Shortly after releasing the 3.2 update for their Mixbus DAW and analogue emulating virtual mixer console Harrison spring the Mixbus 32C on an unsuspecting community. The YouTube comments and product forum are awash with confused posts about whether this is an upgrade or a replacement for Mixbus – Harrison say you can run both – but why would you?
Harrison lean very heavily on their hardware heritage, it always fills the first half of their promo videos, and their focus is to bring that analog experience to the DAW. The latest version of Mixbus does this quite successfully. The Mixbus 32C takes this further by faithfully emulating their famous Harrison 32C hardware console used by all sorts of famous people on all sorts of famous albums. They claim to have emulated every single resistor, capacitor and transistor in the original hardware to bring a previously unheard of level of analog sonic character to a software mixer. They say that this level of always on and always available processing would not have been possible even 5 years ago, but current computer power has essentially let them realise their dream of total console emulation. That’s pretty sweet.
The list of features on the website is huge and overwhelming so to pick out a couple of keys ones: The whole console is laid out and always available with each knob doing it’s own thing. You have the full four-band parametric sweepable EQ with separate filter section and second order high and low pass filters. You have 12 stereo busses with level control, tone control, bus compression and tape saturation on the master. You have unlimited inputs, support for VST or AU effects and instruments, MIDI filters, audio effects, ASIO and CoreAudio support – all the usual things you’d find in a DAW. And of course the mixer is integrated with the Harrison DAW which can hold its own in the crowded multi-track market.
The confusion arises because there’s a lack of information about how it compares to the original Mixbus. It’s like Harrison are trying to keep it as a separate product rather than, as seems obvious and logical, have it as like a higher-end version of Mixbus. Maybe that’s what it is, they just haven’t put it across very well. Certainly in terms of price it’s quite a leap being $299 as opposed to the $79 of Mixbus, although both are still good value for money.
More information: Harrison Mixbus 32C product page.