From the Oscars to the GRAMMY® Awards, from a Microsoft product launch to the Super Bowl, ATK Audiotek is the live-event industry’s first call when audio has to be perfect, and ATK Audiotek has come to rely on Focusrite’s RedNet line to ensure that studio-quality sound
Los Angeles, CA – ATK Audiotek is the first choice for leading live-event and broadcast producers when it comes to delivering high-quality, utterly reliable sound for critical applications. ATK has been the provider for over three decades for shows including the GRAMMY® Awards, the Academy Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, the EMMY Awards, the Country Music Association awards, the American Music Awards and other broadcast presentations. They’re also there for global events such as the Super Bowl, for live corporate and shareholder events for leading companies such as Microsoft, and historical political events including the Democratic and Republican national conventions. And as all of those high-profile events have moved into the networked-systems environment in recent years, ATK Audiotek has come to rely on Focusrite’s RedNet range of Dante™-networked audio converters and interfaces to ensure great sound everywhere, all the time, and under any circumstances.
“RedNet has provided us with a high-quality, highly reliable networked-audio resource that we’ve been able to scale to meet whatever needs arise on a wide array of projects, from corporate and industrial events to major awards shows right up through the Super Bowl,” states Scott Harmala, CTO and Vice President of Engineering at ATK Audiotek. “Awards shows and other complex live events have grown massively in terms of channel counts and I/O management. Moving to networked audio is the only intelligent and effective way to handle sound at that level, and it’s become the default for audio now. RedNet gives us the tools we need for every aspect of building and running those complex audio networks.”
ATK Audiotek has recently deployed RedNet systems at the ultimate live event, the Super Bowl, for which ATK Audiotek has been the provider of live-sound productions for close to two decades. The Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show that took place on February 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis saw featured performer and GRAMMY winner Justin Timberlake perform a hits medley supported by scores of singers, dancers and even the University of Minnesota Marching Band. It was a big show, and the sound was held together through an extensive RedNet networked audio system, comprising a total of 48 units. It was larger than the previous year’s RedNet system because ATK Audiotek networked the entire live-sound system in the bowl this year, including cart-mounted field PA speakers that are wheeled into place for the performances, wireless microphones, wedge monitor speakers used for the pre-game events such as Pink’s “Star-Spangled Banner,” as well as IEM monitors used by Timberlake and others. RedNet handled the large system with ease.
“We keep a very large inventory of RedNet units on hand, and we’re adding to it constantly,” says Harmala. “What RedNet gives us is an end-to-end solution that can also interface, through the Dante protocol, with key elements of sound systems from a variety of manufacturers. For instance, we use a lot of DiGiCo SD and Yamaha CL series consoles, and we can connect effortlessly with any of them through RedNet and Dante.”
The company has regularly been adding to its RedNet inventory, including the recent acquisition of an additional six RedNet MP8R eight-channel mic pre and A/D converters. “We will be using these units as needed on many of our shows,” notes Harmala. “I predict that next year’s Super Bowl will require additional inputs for the halftime performer, and we’ll be able to put those MP8R’s to good use.”
The nature of ATK Audiotek’s work is also a testament to RedNet’s reliability. “So many of these big events are live, and are being seen by millions of people around the world — reliability is absolutely critical,” he explains. “The RedNet ‘R’ components, like the A16R or the HD32R, are what we rely on for redundancy. That caliber of reliability is absolutely necessary for the level of events that we’re working on, and it’s also good to know that that same degree of reliability is also available for everything else, from a church event to a small corporate presentation. At every level, we’re getting an incredible degree of reliability from RedNet, which is why it’s our network backbone of choice.”
ATK Audiotek President Michael MacDonald is confident on RedNet as an integral part of the company’s future. “Our new system designs and implementation for the use of the RedNet boxes have drawn significant attention from industry colleagues and other manufacturers,” he states. “There is a big story to tell, on what Scott and ATK have achieved using the tools that Focusrite has developed, and we believe this is just the beginning. As Dante adoption accelerates and video begins to come on line, Focusrite RedNet will attract more attention and opportunity as the leader in the transport market place.”
Photo caption: Scott Harmala, CTO and Vice President of Engineering at ATK Audiotek, pictured with the company’s arsenal of Focusrite RedNet units.