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Red letter day: Focusrite discontinuing iconic compressor/limiter

test 1 September 2009

UK: The Red 3 Dual Compressor/Limiter has become an industry favourite since its launch in 1994, writes David Davies. Widely acclaimed for its ability to retain a compelling natural sound even when significant compression is being applied, the TEC Award-winning Red 3 (pictured) was hand-built and employed the same circuit topology as the original ISA130 module from the Focusrite Fort_ console.

The last few remaining Red 3 units are available from authorised Focusrite Pro dealerships worldwide. Red 1, 7 and 8 units will be discontinued in 2010.

Invited to explain the decision to discontinue the Red 3 after 15 years, Focusrite chairman Phil Dudderidge tells PSN-e that "it is sadly no longer economical to build the Red Range products. Market conditions for high-end products like these have shrunk in size, especially since the recession kicked in. [However] there are alternatives within the product range based on the heritage circuit designs. The classic Focusrite mic-pres featuring Lundahl transformers are also available in the ISA range, the ISA 220 Session Pack and ISA 430 Producer pack, both of which also incorporate classic EQ and Compression circuitry. These may be linked to create stereo-paired compressors."

Noting that Liquid Channel, Liquid 4Pre and Liquid Mix "do a fine job of emulating the Red Range", Dudderidge nonetheless expects there to be a healthy demand for the final Red units. He also says that current owners of Red Range products "may expect to find that resale values improve over time once new examples are no longer available".

Meanwhile, in other news, former Sound On Sound news editor Chris Mayes-Wright has joined Focusrite in the role of artist and media relations manager. Mayes-Wright’s new position will see him liaising with artists, press and the Focusrite/Novation customer base to ensure that the brands are "well-represented in all areas".

"We have got to know Chris and we’ve experienced his exemplary attitude to work first-hand," commented Focusrite marketing manager Giles Orford. "We look forward to welcoming him to the team. We’ve no doubt he’ll play a key role in making 2010 Focusrite’s most successful year to date. He’ll help to bolster messaging communications at Focusrite, boost our presence on community sites, and provide a single point of contact for artists and press. More importantly, he’s a damn sight better writer than I’ll ever be!"

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