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 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. Calrec has products which work on both IP and Hydra2 network infrastructures.

Type R is an IP-based mixing system which utilises standard networking technology and combines it with configurable soft panels that can be tailored to operator needs. It provides simple customisation across established networks, open control protocols and surface personalisation. Type R can be used without a physical surface with control and setup via Calrec’s browser-based Assist application and is fully compatible with a variety of automated systems.

VP2 runs on a Hydra2 backbone and also 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.

Both products enable stations to reap many of the benefits of using a Calrec console, but without a physical control surface. Control and setup for both is through Calrec’s user-friendly Assist, which can be accessed from multiple locations via a web-browser.

Calrec Assist

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 Assist

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 VP2 and the Type R headless console.

Ten reasons why Calrec are the virtuosos of virtual

  1. Remote Production Pioneers
    Remote Production can help to minimise costs and increase output, while at the same time main-tain quality. Calrec was one of the first audio companies to invest in the development of Remote Production. Working closely with broadcasters to solve the challenges of control, latency and transport, Calrec created the RP1, which is now an integral component in many broadcasters’ international workflows.
  2. VP2
    Headless consoles give broadcasters all the power and functionality of a full-size console in a more flexible format, and a much smaller form factor. Calrec’s VP2 is a headless console that gives all the power and functionality of a Calrec console in a 4U core. Control and setup is via Calrec’s browser-based app, Assist, and it can be integrated with broadcast automation systems and 3rd party controllers.
  3. Assist
    Calrec’s browser-based Assist app gives extremely detailed control for operation and setup on ImPulse, Type R, RP1 and VP2 in headless operations. It can also be used as an offline setup tool, and allows access to the controls on a physical console surface.
  4. Multiple control surfaces
    Both ImPulse and Type R can support multiple consoles from a single core allowing for the core to be physically located away from the mix environment, and for the DSP to be allocated where and when it is needed. This can be managed between shows and provides greater cost savings and flexibility to a variety of workflows.
  5. Cost saving
    Not having a control surface saves on cost. Flexible DSP allocations save costs. Remote Pro-duction saves costs. Simple as that.
  6. Space saving
    If you don’t have a control surface then you don’t have to house it. In broadcast facilities where space is at a premium, this means there doesn’t have to be any compromise in quality.
  7. Flexibility
    The ability to allocate DSP across multiple consoles, and even remove the control surface completely, gives broadcasters enormous flexibility. For commercial studios who’s business model re-lies on flexible studio and control room allocations across a range of productions, this makes planning and implementation of multiple productions very simple and very easy.
  8. Automation
    As with any Calrec console, all virtual solutions can integrate with news automation systems for virtual news mixing and operate via CSCP. Calrec consoles allow controllers such as GV Ignite and Ross Overdrive. If a broadcaster only requires a small number of faders, more affordable 3rd party fader packs can be used to open and close faders to save money.
  9. All the benefits of owning a Calrec console
    All the features of a Calrec console are available to the broadcaster so there doesn’t have to be any compromise on quality or power.
  10. Router control automation
    In a fast-paced and dynamic broadcast environment, quick audio routing can be essential. That’s why all VP2 features a 1-to-n router that allows any source to be routed to one or even all destinations, whatever you may require. VP2 also supports external control via SW-P-08, so you can combine the power of Hydra2 patching with external controllers to integrate your mixer into your workflow, seamlessly.

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