Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Harrison Mixbus

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Stable release  3.7 / November 2016
Harrison Mixbus
Developer(s)  Harrison Audio Consoles, Ardour contributors
Operating system  Mac OS X 10.4 - 10.6, Linux, Windows (XP Pro or newer)
Type  Digital Audio Workstation

Harrison Mixbus is a digital audio workstation (DAW) available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux operating systems.


Mixbus provides a modern DAW model incorporating a "traditional" analog mixing workflow. It includes built in analog modeled processing, based on Harrison's 32-series and MR-series analog music consoles.

Mixbus is based on Ardour, the open source DAW, but is sold and marketed commercially by Harrison Audio Consoles

Features of Mixbus

Mixbus provides all of the features of Ardour, with additional functionality from proprietary DSP, replicating the workflow, signal path and sound of a Harrison console.

Each channel strip in Mixbus features analog modeled 3 band EQ (including a high pass filter), compression (with 3 compressor types), panning, and summing.

It also includes 8 stereo mixbuses featuring tone controls, tape saturation, compression (including a sidechain compressor).

The master bus is similar to the mixbuses but has the additions of a limiter, a K14 meter for loudness monitoring and a stereo correlation meter.

Mixbus features "at-a-glance" metering with peak, peak hold, and compressor gain reduction visible on every track and bus.

Mixbus started out as an audio only workstation. In earlier versions, it also depended on the JACK audio server as its backend. Since version 3, Mixbus now supports both audio and MIDI tracks and it no longer depends on JACK, although JACK can still be used as one of its many audio backends.


In 2016, Harrison introduced Mixbus32c. This is identical to Mixbus in every way except for the EQ section, which models that of a Harrison 32 series console, as well as including 12 Mixbuses.

Bundled plugins

Mixbus also includes bundled plugins based on Xtools plugins that are part of Harrison Xrange digital consoles. These plugins require users to purchase individual licenses to use them, although they will still process audio which allows Mixbus users to share sessions with other users that do not have purchased licenses.

Mixbus bundled plugins use the open source LV2 plugin format.

They include the following:

  • Plugin Essentials Bundle
  • Character Plugin Bundle
  • XT-DS De-Esser Plugin
  • XT-EG Expander/Gate Plugin
  • XT-EQ Equalizer
  • XT-ME Mastering Equalizer
  • XT-MC Multi-Band Compressor
  • XT-LC Lookahead Compressor
  • XT-TG Tom Gate
  • 3rd party plugins

    Harrison also promotes some third party LV2 plugins, which are included in the default installation of Mixbus. Similar to Harrison's bundled plugins, these require users to purchase individual licenses. They include:

  • x42 - Meter Plugin Bundle
  • x42 - 4 Band Parametric EQ
  • Control surface support

    As of version 3.1, Mixbus has built-in support for:

  • Mackie
  • PreSonus FaderPort
  • Open Sound Control (OSC)
  • Generic MIDI
  • References

    Harrison Mixbus Wikipedia

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