After two decades of helping audio professionals navigate increasingly more complex workflows and incorporate the latest technology in their creative process, Gil Gowing has become known as the “Go-to Guy” for helping artists achieve their creative aspirations. In February of this year, Gowing set out on his own, starting a consulting and training firm, Digimidi Technical Services. He remarks, “I do consulting and training for the end users, and I’m also doing consulting, training and media asset creation for industry companies that lack the internal infrastructure to handle those tasks on their own. I’ve got my own studio as well, and I’ll be continuing to do music production and mixing.”
Making informed decisions, says Gowing, is important when starting a business. “Going into something that’s a little bit of an unknown, you want to do your due diligence, do some research, and make sure you’re spending your money wisely. You want to give yourself a little future-proofing.” That process led Gowing to add the Focusrite Red 8Pre 64-In / 64-Out Thunderbolt™ 2 and Pro Tools|HD™ compatible audio interface to his studio’s hardware. For one of the studio’s computers, he also purchased a Focusrite RedNet PCIeR Card, which offers up to 128 channels of Dante™ I/O via a Gigabit Ethernet port. The interfaces joined RedNet AM2 stereo audio monitoring units already in use.
Gowing got involved in music production in the early ‘80s. A guitar and bass player at the advent of MIDI and digital recording in that era, he embraced the fledgling technologies. “I was an early, early Digidesign Sound Tools user,” he recalls of his days in West Texas. After relocating a bit east, he recollects, “I did a lot of music, but also worked on a couple of independent movies and other post projects in the Dallas area, along with working in and out of music stores.” After three years doing freelance production in Nashville, Gowing joined Digidesign, and moved to central Florida, where he still resides.
Across those years, Gowing has watched the industry embrace and move toward audio-over-IP. “Cutting-edge technologies really interest me, and I saw the value early on in what Dante can do for modern recording studios, no matter how big or small. The first thing that got me into the Focusrite RedNet arena was looking for a satellite monitor headphone solution for my studio.” That search coincided with Focusrite’s launch of the RedNet AM2, which interfaced directly with the studio’s existing Dante-equipped gear, and suited his needs perfectly.
“Once I got into the AM2,” he continues, “I started exploring some of the other Focusrite RedNet devices. I have multiple computers in my studio to test different scenarios to make sure I’m up on all the latest technologies, so I was looking for a very versatile interface to allow me to not only hook up to an existing Avid based card system like HD Native, HD Native Thunderbolt or HDX, but to be able to use it in another scenario where I could connect it straight to a computer via Thunderbolt and just use it as a core audio or ASIO type interface. The only thing that fit that bill was the Red 8Pre.”
Sonically, Gowing notes, the Red 8Pre has a lineage tracing back to the original Focusrite Red range, which he and his former Digidesign colleagues were intimate with, as Digidesign was the North American distributor of Focusrite products for a number of years. “The Red 8Pre sounds absolutely amazing, and, in my opinion, it and the Red 4Pre are the most versatile interfaces on the market. With the Red 8Pre’s Thunderbolt and/or DigiLink compatibility, you have the choice between two low-latency connection protocols. And employing DigiLink, you can hook it up and use it as a monitor section. It’s got two separate headphone systems that you can set up with different cues. You can connect up other gear via light pipe, and then it’s got Dante built into it so you can get things on and off of a Dante network.”