Chicago, IL (July 1, 2010)--A laptop and Metric Halo's ULN-8 interface are all house music pioneer Marshall Jefferson uses for his worldwide DJ gigs and remix projects.
Jefferson, who helped found the house genre in Chicago in the mid-1980s, is well acquainted with the "big studio sound." Having cut his teeth at Chicago's famed (but now defunct) Universal Recording and Chicago Trax, Jefferson's ears are tuned to an analog sound that hasn't left him. He still favors analog synths, and was looking for a way to get them into his computer without degrading their character.
"In addition to needing a pure input, I needed something that would be portable," explained Jefferson. "I play in a different country almost every weekend, and I don't have the energy to haul around a bunch of outboard gear. In addition, I do a lot of 'studio' work with headphones in my hotel room. So I needed something that was very clean, portable and powerful."
Jefferson read about Metric Halo's FireWire interfaces on an internet discussion board and purchased a ULN-8 based on what he read. The ULN-8 possesses eight mic pres, eight 192 kHz A/D converters, eight 192 kHz D/A converters, a high-quality headphone output, and a DSP engine. "I immediately put the ULN-8 up against the other paths I had into my computer," said Jefferson. "The ULN-8 sounded noticeably better. The mid-range was smooth and guitars just jumped out at me."
Jefferson uses Logic together with the ULN-8's DSP. "Once I go into the box, I stay in the box," he said. "The ULN-8 gives me 80-bit summing, along with compressors and limiters that are every bit as good as hardware. And I don't need preamps, because the ULN-8 smokes everything else that's out there, including dedicated preamps. Now the sound I get in my hotel room is better than what most people get in their studios, and I can be just as productive on the road as I can be at home."