Set it and forget it: the Calrec Automation System

At IBC2015, Calrec revealed its new automation system for the Apollo and Artemis consoles. Designed to record the movements of a console’s channel and bus controls in real time, Calrec’s implementation is unique in that it operates entirely in the background during a live broadcast.

“In principle, Calrec’s broadcast automation system is similar to traditional post-production and music automation systems, but that’s where the similarity stops. The fact that it is user-transparent is what makes it unique,” said Karl Lynch, product manager at Calrec.

“The Calrec automation system has been designed for the highly stressful live-broadcast environment, where there is only one opportunity to get it right. Because it operates almost invisibly during the live broadcast, the system allows the user to concentrate on the task at hand without additional controls interfering with the console user interface.”

That user transparency leaves the operator free to mix the show without the distraction of seeing automation controls on the surface. Once the live element is over and the first pass has been recorded, the automation controls can be made visible on the console surface with a single button press. The system provides an on-screen editor that can be operated from the mix position, allowing the user to quickly locate any part of the show, replay the recording, and make adjustments using the surface controls in combination with the comprehensive set of editing tools provided. This feature set greatly simplifies the task of producing an automated mixdown or repurposing the material for quick turnaround. The console setup and automation data can be saved for post-production at a later date.

Calrec’s system comes as a 3U rackmount unit and is connected to the primary and secondary master controllers of the console, creating a redundant connection for peace of mind. The system provides video synchronisation and comprehensive machine control via 9-pin, LTC, MIDI, and GPIO; works alongside all major DAWs; and can interface with external machine control synchronisers if a full post-production environment is required.

Because you guys know what automation is, and as you know we constantly strive to avoid being patronising, above is a video which not only illustrates the transition from one of the oldest automation systems, but also introduces an entirely new musical genre: Carnival Step.

The kids will love it.

17/09/15