IP-Audio innovators bow new modular mixer in Amsterdam
9 September 2014, Cleveland, OH USA
One of broadcasting’s most anticipated product introductions, Axia Audio’s new Fusion networked modular mixing console, will officially step out from behind the curtain at IBC 2014 in Amsterdam.
“Axia engineers have talked with dozens of broadcasters, observing workflow and in-studio operations, tuning the Fusion feature set to match the demands of today’s broadcast environment,” says Axia Vice-President Marty Sacks. “Once people see all that Fusion can do, they won’t be able to keep their hands off it!”
With a smart, squared-off look and clean, intuitive work surface, Fusion comes in multiple frame sizes that support sizes from 8 to 28 faders in single-frame configuration, and up to 40 faders using a split-frame configuration — allowing clients to customize their Fusion consoles to perfectly suit the needs of any size broadcast studio.
“Broadcasters have made Axia consoles the best-selling networked broadcast boards in the world,” notes Sacks. “The new Fusion console takes the intelligence and ease of use our clients rave about to even higher levels, with new capabilities designed to help broadcasters produce the best radio shows ever.”
Like all Axia consoles, Fusion gives users an intuitive, uncluttered work surface. It also includes powerful features that even the most demanding air talent will appreciate, such as dedicated Talkback functions on each fader strip that let operators communicate individually with studio and remote talent, high-resolution OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) fader source assignment displays with full-time source confidence meters, one-touch record and monitor sections, four Program buses and four Aux Send buses, VMix Virtual Mixer technology that allows construction of submixes via “virtual faders”, and the famous Axia Mix-Minus system that automatically generates a custom clean feed for every source with a backfeed — one for every fader, if required.
More advanced Fusion features, designed to enhance studio workflow, include:
- Premium materials and construction designed for long life. Attractive, precision-machined brushed-metal work surfaces have double-anodized markings that can never rub, peel or scratch off; aircraft-quality switches are lab-tested to withstand millions of operations; specially-selected side-loading faders keep dirt out.
- 16 Virtual Mixer (VMix) channels, each of which can combine up to 5 local or network sources for presentation and control on a single Fusion fader.
- Virtual Fader technology enables you to expand the capacity of a Fusion console beyond its physical fader count. Studio talent or producers can control sources assigned to Fusion “virtual” faders using Axia SoftSurface software or PathfinderPC custom user panels, or the VMix iPad app from Axia partner Broadcast Software International .
- Powerful, flexible Custom Input options allow power users to build conditional audio source behaviors fine-tuned to specific needs, with granular command of Backfeed, GPIO control, mix-minus, Talkback and other behavior — all based upon individual channel state.
- Six full-time main bus meters, switchable between VU and multiple PPM ballistics styles.
Input Confidence Meters located above each fader strip assures talent that audio is present. No more “dead line” phone calls or missing-host remotes. Talkback and IFB Backfeeds have confidence meters as well, so that board operators know they’re being heard by talent and guests.
- Flexible Record Mode with complete control of monitors, meters, headphone feeds, Program bus assignments and more, for total one-button automation of off-air recording.
Built-in Voice Dynamics mic processing with de-essing, from Omnia Audio, eliminates the need for outboard voice processors. Mic channels may be programmed with custom Voice Dynamics settings for each member of the airstaff, if desired, and recalled using one of 99 Show Profiles instant-recall settings.
- Built-in Headphone Processing for talent eliminates the need for a separate headphone processing side-chain.
Three-band digital parametric EQ with “Smart Q” available for every source may be pre-programmed to load with an audio source, or applied “on the fly” if allowed by engineer.
- High-resolution OLED input displays above each fader strip; so sharp they can easily be read from across the room from nearly any angle — won’t wash out in bright light.
Detailed, info-rich information display meters up to 6 buses simultaneously, plus countdown/event timer, status and options info on any standard DVI-D monitor display.
- Super-accurate time-of-day clock with fully-automatic Daylight Savings Time adjustment can operate independently or be slaved to your plant’s NTP time server.
A variety of Fusion modules are available, all constructed with the high-grade components Axia clients have come to expect. Modules with faders feature long-life 100mm conductive-plastic faders with side-loading actuation to defeat dirt and liquids. Switches are aircraft-quality, with LED lighting, tested to withstand in excess of 3 million operations; wiper-free optical rotary encoders ensure accuracy and long life. Of course, Fusion modules are covered by Axia’s 5-year warranty — the best in the industry.
Available modules include:
- Four Fader Module with Talkback and Preview controls, plus dedicated Phone controls for European-style “hybrid-per-fader” telephone operation.
- Two Fader Call Controller Module for multi-line control of Telos phone systems. Includes individual line and hybrid controls, Telos Status Symbols™ line-status icons, plus Next and Busy All controls for superior control of contest and talk-show callers.
- Switch Modules with customizable User Buttons can be programmed to initiate routing salvos, activate scene changes, or control audio peripherals via GPIO. Film-Cap Switch Modules may be programmed to execute a dedicated function, while context-sensitive SmartSwitch modules with dynamic-text LCD displays can be used to launch complex, nested command salvos via Axia PathfinderPC routing control software.
- Axia IP Intercom Modules in 10-Station and 20-Station varieties give talent the ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere in the broadcast plant, using the console operator’s mic and Preview speakers. Full-bandwidth IP Intercom audio can be taken immediately to air during breaking news situations.
- Choice of two customized Monitor Modules allows a balance of control and convenience. Expert Monitor Module features controls for Control Room and Guest Studio monitor and headphone source selection, includes 4 programmable User Keys which may be used as hotkeys for profanity delay unit (PDU) control or other GPIO functions, and a DTMF keypad for on-console dialing of Telos phone systems and codecs. Standard Monitor Module adds two additional faders to a complement of standard monitor controls.
Fusion clients can customize their network architecture as well as their console: Fusion works with proven Axia PowerStation and StudioEngine mixing engines.
PowerStation is an integrated console engine which includes analog and AES/EBU audio I/O, microphone inputs with switchable Phantom power, Livewire ports for direct connection of Livewire-enabled studio devices, GPIO ports for control of studio devices, a telecom-grade hardened power supply with optional auto-switching power backup, and a zero-configuration, built-for-broadcast Ethernet switch with Gigabit connections to other studios. Fanless convection cooling provides silent in-studio operation.
StudioEngine is a standalone mixing engine equipped with multiple simultaneous inputs, outputs, mix-minus feeds, and monitor signals, and can provide EQ for multiple channels plus voice dynamics, studio headphone processing and multiple VMix (Virtual Mixer) channels. It’s also fan-free for cool, silent in-studio deployment and is equipped with Gigabit Livewire Ethernet ports, dual-redundant internal power supplies with automatic switching for complete peace of mind.
Axia Audio is the world’s most popular IP-Audio networking system for broadcast. Over 5,000 studios are on-air using Axia Livewire technology; more than 50,000 connected devices, such as codecs, audio processors, phone systems, and digital delivery systems, are in the field. Axia networks have a total system capacity of more than 10,000 audio streams, and can carry hundreds of digital stereo channels (plus machine logic and PAD) over a single CAT-6 cable, eliminating much of the cost normally associated with wiring labor and infrastructure.
Over 70 Axia partners, including companies such as Nautel, AudioScience, Dalet, Studer and Digigram, make broadcast equipment that connects using Livewire.
Axia also supports AES67 AoIP Interoperability Standard, as well as high-performance RAVENNA IP-Audio, which is backed by companies like Genelec, Neumann, Sonifex, Merging Technologies and Lawo. For further information please visit http://ravenna.alcnetworx.com.
Visitors to IBC can see Fusion along with the entire family of Axia IP-Audio networking equipment, at the Telos Alliance display in Hall 8, Stand 8.D47, at the RAI Center. For media information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call +1 216-241-7225.
Axia Audio, a Telos Alliance company, builds Ethernet-based professional IP-Audio products for broadcast, sound-reinforcement and commercial audio applications. Along with the Fusion, Element, iQ, Radius, DESQ and RAQ AoIP consoles for on-air, commercial production, audio workstations and personal studios, Axia products include intercom systems, digital audio routers, DSP mixers and processors, and software for configuring, managing and interfacing networked audio systems.