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NAB 2016: Calrec scrubs up with a little Brio

Console maker releases smallest format desk to date in Las Vegas

Calrec Audio has released Brio, the “most powerful and compact digital broadcast audio console in its class”, according to the Hebden Bridge, UK-based maker of consoles.

At less than a metre wide, Brio’s 36 dual-layer fader surface provides more sliders in a given footprint than any other audio console, claims Calrec.

Brio becomes the “little sibling” in Calrec’s FPGA-driven Bluefin2 family of devices. In his interview with PSNEurope in October of last year, new MD Nigel Beaumont alluded to the release of a compact console, following Calrec’s new position as part of the Audiotonix group alongside DiGiCo and Allen & Heath: “There’s no doubt that our pace of product portfolio expansion has increased since the merger. That’s Calrec having more ideas, being more dynamic, making decisions quicker. So if you extrapolate back from what we’ve done… we might have something interesting at NAB 2016.”

At NAB in Las Vegas yesterday, Calrec’s VP of sales Dave Letson said: “Brio provides something unique at this price-point ­– a mixing console completely focused on the needs of broadcasters and broadcast infrastructures. This amount of scalable and managed I/O, comprehensive monitoring, surround sound, and high bus quantities provides a degree of dedicated broadcast functionality that has never been available at this level.

“As the market calls for more and more audio mixes to support online content, smaller consoles that possess pure live-broadcast features are increasingly desirable,” continued Letson. “Products in this sector have traditionally had basic capabilities and are not ideally suited to broadcast environments. Brio is the first application-specific alternative for broadcasters who operate in this environment and provides dedicated broadcast features at a very aggressive price point.

Brio is entirely self-contained, with analogue and digital I/O and GPIO built into the surface. Additional expansion I/O slots allow for further I/O integration, while fitting an available Hydra2 module makes it possible to connect to and share audio over Calrec’s Hydra2 network.

Connecting to Hydra2 allows broadcasters to take advantage of Hydra2’s sophisticated management facilities for network-wide control, including interfacing with multiple video- and audio-over-IP networks such as SMPTE 2022, Dante, AES67, Ravenna, and SoundGrid. Multiformat support protects the system against any future formats that emerge and allows the console to sit on multiple networks simultaneously if desired.