Calrec Apollo Console Shines at US Open

The new Calrec Apollo audio console installed in F&F Production’s GTX truck.
F&F Productions is one of the oldest mobile production companies in the United States. Contributing to our longevity and success is our commitment to deploying the latest, most effective technology on behalf of our clients. As part of this tradition, we debuted Calrec’s Apollo audio desk at the recent US Open tennis event as a key component in our new GTX truck that was used in connection with event coverage by CBS and ESPN.


The US Open is a huge sporting event with its own special character. It runs for two weeks (or more, if there’s rain), and starts out at one size and gets progressively smaller as competitors are eliminated. To provide audio for events such as this, you need a powerful console. The 72-fader Calrec Apollo with its incredible processing power was a natural choice. It runs at 48 kHz, with as many as 1,020 channel processing paths, 128 program buses, 96 IFB/track outputs, and 48 auxiliaries. As the Apollo has so much capability, we were able to manage a huge amount of audio on every input and every output when all the courts were up and running—and we did this with no technical issues at all.

We built our new GTX 16 truck for events the size of the US Open, but it’s not just for sports; it’s great for entertainment shows as well. The 53-foot double expando trailer has a 3D-capable infrastructure and is 3 Gbps-compliant. It has 24 prewired camera positions, and 25 prewired VTRs. The Apollo console installation incorporates eight Calrec Hydra2 I/O boxes; this provides basically the equivalent of two full MADI network systems. With the Apollo’s Hydra2, we were able to handle both analog and AES signals, and the Apollo also made it possible for operators to route multiple signals from one console to another. The system’s digital architecture did all the heavy lifting.


The Apollo delivered an almost total transition from manual to networked controls, with every function available at the operator’s fingertips, and the ability to make very fast mode changes. Also helpful to our operators was the instantaneous feedback provided by the console’s OLED displays, touchscreens, and light-emitting knobs. Everything was perfectly mapped.

Another particularly useful Apollo feature is its ability to embed an SDI signal. This allowed us to send video accompanied by a variety of mixes to multiple locations at the same time.

The mobile production business is competitive, and F&F has positioned itself at the forefront of the market. We’ve always wanted to give our customers the latest technology and provide operators with tools to do the job better and faster. The design of our new truck is consistent with that goal, and the Calrec Apollo is a key component and plays a major role in its functionality. With the completion of the US Open, our new vehicle is set to cover many more sporting and entertainment events, including Southeastern Conference football for CBS Sports.

Bill McKechney has been with F&F Productions since 1981. He has also served as a mobile unit engineer and director of engineering. He may be contacted

For additional information, contact Calrec at 44-1422-841-310 or