Calrec Audio announced the availability of advanced software interfaces that support cost-effective production for users of both its consoles and its Hydra2 networking system. The new interfaces enable Calrec consoles to integrate seamlessly with the world's most popular automated production systems, including those provided by Grass Valley, Sony, Ross, and Snell. Further software integration enables router control of the Calrec Hydra2 network, streamlining production by eliminating the need for a separate audio routing device in many situations.
"Software integration has the potential to help users of our consoles and our Hydra2 network save money while enjoying enhanced production flexibility," said Patrick Warrington, Calrec Audio technical director. "The production system integration is especially beneficial for mid-sized broadcasters and studios trying to keep staffing levels and budgets in alignment, while the Hydra2 integration supports streamlined operation in a variety of settings. Development of these interfaces represents a great success story for Calrec and our technology partners -- like-minded providers that see the benefits of working together to solve problems for customers."
With the new software interfaces, Calrec Audio consoles and the video production switcher are linked so that a single operator at the switcher can control both. While the operator cannot take full advantage of all the audio console's capabilities, he or she can control fader levels, PFL, cuts, auxiliary sends, and other parameters. A key advantage for a broadcaster is the ability to go live any time, day or night, even without a full crew in the studio.
The Calrec Hydra2 network system works with Calrec's Artemis and Apollo audio consoles, linking the control of the DSP processing engine, and remotely located I/O to the high-capacity 8192 x 8192 router. Now that Hydra2 supports industry-standard routing protocols, its crosspoints can be controlled by video routing software -- effectively transforming Hydra2 into an audio router. Tight integration means video and audio share a single control system, so that large patch bays can be replaced with a strand of Cat-5 cable.
In addition, Hydra2 now supports the EMBER self-discovering protocol, which enables highly effective and customized integration of Calrec devices with broadcast control systems such as Colledia and VSM. Relying on EMBER, the control system can assess Hydra2's I/O, rename and edit individual inputs and outputs, and even tell the mixing console to store and deploy desk memories.
"With production growing ever more complex, it's the responsibility of providers like us to leverage technology to simplify workflow and reduce costs," said Patrick. "By enabling tight technology integration, these versatile software interfaces have the potential to reduce costs while supporting a high-quality viewing -- and listening -- experience for the audience."