No Room For Compromise: RedNet’s Role In Tom Snider’s News Room

Tom Snider

When building his studio, The News Room, Tom Snider wanted to “create a no-compromise listening environment for composition and production." Throughout his career, Snider has accrued acclaim across many fields in audio production, as well as knowing exactly what it takes to create the perfect production environment.

The freelance composer specialises in custom news media packages and production music. His music is featured daily in more than 300 domestic markets, and his international roster of clients includes AT&T, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNBC, and CCTV in China, as well as CNN-IBN and IBN7, both in India.

He earned his undergraduate degree at Wheaton College Conservatory and his Masters in Piano Performance at Northwestern University. After several years of touring with his own pop band and with popular performers such as Twila Paris and Amy Grant, Snider began focusing on writing and producing. His music has won several Emmy and Addy awards, as well as Promax Gold and Silver music awards. With such wide-reaching clients, and refined musical proficiency, Snider demands an always-ready facility with the highest sound quality and unshakable reliability.

“Difference in sound quality can be the difference in winning, or not winning a big project" — Tom Snider


Creating a seamless workflow that provided total control without compromising quality was integral to Snider's set up. Having faced many a stability issue with his old system, the 30-year veteran links his success to the dependability of his equipment. His old system had “a confusing interface" and “issues predominantly revolving around stability; — crashes, interfaces disappearing and things like that." Thankfully, Focusrite posed a reliable solution.

“Focusrite had been on my radar for a long time, as they have a strong reputation in the industry, particularly for their quality of converters," Snider recalls. “I consulted with a Focusrite representative and my salesperson at a Guitar Center. Once I told them what I needed to do, they helped to design the necessary system. I looked over things and made a few tweaks, of course, but for the most part, everything was exactly what I needed."

Snider's system now comprises of 4 RedNet A16Rs, needed for input of several external synths, as well as interfacing with an SSL console and cue system. 2 HD32Rs support full use of a HDX card, and a RedNet PCIe card is used with Logic and other audio sources from a Mac. This provides ample inputs and outputs for all of Snider's compositional needs.

First impressions are often the strongest, and things were positive. “RedNet is solid as a rock" Snider remarks. “It's a bit of a learning curve in understanding Dante and configuring the Dante Controller; but once you're over that hump, understanding, working with, and configuring the system is logical; it's easy to get where you need to go. RedNet is extremely flexible without being overly complicated."

Snider breaks down his workflow into four stages. Unsurprisingly the composition stage starts things, — “It's very similar to film work; I will create, write, or program a piece with all instruments mocked up using synths, samples and a DAW, for example, writing in Logic Pro X. Sometimes writing to video will be required, and I will send a rough mix to the client for approval."

“RedNet is solid as a rock" — Tom Snider

Next, Snider records any live guitars at his studio into Logic or Pro Tools, and then transfers these tracks to Pro Tools to deliver a more or less complete mix.

“The final step in this process is getting a mix engineer to finesse the mix, and send it back to me for approval," Snider elaborates, “then there's a back-and-forth that will continue until the mix is ready. At this point, my role is pretty much complete, all that remains are mix-outs, stems and edits, all of which are handled by the music house I work for."

It goes without saying that Snider's career has informed his choices when creating The News Room. “I'm the kind of person who will spend a great deal of time and money getting that last 5% of sound quality, for better or for worse!" he remarks, “In the case of a career in music production, it is definitely for the better."

With RedNet at the helm, Snider's News Room environment encompasses all the necessary tools needed to execute his production work with clarity and ease. Snider remarks in particular on the “integration, flexibility, stability, modular design, and sound quality. Oh, and tech support that is readily available, extremely knowledgeable and quick to solve problems", to guide you through your set up processes. For all these reasons, Snider vouches for RedNet as an excellent system for peers in the field.