Calrec’s New Hyrdra2 Interface Provides Connectivity for DiGiCo

Calrec (Booth C2755) has released the first technology developed in conjunction with DiGiCo since the formation of the Pro Audio Group in August 2014.

DiGiCo consoles can now integrate into the Hydra2 network via DiGiCo’s brand-new “anything in, anything out” Orange Box equipped with Calrec’s new Hydra2 interface card. The Orange Box accepts a variety of DiGiCo Multichannel Interface (DMI) cards that easily convert audio from one transport protocol to another.

Calrec’s new interface card allows third-party manufacturers to integrate Hydra2 into their equipment. In this instance, the Calrec card sits on the Hydra2 DMI card in the Orange Box and redundantly connects into a Hydra2 router via fiber or copper like any other Hydra2 I/O connection. A MADI DMI card also sits in the Orange Box, which in turn connects to any DiGiCo console.

The dual MADI connection allows 112 channels of audio to pass from the Hydra2 network but provides more than just a transport system: it also gives operators added control. The link provides the ability to share labeling and control input gain along with I/O switching for phantom power and phase.

“It was evident that DiGiCo consoles are regularly used as feeder consoles to Calrec consoles in the main OBs at large sporting events,” says Dave Letson, VP, sales, Calrec. “So it seemed perfect for our first collaboration to link our consoles together on the Hydra2 network. This new development offers our customers the unique ability to have enhanced control that isn’t possible with the traditional MADI systems and to save time and money by streamlining their workflows.”

Adds Chris Fichera, VP, Group One, DiGiCo’s exclusive U.S. distributor, “This technical engagement with the Hydra2 network now provides our customers a clear advantage, expanding greater flexibility between Calrec and DiGiCo,”.

Calrec is already talking to other manufacturers about development that will allow them to integrate their equipment into the Hydra2 network.

New Compact I/O Expansion Units
Calrec is also introducing two compact aluminum expansion units that can be used to expand and distribute a Hydra2 network.

The new Fieldbox range of small-format I/O units extends the advantages of Calrec’s Hydra2 stagebox to rugged environments and areas where rack space is at a premium. These 1RU half-rack units are suited for work in OB environments where I/O needs to be spread over a large area, such as at a golf course. Fieldboxes can be located and distributed where they are needed using just two high-capacity network cables for full redundancy. This setup offers significant savings on rigging time and cabling costs and also reduces cable storage and transport.

In addition, the units can be powered not only by an AC feed but also by an industry-standard battery pack. Minimizing the distance that analog-cable mic-level signals are carried reduces the noise and interference picked up, improving overall audio performance.

“Fieldbox applications are not limited to outside broadcast; they can benefit any fixed or temporary installation where a small number of analog inputs and/or outputs is required in a specific location, such as in small studios, voice-over booths, and control rooms for monitor feeds,” notes Calrec Product Manager Peter Walker. “The Fieldbox functions just like any other Hydra2 I/O box, providing remote control over input settings that utilize Hydra2’s sophisticated sharing, protection, and access management system, along with active status monitoring and a backup Hydra2 network connection.”

In addition, Calrec has developed the H2Hub, which uses the same compact form factor to provide a hub or switch point for a Hydra2 network. A single connection from the router can be switched via the H2Hub to multiple I/O units or to multiple H2Hubs. The H2Hub’s connection and distribution options suit them for forming ad hoc networks, especially when in combination with Fieldboxes and other Calrec I/O infrastructure.

Sales-Executive Appointments
In other news, Calrec has created two senior-management positions, naming Henry Goodman director of support and market development and Dave Letson VP of sales.

Goodman has been in the audio console industry for 35 years, with 27 years’ experience in sales. He has developed strong relationships across the globe and will work closely with customers to identify how best to support their needs, both present and future.

Letson previously headed Calrec America and is now the driving force behind global sales. Having spent the last four years establishing Calrec’s U.S. sales team in Los Angeles, he will now strengthen the team at the UK office in Hebden Bridge.

“These new roles and areas of focus will strengthen Calrec’s market position and reputation as a global leader,” said Calrec CEO James Gordon.

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