The team of rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis is making some of the most forward-thinking hip-hop music on the planet. Lewis’ irresistible beats and music form a sophisticated backdrop for Macklemore’s tight rhymes and deceptively easy delivery. Macklemore’s subject matter – drug addiction, consumerism, race, and other weighty themes – resonates with an authenticity that deftly sidesteps clichés to bathe familiar subjects in a fresh light. Lewis, who also handles many of the engineering duties for the duo, recently committed to purchasing a Metric Halo ULN-2 preamplifier/interface so that they could cut studio-quality tracks for their forthcoming album while on the road.
“I’m in the middle of producing a full-length LP with rapper Macklemore,” said Lewis. “I needed a small unit that could deliver audio quality worthy of our debut LP. The goal is for Macklemore to be able to record at home or on the road, tracking vocals wherever he wants or needs to.” Lewis learned about Metric Halo through online research and discussions with audio engineers in their hometown of Seattle.
“One of the largest consumer products for introductory home recording is the two-channel USB or FireWire interface,” he continued. “Almost every company has their own version. Nevertheless, there honestly wasn’t a lot out there that could compete with the ULN-2. Finding high-quality AD/DA conversion is hard, and finding high-quality AD/DA conversion together with fantastic preamps is almost impossible. The Metric Halo ULN-2 was exactly what we needed. It alone could match the quality of vocals we’re tracking in the studio.”
As an active member of the Seattle music scene, Macklemore earned a hometown following early on. But it was with his 2004 release Welcome to Myspace – which was heavily hyped by the then-new social networking site – that Macklemore earned respect and an eager following at the national and international levels. Success begat success, but in combination with a self-avowed drug problem, it also doused the creative flame that had committed so many fresh rhymes and ideas to paper. Macklemore languished for years before a one-month stay at rehab gave him the sobriety and creative perspective he so desperately needed. Now on a mission to make good on his promising start and with three successful post-rehab solo albums, Macklemore has joined forces with Ryan Lewis, and the two are poised to take the hip-hop world by storm with the forthcoming release.
Taking the long view, Lewis cited Metric Halo’s dogged commitment to future-proofing its equipment via upgrades as another excellent reason to go with the ULN-2. “Metric Halo is a company that is focused on the future of pro audio and that’s why I’m so excited to be working with their products,” he said. Later in the year, Lewis and Macklemore plan to follow up the ULN-2 with an eight-channel ULN-8, Metric Halo’s flagship product, for use in their studio.