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Getting Killer Sounds – Quickly! Sound Designer, Musician and Producer Gareth Hester Relies on Metric Halo Production Bundle Plug-Ins

UNITED KINGDOM: UK-based Gareth Hester wears a lot of hats. For starters, he’s a dance music musician and producer under the monikers War Machine and Covert Garden, which are signed to two of the biggest labels in the genre (Hospital Records’ Med School and Technique Recordings). He’s also a DJ, with a lengthy stint on KISS-FM. His DJ-ing and music have been featured in DJMag, MixMag, I-DJ, Drum & Bass Arena, and more. In addition, Hester is a forward-thinking sound designer with Zero-G, Sunderland Audio, and the VR gaming company Beloudest. Through all of it, Hester relies on Metric Halo Production Bundle plug-ins to get great work done quickly!

“One of the things I love most about making music is how rewarding it is to learn new techniques that allow me take sounds in a new direction,” Hester said. “The Metric Halo plug-ins have made that process faster and more direct. Especially when I’m working as a sound designer, my sessions can often be spontaneous – I’ll just drop the entire Metric Halo Production Bundle on a channel! Then I have everything I need: ChannelStrip for fundamental equalization and dynamics, Character to give it a particular ‘sound,’ and then all of the more sophisticated dynamics and effects, like TransientControl and Dirty Delay. Before I found Metric Halo, I found that I burned through a lot of time messing around with plug-ins that ultimately couldn’t give me what I wanted. I’m glad to be done with that.”

Hester cited Metric Halo’s unusually-low CPU demands as another great reason to load them onto channel after channel in his sessions; they come at almost no CPU cost. “Previously, running up against the limits of my CPU was a constant battle,” he said. “It’s nice to be able to focus on the demands of the audio alone.” Hester also uses Metric Halo’s affordable, stand-alone sound analysis software, SpectraFoo, which is equally-easy on the CPU. SpectraFoo’s objective reference has helped to speed up his already-speedy production time by helping to settle any questions about the technical aspects of his music and sound design work. For example, too much bass? Too little bass? Let SpectraFoo weigh in!

Hester dug in on a couple of his favorite and most unique Metric Halo Production Bundle plug-ins – TransientControl and Dirty Delay: “Now that I’ve had Metric Halo TransientControl, I cannot go back to processing snares or claps without it. It’s a subtle, but critical effect. It preserves all of the sound’s character, but it gives the snare room and takes any harshness away. I find that lot of the digital samples commonly used in dance music can be very harsh. I’ve tried all the transient plug-ins, and Metric Halo TransientControl is my favorite by far. The settings are so straightforward and intuitive, I get the result I’m after in just minutes.”

He continued, “I keep Metric Halo Dirty Delay on a bus channel for pretty much everything I ever work on. I send synths and pads to it. Just having that effect gliding in and out of the mix at certain points can really add a unique aspect to a track. Like all of the Production Bundle plug-ins, Dirty Delay comes with a bunch of useful presets that give me a terrific jump-start to what I want to achieve, and it has a clean, clear interface. Metric Halo has given me a quick way to make great sounds and great music.”

Based on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Metric Halo provides the world with award-winning software and hardware recording, processing, metering and analysis solutions.