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Metric Halo LIO-8 Line-level Digital Audio Processor, from Metric Halo

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Metric Halo LIO-8 Line-level Digital Audio Processor Metric Halo LIO-8 Line-level Digital Audio Processor
Metric Halo LIO-8 Line-level Digital Audio Processor
Metric Halo LIO-8 Line-level Digital Audio Processor

An 8 Channel interface designed to cover every studio need, with an added bonus of being expandable by adding preamps.

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At Home in Any Situation

LIO-8 is the perfect tool for capturing audio wherever inspiration hits, in the studio or on the road. Well suited to any recording situation, you can record and edit on the road, in the hotel, on the airplane, or wherever inspiration hits. Use 3 LIO-8s chained together for 24 tracks of live concert recording with processing on all channels in 3 rack spaces. Location sound engineers can now capture the moment — anywhere, anytime.

When you’re done recording, use the LIO-8 in the studio as an extremely high quality audio interface to transfer your tracks into a DAW. You’ll be amazed at the sound of this box! And weighing only 6 pounds, and a little larger than a laptop, you can be the first one out of the gig, with no hassle.

The LIO-8’s archival grade inputs and outputs, coupled with Metric Halo’s exclusive Character processing, provide flexibility and sound quality unavailable on any other interface. You can transition from a wire-with-gain to a gooey tube pre with one click of the mouse, and every input can have the right character for the material you are recording.

The LIO-8 is the only unit in its class with an on-board processing engine that supports fully instantiable processing, allowing you to use Metric Halo’s world-renowned signal processing effects without sacrificing your computer’s processing power or introducing any additional latency in your monitor path. From MIOStrip to HaloVerb, the LIO-8 comes with the 2d plug-in package that provides basic production processing. If you need more, you can add our +DSP package. And remember, this one rack space audio interface has the ability to run entirely from any DC power source (16V-30V), making it truly and completely mobile.

Organically Scalable

A unique feature of the Mobile I/O system is that MIO’s work well individually or as a group. Mix and match LIO-8 with ULN-8, 2882 and ULN-2 units to create a system that meets your needs for track counts and number of preamps. Adding a unit to the system organically increases the DSP power of the system, so that your DSP always scales with your I/O. Break your system up for small gigs when playing out or add the units of your mates to build a huge system when required. By standardizing on the Mobile I/O platform, each member of the band can have ultimate quality while working alone, and the band can have huge track counts when playing together. You can’t lose!

Stand-alone Operation

Flexible signal routing and sophisticated patch and preset management systems as well as a comprehensive set of front panel controls are also featured in the LIO-8. The LIO-8’s front-panel controls allow the unit to function equally as well as a stand-alone Converter system. In standalone mode, the LIO-8 operates with the converters directly routed to and from the AES I/O, and the analog domain sends allow splitting or "multing" your analog inputs to other devices.

As a standalone converter, the LIO-8 provides a 24bit/192kHz eight channel front-end. It also functions seamlessly as an analog monitor controller, making it ideal as a digital headphone amp and studio monitor controller.


The LIO-8 supports a variety of applications. For studio recording, it provides a very high quality interface to a DAW, offering sound processing or simple file transfer between workstations. Its exceptional sound quality makes it perfect as any studio’s primary analog to digital conversion and monitoring chain.

The LIO-8 is suitable for broadcast applications, too. It offers instant playback of 8 individual stereo sends for music cues or sound effects, or smaller numbers of surround stems. The compact package and portable power features mean that the unit can go anywhere users need to work, and make on-site fixes or edit location recordings without the need to send files back to the studio, saving valuable time before air.

In the live performance arena, in addition to operating as a remote recorder for archiving performances or to play out backing tracks and musical cues, the LIO-8 can operate as a soft-synth mixer and I/O interface.

LIO-8: Built upon the 2d DSP Processing Platform and MIO Console 5

The LIO-8 is built upon the 2d Card — a massive DSP processing engine that forms the nerve center of the ULN-8. The 2d Card provides a substantial amount of DSP power to drive the zero-latency mixing and processing environment that is integrated in the LIO-8 and also provides 8 channels of 192k AES I/O.

Future Proof

In 2001 we introduced the 2882 and called it “Future Proof”. Nine years later, while the competition has obsoleted multiple generations of products, the 2882 is still arguably one of the best FireWire interface available on the market... until the introduction of the ULN-8. In 2003, we released the ULN-2, with the finest preamps available in any interface... until the introduction of the ULN-8. With the release of the 2d Card and v.5, we delivered yet again on our commitment to making “Future Proof” products that stand the test of time. The LIO-8 is the next entry in our line-up of Future Proof products. While the LIO-8's base configuration has no mic preamps, the ULN-R preamps from the ULN-8 can be added in either 4 or 8 channels. You can also step up to our +DSP license to tap into the full capabilities of the 2d card when you're ready. Don't buy another interface, expand the one you have.

While other manufacturers churn you with the special of the day, we build products that preserve your investment and deliver for you year after year and project after project. It is our philosophy and we take it seriously.

Includes the Integrated v.5 Mixer

Included with every LIO-8, the v.5 Mixer is a completely customizable mixing engine. You can create custom mixers either from scratch or start with any of the templates we've included to get you started quickly. With the v.5 Mixer, your LIO-8 can be a mastering console in the morning, a tracking console in the afternoon, and a live sound mixer/recorder in the evening. Whatever the application, you can configure an elegant custom setup.

Not a mere computer interface cue mixer, the v.5 Mixer is a sophisticated Digital Console built into the the LIO-8. With support for mono to 7.1 mixing, multiple busses, arbitrary sends, insertable zero-latency plug-in processing, completely customizable mults, and Metric Halo’s exclusive Character, the v.5 Mixer is limited only by your imagination. And, it is completely phase compensated, no matter how complicated the routing is.

Latency-Free, Time-Aligned Mixing Architecture

The v.5 Mixer is based upon the +DSP graph technology originally designed for +DSP. Since the +DSP graph provides infinite routing and multing capabilities with integrated latency compensation, the addition of full access to all I/O resources means that everything can go everywhere in the LIO-8, with the unique benefit that all signal paths are automatically time-aligned. This has incredible implications — you can route anything anywhere and never have to worry about routing delays. All sends and busses are automatically realigned with the primary bus, bringing back analog simplicity to parallel routing, with digital simplicity in set up and recall.

The v.5 Mixer manages all of the plug-ins and connections within the DSP for you. So, even though you may be creating an incredibly complex network of plug-ins with many mults and bus to bus routes, the user interaction required for you to control the system is simple and direct.

The v.5 Mixer works as complex routing manager, adding plug-ins (including mixer plug-ins) to the DSP based upon your configuration commands. Because the DSP engine automatically configures the runtime environment to compensate for routing latency in the configured DSP graph, you can rely on the fact that bus to bus routes all arrive with no routing latency. This allows you to configure sub-mixes and stems, including sub-bus processing, without having to worry about phase-cancellation problems or other latency related issues.

“The MIO v.5 Console and 2d Card’s routing capabilities are unmatched, its DSP processing unrivaled, and its familiar mixer interface ensures that this power and flexibility is easily accessible…” — Orren Merton
Author of Logic Pro 8 Power

Direct Insert of Plug-ins

With the v.5 Mixer, you can now take advantage of a sophisticated direct insert model. Just insert the plug where you want to process the signal. Done!


v.5 Mixer Direct Plug-in Insert (in the inserts!)

With the included 2d plug in bundle, you can put plugs in inserts in a linear routing of Plug-ins. If you add +DSP, you can insert a +DSP graph in any insert in the mixer to add a routing playground, allowing you to split, mult, parallel and feedback signals to your heart’s content. And then you can save the graphs as your own “Secret Weapons” - instantly instantiable with two mouse clicks.

Multi-Bus Mixing

The v.5 Mixer allows you to create an arbitrary number of busses (limited only by the capabilities of your hardware) — each of which can be used as a master bus (routed to an output) or an aux bus (routed to other busses). Each bus is dynamically adjustable from mono to 7.1 surround. The busses can be mapped directly onto the main control UI or driven by sends. Basically, make the mixer what you need it to be. And multiple busses of multiple types are supported at all sample rates. Unlike some other products on the market, all inputs can be routed to all busses (even mults of any input), so you won’t be limited in what you can mix.

v.5 Multiple Busses, Multiple Types, and Sends


As mentioned above, any input can be sent to any bus. Sends are simply inserted in any insert slot, which means that you can send pre or post processing. Each send can be pre or post fader, so it can track the mix of the main UI or it can be used as a completely independent send. Every bus in the system can be returned to any other bus in the system, so you can use the busses as internal auxes, mix-minus feeds, PFL busses, etc. Anything you can think of, you can accomplish with the flexible routing engine in the v.5 Mixer. The v.5 Mixer provides an innovative send window that gives you a consolidated view of all the sends for the selected bus with a full sized fader for the send level, per-bus solos and channel mutes, and support for any width send bus (that’s right — you can send to a surround bus!).

v.5 Sends Window

LIO-8 Specifications


Analog Rails (low power) ±9.9 Volts
Analog Rails (high power) ±12.6 Volts
Maximum I/O Levels (Balanced)
Peak Line Output @ 0 dBFS (no jumper/low power) +18.5 dBu
Peak Line Output @ 0 dBFS (output jumper/low power) +22.0 dBu
Peak Line Output @ 0 dBFS (output jumper/high power) +24.5 dBu
Analog Send Max Output +21.5 dBu
Line In Max Input +24.5 dBu
Output Impedance 5 Ω
Monitor Controller
Nominal FS output (Balanced) Output Jumper Off -19.0 dBu
Nominal FS output (Balanced) Output Jumper On -12.0 dBu
Maximum Output Same as Line
Gain Range -96 dB to +30 dB
Gain Precision ±0.05 dB
Gain Step 0.5 dB
Line Input + ADC
Input Impedance 10 kΩ
Dynamic Range (-60 dB, flat 0-22.05 kHz, typ) 115 dB
Dynamic Range (-60 dB, A-weighted, typ) 118 dB
Noise Floor (flat 0-22.05 kHz, typ) 115 dB
Noise Floor (A-weighted, typ) 117.9 dB
THD D/A/A/D loop @ -12 dBFS 0.0005 %
THD D/A/A/D loop @ -0 dBFS 0.0015 %
Crosstalk @ 1kHz -127 dB
IMD 1k component (19 kHz/20kHz @ +8dBu) -104 dBu
Gain Range -12 dB to +31.5 dB
Gain Precision ±0.05 dB
Gain Step 0.5 dB
Line Input + ADC Frequency Response
+0/-0.1dB @ fs = 44100 Hz 5.7 Hz - 20.5 kHz
+0/-1.0dB @ fs = 44100 Hz 1.8 Hz - 21.0 kHz
+0/-0.1dB @ fs = 96000 Hz 5.7 Hz - 43.9 kHz
+0/-1.0dB @ fs = 96000 Hz 1.8 Hz - 45.4 kHz
+0/-0.1dB @ fs = 192000 Hz 5.7 Hz - 42.1 kHz
+0/-1.0dB @ fs = 192000 Hz 1.8 Hz - 64.7 kHz
5° low-end in-channel phase deviation point 10.7 Hz
Interchannel phase 0 Hz - 20 kHz < ±0.05°
Crosstalk from SMPTE Input < -142 dB
Input Processing
M/S Decode Instantiable
Parameteric EQ Instantiable
Dynamics Instantiable
Character Instantiable
Reverb Instantiable
Delay Instantiable
Output Processing
M/S Encode Instantiable
Parameteric EQ Instantiable
Dynamics Instantiable
Character Instantiable
Reverb Instantiable
Dither Instantiable
Mix Foldown Instantiable
Front Panel
Indicator LEDs (Bicolor) 495
Meters 16
Segments per Meter 15
Channel Encoder Knobs 8
Encoders Have Shaft Push Buttoms Yes
Monitor Controller Encoder Knobs 1
Monitor Controller Mute Yes
Monitor Controller Dim Yes
Indicators Per Encoder 16
Sample Rate Indicators 6
Clock Source Indicators 4
AES Clock Source Indicators 4
AES Lock Indicators 4
AES Input Signal Indicators 4
AES Output Signal Indicators 4
System Lock Indicator 1
Firewire Indicator 1
Front Panel Modes 14
Headphone Output (Dedicated DAC) TRS Stereo
DI Inputs (2) TRS Balanced
DI Input Impedance 10 MΩ
DI Input Fixed Gain (Jumper Selectable) 0/10/20 dB
DI Input Variable Gain -12 dB to 31.5 dB
Power Switch (Jumper Defeatable) Toggle
Back Panel
MIDI Connectors (In and Out) 5-Pin DIN
SMPTE Connectors (In and Out) Balanced TRS
Word Clock Connectors (In and Out) 75Ω BNC
AES Connector (8 Channels In and Out) DB-25
AES Connector Pinout Tascam/Digidesign Digital
Line Input Connector (8 Channels) DB-25
Line Input Pinout Tascam/Digidesign Analog
Send Output Connector (8 Channels) DB-25
Send Output Pinout Tascam/Digidesign Analog
Line/Monitor Output Connector (8 Channels) DB-25
Line/Monitor Output Pinout Tascam/Digidesign Analog
Line/Monitor Mult Output Connectors (Analog 1/2) TRS Balanced
FireWire Connectors (2) 1394a 6-Pin
Power (Unswitched) 2.1mm Coaxial
Power (Switched) 4-Pin XLR
Security Slot Kensignton
Driver CoreAudio Mac OS X
Mac OS X 10.3.9 or newer
Architectures PPC, Intel
MIO Console Included
Record Panel Included
LTC Decoder Included
Mixer Included
+DSP License Optional
Voltage 14v - 28v
Power 24 Watts
FireWire Bus Powerable No
Passes FireWire Bus Power Yes
Supplies FireWire Bus Power No
External Supply (Input) I00-240VAC
External Supply (Max Input Current) 1.2 A
External Supply (Output) 24 VDC
External Supply (Max Output Current) 2.0 A
External Supply Connector 4-Pin XLR
Material Powder Coated Aluminum
Fasteners 3mm Phillips Head
Weight 6 lbs
Weight 2.7 kg
Dimensions 17" x 13" x 1.72"
Dimensions 432 x 330 x 44 mm
Rack Ears (included) Powder Coated Steel
Rear Rack Mounts Available




LIO-8 Product PDF

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