French sound engineers, Benoit Gilg (pictured) and Alain Francais, are long-time advocates of Metric Halo’s FireWire interfaces for both post-production work and live mixing and recording. It comes as no surprise, then, that the duo recently upgraded to a pair of Metric Halo ULN-8 boxes. The ULN-8 is exactly like the Metric Halo LIO-8, with the addition of preamps and +DSP license. Gilg and Francais interface the units with Steinberg’s Nuendo recording, editing, and mixing software. “Alain and I strive to build a live mix that is fully networked,” says Gilg. “We like to be able to take any input and route it through any submix or any effects processing. The Metric Halo philosophy is perfect for this because the [Metric Halo] MIO console allows us to route signals within and between boxes however we like.” Gilg runs broadcast sound for several of the headlining acts at France’s massive Jazz Sous Les Pommiers and Vieilles Charrues Festivals, while Francais is in charge of the FOH sound at almost every French fashion show and works with big names across many genres, from Sting to French tenor Roberto Alagna. The pair meets frequently to compare notes and, for post-production, mixing recorded music and mixing for video, they use ULN-8s to connect Nuendo to the outside world and to provide additional DSP processing that runs on processors inside the ULN-8s. For large live events, their setup is more elaborate. The Metric Halo ULN-8s accept input from the stage and from a Yamaha DM2000 console. In addition, an Optocore network collects all inputs and outputs from the console, from the ULN-8s, and from an RME MADI interface to send downstream and to re-route among those devices. Along with Nuendo and the Metric Halo MIO Console, Gilg and Francais use Metric Halo’s SpectraFoo sound analysis software to troubleshoot problems and to perfect the balance, spectrum, and other aspects of the mix to keep them at the industry’s cutting edge. “A lot of projects these days tend to be mixed ‘in the box,’ but we strongly believe that breaking a multi-track DAW project out over an analogue desk like Duality really opens up the sound of a mix,” he insists.