crystalCLEAR

Virtual Radio Mixing Console

Remixing Radio
Meet crystalCLEAR, the virtual mixing console for radio. Its entire control surface is software, driven by a multi-touch interface on a high-resolution computer display. Without the limitations of physical knobs, buttons and faders, crystalCLEAR presents the user with only relevant controls and information, hiding anything not needed for the task at hand.

Sometimes a few faders are all that is needed to control levels during a segment. In this case, crystalCLEAR provides the faders to users. At other times, more faders may be required  to host a show mix of multiple signals.

crystalCLEAR is fast, intuitive and easy. Operators will feel right at home right away. It's as easy to drive as a tablet computer, while powerful enough to manage complex workflows in the most fast-paced broadcasting environments. One touch and you'll be convinced.

Functionality

Comprehensive Scope of functions
Most DJs, whether novice or experienced, say crystalCLEAR is faster and easier to use than traditional radio boards with physical knobs and buttons. crystalCLEAR has a flat menu structure, only two levels. The top level is the main screen which provides familiar controls. The option screens that users may wish to access are only one touch away from the top screen. Complete familiarity can be attained within only 15 minutes of use. A large clock and a small event timer are central to the display.

Touching the timer will cause it to become large and change places with the clock. crystalCLEAR can be instantly reconfigured by recalling a SCENE or PRESET. Different shows and/or different users are easily accommodated. Even though the layout and functions are quite intuitive, a PANIC button returns crystalCLEAR to the current SCENE without any user changes. And unlike a physical surface, crystalCLEAR remembers every detail when loading a SCENE, even the fader positions.

Though simple for operators, crystalCLEAR has all the functions needed to create even complex live and recorded radio programming. There are dozens of available sources, any eight of which can be active at a time on the faders. Each source is configured in advance (by the installer/engineer) to be a mic, line, phone or codec. The system knows exactly how to treat each of these different source types when they are loaded onto active faders.

Microphone sources, for example, will automatically mute the monitor speakers when engaged. crystalCLEAR will automatically create backfeeds (mix-minus) for phone and codec sources and activate TALKBACK features. All of this is transparent to the operator who never has to worry about creating a mix-minus or ensuring that speakers are muted before bringing up a fader. Everything is "automagic".

Fewer buttons: More control
Software control is much more flexible than the hardware buttons and knobs found on traditional control surfaces. For example, assigning a DJ microphone to a fader on crystalCLEAR changes the button above the fader from CUE to MUTE, giving the DJ a convenient COUGH button. It takes fewer buttons and options to run a show than on a physical control surface. And yet, even with its streamlined interface, crystalCLEAR is right at home in the most fast-paced complex radio workfl ows. Less clutter and confusion means fewer mistakes and happier talent.

Engineers will be happy too... . Faders never get dirty or fail, buttons never break or need lamps replaced, and even novice users can learn the system in minutes without training or making frantic phone calls during the overnight shift. In addition, the system can be accessed by an engineer using standard tools - even remotely.

Smart AutoMix & AutoGain
Like all crystal consoles, crystalCLEAR also offers integrated AutoMix and AutoGain. The AutoMix function adjusts the levels of active and inactive microphones, giving a constant ambient that allows an interview to be conducted without technical operation - the console manages the microphone mix, while the talent conducts the interview. AutoMix also works perfectly with automated voiceovers live to air, while AutoGain provides yet more simplification. This feature calibrates all microphone signals at the press of a button.The operators need not understand dB values and overloads, as AutoGain levels microphone gains automatically within seconds, while the talent or guest talks.

Interfacing

User Interface

  • Multi-touch enabled mixing control
  • Intuitive GUI optimized for fast-paced radio workflows
  • 3 stereo mixing groups (PGM-1, PGM-2, RECORD)
  • Integrated CUE (PFL) feature with metering
  • Programmable SCENE presets recall every detail
  • Precision stereo PPM meters
  • Euro and US operating modes for fader start or button start
  • Large time-of-day clock (synchronizable to NTP server)
  • Event timer can count up or down and can be automatically started by selected channels
  • Talk buttons automatically appear on mix-minus channels
  • Support for guests with talkback
  • PANIC button clears any changes to current SCENE
  • 24 sources available, eight can be simultaneously active
  • Advanced DSP for microphones and external sources

DSP Core

  • Broadcast-grade compact 1RU rack-mount audio engine
  • All audio in engine - PC is control only
  • Low noise microphone preamps
  • Two separate amplified headphone outputs
  • Balanced analog inputs and outputs
  • AES/EBU digital inputs and outputs
  • Integrated Line I/O extension card
  • Optional RAVENNA AoIP interface (AES67 compliant)
  • Power supply redundancy
  • GPIO for ON AIR lamps and speaker cuts

Specifications

PC requirements

  • Intel i5 or higher (CPUBenchmark min 1350 Points @ www.cpubenchmark.net)
  • Min. 2GB RAM
  • 16:9 display resolution (up to Full HD, touch enabled)
  • Windows 7 or higher

Signal Processing

  • Touchscreen optimized “software only” control surface
  • Up to 8 touch enabled faders + monitoring section
  • 4 mic channels, each with fully parametric 3-band EQ, 2 filters, dynamics unit (gate, expander, compressor, limiter, deesser)
  • 3 external lines, each with fully parametric 3-band EQ, 2 filters, dynamics unit (gate, expander, compressor, limiter, deesser)
  • AutoGain & AutoMix functionality

crystalCLEAR base unit

  • 19” / 1RU DSP core with signal processing and audio I/O
  • Active cross ventilation, system-controlled
  • Integral wide-range power supply 100 – 240 V AC and 12 V DC connection with redundancy switch over
  • Weight 3.0 kg (without expansion cards)
  • Height 1RU / 44.0 mm
  • Width 19“ / 482.6 mm
  • Depth 414 mm
  • Power Consumption max. 56W

Control

  • Preconfigured logic core
  • Interface for integration with radio automation systems
  • Networking via TCP/IP (Ember+)

Synchronisation

  • Wordclock input and internal generator
  • 48 kHz and 44.1 kHz

Interfaces

  • 4x analog mic / line inputs
  • 6x analog stereo line inputs / 8x analog stereo line outputs
  • 2x headphone outputs (stereo)
  • 4x AES3 inputs (stereo, with SRC) / 4x AES3 outputs (stereo)
  • 1x TCP/IP RAVENNA AoIP (4x stereo in / 4x stereo out) * 
  • GPIO (8x optocouplers, 8x silent cmos relays)

* optional, available Q4/2014

Subject to change without prior notice, no responsibility is taken for the correctness of the details provided. All rights reserved. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Other company and product names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Have a look at the new crystalCLEAR.


Michael Dosch, Director of Virtual Radio Projects, shows the features of this new product.  More