Category Archives: News

Firehouse Productions Takes Focusrite RedNet on Tour with Jack White and Nine Inch Nails

Courtesy of Front Of House Online

DETROIT, MI – Firehouse Production deployed Focusrite RedNet A16 16-channel analogue I/O interfaces for Jack White’s recent tour with Nine Inch Nails.

More details from Focusrite (

RAudio-over-IP has proven its worth in countless installed-sound applications. Now, as concert touring has become the single largest source of revenue for most music artists, AoIP (specifically the Dante™ protocol) is going out on the road, saving space, weight and time – all critical elements in the economics of touring – while Focusrite’s RedNet range of Dante-networked audio converters and interfaces is making those audio networks utterly bulletproof. Redhook, NY-based Firehouse Productions has been an early adopter in the transition to Dante and this year has both Jack White and Nine Inch Nails on tour using AoIP systems they’ve built using RedNet components.

Jack White and band hit the road on April 19 in his erstwhile hometown of Detroit in support of his new LP Boarding House Reach, which was released a month earlier. The tour is covering the U.S. and Europe, and the audio control system assembled by Firehouse Production utilizes an array of RedNet units that will allow White’s audio crew to record up to 72 channels of audio every night for archiving, as well as allowing those same recordings to be used for virtual soundchecks through the tour’s analogue FOH console. Four RedNet A16R 16-channel analogue I/O interfaces take signal from the stage to a pair of Mac Minis using two RedNet PCIeR Cards as interfaces. “Jack wanted an all-analogue rig for the tour, and the AoIP system we built for this tour lets the audio stay analogue right up to the console,” explains Chris Russo, Firehouse Productions’ Director of Touring. “At the same time, the band has all the benefits of being able to record every show digitally, ready for archiving, remixing or for virtual soundchecks.”

After a few individual dates in Las Vegas and Europe over the summer, Nine Inch Nails’ 26-date “Cold and Black and Infinite” North American tour will kick off September 13 in Atlanta, beginning a string of shows that will include multiple nights at several iconic venues, including Red Rocks in Morrison, CO; Radio City Music Hall in New York City; the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago; and the Palladium in Los Angeles. On the tour, which will have several of its shows broadcast and streamed live, front of house will also supply 32 channels of stem mixes, sent as MADI to a RedNet D64R 64-channel MADI bridge, which converts those stem signals to Dante for network transport. Then, the Dante signal is sent over fiber to a pair of RedNet A16R 16-channel analogue I/O interfaces that are loaded in the stage rack and that will feed the converted stem signals to the remote truck for broadcast. “The show has over 90 channels of audio on stage, so sending pre-mixed stems to the broadcast mixer makes that job easier and assures that the mix that goes out over the broadcast and live stream is the same mix fans are hearing in the venue,” says Russo. “The RedNet products have been reliable, which lets us build a simple, flexible, and straightforward routing system for this audio. RedNet’s reliability makes all the difference in a live situation like this.”

Firehouse Productions built its first RedNet AoIP system last year, for the 2017 Indian Film Academy Awards ceremonies, which took place  at the New Jersey/New York MetLife Stadium, and where 18 RedNet devices were deployed in a complex audio network. Since then, Firehouse Productions has also deployed two portable AoIP systems utilizing RedNet products.

Focusrite gear used by Firehouse Productions for Jack White and Nine Inch Nails tours:

  • For the Jack White tour, four RedNet A16R 16-channel analogue I/O interfaces take signal from the stage to a pair of Mac Minis using two RedNet PCIeR Cards as interfaces
  • On Nine Inch Nails tour, a RedNet D64R 64-channel MADI bridge converts 32 channels of audio to Dante for network transport. The Dante signal is sent over fiber to a pair of RedNet A16R 16-channel analogue I/O interfaces that will feed the converted stem signals to the remote truck for broadcast


Courtesy of L-ISA

Lorde’s Melodrama tour is the first international tour to use L-ISA technology. L-Acoustics applications engineer Jesse Stevens and Firehouse Productions systems engineer Michael Gazdziak talk about the L-ISA configuration and how easy it was to load in and set up night after night.

How Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert took a different approach to broadcasting live musical theatre

Courtesy of Lighting & Sound America, view the full PDF article here.

The still relatively new genre of live Broadway musicals on television got a shot in the arm on April 1—Easter Sunday—when NBC presented Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert. The production benefited from the fact that the piece is through-composed, allowing the cast to leap from one hit tune to the next, and the presence of a live audience kept the energy level pumping. And a sizzling cast, led by John Legend as Christ, Broadway’s Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas, and Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdelene—not to mention a scene-stealing cameo by Alice Cooper as Herod—delivered the numbers with brio. Adding to the excitement was a powerful production design aided by sterling audio and perfectly calibrated camerawork; everyone collaborated to deliver a show that filled social media
with favorable comments.

Part of the show’s success lay in the fact that, in many ways, the design team took a markedly different, more unabashedly theatrical approach. In preserving what makes Jesus Christ Superstar exciting theatre, they guaranteed an electric television experience. It also restored the feeling of provocation associated with the piece when composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice released it as a concept album in 1970.

Read the full PDF article here.

SSL Live Wins Praise from Lorde Tour

Courtesy of Entertainment Technology Now 

New Zealand – Singer, songwriter, and record producer Lorde has been out on her international Melodrama tour, which accompanies the new album of the same name. The show is also set to visit some of this Summer’s biggest festivals, and front of house engineer Philip J Harvey has been along for the ride, with the special honour of engineering on the first international tour on the road with the new L-Acoustics L-ISA Live multichannel immersive technology. To complement this, Harvey needed a console that could do justice to the band and L-ISA, so he chose SSL Live.

The stage set-up is relatively simple. An acoustic drum kit, guitar amp, and vocals are the main analogue sources, with two keyboard stations and triggered drum samples making up the rest. “It’s a nice, quiet stage,” says Harvey. “As the majority of the inputs are the keyboards, software synths, and playback, I have 34 inputs from stage, plus clicks, guides, and so on.”

The L-Acoustics L-ISA Live uses multi-array ‘scene’ technology to distribute up to 96 objects (console channels) across the full width of the performance space in either ‘wide’ or ‘focused’ deployments, depending on the show requirements. Object panning is taken care of by the L-ISA system, as is spatial configuration and 3D processing using the L-ISA Room Engine. “The L-ISA goal is to widen the venue sweet spot by expanding the mix over the entire floor, using multiple hangs,” explains Harvey. “Each input is sent post-processing, post-fader into the L-ISA processor and each one shows up on the L-ISA controller as a dot that you can position as you want – like mixing via co-ordinates.

“The clarity you get with single source coming out of single point across the front of the stage is amazing.”

The SSL L500 Plus that Harvey uses at FOH was supplied by Firehouse Productions based in Las Vegas and New York. “I love the sound of that desk so much,” he says. “I went with the SSL because I knew that was where I’d be happiest with the fidelity.”

Harvey uses the SuperAnalogue preamps in the SSL stageboxes, shared between FOH and monitors to bring pristine audio back to the console input channels. Much of the processing is done in-line in those channels using the SSL’s internal FX rack and a Waves MultiRack system, with the addition of a few stem groups for specific FX. He then balances the mix on the console, sending the post-fader channel and stem outputs directly to the L-ISA system processor, which takes care of panning, depth, and associated processing. Harvey: “There’s no bussing at the console, which has turned my 23 years of knowledge on its head!”

Harvey has been constantly experimenting with the system and the SSL console combination since the tour began, and notes that working this way has focussed a lot of attention on the sheer quality of the sources, the signal path, and the processing – rather than architectural and operational details. “The clarity I’m getting is magnificent,” he says. “Early on we did a show at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles with lots of invited audience. After the show, everybody asked how we’d got such an amazing sound in the Staples Centre.”

Lorde has a relatively straight forward vocal chain because, as Harvey explains: “She is a strong singer and delivers a lot to work with.” After the SSL Stageboxes, she has the channel EQ and dynamics, including the SSL De-esser, then onto a couple of choice Waves plug-ins, before returning to the console ready for direct output to the L-ISA processor.

Harvey also makes use of console delays for instruments, drums, and vocals: “Really, the most important thing about the console is the way it sounds. The pre-amps, the dynamics, the EQ. I particularly love the tube emulation on the compressor, especially with drums. Using the slow attack and fast release with the tube button in really makes the drums sing.”

Melodrama, without Drama

Courtesy of Lighting & Sound America, view the full PDF article here.

A highly creative team brings technical innovations to Lorde’s latest tour

The genesis of Lorde’s Melodrama Tour began in 2017, at the Coachella Valley Music and  Arts Festival. “It was her first show back after several years; she was keen to make an impact and was not quite sure how it was going to go,” admits Richard Young, the tour’s production director. He contacted production designers Es Devlin and Rob Sinclair; Devlin came up with a concept that included a tank. “It was within Ella’s [the singer’s given name] wheelhouse in terms of look and feel,” Young says. “The Coachella show was built with the concept of having a Perspex tank that was going to act as a terrarium or a place to focus the action.” The tank also filled the large Coachella stage, giving Lorde a presence, Young notes: “Realistically, Ella is not an artist who uses tons of dancers, pyro, or set pieces. The idea of containing everything within this 20′-wide Perspex box was appealing.” The tank, as it is known, was a hit with fans and garnered great reviews.

Read the full PDF article here.