That’s right, The Blue Cat Audio MB-7 Mixer V2 has changed my life!
If you regularly follow me and like to check out the session downloads that I offer, you can expect to see the MB-7 Mixer a lot in the future, especially in the premium tutorials.
I have moments where I find plug-ins that sound good and improve my mixes, at least I think they do, but I don’t really get that feeling of a plug-in changing my life. So just know that I don’t say that lightly. In fact this is the first commercially released plug-in that actually made me want to reach out to a plug-in manufacturer.
After demoing the plug-in for about a day I knew that I had to have it, it really was a no-brainer. I also knew that I was going to do an article/video and since I was so pumped about it I wanted to extend that feeling to my readers. So I talked with Blue Cat and they agreed to give a 10% discount to all of my readers.
Use the discount code below to save 10% on the MB-7 Mixer as well as any plugin Blue Cat offers
discount code: MDRNMIX
You can use that discount code on any plug-in that they offer as well.
I don’t want to do a complete breakdown of the MB-7 Mixer because I think Blue Cat Audio has done a good job of that in their manual but there is also some other videos out there that do that as well. I want to give you my impression of the plug-in and also the applications that I would mainly be using it for.
Key Features of the MB-7 Mixer
Here’s some of the Features that I like about the MB-Mixer V2.
1. Vst Hosting
I’d say about 75% of my use with this plug-in is through VST hosting. Now that number could go down as I find more uses for it but like anything else, the more you use it the more you get to know it. I feel like I have just scratched the surface.
This is really the first viable and stable option for hosting VST’s in Pro Tools, in my opinion. I’ve tried a couple options before but there was always some type of plug-in that made my DAW crash. This one truly is stable, I can’t even think of a time where my DAW has crashed yet.
The MB-7 Mixer is not perfect, however. I do find that with some plug-ins the CPU hit can be pretty hard and I think it’s a combination between the plug-in and between the VSTs themselves. That said certain plug-ins like the Variety of Sound Freebies handle the CPU load very well.
2. AudioSuite Support
If you are using bundles and plug-ins like the Waves Stuff, you know that it has what’s called AudioSuite. I don’t know the exact science behind it but it basically puts all of it’s plugins into one .dll file.
Since the version 2.03 update, Blue Cat added the ability to support the AudioSuite plugins. This is really cool since it’s nice to be able to access ALL of my VST’s now when working inside this plugin.
3. M/S Processing
When you buy the MB-7 Mixer you get 3 instances of it: Mono, Stereo and Dual Mono. Now with the Dual Mono portion of the MB-7 Mixer you can do some pretty clever M/S processing if you choose to do so. Remember that M/S processing plug-ins are completely separate tools on their own and a lot of standard plug-ins still don’t have M/S capabilities. This gives you those capabilities and a heck of a lot more.
Let me give you an example, imagine this:
You have a stereo set of strings and you put an instance of this plugin on the insert of it’s channel. Now you load 2 bands and set the crossover point at 300Hz. You collapse everything under 300 Hz to mono and then you widen the stereo field on everything above 300 Hz. And just to add a kicker you throw some saturation to the band that’s set to 300Hz and above. Now that’s cool!
4. Customized Multi-Band Compression
Now this is crazy. When I first got the Waves L1 Limiter I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be able to have a multi-band compressor using the L1 algorithms for my compression on each band. How amazing is that? That’s literally just the beginning of it too.
You can choose anywhere from 1 Band all the way up to 7 bands and you aren’t limited to what you can do on each band. Maybe you want a completely different compressor on each band because each compressor reacts and sounds different so you need 5 different flavours for 5 different bands. Maybe you need two compressor on 2 bands and 1 compressor on 3 bands, no problem. Sky is the limit; go crazy!
5. Independent Frequency Panning
Another cool feature of the MB-7 Mixer is that you can take a stereo track and pan it’s frequency ranges. This is something that wasn’t possible before, at least to my knowledge.
You can create a stereo delay and pan 0-200Hz in the center, 200-600Hz to the left, 600-1200 Hz to the right and so on – I think you get the idea. I mean it doesn’t even stop there, you could compress each band that’s panned and even add effects to it as well – Way Cool!
6. Create Your Custom Effects
This is the one that excites me the most because there are 2 things that I think separates every mixer – the tone of their records and the effects they use. That really is our way to create a sound that separates us from one another. The MB-7 Mixer can get you to a place that will even separate you farther from everyone else.
We have a lot of chose for effects now a days but nothing that really allows you to go and create something that you can call your own. With the MB-7 Mixer you can do exactly that and I will give you one example now.
Let’s say you want to create a reverb that sounds different from what’s out there now, it’s totally do-able but it is going to require some use of existing reverbs.
You could set the MB-7 Mixer up into 3 bands (or more if you want) and then select a completely different reverb for each band. You can choose different spaces, or you can choose very similar spaces, it doesn’t matter. Now you can pan the lowest band to the center and then pan the other two bands left and right. That’s it you created you’r own reverb that now takes up the entire frequency spectrum and sound stage.
Why don’t we add a compressor to the lower band and what about some distortion on the middle band? Awesome! We could leave the upper band if we want but we aren’t going because we like to create some cool shit. So why don’t we add a flanger to that band and what the heck, let’s add another reverb after that. Wow, I just worked up a sweat on that one.
Now save that preset and you can recall that later on when you are working on another track.
Stop Reading and Start Mixing!
What the heck are you waiting for? Go get this damn thing. The MB-7 Mixer really is a revolutionary idea it actually excite me more than the latest compressor or console emulation. I am a huge advocate of adding tone to records but you can’t really compete with the MB-7 Mixer because it’s in a league of it’s own, there isn’t another plug-in in existence that you can compare it to.
Plus the fact that you can literally create your own little variations and then save those presets. I mean what’s cooler than have three different distortions on a bass track instead of just one. That really does help you create a new sound and the combinations are limitless.
So check it out and as always, have fun dammit!
Video Source: This Plug-in Changed My Life: Blue Cat Audio MB-7 Mixer 2