Harrison MixBus32C

Is Harrison MixBus 32C basically the same as Ardour with a bunch of Harrison plugins included?

Not really. Mixbus differs from Ardour in two important ways:

  1. the mixer GUI is entirely different
  2. this visual difference reflects a totally different design for the signal flow and builtin processing, which features Harrison DSP for the builtin compressor, limiter and more.

Mixbus is intended to encourage/provide something closer to the workflow you would have with a traditional mixing console, where a lot/most of the signal routing is done for you, and the FX you are most likely to need are built in.

The editing features of Mixbus are more or less identical to Ardour.

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I did notice the mixer is quite different but the overall look and feel is very much the same. Did it start out as an Ardour offshoot? I like it a lot. I may never pull the trigger on it but then again if I find myself with some extra moolah I may just do it.

Mixbus and Ardour are closely connected and development of both applications is heavily coordinated. We share code, ideas, resources, and Harrison help to support Ardour development itself.

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Yes, and it still is. Many Mixbus features are first developed in Ardour, and some Mixbus improvement are backported to Ardour. There is a healthy collaboration between the two projects. Ardour greatly benefits from Harrison’s expertise and ongoing contribution.

Harrison Mixbus is also free/libre software, except the mixer-strip DSP, which is provided by a closed source proprietary plugin.


But there’s that randomly inserted hiss which basically renders the whole thing unusable for real work. Or does that not get recorded into the mix (obviously I haven’t tried working with it yet)?

The look and feel of the mixer aside, what benefits, if any, would there be in buying MixBus for $349 over Ardour for $45?

That sounds like you are using an unlicensed version then? Honestly not sure how the unlicensed version acts off hand for Mixbus, but yep would expect that it wouldn’t be but so usable without licensing it.

Look and Feel are part of Workflow. the workflow of Mixbus is what works for me and why i spend money on it (Aside from the teaching aspects for my students). Pretty much I can mix music faster in Mixbus than in straight Ardour, not to say I couldn’t do it in Ardour as well, just I prefer the workflow and move faster in Mixbus due to some of the choices in it such as metering, incline processing already available without opening windows, etc. And the quality of the DSP is quite good to put it simply so I don’t reach for processing or search through multiple versions of processing to find ‘that right one’.

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The noise goes away when you purchase a license from Harrison. Mixbus has an awesome.mixing workflow with compression, eq, gate, and bussing for each channel. Along with saturation, and tape drive on the busses. There are more features, but this is just the start. It is awesome for mixing.

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Yes, I’m trying out the demo version.

I’m not an experienced technician at the mixing desk, but my listening has changed in a few days with Mixbus. I feel a freedom from technical constraints that is often triggered by too many buttons on devices that I don’t know how to use. That’s why Mixbus is useful for me.


Well I just pulled the trigger on Mixbus 9. After using the demo for a few weeks and going back and forth from it to Ardour I just like it better. Seems easier to use as others have pointed out - the workflow is more intuitive. I’m certainly no pro but as an amateur it really seems to work out better for me.


I find myself torn between Ardour and Mixbus: I love the inline HP/LP filters, EQ, and Compressor in the MB channel strip, and even more the saturation and EQ on mixbusses, when I am actually mixing a song, but I sometimes find myself feeling that they are in the way when producing and recording one (particularly one with only a few parts / tracks).

How fortunate we are to be able to have our cake (record / produce in Ardour) and then eat it as well (mixing in MB32).