Is Harrison's Mixbus 3 the perfect 'analogue-style' DAW?

Harrison Mixbus is a DAW with a mixer-style design - which seems appropriate given that Harrison is known for its high-quality consoles - and it's just been updated to version 3.

We awarded the previous version of Mixbus full marks back in 2011, so Harrison has had plenty of time to consider how best to improve it. You can now use as many MIDI tracks and virtual instruments as your processor will allow, and the developer says that multi-core and 64-bit optimisations deliver increased track counts across the board.

What's more, the Harrison True Analog Mixing processing engine has been upgraded; this promises enhanced compressor/limiter algorithms, built-in sidechain bussing, and increased flexibility for AudioUnit, VST, and LV2 plugin input/output configurations.

As well as a slew of workflow and operational improvements, Mixbus 3 also offers a refined graphical interface, SetBfree, a brand-new virtual instrument that's modelled on the Hammond B3 organ, and over 50 MIDI filter plugins.

Analogue approach

Commenting on the launch, Ben Loftis, Mixbus project manager, says, "Mixbus is the only DAW that is optimised for an analogue console mixing approach - allowing an engineer to use Harrison DSP for EQ, compression and tape saturation without the need for plugin windows. All of the tools that engineers need or use most often are readily available in the default mixer window of Mixbus.

"Version 3 is the next step on our Mixbus development roadmap, but this is just the beginning," continued Ben. "Our roadmap for Mixbus is long and marked with exciting new Harrison technology, software, and hardware along the way... more software versions targeted for specific workflows; a hardware control surface incorporating many Harrison console innovations; more Harrison plugins; console-style automation, bussing, and monitoring features including expanded mixer features; and specialised DSP imported from Harrison consoles."

You can find out more about Mixbus 3 in the video above and on the Harrison website. It costs

$79 and is available for PC, Mac and Linux.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.