The Bachelor of Music in Recording and Production at the Lamont School, part of the University of Denver in Colorado, has been the winner of four Downbeat Student Music Awards between 2006 and 2009 for Best Engineered Studio Recordings, and it also won second-place honors in the 2008 Shure Fantastic Scholastic recording competition.
Headed by associate professor Michael Schulze, the program has just embarked on a series of technical upgrades, using Focusrite RedNet Dante-networked audio converters and interfaces to move its recording capabilities fully into a networked infrastructure.
The first phase of the networked expansion saw the school add a RedNet 1 eight channel A-D/D-A interface, three RedNet 5 Pro Tools HD bridges, five RedNet AM2 stereo audio monitoring units, six RedNet MP8R 8-channel mic pre and A/D converters and a RedNet 4 eight-channel mic preamp.
Plans are underway to see an additional two batches of RedNet products brought on board, all sourced through Denver-area pro audio dealer Wind Over the Earth.
“RedNet is just what our program needed,” says Schulze, describing recording spaces that include two auditoriums seating 1,000 people and multiple smaller rooms, which all need to be connected to the school’s control room and to each other.
The school already had an IT network with substantial bandwidth; what RedNet offered (along with Dante) was the optimum way for the music production program’s facilities to tap into it. “We only had 24 channels of copper, and we outgrew those quickly,” he recalls. “So RedNet was our way to move signal transport to a network.”
Schulze concedes he was hesitant at first about committing completely to a networked solution, but once RedNet was plugged in, he was amazed at not only how efficient it was but how reliable, too.
“I never thought I’d say this, but the network reliability has been way better than analog,” he says. “I was expecting the Dante network to be temperamental, to say the least. But it turns out that analog can be way more temperamental. The RedNet and Dante combination hasn’t given us a single hiccup, and we’ve already used it on a 56-channel orchestral project.
“The converters sound better than the ones we’d been using on our console. And the students think it’s cool, while it’s also setting them up for what they’ll find in the places they go to work in later. RedNet’s been a revolution for us — a very good one, and it got here just in time to let us tackle more high-channel count projects.”