A Case Study On Using A Focusrite Rednet System In Education

04-14-2014 07:00 PM

Recently James reviewed the Focusrite Rednet range in his studio and pointed out it wasn’t best suited to his setup. Community member Neil Martin, who wrote a series on how to install Pro Tools in labs and also a tip about securing iLoks too, reached out to us to describe how he uses Rednet in the institution where he works.
Regarding Wes Mitchell’s question about Rednet in podcast 111, I just wanted to share how I use it in the institution I work for.
We use Rednet to provide multi channel audio recording from our large theatre spaces to a control room running a Pro Tools HDX system. We have 3 theatre spaces in total and can use Rednet with any one of them as what is basically a large live room.
This gives us a lot of versatility, from allowing a large ensembles to be recorded, all the way to multi-tracking the direct-outs of our 24 channel Allen and Heath console straight into Pro Tools during a live gig.
We own a Rednet 2 (16 line in/out), Rednet 4 (8 mic/line) in and Rednet 5 (Pro Tools HD bridge).
The Rednet 2 and 4 are installed in a rolling rack case that is set up in the theatre studio we want to use. It provides a total of 24 inputs and 16 outputs to Pro Tools.
The Rednet 5 is installed in our Pro Tools HDX control room and sits aside a HD I/O interface, with the HD I/O being set as Loop Sync Master. The Rednet 5 forgets its slave status every time it’s switched on, which if ignored, causes audible pops and clicks whilst trying to record or playback through it. A bit of a pain having to set it every time but that’s the only gripe I have with the system as a whole.
We use a Cisco SG200-08 managed gigabit switch, tweaked with Focusrite’s recommended settings, to connect everything together. It’s installed in the rolling rack with Rednet 2 and 4, so that we only have the one ethernet cable to plug into the wall at that end.
Using screen sharing/VNC, it’s even possible to operate Pro Tools in the control room remotely via a laptop in the theatre space being used for recording.
Overall, I find Rednet to be very stable and the versatility it gives us by being able to instantly turn any number of spaces we have into what are basically big live rooms, is awesome.
Thanks Neil for taking the time to explain how Rednet can be used in a larger setting.