Focusrite’s RedNet range of Ethernet-networked studio interfaces has radically changed the workflow for noted sound designer/artist Dean Martin Hovey.
As the owner of Soundwell.tv, Hovey has created sound for projects including films (Kids for Cash, The Being Experience, American History X, the Austin Powers series), commercials (Coca-Cola, Nike, Adidas, Budweiser, Pepsi, Infiniti and Porsche), sound art installations (NOMA- New Orleans) and themed entertainment for Warner Bros, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens and the Hershey’s Chocolate Factory, to name a few.
Hovey has found that RedNet can add tremendous flexibility and portability to how he works. In the four months since he acquired his RedNet units – five RedNet 2 16-channel A-D/D-A converters, a RedNet 4 with eight remotely controlled Focusrite mic preamps, and a pair of RedNet 5 HDX interfaces, all sourced through Vintage King in Los Angeles – Hovey has used these components to streamline his workflow and increase both throughput and creativity.
For instance, he uses the RedNet units to connect as many as 80 sound sources and play and record all of them simultaneously.
“Every piece of gear I own is connected through its own discrete I/O through the RedNet system, and I can record them all to three separate computers simultaneously – usually one for Pro Tools, one for Logic and one for Ableton Live,” he explains. “It’s very extreme.
“For example, I can play a single keyboard and light up every synth output at the same time – that’s 64 analog voices. From there, I can use seemingly unconnected sounds together in a related way. Sounds that are totally in sync and follow the same resonance with one other. That lets me put together some very aggressive-sounding combinations which I might not have been able to discover and combine otherwise. I’ve been able to create some very interesting design palates that way.
Hovey has also turned two of the RedNet HD/HDX interfaces and one of the RedNet 2 A-D/D-A converters into a highly efficient and effective portable unit.
“I can use an HD or HDX card, the RedNet PCIe card, or just plug them directly into the back of a computer using a virtual sound card,” he explains. “That’s how versatile RedNet is.”
He’s traveled with this configuration to locations ranging from Stage A at the Audio Head mix facility in Hollywood to the Universal Studio’s back lot, where he installed both sound and mix for the Inception attraction for last year’s Halloween Horror Nights V.I.P. tour.
“I’m able to do all creative sound production and pre-dubs in studio, then take the system to the location and plug them in through RedNet and accurately recreate the exact sound I created the studio in any other venue, from stages to stadiums.
“The environments can change but the sound of my work through RedNet never does. I can put this box under my arm and take it anywhere with complete confidence that it will sound just as it was designed in studio.”
Hovey’s is a particularly large RedNet system – at the moment it’s the largest one owned by an individual – he says what it really has done is simplified his creative life.
“The workflow is more efficient – I can get more done on a quicker step – I can also work more creatively than ever before, because RedNet makes things simpler. It’s an amazing system.”