Calrec Debuts Apollo Console, Announces Compatibility With Reidel’s Artist Intercom

By Dan Daley

Calrec took the next step in the evolution of its console and Bluefin network technology at the NAB Show on Monday. The company introduced the Apollo console, which provides more than twice as much processing power as its Alpha platform, a massive 1,020-channel count, and an all-new, user-configurable control surface that uses OLED (organic LED) touchscreens and displays.

Apollo runs on Bluefin2, the next generation of Calrec’s Bluefin high-density signal processing, to provide high performance at multiple sample rates. At 48 kHz, Bluefin2 gives Apollo up to 1,020 channel-processing paths, 128 program busses, 96 IFB/Track outputs, and 48 auxiliaries. At 96 kHz, Apollo affords 510 channel-processing paths, 64 program busses, 48 IFB/Track outputs, and 24 auxiliaries.

Apollo features include a second dynamics section in each channel, more than 70 minutes of assignable delay, and three independent APFL systems for multiple-operator use. As with all Calrec designs, the facilities do not share resources, so they are available to the user at all times. Processing, power supplies, and I/O routing are all contained in a compact, 8RU chassis.

The Apollo interface is similarly advanced. Besides the OLED technology, features include user-configurable light-emitting knobs for instant feedback about function and status. In assign mode, the console mirrors the assign panels used on previous Calrec designs. In channel-strip mode, the panels are configured to resemble an analog design.

“The control surface is very advanced,” Kevin Emmott, marketing manager for Calrec tells SVG. He adds that the inclusion of the touchscreen surface came after consultations with numerous mixers in the U.S. and the UK, looking for the right combination of simplicity without giving up tactile feedback: “The user can adjust the sensitivity to their preference.”

The Apollo console is equipped with a dedicated integrated router so that its I/O functions can be performed by Calrec’s next-generation networking system, Hydra2. Hydra2 uses high-capacity 8192×8192 cross-point routers and makes available a variety of I/O units to provide analog, AES, MADI, SDI, and Dolby E formats. All use copper or fiber connectivity and can be fitted with GPIO cards. Console routers can be connected to form large networks, and standalone routers will also be available.

Reidel Partnership Anounced

On the same day, Calrec and intercom manufacturer Reidel Communications announced a close technology partnership that will see the integration of Riedel’s Artist intercom functionality in Calrec’s Apollo digital mixing console, as well as the integration of Calrec’s Hydra2 audio-routing network into Riedel’s fiber-network solution MediorNet, which was also introduced at the show.

Apollo features comprehensive Artist intercom integration, which allows the control surface to show Artist intercom-control panels directly on the fader-control cells. Apollo can assign up to 124 buttons with full Artist functionality to any place on the console. Individual operators can instantly configure their own distinctive operational settings, including the position of the intercom panel.

In addition, a jointly developed interface for MediorNet, Riedel’s new fiber-optic network solution, provides direct interfacing with Hydra2 ensuring that the Hydra2 audio network becomes an integral part of the MediorNet solution. MediorNet provides the integration of multichannel HD video, audio, intercom, and data into one single fiber-optic network with integrated processing and conversion features.

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