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Tech Focus: Audio Consoles, Part 2 - A Look at Mixing Units for Remote Production

11/07/2019

Tech Focus: Audio Consoles, Part 2 - A Look at Mixing Units for Remote Production Increased diversity in sizes, functionality marks this relatively small category By Dan Daley, Audio Editor

Thursday, July 11, 2019 - 1:05 pm

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Audio-mixing consoles for remote broadcast production represent a relatively rarefied category at the high end of the market, but there's increasing diversity within the group, thanks to growing demand for consoles of various sizes and functionality. Here's an overview of the leading contenders.

Click here for Tech Focus: Audio Consoles, Part 1 - Design Evolves To Meet New Exigencies

Calrec ImPulse core

Calrec

The introduction of Calrec's ImPulse core, which is compatible with existing Apollo and Artemis control surfaces, offers users a native IP AES67- and SMPTE 2110-compliant backbone and a fully defined upgrade path as they transfer to IP infrastructures. Designed for broadcasters already producing live content in immersive formats over such platforms as MPEG-H and Dolby Atmos, ImPulse includes 3D immersive path widths and panning, with full monitoring and metering, height and 3D-pan controls. It is fully scalable, with a flexible upgrade path and DSP expansion capacity for changing requirements.

Besides launching ImPulse, Calrec recognizes that, as the industry converges on IP workflows, upgrade plans need to be defined because moving to an IP infrastructure requires careful planning. In response, Calrec has introduced Gateway technologies to make the transition smoother and allow more flexibility at large, multiple-production events where Hydra2 and IP are being used concurrently. Calrec supports its customers at every stage in the move to IP. Its H2-IP gateway and the AoIP modular I/O controller card, both of which are SMPTE 2110/AES67-compatible, are designed to help all its customers - including sports broadcasters - bridge the gap to IP workflows. They provide an interface between Calrec Hydra2 networks and an AoIP network and provide control capability to allow control data and audio labels to be passed in both directions.

The company's Type R modular, expandable, IP-based system uses standard networking hardware and soft panels, which can be tailored to operator needs. It can also operate as a headless console; in fact, there is a rise in demand for more virtualized production, including at-home production and headless consoles. Calrec's Type R and VP2 headless consoles and RP1 Remote Production core can help broadcasters streamline workflows, reduce downtime on consoles, improve cost efficiency, and expand variety of coverage.

Calrec's Connect web application manages IP streams regardless of registration/discovery protocol and provides access to in-depth configuration, extracting the information and providing a simple interface for day-to-day management by production staff. calrec.com/

DiGiCo S21

DiGiCo

DiGiCo has expanded its S Series of compact digital consoles with the S31. A larger version of the popular S21 console, it features an expanded work surface with 10 additional faders for more control and a third 10-in. multi-touch screen, with 24 mic inputs and 12 line outputs on the rear of the console for straightforward audio connection. It also has two slots for any DiGiCo Multichannel Interface (DMI) card.

The new compact 2RU Orange Box is an audio-format converter with multiple options, allowing use of DMI cards to create audio paths over a variety of interfaces. With two PSUs for redundancy and two slots to accommodate any of the 10 current interfaces available (Dante, Hydra2, BNC, Cat 5, Optocore, Aviom, AES, ADC, DAC, and Waves/SoundGrid), the Orange Box allows conversion of almost any audio format to another. www.digiconsoles.com/

Lawo

Lawo consoles are IP-ready and support current and evolving industry standards for audio, video, and data format interoperability. The mc Series mixing consoles - the mc 96 Grand Production Console, optimized for IP production environments; the mc 56 and new mc 56mkIII, available with optional surfaces that provide extra free controls or dual faders; and the all-in-one mc236 - are offered in multiple configurations with physical console surfaces, channel capacity, and frames optimized for everything from mobiles and flypacks to large production complexes. Lawo also offers a full range of solutions for remote-production and automated mix applications, including standalone cores. The mc2 Micro Core universal networked audio engine, the Compact Engine AES67 audio node with on-board DSP, and the Power Core 1RU IP-based mix engine with modular I/O options can perform all audio mixing and routing functions under remote control of vision mixers or third-party automation systems.

Lawo's A__UHD Core, an ultra-high-density IP DSP engine for mc consoles, uses the IP network as an extension of the console core's backplane and thus can be located anywhere on the network. Its ultra-high processing density with more than 1,000 mc fully featured DSP channels can be used by a single mc console for coping with the most challenging productions or can be shared by up to four consoles.

Multiple stagebox I/O offerings support IP interfacing of analog and digital sources for remote-production applications. In addition to its DALLIS modular frames, Lawo also offers the A__line of AoIP interfaces for managing analog, AES3, MADI, and RAVENNA/AES67 audio connections, including functionality for remote mic pre control and operation of audio-mix functions from a remote location using a browser-based interface that can be customized for specific workflows. All of Lawo's consoles, cores, stageboxes, control software, and Nova Series routers offer multiple configuration options with protocols supported for automation and studio/remote management applicati
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