JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 2015: Howard Audio is the public face of musician and all-around Renaissance man Adam Howard, who is among South Africa’s most sought-after composers, producers, arrangers, audio engineers, and sound designers. Trained at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Howard was the principal trumpet player for the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra before devoting all of his time to his business. His advertising work has earned him Clio and Silver Loerie Awards, and his client list includes Volkswagen, Toyota, Discovery, and Mercedes-Benz, among many others. His work with South Africa’s top artists runs the spectrum from performing musician to producer, and everything in between. Howard regularly conducts the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, serves as the musical director for avant-garde artist William Kentridge, orchestrated music for the film White Lion (2010), and is the founding musical director of the Johannesburg Big Band. In short, Adam Howard is multi-talented and driven to contribute those talents across a huge range of projects.
When the lease came up on his long-time studio space, Howard seized the opportunity to upsize. He hired Jacob van der Westhuizen, CEO of South Africa’s premier pro-audio dealer Benjamin Pro Audio, to design and coordinate the construction of a new studio that would meet and anticipate all of Howard Audio’s growing needs with an acoustical space and workflow that would inspire creativity. In the process, Howard had the opportunity to select new equipment, which included new converters. “Jacob and I listened carefully to all of the big-name, high-end converters,” Howard said. “Metric Halo’s LIO-8’s AD and DA converters, as well as its optional preamps, came out on top. The preamps are amazing, and although I have plenty of vintage outboard preamps, I’ve found that I commonly opt for the Metric Halo preamps. They have a very flat, very real sound. In fact, with good mic placement and the clean Metric Halo signal path, I can often capture voice and guitar tracks that require absolutely no subsequent equalization.”
“Designing Howard Audio’s new studio from scratch was a great experience,” said van der Westhuizen. “We gave them one large control room associated with an acoustically-stunning live room, plus two adjoining vocal booths that could be associated either with the main live room and control room or with either of two other smaller control rooms. It’s a very flexible design that allows Adam and his employees to tackle multiple smaller projects at the same time or to concentrate all of the studio’s resources for large tracking sessions. The comfort and style of the client accommodations is also noteworthy.”
Howard is energized by the new studio’s layout and capabilities. “I count Metric Halo’s preamps and conversion as among the most important improvements to my sound in the new studio,” he said. “My old interface is well-respected in the industry, but the LIO-8 blows it away! In addition to the sound quality, I love the flexible routing that the Metric Halo MIO Console software gives me. It’s so powerful and so easy to use! I’m able to give the musicians six headphone mixes, each totally customized.”
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