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Vox Media Reacts to Coronavirus With RedNet

When the pandemic struck, Miles Ewell of Vox Media outfitted all of the company's podcast voice talent with flypacks that included Focusrite gear.

Miles Ewell’s home gear setup, featuring a Focusrite Red 4Pre 58-In / 64-Out Thunderbolt™ 2 and Pro Tools | HD™ compatible audio interface
Miles Ewell’s home gear setup, featuring a Focusrite Red 4Pre 58-In / 64-Out Thunderbolt™ 2 and Pro Tools | HD™ compatible audio interface

Los Angeles, CA (August 3, 2020)—Vox Media produces all kinds of content, and when the pandemic kicked in, the company took steps to ensure its podcasts would continue production while staff and voice talent worked at home. Among other efforts, that included having Miles Ewell, Vox Media’s director of production technology, expand the company’s inventory of Focusrite RedNet gear.

According to Ewell, he immediately ordered two-dozen Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB audio interfaces from Manhattan-based dealer B&H and assembled a flypack for each of the company’s podcast voice talents. “We sent out a Shure SM58 microphone, a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and a pair of Sony MDR headphones,” he says.

Spencer Readies for Atmos with Focusrite

The company also partnered with SquadCast, a Chrome-based web solution, which enables audio from each of up to four conference participants to be recorded locally to their respective machines then uploaded to the cloud for editing by Vox producers.

Ewell, who oversees technical production infrastructure design, installation and maintenance across all Vox Media offices, has also brought Focusrite products into his Brooklyn home. “My first introduction to Focusrite was the RedNet series. Through my work at Vox Media, I fell in love with Focusrite Pro and I have slowly been able to integrate these products into my home studio, where I do beat-making, composition and sound design. So now I’m a consumer-, prosumer- and professional-level fan,” he says.

When Vox relocated to its present site, the former Goldman Sachs building on Broad Street, he says, “I was a part of the team working with system integrator Diversified on the audio system.” From the get-go, one analog and two digital Dante-enabled Focusrite RedNet units — to which two AES interfaces have since been added — supported audio embedding and interfacing for the company’s live video, live tape and podcast recording infrastructure at the location. There are now also Focusrite RedNet AM2 stereo audio monitoring units available throughout Vox’s multi-city production facilities, which encompass 15 studios, five control rooms and three equipment rental shops.

“We use the AM2 for the podcast team out on the floor. For example, in our podcast studios in Washington, DC, we have one at a desk pod for the Today, Explained daily news show team,” Ewell says. “The producer or whoever’s sitting at the desk can listen live to what’s being tracked in the studio. We’ve deployed it in New York, too. We have a show called Recode Reset, and whenever the executive producer wants to check in on the studio, they just plug their headphones in and listen.”

Focusrite • http://pro.focusrite.com

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