HOPEWELL JUNCTION, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 2011: Fumuj is not an ordinary band. Formed in 2003 by drummer Romain Pasquier and bassist Fred Guillon in their home country of France, the band has released three studio albums with wide popular appeal and critical praise. In support of their latest effort, Drop a Three, Fumuj is touring with a unique and forward thinking approach. Using specially designed LED drums, vibrating towers, inflatable vibration receivers, and real-time music modified video systems, their tour encourages members of the deaf community to attend and participate. Pasquier, who also moonlights as a sound engineer, recording and mixing for French post-production facilities Piste Rouge, Transatlantic Video, and Metropole Television, uses the band’s Metric Halo ULN-8 preamp/interface both live and in the studio.
Although the band has now blossomed to include five members, Fumuj’s music is still sufficiently complicated that some backing tracks must come off of a DAW when the band plays live. Ableton Live sequencing and synthesis software gives Fumuj an inspiring balance of prepared material and spontaneous modifications, and the stems that it outputs filter through Metric Halo’s MIO Console software before wending their way to the external world via the Metric Halo ULN-8. A Midas Venice console grabs the stems and mixes them with Fumuj’s other electronic instruments, such as a Studio Electronic SE-1, an Access Virus, and various vintage analog synths. Rather than merely feeding the Midas’ outputs to the house, several of the signals are first delivered to amps, which gives them a more authentic and lively feel.
“The Metric Halo ULN-8 is tremendously powerful in this capacity,” said Pasquier. “I treat several of the stems with Metric Halo’s peerless Character modeling, which gives them a subtle honesty that helps with the overall mix. In addition, I can use the ULN-8 and MIO Console to record the dry output from the Midas as well as a mastered output using the ULN-8’s onboard DSP. Despite everything that it’s doing, the ULN-8 presents absolutely no perceptible latency and is perfectly reliable. We never deal with bugs or crashes, which is obviously a hugely important factor when taking a piece of gear on stage.”
Pasquier first encountered a Metric Halo interface during the mastering of Fumuj’s second studio album, The Robot and the Chinese Shrimp. He was at London’s famous mastering house, The Exchange. Now, when they are in the studio, Fumuj uses the Metric Halo ULN-8 together with Pro Tools, Logic, or Digital Performer, the platform depending principally on which of the many studios throughout France the band is using at the moment. “MIO Console is fantastic for a band that moves as often as we do,” said Pasquier. “No matter the DAW, MIO Console integrates transparently. It’s also a creative tool. With real zero-latency and high-end DSP, we often experiment with Metric Halo’s re-amping, distortion, and complex signal routing.” On their recent projects, including Drop a Three, Fumuj used the ULN-8 to record all vocals and synthesizers. A Euphonix MC Control integrates seamlessly with Pasquier’s setup to deliver simple hardware control of MIO Console.
For future recordings, Pasquier hopes to add additional Metric Halo input channels. “I think Metric Halo converters are simply the best,” he said. “And that’s not just compared to other compact interfaces, but also to the expensive standalone converters that do nothing but convert. The ULN-8 out-converts those boxes, and does so much more… all in one rack unit! The power to mix within the box with 80-bit summing is also critical. We once had a blind test in a studio that pitted our ULN-8 against a very famous, very expensive, and dedicated analog rack summing unit. Having sunk so much into that box, the studio owner was disappointed when the ULN-8 came out on top!”
ABOUT METRIC HALO
Based in New York’s Hudson Valley, Metric Halo provides the world with high-resolution metering, analysis, recording and processing solutions with award-winning software and future-proof hardware. www.mhlabs.com