NEW YORK, NEW YORK: Marlan Barry is an accomplished audio engineer and producer who focuses on orchestral, chamber, operatic and acoustic recording. He trained with former Telarc trailblazers Jack Renner, Thomas Knab and Michael Bishop and went on to become a New York based freelance engineer and producer. For fifteen years he engineered and produced recordings for The Houston Grand Opera. He left New York briefly to become the chief engineer and producer for the Houston Symphony when Christoph Eschenbach was finishing his ten-year stint as the orchestra’s music director. He also and served as head recording engineer for the local NPR affiliate, KUHF. After two years in Houston, he relocated back to New York City but kept the opera as one of his clients for several years and now keeps a busy schedule as a freelance engineer and producer. His credits include recordings on classical labels Avie Records, Albany Records, Ondine, Naxos, Deutsche Grammophon, and EMI Virgin and sessions with Yo-Yo Ma, Rene Flemming and Paul McCartney. Barry regularly takes his extremely portable pair of Metric Halo ULN-8 interfaces to make recordings around New York City and the Tri-State area.
Barry traveled to Engelman Recital Hall on the campus of Baruch College in Midtown Manhattan to record the Brazil Guitar Duo, the acclaimed project of long-time collaborators João Luiz and Douglas Lora. The recordings were for a new release on Concert Artists Guild label called Ghosting. Barry used a simple setup of Schoeps and Sennheiser room mics and close mics to capture the detail and soul of the Brazil Guitar Duo’s organic performances, relying on just one eight-channel Metric Halo ULN-8 for pre-amplification, 24bit/96kHz conversion, and connection to a MacBook Pro. Rather than risking the instability and the unbidden “dark magic DSP” of a DAW, Barry recorded the performances using Metric Halo’s MIO Console which comes with all Metric Halo interfaces.
“I capture all of my recordings in Metric Halo MIO Console when on location,” he said. “Nothing else. I love its stability and its bare-bones simplicity. There is no doubt that I’m recording the raw tracks exactly as they come off the ADCs. Moreover, the last thing I want to do is stop a session for a program freeze. Metric Halo MIO Console is always solid, and it’s one less thing that I have to worry about. In addition, I’m able to use it to record, simultaneously disc-mirror, and send live feeds for video or other purposes.”
Metric Halo MIO Console is also useful for creating custom input and monitoring mixes. After completing a recording of Bard College’s multi-week SummerScape performing arts series, Barry again returned to the campus with his two Metric Halo ULN-8s to record its famous Bard Music Festival, another multi-week event at the Frank Gehry designed Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. “The schedule here is crazy,” he said (while simultaneously getting a level on a piano solo!!). “Thankfully, I’m able to get levels on performers during three days of rehearsals and save everything in MIO Console. Then, during the actual performance, I just open the saved setup and it automatically reconfigures both ULN-8s.”
He continued, “I know there are a lot of preamps and converters out there, and a lot of wonderful people are making great gear. But the Metric Halo ULN-8 more than holds its own against any boutique preamp or converter. I look for total clarity and transparency, and the ULN-8 never disappoints. In fact, I’ve been using this gear for years and I never tire of it. The authenticity of its capture is still exciting! Metric Halo does a great job of keeping all of its firmware and drivers current so that I can continue to rely on the ULN-8 and MIO Console even as I update my computer and operating system. They never become obsolete, which is unlike pretty much every other company out there.”
In May of 2016 along with his friend and colleague and fellow Metric Halo user Jamey Lamar, travelled to Denver for two weeks to record Opera Colorado’s commission of composer Lori Laitman’s opera, “The Scarlet Letter” for a double cd which was just released on the Naxos Label and will also soon be released as a 24/96 Blu-Ray disc as well. The entire production was captured with three ULN 8’s!
Barry’s other recent projects include recordings for the Grammy-nominated Trinity Wall Street Baroque Orchestra and Choir for the Acis Productions label and the Manhattan Girls Chorus (Recorded at the Academy of Arts and Letters with singers Sarah Brailey, Camille Zamorra, Jamie Barton, Adriana Zabala and Eric Owens). In the coming months, he will set up on location at SUNY Purchase for a three-day session to produce and record composer Louis Karchin’s work “Jane Eyre” for a double-CD with The Orchestra of The League of Composers. He will also travel to New Jersey’s Drew University Concert Hall to record tenor Nicholas Phan and The Knights Chamber Orchestra’s performance of works by Benjamin Britten for an upcoming release on the Avie Records label. Of course, Barry will rely on his Metric Halo gear for all of those engagements.
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Based on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Metric Halo provides the world with award-winning software and hardware recording, processing, metering and analysis solutions.
(PHOTO CREDIT: ©2017 David Creswell)