BRONXVILLE, NEW YORK: Although the path to Micah Kovacs' relatively new and successful freelance venture, Micah Kovacs Audio, was not clear to him at the outset, his dedication, professionalism, and knack for making audio work transparently with images guided him down it, nonetheless. Already, his ten-plus years in the advertising and film post industry have earned him Addy, Promax, and Mercury awards, and several awards at juried film festivals. His clients include the Sundance Channel, VH1, L’Oreal, Verizon, NBC, and many other high-profile brands. Whether working out of his home studio for smaller projects or temporarily relocating to a client's facility for more involved projects, Kovacs relies on the superlative audio quality and reliability of his Metric Halo ULN-2 mic-preamp/converter to maintain a pristine signal path at all times. Moreover, Metric Halo's commitment to future-proofing the ULN-2 with software and, when necessary, firmware upgrades – together with Metric Halo's commitment to making the ULN-2 work robustly with any and every piece of audio software in the Mac universe – guarantees that Kovacs' investment will continue to work for him indefinitely.
Like so many in the audio industry, Kovacs stumbled across recording technology while in a high school band. "I was fascinated by the process of recording very early on," he said. "In college, I joined some other bands and we recorded ourselves with 4-tracks or with digital workstations when they were available. It wasn't anything close to what I do these days; we weren't using Pro Tools, for example. But the craft of recording and mixing captivated me." An art major, Kovacs gravitated toward video in his coursework and secured an internship at a video post-production house after graduating. He worked his way up from production assistant to assistant video editor. "The whole time, I was the go-to guy for any audio work that needed to be done," he recalled. "I really enjoyed the mix process and learned, through my work there, that there were companies dedicated solely to audio for video."
From there, Kovacs took a job at NYC's Pink Noise, where he worked his way up from glorified runner to head engineer in a span of eight years. Then he took a position at NYC's Verbatim Sound as head engineer and music producer, and a while later – sated with industry contacts and know-how – he shifted to full-time freelance under the Micah Kovacs Audio flag. "Going freelance, I knew I had to upgrade my audio hardware," Kovacs said. "Most of the audio interfaces on the market, including the one I owned at the time, had a nasty reputation for quickly becoming obsolete as computers and audio software progressed. I needed something that would be portable and more accepting of software upgrades. Moreover, I work with a number of audio programs, including Pro Tools and Nuendo, and I wanted something that would work seamlessly with all of them, now and in the future."
He continued, "The Metric Halo ULN-2 was the natural choice. Metric Halo is famous for supporting its products [original versions of the company's first interface, the 2882, are still supported for all the latest Mac hardware and software]. In addition, its sound quality and reliability are consistently praised as among the best on the market." With countless hours logged at his earlier jobs, Kovacs learned what gear was indispensible and what was not. He outfitted his personal studio with a lean, but powerful collection of gear that could travel when necessary. A small rack of outboard gear serves a variety of functions and interacts with a MacBook Pro and iMac via the ULN-2. The ULN-2 also sends signal from the computers to the gear and to a pair of KRK monitors and a pair of Yamaha NS-10s. On the far front end, Kovaks maintains a collection of studio-grade musical instruments for use in original recordings. When necessary, Kovacs can move his studio to a client's space to complete long-term or quick turnaround jobs.
Understandably, Metric Halo's free audio routing software, MIO Console, plays a large role in Kovacs' setup. "I love MIO Console," he said. "With it, I can switch between my monitors internally, and I can route signals in elaborate ways between internal software programs and my external hardware. I also like the processing the ULN-2 ships with; I've been experimenting a lot with the 'Character' signal path modeling plug-in. Finally, I was pleased with the service I received from Metric Halo. There's a ton to learn, especially with MIO Console, and the tech support zeroed in on my particular setup to get me up and running quickly. I had clients wanting service right away, so I didn't have time to experiment. Metric Halo understood that."
ABOUT METRIC HALO Now based in the sunny city of Safety Harbor, Florida, Metric Halo provides the world with high-resolution metering, analysis, recording and processing solutions with award-winning software and future-proof hardware.