Recording engineer Richard Chycki has recently been using Focusrite’s Red 4Pre audio interface. He’s already used the interface to mix “Our New World,” the single from Dream Theater featuring Lzzy Hale, as well as Rush’s “Freewill” (which he remixed for Harmonix’s enduring Rock Band game franchise.) “I was looking for something that was all-in-one, that had monitoring capability, and interfaced well with Pro Tools | HD,” Chycki recalls. “And it absolutely interfaces so well. The Red 4Pre has ultra-low latency for native setups and that’s a simple Thunderbolt connection. Personally, I have an HDX system—just connect a pair of DigiLink cables, set the Red 4Pre to Pro Tools mode, and it works great with no unexpected surprises. When set to Pro Tools mode, the routing is fixed. So assigning audio routing within Pro Tools is really the only memory work that’s required; but I understand Focusrite has a release coming that allows freely assignable routing!”
Chycki’s also an in-demand mixer and recorder of live shows, and the Red 4Pre has quickly become his go-to unit within that realm. “With Ethernet and Dante,” he explains, “A client simply provides me with a Dante feed from their router and I’m ready to print in no time. And all I have to do is bring my computer, a Thunderbolt PCIe chassis and this one interface with me, which is fantastic. Before, there were AES interfaces, channel splits, mic preamps, outboard gear and more outboard gear. Now, the soundman can just feed me a nice clean signal via Dante. It’s beautiful.”
But really, it’s the simple things that have sold Chycki on the Red 4Pre. “It’s a great-sounding unit; the preamps are fantastic. They’re wonderfully open and accurate,” he says. “Plus it’s easy to zip back and forth between two different sets of monitor speakers and two different headphone mixes, which is great. Also, it just feels solid. After ten or twenty thousand miles, some gear might not do so well. But this has been traveling with me a fair bit, taking all the lumps and bumps you might expect—and I’ve had no problem with it at all. And to top it off, the ergonomics are amazing. I can really say that there’s a lot of love here for the 4Pre.”
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