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Calrec Apollo

Nigel Lord 3 August 2010

What is it?A HD digital broadcast console incorporating a fully user-configurable control surface and Calrec’s second-generation Bluefin2. 
Bluefin2 uses FPGA technology to provide both 48kHz and 96kHz operation and 1020 channel processing paths – enough to handle the largest 5.1 projects. Each channel has access to 6-band parametric EQ, dynamics and delay processing (with a total delay of 78 minutes). Apollo can address up to 16 main outputs, 48 group outputs, 96 IFB/track and 48 auxiliary outputs. There’s sufficient processing power for two dynamics processors per channel, if required, and all processing is available irrespective of the load on other channels.
 Apollo also employs Hydra2 technology to link the console’s control surface to its 81922 router and to more complex networks, if required. Offering up to 512 bi-directional channels of I/O per connection, Hydra2 is a point-to-point protocol said to offer true ‘one-to-many’ routing. Calrec use the word ‘network’ to describe Hydra2 (rather than routing matrix) to highlight its sophistication as a software controller. The Apollo control surface is only one of the possible ‘clients’ on a Hydra2 network which can also include other mixing control surfaces and multiple Hydra2 router/processors in larger networks. Several Apollo or Artemis control surfaces can be linked, for example, to handle large-scale productions or live broadcasts.

Apollo’s control surface uses intuitive touchscreens and repeated tactile elements, the smallest of which is referred to as a Cell. Each of these is made up of two rotary controls and two buttons and is key to the operation of the desk. Colour-coding is used throughout to provide “instant, unambiguous” feedback of control assignments. Fader scales change colour when mono, stereo or surround channels are assigned – and also when faders are assigned to control groups or mains. The control surface also relies on OLEDs and multi-coloured indicators in the rotary controls to provide visual indication of assigned functions.

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