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Nashville’s Montgomery Bell Academy Adds Focusrite To New Facility

Instructor Ray Kennedy equips the school’s recording classroom/lab with Dante-based RedNet interfaces.

Ray Kennedy has leveraged a successful career as a Nashville songwriter, country-music artist, into recording engineer and record producer, working on records for artists including Steve Earle, Billy Joe Shaver and John Mellencamp.

Kennedy in now the primary instructor and force behind the newly built recording classroom/lab at Montgomery Bell Academy’s new audio-production facility, where he utilizes Audinate’s Dante protocol and Focusrite‘s RedNet range of Dante-networked audio converters and interfaces to create a truly interactive teaching/learning environment.

The lab, which Kennedy carved out of a space directly underneath the school’s 1,000-seat performance auditorium, utilizes the following RedNet components: a RedNet A16R 16-channel analog I/O interface; 18 RedNet AM2 stereo audio monitoring units; and a RedNet MP8R eight-channel mic pre and A/D converter.

“Using RedNet, the students and I are in a two-way environment – one where I can monitor them as a class and individually – which really helps deepen the engagement between us,” explains Kennedy, who takes a hands-on approach to his role.

He can monitor from his teaching station any of the six fully-loaded Apple iMac workstations in the classroom and listen through the RedNet AM2 as students individually work on their own assignments. Kennedy is then able to critique and offer advice/suggestions regarding the students’ work.

Also, in addition to recording from the tracking studio, RedNet allows the ability for remote recording from the auditorium upstairs or any of the networked locations across the school’s campus.

“Using RedNet, the students and I are constantly interacting, teaching and learning, and doing so using a variety of spaces and environments, which really broadens their horizons as they learn about acoustics as well as the technical aspects of recording,” he says. “This kind of learning and teaching is a shared experience, and we can achieve that using RedNet.”

Students are also learning what quality audio sounds like, Kennedy adds, noting the Focusrite mic pre’s used in the MP8R. “No other system can offer the kind of sound quality, interoperability and flexibility of operation that the RedNet system can,” he says. “That’s why it’s a great teaching and learning tool, and that’s why we have it here at Montgomery Bell Academy.”

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