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NEC Extends RedNet AoIP Network

The path to audio-over-IP at Boston’s acclaimed New England Conservatory (NEC) began in Jordan Hall.

Los Angeles, CA—The path to audio-over-IP at Boston’s acclaimed New England Conservatory (NEC) began in Jordan Hall with the installation of a Dante-enabled Focusrite RedNet system that has since extended into other performance spaces.

NEC installed its first RedNet system in January 2014, replacing an aging analog system. Lisa Nigris, head of the AV Services department, recalls, “The first Dante units that went into NEC were Focusrite RedNet 1 (8-channel A-D/D-A converters), RedNet 3 (32-channel digital I/O), RedNet 4 (8-channel microphone preamps) and RedNet PCIe cards, all from the first generation of the RedNet range. When this first installation was completed, we were all very impressed with the results.”

Since then, the team has expanded the size and capabilities of the network in multiple phases. Nigris’ team comprises four professional recording engineers whose day-to-day tasks include recording NEC and rental concerts, supervising 23 student engineers on student recital recordings, mixing operatic performances, and providing FOH and live recording production services for the many ticketed concerts that take place after school hours.

Related: Colorado Studio Leaps from Analog to Digital, Nov. 29, 2018

RedNet units were subsequently installed in the other performance spaces within the wider Jordan Hall building, including Brown Hall, the Keller Room and others. Burnes Hall and Eben Jordan share a single RedNet 4, which powers their permanently installed hanging mics and makes them available on the Dante network.

The team is currently considering the pending expansion into video that Audinate promises with Dante AV—functionality that would be the missing puzzle piece to video capabilities that already take advantage of the audio-over-IP network. “Things are getting easier in terms of how much infrastructure you need to support video,” remarks engineer Hannah Antolin. “All of our video is going over IP into our recordings. It’s just not using Dante yet.”

RedNet at the Heart of an Expanding Dante System, by Chris Mayes-Wright, Focusrite Pro

The team creates HD video archives with embedded 24-bit/48 kHz audio using software that marries the video from permanently installed cameras with audio from RedNet 4 or MP8R mic preamps in each room, via Dante Virtual Soundcard.

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