(click thumbnail)John GluckQ. What kind of products or services does your company offer for professional audio buyers/users – especially those who might be attending the NAB show?
A. Calrec Audio manufactures high-quality production and live-to-air audio mixing consoles exclusively for broadcasters. Calrec has worked closely with broadcasters for over 40 years and has consistently pushed forward technology barriers to provide comprehensive facilities, which meet increasingly complex requirements. Calrec understands what’s most important to you and how best to meet your changing needs as the broadcast environment evolves. So, if you are putting sound in the picture – you can put your trust in Calrec.
Q. What’s new that you will show at NAB2007?
A. Calrec will unveil Zeta with Bluefin at NAB2007. The introduction of Bluefin technology on the Zeta, Calrec’s smallest digital console, boosts the console’s capacity from 108 channel processing paths to 160, configured as 48-stereo and 64-mono channels. The console also inherits the same buss structure as the Alpha and Sigma consoles, increasing the number of auxiliaries from eight to 20, and trebling the number of multitrack outputs from 16 to 48. To cope with all the extra facilities packed into this board, the Zeta control surface has also had a facelift to cope with this increase in power and facilities. Also new at NAB2007 is Calrec’s new range of compact digital and analog IO boxes.
Q. How is your new product offering different from what’s available on the market?
A. Bluefin is absolutely unique. Calrec has taken the fastest and most up-to-date technology available and utilized it in an innovative way to enable the Alpha, Sigma and Zeta desks to run so many facilities in such a tiny space. This is the first mplementation of this technology from any manufacturer, but we believe that one day all large format sound mixing consoles will be designed in this way.
Q. What is the biggest issue concerning your industry?
A. The biggest issue facing the industry is HDTV, and as one of the biggest selling points for HDTV there is no doubt that surround is absolutely part of the future of television. Over the next five years, as more surround production occurs and even more surround sources are used, the input capacity used in production and live-to-air broadcast will need to significantly increase. At some point, certainly within the life of a broadcast console, all that is now stereo may well be surround. All the principals of live broadcast audio still apply — you still need to know that all your busses are available all the time, and you still need to have absolute confidence in the reliability of your equipment. You also need to have the ability to split your 5.1 sources into individual legs for EQ and dynamics, and this process needs to be as straightforward as possible. Plus you suddenly have additional issues with delay, particularly if some of your kit still operates in SD.
Q. Where are you based and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
A. Calrec is based in an 18th Century mill in rural Yorkshire and employs around 100 people. Established in 1964, Calrec is responsible for several audio firsts — Calrec was the first company in the world to design and manufacture a commercially available stereo broadcast mixing desk for television stereo sound; the first to develop a single point-source surround-sound microphone; and Calrec was the first company to launch a commercially available, digitally controlled, assignable console dedicated to broadcast production. Every element of the design and manufacture of Calrec consoles is produced at the factory, from raw metalwork through Surface Mount, assembly and test. The company has a vast support infrastructure that it is very proud of, with support technicians all over the world, including several based across the USA.