Italian Public Broadcaster RAI Installs Calrec Audio Console for Live News

Italian state broadcaster RAI has installed a Calrec Artemis Light digital audio console as part of its new TV4 regional news studio in Milan. The console, which handles daily live news, is tightly integrated with RAI’s video switcher via purpose-built software from Calrec.

CalrecRAI, the country’s largest broadcaster, operates a variety of television channels and radio stations, broadcasting via digital terrestrial transmission and from several satellite and IPTV platforms.

“The tender specifications called for two consoles and a separate audio matrix, which offered no redundancy. With Artemis Light, we have achieved more power, more redundancy, and more flexibility — not to mention cost savings — using a single Calrec mixer instead of the requested two mixers and one matrix,” said Alessandro Asti, vice president of sales at ARET video and audio engineering, Calrec’s partner in Italy responsible for sales, training, and support. “The full redundancy, maximum reliability, and latest FPGA technology in the Artemis Light console make it perfect for RAI’s demanding live-news environment. You really need to use this desk in a real-world situation to understand how powerful and immediate it is!”

RAI’s Artemis Light console is capable of 240 DSP channels via Bluefin2, the latest generation of Calrec’s FPGA technology. The desk is a 40-fader surface with an extension that can accommodate up to 16 faders. Both are equipped with monitor spill panels, and an RTW TM7 meter housed in the main surface provides additional metering.

The 4096 x 4096 crosspoint router works as the audio layer of the video matrix. Calrec software developed especially for RAI provides the necessary interface with RAI’s video switcher through SW-P-08 protocol. This tight integration ensures that all the signals inside the matrix are available inside the mixer and vice versa. In addition, Calrec’s Hydra2 networking architecture inherent in the console ensures that RAI will be able to create a network with any future Calrec console for resource-sharing or further redundancy.

“The Artemis Light’s total redundancy means we don’t need another mixer for emergency backup. We can control all signals from a single surface, which saves considerable time, installation cost, and management,” said Matteo Colombo, sound engineer at RAI. “Users can easily identify each control by its color, which means they can focus on the mix rather than on the desk itself. All of our operators were proficient in using the console after just three days of training from Calrec.”

“We welcomed the challenge of developing customized software that would enable the deep integration RAI needed. It lets RAI take advantage of the console’s flexibility, ease of use, reliability, and resilience within its existing video environment. At the same time, RAI gets higher-quality output and great sound along with ARET’s local support,” said Charles Rowden, Calrec senior sales manager for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. “We are delighted to further strengthen our relationship with RAI, and we are especially pleased with the growing trend of European broadcasters investing in Calrec products.”

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