RedNet & Red Interfaces Power David Henszey's Dolby Atmos-Certified Mix Room

Dave Henszey is a veteran audio engineer who has been at the cutting edge of both analogue and digital audio for several decades. “You could say I was an early adopter of digital things," Henszey reflects, “but I always stayed in the analogue world at the same time. I think that dual mind has served me well moving into the modern era, where analogue has a lot of value to clients once again." As both a recording engineer and mixer, Henszey has been in demand for years, with an extensive client list that includes Lego Star Wars, Miller Brewing, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, MTV Spring Break, and much more, especially in the months since his new Henszey Sound LLC facility opened in the Universal City area of Los Angeles. Henszey Sound is a customised immersive audio mixing and recording suite (at 48KHz or 96KHz), and here's the kicker: it's Dolby Atmos certified, opening him up to business from high-profile clients and production companies. Key to his setup is the all-Dante network infrastructure, and an important part of that is his arsenal of Red and RedNet interfaces from Focusrite.

Among his important tools are a Focusrite RedNet MP8R eight-channel mic pre and A-D converter, a RedNet A16R 16-channel analogue I/O interface, three RedNet HD32R 32-channel HD Dante network bridges and a Red 8Pre 64-In / 64-Out Thunderbolt 2 and Pro Tools | HD audio interface. Other highlights include a Slate Raven console, a full complement of outboard gear, software and mics, including his prized Neumann U47 FET. Perhaps the most dazzling part is the first Atmos speaker system made up of ADAM components: three ADAM A77X near/midfield monitors, four ADAM A7X nearfield monitors, four ADAM A5X nearfield monitors and two ADAM SUB12 subwoofers.

“I knew this was a new type of studio I was moving into," he notes, “and I thought it was important to approach it with the humility of all the things I don't know. So I tried to clear my mind of my preconceived opinions and seek out some people who know their business in this area. I found those people at Dolby Laboratories and Westlake Pro, and they've been wonderful advisors in helping me make this vision happen. The experts at Westlake Pro recommended Focusrite components, and I've had good experiences with Focusrite through my career, so it was an easy decision to go with their advice. The one non-negotiable approach that I had was that I needed to have this system be Atmos-certified with ADAM speakers, because they are my go-to. They had never certified an Atmos system with ADAM speakers, so I was to be the first. They have digital tools to help set up and certify a room, and we got it up and running, and it all worked like a dream. The sound was stunning. I knew it would be good, but I had no idea what I was about to hear, and it was spectacular."

Other than Atmos, Henszey also has certifications from the Trusted Partner Network and the MPAA, which has given him access to Hollywood clients at the new facility. “We have some good things on the calendar, but actually I'm not allowed to say what they are!" he laughs, referring most likely to the strict security and intellectual property protocols that the MPAA adheres to. Other work has included a fair amount of mixing in the EDM genre as well as jazz. “The work that Westlake Pro and Dolby did at this room is way over the top. The future of the audio industry is really exciting, and there's a lot of great stuff happening right now. Atmos has opened up a lot of possibilities. I love that format — even when you hear an Atmos mix out of a smartphone, it jumps out at you and goes all around you. It's a beautiful set of tools for audio professionals working today and in the future."

To hear more from David Henszey, listen to his episode of the Focusrite Pro Podcast: