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Calrec Audio to cease analogue console production - PSNEurope

Calrec Audio to cease analogue console production

Analogue sales represented less than 4% of Calrec's overall business between December 2006 and June 2010 - a statistic that underlines the extent to which broadcast has migrated to digital systems.
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November 30, 2010, is the final date for production of Calrec's analogue audio consoles, writes David Davies. Ongoing migration by the broadcast sector towards digital and the increasing scarcity of certain analogue components are among the factors cited by Calrec, whose decision follows mere months after an announcement by Midas that it is to discontinue production of the Heritage range.

Ahead of the November end-date, Calrec - which has already stopped manufacturing its T-Series and Q2 analogue consoles - is offering an opportunity to make final purchases of S2, C2 and M3 analogue consoles, along with modules and card assemblies. In keeping with a long-standing support policy, the company will continue to provide component spares and repair services for the S2 (pictured), C2 and M3 consoles for a minimum of 10 years from shipment date. In the event that original components or parts become unavailable, Calrec says that it will offer appropriate alternatives, including hardware/software solutions.

Henry Goodman, Calrec's sales & marketing manager, tells PSN-e: "We believe this global trend represents a significant acceptance of digital technology and the facilities now available with digital audio consoles. While the transition to digital mixers has been a global phenomenon, the US market has been faster on the take-up. There have also been factors such as the increasing scarcity of key analogue electronics components, including potentiometers. Also, with more countries regulating the use of lead in electronics products, unleaded components have risen in cost."

Calrec distributors will be contacting existing Calrec analogue console customers to advise them of the details of the final purchase offer and to assess their need for consoles, modules and cards. Questions should be directed to Calrec's distribution network, or directly to Calrec on enquiries(at)calrec(dot)com.

The long-term drift away from analogue desks was also signalled recently by Midas's announcement that it is to retire the Heritage range. Like Calrec, Midas also assured customers that it would continue to service and support Heritage "for many years to come", but said that it had no plans to cease any other analogue products at the moment. For PSN-e's coverage, click here.

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The end for analogue broadcast consoles?

Sometimes the world changes without people realising - until the fact is pointed out to them. The announcement by Calrec Audio that it is discontinuing production of analogue consoles confirms what has been happening over the past five years, that digital has overcome all the technical and operational objections to become the mixing technology of choice. Kevin Hilton reports.