Macklemore & Ryan Lewis rely on Metric Halo’s ULN-2

Rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis – the hip-hop duo with seven 2014 Grammy nominations – have spoken out about the benefits of the ULN-2 interface from Metric Halo.

The pair, who were also the most streamed artists on Spotify this year, spent all of last autumn filling arenas across the United States in support of new record The Heist, and in between gigs they turned their attention to new material, which is when the ULN-2 came into play.

“The ULN-2 is a pretty unique interface,” Lewis said. “It has two good-quality preamps and yet it’s small enough to fit into a carry-on. It also acts as a great interface for Pro Tools, or any other audio programme that I use. Macklemore and I have used it countless times on the road.”

After using the ULN-2 for a short period, Lewis soon discovered Metric Halo’s collection of seven plug-ins, sold together as a Production Bundle. He has already used several of the plug-ins to mix new music in the studio and on tour. These include Character, which models the sonic signature of a wide range of vintage and modern audio equipment; HaloVerb – an authentic-sounding reverb; Precision DeEsser and TransientControl – a dynamics processor.

“Character is great when I’m not exactly sure what I want to do with something that doesn’t have the right texture,” Lewis added. “It can pull out different pieces that weren’t there before. I love HaloVerb and use it all the time. It has a good variety of feelings and a full range of spring and hall sounds that work well on vocals and instruments.

“Rap vocals have a lot of punch and can get very sibilant. The Precision DeEsser does a great job of cleaning that up. Finally, I didn’t expect the fairly simple TransientControl plug-in to be as useful as it turned out to be. Now it’s one of my favourite plug-ins because it can capture the accents in a recording. For instance, when I have a break beat and I really want the snare and kick to pop, but I’d like to lose everything else in the recording, I use TransientControl.”

Earlier in 2013, The Heist reached Number One in the Billboard US R&B/Hip-Hop and Rap charts, and went Platinum.

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