Bruce Somers is the co-founder two decades ago of the industrial-rock band Kidneythieves; a successful recording studio and post-production facility designer and builder, including his own new Undercurrent studio in Los Angeles and a new facility for six-time Grammy Award nominee producer Ron Fair in Nashville; and the founder and president of Strategic Information Resources, an audio, video and IT systems consulting firm.
Somers knows how to streamline things without cutting corners on quality, and for him that approach often involves the implementation of technology from Focusrite, including Red interfaces and the RedNet range of Dante-networked audio converters and interfaces.
Undercurrent is Somers’ Los Angeles studio space, and spans from the upper floor, where he records and does project mixing and mastering, to the basement, where he built a drum isolation room and an amp-rack closet. All of that is connected, simply and effectively, with a Dante network employing RedNet and Red interfaces, replacing literally miles of copper cabling from his previous studio with a few strands of Cat-6 cable.
A Red 8Pre 64-In / 64-Out Thunderbolt 2 and Pro Tools | HD compatible audio interface is the studio’s hub, using native Dante compatibility to network audio to Somers’ Pro Tools system. A RedNet X2P 2×2 Dante audio interface allows him to move about the facility, easily taking the interface with him and tapping into the various acoustical environments in the space.
“I have a 200-foot Ethernet cable, so I can literally go anywhere in the place and be ready to work,” he says. And that drum room? The RedNet AM2 stereo audio monitoring unit lets him monitor from there or anywhere there’s an Ethernet port (which, in the house of an IT expert like Somers, is pretty much everywhere).
“RedNet has completely changed the way I work,” says Somers. “I pulled out everything that was in the studio before — analogue wiring, a big console and its furniture, four big racks — and replaced that with a small fraction of the cable and one 20-space rack, and it’s all built around RedNet. Now, I have a ton less gear but I have much more flexible patching and the ability to work anywhere, anyway I want.”
Somers says RedNet’s economic benefits are as important as its ergonomic ones; he says he’s saving not only on the costs of much more analog cabling but also on the maintenance of it. “Analog cables and contacts break down and degrade — you have to troubleshoot and then replace them, which takes time and money,” he says. “With RedNet, I went from four cable conduits to one skinny one, and I have even more I/O than I did before. It’s transformed my workflow. RedNet gets everything everywhere — it’s that simple. It has sped up the workflow and enhanced creativity. My studio and the studios that I design are built around RedNet.”