Made by the same people as the actual Harrison mix consoles, Mixbus is the DAW that stands out in the crowded market with an analog console emulation built into its mixer. There’s also a fully supported Linux version for that rare breed of audio engineer tinkering with kernels. Mixbuss is still a respectable DAW on its own, with or without the virtual transistors and other amenities. So here’s to Mixbus version 6, a major update that will surely bring some renewed attention to Harrison’s bespoke DAW.
Version 6 comes with the devrelopers’ latest audio engine improvements – latency compensated buses alongside tracks, cue monitoring for midi and audio tracks, and unlimited Aux buses assignable to each track. Also available are foldback buses to create headphone mixes for the performers, sync to varispeed external timecode sources, and a new Cut/Scissor tool. The Region List has been revised to show only regions currently in use, with the ability to select and tag regions. A new Source List shows file sources used in the session, with Take IDs and timestamps to ease locating and recovery. Regions and Sources can be tagged together to help with session management.
Another addition is the virtual MIDI keyboard which maps your regular keyboard for note input. There’s also MP3 import and export for Windows and Linux now, previously only available for Mac using Apple’s built-in decoder. Version 6 adds user-requested features as well, such as channel vca assignment and phase switches returning to the main channel strip, auto-filling temporary session names, track direct outputs, show/hide all automation, and toggle chosen tracks between layered or stacked region view.
Price and availability
Mixbus is priced very reasonably at just USD 80 for the full-featured version or USD 19 for upgrading from any prior version. A free demo is available on the Harrison website. A more thorough version called Mixbus 32C with emulated parametric four-band EQs and 4 additional stereo summing busses is available as well, though the virtual analog summing engine is the same between the two variants.