NAB 2016: Calrec Targets Remote Production, Offers Comprehensive Feature Set in Compact Console
Calrec Audio (Booth C1745) is showcasing RP1, a live-broadcast product that directly addresses the growing need for high-quality content from remote locations; and Brio, a powerful and compact digital broadcast-audio console with a comprehensive feature set supporting a wide range of broadcasters while retaining Calrec levels of quality and customer support.
Remote production offers the ability to capture a broad range of events, such as sports, news, or regional music festivals. Broadcasters cannot always justify the time or expense of sending a dedicated outside broadcast truck and a team of skilled onsite operators for niche events, but they must always ensure that the same high broadcast standards are met.
Calrec’s new RP1 remote-production engine is a 2RU core containing integrated, FPGA-based DSP, which enables a console surface at another facility to control all mixing functionality. The core manages all the processing for IFB routing and remote monitor mixes, and it does so locally with no latency. This level of integration and remote control makes it simple for any remote mix engineer to set up IFB mixes and eradicates any delay for remote listeners or presenters.
The RP1 core quickly embeds audio into existing video-transport mechanisms, and its modular I/O backbone accepts any of Calrec’s I/O cards. This versatility means the RP1 can connect via analog, AES, MADI, SDI, and the latest AoIP solutions from AES67, Ravenna, Dante, and SMPTE 2022.
“All these remote I/O resources appear to the main audio mixer like any other local I/O box, which means there is no operator learning curve,” said Dave Letson, VP, sales, Calrec. “This is a high-end broadcast mixing system in a 2RU rack-mount box, with the control surface in a physically remote location. The RP1 core allows remote sources to be patched to studio-based consoles and controlled as if they were physically located at the facility.
“Remote broadcasting using the RP1 means fewer resources are needed onsite,” he continues. “Controlling audio from a remote console saves money on setup time, crew, logistics, and equipment. It is simple to set up and very easy to use. It also enables broadcasters to cover a greater number of specialized events, such as regional or college sports and smaller entertainment events, at significantly reduced cost, making it possible to maintain an increasingly wide range of content.”
In addition, the RP1 core allows broadcasters to create very low-cost Hydra2 networks for all audio-routing requirements. The RP1 provides connectivity to any Calrec Hydra2 I/O box, including the ultra-compact Fieldbox and H2Hub, providing a cost-effective way to adapt to the requirements of any situation. Such connectivity gives broadcasters access to Hydra2’s inherent management features, such as port protection, alias files, and access rights.
Brio Console Has Compact, Configurable Surface
The smallest in Calrec’s Bluefin2 family, Brio has a control surface unlike any other console. At only 892 mm wide, the 36–dual-layer fader surface provides more faders in a given footprint than any other audio console.
Based on Calrec’s 20 years of digital development, Brio’s uncluttered, compact, and configurable surface gives instant access to a large number of audio paths; an intuitive 15.6-in. HD touchscreen UI provides quick access to more in-depth control. A bank of illuminating hardware rotary controls gives fast, precise control over parameters displayed in the touchscreen UI.
“Brio provides something unique at this price point: a mixing console completely focused on the needs of broadcasters and broadcast infrastructures,” says Letson. “This amount of scalable and managed I/O, comprehensive monitoring, surround sound, and high bus quantities provides a degree of dedicated broadcast functionality that has never been available at this level.
“As the market calls for more and more audio mixes to support online content, smaller consoles that possess pure live-broadcast features are increasingly desirable,” he continues. “Products in this sector have traditionally had basic capabilities and are not ideally suited to broadcast environments. Brio is the first application-specific alternative for broadcasters who operate in this environment and provides dedicated broadcast features at a very aggressive price point.
“Brio’s compact size means it is extremely portable and quick to install, making it ideal as a general-purpose workhorse that users can deploy as and when needed, and its connectivity with other Hydra2-compatible equipment makes it even more versatile.”
Brio is entirely self-contained, with analog and digital I/O and GPIO built into the surface. Additional expansion I/O slots allow further I/O integration, while fitting an available Hydra2 module makes it possible to connect to and share audio over Calrec’s Hydra2 network.
Connecting to Hydra2 allows broadcasters to take advantage of Hydra2’s sophisticated management facilities for network-wide control, including interfacing with multiple video- and audio-over-IP networks such as SMPTE 2022, Dante, AES67, Ravenna, and SoundGrid. Multiformat support protects the system against any future formats and allows the console to sit on multiple networks simultaneously.
Brio is powerful, too, with the ability to freely change path assignment and width on the fly.