Why does Mixbus sound better?
Why does Mixbus sound better? What are the "well-known flaws" of other workstations?
The Mixbus mix engine was crafted by the same engineers who make our ultra-fidelity high-end consoles; both analog and digital. When our company made the transition from analog to digital, we had to guarantee that our digital consoles sounded as good as their analog counterparts. Working with high-end facilities and mixing engineers has allowed us to refine digital mixing techniques for over 2 decades. Most DAW developers spent that period focusing on plugins, file management, editing, and similar tasks.
The DAW+Plugin paradigm was invented when computers were far too slow to process an EQ on every track. Plugins were a compromise that solved the problem: users were allowed to add EQ to the tracks where they were deemed most important. Early DAW developers were also unlikely to have in-house DSP engineers, so utilizing 3rd party specialists was a welcome solution. These compromises were only intended to solve the immediate problems that faced early DAW developers, but they became so ingrained that the original intent of "recreating a studio workflow" was lost. They threw out the baby with the bath water!
From a technical standpoint, it is our opinion that the gross defects in many workstations include internal clipping, lacking dither stages in the DSP processing, insufficient ramping of DSP coefficients, multiple bit-depth/format conversions, out-of-control gain stages causing plugins to work outside their intended range, routing choices that cause latency/timing errors, inability to see meters such as compressor gain reduction without opening the plugin dialog, and poor user-interface integration.
Of course different workstations will exhibit these problems to different degrees. Our goal was to design a mixer using the "best practices" that we have developed over the course of 40 years. Multiple subtle design decisions, accumulated over a long history, allows Mixbus mixes to sound better than other DAWs.