NAB 2016: Calrec adds Brio to Bluefin2 range

Calrec Audio has revealed Brio, the newest and smallest member of its Bluefin2 range and ‘the most powerful and compact digital broadcast audio console in its class’ at this year’s NAB Show.

The console (main picture) is 892 mm wide with a 36 dual-layer fader surface and 15.6-inch HD touchscreen UI. A bank of illuminating hardware rotary controls gives ‘fast and precise control’ over parameters displayed in the touchscreen UI.

Brio is entirely self-contained, with analogue and digital I/O and GPIO built into the surface. Additional expansion I/O slots allow for further I/O integration, while fitting an available Hydra2 module makes it possible to connect to and share audio over Calrec’s Hydra2 network.

"Brio provides something unique at this price point – a mixing console completely focused on the needs of broadcasters and broadcast infrastructures," said Calrec VP of sales Dave 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.”

Connecting to Hydra2 allows broadcasters to take advantage of Hydra2’s 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 that emerge and allows the console to sit on multiple networks simultaneously if desired.

Letson added: ”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’s standard broadcast-specific features include:

  • 64 mono-equivalent legs that can be assigned as mono, stereo, or 5.1 input channels
  • 36 mono-equivalent legs that can be assigned as mono, stereo, or 5.1 mains or groups (maximum of four mains and eight groups)
  • 24 mono-equivalent legs that can be assigned as mono or stereo auxes (maximum of 24 auxes)
  • 64 direct or mix-minus outputs, with AutoMinus and Off-Air Conference
  • Complete integrated loudness metering
  • Integration with remote control and production automation systems via CSCP, SW-P-08, EMBER, and GPIO remote control functionality
  • EQ and dynamics on every channel, group, and main

Calrec is also debuting RP1 (pictured, below), a remote production engine that offers the ability to capture a broader range of live events, such as sports, news, or regional music festivals.

The RP1 is a 2U core that contains integrated, FPGA-based DSP, which enables a console surface at another facility to control all mixing functionality. The RP1 core manages all of the processing for IFB routing and remote monitor mixes, and it does so locally with no latency, allowing remote mixing engineers to set up IFB mixes and eradicate any delay for remote listeners or presenters.

The RP1 core quickly embeds audio into existing video-transport mechanisms, while its modular I/O backbone accepts any of Calrec’s I/O cards.

"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," Letson commented. ”This is a high-end broadcast mixing system in a 2U rackmount 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; it’s seamless.”