Calrec’s VP2 headless console

Over recent years there has been a steady move towards unmanned audio rooms in news operations, using station automation systems. Calrec’s Serial Control Protocol (CSCP) has already provided a very successful transition to this model, allowing the audio console to be configured and driven entirely from the production control room’s vision switcher and remote fader panel.

Increasingly the console surface is not used at all creating a demand for a broadcast-level virtualised console.

The desire for a dedicated broadcast mixing solution with the requisite I/O infrastructure, processing and feature set is still imperative. Resilience and redundancy cannot be compromised, so Calrec has taken the next step with the introduction of the Type R headless console.

Ten Reasons To Go Virtual

  • VP2 is Calrec’s virtualised mixing system. VP2 has no physical control surface and utilises Calrec’s Assist software for setup and control. VP2’s 4U core comes in three DSP sizes; 128, 180 and 240 input channels and incorporates Calrec’s powerful Hydra2 networking solution. Calrec Serial Control Protocol (CSCP) can allow the audio console to be completely controlled by an automation system.

    Calrec’s VP2 headless console can help broadcasters streamline workflows, reduce downtime on consoles, improve cost efficiency and expand variety of coverage, plus integrate with other equipment via open source transport mechanisms.

    VP2 enables the station to reap many of the benefits of using a Calrec console, but without a physical control surface. Control and setup is via Calrec’s Assist software, which can be accessed from multiple locations via a web-browser.

    The technical director/operator can be given basic control functions whereas an engineer can delve deeper to fine-tune the setup or recall different setups as needed.

    There is a rising demand to provide alternatives to traditional broadcast workflows for some applications. This has come in many forms including remote production, headless consoles and IP integration.

  • Calrec Assist is an application which runs in a web browser on Mac, Windows and Linux devices, giving you a virtual desk running on a laptop. Calrec’s virtual environment is set up via a web browser to connect to Calrec Assist’s straightforward UI and allows the user to set up shows, memories, fader layout, patching, bus setup, labelling on their own device, anywhere in the world.

    Alternatively the user can export a show from a desk, import it into Calrec Assist on a laptop, and tweak patching, routing, and fader labels whilst on the road to the next show.  When back in front of the desk, they can export the show from Calrec Assist, import it back onto the live desk, and be up and running in no time.

    These desk packages contain a complete description of the desk including channel count, bus count, number of faders, and all required I/O.  By importing different desk packages into Calrec Assist, the user can easily configure their laptop or PC to emulate any desks they want to work on.

Calrec VP2 virtual production unit

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