Over the years, Evans has discovered the versatility of the MIO 2882+DSP, using them both in the studio and on the road. “Right now I have the three of them in my studio. I use Logic Pro 7 and I’ve been using Pro Tools with them, via the M-Audio Lightbridge. I’m kind of old school. All the outputs go to my console.”
The audio quality of recordings made through the Metric Halo boxes never fails to impress, he reports. “Up until very recently I’d never used any outboard gear at all with them. I would literally just plug some microphones into the MIOs and hit record. Then I’d go into the studio, where we’d be mixing on an API or a Neve, and we’d bring up the faders and it would just sound awesome. At every studio that I’ve ever gone into with tunes or tracks that I’ve recorded on them the engineers are always floored, hands down, every time.”
A multi-instrumentalist, Evans has been the drummer in Soulive, a funk-jazz band he formed in Woodstock, New York with his bass-playing brother Neal and guitarist Eric Krasno, since 1999. Recording and playing live with a variety of guest musicians over the years, Soulive has built a substantial fan base while touring as a headliner and with bands such as the Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews Band, The Roots, Common and John Mayer.
Evans took his MIOs on the road several years ago to record a live album, “Soulive (Live),” for the Blue Note label. “I had three boxes with me, and we took up all 24 channels. That side of the application is awesome. It’s just amazing for live recording. I’ve never had a problem with it at all.”
The band, now a quartet with the addition of singer Toussaint, is on a month-long U.S. tour through the end of September. This time, Evans is using a single MIO unit to record the shows, which will be available as mp3 downloads through Snocap within a couple of days of each performance. The eight-track method worked well on a series of shows in 2004 that were made available for download via Live Nation’s Instant Live platform, he says, and was inspired by old school jazz and other live recordings.
He elaborates, “We’ve been having a lot of success with stereo pairs; a pair at the sound board, some onstage mics, plus taking something off the board. For the Instant Live thing we took a mono line off the front-of-house desk. You’re usually just mixing in mono, so you get that dry, fat sound up the middle then round it out with the ambience mics. So that’s the plan for this tour. I’m really excited. Any time I can bring my stuff out I get pretty psyched!”
The Metric Halo gear also got put to use on the band’s latest full-length, “No Place Like Soul,” which was released at the end of July on the revived Stax Records label. “A few of the tunes I cut at my studio here at home, and at another spot, a house that we use up in Vermont. I took two of my I/Os and did some tunes up there. Almost half the album was done with the Metric Halo equipment.”
Between tours, Evans stays busy with production projects. “Whenever Soulive isn’t on the road I try and chill out and work with some other bands. The last group I did was Infernophonic, out of New Jersey. It’s classic rock, like Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. I did that in the house in Vermont with the Metric Halo boxes. That came out great. And I have some other things lined up for the end of this year and the beginning of next year.”
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 hardware.