The original Harrison 32C console was responsible for the sound of so many U.S. hits in the 70s and 80s, yet unless you worked on the desk you might not be aware of its various attributes. While the 32C’s equalizer has been available as a UAD plugin for a while now, and the entire console was modeled in Harrison’s MixBus DAW, most people working on other DAWs haven’t had a chance to experience the emulation of this great console yet- until now. Harrison has finally released its 32C as a channel strip plugin that can work on just about any DAW.
An In-Depth Look
Like most channel strip plugins, the 32C is divided into 5 sections – Input/Output, Compressor, EQ, Filters and Routing. Input/Output is pretty basic in that it provides ±24dB of gain (that’s way more than what most plugins provide), a VU meter emulation and a phase selector.
The Compressor section is interesting with 3 quick Mode selections (Compressor, Leveler, Limiter), a vertical threshold control, vertical gain reduction meter, Makeup Gain and Ratio controls.
The EQ section is what originally got the console its rave reviews. It’s a 4 band EQ with the middle 2 bands using a unique proportional-Q design. That means that small gain changes provide for provide a fairly wide Q, but push the gain in either direction even more and the Q becomes sharper. The high and low bands are shelving, but can be selected as additional proportional-Q bands for more surgical work when Bell is selected.
Maybe the best kept secret of the channel strip is the Filter section. First of all, they’re overlapping filters and feature a Bump selector on the HPF. The Bump button recreates the slight resonance of the original filter, resulting in an extra low-end boost just above the filter’s cutoff frequency.
Finally, there’s a Routing section that provides automated routing of the Filters, EQ, and Compressor stages. While every section has an audition (Ear) button to solo that particular stage, the routing section also provides an audition button for each point in the signal flow between each element. This allows you to listen to the effect of one, two, or all three elements in their assigned order.
The Harrison 32C channel strip plugin retails at $89, but it’s now carries an introductory price of just $49. There’s also a free demo available. It’s available in all major workstation formats: AAX, AudioUnit, VST3 and VST.
You can find out more here, or watch the video below.