Harrison 3232

MASTERING: the Royal Parks

The last few evenings have been spent with Dan Arnott and Tearlach Wales from Melbourne band "the Royal Parks" mastering their album, with tracks produced by Noah Georgeson. A lush and incredibly emotive backdrop for some absolutely beautiful vocals makes this album a perfect candidate for the warmth and detailed image produced by my system here at ToKwerX. All analogue processing was recaptured in digital using the glorious DSD format @ 5.6MHz sample rate. Once again the Harrison 32C EQ's were the final element in the signal path, but the ability to drive the analogue stereo buss harder on the Audient SUMO just as one would on a console master buss allowed for some beautifully rich and subtle saturation before the final capture into DSD.

ToKwerX Stereo Buss - featuring the Harrison 32C EQ's.

I've re-arranged my analogue processing over my stereo buss. The Harrison 32C EQ now sits astride the mix. The processing order can be altered with my Lichtenstein Neutrik patchbay but the new default is: 16 stems into Audient's SUMO summing mixer, Insert active post internal VCA Compressor, so the Avalon AV747 Valve Compressor-EQ is next, followed by the Harrisons. This all feeds into my DSD Recorder for final digital capture. The 32C EQ is so warm and musical. I'm loving this new analogue buss order. Thanx Harrison :)

ToKwerX Stereo Buss

ToKwerX Stereo Buss

We don't need another Hero - but do we need another DAW?

Well HARRISON thinks so. The Nashville based now legendary console manufacturer has just released a new version of their wonderful Mixbus3 digital recording, editing and mixing package; Mixbus 32C. Harrison delivered their first 32C analogue console way back in 1975 after designer and founder Dave Harrison left MCI where he'd built some of their best gear. I got to drive a 1974 MCI at Woodstock Studios here in Melbourne when Joe Camilleri first built it. That MCI was the last desk by Harrison before founding his own company. Harrison is a whole chapter in audio-engineering history and was responsible for the advent of "in-line" console design, where a single channel-strip would have inputs, outputs and a return from the tape machine. This meant we no longer had to give up separate channels on the console for both inputs and returns - revolutionary for the 1970's!

I am posting this blog because I firmly believe we DO NEED ANOTHER DAW package. We need more variation in the SOUND of software available to creative engineers and producers. If we all use the same "Tools" then we minimise the chaos within our creative Universe - we risk losing the ART based on the individual that comes from the myriad of choices we make when recording, mixing and mastering a record. Harrison's Mixbus 32C features the most famous aspect of the Dave Harrison design dynasty, the 32C EQ. Another revolutionary design and one that became an incredibly musical and expressive shaping tool for engineers. I am fortunate enough to own a pair of channel-strips from a double transformer-version of the 32C (link) consoles and there have been 3rd party models and copies of this famous EQ that I have not needed to purchase. Now I can have 32C EQ across my entire mix, on every channel. That's certainly a creative bonus. And, it comes standard with the package; no add-on or plug-in.

Check this software package out, regardless of what you think your favourite DAW is. I sincerely think you'll be swayed to the sound of the 32C ... and isn't SOUND why we began this journey in the first place?

Harrison Mixbus Update

Free to existing registered owners this real contender DAW software just received another upgrade making it an absolute "not to be ignored" tool for serious engineers. 

Mixbus version 2.2 introduces 3 new plugins.  This is the beginning of a series of plugins which will work seamlessly on all 3 platforms ( Windows, OSX, and Linux ) according to Harrison. Clearly this iconic company is taking this venture very seriously - I am too. If you didn't check it out after my last blog post perhaps you should rethink that decision?

Harrison Mixbus

There are several high-end software packages on the market other than ProTools and it would be remiss of me not to draw your attention to a new contender; Harrison's Mixbus. The iconic console designer and manufacturer has entered the DAW market with a TEC Award nominated package, working seamlessly across three operating systems: Mac, PC and Linux. The affordable price of Mixbus is not a reason to be discouraged and at a little over $200 it presents itself as a true alternative to the major software based DAWs on the market. Seriously thought out Mixbus is an audio only package uncluttered by MIDI or Scoring capabilities, instead focusing on some excellent signal processors built into the software: Harrison 3232 historic EQ, Compression, Limiting and Tape Saturation. Able to host both AU and VST plug-ins Mixbus will soon join the software packages delivered to students at RMIT University's Sound Production program - it is simply that good. I sincerely believe before purchasing another package you check out Mixbus. Even if you already own another package Mixbus possesses a sound that is uniquely Harrison and should be included in your toolbox of DAWs.

PEARL

The mixing of the Pearl project is well underway although the initial deadline for completion has been altered as Marcia Howard & Rose Bygrave are still finishing off the recording of tracks. Tomorrow sees the arrival of Steve Cooney from Ireland to perform guitar on a couple of songs. I haven't played with Steve for over twenty years since he left the Great Southern Land for the island of Ireland, where he has established himself as one of the most significant members of the Irish music industry. I am very excited.

We will be tracking acoustic guitars using the following signal path: Peluso P12 Valve-Condenser (modified by Ross Giles), Harrison 3232 Pre-amp/EQ, Avalon 737 Compression/EQ, Empirical Labs FATSO compressor/tape simulator. This signal path is absolutely wonderful and gives me immense control over Gain structure, EQ, Compression and tonal quality. If you're interested check out the FATSO here: www.empiricallabs.com/fatdes.html