Focusrite's RedNet technology is being implemented in a diverse range of applications, including the front-of-house rig for The Killers' current world tour.
From single-unit laptop recording setups to multi-room studio environments, RedNet is proving to be a popular audio interface system. For The Killers' rig, a RedNet 1 eight-channel A-D/D-A, and RedNet 4 eight-channel mic preamp perform a number of duties for systems engineer Philip Reynolds (pictured). He made the decision to use RedNet in order to maintain the audio within the digital domain – A-D conversion takes place side-stage as soon as the mics plug into the stagebox – for as long as possible before conversion to analogue.
His key responsibility is to set up the tour's sound system to perform as well as possible. To do this, Reynolds uses audio analysis software coupled with a reference mic, to match the sound system response as closely as possible to the output of the front-of-house desk. RedNet handles all his inputs and outputs to facilitate the process. RedNet 1 routes audio to and from the test system, but also to the FOH desk for house music playout and the drones that are used during the show's encore. This material comes from a pair of Mac Minis – one primary and one backup – which all connect to the RedNet network using the Dante Virtual Soundcard (DVS) driver. RedNet also handles the press and video feeds, as well as any venue needs.
For his test rig, Reynolds was impressed by the RedNet 4's preamp performance, having previously used the on-board preamps in a conventional Firewire audio interface. "I was blown away. The RedNet 4’s preamp is flat, and the phase coherence is perfect," he commented.
Because Reynolds uses his own gear on tour, rather than rental equipment, the RedNet system represents a significant personal investment. "Because it's mine, I know it works and that I'm going to have it where I go," he said. "RedNet does everything I want it to do, and the expandability is endless with this setup. I rely on my system 100 per cent, and it just works."
Over time, Reynolds intends to expand his RedNet system with an additional RedNet 1 and a RedNet 3 digital I/O, the latter of which will enable him to drive the front-of-house PA from the RedNet network. “RedNet units have allowed me to design a system to bring a fully digital system on the front end. With the RedNet 3 providing primary digital connection and RedNet 1 acting as my analogue backup, we can bring the latency down and keep the quality of audio the same, which has been a goal of mine for the last year,” he concluded.
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