Calrec unveils compact version for Argo audio mixing platform and ImPulse1 engine at NAB 2024

Calrec’s Argo audio mixing control platform, honored with the NAB 2023 Product of the Year award, will take center stage at this year’s NAB event.

Making its debut appearance will be the new, compact variant of Argo-S, our adaptable and scalable IP-native mixer control surface. This variant integrates the meter-bridge and touch UI into a single row of displays, allowing users to seamlessly switch between the Calrec Assist full Web UI and full meters on any section, on-the-fly. Retaining Argo’s hallmark ethos of flexibility, customization, ergonomic design, resilience, and support for multi-user workflows, this form factor is ideal for fitting into tight spaces or serving as a drop-in replacement for smaller consoles. It’s also well-suited for applications where a low-profile design or improved line-of-sight over the surface is essential. Like its larger Argo counterparts, each 12-fader wide section operates independently in terms of processing capabilities, path control access, power supplies, and connectivity, ensuring no reliance on any individual section.

Calrec’s Argo Q and Argo S models, designed to adapt to evolving production requirements, embody a novel approach to audio mixing by offering a flexible control philosophy that breaks away from traditional geographic tie lines between processing and control.

Argo is fully modular, featuring interchangeable hardware panels and Calrec’s time-tested Assist UI at its core. This ensures a familiar and user-friendly interface whether operating on physical hardware panels or a remote GUI. Its modular panel system encourages broadcasters to tailor surface hardware to meet their specific needs, with the larger Argo Q model boasting two mid-level rows of interchangeable panels and the Argo S model featuring one mid-level row.

Argo’s architecture provides unmatched system resilience, with the surface safeguarded against single points of failure thanks to each self-contained, 12-fader section benefiting from a redundant power supply and dedicated processor. This system flexibility enables these self-contained sections to be connected via local or wide area networks, making them ideal for distributed productions. For instance, a customer could have a 48-fader main console in London and a 12-fader FX surface in New York linked to a core in Paris, facilitating flexible working arrangements.

Calrec has introduced a comprehensive system of user templates to enable instant customization of the hardware user interface to meet changing requirements or user preferences. Argo’s physical control surface features optically bonded touchscreens for superior visual feedback and accessibility. Soft panels enhance the user experience, while hardware panels allow users to define functions and apply them as templates, facilitating quicker navigation across the surface and enhancing intuitiveness. Additionally, Argo’s interchangeable panels can be positioned as needed, simplifying console expansion and adaptation to individual requirements, including sub mixing or mixing in alternative locations.

Also showcased at NAB this year is Calrec’s ImPulse1 IP audio processing and routing engine — a compact yet potent, cost-effective ST2110 version of the well-established ImPulse. ImPulse1, a compact 1U solution with an optional second core for redundancy and a new 128 input channel DSP pack, offers entry-level pricing.

By introducing ImPulse1, Calrec claims to make IP migration more accessible to all customers, offering a range of options to suit various budget requirements. ImPulse1 is compatible with Argo Q and Argo S control surfaces and/or Calrec Assist, a browser-based GUI well-suited for remote working, multi-operator setups, or headless operation. Cores with smaller DSP licenses can be provided without hardware redundancy. Designed for small to medium single-mixer applications, ImPulse1 features a new DSP license of 128 input channels without compromising its ST2110 capability. Its compact form factor makes it ideal for space-constrained installations, such as outside broadcast and fly pack applications, without compromising on features or DSP power, with DSP options ranging from 128 to 384 input channels and benefiting from the DSP features of the larger ImPulse core.

Additionally, Calrec’s Type R modular, expandable IP mixing system will be demonstrated at the show. Designed to leverage distributed production and flexible workflows, it offers three hardware and soft panels capable of creating various system configurations. Type R integrates seamlessly with Calrec’s Assist for cloud-based mixing and interoperates with station automation systems like Ross Overdrive, Sony ELC, and Grass Valley Ignite.

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