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Keyboardist and Home Recordist Ken Christian and RedNet

24 Sep 2013

Ken Christian is an avid and accomplished keyboardist and home recordist, using a combination of Ableton Live and Cubase software to help create his music. To connect his large collection of vintage analogue and digital synths and other gear, he has turned to RedNet, Focusrite’s acclaimed range of Ethernet-networked audio interfaces, based around the industry-standard Dante Ethernet audio networking system. The first to offer IP network audio interfaces for the recording studio, RedNet is suitable for any application that requires moving around high quality audio with high channel count and ultra-low latency. Focusrite’s RedNet is helping Christian streamline his workflow so he can focus on the music.

Ken Christian studio setup

Christian’s setup includes vintage keyboards including a Moog MemoryMoog, Oberheim OB-8, Prophet 5, Yamaha CS70M, Korg MS-10, and a Roland Juno-60, as well as a wide variety of modern synths such as the Yamaha Motif, Korg Kronos, Korg R-3 and Dave Smith Tempest. Before he learned about Focusrite’s RedNet system, Christian says his studio was a maze of wires, patch bays and patch cords. Those are headed to eBay, he says, now that he’s discovered RedNet. “I have about forty classic synthesizers, going back to the 1970s – and this was the only way I had to route them,” he jokes, referring to the tangle of patch cords that he used to need to organise and record them, as well as connect them to his hardware outboard processors, another staple of classic pro audio that he likes to use. “It used to be very complicated, and I’d spend as much time routing as creating. Then I got RedNet, and it’s dramatically changed my studio and the way I work. I love it.”

Ken Christian and RedNet

Heading towards his fourth RedNet 3 unit Christian now uses the 32-input devices to connect all of his hardware. Christian uses a combination of converters that he had prior to his RedNet system. The Focusrite AD/DA conversion he’s currently using to get optical into and out of the RedNet 3 are the Liquid Saffire 56, the Octopre MkII and the Octopre MkII Dynamic. All RedNet 3 units feed into a RedNet PCIe card with 128 inputs and outputs via a gigabit Ethernet switch.

RedNet 3 interfaces existing digital audio systems and components to the RedNet network with up to 32 inputs and outputs and full software remote control. The unit includes support for AES, S/PDIF and ADAT digital audio formats and allows the RedNet system to be synchronised to incoming signal-clock or a word-clock source. RedNet 3 is an elegantly simple means of converting 32 channels of audio and delivering it somewhere else on the network at near-zero latency.

Ken Christian Focusrite rig

“I’m going through a number of outboard devices, including my synths and the outboard processing,” he explains. “The RedNet 3 units route audio in and out, anywhere I need it, and I don’t have to think about it.”

As simple as RedNet has made his workflow, it has also changed the way his studio looks. “I can have a live-recording or work area anywhere in the house I have an Ethernet connection, so it’s really allowed me to expand the boundaries of my studio. I’m ready to buy my fourth RedNet 3, and that will increase my I/O capability to 128. RedNet is so easy, so simple, and so cool.”