by Marguerite Clark ~ April 25, 2006
Calrec Audio unveiled Bluefin, a high-density signal processing system, providing 200 percent more processing power in 92 percent less physical space.
Bluefin Technology provides 480 equivalent mono signal paths and is capable of providing 78 full 5.1 surround channels.
Moreover, Bluefin is able to provide all this processing power on a single card.
Without any additional cost, the Calrec Audio system doubles the processing power of the largest Calrec Alpha console and more than doubles the power of smaller versions.
"This is a benchmark on return on investment for our customers," said John Gluck, Calrec sales director.
Calrec has been developing the Bluefin technology for several years now, explains the firm, with elements of the technology used in the Alpha console since its launch in 1999.
The England-based professional audio equipment manufacturer expects HD programming to continue to create more call for 5.1 content, with broadcasters needing more and more signal paths to create 5.1 channels.
"The reality of HD programming is that it will continue to create more demand for 5.1 content. We already see our customers needing more and more signal paths to create 5.1 channels yet HD programming with 5.1 audio is only just taking off," Gluck said.
The new Bluefin technology is, in fact, designed to meet production needs for HD production and live-to-air delivery far into the future.
Bluefin processing provides full EQ and dynamics to all channels. The system also allows for eight 5.1 groups with full EQ and dynamics, four main outputs, 48 multitrack outputs and 20 auxes.
In addition to providing benefits in terms of size and functionality, Bluefin processing further enhances the reliability of Calrec Alpha products. The system generates less heat and uses less power than the existing design.
Full redundancy of all processing elements through the provision of a second card ensures system resilience. It is the equivalent of having another console as a hot spare.
Furthermore, it is possible to retro-fit Bluefin technology to existing Alpha consoles, making it unnecessary for existing Calrec users to purchase a new desk in order to increase their console capacity.
Bluefin technology, which the company has already sold to Sky Television, will be available on Alpha from mid May and obtainable to all Alpha consoles as an upgrade.
"This is a major step forward," Gluck said, "and a basis from which we will work ahead."
During NAB2006, Calrec demonstrated the Bluefin technology on an Alpha console. The company also highlighted Sigma and Zeta consoles and Hydra networking.
© 2006 NAB