What makes Mixbus sound
better? What are the "well known
flaws" of other workstations?
The Mixbus mix
engine was crafted by the same engineers who make our ultra-fidelty
high-end consoles; both analog and digital. When our
company made the transition from analog to digital, we had to guarantee
that our digital consoles sounded as good as their analog
counterparts. Working with high-end facilities and mixing
engineers has allowed us to refine digital mixing techniques for over 2
decades. Most DAW developers spent that period focusing on
plugins, file management, editing, and similar tasks. Mixbus uses
the Ardour open-source workstation platform for those details, and it
allows us to focus our attention on the mixing engine.
DAW+Plugin paradigm was invented when computers were far too slow to
process an EQ on every track. Plugins were a compromise that
solved the problem: users were allowed to add EQ to the tracks
where they were deemed most important. Early DAW developers were
also unlikely to have in-house DSP engineers, so utilizing 3rd party
specialists was a welcome solution. These compromises were only
intended to solve the immediate problems that faced early DAW
developers, but they became so ingrained that the original intent of
"recreating a studio workflow" was lost. They threw out the baby
with the bath water!
technical standpoint, it is our
opinion that the gross defects in many
internal clipping, lacking dither stages in the DSP processing,
insufficent ramping of dsp coefficients, multiple
bit-depth/format conversions, out-of-control gain stages causing
plugins to work outside their intended range, routing choices that
cause latency/timing errors, inability to see meters such as compressor
gain reduction without opening the plugin dialog, and poor
workstations will exhibit these problems
to different degrees. Our goal was to design a mixer using the
"best practices" that we have developed over the course of 35
years. Multiple subtle design decisions, accumulated over a long
history, allows Mixbus mixes to sound better than other DAWs.
Is there a downloadable demo for
No, we do not currently provide a demo of Mixbus. It
is our experience that learning a new DAW is a significant investment
in a professional's time. We require that users purchase Mixbus,
and we provide full support to help them transition to using Mixbus on
If you are a student or otherwise on a limited budget, you
may "subscribe" to Mixbus. The subscription provides a very low
initial cost, and also provides free updates when new versions (even
major versions) are released. Students with a .edu email can even
waive the initial fee.
Does Mixbus support MIDI
sequencing or virtual instruments?
Mixbus does not currently support MIDI sequencing or MIDI
MIDI sequencing is underway for a future release.
On Linux and OSX, Mixbus does
support MIDI for transport (MMC/MTC) and knob
Does Mixbus use an iLok or
other hardware copy protection?
No, Mixbus does
not utilize hardware copy protection.
What is the Mixbus user
license? If I have a desktop and a laptop computer, can I install
it on both?
Yes. Mixbus is licensed to a "single
user". This means that as long as you are the only user, you can
install it all of your personal computers. If multiple people will be
using the software, you will need to purchase a license for each
user. Commercial businesses and educational facilities should
purchase a license for each computer.
I have a problem, where do I get support for Mixbus?
First, see our list of Common Support
Questions at the bottom of this page.
Mixbus customers receive
free, unlimited email support from Harrison. If you have a
problem, please email Harrison at: firstname.lastname@example.org
To connect with other Mixbus users, you may want to join our community
or LinkedIn. Tech-heads may also click Help->Chat to join our
online IRC chat discussion between users and developers.
Is Mixbus 32-bit or 64 bit?
Windows, Mixbus is distributed as a 32-bit application. It works on 32bit and 64bit versions of Windows. It can load 32-bit VST
On Mac OSX, Mixbus is distributed as
application. It works on 32bit and 64bit versions of OSX.
It can load 32-bit AU plugins.
On Linux, Mixbus is distributed in both 64bit and 32bit versions.
The installer includes both versions, and automatically installs the
correct version for your system. The 32bit version loads 32bit
LV2 plugins, while the 64bit version load 64bit plugins.
Mixbus makes use of 64bit math inside the mixer where
appropriate. It is not necessary to have a 64bit application or
OS to receive the sound quality benefits beyond 32bit. Because Mixbus does not currently support virtual
instruments with sampler libraries, there is no benefit to the extended
memory available in 64bit operating mode. Currently we believe it
important to guarantee the widest compatibility with operating
systems. We are watching closely, though, and will launch a 64bit
version when we believe this will benefit our users.
Why does Mixbus require a
3-button mouse and fullsize keyboard?
Mixbus is a
professional application that operates
most efficiently if
functions are immediately accessible.
uses the middle-click button to quickly enable and disable plugins
among other features. The scroll wheel is used for zooming and
in the editing canvas. The right-click button provides popup
menus. Many OSX laptops do not support right- or
clicking very well. We suggest that users purchase an
USB 3-button mouse for operation with Mixbus.
Mixbus has a very wide range of keyboard editing functions
full-function keyboard with number pad will allow the user instant
access to many more features than a typical laptop keyboard
suggest that users find an inexpensive full-size USB keyboard for use
What is JACK?
JACK is a powerful
system service that allows applications to route audio between each
other, the soundcard, and even the internet. On Linux, JACK is
pre-installed on systems with realtime audio performance. On
OSX, JACK is installed on the system as part of the Mixbus
installation process. On Windows, a simplified version of JACK is
installed for use by Mixbus, which other applications do not
see. Please note that the
does not have to aware of JACK. Mixbus performs all
of the setup and operation of the JACK server using its "Audio Setup"
dialog, and handles audio routing using its own methods.
Does Mixbus have a video
player window? How do you sync to picture?
not currently have a video player
feature is under development.
On OSX, there is a free video player
called Jadeo which is
available here: http://mir.dnsalias.com/oss/xjadeo/osxjadeo
On Linux, you can install xjadeo
using your distribution's package manager.
will synchronize via JACK to any JACK-enabled application. There
many JACK-enabled apps that provide adio processing, MIDI sequencing,
video editing, or other functionality. For example, future
releases of Blender, the free
open-source 3d rendering and video editing tool, will synchronize the
timeline with Mixbus via JACK. Availability will vary depending
your operating system.
What audio file formats are supported?
Mixbus can record files in these formats,
16bit, 24bit, or 32bit (float) precision :
- WAV ( normal Microsoft wave
- Broadcast WAV ( Microsoft wave
file with, extended header information ) ( default )
- WAV64 ( Microsoft Wave file with
64bit header, for extended recording periods exceeding 4gig files )
- AIFF ( Apple format )
Import file formats ( all platforms )
- WAV and Broadcast WAV (Microsoft)
- AIFF/AIFC (SGI,Apple)
- AU/SND (Sun, DEC, NeXT)
- RAW (Headerless)
- PAF (Paris Audio File)
- IFF / SVX (Commodore Amiga)
- WAVE (Sphere Nist)
- SF (IRCAM)
- VOC (Creative)
- W64 (Sound forge)
- MAT4 (GNU Octave 2.0)
- MAT5 (GNU Octave 2.1)
- PVF (Portable Voice Format)
- XI (Fasttracker 2)
- HTK (HMM Tool Kit)
- CAF (Apple)
- SD2 (Sound Designer II)
- FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec)
- Ogg (Ogg/Vorbis)
Additional import file formats supported
- AAC (.aac, .adts)
- AC3 (.ac3)
- AIFC (.aif, .aiff,.aifc)
- Apple Core Audio Format (.caf)
- MPEG Layer 3 (.mp3)
- MPEG 4 Audio (.mp4)
- MPEG 4 Audio (.m4a)
- NeXT/Sun Audio (.snd, .au)
What kind of controllers work with Mixbus?