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work2do
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#1
31st March 2011
Old 31st March 2011
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Truth about Metric Halo ULN-8

I'm looking to get a new interface to go with new Macbook Pro mobile setup. I need some honesty on the ULN8 because I am considering it. I've done searches and I see posts by guys saying they sold their neve/api pre's, analog tape machines, apogee converters, clocks, analog compressors, monitor controllers, analog summing boxes/mixers, etc. because this ULN8 can do all of this better than all of those.

I am always skeptical of these kinds of accolades for any product on GS. Especially one digital product that sounds better than a neve pre and distressor, etc. because of a "character" plugin. I even saw a few that said internal summing in the ULN8 is better than a quality analog summing box.

I'm gonna get a test run myself but curious as to what others are saying about this box.
#2
31st March 2011
Old 31st March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by work2do View Post
I'm looking to get a new interface to go with new Macbook Pro mobile setup. I need some honesty on the ULN8 because I am considering it. I've done searches and I see posts by guys saying they sold their neve/api pre's, analog tape machines, apogee converters, clocks, analog compressors, monitor controllers, analog summing boxes/mixers, etc. because this ULN8 can do all of this better than all of those.
I think your post sums it up nicely - I am not a metric halo owner yet - but I am thinking of picking up a 2882 +2d. It seems like the guys on here that use the MH stuff just get on with the job of making music and not worrying about the latest trends or fads with converters,etc. The MH drivers seem really stable and the whole "80bit" MIO console summing looks interesting.

Quote:
I am always skeptical of these kinds of accolades for any product on GS. Especially one digital product that sounds better than a neve pre and distressor, etc. because of a "character" plugin. I even saw a few that said internal summing in the ULN8 is better than a quality analog summing box.

I'm gonna get a test run myself but curious as to what others are saying about this box.
I think great analog front end like you have described above will always have a place - get it right at the source when tracking - leaves less to do come mix time. I think knowing you have great conversion from the get go helps with committing when tracking - what you hear is what you get etc etc.
Cheers
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31st March 2011
Old 31st March 2011
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I didn't sell my Phoenix pre's or my Neve compressor... they compliment the ULN-8 nicely.

I've had the ULN-8 since it came out...it really is as amazing as GS says... just an extraordinary tool.

The best thing I can say about it is that after a while you just don't notice it's there...you make music, it magically enters your Mac the way you hear it...and comes back at you the same way. Pure magic.
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31st March 2011
Old 31st March 2011
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Alot of ULN8 users on the MH mailing list do field recording and FOH work. So I think for them the space savings make sense to forgo the outboard.
I have a 2882 2d and love it. Not only is the hardware great, but the software implementation and driver stability is awesome...but Mac only.
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31st March 2011
Old 31st March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by work2do View Post
I'm looking to get a new interface to go with new Macbook Pro mobile setup. I need some honesty on the ULN8 because I am considering it. I've done searches and I see posts by guys saying they sold their neve/api pre's, analog tape machines, apogee converters, clocks, analog compressors, monitor controllers, analog summing boxes/mixers, etc. because this ULN8 can do all of this better than all of those. .
I am someone who has sold a lot of analog gear because of my ULN8. Maybe this sums it up better, The analog front and back end are as clean as anything I have ever heard with tons and tons of headroom. And if you think about it, an 80 bit digital mixer SHOULD be more capable than an analog mixer given its tremendous dynamic range, unless the designers screw it up.

There is no reason why you should assume you will sell your outboard in favor of the ULN8 either. I sold mine because I simply found I wasn't using any of it anymore and that is my general rule. Use it or sell it.

YMMV.

Disclaimer: I became a dealer for MH after I sold all my stuff. :-)

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work2do
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31st March 2011
Old 31st March 2011
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By no means am I getting rid of anything from our A room. Just need a something for the road to record and mix ITB. Would love to be able to leave the neve/distressor home but I doubt it even with the accolades.
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#7
1st April 2011
Old 1st April 2011
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That's it...I guess.
#8
1st April 2011
Old 1st April 2011
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It's excellent.

Using this box professionally extensively for writing music for TV and film. I really like the preamps and character functionality. Preamps sound super clean and just right to my ears. Gain to burn and no noise. Monitor controller and plugins are excellent. Great headphone amp. Software seems bulletproof. I think the quality at this point leaves the gear out of the equation - time, skill and imagination are what's left as the only limitations.
#9
2nd April 2011
Old 2nd April 2011
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It's a wonderful product. Period. There will always be a place for great analog gear in the studio. I don't think even the guys at Metric Halo mean to make outboard obsolete. They just make phenomenal products that can be used on their own if need be. I agree with A440 in that you shouldn't sell analog outboard gear unless you really want to. There's a place for Neve preamps and great compressors. I hope I always get to continue using them.

I myself am always looking for the right outboard gear to add to my studio and run-out kit. I get a kick out of thinking about which pieces I can get to compliment the ULN 8's fantastic sound and feature set.

If it helps you at all, I'm mixing a double cd for EMI Records through the ULN 8 starting this coming week. Everything will be ITB.
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#10
20th April 2011
Old 20th April 2011
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It is so much nicer than the 2882, which blew me away anyways. The character is actually real nice, I'm forever adding it to everything. And the dsp and routing are simple and amazing........gush.....



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#11
20th April 2011
Old 20th April 2011
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I also would like to hear more about the summing in the MIO mixer. The posts in the other thread saying that the quality was better than summing through SSL outboard really got me curious.

Is the MIO software mixer of the ULN-8 available to the ULN-2? I have the original ULN-2 (not expanded version or DSP) and would be interested to know if I can get the same MIO summing capability in the ULN-2 as the ULN-8 via an upgrade. I see I can upgrade with the 2D card but I'm not sure if this will get me the identical software mixing capability as the ULN-8 everyone is raving about.
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#12
20th April 2011
Old 20th April 2011
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TC5 , you can use ITB mixing right now. There is no Hardware related difference between non d2 cards devices and the newer ones. The difference for you is that you can´t use MH´s Charakter algorithms or Halo Verb Plugin which are new "d2 only" plugins.

But the ITB Mixing process , software and quality is all the same , its simply the MIO-Mixer and MIO Recording panel you already have on you Mac
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20th April 2011
Old 20th April 2011
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Thanks ensoniq.

It wasn't clear if the raves (about summing ITB) were related to the DSP capability and/or the 2D hardware capability of the new units.

I never actually bothered using the MIO mixer other than to get to and from the hardware. I didn't think it would add anything better than the Logic mixer. I will definitely try it out then.
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20th April 2011
Old 20th April 2011
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TC5 : the end mixes with MIO will sound absolutly different to any Logic Mix.

"in the face" and "analogue"
#15
20th April 2011
Old 20th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ensoniq View Post
TC5 : the end mixes with MIO will sound absolutly different to any Logic Mix.

"in the face" and "analogue"
The MIO mixer is doing hardware summing? or is the MIO mixer still software but does it's summing so much better than the other DAWs software mixers?
#16
20th April 2011
Old 20th April 2011
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Look - I don't know what mojo is going on here to make the MIO sound so much better. I'm reluctant to say it's merely the summing engine. I'm tired of having the NULL Police pounding on my door. But it's very clear to these ears and others who listen to my mixes. There's a significant difference between sending stems to the MIO MIxer as opposed to having everything come through a masterfader bus in your DAW.
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20th April 2011
Old 20th April 2011
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PopularDemand: the MIO Mixer itself is of course Software but connected to the ULN interface via Fw . The summing process is both sw and hw.
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20th April 2011
Old 20th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
Look - I don't know what mojo is going on here to make the MIO sound so much better. I'm reluctant to say it's merely the summing engine. I'm tired of having the NULL Police pounding on my door. But it's very clear to these ears and others who listen to my mixes. There's a significant difference between sending stems to the MIO MIxer as opposed to having everything come through a masterfader bus in your DAW.
Watch out for the null police

I'm gonna try one of these out. I'm spending more time on the road and just about all ITB now. Stems go to MIO mixer and MIO master has inserts for AU/RTAS plug-ins?
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20th April 2011
Old 20th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ensoniq View Post
TC5 : the end mixes with MIO will sound absolutly different to any Logic Mix.

"in the face" and "analogue"
These are the statements that made me start this thread when looking to buy this. I admit I have not tried the unit yet, but "in the face" and "analogue" seems to be a bit over the top for a software mixer.
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20th April 2011
Old 20th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by work2do View Post
These are the statements that mad me start this thread when looking to buy this. I admit I have not tried the unit yet, but "in the face" and "analogue" seems to be a bit over the top for a software mixer.
I thought it was pointed out that it's not exactly a software mixer. It's kind of a hybrid, as far as I can tell.
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20th April 2011
Old 20th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PopularDemand View Post
Watch out for the null police

I'm gonna try one of these out. I'm spending more time on the road and just about all ITB now. Stems go to MIO mixer and MIO master has inserts for AU/RTAS plug-ins?
Not exactly. The AU/VST plugins go through you DAW faders. MIO has their own DSP plugins. You may decide to favor the MIO plugins. I do for 95% of my plugins.
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20th April 2011
Old 20th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
Not exactly. The AU/VST plugins go through you DAW faders. MIO has their own DSP plugins. You may decide to favor the MIO plugins. I do for 95% of my plugins.
Thanx Henry. One other question. The pre's are clean from what I have gathered. How effective are the character plug-ins if I plug in a brighter mic like a c800g or Manley Ref C? I usually use them with a bae 1073 and distressor or cl1b.
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20th April 2011
Old 20th April 2011
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SUP PD?
#24
21st April 2011
Old 21st April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by work2do View Post
These are the statements that mad me start this thread when looking to buy this. I admit I have not tried the unit yet, but "in the face" and "analogue" seems to be a bit over the top for a software mixer.

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21st April 2011
Old 21st April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PopularDemand View Post
Thanx Henry. One other question. The pre's are clean from what I have gathered. How effective are the character plug-ins if I plug in a brighter mic like a c800g or Manley Ref C? I usually use them with a bae 1073 and distressor or cl1b.
Stuff like this is so subjective. I don't have either of those mics, so I can't tell you. Character is very effective, depending on which you use. Softsat is kind of over the top, in your face character. Very nice though. Generally I prefer Modern Tube Soft Sat. A little more subtle. Some are so subtle I can't really tell. I won't say it will replace your vintage pres, but it does very nicely. Since character is always available I never record with it. I just use it in mixing.

FWIW I am famously not a fan of Distressor. I like 1073 on somethings -- guitar, snare, bass sometimes. But you're right, ULN-8 pres are very clean. My favorite pres are Millennia and I have a bank of them. I still have them, but I haven't really used them in a few years now. ULN-8 does the job for me.
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21st April 2011
Old 21st April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ensoniq View Post
The summing process is both sw and hw.
That would help to explain why summing in the MIO would be different from summing inside the DAW if it uses the hardware for the mix processing (and not only for the MH plugins).
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21st April 2011
Old 21st April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TC5 View Post
That would help to explain why summing in the MIO would be different from summing inside the DAW if it uses the hardware for the mix processing (and not only for the MH plugins).
You know, I don't know. I don't know what it is. Only BJ could answer. There are no tubes. But the signal does go to the box. There ARE circuit boards. I really don't know if it's all sw or not. Regardless it is far more than remaining in the DAW domain.
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21st April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by work2do View Post
I am always skeptical of these kinds of accolades for any product on GS. Especially one digital product that sounds better than a neve pre and distressor, etc. because of a "character" plugin. I even saw a few that said internal summing in the ULN8 is better than a quality analog summing box.

I'm gonna get a test run myself but curious as to what others are saying about this box.
It's a bit ironic to be skeptical of GS claims, then ask about experiences with the box on GS. I got rid of my SCA Neve clones to purchase the ULN8 and don't miss them. I got rid of my distressor because it didn't really do anything for me. There's nothing in the ULN8 that replaces a distressor, that's a pretty unique piece of gear.

I love my ULN8, but its more then just the sound, it's the mixer, the DSP graphs, the endless routing, the ins and outs, the techsupport, the deep deep deep community of savvy users and the company who visions, builds and pushes the design. I still keep 2 external pres around for the unmatched cool factor (Mercury M72 and RCA BA3A) and love using my Pendulum OCL/2 on bass, vocals and 2 buss and I'm saving my pennies for a Clairiphonic.
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#29
21st April 2011
Old 21st April 2011
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but its more then just the sound, it's the mixer, the DSP graphs, the endless routing, the ins and outs, the techsupport, the deep deep deep community of savvy users and the company who visions, builds and pushes the design.
This!!^

To give an example of their customer care - as technology improved, rather than forcing their customers to buy a whole new product (Duet 2 anyone?), they offered them an affordable internal upgrade - the 2D card. This is the kind of company I enjoy supporting.
#30
21st April 2011
Old 21st April 2011
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just to add on. Whenever I had a support case or question they helped me with patience and passion. Even when I was impatient or annoyed in my communication ( sorry Jon )

Metric Halo is an extremly seldom company . They deliver, they don't produce marketing bubbles. Coming back to the ULN8 or LIO8 . These audio interfaces plus the combined MiO software matches 98% of my audiophile needs when I record and mix music in my studio. After 15+ years experiences with professional audio interfaces I can say that Metric Halo is the best company I have ever worked with.

There are a very few companies (Lynx, Prism, Lavry, Crane Song, Weiss) who can compete audiowise int the digital interface area against the "8" series. But the overall best sw+hw package in the FW space comes from Metric Halo. I don' t think there is any question about it.
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