LIO-8 3d

Line level perfected

The LIO-8 3d is the result of Metric Halo’s 20 year research program into the fusion of digital and analog audio technologies. It is a one-stop shop for all of your audio needs, addressing every requirement with exceptional quality.


Each LIO-8 3d integrates:

  • Mastering grade A/D Conversion (8 channels)
  • Mastering grade D/A Conversion with analog domain monitor control (8 channels)
  • Mastering grade headphone output with dedicated D/A Conversion
  • Exceptional ultra-high impedance Guitar/Bass DI inputs (2 channels; shared with Analog 1+2)
  • AES I/O (8 Channels)
  • All I/O supports 192k
  • MIDI I/O
  • 128 Channel x 64 bus mixer (up to 192k)
  • Instantiable DSP processing with over 100 plugins
  • Integrated analog domain surround-capable Monitor Controller
  • Incredibly accurate DPLL clock with ultra-low jitter
  • Seamless hardware multi-unit unification over MHLink (mixer, routing and transport)
  • MH EdgeBus Card slot with support for AES/SPDIF/MADI/ADAT/TOSLINK/MIDI (depending on card)
  • Internal slots for optional MH ULN-R preamps (in 4 channel blocks)
  • SMUX support for ADAT and MADI
  • IR Remote Control support
  • Front panel metering and control with dedicated gain knobs
  • Bullet-proof recording with the integrated Record Panel
  • MIO Console 3d
  • MHLink Ethernet connectivity
  • USB-C connectivity

A/D/A Conversion

Audio converters stand at the heart of every digital audio product. If the conversion is not up to snuff, you might as well toss the product out the window -- as the best you can hope for is that it doesn’t damage your precious audio (or reputation) too much. No matter how good the DSP is, if your converters don’t capture (or render) your audio accurately you are starting at a deficit.

RackAudio conversion is something that is more than the sum of its parts. You can’t simply look at the converter chip and determine how something is going to sound. Excellent audio conversion requires careful attention to detail and the tuning of every element of the entire conversion system; this includes the analog front end, the power system, the clock and the converter chip 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. As any system can be no better than it’s weakest link, it is vitally important that the component you use to capture and render all of your audio is not the weakest link in your system.

The analog converters in the LIO-8 provide mastering grade conversion that “simply gets out of the way.” Metric Halo’s converter philosophy is to come as close to the original analog signal as possible; converters should not color your signal. By accurately reproducing your input, the LIO-8 3d allows you to properly capture the nuance of your sources, whether they be mics, tape decks or classic analog gear.

Accurate conversion means that when you monitor your production, you actually hear what you will deliver - not some approximation with euphonic distortions introduced by your monitoring chain. And if you add euphonic distortion with an analog loop, you can be sure that the results will be captured accurately. In other words, the LIO-8 doesn’t distort the distortion. You choose where and when your signal is processed.

The A/D/A converters in the LIO-8 are DC-coupled to the analog I/O stages so they introduce extremely low phase distortion. The D/A has no low-frequency filtering and may be used to drive DC signals for generating CV signals for analog synths. The A/D converters have an extremely low frequency DC blocking filter that calibrates the input path and removes DC offset, so they cannot be used to capture DC CV signals, but the integrated EdgeCard slot may be used to add a wealth of ADAT connectivity to the LIO-8, which can be used to drive dedicated third-party CV converters.


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 3d integrates a transparent digitally controlled analog-domain 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.

The Monitor Controller in the LIO-8 3d provides sophisticated monitor control features that are only available in dedicated monitor controllers that paradoxically cost more than the LIO-8 3d. These features include:

  • Multiple source selection
  • Multiple speaker output selection
  • Shared speaker set support
  • 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 domain gain control
  • Talkback
  • Listenback
  • 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 3d includes a high quality headphone amplifier with dedicated D/A conversion (which is the same quality as the primary D/A’s in the system), and digitally controlled analog domain 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 mult’ed 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.


LIO-8 3d Front Panel

Cue Control

In addition to monitoring the mix in your control room, multitrack production requires providing multiple output cues to performers and other stakeholders (such as 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 are not Mixes. Cues are output points with gain and routing controls that can be fed by specific mixes, the current monitor controller source, or a mix of a source and the talkback signal. They serve as named output mults with direct access to associated output gain controls.

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 MC to any sub-set 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.

Optional Preamps

The LIO-8 3d includes internal slots for up to 8 channels of Metric Halo’s renowned ULN-R preamps. These boutique preamps are famous for their pristine, low-distortion, completely unveiled sound. They are not just great for preamps on an interface; they are great preamps, full-stop.

You can add preamps to the LIO-8 3d in blocks of 4 channels.

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 interface. 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 desire.

Character is also available on all inputs, busses and outputs - even channels without preamps.

The preamp input path on the LIO-8 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).

In all cases the input noise of the mic pre is incredibly low, providing an EIN of -130.50 dBu (@ 60dB of gain) with a mic that has a 150 Ω source impedance.

With the preamps installed, 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 3d input path features an integrated analog send (pre A/D converter) which allows the unit to be used as remote controlled analog preamp. 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 domain 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.


LIO-8 3d includes sophisticated digital signal processing engine that is only limited by your imagination. The mixing engine and audio router built into each unit is capable of mixing 128 inputs to 64 busses at all sample rates (up to 192k) with every gain interpolated on a sample-by-sample basis. This custom dedicated mix engine utilizes the equivalent DSP power of 30 of the SHARC DSPs that were used in our previous generation product.

Each LIO-8 3d also includes a programmable DSP that supports the instantiation of arbitrary DSP processing plug-ins; this is used for insert processing in the mixer and for output processing in the Monitor Controller. LIO-8 3d includes over 100 plugins that you can use for low-latency monitoring, live mixing or in production. The DSP in 3d has 1GB of DDR3 RAM available so long delays and multiple reverbs are not a problem.

The +DSP license included with every unit provides Metric Halo’s unique Graph insert which allows you to build your own signal chains with arbitrary phase compensated routing between plugins. You can insert a Graph in any insert slot in the mixer and as output processors in the Monitor Controller.

The 3d system enhances the processing engine included in each unit by routing between multiple units and utilizing the resources of all units attached via MHLink as one unified system. Your DSP and mixing resources are pooled. This allows you to seamlessly grow your system one unit at a time - all the way up to 128 channels of simultaneous input and output! All your inputs (including inputs from the computer) are available as sources in the mixer and monitor controller. All your outputs (including returns to the computer) are available as destinations for the mixer, monitor controller, cue system and direct outs.

LIO-8 3d Back Panel

MH EdgeBus Cards : The Ultimate Plugins

Every 3d-based unit includes an MH EdgeBus Card slot to provide additional flexibility in configuration. The EdgeBus is a programmable high-speed plugin slot that accepts a variety of audio interfacing cards. Its programmable design and full access to all the audio clocks and power rails allows for the creation of a wide variety of digital, analog, processing and interfacing plugin modules.

The currently available modules include (with I/O channel counts listed):

  • AES/SPDIF EdgeCard (4 in/4 out)
  • DB-25 AES EdgeCard (8 in/8 out)
  • SPDIF + MIDI EdgeCard (2 in/2 out + MIDI I/O)
  • SPDIF + 2x ADAT EdgeCard (18 in/18 out)
  • 2x SPDIF + 2x ADAT EdgeCard (20 in/20 out)
  • 4x ADAT EdgeCard (32 in/32 out)
  • 2x MADI Optical EdgeCard (128 in/128 out)
  • 1x MADI Optical + 1x MADI Copper EdgeCard (128 in/128 out)
  • 4x MADI Copper EdgeCard (256 in/256 out)

The EdgeCard modules are field installable/swappable and the hardware automatically detects the type of the installed card. All EdgeCard audio channels are first class I/O and may be used just like the built-in channels; all I/O is available simultaneously.

You can use EdgeCards to interface with other systems, get additional I/O via third-party A/D/A converters, provide ingest paths for digital recorders, or to patch into your existing digital console (e.g. via MADI interfacing).

The high-channel counts achievable via MADI interfacing means that you can us your LIO-8s as remote-controlled headamps (with optional ULN-R preamps), side car processing, or as a multitrack recorder for your console.



Format Conversion as a First-class Feature

The combination of MH EdgeBus Cards and MHLink provides built-in, low-latency format conversion between multiple digital audio formats. Within one box, you can convert from any of the input formats supported by the box and it's installed EdgeCard to any of the output formats supported by the box and card.

If you need to convert between formats supported by multiple EdgeCards you can simply MHLink two boxes with different EdgeCards to achieve the conversion.

So things like Analog ⇆ MADI, or MADI ⇆ AES, or AES ⇆ ADAT can all be accomplished without any third-party converter devices.

Integration for the Win

By implementing all the functions of a complete audio front end in a single package, the LIO-8 is able to provide unprecedented power and quality in a lightweight, low-power consumption, single RU hardware unit. This integration provides significant benefits to the owner in the form of reduced cabling (lower cost, weight and less opportunity for failure), weight, power consumption, and cost, while at the same time providing unprecedented performance.

In 3d, the command architecture, conversion and DSP processing systems were all designed in concert with the clocking and transport architecture, resulting in a system with superior sound compared with external clocking systems costing tens of thousands of dollars.

The MHLink routing and transport architecture allows you to build a system with units up to 100 meters apart with no added latency. Audio and clock transport with up to 256 channels of audio (at 192k) is accomplished with light-weight, inexpensive, commodity Cat 5e cabling, that is available virtually anywhere on the planet 24/7. And yet, the entire system still appears to the host computer as a single unified interface.

What does this integration mean to you?

Rather than pay for duplicate case work, duplicate power supplies and redundant interconnects, you get a product where all the components are engineered to work together and everything you pay for is dedicated to providing functionality towards the execution of your task.

The benefits don’t stop there. By tuning all the functional blocks of the system and removing external interconnects, the LIO-8 provides enhanced performance and reduced chance of failure from external influences. Connectors and cables are all potential sources of failure and interference. By eliminating preamp to converter (when the optional ULN-R preamps are installed) and converter to interface cabling, these sources of cost and potential failure and interference are also eliminated. Internal operating levels within the box are tuned for optimal performance.

The LIO-8’s integrated design provides maximal performance with a minimum use of material and power.

LIO-8 Key Benefits at a Glance

  • Exceptional, Best–In–World, Archival Grade Converter Quality
  • Flexible, Integrated Analog-Domain Monitor Controller
  • Universal Sample Rate Support
  • Analog, AES, Ethernet, USB and EdgeCard Interfacing
  • Rock Solid Stability: Mature, Real-World-Tested Firmware, Software and Drivers
  • Hardware-based MHLink multi-unit unification network
  • Instant Access to Tactile Controls
  • Fully digital control for total recall, remote control and control surface support
  • Comprehensive Precision Metering — so you always know what is going on
  • Works with or without a Computer
  • Metric Halo’s Exclusive instantiable Character — from ultra clean to nice and gooey
  • Integrated ultra-low-latency instantiable processing with plenty of DSP power to run it
  • Optionally installable Exceptional, Boutique–Quality Mic Preamps
  • Most Compact, Lowest Weight, Lowest Power and Lowest Price in its Class

Suite Solution

With everything you need to record, mix, process, and master audio (just add your DAW of choice and transducers), the LIO-8 is your one-stop solution for recording, edit, mix and mastering suites. Even if you are using a DAW or recording system that does not support the LIO-8 Ethernet or USB interface, the unit’s standalone operation and standard AES and analog interface (and optional ADAT or MADI interfaces) allow you to use it as the Audio Front End and Monitor Controller for Pro Tools HD, standalone and PC based recording systems.

The LIO-8 Starts Where Other Interfaces End

All these features make for an impressive package, but we’re just beginning. The LIO-8 is built around Metric Halo’s 3d DSP platform, giving you the power to run a sophisticated mixer with up to 128 inputs and 64 busses across multiple boxes. Of course you can run plug-ins inside the box as well. It also includes a full +DSP license, giving you the ability to create powerful mixing, sound design and master plug-ins. Beauty and brains, all in 1RU.

At Home in Any Situation

LIO-8 is the perfect tool for capturing audio wherever inspiration hits, in the studio or on the road. Use 3 LIO-8s chained together for 24 tracks of live concert recording with processing on all channels in 3 rack spaces. Add more units if you need more channels. 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 console channel with one click of the mouse, and every input and bus 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 a full +DSP license that provides all the basic production processing you need — and more. And remember, this one rack space audio interface has the ability to run entirely from any DC power source (16V-24V), making it truly and completely mobile.

Organically Scalable

A unique feature of the Metric Halo 3d system is that MH’s interfaces work as well as a group as they do individually. Mix and match LIO-8 with ULN-8 3d, 2882 3d, and ULN-2 3d units to create a system that meets your needs for track count and preamp power. Adding a unit to the system automatically 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 3d 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 purely analog operation of the preamps (when the ULN-R preamps are installed) or and analog domain active split when operating at line-level.

As a standalone converter, the LIO-8 provides a 24bit/192kHz eight channel front-end for any recording system. Optionally, you can add up to 8 world-class boutique-quality ULN-R mic pres internally in the box. 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 the highest 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. Songwriters and engineers can use the LIO-8 to record and edit on the road, in the hotel, while traveling, or anywhere that inspiration strikes.

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.

Features in Detail

  • 8 Channels of Archival Grade 192k A/D converters
    • Exceptionally flat, low-distortion A/D conversion
    • DC-coupled for ultra-low phase distortion
  • 8 Channels of Archival Grade 192k D/A converters
    • Exceptionally flat, low-distortion D/A conversion
    • DC-coupled for ultra-low phase distortion
  • 2 Channels of Archival Grade 192k D/A converters with integrated headphone amp
    • Same high-quality DC-coupled conversion
    • Dedicated, digitally controlled high-power headphone amplifier
  • Optional: up to 8 Channels of Exceptional Remote Controllable Ultra-Low-Noise Clickless Preamps
    • Custom designed Digitally Controlled analog preamps
    • Metric Halo Zero-Cross switching technology for clickless operation
    • Discreet gain and trim stages for ultra-high headroom operation (supports +20 dBu input)
  • Analog Send/Return architecture for analog access to optional preamps (pre A/D)
    • Analog domain sends from preamps (mult’ed pre-A/D)
    • Analog only preamp operation capable (with fine trim)
    • Integrated switcher to allow insert of external analog processing pre-A/D
  • 2 Channels of Exceptional DI inputs suitable for instrument or turntable inputs
    • Ultra-High-Z for no instrument loading
    • Balanced or unbalanced operation
    • Jumper configurable pre-trim gain
  • Integrated Surround Monitor Controller
    • Provides switching between any set of user specified sources (Host, USB, AES, Analog, ADAT, MADI or Mix)
    • Analog domain gain control for monitor output from Front Panel or computer
    • Supports input and monitor paths from Mono to 7.1.4
  • 8 Channels of 192k capable AES Inputs and Outputs
    • Available as computer I/O or direct routed I/O for converters
    • Support full channel count at all sample rates
    • Professional interfacing
  • Comprehensive Front Panel Controls
    • Full support for standalone converter and (optional) preamp operation
      • Sample Rate selection
      • Clock source selection
      • Input source selection
      • Phantom power control
    • Tactile Control of Input and Output gains
      • Gain level indication with MH Digital Dual Vernier Technology
      • Numeric gain level indication while changing gains
    • Tactile Control Headphone level
    • Tactile Control Monitor Controller gain (mono - 7.1)
    • Preset recall
    • Multichannel gain linking control
    • Monitor Controller control surface
    • User-controllable brightness
    • User-controllable knob sensitivity
  • Comprehensive, High Resolution 15 Segment Precision Front Panel Metering
    • Real, functional metering for analog inputs and outputs
    • Unique ‘Meter on knob’ functionality
    • Multi-color signal level/presence metering for AES inputs and outputs
  • Comprehensive Clocking (Internal, Word Clock, AES)
  • Dedicated internal clock sources for all rates
  • Dedicated MIDI I/O
    • MIDI Input and Output on standard DIN connectors
    • MIDI transported to computer
  • Dedicated SMPTE LTC I/O for Timecode without sacrificing any audio channels
    • Properly conditioned and band-limited SMPTE I/O on TRS balanced connections
    • Available to any CoreAudio application as audio streams
    • Directly routable to Record Panel SMPTE decoder
  • Rock-solid, time-tested fifth-generation software and drivers
  • Integrated Mixing and Deep Instantiable DSP Processing (Includes Full +DSP License)
    • Fully configurable multibus mixer with surround support (up to 7.1)
    • Full Send/Return architecture
    • Ultra-low latency, on-the-metal monitoring
    • Insert model for inserting zero-latency plugins
    • Insertable +DSP plugin graphs for configurable processing
    • Insertable graph macros for complex, pre-configured processing
    • Includes over 100 high-quality processing plugins, including:
      • MIOStrip — channel strip processing
      • Dynamics (Compressor and Limiter)
      • Transient Controller
      • EQ (6 band and 12 band)
      • HaloVerb
      • Signal Processing primitives
      • Crossovers
      • and much more…
    • Per-channel and Per-bus Insertable Character™
  • MHLink Interfacing between boxes
  • Ethernet Interfacing to computer with MHLink Audio
    • Supports Mac OS X v. 10.8.5 and newer
  • Bidirectional Control Surface Support
    • Integrated Front Panel Tactile Controls
    • Eucon Control Surfaces
    • Mackie Control Protocol Control Surfaces
  • Integrated Multichannel Recorder (Record Panel)
    • Multichannel, multi-box tape-style high-performance recorder
    • Exceptional Stability and Sound Quality
    • Realtime waveform display
    • Extensive File Format support (BWF, WAVE, CAF, AIFF, SD2)
    • BWF time-stamping from TOD or LTC (any input channel or dedicated SMPTE input)
    • Support for basic BWF metadata
    • Support for limiting record file size and seamless file breaking
    • Seamless manual file breaking (with time-stamping)
    • Support for mirrored recording (recording to multiple drives at once)
    • Pre-roll/Pre-record
    • Dreamcatcher™ Level Based trigger
    • Timecode based trigger
    • Monophonic and polyphonic recording (determined by source strip width)
  • DC-Powerable
  • High quality, custom designed formed powder-coated aluminum case
    • Strong
    • Light weight
    • Scratch and fingerprint resistant
    • Smooth contours for snag-free transportation in a gig-bag
    • Rack-mountable with included rack-ear kit
  • Exceptional Power Performance (only 32 Watts)
  • Low mass (6 lbs / 2.7 kg)
  • Extremely Compact (everything in 1 RU)
  • Future Proof, Expandable, and software-enhanceable

  • Specifications

    Optional Preamp Rails ±15.8 Volts
    Analog Rails (low power) ±9.9 Volts
    Analog Rails (high power) ±12.6 Volts
    Phantom Power 48 ± 0.1 Volts
    Max Phantom Current Per Mic 10 ma
    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
    Optional Mic Pre Max Input +20 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
    Optional Mic Pre Input + ADC
    Input Impedance 3.3 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
    Gain Range -22 dB to +91.5 dB
    Gain Precision ±0.05 dB
    Gain Step 0.5 dB
    THD D/A/A/D loop @ -12 dBFS 0.0007 %
    THD D/A/A/D loop @ -12 dBFS +12 dB Gain 0.0015 %
    THD D/A/A/D loop @ -0 dBFS 0.0023 %
    Crosstalk @ 1kHz -110dB
    IMD 1k component (19 kHz/20kHz @ +8dBu) -104 dBu
    EIN @ 60 dB Gain (150Ω Source Impedance) -130.50 dBu
    EIN @ 60 dB Gain (0Ω Source Impedance) -133.25 dBu
    Analog Send Calibration (ADC = 0 dBFS) +21.5 dBu
    Phantom Power (Switchable Per Channel) +48 Volts
    Optional Mic Pre + ADC Frequency Response
    +0/-0.1dB @ fs = 44100 Hz 8.9 Hz - 20.5 kHz
    +0/-1.0dB @ fs = 44100 Hz 2.9 Hz - 21.0 kHz
    +0/-0.1dB @ fs = 96000 Hz 8.9 Hz - 43.9 kHz
    +0/-1.0dB @ fs = 96000 Hz 2.9 Hz - 45.4 kHz
    +0/-0.1dB @ fs = 192000 Hz 8.9 Hz - 42.1 kHz
    +0/-1.0dB @ fs = 192000 Hz 2.9 Hz - 64.7 kHz
    5° low-end in-channel phase deviation point 20.0 Hz
    Inter-channel phase 0 Hz - 20 kHz < ±0.05°
    Crosstalk from SMPTE Input < -142 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
    Inter-channel phase 0 Hz - 20 kHz < ±0.05°
    Crosstalk from SMPTE Input < -142 dB
    Input Processing
    M/S Decode Instantiable
    Parametric EQ Instantiable
    Dynamics Instantiable
    Limiting Instantiable
    Character Instantiable
    Transient Control Instantiable
    Reverb Instantiable
    Delay Instantiable
    Nearly Infinite Combinations via +DSP Instantiable
    Output Processing
    M/S Encode Instantiable
    Parametric EQ Instantiable
    Dynamics Instantiable
    Limiting Instantiable
    Character Instantiable
    Transient Control Instantiable
    Reverb Instantiable
    Dither Instantiable
    Mix Fold-down Instantiable
    Signal Generation Instantiable
    Nearly Infinite Combinations via +DSP Instantiable
    Front Panel
    Indicator LEDs (Bicolor) 495
    Meters 16
    Segments per Meter 15
    Channel Encoder Knobs 8
    Encoders Have Shaft Push Buttons 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 Defeat-able) 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
    Mic Input Connector (8 Channels) DB-25
    Mic Input Pinout Tascam/Digidesign Analog
    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
    MHLink Connectors (2) Transform coupled, Gigabit Ethernet RJ45
    USB Connector USB-C
    EdgeBus Slot Accepts MH EdgeCard expansion cards
    Power (Un-switched) 2.1mm Coaxial
    Power (Switched) 4-Pin XLR
    Security Slot Kensington
    Driver macOS CoreAudio
    Required macOS version 10.8.5 or newer
    Architectures Intel (64-bit)
    MIO Console 3d Included
    Record Panel Included
    LTC Decoder Included
    Mixer Included
    +DSP License Included
    Voltage 14v - 24v
    Power 32 Watts
    USB Bus Powerable No
    PoE Powerable No
    External Supply (Input) 100-240VAC
    External Supply (Max Input Current) 1.2 A
    External Supply (Output) 18 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

    What’s Included in the Package

    Each LIO-8 includes the following items:
    • One LIO-8 unit
    • One IEC Power Cord appropriate for your area
    • One 18-volt 60-watt world-ready external power supply
    • One 12” CAT5e Ethernet Cable
    • One 14’ CAT5e Ethernet Cable
    • One USB-A to USB-C Cable
    • Two Rack Ears w/ fasteners
    • Rubber feet
    • Configuration jumpers
    • Warranty/Registration Card

    Which interface is right for me?

    While all Metric Halo interfaces are multi-purpose, each has characteristics that make it shine in one use or another:

    • ULN-8 3d: Our top of the line, archival quality unit. The ULN-8 has the quality and features to handle the most demanding jobs. Perfect for everything from classical recording to the mastering suite, or any user that needs ultimate power and flexibility.
    • LIO-8 3d: All the audio quality of the ULN-8, minus the mic pres. Perfect for the editing suite, recording with your own pres or interfacing your analog console. In true MH style, the mics pres can be added in 4 channel groups if your needs change.
    • ULN-2 3d: Two channels of boutique quality mic pres in a small package. The ULN-2 is at home in the mastering studio as well as your home studio. Perfect for the discerning recordist who doesn’t require high channels counts but demands high quality and appreciates portability.
    • 2882 3d: Eight channels of analog I/O that fits in your backpack. The 2882 is clean without being pristine and packs a lot of power.

    Use the following table to see the notable differences between the interfaces.

    Feature ULN-8 3d LIO-8 3d ULN-2 3d 2882 3d
    Converter Technology 2nd Generation 2nd Generation 1st Generation 1st Generation
    Preamp Technology 3rd Generation Optional (1) 2nd Generation 1st Generation
    Analog Technology 3rd Generation 3rd Generation 2nd Generation 1st Generation
    DSP Technology 3rd Generation 3rd Generation 3rd Generation 3rd Generation
    Box-to-Box MHLink MHLink MHLink MHLink
    Computer Interface Ethernet/USB Ethernet/USB Ethernet/USB Ethernet/USB
    44.1k - 48k
    88.2k - 96k
    176.4k - 192k D/A & Digital D/A & Digital
    Channels of A/D 8 8 2 8
    Mic pres 8 0, 4, 8 (1) 2 8
    Gain 91.5 dB 91.5 dB (1) 72 dB 42 dB
    Jensen Option n/a n/a n/a
    Noise floor 117.9 dB 117.9 dB 110 dB 110 dB
    Insert points 8 0 (8 sends) 2 n/a
    Dedicated DIs 2 2 n/a n/a
    Metering 15 Segment Multicolor 15 Segment Multicolor 10 Segment
    Fixed Color
    10 Segment
    Fixed Color
    Channels of D/A 8
    4 8
    Output Control Digitally Controlled Analog Digitally Controlled Analog Analog (Monitor Outs), Digital (Analog Outs) Digital/Analog hybrid
    Output Control UI FP + Computer FP + Computer FP Only (Analog)
    Computer Only (Digital)
    Computer Only
    Monitor Controller Analog Domain Analog Domain Digital Domain Digital Domain
    AES Digital I/O 8 channels
    (single wire)
    8 channels
    (single wire)
    2 channels (2)
    via EdgeCard
    2 channels (2)
    via EdgeCard
    Optical Digital I/O via EdgeCard via EdgeCard 8 channels ADAT(3)
    or 2 Channels TOSLINK
    8 channels ADAT(3)
    or 2 Channels TOSLINK
    Wordclock I/O
    Multipurpose encoders 9 9 n/a n/a
    Tact Switches 7 7 2 (snapshot selection) 2 (Mute & Dim)
    Gain Control UI FP + Computer FP + Computer FP Only Computer Only
    Gain Control Encoder Encoder Switch/Pot Computer
    Gain Style Digitally Controlled Analog Digitally Controlled Analog Analog Digitally Controlled Analog
    3d Card
    Ultra-low Latency Mixer
    Basic DSP Plugin Bundle
    +DSP license
    Number of channels to/from Computer over USB 12 12 12 12
    Number of channels to/from Computer over Ethernet

    up to 128

    up to 128

    up to 128

    up to 128

    Bus powerable? No No No No
    DC powerable?
    Power Switch No No
    Audio I/O connectors DB-25 DB-25 XLR and TRS XLR and TRS
    SMPTE I/O n/a n/a
    MIDI I/O via EdgeCard via EdgeCard
    Dimensions 17" x 13" x 1.72"
    432 x 330 x 44 mm
    17" x 13" x 1.72"
    432 x 330 x 44 mm
    13.5” x 8.25” x 1.73”
    343 x 210 x 44 mm
    13.5" × 11" × 1.73"
    343 x 279 x 44 mm
    Weight 6 lbs
    2.7 kg
    6 lbs
    2.7 kg
    4 lbs
    1.8 kg
    4.5 lbs
    2 kg
    Suggested retail price $4495 $2995 $1595 $1795
    Early Access price $3195 $2495 $1395 $1595


    1: 4 or 8 channels of 3rd Generation ULN-R mic pres may be installed as a factory option or at a later time.
    2: AES and SPDIF active simultaneously and independently
    3: ADAT supports SMUX; operation supports up to 192 kHz with a corresponding reduction in channel count

    System Requirements

    • Any Mac that supports macOS 10.8.5 or newer with a 64-bit Intel Processor
    • One of:
      • USB port
      • Built-in Gigabit Ethernet Port
      • Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
      • Thunderbolt Dock with Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
      • USB3 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
      • PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Card


    • macOS 10.8.5 or newer required


    • All CoreAudio compliant software is compatible with Mobile I/O, including:
      • Cubase
      • Digital Performer
      • GarageBand
      • iTunes
      • Abelton Live
      • Logic
      • Studio One
      • Bitwig
      • Nuendo
      • PreMaster CD
      • soundBlade
      • WaveBurner
      • Pro Tools
      • Final Cut Pro
      • and hundreds more…