Focusrite RedNet Installed at Cedar Valley College

by Naomi Crews
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Cedar Valley College’s recording and mixing studio, featuring an arsenal of Focusrite RedNet interfaces. Photo courtesy of Steve Browne/Cedar Valley College. © 2015.Cedar Valley College recently installed a Focusrite RedNet networked multi-channel audio network from its theatre to its recording and mixing studio.

Focusrite RedNet Connects Theater and Studio at Cedar Valley College in Lancaster, TX

Networked multichannel audio from the college’s concert hall to its recording and mixing studio allows real-time interaction for the recording and mixing of performances, as well as allowing for archiving

The college’s Professor of Recording Technology views Dante™ networking with Focusrite RedNet interfaces as an industry standard that his students will be working on when they enter the industry after graduation

Los Angeles, California, April 22, 2015 – Cedar Valley College, part of the Dallas County Community College District, in Lancaster, Texas, is not only a highly regarded institution of higher learning, but it’s also a locus of community activity. The school’s Performance Hall provides quality theatrical entertainment, education and cultural enrichment for both the college and the wider community it serves. The school also has a four-semester audio production program, where students learn music production in a state-of-the-art recording studio working with leading product platforms including an SSL AWS 900 digital console and Avid Pro Tools|HD. Now, the performances that the theater hosts can be recorded and mixed in real time in the studio thanks to the installation of Focusrite RedNet components serving an extensive Dante™ audio networking infrastructure. Three RedNet 4 remote-controlled Focusrite mic preamps and one RedNet 5 Pro Tools|HD interface help provide a solid digital connection between the theater and the studio, creating a synergy that enhances the usefulness of both spaces.

The RedNet system was sold and installed by Audio DAWg, an AV systems integrator in nearby Irving, Texas. Company Owner Spunky Brunone says the RedNet system was the ideal solution for the school. “RedNet was the perfect way to connect the theater and the studio,” he says. “It’s simple yet very robust and reliable. Plus, we are able to take the RedNet units out of the building they normally reside in and use them elsewhere on campus to route audio.” 

That, says Steve Browne, Professor of Recording Technology at Cedar Valley College, greatly expands how students can learn audio production, as well as giving students the opportunity to work on the same networking platform that is becoming an industry standard. “With the growing adoption of Dante networking and RedNet components in facilities all over, familiarity with the gear will give them an advantage in the competitive job market,” he says. 

And it’s how RedNet enhances the interaction between studio and theater that most excites Browne. “We were investigating ways to be able to record our weekly live recital series here at Cedar Valley College in a multitrack format, and I wanted to do more than just hook up a laptop next to the live console in the Performance Hall without having to run all that copper overhead and mess with all those headaches,” he explains. “So I looked at several options, and the Focusrite RedNet system quickly became the standout. Ultimately, we ended up with three RedNet 4 Mic Preamp units being fed from an analog splitter off the main stage snake. They in turn feed a RedNet 5 in our Studio A Pro Tools|HD room, which shows up in the I/O as two more 192’s. We elected to run a dedicated Ethernet line between the two rooms, and now we have a perfect setup, and coupled with a laptop, we now also have a 24-track remote recording rig that we can take anywhere to do multitrack recordings. This adds another dimension to what students can learn here, which, of course, is the end goal.” Browne also lauded the support he’s received from Focusrite’s customer service reps and from Audio DAWg, noting how that reinforced what he says was a great decision to go with RedNet. 

Brunone says he’s seeing Dante and RedNet become the choice for audio networking at more educational institutions. “Networked audio is not the future — it’s the present,” he says. “It’s here now and schools are realizing that they have to be able to let their students work in that environment, and RedNet is the simplest and most cost-effective way to create that environment.”

RedNet is Focusrite’s flagship range of modular Ethernet-networked audio interfaces that harnesses the power of Audinate’s tried and tested Dante digital audio networking system to bring studio quality sound to any modern audio application. Fundamentally RedNet is an extremely scalable, near zero latency audio distribution system that can be used to expand I/O channel count, interface digital components, and/or bridge between Pro Tools|HD or MADI and the Dante audio network.