LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 2010: Recently opened, Ferrari World, the world's largest theme park and the first and only Ferrari theme park in the world is located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates featuring a multiplex of driving-related attractions, thrill rides, and, of course, a racetrack. The structure is massive, covering fifty acres with a unique red dome roof adorned by a massive Ferrari logo. In a distinctive break from the well-trodden theme park music motif, celebrated composer Julian Scott was commissioned to write and record themes for the "factory" section of the new park. His cues are replayed in surround sound and synchronized to both the ride dynamics and the high-definition video replays. Scott recorded the pieces at famed Abbey Road studios, relying on Metric Halo ULN-8 and 2882+DSP converters to capture the enormously expensive session in stunning quality, without hiccup.
Together with freelance engineer and Abbey Road
regular James Collins, Scott prepared for a full symphony orchestra and choir using a traditional Decca Tree, outrigger mics, and a raft of spot mics to allow for flexibility at mix down. Going further, they recorded the session in multiple parts, starting with the strings, and then following with the woodwinds, brass, percussion, soloists, and choir in succession. While more time-consuming, their method delivered complete isolation, allowing Scott to subsequently "re-orchestrate" the pieces to best fit the ride dynamics (which were, of course, subject to change!).
Scott brought his trusted personal back-end equipment to the session: a Mac Pro loaded with Logic, two Metric Halo ULN-8s, and one Metric Halo 2882. Although the final recording would have a track count of eighty, it would come in five parts of only sixteen tracks each, allowing him to use the inputs of the two ULN-8s to record, and the outputs of all three Metric Halo pieces to deliver stems to the Abbey Road Neve console for monitoring.
"My first concern, of course, is sound quality, and Metric Halo converters excel in this regard," said Scott. "But apart from sound quality, reliability was paramount. I've been using Metric Halo converters for years, and they always work. With over one-hundred musicians on call and an extremely tight schedule, tracking down problems was not on the agenda."
For his smaller campaigns, Scott is happy to be liberated from a console, relying on the input/output functionality of his Metric Halo converters and the in-the-box sound and flexibility of Logic. In his opinion, simplicity in wiring, combined with high-end Metric Halo mic pres, are an improvement over any additional gear. Noted Scott, "We used the Abby Road's Neve console because James is so comfortable on that board and time was of the essence. I'm certain there would have been no loss of quality had we gone with the Metric Halo mic pres, and it might have been better! This, of course, is no knock against the Neve, which is a truly beautiful instrument, but my BBC pro engineering training has ingrained in me the philosophy that less circuitry in the signal path is invariably more truthful."
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