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Focusrite RedNet 3: Digital I/O Interface

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RedNet 3

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The RedNet 3 is a new Digital I/O Interface from Focusrite, and a great addition to your collection of studio outboard gear that's very easy to configure!

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The RedNet 3 is a new Digital I/O Interface from Focusrite, and a great addition to your collection of studio outboard gear that's very easy to configure! The RedNet 3 allows the interfacing of your existing digital audio systems and components, with a maximum of 32 inputs and outputs and full software remote control capability.

Sixteen ADAT optical ports ensure that you can run a full 32 digital channels in and out – even at 96kHz (S-MUX2). The unit offers 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.

The Dante advantage

Audinate’s DanteTM technology provides the perfect infrastructure for RedNet, providing a robust and reliable network architecture with easily-sourced, standard components, most of which will already be familiar to audio engineering professionals. It delivers a guaranteed 128 input and 128 output channel architecture at 44.1, 48 and 96kHz or 64 I/O at 192kHz.

Using an optional PCIe card, extremely low latency can be achieved, under three milliseconds at any sample rate. Interfaces can be remotely controlled from the host computer, and added or relocated easily.

Dante allows interfaces to be located a significant distance away from the host computer, and thus placed in locations determined by requirement and not by technical limitation. A single audio network can span the largest facility – and in many cases the physical networking infrastructure will already be in place.

Dante also allows system components to be controlled remotely via a software application on the host computer or even via external hardware control surfaces. Interfaces can be installed anywhere on the network and hot-swapped: RedNet automatically recognises and configures them as soon as they appear.

Hosting RedNet

RedNet interfaces can operate alongside any supported PC or Mac with an Ethernet port (including laptops), using Audinateʼs Dante Virtual Soundcard (DVS) driver, meaning portable RedNet rigs can be configured. However, Focusriteʼs RedNet PCIe card, which features its own, single Ethernet socket, is dedicated to communicating with the RedNet network. The technology on this card yields the extremely low latencies and high track count that makes RedNet the ultimate studio upgrade.

RedNet PCIe Card Performance:

  • Sample Rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 192kHz
  • Track Count: 128 x 128 up to 96kHz, 64 x 64 @ 192kHz
  • Latency: Less than 3ms at all sample rates*

The Dante Virtual Soundcard will also work at these sample rates and will be available in the near future. Sign up to the RedNet newsletter to keep abreast with the technology as it progresses.

*Latency performance under 3ms requires the RedNet PCIe card and assumes a DAW buffer setting of 32 samples or less.

KEY FEATURES

  • Scalable, up to 128 inputs and 128 outputs
    Supporting even the most demanding studio environments, choose from four high quality audio interfaces and connect as many as you like to your RedNet network.
  • Pristine audio quality with low latency
    RedNet stands up to the sonic demands of the professional studio with 120dB dynamic range and less than 3ms latency at any sample rate when using the RedNet PCIe card.
  • Robust and reliable networked audio system
    Dante is a tried and tested audio networking standard, endorsed by companies like Yamaha, and by Britannia Row, who rely on it for major live events on a regular basis.
  • Professional networked audio system
    With 24-bit operation at up to 192kHz sampling and JetPLLTM jitter-reduction technology, RedNet is a professional studio system supporting the needs of any studio.
  • Easiest studio configuration – ever
    Interfaces can be hot-swapped anytime and controlled remotely via the included RedNet control software.
  • Supports any open DAW package
    No need to spend hours learning a new platform – RedNet supports Pro Tools 9, Logic, Nuendo or any other open DAW running on Mac and Windows computers.

RedNet network requirements

RedNet uses standard 1Gbits/sec Ethernet components that support QoS (Quality of Service) for the audio network. QoS allows different priority to be assigned to different applications to ensure that they get the bandwidth they need. Dante employs standard Voice over IP (VoIP) QoS switch features to prioritise clock sync and audio data over other network traffic.

A wide variety of inexpensive switches with these capabilities are available; and if a switch offers the following features, it should be compatible with Dante and with the RedNet system:

  • Gigabit ports for inter-switch connections 
  • Quality of Service (QoS) with four queues 
  • Diffserv (DSCP) QoS, with strict priority

The use of managed switches is recommended to provide detailed information about the correct operation of each network link.

Given the vast number of network equipment manufacturers and models available, Focusrite cannot guarantee that a certain product will work with Dante and RedNet. However, Audinate tests network equipment and maintains a list of known Dante-compatible switches and other components. A list of switches tested with RedNet will be made available via the Focusrite web site.

Specifications:

KEY FEATURES AND PERFORMANCE

  • Up to 32 inputs and 32 outputs via AES/EBU, ADAT Optical and S/PDIF 
  • Connect a full 32 channels of ADAT Optical – even at 96kHz (S-MUX2) 
  • Synchronises your RedNet system to any incoming digital clock or a word clock source 
  • JetPLLTM jitter-reduction technology 
  • Sample rate accuracy (internal sync source): <10ppm 
  • Pull-in range +/- 7.5ppm 
  • Supported sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 192kHz

CONNECTIVITY

  • ADAT Optical inputs 1 – 8 via TOSLINK optical connectors: Each connector supports 8 channels at 44.1 or 48k, 4 channels at 96k (S-MUX2), and 2 channels at 192kHz (S-MUX4)* 
  • ADAT Optical outputs 1 – 8 via TOSLINK optical connectors: Each connector supports 8 channels at 44.1 or 48k, 4 channels at 96k (S-MUX2), and 2 channels at 192kHz (S-MUX4)* 
  • AES/EBU inputs and outputs 1 – 8 via DB25 connector (replaces one bank of ADAT I/O when in use) 
  • S/PDIF input 1 – 2 via coaxial port (replaces one AES bank when in use) 
  • S/PDIF output 1 – 2 via coaxial port (replaces one AES bank when in use) 
  • Word Clock input via BNC port 
  • Word Clock output via BNC port 
  • Dante Ethernet port

* When running at 44.1 or 48kHz, ADAT input and output ports 5 – 8 are disabled

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