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MSI Delivers the U.S. Presidential Inauguration with the Help of Focusrite RedNet Interfaces

05/03/2021

MSI Delivers the U.S. Presidential Inauguration with the Help of Focusrite RedNet Interfaces

data-src=https://creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/avatars/263018/5fa08c562aaf4-bpthumb.jpg data-srcset=https://creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/avatars/263018/5fa08c561c0e7-bpfull.jpg 2x class=lazyload avatar avatar-80 photo height=80 width=80 />

Brie Clayton March 5, 2021

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Maryland Sound International provided sound for January's U.S. presidential swearing-in ceremonies with a RedNet backbone.

On the list of high-profile sound reinforcement gigs, the inauguration ceremonies of a President of the United States of America rank near the top. For the last dozen inauguration cycles, live sound production company Maryland Sound International (MSI) has provided sound services for various public and private inauguration events, including the past six swearing-in ceremonies. Everything from the microphones that the incoming president talks into down the line to the PA is typically ours, and it's a large team effort that I am proud to be a small part of, says Benjamin Krumholz, a mixing, systems and RF engineer, and head of installations and integrations for MSI. Given the mission-critical nature of the events, MSI brings its decades of experience along with the most reliable gear in its inventory to the task. Since 2017, that inventory has included a backbone of components from Focusrite's RedNet range of Dante -networked audio converters and interfaces.

data-src=https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/05024311/MSI_Team900-768x1024.jpg alt= class=lazyload wp-image-2405255 data-srcset=https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/05024311/MSI_Team900-768x1024.jpg 768w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/05024311/MSI_Team900-225x300.jpg 225w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/05024311/MSI_Team900-624x832.jpg 624w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/05024311/MSI_Team900.jpg 900w data-sizes=(max-width: 768px) 100vw, 768px />The Maryland Sound International team, pictured at the 2021 U.S. Presidential Inauguration. Pictured L-R, back row: Art Isaacs, Brian Bednar, Maxwell Seltenrich, Jacob Shatuck, Ryan Bode; front row: Sven Giersmann, Paul White, Nevin Brabham.With the sweeping impact of the global pandemic, the 2021 swearing-in ceremonies marked a radical departure from previous inaugurations, shares Krumholz. In the past, speaker coverage would include tens of thousands of people seated on the West Front of the Capitol and other additional audience areas surrounding the Reflecting Pool and into the National Mall. This year, it was reduced to literally two main speaker arrays, and a lot of infill stuff - we still had the front-of-house, and our crew of eight were also mixing the Marine band and the musical talent.

When we bought our first Focusrite systems in late 2017, says Krumholz, the idea was for a one-cable solution - data, device control and digital audio all over a single cable, with redundancy. We were used to running data cable for wireless networking, then running more network cable for device control networks, then running more copper cable for analog or AES audio - so many cables. With RedNet convertors as their audio multi-tools of choice, MSI was able to replace its previously non-networkable fiber-optic solution with one that satisfied every cabling requirement. For FOH Console interfacing we use the RedNet D64R 64-channel MADI bridge; RedNet A8R, RedNet A16R and RedNet D16R units for analog and AES digital-audio-to-Dante conversion; the RedNet MP8R eight-channel mic pre and A/D converter when we need mic preamp-to-Dante Conversion; and RedNet PCIeR Cards for multitrack recording, interfacing computers with Dante. We have to set up systems that are extremely repeatable, expandable and reliable - efficiency to the max. Time that is wasted cannot be returned or refunded.

As for distances between locations, Krumholz continues, Sometimes there are many hundreds or thousands of feet between signal input and output locations. Fiber optic cabling has become standard in our infrastructure and has expanded the way we wire and design our sound systems.

Security and weather can add significant challenges during inauguration events, according to Krumholz. Access to locations can be blocked or restricted at any time and without notice. Having equipment that is reliable and can be remotely controlled and monitored is a must. The entire show is outdoors and the weather is fairly predictable in January in DC - it's going to be cold. Our equipment has to be able to handle being outside all month.

data-src=https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/05024359/MSI_Photo1_1200-1024x768.jpg alt= class=lazyload wp-image-2405256 data-srcset=https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/05024359/MSI_Photo1_1200-1024x768.jpg 1024w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/05024359/MSI_Photo1_1200-300x225.jpg 300w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/05024359/MSI_Photo1_1200-768x576.jpg 768w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/05024359/MSI_Photo1_1200-624x468.jpg 624w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/05024359/MSI_Photo1_1200.jpg 1200w data-sizes=(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px />Various configurations of MSI Focusrite RedNet racks ready for deployment from Maryland Sound International's Baltimore, MD headquarters.For the inaugurations, says Krumholz, signal travels from FOH to the main left/right amp rack positions as Dante/RedNet using fiber optic cables. The signal is then converted to AES audio to be fed into the amplifiers. Typically for inaugural events, there would be many delay positions on the inside and outside of the Capitol Grounds. All of those positions are a
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