Metric Halo ULN-2 2d Expanded by Accurate
The ULN-2 is a great little box that takes care of all of your preamp, conversion, monitor control, routing, and mixing needs.
- Very clean sounding and low nose. Stepped gain controls make it ideal for classical recording when you need exactly the same amount of gain for each mic. The trim knob allows you to pad the input by up to 20 db, which I've found very helpful with some high output mics. There's not much "mojo" going on here, but for that you can use Metric Halo's character emulation.
- Available on each channel, and you can select where in the chain you use it (before your DAW or after). While it may not be the same as having a real tube pre at your disposal, it is still very useful and sounds great, even with the more colored settings like SoftSat. It's also nice to have it available when mixing, so that you don't need to make all of your decisions regarding color at tracking.
One of the best features of the unit, a completely customizable 80-bit mixer that is great for summing ITB for those of us without consoles. Sounds wonderful and allows you to offload your DSP from you computer processor. I've also been using this for routing live processing with Max/MSP and it works flawlessly.
On top of all of that is that the box is super stable, MH makes great drivers, and is built like a rock. Also, the FW bus power now works with the new MacBooks, so no more need to "jump start" the unit.