Make Believe Studios MixHead [WiN]

Make Believe Studios MixHead is a digital tape saturation processor plugin
  • Publisher: Make Believe Studios
  • Product: MixHead
  • Release: R2R
  • Version: 4.0.3

Alright, all you mix wizards and audio alchemists, gather ’round because I’ve got something that’s about to turn your in-the-box world upside down. Say hello to Make Believe Studios’ MixHead, the plugin that’s resurrecting a forgotten hero of the digital age and giving it a 21st-century twist.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Another tape emulation plugin? I’ve got shelves full of those!” But hold your horses, because MixHead isn’t just another tape plugin. It’s a time machine disguised as a VST, taking us back to a quirky little hardware box that had mixers like Michael Brauer (you know, the guy who’s mixed for Coldplay and John Mayer) keeping one foot out of the box.

Here’s the scoop: our audio detective friends at Make Believe Studios have been stalking photos of classic recording sessions like they’re solving a Da Vinci Code for gear heads. And they stumbled upon this mysterious box, a digital Swiss Army knife that apparently everyone had forgotten about. But not anymore.

MixHead is the digital reincarnation of this unicorn unit, and let me tell you, it’s got some tricks up its sleeve that’ll make you question everything you thought you knew about tape emulation. For starters, flip that 30ips setting on and brace yourself. It’s got more grit and growl than the 15ips. I know, I know, that’s not how real tape works. But guess what? It sounds freaking awesome.

And then there’s the high-end. You’ll hear some phase wizardry going on up there that’ll have you scratching your head. But once you stop trying to rationalize it with your tape-purist brain and just use your ears, you’ll get it. It’s not trying to be a carbon copy of a Studer; it’s doing its own thing, and that thing is magic.

The secret sauce? The interplay between the input and drive controls. Seriously, these two are like an old married couple; they bicker and banter, but together they create this beautiful harmonic dance. Throw in the HF Adjust (which they’ve upgraded to tenth of a dB steps for you tweakers out there), and you’ve got a top-end shaper that sounds so natural, you’ll forget you’re dealing with ones and zeros.

But here’s the real kicker: efficiency. In an age where some plugins have your CPU sweating like it’s running a marathon, MixHead is like a cool breeze. You can slap this bad boy on every track, bus, and even your two-bus without your computer having a meltdown. That means you can really dig into its character on individual elements and then glue it all together for that cohesive, analog vibe.

And for all you lo-fi lovers out there, they’ve added a 3.75ips mode that’ll make your tracks sound like they’ve been marinating in a dusty record store. It’s gritty, it’s grainy, it’s everything you want for those moments when polished just won’t do.

Look, I get it. We’re up to our eyeballs in tape plugins. But MixHead isn’t trying to be another notch on that belt. It’s the rebel, the misfit toy that refused to stay in the digital graveyard. It takes the rules of what tape “should” sound like and chucks them out the window, replacing them with something that just works in the most beautiful, unpredictable ways.

So, do yourself a favor. Download MixHead. Put it on your vocals, your drums, your master bus. Heck, put it on your reverb sends. Play with it. Break the rules. And watch as your mixes take on this whole new dimension of analog mojo that you never knew you were missing.

In a world of meticulous emulations, MixHead is the beautiful accident, the happy mistake that turns into your signature sound. It’s not just a plugin; it’s a philosophy. A reminder that sometimes, the most magical audio moments come from embracing the unexpected. Now go forth and make some beautifully imperfect music. Your DAW will thank you.

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