Control Harrison Mixbus With Softube Console 1


Console1 & Mixbus

Control Harrison Mixbus Softube Console 1

I recently picked up up Harrison Mixbus 4, as I have a Softube Console 1 I figured it would be worth trying to get it to control Mixbus via MIDI. After quite a bit of trial and error I’ve got it up and running, although admittedly not perfect I have managed to get the C1 to cover quite a lot of ground.

There’s a couple of quirks to deal with but on the whole it’s quite functional, a nice touch is that the MIDI communication works in both directions, this means that the LEDs on the C1 work and will display the relevant positions.

Although I only have a license for Mixbus 4 I have also made a similar (slightly better version) for 32C users.

So, here’s the details on how to control harrison mixbus with softube console 1.

The Mapping

Mixbus 4

Here’s a (slightly untidy) illustration of the mapping assignment included in the Mixbus 4 version. control harrison mixbus softube console 1

Mixbus32C

Differences between MB4 and 32C versions

  • SB32 has both hi and lo cut assigned (to lo pass and hi pass filters), MB4 has only low cut assigned to hi pass
  • C1 Filters to compressor button, for 32C this is on/off toggle for hi pass and lo pass filters, on MB4 it resets the track height in editor
  • C1 number buttons across the top – In 32C 1 to 12 assign channels to a mixbusses and 13 to the Mstr, in MB4 1 to 8 assign channels to mixbusses and 9 to the Mstr
  • EQ section , in MB4 it is as per the diagram in 32Call knobs and buttons are assigned to MB as you would expect with exception of LM and HM Q (as these are not available in mixbus 32C)

Everything else is the same in both versions.

(I will add a Mixbus 32C diagram in the near future.)

The Template

To download a copy of this templatedownload and unzip the relevant file for your version of Mixbus ->

Softube Console 1 - Mixbus 4 MIDI Map

Softube Console 1 – Mixbus 32C MIDI Map

 

The Mixbus 4 template has been tested with Mixbus 4 versions 4.2 & 4.3, I can’t confirm whether it will work for earlier versions but it should, 4.3 is the latest version at time of writing.

The Mixbus 32C template has been tested with Mixbus 32C 4.3.19 , also the latest version at time of writing.

Known Issues

OK, so here’s the issues I am aware of, non of which are particularly problematic.

(if anyone has any suggestions of workarounds for these issues i’m all ears 🙂 ) 

Mixbus 4

  1. Due to limitations in the Ardour mapping and the MIDI behaviour of the Console 1 switches, switches that have to use binding ‘channel’ instead of binding ‘msg’ have to be pressed twice in order to work. In short this means that the mixbus and master assign, eq on/off & compressor on/off switches have to be pressed twice in order to change the on/off status.
  2. Insert plugin toggle on/off seems to have slightly unpredictable behaviour, not quite sure why.
  3. Mixbus eqs are assigned to processor and parameters that are also used for channel HI EQ gain and frequency and hi pass, this means that when you adjust mixbus eqs you will see the channel eqs moving too (and vice versa), this is really just a cosmetic issue because if no channel is selected it will only control the mixbus (or vice versa). Unfortunately it is not possible to use the channel eq knobs for mixbusses due to limitations in Ardour’s midi mapping ability.
  4. Next/prev channel (C1 page up and down buttons) – in order to allow these buttons to work with Mixbusses the mixbusses must be in the edit window.

Mixbus 32C

  1. As with Mixbus 4 due to limitations in the Ardour mapping and the MIDI behaviour of the console 1 switches, switches that have to use binding ‘channel’ instead of binding ‘msg’ have to be pressed twice to work.
  2. Insert plugin toggle on/off seems to have slightly unpredictable behaviour
  3. Mixbus 32C eqs are assigned to processor and parameters that are also used for channel filter on/off and HF bell/shelf and LF bell/shelf, this means that when you adjust mixbus eqs you will see the channel eqs moving too, this is really just a cosmetic issue because if no channel is selected it will only control the mixbus, or vice versa.
  4. Next/prev channel (C1 page up and down buttons) – these will only allow you to skip between channels, only works on mixbusses if they are also visible in the edit window  .

Installation Instructions

A. Install The MIDI Map File to Mixbus

FOR MACOS/OSX

  1. Download and unzip the relevant file –
    Softube Console 1 - Mixbus 4 MIDI Map
    Softube Console 1 – Mixbus 32C MIDI Map
  2. Go to applications
  3. Right Click Mixbus4.app or Mixbus32C-4.app
  4. Select ‘Show Package Contents”
  5. Navigate to Content > Resources > midi_maps
  6. Paste the downloaded .map file in to the midi_maps
  7. Close finder

FOR PC 

Place the map file in –

C:\Program Files\Mixbus4\share\ardour4\midi_maps

or

C:\Program Files\Mixbus32C-4\share\ardour4\midi_maps

FOR LINUX 

Place the map file in –

$HOME/.config/mixbus4/midi_maps/

B. Force Console 1 to MIDI Mode

Console one only sends out MIDI CC data when it cannot connect to the console 1 system application. In order to force MIDI CC data to be transmitted close the console 1 app from the status bar

control harrison mixbus softube console 1

IMPORTANTNext make sure that you next unplug and replug the USB cable from your console 1 hardware, otherwise the change to send out CC data won’t take effect.

C. Configure Mixbus Preferences

    1. Launch Mixbus and go to menu Mixbus4 > Preferences > Control Surfaces
      Select ‘Enable’ for Generic MIDI
    2. With ‘Generic MIDI’ still selected click ’Show Protocol Settings’

control harrison mixbus softube console 1
Set the protocol settings as follows –

control harrison mixbus softube console 1

  1. Go to menu Mixbus4 > Preferences > MIDI Ports – Set up console 1 as per the following screenshotcontrol harrison mixbus softube console 1
  2. Close preferences.

 

That’s it, you should now be able to use Console 1 with Mixbus, happy twiddling!

 

For more info on Softube Console 1 visit – https://www.softube.com/console1.php

For more info on Harrison Mixbus see – http://harrisonconsoles.com/site/mixbus.html

 

– maximus

 

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