Audio professional Jez Spencer got his start in the industry the way so many others have: as a runner at a major facility, in this case the former MAG Masters in London. One thing led to another, and now decades, later, he has an impressive resume with a steady stream of post-production and composer credits to his name, including the recent Academy Award nominee For Sama, which was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 92nd awards. Other credits include the docu-series programs Drug Lords, Dispatches, Panorama and many others. His talent and hard work account for much of his success, but he also credits his arsenal of trusted gear, in particular the Red 16Line 64-In / 64-Out Thunderbolt™ 3 and Pro Tools | HD™ compatible audio interface from Focusrite.
“I do much of my work at my home facility, and it's a relatively small setup," notes Spencer. “When I made the move to working freelance at home, I had a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 interface, which I loved. It was a gradual process to work up to my current gear complement. After converting to Pro Tools HD Native I eventually settled on the Red 16Line, which has been phenomenal for me in terms of my workflow and efficiency. The audio quality is faultless. There's a brightness and a clarity that I wasn't aware of before. It works well with my monitor setup, which is composed of Genelec 8330A Smart Active Monitors and a Genelec Smart Active Subwoofer. I feel like the combination of the Focusrite with the Genelecs has put my studio on such a high level now that I'm as comfortable in this room as any facility in town, really."
Another reason Spencer loves the Red 16Line is its ability to work with multiple digital audio workstations – toggling between Pro Tools HD, Cubase and Ableton as the project dictates. In fact, he has been working in Cubase Pro to score a film called Beyond the Line, which is due out in August. “I can switch into Thunderbolt mode and then go to other applications just with a click of a switch – it's fantastic. It's so versatile."
Spencer is well primed for more and more work at home during the COVID-19 era, and he is continuing to make more upgrades to the studio. In fact, he is currently in the process of converting his room to the Dolby Atmos® format with an Avid S3 control surface. “The other thing that's so appealing about the Red 16Line is that the monitoring control can control as many or as few outputs as you want it to. So with this new Atmos room, the Red 16Line can control the whole thing from the front panel, which is great. I've got a potential series for Netflix coming up, which I'm hoping to prep at home in Atmos and then take it into the studio for final mixing – but with the virus out in the world, I may end up doing more of the work at home than I had planned, and I certainly have the right tools for it now!"