AES Convention, New York, NY, October 18, 2017 – You’ve seen their names in the end credits of popular movies and television programs: Supervising Sound Editors, Re-Recording Mixers and Sound Designers like Tim Kimmel, Karen Baker-Landers, Onnalee Blank, Mark Mangini and Doug Hemphill. These and other talented individuals now constitute Formosa Group, a collective of professionals who are cornerstones of the sound teams for titles like Game of Thrones, Transparent, SWAT, Scorpion, Spectre, Blade Runner 2049 and other hit television and film properties. Brought together by the rapidly changing dynamics of Hollywood’s culture and economics, Formosa Group brings massive technical and creative talent to bear on the content explosion taking place in recent years. To keep up with demand, Formosa Group turned to RedNet Dante™-networked audio interfaces from Focusrite (Booth 517 and 366) to bring increased efficiency and effectiveness to their expanding campus of facilities.
In recent months, as Formosa Group has expanded to seven locations around L.A., they have invested deeply in RedNet, acquiring 38 RedNet HD32R 32-channel HD Dante network bridges, 10 RedNet D16R 16-channel AES3 I/O’s, a RedNet A16R analog I/O interface, and a pair of RedNet 6 MADI bridges, which complement the dozen-plus RedNet AM2 stereo audio monitoring units already in place and the existing RedNet interfaces that have been working in facilities such as Formosa NoHo in North Hollywood and Formosa Santa Monica. “Our mantra has always been ‘simplicity,’” says Bill Johnston, Vice President of Engineering at Formosa Group. “That’s what the RedNet technology does for us – it makes things simple, transparent and very reliable.”
Johnston says putting the facilities on RedNet has streamlined their workflow significantly, in the process bringing costs down. “Once the audio is on a network, we can pull it from anywhere to anywhere just by bussing it, so we don’t have to send it through a router,” he says. “That eliminates the need for, and the expense of, MADI routers and MADI interfaces.” In fact, he says, selling the studios’ old MADI infrastructure has helped pay for more RedNet throughout the new facilities. And since RedNet has its own internal clocking – the RedNet A16R also outputs word clock – it can sync easily with the rest of the digital infrastructure in each studio, further expediting workflow. “We’re using multiple Pro Tools systems, but through RedNet, we only need a single SYNC HD I/O for everything. In fact, Avid told me, ‘You can’t do that — it won’t work.’ And I said, ‘But we’re doing it and it is working!’”
RedNet’s speed, accuracy and ease of use (Johnston says RedNet is “the very definition of plug and play”) make for an enhanced creative environment in which to work. “RedNet is fast, so it’s never in the way,” he says. “That’s always the biggest problem with any technology – it gets in the way of being creative because it takes some of your mental bandwidth to deal with the technical things. With RedNet, you don’t even know it’s there, and that’s the best thing you could ever say about any technology.”
RedNet will continue to be deployed throughout Formosa Group’s facilities, including as the signal management for the Dolby Atmos speaker array for Formosa Santa Monica, the former Pacific Ocean Post facility. “It just makes things so much easier, by increasing our throughput and doing so totally transparently,” Johnston says. “And that lets us get down sooner to what we do best.”
Photo file 1: Focusrite_FormosaGroup_Photo1.jpg
Photo caption 1: Stage 1 at the Hollywood facility of Formosa Group, featuring RedNet gear from Focusrite. RedNet components are visible in the gear racks in the foreground. Photo credit: Linus Shentu. © 2017.
Photo file 2: Focusrite_FormosaGroup_Photo2.jpg
Photo caption 2: Stage 1 at the Hollywood facility of Formosa Group, featuring RedNet gear from Focusrite. RedNet components are visible in the gear racks in the foreground. Photo credit: Linus Shentu. © 2017.
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