Producer/Engineer Dave Isaac Streamlines Workflow at His Personal Studio with Focusrite Red8 Pre
GRAMMY Award-winning producer/engineer Dave Isaac has led a dream career in the worlds of R&B, jazz and beyond, working with the likes of Bruno Mars, David Sanborn, Luther Vandross, Marcus Miller, Prince and many others. He has also served as an audio educator for the last decade at Musician’s Institute in Hollywood and UCLA Extension. After 15 or so years working closely in Santa Monica studios with Marcus Miller, in 2007 Isaac made the decision to work more steadily in his own personal Los Angeles studio space – a somewhat common move at the time, and part of a trend that continues to this day. “Like lots of engineers and producers today, I work out of my home to basically start mixes or productions, and afterwards I’ll move to a studio to listen to mixes or for additional production,” notes Isaac. And as his personal setup has evolved in recent years, he has found a useful hub in the Red 8Pre 64-In / 64-Out Thunderbolt™ 2 and Pro Tools | HD™ compatible audio interface from Focusrite.
“Not too long ago, I basically upgraded my whole setup from scratch,” he notes. “I was looking to streamline, and to look forward to a simplified network infrastructure, and Red 8Pre was definitely the right interface for my setup. I can get frustrated with different pieces of gear and different software windows, when they don’t all seem to be speaking to each other. But getting the Red 8Pre as the hub has made that a non-issue. Now I can focus on the music.”
He continues, “The Red 8Pre has allowed me the flexibility to do whatever I need as far as inputs and outputs, all with one Red 8Pre unit. When we first set it up, I was up and running in a matter of minutes. Having this flexibility has, without a doubt, saved me both time and money. The range of options in connectivity is insane. If by some chance I want to move into more than 64 channel outs in the future, it’s really as simple as adding one additional Dante piece that won’t take up too much rack real estate. I love the thought of that! I’m not sure if you can get this many channel outs within two single rack space units anywhere else. Considering the range of work that I do, especially in the world of music for film, that had to be a serious consideration. And furthermore, it’s future-proof – if I’m looking down the road 5 or 10 years or longer, these tools can still be the foundation of whatever my setup has evolved into.”
Isaac likes to think of his gear as an extension of himself as an engineer. “I sometimes tell my students, find equipment that becomes such a part of you that you almost forget that it’s there until a visitor or collaborator tells you how pretty it is!” he laughs. “When that is the case, that means you’re happy with the sound. That piece of gear represents you and your sound, and that means you’re at a point where you can then ‘set it and forget it’ and, again, focus on what’s most important: the music! Focusrite, in particular, is a brand that I associate with successes from early in my career. It feels good to go back to my roots in that way, with the new Focusrite tools for the 21st century as a cornerstone of my workflow.”