Audio-over-IP has proven its worth in countless installed-sound applications. Now, as concert touring has become the single largest source of revenue for most music artists, AoIP (specifically the Dante protocol) is going out on the road, saving space, weight and time – all critical elements in the economics of touring.
Redhook, NY-based Firehouse Productions has been an early adopter in the transition to Dante and this year has both Jack White and Nine Inch Nails on tour using AoIP systems they’ve built using Focusrite RedNet components.
Jack White and band hit the road on in April in his erstwhile hometown of Detroit in support of his new LP Boarding House Reach, which was released a month earlier. The tour is covering the U.S. and Europe, and the audio control system assembled by Firehouse Production utilises an array of RedNet units that will allow White’s audio crew to record up to 72 channels of audio every night for archiving, as well as allowing those same recordings to be used for virtual soundchecks through the tour’s analogue FOH console.
Four RedNet A16R 16-channel analogue I/O interfaces take signal from the stage to a pair of Mac Minis using two RedNet PCIeR Cards as interfaces. “Jack wanted an all-analogue rig for the tour, and the AoIP system we built for this tour lets the audio stay analogue right up to the console,” explains Chris Russo, Firehouse Productions’ director of touring. “At the same time, the band has all the benefits of being able to record every show digitally, ready for archiving, remixing or for virtual soundchecks.”
After a few individual dates in Las Vegas and Europe over the summer, Nine Inch Nails’ 26-date Cold and Black and Infinite North American tour will kick off 13 September in Atlanta, beginning a string of shows that will include multiple nights at several iconic venues, including Red Rocks in Morrison, CO; Radio City Music Hall in New York City; the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago; and the Palladium in Los Angeles.
On the tour, which will have several of its shows broadcast and streamed live, front of house will also supply 32 channels of stem mixes, sent as MADI to a RedNet D64R 64-channel MADI bridge, which converts those stem signals to Dante for network transport. Then, the Dante signal is sent over fibre to a pair of RedNet A16R 16-channel analogue I/O interfaces that are loaded in the stage rack and that will feed the converted stem signals to the remote truck for broadcast.
“The show has over 90 channels of audio on stage, so sending pre-mixed stems to the broadcast mixer makes that job easier and assures that the mix that goes out over the broadcast and live stream is the same mix fans are hearing in the venue,” says Russo.