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The names of the different compressor and EQ patches only provide clues as to what they emulate, but see the 'Behind The Mask' box for a list of the real-life models that were researched in their creation. These range from expensive and rare outboard to popular consoles and workhorse rack gear, and the selection on offer is certainly impressive, covering many of the biggest and best-respected names in recording hardware from both the UK and the US, including a number of Focusrite's own products.
The Liquid Mix Manager software allows you to set the unit's sample rate, and also to specify the maximum number of channels of processing you wish to use, in case you want to conserve Firewire bandwidth.Operating the Liquid Mix is gratifyingly straightforward, and though some users might wish for photorealistic emulations of every plug-in control surface, there's a lot to be said for having a consistent control style. This being said, I personally find it less helpful when the normal layout is changed to reflect some of the oddities of the original, such as putting the HF controls on the left or having frequency controls that work backwards. While I'm making small gripes, I couldn't get the Snapshot facility to work in Logic, though the normal Save and Load menu does essentially the same thing, and does work. The compressor and EQ settings are always loaded together, though, and I feel it would make more sense to also have them available separately.
Sonically, I'm not able to vouch for the degree of authenticity of all the emulations, but there are some very nice-sounding EQs and compressors available covering a wide range of distinctive characters and styles. I particularly liked some of the more subtle passive EQs that seem to sweeten a mix or track with very little adjustment, and of course there are those kick-ass optical compressors that contrast nicely with the more workmanlike VCA versions. For the less experienced user, deciding which to use may present a challenge, but at the same time Liquid Mix offers a wonderful educational opportunity for any aspiring engineer to get familiar with the essential character of a number of classic compressors and equalisers that they may otherwise never come across. 2b1af7f3a8