Metric Halo LIO-8 3d System | Tech Talk / by BendingBus

Just finished a huge studio update which uses 3x LIO8 in a 96K recording/mixing setup running off a mac laptop. It's all built around Metric Halo's brilliant routing which eliminated a ridiculous amount of cabling. 


Recording Rack & Analog FX: This floating rack has LIO#1 which captures 5 analog outputs from a modular synth, 3 channels of analog FX, 8 channels of digital FX, and up to 16 channels of drum machine samples from a Maschine Studio. In MIO Console (see screen) I have FX sends set up to route incoming analog inputs back out to the analog & digital FX racks. Record panel absolutely kills; allowing threshold triggered start/stop recording with numbered takes to the hard drive without a DAW. Easy on the processor; just MIO and Maschine software running, no problems recording 24+ channels @ 96K. 


Mix Desk: This desk has LIO#2 and #3 to send 16 channels to analog EQs and compressors, sum in a Dangerous mix bus, convert using a Forssell A/D, and then into the LIO#2 AES card, and routed by ethernet back to LIO#1 into the laptop. The LIO8s are jumpered for "high power mode" so -20dbfs = 0VU output. At mix time everything is clocked off the Forssell via optical (the LIO8's 16 D/As clocked off the Forssell sound great; I compared that vs clocking off the MH and it sounds fine either way). The desk's patchbay has inputs for the LIO#2; more synth recording channels when needed!


Digital FX Rack: This uses an 8-channel AES snake connected to LIO#2, the FX units are set to clock off the incoming AES stream. It can be used to track harmonizer type stuff, or later in mixing.

Monitoring: LIO#2 sends via AES card out to an Avocet which controls three monitors. However for tracking, I can leave the mix desk powered down and just use headphones from LIO#1.


Metering: is done with Spectrafoo, of course. It's the best thing ever for analyzing all these crazy synth frequencies, and for mixing.


The networking is crazy powerful. Having the three boxes ethernet connected, plus a couple patch bays, means anything can be routed anywhere. While tracking can send to the mix desk’s outboard gear, while mixing can send to the synth station’s filtering, and anything can be sent to the digital FX rack to process without doing DAD conversion. 

Sound quality is clean and detailed—no color; great for tracking. The noise floor of the unbalanced synth plugged direct into the LIO8 db25 is -104dbfs, and even with the Pendulum tube preamps in line is only -92dbfs. I messed around with the internal jumpers to lift the grounds, but found the best noise performance was with leaving grounds connected.

Living the MH life! 

Originally posted on GearSlutz