The What: Salzbrenner has officially launched its network controlled Polaris Evolution cloud-based digital audio mixing system in North America. The Polaris Scala audio DSP unit is the node where all aspects of the Evolution system’s simultaneous audio processing operations originate and come together.
The What Else: Connect controllers to the Polaris Scala via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. The system’s radically new cloud-based operations and flexibility usher in a new era in digital audio mixing and processing.
Each Polaris Scala DSP unit can process up to 256 inputs, 128 matrix channels, and 256 output busses that connect to the outside world via MADI. For larger projects, several DSP units can be cascaded to control several thousand channels—all in a compact footprint. Controllers like Polaris Evolution’s 16-fader Access module, the Polaris View motorized multi-touch screen, computers, tablets, and smartphones can be connected either via IP/Ethernet or Wi-Fi. The number of controllers can be selected as required, depending upon the nature of the project.
The Polaris Evolution cloud-based audio mixing system eliminates the limitations of traditional mixing concepts: the available DSP power can be used to configure consoles for stadium tours or to accommodate several simultaneous projects in broadcasting stations, OB trucks, on-site locations during live broadcasts, convention centers, or theatre venues. In a multi-user setting, each operator has their own monitoring and talkback lines. For rental companies, the Polaris Evolution’s flexibility enables them to cater to a host of applications with a single system.
Thanks to its intuitive design and surprisingly small number of menus, operators can select the desired channels rapidly and adjust all the required system settings. Salzbrenner’s Dominik Stepanek, the project manager of the Polaris product family, summarizes the underlying philosophy: “For the first time, users can forget about channel numbers. A clever routine selects all drum kit-related channels, for instance, and assigns them to the touch-sensitive user interface where they can be edited.”
Polaris Evolution’s user interface has been streamlined to such a degree that most tweaks and adjustments can be performed in the same familiar way. By default, all channels provide the following audio processing functionality: 6-band EQ, delay, compressor, limiter, multiband compressor, and de-esser. Polaris Scala enables users to create redundant mixing systems within one and the same 3U rack unit, or to set up hardware redundancy based on two separate racks.
The Bottom Line: Arnie Toshner, vice president of sales and marketing for Salzbrenner, commented on the company’s new Polaris Evolution cloud-based audio mixing system, “As a cloud-based audio production tool, we at Salzbrenner believe our Polaris Evolution system addresses the requirements of today’s audio professional, whether it be for broadcast, live performance, AV applications, and more. As these disciplines frequently overlap, we’re confident that the system’s connectivity, flexibility, expandability, and the ease with which new functionality can be incorporated combine to create a mixing system that not only addresses the requirements of today, but well into the future.”