Audio Program at University of Miami Employs Focusrite RedNet Connectivity

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The University’s highly regarded professional audio program recently wrapped a year-long renovation of its studio, which now has a control room featuring three high-end audio consoles all connected via RedNet units, allowing students and other users instant access to any configuration

Los Angeles, CA – The Music Engineering Technology program at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music is regarded as a pioneer in the arena of academically based audio production programs. Since 1975, the program there has set the standard by which the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) accredits other such programs around the United States. Alumni of the program, including Will Lee, Bruce Hornsby, Steve Morse and Jon Secada, have contributed significantly to the music and audio industries. Much of the program revolves around the L. Austin Weeks Recording Studio, one of the best academic recording studios in the world, where students participate fully in the maintenance, modification, installation, and design of all systems.

After a yearlong renovation, the studio’s control room now houses three cutting-edge audio consoles: a 48-channel SSL AWS948 with Delta Mix, a 32-channel API 1608, and an Avid S6. And what connects all three consoles and the studio’s remarkable array of outboard processors is an entire ecosystem of Focusrite RedNet Dante™-networked audio interfaces consisting of 14 RedNet 2 16-channel analog I/O interfaces, two RedNet 4 units with eight channels of remote-controlled Focusrite mic preamps each, and two RedNet 5 bridges for Pro Tools HD®. The upgrade, which began at the end of the spring 2015 semester and was completed just in time for the fall 2016 semester, keeps the University of Miami’s program and studio at the leading edge of audio technology. The RedNet systems were purchased through leading professional audio retailer Parsons Audio.

“The idea behind having three consoles in the same control room is that it offers students and other users an incredible range of options for sound, for processing, and for moving between analog and digital systems,” explains Chris Palowitch, the studio’s Production Engineer in charge of the studio’s management, scheduling, maintenance and design. “All of our microphone preamp outputs and outboard processing gear ins and outs run directly into the RedNet and Dante system, which is digitally patched through Dante Controller on our Mac Pro. RedNet has made patching simple and reliable between all of our major platforms, but just as importantly it’s also part of a strategy that gives students experience on systems and products that they’re going to be using in their professional careers. RedNet and Dante are already in wide use throughout the pro audio world, and they’re seeing wider use all the time.”

Palowitch continues, “We are extremely critical of converter sound quality as we want to match the audio quality of our high-end analog consoles. The RedNet 2 converters are impressive in their ability to handle the signal headroom with pristine audio quality in line with the best converters on the market.”

Rick Scott, Sales Engineer at Parsons Audio, concurs with that assessment, especially in the education sector. “I’ve been seeing RedNet consistently getting more traction in schools,” he says, citing recent large sales to the Berklee College of Music, the New England Conservatory of Music and others. “We’re seeing RedNet being fully embraced by educators, because it’s so widely used in the pro audio industry now and because it’s so reliable.” For Palowitch, RedNet is pro audio’s magic bullet. “It’s been the perfect solution for so many reasons,” he says. “It ties this studio together.”

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