Hydra2 provides seamless, scalable audio networking of audio mixing consoles with routers and I/O interfaces, allowing for a large numbers of inputs and outputs to be shared and controlled irrespective of location. Hydra2 does not compromise audio quality, performs with negligible latency and is founded on comprehensive, built-in fault detection and redundancy. Many of the world’s most successful broadcasters rely on Hydra2 infrastructure for live on-air application in both fixed and mobile installations every day.
At the heart of Hydra2 is the 8192² Calrec router (4096² on Summa and Artemis Light). Networks become more advanced when multiple routers are connected together to add additional mixing consoles, or to increase the amount of I/O connections available. Routers, mixing consoles and I/O can all be easily connected to the network as and when needed.
Hydra2 provides 1-to-n routing; input sources may be routed to any number of destinations in mixed formats, removing the need for external splits, distribution amplifiers and format convertors. Sources can be routed to multiple consoles, to multiple DSP inputs on each console and directly to output destinations all at the same time.
I/O units connect to a Hydra2 router via a single Cat5e or fibre link and can carry 512 channels of 24 bit 48KHz audio in each direction simultaneously, along with control and error detection data. Bandwidth between routers can be increased in multiples of 512 channels by adding additional Hydra2 links between them.
As with all Calrec products, audio quality and product reliability are our top concerns. All analogue pre-amps and line level paths are designed around our well proven and highly respected circuitry, providing very high headroom with a very low noise floor. Our lossless proprietary network transportation protocol does not compromise the high audio quality and maintains minimal latency.
H2O is a graphical user interface that provides administrator level control over Hydra2 networks and can be accessed via a web browser running on any PC with a network connection to the console.
By default, all mixing consoles on a Hydra2 network can access all the I/O on that network, irrespective of which router the I/O directly connects to. H2O provides comprehensive access rights management to the network, where users can manage the access rights of each individual console to safeguard set-ups and give privacy to multi-production environments.
H2O allows users to route input sources to output destinations without the use of a control surface, as well as edit I/O box labels, I/O port labels and port descriptions. H2O can also be used to enter SW-P-08 ID’s against I/O ports to allow control over source to destination routing by 3rd party controllers.
Unlike physical I/O interfaces, Hydra Patchbays are virtual patch-points within the Hydra2 domain that allows a console operator to patch DSP outputs to Hydra Patchbays, making them available to other console operators and H2O users on the network. Console operators can also use Hydra Patchbays as inputs, giving H2O users the ability to change the sources feeding input channels on control surfaces.
Hydra Patchbays are a powerful tool for control room and studio resource management, allowing remote network administrators to be able to put control rooms “on-air” and to manage the sources available to them.