Renowned studio engineer Matthew Noble has taken stock of Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip Plug-In, citing the product as one of the most valuable pieces of gear among his studio set-up.
With an engineering client list that includes Rihanna, Diana King, Southside Johnny and Rod Stewart to name but a few, Noble now conducts most of his work from the Loft Studios in Bronxville, New York and in the newly renovated Riverworks Recording in Dobbs Ferry, New York. His recent work with the musical Big River and gospel artist Rell Holland & Experience allowed him to put the ChannelStrip through its paces.
“I tried Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip because some other people that I respect were using it,” explained Noble. “My friend Keith Brown, who is a well-known Nashville songwriter, was working on a project with Billie Decker, who is one of the hottest mix engineers in country music. Keith’s enthusiasm for the plug-in, together with his revelation that Billie uses it ‘all over the place,’ was enough to motivate me to check it out.”
Riverworks Recording offers a vast, acoustically optimised space, which has changed the way both Noble and his clients/colleagues approach the recording process. “So much of my work there has involved tracking live instruments, as opposed to the ‘virtual players’ that live inside our modern computers,” he said. “While it’s been a refreshing change, it has also brought with it challenges. For example, getting a great drum sound and a great overall mix with the new expectations for how long things take these days is not easy. ChannelStrip has been very helpful because all the functions that I need to access quickly are all in one plug-in. These include the less ‘sexy’ functions, such as phase reverse and multiple trims, in addition to full-blown and flexible dynamics and equalisation. Having everything in one plug-in has greatly improved my workflow.”
Noble was also keen to highlight the Plug-In’s presets, adding: “The ChannelStrip presets are a great starting point. They’re especially useful in a time crunch, when the client is breathing down your neck. The acoustic guitar and drum presets are often spot on, right out of the gate. When I tweak, the informative GUI lets me know exactly what I’m doing.”