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Focusrite: RedNet shipping, new products launched

After a two-year wait, Focusrite is shipping its RedNet Ethernet-based system while simultaneously announcing three new products including its first 'lunchbox' mic pre, the Red 1 500 based on the classic Red 1.

Launched at The NAMM Show 2011, Focusrite’s RedNet Ethernet-based interface system will begin shipping at the end of January 2013, with RedNet units 1-4 and the RedNet PCIe card becoming available worldwide. The RedNet system consists of a range of remote-controlled interfaces that connect via Dante audio-over-Ethernet technology from Audinate, allowing users to put audio inputs and outputs wherever there’s an Ethernet socket. “We promised an awful lot with RedNet,” said Giles Orford, marketing director at Focusrite. “Most importantly, we promised rock-solid performance across multiple DAWs at super high channel counts with super low latency – all without a compromise on audio integrity. In short, it has taken an awful lot of work and time from both us and Audinate to hone this technology. It underwent the most rigorous testing regime we’ve ever implemented at Focusrite, spending over 18 months in test! Anyway, I suppose none of that matters any more – it’s here, it real, and we’re all extremely excited (if a little exhausted).” The newest member of the RedNet family is RedNet 6, a 64-channel MADI interface, which will become available shortly. It is one of three new product launches for the company this week. The second is the return of the Red Series mic preamp with the introduction of the Red 1 500 Series (‘lunchbox’) mic pre. It is the first Focusrite product to be available in the portable format. The Red 1 500 is a mono mic preamp that features the same Lundahl LL1538 input transformer and custom Carnhill output transformer as the original Focusrite Red 1 and Red 8 microphone preamps. It features switchable phantom power, polarity invert, and an illuminated VU meter. Its stepped gain structure (with a Grayhill gold-plated military-grade switch) in 6dB steps from -6 to +60dB, provides accurate, precise channel matching and recall. The output stage of the Red 1 500 Series mic pre will easily drive long cable runs without significant loss of quality, making it ideal for remote recordings. Focusrite’s third product announcement is the new Scarlett 18i20 USB 2.0 interface. With 18 inputs and 20 outputs in total, Scarlett 18i20 features eight Focusrite microphone preamps with switchable phantom power, 24-bit/96kHz A-D/D-A converters, analogue mic/line inputs fitted with combination XLR/jack input sockets and an additional eight channels of digital I/O (four channels at 88.2/96kHz) via ADAT lightpipe, with S/PDIF providing an additional stereo digital input and output.