On the Road with American Mobile – Powered by Focusrite RedNet

American Mobile is redefining remote music production for live broadcast with Focusrite’s RedNet as the signal-transport backbone for their remote systems deployed this year to Lollapalooza, Outside Lands and Austin City Limits music festivals.

Los Angeles, CA – American Mobile, the remote production arm of the famed Chicago Recording Company (CRC), has been setting the standard for dedicated high-end, on-site facilities to capture and mix artists for live broadcast. This year it has begun deploying the Focusrite RedNet Dante™-networked audio converters and interfaces as the signal-transport backbone, giving these remote productions even greater operational and sonic capabilities.

American Mobile dates back to 1992, when Chicago Recording Company General Manager Chris Shepard purchased his first remote Pro Tools® system to capture music beyond the walls of the studio. Some of these remote elements were intended simply to complement the studio recordings already in progress or to inspire the artist in ways only a live audience can. “We recorded artists everywhere, from their own front porch to some massive theaters and churches. This remote work became an extension of studio life at CRC,” says Shepard, who is also a noted engineer with credits including Wilco, Smashing Pumpkins and Elvis Costello. “These field recording systems grew and multiplied as our clients’ demand increased. Our dedication to sonic excellence has been assured into the future with the integration of Focusrite RedNet with our recording systems, also featuring Avid Pro Tools HDX® and Avid S3® and D-Command® consoles.”

This season, veteran A1 mixer Steve Weeder deployed the first RedNet system at the Lollapalooza Music Festival in Chicago and also at the Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco. This system consisted of 64 channels of RedNet MPR8 remote-controlled mic preamp and A/D converters, two RedNet 5 network interfaces for Pro Tools HD, as well as a RedNet D64R 64-channel MADI-to-Dante link.

American Mobile is currently adding an additional 64 channels of RedNet MPR8 mic preamps to the audio truck, expanding capability to at least 96 channels to keep up with the growing number of channel counts at complex shows. Shepard says “We love what RedNet does for us,” and even added a “Powered by RedNet” logo on the audio truck.

Shepard and Weeder like the benefit of locating the RedNet mic preamps right at the stage, reducing the loss of a long analog cable run, not to mention the lighter travel weight. “RedNet units are like building blocks — you can configure each system to the clients ever changing spec,” he says. “The system is extremely stable and sounds fantastic,” he remarks, adding that when combined with the preamp recall capabilities in Pro Tools, it’s an unbeatable combination.

“We started American Mobile at the right time with the right equipment, and we’ve kept that up ever since, including today with RedNet,” says Shepard. “In remote recording, we have to interface with a variety of production companies and a variety of input requirements. Having RedNet on board makes sure we can accommodate any of them.”