(click thumbnail)John GluckQ. What kind of products or services does your company offer for broadcasters?
A. As broadcast specialists for more than thirty five years, Calrec is exclusively dedicated to excellence in audio mixing for on-air and live production. This understanding has helped Calrec develop a range of consoles relied on by the world’s most successful broadcasters. Calrec has consistently pushed technology barriers, like the revolutionary, award-winning Bluefin HDSP system. Calrec provides a range of digital consoles in the Alpha, Sigma, Omega and Zeta consoles, alongside Hydra, a gigabit Ethernet audio networking product.
Q. What’s new that you will show at NAB2008 and what should broadcasters should look for there?
A. At the 2008 NAB Show, Calrec Audio will announce a major technology initiative developed in partnership with Ross Video Ltd. The collaboration allows remote control of fader modules on any Calrec console. On a basic level, this protocol enables a vision mixer to take control over the serial interface to autofades on the Calrec desk.
In addition, the interface provides individual control of faders, cuts, and pfl of up to 192 faders on the Calrec console directly from the Ross OverDrive Automated Production Control (APC) System. This high level of integration enables the control of both audio and video on a given broadcast from the vision switcher or OverDrive system, significantly reducing production costs.
Calrec will also introduce an Offline Editor, which provides operators with an emulation of the Calrec console PC application on any other PC, such as a laptop. This allows remote configuration of any Calrec console, saving time on site.
The Offline Editor is especially useful for operators who are working to a tight schedule, such as freelance operators planning for a specific outside broadcast. The Offline Editor also enables the desk to be preconfigured while it is still in use — a practical feature for control rooms, which are subjected to constant use with fast turnaround between broadcasts.
Q. How is your new product offering different from what’s available on the market?
A. With complex modern working practices, it is increasingly important to simplify workflow procedures — and reduce costs. Prestigious productions require an experienced audio engineer to operate the console, delivering a smooth result with levels and transitions that sound perfect. But with rising production costs there are also times when it is difficult to justify the cost of fully crewing some events, such as news that breaks outside the hours all the technicians are on hand.
Calrec is in the forefront of providing interfacing to systems such as the OverDrive from Ross Video. Calrec’s versatile serial interfaces allows individual control of faders, fade rates, pfl and mixing of up to 192 faders on the Calrec console directly from the Ross Overdrive Automated Production Control (APC) System.
This high level of integration enables the vision mixer or OverDrive system control of both audio and video on a given broadcast, minimizing staffing levels on smaller productions and significantly reducing production costs
Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have?
A. Calrec Audio is based in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire in the UK with just over 100 employees. All aspects of product development — from original concepts, through R&D, to state-of-the-art production — even the metalwork for frames and racks, is carried out in-house.
Q. Anything else we should know about your company?
A. In 2007 Calrec was purchased by D&M Holdings, who own the Denon, Marantz, McIntosh, Boston Acoustics, Snell, D&M Professional, Denon DJ, D&M PSS and Escient® brands.
The D&M Holdings portfolio consists of top companies in the premium and super premium audio and video consumer and professional markets. From the emerging entertainment-driven home networking market to the flourishing home theater and custom-installation markets, D&M brands are renowned for quality, technological innovation and performance.
Calrec are sustaining members of the AES, members of the IABM, the IBS and the NAB and are well represented at AES Convention meetings.
The company has achieved a number of firsts: it was the first in the world to design and manufacture a stereo broadcast mixing desk for radio, the first to develop a single point-source surround-sound microphone and the first to launch a commercially available digitally controlled assignable console dedicated to broadcast production.
Calrec’s latest ground-breaking technology, the Bluefin HDSP system, won several awards on it’s launch at NAB 2006.