Calrec Apollo Console Sets New Benchmark

Calrec Audio will unveil its most powerful digital audio console yet at the 2009 NAB Show, April 18-23 in Las Vegas. Calrec’s new Apollo console provides more than twice as much processing power as the company’s Alpha platform, a channel count that sets a new industry benchmark, and an all new, highly responsive, user-configurable control surface.

The Calrec Apollo console relies on Bluefin2, the next generation of Calrec’s trademark Bluefin high-density signal processing system, to provide unrivalled resources at multiple sample rates. At 48 kHz, Bluefin2 gives Apollo up to 1020 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, 8U chassis.

The Apollo control surface features OLED displays, touch screens, and light-emitting knobs for instant feedback about function and status. Individual operators can instantly configure their own distinctive operational settings. 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 Alpha 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 x 8192 crosspoint 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 stand-alone routers will also be available.

Because Calrec realizes its audio consoles operate in mission-critical environments, it engineers them to be highly resilient, with the inclusion of full automatic hot-swap redundancy systems in DSP, control processor, router, power supplies, and connections.

“Calrec’s mission is always to leverage technology in service to customer needs,” said Courtney Spencer, D&M’s senior vice president, Business and Professional Group, Americas. “Time and again our customers tell us that what they most value in an audio console is reliability and ease of use. At the same time, they need the power to keep up with the high expectations of a discriminating audience. With the Apollo console, Calrec continues to deliver the goods.”