Red Net Delivers Results
Music Technology students at Capital University were tasked with recording the school’s symphonic wind ensemble. The ensemble recorded 3 pieces. To accomplish this task, the normal method would have been to set up all the microphones in the concert hall, plug in the XLR cables into very old wall panels, and patch the signals to Studio A, which is down the hall and around the corner. However, since the copper cabling is so old (and probably rat food within the hallowed walls) it had become inefficient to continue to use this method for recording high quality sources. Many of the input channels on the wall were either noisy, or no longer worked at all. This was problematic when many channels are needed to record large ensembles in the concert hall. Luckily, the University had just recently purchased a RedNet system by Focusrite. Red Net allows the transmission of high quality audio over Ethernet cables, which are relatively inexpensive. Music Tech major Matt Heim said “Instead of having a million cable runs and patches everywhere, you only have one Ethernet cable running down the hall into the studio from the mobile Red Net rack. It is a much more robust and dependable system than relying on traditional copper wiring.” The interface is all digital, meaning that preamp control, phantom power, and pads are all controlled via a computer program called Red Net Control. In addition, Input and output channels on the Red Net rack can be routed virtually anywhere using a virtual patch program called Dante Controller. The recording session went very smoothly, with extremely clean mic signals and excellent levels. The Decca Tree technique was used, and a few spot mics within the ensemble. Heim said “The best part about the system is how easy it is to set up. Once the Ethernet cable is plugged in, all the components automatically sync together without the need to troubleshoot clocking, sample rate, etc.” The students can conclude that Red Net makes for a very convenient live recording rig, but will it begin to infiltrate the isolated environments of recording studios? With its easy set-up, accessible virtual patching, and cheap cost of Ethernet cabling, one would certainly hope so.
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