Company mergers can be no fun. Staff panic about ‘efficiencies’ and therefore their jobs. The press speculates about ‘what really happened?’ And there are always lawyers involved. And no one likes that.
When DiGiCo revealed that it would merge with fellow audio console manufacturers Calrec and Allen & Heath, following a buy-out by Electra Partners, which now owns a majority stake in all three, there was no such furore. Well, not publically at least.
DiGiCo managing director James Gordon will become chief executive of the thus-far unnamed group, while the current chairman of Allen & Heath and Calrec, Malcolm Miller, takes on the role of chairman.
For now it is simply “business as usual” we are told and “imperative that each company maintains its own independence and style”. But Gordon is said to have “bold plans for the group” around sharing technology and resources across the group and allowing some interconnectivity across the product lines. It will certainly be an impressive R&D set-up if all three work together.
And that’s the key: work together. Hopefully this merger signals the beginning of a new era of interoperability between the brands. But like most mergers, the success of this marriage may have nothing to do with technological. The nuts and bolts can be made to work in harmony. But can the cultures of the companies? Like any change, big or small, people are likely to be the ones most affected.
Quantel’s Genetic Engineering 2 (GE2) will make its European debut at IBC (7.A20). GE2 is Quantel’s shared storage solution for post that delivers improved flexibility, performance and productivity for the Pablo Rio colour and finishing system users. GE2 was used for 4k coverage of the 2014 football World Cup, producing 4K 60p highlights packages for Sony and FIFA. World Cup demos will be available on the stand.
Forbidden Technologies has integrated its cloud video platform Forscene with Timecode Systems Limited’s Timecode Buddy via the MovieSlateiOS application. Timecode Buddy system allows users to generate, sync, and share accurate timecodes and metadata wirelessly over RF or Wi-Fi networks. The integration brings the three technologies together to allow people to insert metadata notes and media into a logging and editing system.
Post Production (cont)
Keyboard and recording equipment specialist Editors Keys has launched a portable a Bluetooth speaker called Xplorer. Made from aluminium and containing two 5W speakers that offering a 10W output, the Xplorer is said to be “fantastic for those with iPhones or iPads who want to experience a better sound.” The Xplorer is fully compatible with the majority of Bluetooth devices on the market, including LG and Samsung smartphones. PC, laptop, television or MP3 player connections are possible using an AUX input on the back of the speaker.
The Look has bought three DaVinci Resolve digital intermediate (DI) suites for a new remote grading service that it is offering to production companies and agencies that have their own post capabilities. Working from their own premises, an in-house post team can cut a project, conform it and then work with grading talent from The Look to grade it remotely, before handling all of the fi nal deliverables. Project settings are stored in both locations allowing the client to make changes to an edit without needing The Look to reapply a grade.
Dublin’s Windmill Lane has overhauled its colour grading department, upgrading its entire FilmLight infrastructure. The facility has replaced its existing FilmLight hardware and now has two Baselight TWO grading systems running on generation 5 hardware, with the latest software release. “With the new Baselight systems we can tackle any codec or camera format without workarounds,” said Dave Hughes, Windmill Lane head of grading and DI.”
Forbidden Technologies and Take 1 Transcription have formed a partnership that brings transcription capabilities to the cloud-based editing and logging platform Forscene, allowing users to access Take 1’s service directly from the Forscene interface. The integration eliminates the need to prepare and transport large fi les or other media manually for transcription, and could also help to create thorough transcripts that can accelerate the post-production process.
Audio Network will present its strategy to put music at the heart of a streamlined production workfl ow at IBC (7.H09). The production music company will showcase how it is partnering with technology companies to simplify the music insertion and video editing process.
MW Video Systems will be demonstrating their range of latest products at IBC (2.A32)
An example of their custom designed desk will be available, demonstrated in the Nextel anti-refl ective fi nish, but also now offering a wide range of laminate fi nishes to coordinate with room dcor or company branding. MW Video custom desks are designed for MCRs and PCRs, lighting, ingest, newsroom, editing and post production facilities.
At IBC (8.C58) Calrec will showcase its new Summa audio console. The Summa console is designed for broadcast professionals who need a straightforward solution for producing creative and engrossing broadcast audio, but not all of the resources offered by Calrec’s Apollo and Artemis consoles. Designed to ensure intuitive operation in live broadcast applications, Summa simplifi es complex workfl ow tasks, such as creating mix-minus feeds, with a highly intuitive GUI suitable for a broad range of operator levels.
DiGiCo is to be merged with Calrec and Allen & Heath following a buy-out by private equity fund manager Electra Partners, which now owns a majority stake in all three. DiGiCo’s James Gordon, who will become group chief executive, said: “The combined R&D teams are about to enter a new world of possibilities and we intend to take full advantage of their resources, passion, and experience. It’s an amazing opportunity for us, and just maybe the whole British Pro Audio industry.”
Junger Audio will unleash the Codec Edition of its D*AP8 Digital Audio Processor at IBC (10.A49). The device is said to be “the only combination of broadcast audio codec and processor on the market that can carry out realtime metadata emulation.” The D*AP8 Codec Edition features a built-in Dolby Metadata generator and Dolby decoder that allows users to decode Dolby-E, Dolby-D (AC-3) and Dolby Digital plus (E-AC-3).
Prism Sound is giving European debuts to two new audio interfaces at IBC (8.E34). Titan and Atlas are multi-channel devices that offer analogue and digital I/O for Mac or Windows PC at sample rates of up to 192kHz via a USB interface. Both units also feature the new MDIO interface expansion slot that can be used, for example, to add a direct connection to an Avid Pro Tools HDX system. Titan has four microphone inputs, while Atlas has eight, and both are designed for multi-track recording, making use of Prism Sound’s CleverClox clocking technology.
London-based system integrator Wire Broadcast has completed the technical installation of three Avid S6 consoles at VFX and post facility Smoke & Mirrors. The control surfaces, supplied by HHB/Scrub and fi tted in AKA Design furniture, form the centre piece of a newly-established three studio, two voice-over booth complex in Soho.