FUSION IN DEPTH
A decade of IP-Audio experience, packed into a single console.
Ask broadcasters who’s the leader in IP-Audio, and chances are good they’ll tell you “it’s Axia.” That’s because we’re the originators of studio networking for broadcast facilities; we produced our first console in 2002 (back when everyone else was saying “Audio over Ethernet? That’ll never work!”), and we’ve been listening, learning and inventing ever since. That’s why thousands of happy broadcasters worldwide have put Axia consoles to work for them.
Now, we’d like to introduce you to Fusion, the newest modular IP-Audio broadcast console from Axia.
Why did we name it Fusion? According to Webster’s, “fusion” means “joining two or more things together to form a single entity.” And that’s just what we’ve done. We’ve taken everything we’ve learned in the past decade – about talent experiences, on-air mechanics, in-studio workflow and more – and combined those thoughts, ideas and observations into the smoothest, most intuitive, most indestructible networked console yet.
Fusion was created from what you, our clients, have taught us about today’s fast-paced broadcast environment; an environment that interfaces with listeners both on the dial and on the ‘Net. And our talented team (made up of scientists, engineers and even former air talent) built a console that has what it takes to support everything from the mile-a-minute call-in talk shows, to tight music-driven formats, to multi-talent morning shows — or anything else your programming department can imagine.
So, what things did we learn that made their way into Fusion? That “Powerful” doesn’t have to mean “complicated,” for one. You taught us that a broadcast console can have lots of capabilities, and still be easy to use. So our console designers looked at the way broadcasters accomplish complicated things, and figured out ways to make them simpler.
Like mix-minus: Fusion creates mix-minus for every codec and phone caller you put on the air. Automatically. With no extra buttons to push, bus assignments to make, or settings to change. It just happens.
Or, take recording off-air phone bits for later playback. ‘Til now, it meant taking talent and callers from Program buses manually, assigning them to utility buses, manually starting a recorder…and don’t forget creating the mix-minus! Fusion’s one-touch Record Mode does all of that for you, managing bus assignments, creating the mix-minus, recording the conversation, even changing the monitor feed — then putting it all back the way it was when you’ve finished.
Then there’s Fusion’s built-in talent Mic processing that combines with its Show Profile set-save-recall system. Got a jock whose voice needs a little extra sweetening? Build a custom voice-processing mode for them using Omnia compression, limiting and de-essing tools, then save those settings in a personalized profile they can recall anytime they want.
What about reconfiguring the console from producing a music show to handling a live in-studio band performance with multiple mics and DI inputs? In the old days, you’d be pushing dozens of buttons to make new input choices, bus assignments, monitor settings and EQ tweaks. With Fusion, you can do it all with two clicks, bringing up a stored Show Profile snapshot that suits the job at hand.
In fact, Fusion is a power-user’s dream. A unique Expert Source Profile mode lets you build custom audio inputs with completely customized GPIO functions, IFB backfeed and mix-minus, and Monitor and Program Bus assignments — all based on channel On/Off/Preview state. These powerful tools give you complete control of the behavior of audio sources – on a per-show basis – as they enter and leave the console, allowing automation of complex operations and helping operators run easier, more error- free shows.
Mixing capacity? Fusion has 4 Program buses, plus 4 Aux sends and 2 Aux returns, along with 16 five- channel “Virtual Mixers” that let you mix multiple audio inputs using software-controlled virtual faders.
You also told us you value durability. Axia consoles are known for their toughness, and Fusion is no exception. All work surfaces are made of heavy-duty, anodized machined aluminum panels. This ensures that Fusion will shrug off mistreatment by even the toughest jocks — there are no plastic overlays to crack and peel, and no paint to wear off. Fusion’s markings are laser-etched, so they stay legible forever; they literally can’t rub off!
We also put razor-sharp, high-resolution OLED displays on every fader strip. These are readable from nearly every angle, which aids talent during fast-paced show production. These OLEDs also display full-time confidence meters for each assigned source, further ensuring smooth, error-free shows and helping prevent dead air. You’ll find even more information in Fusion’s on-screen metering display, too.
Making the most of modern wide-screen monitor design, Fusion displays six stereo meters by default, making it perfect for main control rooms with multiple active program outputs. Meters are switchable and can display gain in VU, DIN or BBC-style PPM, plus EBU Digital and Nordic scales.
Finally, our designers have made Fusion the easiest Axia console, ever, to set up. Like any other AoIP device, it connects directly to the network via Ethernet, allowing unparalleled flexibility when placing consoles and connecting to mixing engines.
Take a good look at the bottom of a fader strip. Notice there’s a “Talkback” key there? Every mic source on your Axia network – news booth, talent position, producer’s station – can have an individual headphone backfeed. Touching the Talkback key associate with any mic source allows your board op to talk privately to just that talent position (and they can talk back to the CR, too, using their mic). Fusion operators can use even use this unique Talkback feature to communicate with phone callers, remote talent or other studios using the console mic, and can “button mash” to communicate with entire groups of locations at once.
With Fusion, controls for all of your studio devices are right on the console, where they’re most useful. For instance: phone hybrid modules with dedicated faders give instant control of Telos talkshow systems; talent can dial, answer, screen and drop calls without ever taking their eyes off the console, which means smoother, easier on-air phone segments. IP Intercom modules let talent communicate with other places in the broadcast plant using the CR mic, and even take broadcast-quality intercom audio directly to air when desired.
Like all Axia consoles, Fusion has a built-in, password-protected Web server for easy remote administration from your office, your boss’ office, even your home office – anywhere there’s a network connection. Fusion works with Axia SoftSurface virtual console software too, so talent can take direct remote control of the console.
Naturally, our designers put their legendary attention to detail to work on Fusion. Redundant power supply options with fanless convection cooling, hot-swappable modules, silky-smooth conductive- plastic faders with a side-loading design that foils dirt and other contaminants, razor-sharp OLED options displays, optical rotary encoders and, of course, avionics-grade switches with LED lighting (tested to withstand more than five million operations) are all part of Fusion’s premium design. You can also add redundant power without additional IO with Axia Console Power Supply, which offers a single-cable connection to PowerStation Main, providing backup power with automatic switching. (Auto- sensing power supply, 90VAC to 240VAC, 50 Hz to 60 Hz. 250 Watts, 2RU.)
The only thing not premium about Fusion is…its price. For all of this power, flexibility and ease of use, Axia clients have told us they’d expect to pay much more. Luckily, you don’t have to.
Fusion is fully customizable, of course, with a full options list of module types designed to suit your station’s unique way of making great radio. There are integrated controls for phones, codecs and studio talkback, SmartSwitch modules with context-sensitive displays that enable one-touch router salvos, even motorized faders for remote control or integration with your delivery system.
The 4-Fader module is where you start to build your Fusion. Use it for any source: line, mic, hybrid, phone or codec source. Comes in standard and motor- ized-fader versions for use with automation systems or other moving-fader applications.
|4-Fader “T” Module
Axia often develops products based directly on user feedback. Such was the case with the new Fusion 4-fader “T” module. With this module, Axia has taken its standard 4-fader module and simply redesigned the buttons to accommodate the way some customers want to use them based on their personal experience. The T module has the same functionality as the standard “S” 4-fader module (which is still available), with a slightly different layout that includes Toggle On/Off, a larger Preview button, and an extra programmable button. The 4-fader T module can be used with any line, mic, hybrid, or code sources. The Rotary Options control knob can be programmed to trim source or fader gain when turned, and invokes Options screen when pressed.
|Expert Monitor/Navigation module
The other basic module you’ll need is a Monitor module. You can choose between two types:
The Expert Monitor/Navigation module shown here has extended monitor, headphone and preview controls, a numeric entry/dialpad that can be used with Fusion phone modules, plus four programmable User Keys that can trigger GPIO commands like profanity delay controls or recording devices, or be used with Axia PathfinderPC software to issue routing salvos, initiate scene changes, etc.
|Standard Monitor/Navigation Module
For studios where expert monitor controls are not needed, the Standard Monitor/Navigation module is a space-saving design that incorporates two faders in addition to the numeric entry/dial pad and basic Monitor/Headphone controls.
|Call Controller Module
The Call Controller module has two faders plus integrated line switching controls with Status Symbols, for on-console control of advanced Telos broadcast phone systems. Available in standard and motorized-fader versions.
Two available styles of programmable switch modules work with Axia PathfinderPC routing control tools. They make it easy to put custom routing salvos or simple machine logic right at talent’s fingertips.
Economical 10-Button Film-Cap switch modules are perfect for giving talent access to often-used machine-control or GPIO-triggered routing commands. LED button backlights can be individually changed to any of 8 colors.
Need more complex control of routing functions? 10-button SmartSwitch modules feature dynamic, backlit LCD displays. Button functions, colors and even text can be programmed to change in response to user input using Axia PathfinderPC software. Construct custom routing salvos, cascading machine-logic command sets, or other complex routing operations.
|IP Intercom Modules
Fusion consoles come equipped with a sophisticated Talkback system that allows board ops to communicate directly with remote talent via individual Talkback channels. But when larger facilities require even more powerful communication capabilities, these 10 and 20-station intercom modules, part of the Axia IP Intercom system, put broadcast intercom controls right in the console. Station presets and GPIO functions for both types of modules are programmed using any standard Web browser. Using these Intercom modules, Fusion operators can instantly talk to any other studio, control room, operations center – even PCs equipped with Axia SoftCom intercom software. And the audio is broadcast-quality, so putting an Intercom source on-air is easy and sounds great.
10 and 20-station OLED Intercom modules feature high-resolution programmable OLED displays that indicate assigned stations. The 10-Station Filmcap intercom module has 10 LED-lit film-cap buttons for economical on-console IP Intercom integration.
Fusion User Panels
|Fusion Mic Control / Headphone Selector Panel
In-studio accessory panel mounts in tabletop or turret. Provides remote control of mic on/off functions; dedicated Mute and Talkback buttons give talent full control of their position. Volume/selection knob allows users to select their headphone monitor source; display readout confirms their choice. Connects to Fusion Interface Board CANbus using CAT-5 cable. 6”x 2”, requires 2” mounting depth.
|Fusion Headphone Selector Panel
In-studio accessory panel with volume/selection knob mounts in tabletop or turret to allow users to select their headphone monitor source; display readout confirms their choice. Two preset buttons let talent quickly recall frequently-listened-to sources. Connects to Fusion Interface Board CANbus using CAT-5 cable. 6”x 2”, requires 2” mounting depth.
|Fusion Mic Control Panel
In-studio accessory panel for remote control of mic on/off functions. Mounts in tabletop or turret; includes dedicated Mute and Talkback buttons. Requires one free Axia GPIO port per panel. 6”x 2”, requires 2” mounting depth.
|Fusion Producer’s Mic Control Panel
Special accessory panel for producers source profiles, which mounts in tabletop or turret to provide remote control of mic on/off functions. Includes dedicated Mute key. Two Talkback keys allow producers to talk to control room board op, studio guests, or codecs. Requires one free Axia GPIO port per panel. 6”x 2”, requires 2” mounting depth.
|Fusion 4-Button LCD SmartSwitch Panel
Program these backlit LCD button panels using Axia PathfinderPC software to provide producers or talent with remote access to often-used machine control or software functions. In-button LCD display shows function readout. Dynamic programming allows specific assigned functions to change for each Show Profile or in response to user activation. Requires PathfinderPC (P/N 3001-0015). Easily connects to Fusion Interface board CANbus using CAT-5 cable. Mounts in tabletop or turret. 6”x 2”, requires 2” mounting depth.
Fusion consoles were designed to give you maximum flexibility and configuration options. So instead of just one mixing engine, you’ve got your choice of two! Pair your Fusion control surface with a powerful Linux-based StudioEngine and separate xNode audio interfaces – or choose the PowerStation integrated console engine, an all-in-one powerhouse with audio I/O, DSP mixing engine and integrated zero-configuration network switch.
Pair your Fusion with Axia StudioEngine, an extremely powerful mixing and processing device based on a blazingly-fast Intel processor. Each StudioEngine is fanless, has dual-redundant field-replaceable modular power supplies, and has so much CPU power it can outperform the very largest digital or router-based consoles. StudioEngine has multiple simultaneous inputs, outputs, mix-minus feeds, monitor signals, EQ and voice processing; it’s the power behind state-of-the-art broadcast studios from New York to Tokyo.
PowerStation is an “integrated console engine”, an all-in-one devices that makes it very easy to install Axia studios and Fusion consoles. Inside that ruggedly handsome case you’ll find a super-powered DSP mixing engine, husky power supply sourced from telecom gear designed for harsh environments, plenty of built-in digital, analog and mic I/O, plus EQ, voice processing — and even a custom, built-for- broadcast Ethernet switch with Gigabit connectivity.