Harrison Mixbus is now available for Windows

Installed Mixbus on my Girlfriend`s PC which has W7… here are some quick thoughts…

  1. Works pretty well but a bit buggy, a couple of crashes which i think harrison will solve in the next releases…
  2. I was already used to Jack so i miss it…
  3. Hell i miss Invada and LinuxDSP plugins there…

Other than that… its great to have it there also, i don’t have to argue anymore about a Linux Partition hahaha

Now being serious…

Anybody knows about some freeware VST plugins that could complement? such as reverb, delay and gate??

he he he, I like number 2

I don’t know what my life would be without JACK…

http://www.vstplanet.com/ <---- Some nice free VST’s


Been trying out Mixbus in Win7 computer for some weeks and i am very pleased with the audio quality. The first DAW i have used where i don’t have to start the mixing session by having multiple VST plugins in channels and busses even before tweaking the sound.

Now i was not familiar with Ardour in the past so this whole concept is new to me.

Not so many issues but one is bugging me and preventing normal mixing. The Mix buss latency is limited to 8192 samples. I use SIR1 convolution reverb a lot and it has fixed delay of 8960 samples. Somehow also the buss cannot use the available latency compensation (which in theory would leave only 17 ms of delay which would be ok). Instead it seems there is no latency compensation at all.

When inserting the SIR1 to the channel, there is no issue. Latency compensation is working like it should be.

I am hoping the full latency compensation would be extended to busses soon :slight_smile:

I was glad to see the Windows version was updated. I did notice some vst plugins worked better (metering and button issues).

It would be nice to know if the the mix busses’ latency compensation fix is on the to-do list. This seems to be my biggest issue. Can anyone shed any light on this?

I just recently purchased mixbus(Windows) after reading a lot of great reviews. However, im having trouble with a very basic function. When i try to record vocals, I get no sound from my mic. When i run thru a vocal performance, my mic does not emit sound to my headphones, but i hear the music im trying to record over. Mixbus detects the performance, because the waveform appear. Even when i attempt to playback the vocal performance, I get no sound. I played with the inputs of the track and the meter moves as if it detect input. Has anyone encountered this problem, or know of a solution?

@keydaking: Have you contacted Harrison? They sold you the software, therefore it would be reasonable to expect them to take an interest in making it work for you.

No, I havent conacted them yet. I figured i would give the forum a whirl first. Have you heard of this issue before?


So my guess is that you are using two different sound cards/interfaces for the output and input for your recording setup?


First post here, so I’d like to say Greetings to Everyone. I am a new user of Ardour via my recent purchase of Mixbus. I have always liked Ardour from afar, but had no real experience since I am almost exclusively a Windows user. In addition to that, I am a Cubase refugee who bailed and switched to Zynewave’s Podium and then added Reaper as a second DAW right after.

Although I am extremely happy with both Reaper and Podium, I had been aware of Mixbus for a little while, and with their extreme markdown and sale recently, I jumped – bought Mixbus and became a monthly subscriber as well. I had some previous experience using Harrison Consoles and having that marvelous mixer now in software form and attached to Ardour is a real treat! I should specify here that I intend to do much of my work still using either Reaper or Podium, then somehow import tracks or stems into Mixbus for final processing. Setting this up will be my next dodgy task I suppose!

I’ll conclude by saying that getting started with Mixbus has had loads of problems. I have to start up Jack separately from a desktop icon to keep Mixbus from crashing immediately. Forget VSTi (although I’m about to try Legree for this), Mixbus has enough issues with third-party VST plugins already. I would buy theirs; however, I really only like their multi-band comp and have plenty of perfectly good plugins I know well currently. No matter – I plan to stick around at least for a while in hopes that Harrison can get things sorted in proper time, as I think this new setup does hold much promise. I also thing Ardour is rather charming in its own right, so I plan to start following activities on this board. Cheers! -Tele

@The Telenator: i use dual boot on both my PC’s, using Dream Studio (Ubuntu GNU/Linux) and Win7, so far i’ve found that Mixbus on Windows is way below it’s performance on Linux and also since ardour was not built for windows and its VST enviroment it has several issues with them, one of these is the Mono/Stereo setup of plugins, however there are other things to take into account such as: Mixbus is based on Ardour2, actual release is (as of today) Ardour 3.3, so in Mixbus, “for now” and meanwhile it is based on Ardour2 you can forget about VSTi or Midi recording or editing, although Midi controlling surface is fine.

I know you are not only used to Windows but also do work with programs made for it, i would however tell you to try Mixbus on “any other OS”, such as Linux or OSX, i personally have had over the year i’ve worked with it a great workflow between Ardour3 (record-edit->stem export) and Mixbus2 (final editing-mix-master) with great open source free plugins and a few licenced plugins (from LinuxDSP which are really really great), the downside of using it on Linux is mostly the hardware driver support which is limited to several interfaces, so you have to really know what you are working with, as an add-on you would be practically forgeting about antivirus program, and be using a much friendlier user interface (Ubuntu is quite friendly once you work with it for a while) with a better organized desktop and built in desktop utilities(like what is spaces and exposé in OSX).

All this might seem as i would be talking you into Linux, it is not my intention however i’ve used it in both systems and in Linux Mixbus runs practically bugless, thats what i really want to say, the essential plugins pack is also just great.

Hi guys, perhaps my experiences might be worth mentioning here. I come from a Windows broadcasting background and have been mainly a CoolEdit/Audition and Reaper user. I have dabbled in Linux over the years, mainly Slackware, Redhat and then Ubuntu, but the only real active use at the moment is my CentOS backup server which I cobbled together after a disatrous experience with Windows Home server.
I took advantage of the offer and, partly because of adventures and accidents on ebay have found myself able to run MixBus on a Windows 8 pen-tablet laptop, a Win7 laptop, a Ubuntu laptop and an AVLinux laptop. These are all Lenovo Thinkpad devices, all different.
The Win7 and Ubuntu installations worked “out of the box” for record and playback with internal sources. I have spent the last day or so on the Win 8 machine. To get it to see a recording source, I had to install separate JACK and start it up in the correct order. I still can’t get it to start after a “shut down” ( a variable feast in Win8) and come up working.
In AVLinux, I have a similar problem - unable to see the recording source - and need to get around to looking at that.

Initially, I was rather hoping that it might be possible to cobble together a simulation of Ardour on one screen, Mixbus on a second, with a multitouch screen making Mixbus almost like a real hands on mixer, but the answer to a previous question here revealed that Mixbus doesn’t do multitouch. It seems potentially interesting on the pen input device, though.

Sadly, although I have 5 or 6 different usb interfaces and a Tascam FW-1884 control surface/interface, none of these seem to be listed on the linux audio interface matrix. I’m old and retired from any real live mixing except for some amateurish home self-recording, but I do talk to old non-technical colleagues about what they are doing, and I feel a long way away from suggesting they try Linux. The Windows audio model is just about understandable, but I really don’t feel confident about where the recording audio flows in, say, Ubuntu with its PulseAudio, Alsa, Jack path

@ Billaboard on Mixbus I had a similar problem with disappearing waveforms
I found a solution here

not sure if this is your problem though…
good luck!

Thanks, calimerox. I don’t think that is any of my current problems, although I believe I did run into file limits on the Ubuntu machine.

With Windows 8, my current problem is that I have to start the Jack server, then start Mixbus, setting the sample rate I hope to use, then start JackControl and set that to the correct sample rate and set up the routing for record (replay seems to stay OK).
Shutdown in Win8 can mean Sleep, Hibernate or really shut down, and the record settings don’t seem to survive either Hibernate or Shut Down (haven’t tried the default Sleep mode as I avoid that normally).

When I used to work with Windows systems, I used to write helper files that detected the Windows version and then ploughed through registry and/or ini files so that systems booted sensibly. I haven’t yet found any ini files or registry entries for Jack and really all I want at this stage is that Mixbus starts the same today and tomorrow without having to go though all the settings each time. It does seem to work in Windows 7, but not in Win 8. I appreciate that I am testing on 2 different machines and this may be a setup problem of mine.

My problem on the AVLinux machine is that I really struggle with Alsamixer. The command line and gui versions are labelled differently, neither have labels that will display the full names of, say, sources, so I end up with a lot of faders labelled (by the software, not me) the same. I have no idea, having found the right faders how to set levels between Capture and Mic to get the gain staging right before reaching Mixbus. Again, it may be my lack of understanding of the different concepts.

@Billaboard: i believe (if i’m right) that there is in fact a bit of misunderstanding of concepts, Mixbus and Ardour although as DAW they are a lot like other DAWs the setup is different, to begin there is no devices that Ardour/Mixbus will see, rather than that they use JACK as a sort of “patchbay” and is Jack the piece of software that will handle your interface and all the audio setup.

Now, i’ve never tried Jack on its own in Windows7 since i practically use only Linux but being Jack also in Windows the principle is the same, use Jack as your driver-patchbay, so depending on your system, setup and understanding of the OS you could or could not just start Mixbus once you start your PC, that would require Jack to start on start up, which i don’t use and don’t know much about, i actually like to set jack every time i start Ardour or Mixbus since there is always a different use, Latency or Sample Rate to work with, this can take around 1-2 minutes max, then working around 4 hours on a session without changing the settings seems ok by me.

As for Alsamixer, as i said before, Jack is your Driver-Patchbay and Jack is the one that handles audio once you get into Ardour or Mixbus, so there is practically nothing to do with alsamixer, that also depends on your interface, i use a Focusrite Scarlett 18i6 USB 2.0 that works great well in Linux (although it lacks a mixer that can switch line/inst inside the interface).

As for setting levels when capture, thats something i believe some people do but i’ve never done it, i set every level in the interface and preamps before capture, however i believe some people here in the forum or in the chat can walk “us” through it… it is in deed very helpful to reach the forum or the chat, also in the case of Mixbus, there is a channel in the chat for Mixbus too and there is support over email which is very fast, and in the Windows case it is very important that you contact also Harrison directly since that port to Windows is not made by Ardour but Harrison.


I will indeed try “chat” on the Harrison channel, although this had better wait until I’m at home (at the moment I’m house-sitting while my son’s house is painted).

I try to understand what I am doing, and I realise that the “problems” I am seeing relate to Jack under Windows rather than Ardour, but I would like to get to the stage where Win7 and Win8 work in the same way and starting up can be made predictable.
I have tried connecting my Edirol UA-4FX to the 2 Windows machines, and Mixbus on both machines still pick up whatever is set in Windows audio control panel, including the non-asio drivers of the Edirol, which I suppose is good.
I was half expecting to be able to “see” the asio drivers of the Edirol, but that seems not to happen.

None of this is so far more than the normal problems of adjusting to a new audio editor.

Just a heads up with Chat, is that there isn’t guaranteed to be someone looking at the screen when you get there, so describe your problems and ask for help, but keep the window open in the background. Someone, either user or developer, will jump in once they see it if they can.


@fernesto – Thanks for your detailed response. Unfortunately, I am several years too far into this and also too familiar with Windows to make any change to Linux. What can I say about Linux? It seems that OS will never ‘catch up’ to the real world of audio software, despite the many admirable efforts and bits of software created. It might interest to know that I use Linux on an older machine for most all of my internet travels – not having to worry about viruses is swell – but that’s the extent of it. For me, it’s Windows and Windows-compatible software all the way.

I only embraced Ardour, particularly Mixbus, as it is now offered for Windows use. And I must say, to my mind the jury is still out on whether I’ll continue with Mixbus past the end of this year. Sadly, it has been one headache after another, each I have figured out in turn, but it’s not smooth sailing yet. My biggest disappointment has been my contact with Harrison via email. I know how everyone here says how good the customer support is with them, but, aside from a prompt reply, I could not manage to get so much as one straight answer out of them. It seems no matter what I asked, the blanket response was ‘follow the forum at Ardour’, which I have been and am doing anyway.

All I really asked was, When can we perhaps see Mixbus upgraded with the latest from Ardour v3.3, and will it address such things as the complete lack of MIDI and ease at using 3rd-party plugins in the Windows version? I realise Ardour was first made to run on other systems and not Windows, but Mixbus has changed all of this. However, I distinctly feel we Windows users are getting the short end of the stick with Mixbus. It is a crashy, troublesome and, to my mind, very incomplete DAW in Windows. Personally, if it were my call, I would have never offered Mixbus for Windows at this point; it simply needs much more improvement first.

When I asked about when we might expect an upgrade to a Mixbus v3, I was not concerned with actual dates and specific promises. But you see, they have us recent purchasers as monthly subscribers now, and all I’m getting in response from them is almost weekly offers to buy their plugins. Additionally, if you go to the Mixbus sections of the Harrison site, there is almost nothing but one huge sales pitch to see there. I would hope for at least a little news – you know, progress reports, specific issues being tackled, perhaps beta-testing offers, perhaps a short blog, at least some suggestion of what is currently going on. Instead, I’m sent HERE, and I must say you have a very nice forum here but not a lot about Mixbus.

As much as I like Ardour and that nice Mixbus mixer, I’m afraid if I don’t hear or see any obvious efforts to fix this mess within the next couple of months that I’ll be forced to pitch the entire setup and return to what I already use that works well enough. Naturally, this would mean I would be communicating my displeasure and rejection of Mixbus far and wide, especially on the Net. I can see this Mixbus Experience becoming a true nuisance and time waster. As is, I’ve spent entirely too much time fixing one little Mixbus ‘fit’ after another. Jack is still somewhat foreign to me. I know ReWire, ReaRoute, MIDI via MidiYoke and MidiOx and have dabbled with other cable software. Aside from the old drag and drop, am I going to be able to make any other DAW ‘see’ and get along with this Jack? I can’t do an easy imports yet! The tutorial regarding this deals only with Pro Tools, a system that doesn’t have a lot in common with the DAWs the rest of us use every day. I find it unlikely as well that anyone familiar and equipped with Pro Tools would bother adding Mixbus/Ardour in the first place! As you might sense, my frustration is growing, because I feel Mixbus was essentially dropped onto Windows users when they knew full well that there are all manner of issues that have not been professionally dealt with. What gives here?

All I really asked was, When can we perhaps see Mixbus upgraded with the latest from Ardour v3.3, and will it address such things as the complete lack of MIDI and ease at using 3rd-party plugins in the Windows version? I realise Ardour was first made to run on other systems and not Windows, but Mixbus has changed all of this. However, I distinctly feel we Windows users are getting the short end of the stick with Mixbus. It is a crashy, troublesome and, to my mind, very incomplete DAW in Windows. Personally, if it were my call, I would have never offered Mixbus for Windows at this point; it simply needs much more improvement first.

Well I can give you what little I know/suspect as a user. And that is that Mixbus v3 is a work in progress and chances are they won’t give any release dates until they are much closer to it being finished, which having worked in software development before I can tell you that is a very smart move from my standpoint. I wouldn’t hold my breath for it to quick in other words.

I can also tell you that some work has happened and is continuing to happen on the backend of Ardour that makes it more platform agnostic, be it Windows, Mac, or Linux. And Mixbus will be benefiting from this as well. That being said, I will also point out that despite this, there is no officially supported release of A3 even on OS X yet because more work still needs to be done, and no release of Ardour on Windows is on the horizon that I know of, but that doesn’t count for much either;)

Additionally, if you go to the Mixbus sections of the Harrison site, there is almost nothing but one huge sales pitch to see there. I would hope for at least a little news -- you know, progress reports, specific issues being tackled, perhaps beta-testing offers, perhaps a short blog, at least some suggestion of what is currently going on.

I think these are all very valid observations personally. The only thing I can point you to is the ‘known bugs’ section of the release notes, which are definitely issues being worked on. But yea the rest I think are good points, not because anyone else does it(Which often times noone else does close) but because it could set Mixbus apart for keeping people more in the loop and more closely resembles an open source development model.


@thetelenator: speaking for Ardour (and absolutely not speaking for Mixbus or Harrison), your post is the perfect demonstration of why I personally (as the lead developer of Ardour) have absolutely no interest in supporting Windows (myself). Too many issues, too many expectations, too much exposure to “how other things do it”, and a tiny, tiny, tiny base of users willing to participate in the way that our Linux users do in development, debugging, design, testing and so forth. Big risks, 100% guaranteed chance of a lot of complaints, not much reward. It will probably happen anyway (there is a now an additional commercial company interested in bringing a DAW-based product to windows that will be based on Ardour), but really …

I don’t know of a single other DAW that would keep you “in the loop” on their development progress other than via releases (even Reaper). People waited years for Abelton Live 9. They have been waiting for about a year for the planned “beta” of the new Live-like Bitwig. Good luck finding out what the status of the next release of ProTools will contain and when it will appear. Both Ardour and Mixbus are remarkably low on developer resources. The idea that we are going to spend time documenting precisely what we’re up to just implies less time developing. You can track development of both programs in excruciating detail by joining the ardour-cvs mailing list which will show you everything we do, as it happens, with no extra work on our part. You may be excited or disappointed (or both) by what you see.

@paul – I found your post insightful and helps explain a part of the current situation. For one, I’d have to agree with this sense of complaining from Windows users. I can see a couple of reasons for this, but whether the kind of complaints I see are well-founded or not it is sometimes painful to read them when posted on various other forums. I think many are ridiculous; however, I also think many are entirely justified. You mentioned Bitwig, for example. I think potential future users have have been extremely tolerant, since this DAW is actually closer to two years overdue now.

I am only intimately familiar with the operations of a very small handful of DAW makers, and you have already pointed out something about how the Reaper team functions. So let me say a bit about the other DAW I use – the Zynewave Podium. This is truly a ‘one-man’ show’ concerning Podium. It is owned and operated by Frits Neilsen and lately new features and editions have been a little slow in coming, because Frits sometimes takes outside work. Neverthe less, Frits always keeps users informed about new features he will be adding next and gives us a fairly good idea of when we can expect to see a new release. As you mentioned, Reaper is handled much the same.

I have no idea how the larger, more monolithic DAW making companies deal with their customers. I would not be surprised if they kept them largely in the dark. Poor customer relations is a big reason I will not use some of these. Conversely, feeling ‘a part of the team and in the loop’ is precisely one big reason I buy and use the DAWs and many of the VST that I do! I can relate much the same for many of the plugin devs that I purchase regularly from.

Now, you state that it is somehow too much trouble to tell customers anything about the work these ‘other’ DAW makers are doing. You further state, somewhat incredibly, that the huge, multi-million dollar recording console maker Harrison does not even have the resources to keep customers informed in any way. This is similar to telling me that no one bothers to take notes or has anything written about their efforts, as if they all fly by the seat of their pants! Most go to the trouble of writing up extremely detailed changelogs to be published AFTERWARD. In short, what I’m saying is that most of the companies I do business with care enough to keep customers informed. If Harrison is too good – or too poor(!) to do this – then perhaps I shouldn’t be doing business with them in the first place. They certainly have enough resources to shove a thoroughly detailed advert down my throat about once a week! I guess I’m just not buying any of your explanation at all, as I know of many in this industry (Urs at u-he is yet another one!) who have more respect for their users and do keep them up to date. So, now you.ve just been given real examples of some, and I hope you’ll trust me that there are indeed more. I’ve been doing digital music long enough to get to know quite a few, but one does not need my first-hand knowledge to see this. Note also that there is a big difference between making all sorts of false claims and false promises (Bitwig) and simply running a little behind your announced schedule because of last-minute bugs (u-he, Reaper, S-Gear, Madrona Labs, et al.).

If you read my previous post carefully, you would have seen that I was not even asking for specific dates and full details. However, as a business, you can’t have it both ways – i.e., asking customers to stay subscribed and paying, meanwhile doing your best to tell them NOTHING. If this logic had been applied to open-sourced Ardour, I think it would have become abandonware or some odd little niche dweller some time ago. I received more news regarding Ardour long before I had ever even seen it than I’m not getting as a paid subscriber to Mixbus.

If I’ve not been clear enough, let me offer one more: you said, ‘The idea that we are going to spend time documenting precisely what we’re up to just implies less time developing.’ This sounds entirely logical on its face, but I think most devs are literate enough to type up a paragraph or two in, say, 15 minutes that would satisfy most inquiries. That’s 15 minutes of lost dev time, paul. That’s not even one knob placement on a GUI build. Want to rethink any of your argument? Cheers! --Tele