PxPixel
The Band Health's Score for Rockstar Games' Max Payne 3 Created with Metric Halo ULN-2 - AvNetwork.com

The Band Health's Score for Rockstar Games' Max Payne 3 Created with Metric Halo ULN-2

Author:
Publish date:

SAFETY HARBOR, FLORIDA: Gamers and indie music fans alike are eagerly awaiting the release of Rockstar Games' Max Payne 3. Gamers are excited because Max Payne 3 represents the latest in the tremendously popular series, which has sold over 7.5 million copies and garnered numerous awards. Indie music fans are excited because Rockstar Games contracted Los Angeles' groundbreaking noise pop band HEALTH to craft its original score. Individuals who count themselves in both categories are, of course, watching the game's May release date very closely, as are the members of HEALTH, who are presently blessed and cursed with the soaring creative frenzies that tight deadlines tend to inspire. As a useful tool in capturing the magic of those frenzies, HEALTH has chosen to rely on a Metric Halo ULN-2 interface for much of the tracking and all of the mixing and monitoring.

The premise of the game is that Max Payne is trying to put his troubled past behind him (per games 1 and 2) by taking a job as head of security for a wealthy family in São Paulo, Brazil. But trouble follows the world-weary ex-cop, and he is again given cause to shoot - and be shot at - by many, many people. "Max Payne's story is dark and somber," explained Jupiter Keyes, HEALTH's keyboardist, effects artist, and many other things. "Our band's aesthetic is in line with that. So working on a game like Max Payne 3 makes sense for us. It's really not that much of a stretch." Rockstar Games supplied the band with video captures of the game's various levels to inspire the right feel for each track. In addition, the band is recording bonus tracks for inclusion on the game's soundtrack, which will be available as part of a special edition package.

Depending on needs and availability, the band splits its time between its own project studio, Vox Recording Studio (the studio of Woody Jackson, who composed the score for Red Dead Redemption), and Keyes' home studio. The band has no formal songwriting structure. All four members play integral roles in songwriting, performance and production. As per its agreement with Rockstar Games, HEALTH is responsible for producing, writing, recording, arranging, and mixing everything, and according to Keyes, all of those various activities are happening simultaneously.

"Workflow demands are heavy and turnaround needs to be quick, so the most efficient means for completing a level changes from one situation to the next," he said. "It's often a process of discovery as well, sometimes we'll be recording something that was pre-written and we know exactly how we want it used within the game. Other times, we'll be recording as part of the writing process and - through extensive editing - the piece becomes a finished product. Basically, we just do what works in the moment."

When an advance came through to help HEALTH deliver a polished final product, Keyes called on his friend, Jonathan Snipes of LA-based Captain Ahab. "He's a soundtrack composer, performance artist, producer, and all around tech whiz so I knew he'd have an opinion on must-have gear," Keyes explained. "I hadn't heard of Metric Halo at the time, but it was the only instance where his unequivocal advice was that I should not bother with anything else." The band is tracking and mixing the project on Logic 9.

Keyes is abundantly pleased with his decision. "With the Metric Halo ULN-2, I'm past the 'what if I only had that one' syndrome now. There are no more excuses. I've got great, clean preamps, mastering-grade conversion, and routing flexibility that none of the other manufacturers can touch as far as I'm aware. The flexibility of MIO Console [the software that controls the ULN-2] stands out. With MIO Console, I can do things faster and more efficiently than I could with any other interface. The possibilities might exceed some people's needs, but personally I love that as a starting point."

Of course, one of HEALTH's trademarks is jaw-dropping sound manipulation of the sort that makes one ponder the musical distinctions that our culture has propped up between beautiful and ugly... between entrancing and repelling. Like an Escher illustration, it's impossible to understand how you get from one moment to the next in a HEALTH song, and yet, there you are. To make that happen, the band relies on a gigantic bag of tricks that contains, among many other things, Boss effects pedals, bent circuits, and, now, the +DSP capability of the Metric Halo ULN-2. "Being able to send audio through the Metric Halo +DSP plug-ins and back into the DAW without latency is a dream for me," said Keyes. "It allows me to use the effects for creative, as well as functional, purposes when writing, recording or mixing. I also have to comment on the built-in HaloVerb. It sounds amazing."

Although HEALTH isn't going to wiggle so much as an inch from its workflow until Max Payne 3 is done, the next purchase on the horizon is an eight-channel Metric Halo ULN-8 for expanded multi-tracking use as they record their upcoming third album.

ABOUT METRIC HALO
Now based in the sunny city of Safety Harbor, Florida, Metric Halo provides the world with high-resolution metering, analysis, recording and processing solutions with award-winning software and future-proof hardware.

www.mhlabs.com

For more information on HEALTH visit: http://www.rockstargames.com/maxpayne3/videos/?video=8671

And to learn more about Max Payne 3 visit:
http://www.rockstargames.com/maxpayne3/videos/?video=8671

Related

Image placeholder title

Examining Metrics, Part 2

Even though digital signage in the retail space is not a mature market, we’ve already seen the establishment of some assumptions among end users.

Image placeholder title

Know The Score

AV Is A Major Player In Large Stadium Projects The national economy’s apparent gradual recovery from a long and deep recession is obviously a welcome development. But for AV integrators, consultants, and manufacturers, things haven’t been all bad: while hardly recession-proof, the recent wave of stadium pr

Image placeholder title

Analog Activist Mixer Jeff Juliano on Metric Halo’s Channelstrip

Although he started out his career as both a recording engineer and a mix engineer, Jeff Juliano has since heeded his passion and focused his talents to become a mix engineer exclusively. These days, Juliano works out of a state-of-the-art home studio, where he has amassed a collection of analog outboard processors that find their way into almost every mix he does. And although he feels that most plug-ins can’t compete with the analog processing at his disposal, there is one that does: Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip.

Metric Halo Offers Free Upgrade to Mobile IO Software

Metric Halo, maker of pro audio interfaces, announces a significant upgrade to its Mobile I/O software, which is freely available for download at the company's website, www.mhlabs.com . The MIO Console software, which runs on a Macintosh computer, provides a virtual console that configures and controls all internal r