A complete, modular, expandable Recording & Mixing Console with 4 boutique mic preamps, world-class converters, a studio full of outboard gear and a professional Atmos capable analog monitor controller.
LIO-8/4p mkIV Key Hardware Features
Whether you are on location, in the studio or the mastering room, the LIO-8/4p mkIV has what it takes for you to get the job done.
LIO-8/3p mkIV is built on Metric Halo’s core 3d Technology, so it interoperates seamlessly with all existing MH 3d interfaces.
Since it is amazingly flexible, expandable and future-proof by design, your system always scales to meet your needs. Each unit includes these hardware features:
- Metric Halo’s unique 3d Core Digital Engine with MHLink
- 8 channels A/D with Analog Trim
- 8 channels D/A with Analog Gain
- Stereo Headphone
- Dedicated HP D/A and Analog Gain
- Ultra-low converter latency
- Converter latency reduced by 85% compared with previous generation
- Round-trip through Converters + Mixer + DSP + Monitor:
≈ 0.9ms @ 44.1k
≈ 0.2ms @ 192k
- 4 channels MH ULN-R preamps
- 2 channels Guitar/Bass DI inputs
- 8 channels AES Output
- 8 channels AES Input
- SMPTE LTC I/O
- MIDI I/O
- 128 Channel x 64 bus mixer
- Integrated DSP
- Full support for 192k
- Detailed Front panel metering
- FP control with dedicated gain knobs
- IR Remote Control support
- MH EdgeBus Card slot
- MHLink Gigabit Ethernet connectivity
- USB-C connectivity
- Low power, cool-running design with no fans
The mkIV excels in these key areas:• Tracking • Mixing • Mastering • Live • Monitors • Production • Remote Mic Pre • A/D/A • Active Analog Split • Digital Snake • DSP Processing • Format Conversion • Headphone Amp • DI • Meter Bridge • Monitor Control • Cue Playback • Session • IR Remote • Tactile Control • Wireless Control
Integration for the Win
By implementing all the functions of a complete end-to-end signal chain solution in a single package, the LIO-8/4p mkIV is able to provide unprecedented capability and quality in a lightweight, low-power, single rack space unit. This integration has significant benefits in the form of reduced setup time and greater reliability, reduced cabling, weight, power consumption and cost, even as it provides unprecedented flexibility and performance.
The MHLink routing and transport architecture allows you to build a system with units distributed up to 100 meters apart with no added latency.
MHLink's auto-configuration and hardware aggregation make it so the entire system appears to the host computer as a single unified interface. Audio, command and clock transport with up to 256 channels of audio (at 192k) is accomplished with light-weight, inexpensive, readily available Cat 5e cabling.
The new mkIV design is eco-friendly and uses very little energy to provide its incredible performance and power. Even when every mic channel is powering a 48v phantom mic, the LIO-8/4p mkIV only consumes 25 watts, and without phantom uses less than 21 watts.
Metric Halo Sound
The sound of an audio product is more than the the sum of its parts. You can’t simply look at the components used and determine how something is going to sound. Excellent audio requires careful attention to detail and the tuning of every element of the entire system; this includes the analog stages, the power system, the clock and the converter itself. As all of these interact with each other in nonlinear ways, it is the system that determines the performance, and not any of the individual parts.
The A/D/A converters in the LIO-8/4p mkIV are DC-coupled to the analog I/O stages so they introduce extremely low phase distortion. The D/A has no low-frequency filtering. The A/D converters have an extremely low frequency DC blocking filter that calibrates the input path and removes DC offset with minimal phase shift.
Every element of the design combines to give you a warm, open 3-dimensional sound that is highly revealing and yet totally natural. Metric Halo mkIV sets a new standard.
It’s digital with soul.
The LIO-8/4p mkIV includes 4 channels of Metric Halo’s renowned ULN-R preamps (with space to optionally add another 4 at any time you desire). These boutique preamps are famous for their pristine, low-distortion, completely unveiled sound.
The ULN-R preamp provides up to 90 dB of digitally-controlled analog gain in precisely recallable 0.5 dB steps. Each input supports independently switchable P48 phantom power.
The combination of the super transparent ULN-R preamp and Metric Halo’s exclusive insertable Character Component Modeling Processing provides flexibility and sound quality that’s unavailable on any other device. You can transition from a wire-with-gain pre to a gooey tube pre or anything in between; every input can have the right Character for the sound you want.
The preamp input path on the LIO-8/4p mkIV always has preamp gain control and has DC blocking for the phantom power, it also supports input levels of up to +20dBu with no fidelity reducing pads, so you can handle high SPL with sensitive mics as well as you can handle extremely low SPL with insensitive mics (like ribbon mics and low output dynamics) while maintaining ultra-low noise.
The high maximum input level of +20dBu also means that you can use the mic pre input path as an alternative line input path. This feature can be used with the monitor controller to access an additional 8 selectable analog inputs as external sources.
The LIO-8/4p mkIV input path features an integrated analog send (pre A/D converter) which allows the unit to be used as remote controlled analog preamp. MHLink connectivity and control means that your preamps can be really remote (up to 100m away from your control interface) when you need them to be.
The preamps also offer a send/return mode where the amplified signal from the preamp is sent to the analog send and the line input is used for the return to the A/D converter - this allows you to patch analog processing between the preamp and the converter. Finally, you can use the analog send to provide the pre-amplified signal to a backup recording or mixing system; this is a fully analog split that represents a true backup signal with no digital dependencies.
Monitoring is critical to the production process at every stage; you need to be able hear exactly what you are working on. Your monitor chain will be limited by the weakest link in the chain. The LIO-8/4p mkIV integrates a transparent digitally controlled analog monitor controller to ensure that you can connect directly to your reproduction chain without having to reduce the fidelity of your signal with an inferior monitor control system.
mkIV hardware includes a relay driven shunt mute circuit on all the analog outputs that prevents transients from getting into your power amps and speakers. The mute is designed to be completely out of the circuit under normal monitoring operations. It automatically protects your monitors during power cycles and sample rate changes.
The Monitor Controller in the LIO-8/4p mkIV provides sophisticated monitor control features that are only available in dedicated monitor controllers that surprisingly cost more than the LIO-8/4p mkIV.
These features include:
- Multiple source selection
- Multiple speaker output selection
- Output paths can share speakers
- Per speaker gain and delay
- Per speaker solo/mute control
- Output path calibration support
- Multichannel support from Stereo up to 7.1.4 Surround (Dolby Atmos®)
- Mono fold-down
- Mute and Dim
- Analog gain control
- Multiple cue output support
- PFL/AFL integration with the mixer
In addition to all these high-end features, the MH Monitor Controller provides unique support for per-output-path configurable signal processing including EQ, Bass Management and protective limiting. Each output path can have its own signal processing, even if the paths share speakers. This allows you to configure alternate monitoring setups with one monitoring system (for example, you could configure the signal processing to provide a band-limited monitoring path or a path that lacks subwoofer reinforcement).
Each LIO-8/4p mkIV includes a high quality headphone amplifier with dedicated D/A conversion (which is the same quality as the primary D/As in the system), and digitally controlled analog gain control. So you don’t need to add a headphone amp to your system. By default the headphones are configured as a parallel Cue output multed from the Monitor Controller, but you can drive the headphones with an independent mix or you can make them an alternate output for the monitor controller.
In addition to monitoring the mix in your control room, multitrack production requires providing multiple output cues to performers, producers and/or broadcast feeds.
The Monitor Control in 3d is enhanced by a sophisticated Output Cue section that provides you with an arbitrary number of output controls. Each cue can be driven from any of the busses in the system, or it can be set to derive its input from the currently selected source in the Monitor Controller (MC).
Since each Cue can be driven by a separate mix bus from the mixer, they are perfect for routing and controlling independent headphone mixes for individual performers.
Cues can be configured to listen to PFL/AFL (or not). So for producers and engineers, the cue can follow PFL/AFL Solo in the mixer while performer and broadcast cues are unaffected by soloing.
Each cue has an independent output path which can be set to any of the MC supported output types. Each cue controller uses the MC engine for its control of routing, gain, delay and output graph processing, so it can do all the things the MC can do.
Cues form the basis of the routing points for Talkback and Listenback.
Talkback provides the ability to route a specific input to any sub-set of the cues in the system; it also allows you to control the amount that the Cue source signal is dimmed when talkback is active. The Talkback signal is mixed with the selected source.
Listenback provides the ability to route the source that the engineer is currently monitoring through the Monitor Controller to any subset of the cues in the system. This allows playing back a mix of the take to any or all of the monitoring cues in the system without having to re-patch.