Across the globe, schools and colleges are looking to train the next generation of broadcast engineers, and are finding that it entails more than just concepts and theory. Successful courses provide a well-rounded broadcast education that prepares students with technical training and hands-on skillsets to help them confidently enter the workforce. Calrec Audio has seen many recent installations of its consoles and audio networking solutions in educational establishments.
Calrec’s Brio range has become the go-to console solution in this space for various reasons, including its small form-factor, power and cost-effectiveness; and the sheer quality of the Calrec sound. Though other Calrec consoles have been deployed at colleges and universities, Brio is ideally positioned in terms of size and budget to provide students with hands-on experience using industry-standard tools.
When the University of Surrey, UK, recently upgraded its television studio with a Calrec Brio36 as a key part of a major refurbishment, Professor Tony Myatt, head of the Department of Music and Media, described Calrec as being “the obvious choice as industry leaders in the field.” Students there are taking advantage of the Brio’s networking capabilities by expanding its connectivity via an additional I/O box. This includes inputs for a MADI card that connects the Brio to the facility’s main audio studio, and a Dante card to teach students audio over IP, which is a very important aspect in professional audio.
Though Brio is compact in size, it doesn’t compromise on functionality or features. Brio is available with a 36-fader dual layer surface (the Brio36) or with a 12-fader dual-layer surface (the Brio12). Both models provide more faders in a given footprint than any other comparable audio console. Coupled with this is the Brio’s budget-friendly price-point, which gives it an edge over the competition and was among the top reasons that California-based Chapman University chose the console for programs at its Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.
Brio has the same DSP at its heart as any other console in Calrec’s highly successful Bluefin2 range, meaning its sound quality is identical to the company’s larger consoles, which are used on the world’s highest profile televised events. The console’s mic pre’s are clear and transparent, and feature excellent transient response. In addition to the quality of the EQs, compressors and dynamic range, Calrec’s product engineers are very focused on ensuring the clearest surface layout possible.
Among the many colleges utilizing Calrec in various capacities is Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida, which has a vast array of the company’s consoles. This includes a Brio with Hydra2 in its film school and a Summa for its show production students, as well as an Artemis and a Brio36 at its world-class performance venue. “We had an existing relationship with Calrec and knew its consoles had the right tools, functionality and features,” says Scott Dansby, director, industry relations, Full Sail University. “Continuity was important to us as some of the students were already working with Calrec boards as part of their degree programs. Calrec provides us with a lot more room to grow in terms of the number of busses, channels and networks.”
For students at Husson University’s New England School of Communications (NESCom) in Bangor, Maine, the Brio and accompanying Calrec Summa console are giving students real-world audio mixing experience. “The Brio is in use for NESCom’s studio productions, including the NESCom Connection, a daily news and public affairs TV program produced by the school’s video production and journalism students,” says Edward Goguen, assistant professor, academic director and audio programs coordinator at NESCom.
Further illustrating Calrec’s commitment to education is the Brio’s role in producing live sports for the broadcast team at SoonerVision, the in-house video production arm of the University of Oklahoma (OU) Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. With an Artemis console already in place, the school took its production one step further by purchasing a Brio, which produces thousands of hours of sports content annually.
The educational market is in-line with the larger broadcast industry in that its consoles are integral components on wider networks with adaptable workflows and shareable resources using open standards and established networking technology. Calrec has a range of COTS-compatible products designed around an IP backbone, as well as a number of SMPTE 2110/AES67-compatible products to help customers transition to an IP environment, which include extra control levels to allow audio labels and control data to be passed. This gives users the ability to control gain of mic inputs under a variety of network conditions.
“We are pleased to see worldwide support for our consoles in the education sector,” says Dave Letson, vice president of sales, Calrec. “Our solutions are a leading brand for major broadcasters around the world, and making the consoles available to students means we are not only garnering the future of our user-base, but ensuring they are well-equipped to take on the industry head-on. We look forward to continuing to roll-out solutions that are ideally suited for everyone from professionals to those who are learning the trade.”