- Using Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer
- Blue Cat Audio Plugins Basics
- Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer Parameters
- Plug-in Settings
- About Skins
- Frequently Asked Questions
Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer is a unique plug-in that splits the signal into several frequency bands and lets you mix them as if they were separate tracks.
Each band proposes controls that you can find on a mixing console, and more: bypass, mute or solo each band separately to isolate frequencies you want to work on, adjust the gain, the "stereoness" and the position in the stereo field. When manipulating the stereo image, a master mono switch also lets you check mono compatibility.
The plug-in also proposes unique linking and grouping options thanks to our multi-instances technology. You can link bands together within a single instance or between several instances of the plug-in on different tracks. This lets a simple fader control as many bands on as many tracks as you want. This is particularly useful when adjusting the placement or the balance of several competing tracks.
And as usual with Blue Cat Audio, the plug-in provides comprehensive visual feedback to let you know what's exactly going on: for each channel, monitor the spectrum, the in/out levels and the frequency response.
Thanks to its advanced MIDI and automation input capabilities, when combined with our other plug-ins, Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer is capable of advanced side-chaining features that really unveils its potential. Check out our MB-7 Mixer Tutorials for more details.
If you are looking for a multiband dynamics processor that can be combined to this plug-in for side chain effects, check out the Blue Cat's MB-5 Dynamix plug-in.
Typical applications: Multiband levels correction, spectral enhancement, multiband stereo widening, multiband stereo placement, frequency isolation, EQ, spectrum inspection, mastering, spectrum-based side chain effects.
- Multiband mixing console: adjust the levels, panning and "stereoness" of each band separately.
- Dual Mode: independent left and right or mid and side channels control.
- Multiple instances linking: group bands within a single instance or between multiple instances of the plug-in. Modify the spectrum on multiple tracks with a single slider.
- Up to 7 bands, with crossover filters from 6 to 96 dB/Oct for optimal separation.
- Bypass, mute, solo on every band.
- Mono switch on master for mono compatibility check.
- Complete visual feedback with real time response curves and levels display for each band.
- Side chaining made easy: a unique way to perform multi-band side chain compression, ducking, gating and much more.
- Plug-in window transparency management.
- No latency.
Blue Cat Audio Standards:
- Available as: Mac-AAX, Mac-AU, Mac-RTAS, Mac-VST, Win-DX, Win-RTAS, Win-VST, Win x64-DX, Win x64-VST.
- Native DSP code for optimal performance.
- Full MIDI control and automation support with silent, zipper-free parameters update, advanced response control and MIDI Learn.
- No CPU load on idle: when the plug-in is fed with silence, the processing smoothly shuts down, to optimize the CPU usage of your Digital Audio Workstation.
- Skinnable and customizable user interface with transparency management.
- Automation and MIDI output: record output parameters as automation curves or send MIDI CC messages to other plug-ins for powerful side chain effects.
- Smooth Bypass: activate/deactivate the plug-in with absolutely no noise.
- Import/Export presets in a host independent format.
- Any sample rate supported.
- An SSE2-enabled processor (Pentium 4 or later).
- Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 or 8.
- Any DirectX / VST / RTAS / AAX compatible host software (32 or 64 bit).
Mac OS X
- An Intel or PowerPC processor.
- Mac OS X Moutain Lion (10.8), Lion (10.7), Snow Leopard (10.6), or Leopard (10.5).
- Any VST / Audio Unit (32/64-bit) / RTAS / AAX compatible application.
For more information about supported platforms, see our FAQ.
Blue Cat Audio plug-ins cannot be run standalone, they require a host application (see the System Requirements chapter for more information). Depending on which host application you use, you might need to install the plug-ins in different locations.
All versions of the plug-in provide an installation program. Follow the steps of the wizard to install the plug-in on your machine. During the installation you will be asked where you want the plug-in(s) to be installed. For the VST version you should install the plug-in inside the VST plug-ins folder used by your host application(s). The default path set in the installer should work for most applications, but you should check your host software documentation to know where it looks for VST plug-ins.
Some applications will not automatically rescan the new plug-ins, so you might have to force a refresh of the plug-ins list.
When a new version of the plug-in is released, just launch the new installer: it will update the current installation.
To uninstall the plug-in, simply launch the "Uninstall" program that is available in the start menu or in the configuration panel. It will take care of removing all files from your computer.
On Mac the plug-ins are available as drive images. After download, double click on the file to open it. You can then drag and drop the plug-in file(s) to the shortcut that is provided within the image. It will install the plug-in(s) for all users on the machine.
In case you do not have admin rights on your Mac or if you want to install the plug-in(s) to another directory, just copy the files to the appropriate location. If required, more information is available in the README.txt file that is included in the package.
When a new version of the plug-in is released, open the new image and copy the files over the previous ones. The new version will replace the older one.
To uninstall the plug-in, simply remove the plug-in components from the folder where you have copied them during install (move them to the trash).
Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer can be called a "multi band mixing console": it splits the incoming signal into a variable number of bands (up to 7) that can be mixed again together as if they were separate tracks. It thus provides controls that you would usually find on a mixing console, in addition to frequency splitting configuration capabilities.
Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer is called a multi-band processor, because it splits the incoming signal into several frequency bands before processing them separately:
It means that each band can be affected differently, depending on the chosen settings. You can for example monoize the low-end of the spectrum while spreading the mids and keeping the highs unchanged.
The separation between bands is realized with crossover filters which let you control the separation between bands (the higher the slope of the filter, the sharper the separation):
The slope of the crossovers can be set up to 96 dB/Octave. You should however be aware that such sharp separation may cause artefacts (such as ringing frequencies), so you might want to keep the crossovers below 60 dB/Oct in most usual cases.
Band Mixing Controls
The plug-in comes in three flavors: a mono, a stereo and a dual channels ("Dual") version. For each band, the mono version provides mute and solo switches that have the same behavior as the ones you can find on a mixing console: "mute" will mute the current band, whereas "solo" will mute all other bands.
The mono version also provides a gain control that affects the volume of the band, as well as a bypass option that lets the signal unchanged, which is particularly convenient for A/B comparisons.
The stereo version has two additional parameters to control the stereo width and placement of the chosen band:
- You can increase or decrease the with of the signal with the "spread" control. It adjusts the amount of mono and stereo signal in the chosen band. When set at its minimum value, the sound is completely mono (same signal on the left and right channels), while with the maximum value the left and right channels are out of phase. A typical usage of this control is to keep the bass in the center of the stereo field ("monoize") and increase the stereo spread for higher frequencies. Beware that out of phase signals disappear from a mono mix, so you should not in general overuse positive spread values.
- The "pan" pot lets you control the placement of the band in the stereo field. You can move it to the left or right independently from other frequency bands. You can thus create interesting stereo effects or correct stereo placement issues in a mix.
The dual channels version lets you control the gain for the left and right channels independently, and also pan them freely in the stereo field. Each channel can also be muted independently.
A Mid/Side switch is also available to switch the controls to mid/side mode (instead of default left/right). When switched on, you can control the mid and side gains separately, and pan the mid and side signals from mid (-100%) to sides (+100%). More information about mid/side processing is available below.
With the dual channels version, gain sliders for both channels can be linked together in order to provide a single gain control for both channels.
In addition to its multiband mixing capabilities, the plug-in offers a master section to control the master gain and the output level. The stereo version also comes with a mono switch to check the mono compatibility of the output: using panning and stereo spreading heavily may affect the mono component of the signal, so you may want to check that the sound is still fine in mono.
With so many bands available in the plug-in and with multiple instances on several tracks, there are a whole bunch of parameters to control! That's where grouping can be useful, just like on modern mixing consoles.
The plug-in proposes three different types of groups:
- "Local groups" let you link several bands together within a single instance of the plug-in.
- "Global groups" are shared by all instances of the plug-in within a host application. They let you adjust controls accross several instances of the plug-in.
- The "quick group" is a special form of local group. Using the quick group deactivates any other grouping option. It is useful to temporarily adjust several bands at the same time quickly.
When a band is linked to a group, any change to any parameter on this band is reflected to other bands in the same group. The link to the group can be reversed so that increasing the value of the gain, spread or pan parameters on the reversed band decreases these same parameter on non reversed bands.
Blue Cat's Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer offers mid/side processing capability. With this feature you can process the mid (center) and side (sides) channels instead of the usual left and right channels.
Concept Origin: Mid/Side Recording
Mid/Side recording is a famous recording technique that is preferred in some cases to the traditional left/right recording. Looking for “mid side recording” in an internet search engine will give you many tutorials about this technique.
The result of such a recording is a pair of mid/side (M/S) channels instead of classic left/right (L/R) channels in an audio stream. The mid channel is also often called “Mono” and side “Stereo”: the mid channel contains the signal that is in the center of the stereo mix, and the side channel contains the rest (everything that is on the sides of the mix):
From Mid/Side Recording to Processing
The relationship between L/R and M/S channel can be computed so that you can transform any Mid/Side recording to standard listenable left/right stereo stream. The reverse operation is also possible, which means that you can artificially separate mid/side information from your usual L/R stereo tracks. That’s what is done by our mid/side processing plug-ins.
Processing separately the mid/side channels instead of left/right channels offers more control over the stereo character of a sound. Reducing the volume of the side channel makes it sound more "mono" and vice versa.
Note: The main toolbar, menus and basic features available with all our plug-ins are detailed in the Blue Cat Audio Plug-ins Basics section.
The plug-in is bundled with a single skin for each version (Mono, Stereo and Dual), and you may create your own and download new ones on www.bluecataudio.com. Only the specific features of the included skins are discussed here. The next section describes the other features that are common to all Blue Cat Audio plug-ins.
In this chapter we'll detail the user interface for the stereo and dual channels versions. The mono version is very similar to the stereo version: it just has fewer controls.
At the top of the plug-in stand various global controls:
- The “opacity” feature lets you change the opacity of the window containing the plug-in so that it becomes transparent: you can modify the processing parameters while having a look at what's happening behind the plug-in.
- The bypass button deactivates any processing performed by the plug-in so that you can compare to the dry signal.
- You can select the number of bands for the plug-in. It ranges from one (broadband) - to seven.
Main Graph Display (2)
The main graph display occupies a central spot at the top of the user interface. It shows a lot of information about what is happening inside the plug-in:
- Zoom: there are three ways to zoom. You can either select a part of the display with the mouse, or use the sliders which are available at the top left of the display, or click on one of the three shortcuts below. Please note that the vertical zoom does not apply to the spectrum analyzer.
- Crossover frequencies: the vertical lines can be dragged left and right to modify the crossover points.
- Spectrum: the built-in spectrum analyzer shows the spectrum of the signal at the output of the plug-in. For the stereo version, the left channel is represented with a blue curve, and the right channel with a pink curve.
- Gain control: you can drag the blue cat logos vertically to change the gain for each band. Clicking on this control also modifies the current band.
- The frequency response of the crossover filters is displayed with a different color for each band. The curve displayed is the actual curve of the filter, not a theoretical or simplified representation of it. The response curve of the selected band is filled with the associated color (band number 2 in the screen shot above).
- Global response: this curve represents the global spectral response of the plug-in (it does not include the gain stage of the master section).
- Show/Hide selector: you can use the controls at the bottom of the screen to hide most of the components described above. It can be helpful to reduce the amount of information simultaneously displayed, or to reduce the cpu consumption of the user interface (spectrum and response display are typically more cpu intensive).
The crossovers area displays controls for each band to modify either the frequency or the slope of the crossover filters:
The slopes of the crossovers range from 6 to 96 dB/Octave. They can be controlled independently thanks to the black drop-down boxes.
Below the crossovers section stand the various mixing controls for each band:
- Gain control.
- Bypass, Mute and Solo buttons.
- Peak level meters.
- On the stereo version only: spread ("stereoness") and pan controls.
- The group drop-down box lets you choose a group to link with.
- Quick group button. Using the quick (local) group overrides any other group that has been chosen with (5)
- Reverse link: reverses the link with the selected group (if any).
Grouping affects the following controls: bypass, mute, solo, gain, spread and pan. The reverse button affects only the gain, spread and pan controls.
Master Section (5)
The master section lets you manage the main output levels. It also shows output peak level meters.
On the stereo version a mono switch can be used to check the mono compatibility of the effect. The gain control can also be part of a group.
You can reset the max level meters available at the top of the master section by clicking on them. Note: these meters become red when the maximum output level is above 0dB.
The Dual Channels Version
With its two independent channels, the dual channels version has a couple of differences with the other versions of the plug-in.
First, most controls are available as pairs. As a general rule, the controls for channel 1 (left or mid) can be noticed thanks to their blue color, whereas the controls for the second channel (right or side) are represented with a pink color.
You can switch from left/right to mid/side mode thanks to the "mid/side" switch available at the top of the user interface.
Additional features are also available, compared to the stereo version:
- Link gain controls for both channels.
- In addition to the general band mute button, each channel can be muted independently.
- Each channel can be panned independently.
The various elements of the user interface (knobs, sliders, buttons...) are simple and intuitive to operate, but more information about how to interact with them is available in the "Plug-ins Basics" chapter of this manual.
This section decribes several common use cases for the plug-in. A complete list of the parameters exposed by the plug-in is available in the next section.
Setting up the Crossover Points
Be it on a full mix or a single track, at this step your aim is to isolate particular frequencies to apply a specific treatment to it. The best way to adjust the frequency ranges is to use the "Solo" button of the monitoring section to hear the signal processed by each band.
This method also applies to selecting the appropriate filters slopes. You will usually avoid very steep filters (artifacts at the crossover points may be more prominent), but they can be useful to isolate very particular frequencies.
Using the plug-in as an Equalizer
Thanks to its flexible crossover filters and with the gain controls offered for each band, the plug-in can be used as a powerful equalizer with very good control over the response curve. Isolating bands using the solo button helps finding the right spot to boost or cut. The mute button will transform a band into a notch, high-cut or low-cut filter.
The additional grouping capabilities are very helpful to setup the balance between bands and boost/cust several portions of the spectrum simultaneously.
Using the Plug-in as a Stereo Enhancer
The extra features offered by the stereo version of the plug-in can help you control how the spectrum occupies the stereo field.
Using the Spread Control
As stated in the introduction, you may want to use the positive values of the spread parameter sparingly in order to avoid completely out of phase left and right signals. The mono button on the master section will help you check that your settings do not affect the mono part of the signal too much.
A common practice is to narrow the lower end of the spectrum (bass) to keep it centered. To do so, you just need to decrease the spread value on the lowest band. It may be necessary to use this technique on a full mix or on stereo instruments with strong stereo effects on the full spectrum.
Several panning techniques can be achieved very easily with the Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer plug-in.
You may want to pan instruments in a mix without affecting the lower end of the spectrum (since you will probably want to keep it centered). A simple two-band setup will let you do that, panning only the higher end of the spectrum.
It is also possible to create interesting stereo effects on single instruments in order to widen their presence in a mix: just pan various parts of the spectrum differently (but try to keep the bass centered). Alternating left and right panning on a large number of bands can completely the transform the perception of an instrument.
While mixing, you may also encounter problems with instruments that fight for the same frequencies at the same location. In this case, you may want to pan differently the competing frequencies on both tracks and solve the conflicts.
Both panning and spread controls may also be used to fix recording issues (wrongly placed mics, unwanted room effects...) or revist an existing mix.
Creative Grouping for Optimal Workflow
The grouping features included in the plug-in can be used for a wide range of workflow enhancements. Below are typical examples where grouping can help work faster and more efficiently.
In a single instance you can group several frequency bands in order to move all of them in parallel with a single slider. Most of the time you will be using the "quick group" feature to quickly switch linking on and off.
If you are boosting the levels, you can also add the master slider to the group you are using, in reverse mode. This way it will compensate the overall increase in volume so that the output does not clip.
If you are using the plug-in on several tracks, it can be very handy to use "global groups" to limit the number of controls that need to be moved to get the sound you are looking for. Typically, when adjusting the spectral balance between two tracks and their location in the stereo field, you can use several instances of the Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer plug-in and link them together in reverse mode: panning a frequency range to the left on one track will pan it to the right on the other track and so on.
Pre and Post Adjustments on a Single Track
If you are using non linear processors (dynamics processors such as a compressor, a gate, an expander, or distortion, analog-style processing etc.), it is sometimes very useful to change the content of the spectrum before applying the effect, because it may respond very differently (for instance remove lower frequencies before a compressor).
In such a scenario you will usually apply an EQ before the non-linear effect. But the issue with that is that you will have to compensate the boosts and cuts with another EQ after the effect so that the overall spectrum remains unchanged. The process can become very tedious, and that's where using global groups with the Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer can help: simply add all bands (+master) to the same global group on both instances (before and after the effect), switch all bands of one of the instances to reverse mode, and you are done: the instance after the effect now compensates the modifications applied to the spectrum by the first instance.
Using the Plug-in as a Spectrum Inspector
The plug-in includes a premium spectrum analyzer that lets you see the spectral content of a track. It can be used in combination with the solo button of one or several bands to isolate parts of the spectrum and check with your ears what's going on.
The peak level meters available on each band are also very helpful to monitor the spectrum and check for unwanted frequencies.
Setting up the Plug-in as a Side Chain Destination
Thanks to its zipper-free MIDI controllable and automation-capable parameters, the plug-in can be used as a destination of a side chain.
A typical application is multiband side-chain compression/expansion/gating, using the Blue Cat's MB-5 Dynamix plug-in as a side chain source to control the gain of various bands of an instance of the Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer plug-in:
A complete step by step tutorial about this topic is available on our website. It explains how to setup the plug-in for such tasks.
For other types of side chain applications, we also have many plug-ins that can output parameter values to be reused with another plug-in such as this one.
This chapter describes the basic features that are common to all our plug-ins. If you are already familiar with our products, you can skip this part.
Like all Blue Cat Audio plug-ins, Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer uses a skinnable user interface. It means that the appearance and behavior of the user interface can be entirely customized.
Especially with third party skins, the experience may be quite different from the one offered by the default skins that we provide. However, our plug-ins and our skinning engine have several standard features that will be available whatever your favorite skin. This is what is described in this chapter.
More information about custom skins can be found in the skins section.
Main Toolbar and Menu
If you right click on the background of the plug-in, the following pop-up menu appears:
The description of the commands associated to each menu item are available below.
In some skins, an optional toolbar gives you access to the some of the functionalities of the main menu.
|Menu||Open the main menu|
|Website||Opens our website|
The Commands available from the main menu or the toolbar are:
- Factory Presets: browse factory presets (if any).
- Set Preset Skin: change the skin for the current preset.
- Use Global Skin: use the skin defined in the global settings for the current preset. This item is enabled only if a skin has been defined for the current preset.
- Undo/Redo: undo or redo the latest modifications. This includes all changes made to the current preset settings.
- Load Preset: load preset from file.
- Save Preset: save current preset to file.
- Presets Settings: open the presets settings window. It enables you to change the skin and MIDI settings for the current preset.
- Global Settings: open the global settings window. It enables you to change the skin and MIDI settings that are used by default in all instances of the plug-in.
- User Manual: open this user manual.
- Check Updates: check the updates for this software on our website.
- Get More Skins: get more skins for this software.
- Legal Information: browse licensing and misc legal documents.
- About: displays the “about” dialog box.
Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer can also be remotely controlled via MIDI using MIDI CC ("Control Change") messages if your host application supports it. It is possible to customize the channel, control numbers and range used for each parameter in the MIDI settings panel available from the main menu (see the Plug-in Settings chapter for more details).
Here are a few examples of typical controls you will encounter in the user interface of our plug-ins:
Interacting with Controls
Setting the keyboard focus on a control (so that it responds to key strokes) may be automatic (when you pass the mouse over it it gets focus) or manual (you have to click on the control to set the focus on it). Note that all host applications behave differently regarding keyboard handling. In some applications you may not be able to use all keys described later in this manual to interact with our plug-ins. It is usually made obvious to you to know the active surfaces of the skin (the places where you can click with the mouse): the mouse cursor usually changes when you can do something on a control. In the default skins delivered with the plug-in, the cursor changes to a small hand or an arrow to tell you when your mouse is over an active control.
Various mouse movements will let you interact with the controls:
|Left Click||Acquire focus and start dragging or push (button)|
|Left Click + Alt Key||Set the value to default|
|Left Double Click||
Acquire focus and launch the “fine
tuning” edit box (except button):
|Right Click||Set the value to default|
|Mouse Wheel||Increment or decrement the position (focus required)|
|Mouse Drag||Change the control position depending on mouse movement (except button)|
All control widgets support the following keys (note that some of them are caught by the host and thus never forwarded to the control. For example in Steinberg Cubase SX you cannot use the arrow keys to control the plug-in):
Keys Common to All Controls
|Up Arrow||Small increment of the position (up or right)|
|Down Arrow||Small increment of the position (down or left)|
|Left Arrow||Same as Down Arrow|
|Right Arrow||Same as Up Arrow|
|Page Up||Large increment of the position (up or right)|
|Page Down||Large decrement of the position (down or left)|
|+||Small increment of the value of the control|
|-||Small decrement of the value of the control|
|d||Set to default value (same as mouse right click)|
Opens the 'fine tuning' window to precisely
set the parameter:
|SHIFT||When the key is down, the fine tuning mode is on, and you can modify the value with better precision when moving the mouse, the mouse wheel or using the keyboard. Just release the key to get back to the normal mode.|
Keys Specific to Buttons
|Enter||Pushes the button|
Check our online tutorial for more screenshots and more examples of our plug-ins user interfaces.
All parameters described below can be automated and controlled via MIDI if your host application supports it. You can precisely define this behavior in the settings panels described later in this manual.
The input parameters of this plug-in are the following:
||Bypass the effect.||
||Number of Bands.||
|For each band (band index: i)|
||Bypass the effect for this band.||
||Mute this band.||
||Solo this band (listen to the band).||
|Bi Gain||dB||Gain for this band.||
|% Spread||%||Stereo spread for this band (stereo version only). Set to -100% for mono only, and to +100% for opposite phase.||
|Bi Pan||%||Pan value for this band (stereo version only). Set to -100% for full left panning, and to +100% for full right panning.||
|Bi Reset Max||
||Changing the value of the parameter resets the max peak value recorded for this band.||
|Freq i - i+1||Hz||Center frequency for the crossover between this band and the next one.||
|Slope i - i+1||dB/Octave||Slope for the crossover between this band and the next one. Controls the separation between bands (the higher the sharper the separation).||
|Gain||dB||Master output gain.||
|Spread||%||Stereo spread for the master output. Used for mono compatibility check (ranges only from -100 to 0%).||
||Changing the value of the parameter resets the max peak value recorded for the master output.||
Mono and stereo versions of the plug-in offer almost the same outputs. The main difference is that the stereo version exposes the same value twice (one of each channel), except if not specified.
|For each band (band index: i)|
|Bi Peak||dB||Measured peak level for this band.||(L) and (R) for the stereo version|
|Bi Peak Hold||dB||Local Maximum value of the Audio level over time for this band. This value is automatically reset by the plug-in on a regular basis.||(L) and (R) for the stereo version|
|Bi Max Peak||dB||Maximum value of the Audio level over time for this band (can be reset by "Bi Reset Max" parameter changes) for both channels.||(L) and (R) for the stereo version|
|Peak||dB||Measured peak level at the output of the plug-in.||(L) and (R) for the stereo version|
|Peak Hold||dB||Local Maximum value of the Audio level at the output of the plug-in. This value is automatically reset by the plug-in on a regular basis.||(L) and (R) for the stereo version|
|Max Peak||dB||Maximum value of the Audio level over time at the output of the plug-in (can be reset by "Reset Max" parameter changes) for both channels.||(L) and (R) for the stereo version|
In addition to the controls offered in the main user interface, Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer has various settings that let you fine tune the behavior of the plug-in. You can choose to change these settings either for the current preset or globally for all instances of the plug-in.
The settings available in this window apply to all instances of the plug-in, for all presets, if not overriden in the presets settings. Consider these settings as “default” settings.
You can change the default skin for all instances of the plug-in: write the skin file path in the text edit box or click on the button to open a file chooser dialog. If you have several instances of the plug-in opened in your session, you will have to re-open the user interfaces of these plug-ins to see the skin change.
The output data refresh rate can also be customized for all instances of the plug-in. It controls the refresh rate of non-audio data produced by the plug-in (parameters, curves...). It also controls the refresh rate of output MIDI CC messages or output automation data. The higher the refresh rate, the better precision, but also the higher cpu usage (some host applications may also have trouble recording MIDI data at high refresh rates). The default value is 50 Hz.
For each parameter you can define a default MIDI channel and CC number. You can then control the plug-in with an external MIDI controller or one of our plug-ins that generate MIDI messages.
The following settings are available for each plug-in parameter:
- Channel: MIDI Channel for the parameter control. If set to 0, the plug-ins will accept Control Change Messages from all MIDI Channels (MIDI Omni mode).
- CC: Control Change Number.
- Learn: click on this button to activate the MIDI learn functionality. When it is activated, you can move your MIDI controller, and the plug-in will automatically set the MIDI Channel and CC Number.
- Enable MIDI: enable/disable the MIDI control of the parameter.
- Response: response curve of the MIDI control: from very fast to slow control.
- Min: minimal value of the parameter when MIDI controlled.
- Max: Maximum value of the parameter when MIDI controlled.
Note: if the Min value is higher than the Max value, the response curve will be reversed: increasing the control value will decrease the parameter value.
Note: if you double click on the parameter text control boxes for the max and min values, a “fine tuning” edit box will appear and let you change the min and max values with more precision:
You can set the same properties for the output parameters as for the input parameters: in this case, they may trigger MIDI CC messages or generate automation curves when modified. Since it's output, you cannot set the channel to MIDI Omni, so you must choose a channel.
Note: if the Min value is higher than the Max value, the response curve will be reversed: increasing the control value will decrease the parameter value.
Note: if you double click on the parameter text control boxes for the max and min values, a “fine tuning” edit box will appear and let you change the min and max values with more precision:
Global Automation Output Settings
If your host application does not let you choose which parameters to record as automation curves, you may need to choose the automation enabled parameters in the plug-in itself. In this pane you can decide which output parameters of the plug-in will record automation, for all instances of the plug-in:
All parameters are disabled by default. Click on the check box to enable/disable automation for a parameter.
You can choose to use the global skin setting or to change the skin for the current preset. This way you can have different skins for different instances of the plug-in in the same session in order to differentiate them.
Preset MIDI Input Settings
Use the global settings or override them for the current preset. The parameters are the same as for the global input settings.
Preset MIDI Output Settings
Use the global settings or override them for the current preset. The parameters are the same as for the global output settings.
Preset Automation Output Settings
Use the global settings or override them for the current preset. The parameters are the same as for the global automation output settings:
Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer integrates Blue Cat's skinning engine that allows you to customize the user interface. You can download new skins for your plug-in at the following address:
If you don't find a skin that fits your need or if you want a really custom one, you can choose to create your own skin.
You have two ways to change the skin of your plug-in: you can change the default (or 'global') skin in the global settings, or change the skin for the current preset only (either in the preset settings page or from the main menu). The global skin applies to all plug-in instances, whereas the current preset skin only applies to the current preset of the current plug-in instance.
See the main menu for more information about how to access these options.
On some hosts the plug-in window won't resize automatically when you choose a skin with a different size. In this case, just close the window and re-open it: it will be displayed with the right size.
You can create custom skins for your plug-in in order to adapt it to your exact needs. You can change its look and feel and make it completely integrated in your virtual studio!
You can then share your skins on our website.
Here is a list of host software and the version we recommend you to use. Many other applications are supported, check your application user manual to choose the best version (AU stands for "Audio Unit" and DX for "DirectX"):
|Host Application||Plug-in Version|
|Cakewalk Products (Sonar, Project5...)||DX|
|Sony Products (Vegas, ACID, Soundforge)||DX for old versions, VST for new|
|Steinberg Products (Cubase, Nuendo, Wavelab)||VST (Mac or PC)|
|Ableton Live||VST (Mac or PC)|
|Avid (Digidesign) Pro Tools||RTAS|
|Apple applications (Logic Pro, Logic Express, Garage Band...)||AU|
|Cockos Reaper||VST (Mac or PC)|
Most software you can purchase on this website is plug-ins for host applications. It means you need another application to use it. See the "Plug-ins Formats" section in this FAQ for more information.
First check that you application supports DirectX, Audio Unit or VST plug-ins.
If you are using the DirectX version, check that your host application supports DXi plug-ins (MIDI enabled DirectX plug-ins). If it does not, it may remove it from the DirectX plug-ins list (some applications such as Sony Vegas 5 and Cool Edit Pro are known to do this). In this case, use our DXi Manager free utility and disable the MIDI capabilities of the plug-in. You may need to reinstall the software again before it shows up into your host application. For more information about this topic please read our DXi in Sony Vegas tutorial (it is applicable to other applications than Sony Vegas).
If you are using the Direct X version and your host application supports DXi, check that the plug-in does not appear in the 'virtual synth' or 'synthesizers' category. If you wish not to use the MIDI capabilities of the plug-in and use it as a regular Direct X plug-in, you can download the freeware DXi Manager and disable the MIDI capabilities of the plug-in.
You are probably running a 32-bit application. If that's the case, you need to install the 32-bit version of the plug-in: the choice for 32 or 64-bit is not determined by the operating system (64-bit windows can run both 32 and 64-bit applications), but by the host application that you are using.
Our plug-ins require several additional files for default settings, skins and miscellaneous data. We provide an installer for our customers' convenience. Our installers do not modify the system settings or the Windows registry, except for the DirectX versions registration. Our installers won't harm your system.
This manual only covers the basics of Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer. Our website offers many additional resources for your Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer plug-in and is constantly updated, so keep an eye on it! You will find below a few examples of available resources.
We encourage our customers to propose their own skins for our products and we often propose alternative skins to let you choose the one that best suits your needs. You can check Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer skins page to get the latest skins.
|Product: MB-7 Mixer|
Description: This skin transforms the plug-in into a very simple single band utility that lets you adjust the gain, stereo spread and panning of a track. It also includes a mono switch, level meters and multiple instances grouping options. The skin works for both the mono and stereo versions of the plug-in.
Author: Blue Cat Audio
Many Tutorials are available on our website. They cover a wide range of topics and host applications. You will find below a list of tutorials that are related to the Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer plug-in. An updated list is also available online.
Tutorial - Automation Envelopes Generation in MOTU's Digital Performer 7
This tutorial shows how to reuse the envelopes generated by our plugins with output parameters in MOTU's Digital Performer 7 host software. As of today Digital Performer does not receive MIDI events f...[Read More...]
Tutorial - Connecting Plug-ins with Groups in Cakewalk Sonar
This tutorial shows how to reuse the envelopes generated by our plugins with output parameters in Cakewalk Sonar using groups. Other techniques exist (using MIDI or Automation curves), but this one ha...[Read More...]
Tutorial - Using DXi plug-ins in Sony Vegas
This tutorial will teach you how to use any DXi plug-in in Sony Vegas: Sony Vegas does not support MIDI automation, so if your plug-in supports the MIDI Dxi protocol, it is removed from the plug-ins l...[Read More...]
Tutorial - Spectral Response (EQ Curve) Matching with Blue Cat's FreqAnalyst Multi
In this tutorial you will learn how to match the frequency response of a third party piece of software or hardware with a standard EQ or spectrum manipulation plug-in. For this purpose, we will use th...[Read More...]
Tutorial - Export Plugin Presets to Share them with the Community
This tutorial shows you how to export your presets in order to share them with the community on the Blue Cat Audio website. This tutorial uses Blue Cat's Stereo Triple EQ for the demonstration bu...[Read More...]
Tutorial - Getting Started with Plug-ins User Interface
Get used to the user interface features of Blue Cat Audio products! They have been designed for an optimal workflow, so here are the tips and tricks to save time. All these functionalities are explain...[Read More...]
Tutorial - Using MIDI Control in Sonar
This tutorial will help you understand how to use parameters MIDI control in Cakewalk Sonar. It is applicable to any DXi plug-in (MIDI enabled DirectX plug-in)....[Read More...]
Tutorial - Using MIDI Connectivity in a Modular Host (Plogue Bidule)
This tutorial shows you how to use the MIDI connectivity of our plugins in a modular host such as Plogue Bidule. We are using the Mac version of Bidule in this tutorial. The scenario here is very sim...[Read More...]
Tutorial - Real Time Side Chain Multiband Dynamics
This tutorial shows how to perform multi band side chain compression, ducking or gating with Blue Cat's MB-5 Dynamix and Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer. "Side chaining" consists in using the si...[Read More...]
Tutorial - Using Blue Cat Audio plugins connectivity in Reaper
This tutorial shows how to use our plugins MIDI connectivity within Reaper. We use Blue Cat's Dynamics plugin as an example, but you can use any other audio plugin which provides output parameters, su...[Read More...]
Tutorial - Connecting plug-ins together in Logic for advanced side chain effects
This tutorial shows how to use the connectivity capabilities of our plugins within Logic. We use Blue Cat's DP Meter Pro plugin (DPMP) as an example, but you can use any other audio plugin which provi...[Read More...]
Tutorial - Using Blue Cat Audio plug-ins connectivity in Pro Tools
This tutorial shows how to use the MIDI connectivity of our plugins within Pro Tools. We use Blue Cat's DP Meter Pro plugin as an example, but you can use any other audio plugin which provides output ...[Read More...]
Tutorial - How to Use the Free Presets Available on this Website
This tutorial shows you how to get and load free presets for your favorite Blue Cat Audio plugin. This tutorial uses Blue Cat's Dynamics for the demonstration but is applicable to all our plugins...[Read More...]
As you can see in the history log below, we care about constantly updating our products in order to give you the latest technology available. Please visit our website often to check if Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer has been updated, or subscribe to our Newsletter to be informed of the latest news about our products.
See you soon on www.bluecataudio.com!