Metric Halo ULN-8 and LIO-8 are amazing audio interfaces, high class and the heart of my DAW. ULN-8 and LIO-8 are technical twins, the LIO-8 comes without Mic-Pre's and +DSP license. It can be fully retrofitted and is then identical to the ULN-8. My Lio-8 has 4 mic preamps. For cascaded interfaces it is sufficient if only one device has the +DSP license.
Fantastic microphone preamplifiers, two integrated DI inputs, reference class AD-DA conversion, internal 80 bit processing, hard- and software excellently designed, stable. A headphone amplifier that lets hifi freaks jubilate. These devices appear big and expensive at first sight, but on closer inspection they are small and extremely affordable! They replace hardware that, in comparable quality, would be more than 10 times more expensive and would have to be transported in heavy flightcases.
The included software "MIO Console" allows all conceivable configurations: monitoring, MS circuit, analog summation, arbitrary bus structures and cascading of several interfaces are possible. The most important parameters are externally controllable. It can record more than 100 tracks at the same time. A host software is therefore only necessary with the the editing.
The +DSP license includes a wealth of fine Plug-Ins (EQ, Compressor, Limiter, Gate, Delay, Reverb, Transient-Designer etc.), partly with good Presets. Live, editing, or Mastering setups are easy to store and retrieve. Two very important points: the Plug-Ins do not feel like Plug-Ins, nor do they sound like that! The interfaces have their own processors, which conserves the computer resources.
My favorite, the MIO-Strip, is also available without +DSP license. It contains a Gate, Compressor and a six-band EQ and has a quality with which one could actually work exclusively. Even after years, I can only praise and praise the Metric Halo overall concept.
Special ideas can be implemented at the "graph level": full studio-processors can be built with the "Building Blocks". Building Blocks are e.g. Summer, Adder, Delay, LFO, Filter ... An incredible toolbox! These interfaces are a complete studio - including summation and monitor controller. Soundwise there is no critics, but a never-ending surprise and pleasure.
With SpectraFoo, Metric Halo also offers an analysis software that makes these devices a first choice for sound engineers. For the majority, the standard version of the software should suffice - but there is also a full version with which also halls can be measured and more.
My now 13-year experience with this company and its products - represented in Germany outstanding by Anne Goerth and Stefan Bahr - is without comparison - and these audio interfaces are genuinely rich!
Because ULN-8 and LIO-8 are equipped with many connectors, they are designed as D-Sub25 connectors. This means that multicores and breakout cables or stageboxes are needed.