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Old Metric Halo ULN2 tired sound? Audio Interfaces
Old 28th February 2010
  #1
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Old Metric Halo ULN2 tired sound?

Hi All,

first of all: sorry for my english.

Got owned an old Metric Halo ULN 2 without expansion card.

I tested much material at this interface at the analog Output. I didnt tested the Mic Pres up to now, but i will do this next week.

The Sound is not as nice as my Konnekt 24 D ( TC Electronics). The Metric Halo is sounding just like "coming in the years" i think.

Now, how about the upgrade to the expansion card. Does it make any differences depending to sound? Maybe the better clock, or the better support to my Mac (32 bit)? The old Metric halo is coming with 24 bit support on my Mac - the TC Konnekt comes with 32 bit Depth..

Thanks for your help.
(And i feel really sorry for my english!)

Greetings
Old 28th February 2010
  #2
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I had an old 2882 which I fitted a 2d card to and it sounds really good to me - definitely worth it .
Old 28th February 2010
  #3
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Jimbo's Avatar
I can hear a difference between my 2882-2D, and my legacy 2882.

However, I have no idea if upgrading your ULN2 will make it sound more like the Konnekt. Perhaps, your ears just prefer the sonics of the Konnekt?

Good Luck, and don't worry about your English
Old 28th February 2010
  #4
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I have an old ULN2, it's just as fresh as the day I bought it new. Maybe you guys just need to try some new positions. Involve a third party. You know, spice things up a bit. Often times it's not the fiddle, but the fiddler.

Here are some tips:
9 Ways To Spice Up Your ULN2
Old 28th February 2010
  #5
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OK,

i made some recordings with piano and voice.

Here the same: the metric halo comes very thin and dead. There is no warmth, no Overtones, no "music".
The Konnekt does it well, there is warmth, and music!

I was so lucky to get a metric halo, i loved this interface before i got it. But now, i am so dissapointed.

Does it possible has something to do with my first experiences with this box?
Maybe i do something really wrong??

Thanks for help
Old 1st March 2010
  #6
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Owned a 2882/2d and that bitch was clean. The ULN2 isnt going to instill any character or vibe on your music as that isnt its purpose, so maybe the TC is giving some colour somewhere and your ears prefer it?

For eg, my old RME's d/a was bright and alive, but its a/d slightly too dark whereas the 2882 sounded like same in/same out. loved the neutrality of the MH card, but also adored the punchy d/a of the RME. Neither was worse nor better musically, as both produced fantastic results... Overall my preference would fall on the MH as it was cleaner - gave more freedom to decide what sound I really wanted, but wouldnt have complained with either.

If it was me, I'd upgrade to a 2d to hear the full potential as its a fantastic card. But if the TC sounds like its what you need, keep that instead - just because its a ULN doesnt automatically mean its any better, or that its right for you .
Old 1st March 2010
  #7
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I have a hard time to believe the ULN2 comes very thin and dead. Before I upgraded to ULN8, I had one ULN2 and Lavry Blue AD/DA. The preamp on ULN2 is very close to Avalon 2022; the AD is also very close to Lavry Blue. The AD is not as good as Lavry or Benchmark, but is very very close. I would say unless you listen to the low frequencies very carefully on hi-end monitors (I used KH 300D), you probably will not be able to tell a difference in a blind test.

If it's really thin and dead, there could be something wrong. Or if you just don't like it, you can sell it. The ULN2's used market value is actually very good. I only lost about $200 after owning it for 4 years.
Old 1st March 2010
  #8
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Hm,

nice Postings
But, maybe i understand what u mean: u prefer to record something which has probably nothing warmth and music, so that u can have all opportunities to mix the effects after Recording? Is it right?

I prefer Conversion Quality which brings the reality. In this case, there is no need for large Mixing and Effects ...

And the important fact is, that the Sound of the Mic Pres are cold. So there is no quite Pre, they have pretty bad sounding metallic, cold and frozzen habbits.

I expected something really different from MH. I thought, they are the Winner because of the Truth.

But maybe, i misunderstood the feature.
Would u like to be so kind helping me, because i was in Love with MH before i started listening to the MIO.
Old 1st March 2010
  #9
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I don't really know what exactly warmth and music is. Unless you are talking about harmonics/ distortion created by tubes or transformers of preamps (though good tube preamps don't sound warm... they sound open and full), warmth is from the original sound sources; music is music. ULN2s preamp is on the clean side. It does not sound cold or warm.

If the AD is so close to Lavry and Benchmark's AD quality and you still don't like it..... well, just use the TC you like or move to Lavry Gold.

Just my 2 cents!
Old 1st March 2010
  #10
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It makes me wonder if something is wrong with your box.
I would personally never describe my ULN-2 2d or 2882 2d as being "cold" or "thin" or even "sterile." I would describe them as "clean," yes. But I would also describe them as "big," "open," and fairly "neutral."

The ULN-2's pres I would also describe as "neutral," but I would also call them "awesome." thumbsup Tons of gain, nothing has ever sounded bad to me on them. Very clean, yes, lacking in a certain "mojo" from time to time, yeah-I guess so. I've considered getting the Jensen mod, in fact.

But I can't imagine anyone describing a MH box with the adjectives you've used unless the box were malfunctioning. But of course, as others have said, maybe you just prefer the sound of your TC box...
Old 1st March 2010
  #11
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@Chao,

i expected the sound would be full and open. But it is thin and frozen without any relationship to the music.
I mean, there is no clear 3D, there is no "space" between the instruments, and there is no fine tuning while the instruments are playing. There is no center...

The warmth, which comes from the sources, should come through that preamps - but they don't ...

Lavry Gold or the ULN8 are to expensive for me. But maybe i am making recording mistakes. What can i do better?

I am using Beyerdynamic MC 930 Mics in a Stereo Set Up.
Old 1st March 2010
  #12
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@ Markham,

i feel so sorry if i misunderstood the Quality of the Metric Halo. I would give so much for the experience what u have from your gear.

I am at the beginning and i should listen to your advices.

Maybe there is a Routing mistake?



What means: "Very clean, yes, lacking in a certain "mojo" from time to time, yeah-I guess so."?
Old 1st March 2010
  #13
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Chao's Avatar
 

You may record a CD track via the AD, and compare it to TC's result. You may also post the files. So we can listen to them. Or you may contact MH. May be you can send it to MH and have them take a look. They are pretty good and supportive. Or just resell it. I guessed you got an used one. You may sell it at a similar price without loosing anything.

No, it does not have anything to do with the MIO setting IMHO.

Good luck!
Old 1st March 2010
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

It sounds to me like you just prefer what you're used to, which isn't a crime. If you're interested, you can at least try to determine if it's the pres or the converters you don't like.

I have a legacy ULN-2 but have never found it lacking, sonically or otherwise. I haven't felt the need for a 2d upgrade to improve the A/D, but I am interested in the added I/O, not to mention the DSP stuff.

Slight hijack: the reason I hesitate is because the 2d upgrade and +DSP license I do want to fully take advantage of said upgrade comes in at about $1300 total. Frankly, I'd like to see the +DSP license come down in price, significantly. How about a package deal for us holdouts, BJ?
Old 1st March 2010
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uosdwis View Post
Slight hijack: the reason I hesitate is because the 2d upgrade and +DSP license I do want to fully take advantage of said upgrade comes in at about $1300 total. Frankly, I'd like to see the +DSP license come down in price, significantly. How about a package deal for us holdouts, BJ?
Its much cheaper to pick up a fully loaded unit second hand - picked up a 2882/2d +DSP for less than $1'500 not so long ago... Should still be in that price range, with your non 2d card fetching a very good price to cover the bulk of the cost .
Old 1st March 2010
  #16
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love to listen View Post
Hi All,

first of all: sorry for my english.

Got owned an old Metric Halo ULN 2 without expansion card.

I tested much material at this interface at the analog Output. I didnt tested the Mic Pres up to now, but i will do this next week.

The Sound is not as nice as my Konnekt 24 D ( TC Electronics). The Metric Halo is sounding just like "coming in the years" i think.

Now, how about the upgrade to the expansion card. Does it make any differences depending to sound? Maybe the better clock, or the better support to my Mac (32 bit)? The old Metric halo is coming with 24 bit support on my Mac - the TC Konnekt comes with 32 bit Depth..

Thanks for your help.
(And i feel really sorry for my english!)

Greetings
Metric halo uln analog circuit design around the chips *converters* are clean,
but ULN-2 has a verry bad clock, (gives a worn out, tired grey sound.) not as bad as Emu 1820m dark sounding clock, but close to yamaha dsp factory ds2416 clock,
ULN-2 its my favorite AD, with a good clock, with internal clock sounds like digi001.

try using the clock from the TC to the ULN, with a hi quality digital cable.
like acoustic zen silver byte, or oyaide 510, or vovox digital, or original monster m1000 dcx, or radioshack gold digital,

if you still dont like the ULN you could sell it.
sound its a personal thing, and sound depends on music style.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/gear-...oing-some.html
Old 1st March 2010
  #17
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theothermarkwilliams's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love to listen View Post
@ Markham,

Maybe there is a Routing mistake?

What means: "Very clean, yes, lacking in a certain "mojo" from time to time, yeah-I guess so."?
I don't see any obvious routing mistakes in your setup.

What I meant by "clean" is that the ULN2 does not distort things at all. There are no significant harmonics added to the signal, either on input or on output. It's a very "honest" box, if that makes any sense. It's not going make something sound better than it really is. If anything, it will help to expose flaws in a recording.

What I meant when I said it may "lack a certain mojo" is that I mean it does not have a big sonic imprint. Like a Neve, for instance, has a lot of its own character--a particular "sound." A lot of that sound comes from the way the transformers distort things slightly in a Neve circuit. Or take a tube-based circuit. There tend to be harmonics added to the signal, and sometimes that sounds really great. Sometimes it's what you want. The ULN2 does not have that kind of sound. The ULN2 is not going to exaggerate anything in its path.
Old 1st March 2010
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Hello, thanks for all Postings here.

@Dubai,

it is very interesting what u found out about the chips and the clock. But, does the upgrade card a better job because of here better clock? Or does it still a worst job?

@Chao,

i will do next days a "nice" take with both units - than, u will better understand my crisis, or my bad job at engineering

@markham,

thanks for responding so close to my opinion in a good interface workaround. But u said: "The ULN2 is not going to exaggerate anything in its path."
There is maybe a big misunderstanding anywhere when people try to put their units to High End.
When the sound of a source is warm and fine tuned, with much overtones and nice harmonics, the unit should show this at the end of "conversion". If it does not sound in the same balance, then there is something "exaggerate" in the path.
If the Sound Source is in a frozen room, and the source is just like a thin metallic plate, ok then, the unit show it to us - but, if the source is a warm women voice in a warm room with wood and full of sonic instruments, the unit show it to us!
So, maybe i have a bad value of our listening an recording room? Or something else?

Maybe the ULN2 wants me to do much more in preparation, maybe the mics (Beyerdynamics MC 930 stereo...)?

Is there a chance to hear via headphone the Sound which is converted?
Old 1st March 2010
  #19
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lowkey's Avatar
 

when i got my 2d MH2882 a few months ago i really couldnt hear any improvement in its A/D conversion over my Motu Ultralite. They really sounded identical to me playing back tracks from iTunes. However i think my productions are sounding better due to the mio strips and digital bussing.

the +DSP licence seems way to expensive though, nice as the mio strip is.
Old 1st March 2010
  #20
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So, we are at a price of 677,00$

Thats what i am saying

Maybe, the MH is coming in the years...
Old 1st March 2010
  #21
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Allen Rowand's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowkey View Post
the +DSP licence seems way to expensive though, nice as the mio strip is.
MIOStrip is included with the 2d card-you don't have to have +DSP to use it.
Old 1st March 2010
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
Chao's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowkey View Post
when i got my 2d MH2882 a few months ago i really couldnt hear any improvement in its A/D conversion over my Motu Ultralite. They really sounded identical to me playing back tracks from iTunes. However i think my productions are sounding better due to the mio strips and digital bussing.

the +DSP licence seems way to expensive though, nice as the mio strip is.
You should not compare playbacks on iTunes. Seriously, this is what I don't understand. Though iTunes 9s playback is better than my previous experience, it still sounds a bit worse than Peak or other 2 track playback software. Even QuickTime is better. You may notice the hi-frequencies become a bit smoother and darker.

However for everyday listening, iTunes is very good (interface, organizing files, general sound quality) and works just fine, but I wouldn't use it for any critical listening..... at least for now.
Old 1st March 2010
  #23
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love to listen View Post
@Dubai,
does the upgrade card a better job because of here better clock? Or does it still a worst job?
the 2D expanded board its a must for some situations, like stand alone converter, and usign a PC or ADAT, DSP 0-latency mixing.
but the clock is not improved.
Old 1st March 2010
  #24
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chao View Post
You should not compare playbacks on iTunes. Seriously, this is what I don't understand. Though iTunes 9s playback is better than my previous experience, it still sounds a bit worse than Peak or other 2 track playback software. Even QuickTime is better. You may notice the hi-frequencies become a bit smoother and darker.

However for everyday listening, iTunes is very good and works just fine, but I wouldn't use it for any critical listening..... at least for now.
+1. Players also affect the signal.
Old 2nd March 2010
  #25
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swafford's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubai View Post
ULN-2 its my favorite AD, with a good clock, with internal clock sounds like digi001.
I'll take whatever this guy is smoking.
Old 2nd March 2010
  #26
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theothermarkwilliams's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love to listen View Post
Hello, thanks for all Postings here.


@markham,

thanks for responding so close to my opinion in a good interface workaround. But u said: "The ULN2 is not going to exaggerate anything in its path."
There is maybe a big misunderstanding anywhere when people try to put their units to High End.
When the sound of a source is warm and fine tuned, with much overtones and nice harmonics, the unit should show this at the end of "conversion". If it does not sound in the same balance, then there is something "exaggerate" in the path.
If the Sound Source is in a frozen room, and the source is just like a thin metallic plate, ok then, the unit show it to us - but, if the source is a warm women voice in a warm room with wood and full of sonic instruments, the unit show it to us!
So, maybe i have a bad value of our listening an recording room? Or something else?

Is there a chance to hear via headphone the Sound which is converted?
What I'm saying is that unless your ULN2 is broken, it should give you an honest representation of your source. If your source has a lot of "warmth" or "overtones," the ULN2 should reveal those very nicely. If your source sounds "cold" or "thin," the ULN2 should reveal that, as well.
Old 2nd March 2010
  #27
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lowkey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen Rowand View Post
MIOStrip is included with the 2d card-you don't have to have +DSP to use it.
yeah i know...Thats why im using it thumbsup I was just saying that despite the MIO Strip sounding good to my ears, i think the +DSP licence is too expensive for me to get. Compared to say the UHBIK plugin suite that covers all delay/filter/flanger/chorus/pitch shifter/trmelo type fx for $150. I know the +DSP is way more complicated, but surely all the limiter, compressors etc are able to be achieved with the MIO strip anyways?
Old 2nd March 2010
  #28
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Question:

when i route the "Analog In" to the Headphone, does the Converter transform the signal AD?
Or do i have the analog Signal at the Headphone from my Mics without converting?

Second:

In the mixing field, there is no reaction of my switching the Faders. It this correct? For e.g. i would like to cut the Peak by switching the faders, but they don't work in that way, so why?

Third:

When the Clock is improved by another interface, such as my TC Konnekt 24D, does the Metric Halo do the AD / DA Conversion much better?
Or ist that result not noticeable

Thanks for reading and Answers,

greetings
Old 3rd March 2010
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love to listen View Post
when i route the "Analog In" to the Headphone, does the Converter transform the signal AD?
Or do i have the analog Signal at the Headphone from my Mics without converting?
This would have one A/D and one D/A stage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love to listen View Post
In the mixing field, there is no reaction of my switching the Faders. It this correct? For e.g. i would like to cut the Peak by switching the faders, but they don't work in that way, so why?
Don't precisely know from your description. If your box is a Legacy box, then you cannot use the new mixer window; you must use the mixer in the MIO Console window. If you need help with this, please get in touch with support.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Love to listen View Post
Third:

When the Clock is improved by another interface, such as my TC Konnekt 24D, does the Metric Halo do the AD / DA Conversion much better?
Or ist that result not noticeable
It is not clear that the clock would be improved by the TC Konnekt 24D. The best thing would be for you to try it and see if it makes a difference for you.

I will reiterate what you have heard from many other people in this thread and on other forums: what you are describing does not sound correct; we have not heard other reports that the ULN-2 sounds as you are describing it. Since you purchased this unit used, it, quite honestly, sounds like the unit you have is not functioning properly. You should get in touch with support in order to get help with determining what is going on.

Best regards,
Old 3rd March 2010
  #30
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Thanks for your answers.

Hm, u make me fear. The man, who sells the unit says, that everything was fine.
I try to get support from our Metric Halo sales department. Maybe they can check the box.

Now, i hope that something is wrong with the ULN2 and they would probably help me - because i was so happy to come familiar with the Mio, before i hold it in my hands (and ears) ...

But if not, what should i do then?
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