With the 27th release of the MB-7 Mixer plug-in, we are celebrating 10 years of constant updates and new features! That’s almost 3 releases per year… Let’s have a quick look at the history of this unique multiband processing plug-in and how it all started in 2011!
MB-7 Mixer V1: Multiband Re-Mixing (2011-2013)
The initial idea behind this plug-in was to be able to split the signal into several bands and re-mix each band separately (changing levels, panning, stereo width). Hence the name “Mixer”, but in the spectral domain!
It worked a bit like an equalizer, but with a different workflow, and more options to process the signal on each band,. It also already had the ability to link bands controls across instances, to help working in spectral balance between several tracks.
It could also be used as a target with the MB-5 Dynamix plug-in to perform all sorts of side chain multiband dynamics treatments using MIDI or automation.
Mid/Side support was introduced with version 1.1 and the “Dual” version of the plug-in. You could now alter the spectrum of the left and right or mid and side signals separately.
MB-7 Mixer V2: Third Party Plug-Ins Support (2013-2017)
With a re-designed user interface and the addition of third party VST plug-ins support, V2 was a significant step forward: it was now possible to apply any audio effect on any frequency band, without altering the rest of the spectrum!
A lot of compatibility improvements were added over the years, such as Audio Unit and VST3 plug-in support and many bug fixes for particular third party plug-ins or hosts. Opening our plug-in to third parties was like opening Pandora’s box and became a bit of a challenge to maintain because of so many possible host/plug-ins/formats combinations (don’t ask why there were so many 2.x updates!), but we slowly got it to work with most of them!
V2.5 was another major milestone and introduced many new features to extend the capabilities of third party plug-ins inside the multiband processor: an external side chain signal could trigger effects on any band, each plug-in could have its own audio I/O mapping to process channels in different orders (or use only one of the two channels)… It also introduced latency compensation between bands to keep them all in phase even when using plug-ins with latency… All sorts of “little things” that make a big difference in an audio engineer’s daily life!
MB-7 Mixer V3: Usability And Built-In FX (2017-2021)
Version 3 and subsequent updates focused on usability and workflow, with a brand new (zoomable) user interface design, a full featured presets manager with search capabilities, drag and drop support for plug-ins, sub-presets for each band, plug-ins parameters mapping… The list of user interface and workflow improvements is quite long!
It also added many built-in effects that can be loaded side by side with third party plug-ins… This transformed the MB-7 Mixer into a multi effects processor, without the need to use third party plug-ins for many types of effects, even the weirdest!
With the addition of multicore processing and Apple Silicon support, the latest version to date (3.4) can load even more effects simultaneously… After 10 years of intense development, the MB-7 Mixer has now become a true multi-band multi-core multi-effects workhorse!
What About The Future?
There is still a lot more to do in the future to improve the MB-7 Mixer and multiband treatments… We cannot commit on future releases, but there are currently a couple of areas that we’d like to explore more in depth, such as macro parameters, linear phase crossovers, and a couple of crazy user interface ideas… Keep connected!
Want to know more? Watch our YouTube videos about the MB-7 Mixer multiband plug-in: