Gimlet Media, theBrooklyn-based media company behind hit podcasts like Reply All, Homecoming, TheNod and StartUp, has built itself into the hub of themodern podcast universe. Since this past summer, it also has a newheadquarters: 27,000 square feet of downtown Brooklyn space into which it'sbuilt a combination of offices and studio suites that are already busy turningout dozens of new episodes weekly. One key element that has made Gimlet Media'snew digs so efficient is the use of components from the RedNet range of Dante™-networked audio convertersand interfaces from Focusrite.
A total of 15 RedNet MP8R eight-channelmic pre and A/D converters equip all 13 studios, as well as six RedNet AM2 stereoaudio monitoring units. MP8R's are assigned to each podcast studio, acting asthe mic pres for each studio and interfacing with the QSC Q-SYS backbone, whichhandles routing and signal processing. The six AM2 units are distributed asneeded throughout the production facility and are used by note-takers whotranscribe and otherwise chronicle the podcast production process, allowingthem to be connected to the sessions without needing to be inside the studioitself. All of the RedNet products were purchased through Sound, Production& Lighting (SPL), the Chicago-area-based AV integrator on the project.
“The RedNet MP8R units are great —they solve two issues," says Austin Thompson, Technical Director at GimletMedia. “First, we're very focused on audio quality here, so the Focusritepre-amps were the right choice — they sound fantastic. We're using microphonesthat need a lot of clean gain, which the MP8Rs give them. We did a comparisonwith a number of other pre-amps, and nothing came close." Then there wasthe ease of setup. “We have a large, complex IT infrastructure here, and eventhough our IT firm has a lot of experience working with rich-media clients, itwas still a considerable learning curve, with a number of languages on thesystem," Thompson explains. Finally, he adds, the MP8R's and AM2'scompatibility with both AES67, which facilitates from the mic pre-amp throughQ-SYS for monitoring, and Dante, which is the interconnect format for thefacility's Avid Pro Tools® systems, made a huge difference. “Q-SYS speaks AES67inherently at 48k, so all routing — the MP8Rs to Q-SYS and Q-SYS back toheadphone distribution — is in AES67," he explains. “Q-SYS then sends anadditional discreet post-fader Dante feed out to the Pro Tools computers ineach studio, and also applies sample-rate conversion to that feed so that wecan capture at 44.1. RedNet is easy to use, which was a requirement we had sothat our producers could access all of their archive content with a minimum ofinstruction. The MP8R and the AM2 hit all of the points we needed to addressfor connectivity here, and we're planning on putting more of them in place inthe future."