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Focusrite 5.1 Surround Red 3 compressor/limiter
Old 9th June 2006
  #1
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tmarra's Avatar
Focusrite 5.1 Surround Red 3 compressor/limiter

Well after a lot of hard work we have completed a custom Focusrite 5.1 Surround Red 3 System for a customer of ours. I thought all you Focusrite Red 3 fans would like a peek at this. Please excuse the pictures; I’m a tech not a photographer.

A few of the details:
  • All channels are transformer balanced in and out.
  • The compressor threshold, limiter threshold, and ratio pots have been replaced with rotary switches and precision resistors for exact repeatable settings.
  • The front panels were replaced to accommodate the rotary switches
  • The units can be operated as individual Red 3’s or linked into the 5.1 buss.
  • The 5.1 buss links the sidechains of both the Compressors and Limiters.
  • The Hi Pass Control inserts a selectable 80, 100, or 120Hz Hi Pass filter into the sidechains.
  • The LFE Control inserts a selectable 80, 100, or 120Hz Hi Pass filter into the LFE audio channel.





We were very careful not to drill any holes in any of the Red 3’s metalwork so that they could be returned to stock if so desired. You will also notice the rare “Red 0 Rack Enhancer” which was use to mount the 5.1 controls instead of a normal 19” rack panel.





So anybody want a 7.1 Surround version?

-Tony
Old 9th June 2006
  #2
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djui5's Avatar
 

Whoa!!!!





I might want a 7.1 model down the road if this studio thing goes through.
Old 9th June 2006
  #3
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drundall's Avatar
 

wow.
Old 9th June 2006
  #4
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dave-G's Avatar
Dang!! Nice freaking work, Tony!!

-dave
Old 9th June 2006
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmarra
I thought all you Focusrite Red 3 fans would like a peek at this.
Is there any such?..... heh

Beautiful pictures though...
Old 9th June 2006
  #6
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XSergeantD's Avatar
 

Just ran some final imaging tests today. The mods work as expected. Anyone loving the focusrite compressor should speak to the guys if you're going to be doing some 5.1. Tony gave ya all the details, so no need to fill ya in on them again. Great mod guys.
Here's a shot of Tom w/ the unit.
Attached Thumbnails
Focusrite 5.1 Surround Red 3 compressor/limiter-tomfocus.jpg  
Old 14th June 2006
  #7
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tmarra's Avatar
What no questions ???

So here I am worried about posting this because of all the questions you fellow slutz are going to ask, and the thread disappears into obscurity without a single question ?

-Tony
Old 14th June 2006
  #8
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djui5's Avatar
 

Surround isn't very popular here for some reason....

You'd think, with a bunch of engineers and gearslutz, we would talk about the future of the industry more, but no...we argue over what waveforms look like, about mic modeling and it's effects on U47 knock offs with SM58's, not getting A/D/A through AES with the Rosetta 800...and things of that sort.


BTW, how does the unit sound? heh
Old 14th June 2006
  #9
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strauss's Avatar
 

I'm actually interested in how surround mixers approach bus compression.
Do you link all channels? All except the .1 channel? Link front and rear channels separate? Link the center? etc, etc...
There's lots off options here!
Old 16th June 2006
  #10
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tmarra's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by strauss
I'm actually interested in how surround mixers approach bus compression.
Do you link all channels? All except the .1 channel? Link front and rear channels separate? Link the center? etc, etc...
There's lots off options here!
Yes there are many options but we had to go with what the customer wanted in this case. If you look at the added panel we made you will see that each channel can linked to the 5.1 bus of which in this case the Center is the master control. That links the level detectors for both the compressor and limiter on each unit so that any level above threshold on any of the linked channels will cause all the linked channels to react to it.

The individual link switches allow you for example to link Left/Center/Right while compressing or limiting differently on the rears. In fact because we went through quite a bit work to keep all the original fuctions intact, you could use then link the rears with the Red 3 Stereo switch. That way the rears are linked to each other and the fronts linked to each other seperatly.

Like you said the options are endless.

-Tony
Old 17th June 2006
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Sad times for surround sound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djui5
Surround isn't very popular here for some reason....
I agree, there isn’t much interest is surround music. There has been some brilliant mixes done in surround, unfortunately most have been ‘carbon dated rock’.

Contemporary consumers of porta-music don’t know how to listen and don’t understand how to spend an evening appreciating a new release or an old favorite.
Old 18th June 2006
  #12
Gear Head
 
angelo's Avatar
 

Focusrite 5.1 Surround Red 3 compressor/limiter

Hi,

My respect for your work, it looks great. Seeing this makes me remember an article on the old focusrite website (article is gone now).
As far as I can remember Focusrite build an 5.1 compressor from/with Red's 3 for Mark Hawley the soundengineer and husband of Tori Amos.
He used to use alot of Focusrite stuff live for Tori and had the 5.1 unit specially buid for use in the studio.
I own (just) one Red3 and reading this article impressed me and making it remember it now.

Cheers,

Angelo
Old 18th June 2006
  #13
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

what speakers are that in the picture ?
Old 18th June 2006
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by C.Lambrechts
what speakers are that in the picture ?
Griffin Audio

http://www.griffinaudiousa.com/
Old 18th June 2006
  #15
Gear Addict
 
tmarra's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelo
Hi,

My respect for your work, it looks great. Seeing this makes me remember an article on the old focusrite website (article is gone now).
As far as I can remember Focusrite build an 5.1 compressor from/with Red's 3 for Mark Hawley the soundengineer and husband of Tori Amos.
He used to use alot of Focusrite stuff live for Tori and had the 5.1 unit specially buid for use in the studio.
I own (just) one Red3 and reading this article impressed me and making it remember it now.

Cheers,

Angelo
Angelo,
Good eye and memory. That's exactly where this project started from. Our customer saw that article and asked if we could build them one. When we checked with Focusrite we found out that all they did was hard link the Compressor control circuits of 2 Red 3's together.(L, R, L Surround, R Surround)

So after much discussion we decided to take it much farther by using 3 Red 3's and not ONLY linking the compressors but also the limiters and including all the switchable filters. Plus the biggest difference between the Tori Amos one and this was the fact that this one is switchable. With the link switches out, any one of the Red 3's become standard Red 3's (except for the input transformers and rotary switches instead of pots), while the rest stay linked.

Also no "metalwork" was harmed in making this. If desired the Red 3's can be converted back to normal. Tori's units had holes drilled in the backs in order to link them.

-Tony
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