Salzbrenner was Presenting their Polaris Scala at IBC2014

Polaris Evolution - The versatile and accommodating audio cloud

Salzbrenner has successfully participated at IBC where they presented their Polaris Scala audio DSP for their network-controlled Polaris Evolution mixing console. Polaris Scala is the node where all aspects of the Evolution system’s simultaneous audio processing operations originate and come together: this is where controllers are connected via Ethernet or WiFi, resources are allocated for the tasks at hand and where signal sources and output devices are connected. The system’s radically new cloud concept and flexibility mark the beginning of a new era for digital mixing consoles.

Each Polaris Scala DSP unit handles up to 256 inputs, 128 matrix channels and 256 output busses that connect to the outside world via MADI. For larger projects, several DSP units can be cascaded to control several thousand channels using a compact footprint. Controllers like Polaris Access consoles, Polaris View multi-touch screens, additional computers, tablets and smartphones can be connected either via IP/Ethernet or WiFi. The number of controllers can be selected depending on the project, and increased or decreased as and when necessary.

The Polaris Evolution networking concept does away with the limitations of traditional mixing concepts: the available DSP power can be used to configure consoles for stadium tours or to accommodate several simultaneous projects in broadcasting stations, OB trucks, on-site locations during live broadcasts, convention centres or theatre venues. In a multi-user setting, each operator has their own monitoring and talkback lines. Even rental companies are impressed by Polaris Evolution, whose flexibility allows them to cater to a host of applications with a single system.


Thanks to a surprisingly small number of menus, operators can select the desired channels in a split second and make all required tweaks. Dominik Stepanek, the research and development manager of the Polaris product family, summarizes the underlying philosophy as follows: “For the first time ever, users can forget about channel numbers: a clever routine selects all drumkit-related channels, for instance, and assigns them to the touch-sensitive user interface where they can be edited.” Polaris Evolution’s user interface has been streamlined to such a degree that most tweaks and adjustments can be performed in the same familiar way.

Ultra-low learning curve thanks to intuitive operation


By default, all channels provide the following audio processing functionality: 6-band EQ, delay, compressor, limiter, multiband compressor and de-esser. Polaris Scala allows users to create redundant mixing systems within one and the same 3U rack unit, or to set up hardware redundancy based on two separate racks.

Polaris Evolution: the versatile and accommodating audio cloud
With hardware reduced to the bare essentials, a cutting-edge cloud concept and all-new software, the Polaris Evolution concept is not only future-proof but also surprisingly maintenance-friendly: adding new functions requires no hardware modifications whatsoever, and incorporates advanced monitoring procedures of the system performance. Functional issues are of no consequence to the remaining operations and can be solved right where they occur.


As another first, Evolution is built on a software framework that will serve as core for all future functions. The system on display at IBC is only the beginning of a novel system architecture: a software-based solution, Polaris Evolution contains all ingredients to remain at the cutting-edge for years to come.

First impressions of customers after seeing Polaris Evolution:
“Polaris addresses every single item that was raised during our planning stage.”
“Most manufacturers these days offer pristine audio quality for hundreds of channels. I, for my part, am more concerned about how to remain in control […] and make sure I always reach for the channel I need to adjust without the slightest hesitation. That is where this concept wins hands down!”
“Polaris Evolution marks the beginning of a new era: IP-networked mixing and audio processing.”


Polaris Evolution in a nutshell:
• Three hardware units that can be freely mixed and matched: Access (16-fader module), Scala (audio DSP), View (motorized multi-touch screen)
• Three software modules: Live (included), Theater & Post-Production, Broadcast (parallel simultaneous operation even with only a single Scala audio DSP)
• Variable: project- and location-based combination of Polaris Evolution controllers
• Adaptable: Polaris Evolution components adopt the tasks that best fit the operator’s workflow
• Fexible: DSP resources can be freely allocated to the desired controllers
• Customizable: the user interface can be adapted to the project at hand and/or the operator’s preference
• Team player: genuine multi-user capability for channel processing and event management
• Easy, lightning-fast setup and configuration changes
• Interactive: media control, stage management, etc.
• Scalable: start with an audio processing module and expand as you go
• Future-proof: add more functions simply by installing optional software plug-ins
• Networked operation: the entire system can also be controlled via the internet/WiFi using a PC, smartphones or tablets

Main Polaris Evolution features:
Polaris Acces: 16-fader console
• 16 Penny & Giles faders, 16 concentric encoders
• 48 illuminated and recessed     
       • 8 layers     
       • 8 freely assignable buttons     
       • 32 assigned buttons (Mute/PFL)
• 19” cut multi-touch display  On-board switch with three RJ45 connectors
• Possibility to slot in an external motorized monitor for direct access to more parameters
• Redundant power supply


Polaris View: Motorized multi-touch screen
• 21.5” multi-touch monitor
• Provides expanded parameter setting and metering functions
• Docks into a fader module  Fitted with an extra powerful CPU processing unit
• Position adjustable within a 55° angle (motorized) for fatigue-free and ergonomically sound operation

Polaris Scala - First showing of the audio DSP in Amsterdam


Polaris Scala: Audio DSP
• 19”/3U DSP unit with host board, redundant power supply, core board and 6 empty slots
• Connects to Polaris Access via Ethernet
• Easy integration of additional Polaris Evolution units
• Up to 256 input channels per unit
• Maximum of 256 output busses per unit, 128 Matrix busses, cascadable
• Passive cooling (noise-free)