices out of your muse! The workflow is fast and fun. Tracking with Mixbus is a breeze and the virtual real console mixing is a dream. There is something unmistakably special about this software that helps bring recordings to life — nice bottom end, punchy mids, and crisp, clean (not shrill) top end. Mixbus is linear and will probably not be the primary DAW for those who use a Launchpad and link clips a la Live or Bitwig; however, even in such a case, Mixbus provides an excellent secondary DAW for mix-downs and mastering. Even with its limitations, i.e., lack of MIDI, this is a must buy — the mixer section is do die for! Once I used it, I couldn't imagine not using it. It provides lots of analog without much effort. Don't let the price tag fool you — this is pro stuff. Tommy Zai gives Mixbus two tracks up. Thank you, Harrison, for developing such an amazing workstation. Fantastic.
*As soon as Harrison releases an update with MIDI is implemented my rating for Mixbus shoots up to 10+.
VERSION 3.0 Harrison just released MixBus v3. .. I've been asked, "Which features have they added that you were waiting on?"
My response: These two features, when combined with the power of a virtual Harrison console, make the new version amazing:
Unlimited MIDI tracks & virtual instruments.
No longer requires JACK.
I am also excited about the enhanced compressor/limiter that is on-board and the more accurate scalable interface.
For me, what this means is. .. unless I'm doing a project that requires intensive, sophisticated MIDI, I can exclusively use MixBus. Having said that, I do have Numerology by Five12, which will continue to be my application for MIDI madness, and now I can import MIDI tracks into MixBus. Version 3, in theory, will simplify my setup and workflow. Yet, this MixBus update really changes things for me and probably for many other eMusicians, producers, etc. It's especially wonderful for those who prefer and appreciate the power and hands-on feel of a hardware console. .. old school cats and young dudes, who find their other DAW of choice is getting in the way of their creativity.
I will adjust my user review and possibly the rating after demoing the new version. So far, it's all just anticipation.. .
This tool is a joy to use. I've used it for mixdowns of live band recordings. I really really like being able to work without loads and loads of plugin user interfaces to faff around with. This product is pretty unique in its focus to deliver the analogue mixing console EXPERIENCE not just in terms of sound (which id does), but also in terms of quick/easy access to all the controls you need for mixing. This means your flow is never interrupted - you're totally focused on the MUSIC the whole time, not the software GUI. Hope that makes sense. Just give it a go and mix down a couple of songs in it to get what I mean. Just as an experiment, use absolutely no plugins at all, with EQ, Compression, and tape saturation built into the board, you can get the job done. The only time you'll need a plugin is for reverb, chorus, and delay. This would be the best tool for a busy studio thats pressed for time in getting mixes done. The editing is not too shabby. Crossfades are implemented nicely. It has stretch markers etc. I have licences to 3 other DAWs not including this one, but it always has a special place in my toolkit.