Safety Harbor, FL (June 6, 2013)—Veteran engineer and producer Jay Ruston may have used Metric Halo's ChannelStrip plug-in in 2011 to mix Anthrax's Worship Music and Steel Panther's Balls Out, but recently relented to the rising tide of incoming Pro Tools sessions that were incompatible with his "if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it version" of Pro Tools 7.4 and upgraded to 10. Associated with that giant leap and given Pro Tools 10's move to AAX, he had to reconsider his plug-in pallet.
"I was pleased with the results I was getting with Metric Halo's ChannelStrip, and I saw that the company was now selling a Production Bundle of plug-ins," he said. "I needed a de-esser, a multi-band compressor, an enhancer, and more...I figured the Production Bundle would be a good bet."
The upgrade to Pro Tools 10 was happening just as Ruston was finishing the mixes for the debut album from The Winery Dogs, a super group composed of Richie Kotzen (Mr. Big, Poison), Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, David Lee Roth, Steve Vai) and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater). He held on to the 7.4 mixes in order to give them one more tweak with the new system and the new Metric Halo plug-ins.
"The vocals were critical, and after doing some basic equalization and compression with ChannelStrip, I used the Production Bundle's Multiband Dynamics to smooth out the top end and upper midrange," he said. "I've always used multiband compressors, and Metric Halo's version is very effective. In addition, I cleaned up some sibilance with Metric Halo's Precision DeEsser, and I've since found that it works just as well with female vocalists."
Ruston used Metric Halo's HaloVerb on Portnoy's drum tracks. "All of these Metric Halo plug-ins are so easy to use," he said. "HaloVerb has only a handful of well-labeled knobs, and it immediately sounds good using any of the presets. I dialed in the sound using the presets as a starting point."