HARISSON MIXBUS 32C - TRUE LOVE NEVER DIES

Choosing "this" one, optimal DAW is not a simple task.

Developers of software designed for audio production regreat us, admittedly, with new solutions that allow us to achieve more, but in practice often it turns out that if a given manufacturer has one, the other usually has a second.

 

In addition, communication between diffrent workstations (including session transfer, keyboard shortcuts support, or general workflow) forces us to use the one that most people use - especially if we usually work remotely, sending various pre-edited or final versions of files.

A good DAW should not only be rich in editing capabilities, it should also be stable, fast and transparent.
It has been assumed that he should not also color the signal. And basically, we should not argue with it, but what if our priority is not the transparency mentioned above?

What if we aim for a full and warm analog sound without having a place or money for additional hardware or plugins?

What if the color of our project is its value?

 

If we are looking for a specific defined sound? If we are looking for an old analog workflow? A compromise between the possibilities offered by digital work environments and the old creativity, freedom and sound?

Mixbus is a DAW different than all.

 

Ascetic, climatic going back to the past when mixing was done with the light turned off.

 

Instead of an infinite number of tables, paths and a lot of editing windows, we get a complete console that we can freely turn up and upsitedown...
 

All the benefits of a real Harisson analog table recalled with one click of the mouse.  Tempting? Isnt?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every aspect related to the production of sound (which I hope to prove in a moment) basically can be explained in a concrete way. In truth, it can not be denied that analog recordings can sound different than those recorded digitally, but this is not due to commercially abused intangible magic, only physical properties (and also limitations) of hardware units.

The magic of large analog consoles in the colloquial sense is a mixture of opportunism, talent, technical thought and personal preferences of artists and musicians. It's also a coincidence ...
 

This is the mariage of the right moment, available components, the possibilities and decisions taken.
 

Finally, it's people...

People gifted with remarkable imagination and very good hearing.

 

A mathematical mind and a thoroughly humanistic soul. People who in these great constructions have noticed and still see the element of magic...
 

A large format analog console is not the result of complicated experiments. It is not quantum physics, it does not require cosmic, scientifically developed technology.

 

In its construction there are no unusual components, something inaccessible, escaping the schemes.

 

There is an immeasurable passion, devotion, commitment, ingenuity, reliable manual execution, a deeply thought out logical scheme.

 

Only that much and so much at the same time ...
 

Magic often began after the first completed mix ...
 

After proper warming up of the circuits ...
 

In contact with a man sitting at the heart of the control room...

As I mentioned earlier, a classic DAW does not color the signal.

 

It does not make it colored, does not dress in any additional shape.

 

Digital equipment also does not add anything. They do not distort it, do not compress, do not saturate...
Instead, they capture the signal and transmit it inside the DAW exactly as it is at the beginning...

 

Meanwhile, any analog high-end device will always generate a certain amount of distortion and noise, these distortions will be many times greater than in the case of a plugin emulating the same device.

 

Of course, the joy of being able to interact with a physical copy of your dream analog desk is invaluable, but...

 

Working conditions with real analog equipment...

 

Analogue hardware usually has a very high impedance at the output, as a result of which it often has a dedicated transformer at the input, which significantly and not always favors the sound in favor.

 

Digital distortions resulting from calculations in plugins are out of reach of our hearing (usually they lie around 80dB below the proper signal).

 

Plugin settings are 100% reproducible / repeatable and very easy to recall. However, with external analog processors it is not so easy, it is not the worst if they have stepwise controlled parameters, but with smooth movements of knobs, it is difficult to hit exactly the same place twice. In addition, the left and right channels for plugins on stereo tracks always match perfectly. With analogue hardware in this regard it is usually different...

The console, all its components; transistors, transformers, circuits, capacitors, they all affect the sound.

 

The big console processes the signal let into it in a very musical, full way. As a result, the bottom of the band is often highlighted. The highs becomes more plastic, soft ...
 

Here lies the essence of the magic of analog sound ...

 

Non-linear summing of the signal ... Separate transformers, independently coloring each mixbus channel...

Digital equalizers also do not add anything to the processed signal.

 

They do not generate any hard printetd curve. In the case of analogue channel strip, the equalizer present on the board often adds to the signal some specific  (for a given model and manufactuer) correction curve, which should be understood simply as a change in the frequency distribution.

 

Next we have the width of the mix. And this rejection of any overinterpretation is simply the result of differences in the left and right channels and their relationship to the center of the mix, which are mainly related to the setting of microphones during recordings of stereo tracks, and later a corresponding panning in the mix.

And what about the tracks recorded directly on tape, where even mono tracks seem to sound broader than in the world of digital?

 

Well, the tape adds a bit of quiet noise to each signal, no mater if mono or stereo, and the fact that it is irregular and different in the left and right channel can cause a perceptible width.
 

This small differences between the left and right channel (which always exist in analogue recording) can further enhance this effect.
 

By the way... 

 

The tape itself  It also adds a lot to the signal. It often distorts the balance between right and left channels, not only adds natural compression but also saturation, which is pleasant to the ear by rounding the transients, is characterized by flutter, a slight variation in the pitch of the sound, and also gives the signal a certain dose automatic correction.
 

In some situations, the tracks recorded on the tape will sound nicer to the ear and this is because of the side effects I mentioned above.

The human ear usually misinterprets the sound, recognizing it as better.

In some situations, the tracks recorded on the tape will acquire specific properties (EQ curve, saturation, compression, transients), which in the final analysis may exceed the recordings in the digital domain.
 

The exact position in the spectrum of a few-decibel boost (called "head bump") depends on the type of tape, its speed (15 or 30 IPS) and the geometry of the recording head. Usually, it will be around 40-80Hz.
 

On the other hand, the spectrum has to do with adding to the recorded high frequency signal (through AC Bias) and direct current (through DC Bias), which in simplified terms is called "pre-emphasis". However, during playback, the corresponding undercutting of the same bands (called de-emphasis) is applied, which allows you to listen to the sound similar to the original, but allows you to register higher frequencies and at optimal signal levels.

 

This, of course, also increases the amount of noise that will reach the tape, but thanks to this, the signal is not too dull and dark, meaning there is no lack of information in higher registers.
 

Analyzing the magic of the analog sound,  I should mention also the role of the limiter, which we can limit the high bands, imitating the process occurring when cutting vinyl records, the sound of which is often associated with the analogue's warmth.
 

Meanwhile, this is nothing more than a compulsory process in the pressing of vinyl plates.

 

Similarly with the bass level, which can not be too high and should be always in the middle of the panorama, otherwise the needle would pop out of the cut grooves.
 

The last thing that affects the magic of the tape is the natural compression and saturation mentioned above, which occur when we "hit" the tape with a stronger signal. In addition to the effect of better controlled transients and more dense sound, at very high levels, the sound is saturated with additional harmonics, which gives the signal a pleasant effect on the ear.
 

What exactly is saturation?
 

Most often, this process is referred to as a kind of overdriving, the effect of which is the appearance of previously absent harmonics. However, this is not all. During recording the signal on the tape, the level of the signal striking the carrier was intentionally increased, as a result of which the tape started to react in a specific way. It was something like compression / limitation combined with light ("soft") clipping. In analogue times it was one of only two known ways of achieving this type of sound.
 

The second case occurred while using the tube equipment, and just like with the tape - too strong signal passing through the lamps received a lot of newly-generated harmonics in the bonus and was characterized by a light compression (often called "natural").
 

 


 

Summary

 

Anyone who at least once mixed on an real analog desk will never forget the fragrance emitted by the warming circuits. Do not forget the climate of the lighted control room and the huge sound generated by the monitor speakers ...

I've known Harisson for years. His equalizers, albums mixed on the consoles of this brand...

 

Their heritage and technological - musical legacy ...

 

My appetite for Mixbus was so huge ...

 

I was expecting, or rather I hoped it would not be an ordinary DAW. That it will be a kind of  new, old world...

 

A complete, complementary work environment entirely based on the best construction habits of this company .
And fortunatly I was not wrong, but what I got... Really exceeded my expectations!

At first glance, the Mixbus 32C is a software recreation of an analog large-format console, but this is only a semblance. Mixbus is a full-fledged workstation allowing you to combine all the benefits of a typical DAW with a very convincing analog sound and workflow ...

 

After just a few minutes spent with Mixbus, you start to wonder if Harrison has picked up and measured every resistor, every capacitor, and every other component in the corpus whose duty it is to emulate the mixbus?

We have here an unlimited number of audio and midi tracks, we have numerous stock plugins, and support for third party plugins developers, Mixbus also supports Vst instruments...
 

In addition to the powerful mixer, the program also allows for the arrangement and digital editing of tracks. Imports export of stems and ready-made paths ...
 

Thanks to the amazing workflow, we work in a traditional analog style. Recording, editing and mingling has never been so intuitive, fast and effective ...
 

The latest, fourth edition of Mixbus offers a number of improvements and novelities...

Updated user interface allows to better management of program windows and more effective control of transport functions. The new mini timeline allows quick and easy project location.

The dual contrentic potentiometer straight from the MR series console allows panning of all shipments regardless of the basic panorama of the audio track and the panorama potentiometer on the master channel. This technique is especially useful when panning all sorts of reverbs and spatial effects.

The mouse wheel now allows You to turn up the volume of the potentiometer... An interesting feature that makes work easier ...
 

A series of global settings to help you record in real time
 

The section of keyboard shortcuts, program preferences and window management has also been redesigned, so that the mixbus will be more friendly to users of other popular DAW platforms.
 

Mixbus also allows you to easily add markers responsible for the pace of the project. Enabling light, smooth tempo changes.

Harrison Mixbus 32C from the beginning did not appear to me as another kind of DAW. Even before I started it for the first time, I felt that behind this concept there is something extra, something more ...
 

Gain staging, equalizing, compressing, creating buses, applying effects, saturation and non-linear analog summing have never been so intuitive and so simple and did not give so much joy and audible effects...

 

Because True love never dies, today we are dusting off the past...

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