Focusrite RedNet: An Ethernet Interface Revolution

rednet1-w-dante-card Focusrite has really impressed the world in terms of live performance and studio work with the RedNet systems. With some of the most highly regarded preamps that can withstand up to 119 dB, and converters that give major companies of higher price tags a run for their money, there is no doubt that Focusrite RedNet will be taking over the world in terms of audio solutions. RedNet is an interface, or a set of interfaces (up to 512 inputs and outputs) controlled via Dante Network. Focusrite offers a superior Dante card for use in the RedNet systems. However, now available is a virtual Dante card download using the Ethernet port that you already have on your computer! The download is available here. There are a few drawbacks to this budget-friendly system though. As compared to the physical card, there is roughly twice as much latency (about 6ms) in the virtual card. Also, instead of 128 channels of audio, there are only 64 available. In a home/project/small studio, typically, this is not an issue. However, for serious tracking in professional studios, the physical PCI card is a neccesity. There are 14 different types of RedNet systems. I will not be going over all of them or this would be a novel rather than an article. However, we will cover the basis of the most common systems to consumers. RedNet 1 (pictured above) is quite simply and 8-channel interface that you can connect to your Dante card. With this Ethernet connection, you can easily control the preamps and have instantly stunning results. RedNet 4 is comprised of the same 8 world-class boutique microphone preamps, but is controllable via MIDI. Most Pro Tools control surfaces and any MIDI controller capable of sending MIDI control change (CC) messages can be programmed to control the preamps, high pass filters, phantom power and more! The best part is, the next time you open that same session, all of the gain and preamp settings will be saved exactly how you left them. 2-3Quarter-Software-Cable RedNet 2, as used by Chris Lord-Alge, is a 16-channel A/D-D/A converter that can send audio anywhere in your network at near-zero latency. CLA raves about the sonic characteristics of these highly defined RedNet systems and has used them in hundreds of mixes you hear on the radio. He states, "if the sound wasn't there, this would not be a discussion." RedNet 3 does something similar. It is a means to transfer 32 digital channels, even at a 96k sample rate, to anywhere in the network. RedNet 5, another CLA favorite, is a Pro Tools bridge for HD and HDX systems. Each 2U rack piece offers 32-channel of I/O and can be put into a chain of 5 units. That's 192 channels of audio at 96k sample rate! REDNET_AM2_3quart_left Last for today, but certainly not least, we have the AM2. This is a bus powered (via ethernet) stereo monitor controller with a High-Z headphone amplifier as visible on the front of the unit. On the back of the unit, there are two ethernet ports to allow a second device to be integrated in the system. This will ease up any cabling situation saving space, and potentially money in the process. With sample rates up to 96k and a microphone stand mount built right in, it makes this controller a no-brainer to add to your system. These are not currently in-stock anywhere, but they will be shipping soon. We also take pre-orders, so give us a call and we can set something up! We have a few pre-orders already, so don't miss the boat! As always, enjoy FREE shipping on every order in the continental US. Aside from the brand new RedNet systems, we also have some B-stock units that include a full manufacture warranty and were fully tested. Grab them up for a discount while they are still available! For more information on Focusrite's superb RedNet audio systems, check out their website here.

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