Merging launches a new concept in Mission Control


MERGING+ANUBIS is a true product with a difference and one that is targeted at quite diverse markets. It appeals to Merging’s traditional customer base in broadcast, post production and high-end recording, as a powerful addition to their existing installation. More significantly, it offers unique features to any studio owner or musician looking for a compact AD/DA unit with the quality you would expect from Merging, or a fully featured monitor controller that integrates with any DAW.

Anubis introduces a new concept of “Modular by Software”; essentially the same hardware can be used for totally different workflows or what we have chosen to call “Missions”. One Mission could be managing your multichannel monitoring in the control room and another Mission might be recording yourself in the studio. The Monitor Mission requires control of multiple speaker sets and headphones with built in talkback, bass management and time alignment plus a host of other features that are essential to manage your listening environment. The Music Mission would need low latency mixing, control of cue feeds, innovative plug-ins, superb mic pres and all the features needed to be the essential musician’s companion.

This flexibility can be attributed to Anubis being the first home-grown product to utilize the powerful ZMAN media transport technology that is already shipping to OEM customers. ZMAN does not just manage AES67 connectivity, it also has some serious on-board DSP/FPGA processing that provides a host of other programmable features.

The introduction of Anubis sees it offered in its Monitor Mission role and the close proximity of various events allows simultaneous launches both sides of the Atlantic. The first public showing will be on March 21st at the AES Convention in Dublin on stand 404, where Merging CEO, Claude Cellier, will be on a shared stand with PSI Audio and Sonosax. This is hotly followed on April 2nd by Prolight+Sound on stand 8.0 C19. The following week, NAB 2019 kicks off on April 8th and provides the North American launch on booth #3035 in the Central Hall.

In one way, Anubis can be thought of as a highly significant enhancement to Merging’s extremely popular Networked Audio Interface range. This exceptionally compact audio interface is a standalone 32-bit A/D and D/A capable of handling microphone or line level inputs and four analog line outputs, plus two high quality headphone outputs. The large rotary encoder allows for precise monitoring volume control but also makes parameter adjustment simple, while the multi-touch display and dedicated buttons provide intuitive selection of whatever needs to be controlled. Built in talkback, cue circuits and speaker management functions make this an ideal unit in any control room.

The real power of Anubis becomes evident as soon as it becomes part of a larger network. Designed to fit into an AES67 or ST2110 environment, it is remarkably scalable when coupled with Merging’s Hapi or Horus units, or indeed any other AES67 devices. At this point, the additional I/O allows Anubis to become the center of an up to 256 x 256 matrix with the control of incoming and outgoing streams. Instantly, such tasks as immersive audio monitor control become simplicity itself. In addition to audio I/O, Anubis also has GPIO or MIDI connectivity, a range of drivers covering MacOS, Windows and Linux, Ambisonic decoding and cough cut on every input. Although the full list of features cannot be itemised here, it should be noted that Anubis offers the choice of sample rate and audio quality you expect from a Merging product, with line input dynamic range of typically 139dB (A-weighted) as one example.

Merging’s traditional customer base has always been driven by quality audio so recording in DSD and DXD has been consistently a feature of our products. The same is true with Anubis. Two models are available; Pro which handles sample rates up to 192kHz, Premium which provides for high Resolution audio up to 384kHz and DXD and all flavors of DSD up to 256. Anubis is very competitively priced with suggested retail prices before taxes and import costs of $1495 and $1995 respectively.

Practical uses of ANUBIS+MONITOR include monitor control in studios, remote trucks and edit rooms, monitoring incoming AES67 audio streams, recording voice-overs or as a highly portable location recording companion. Anubis can be powered from its own power supply, battery and/or PoE (Power over Ethernet) if redundancy is required and can be placed on a desktop or mounted on a standard microphone stand.

Key to the evolution of Anubis in the future, is the concept of Modular by Software already mentioned. This means the identical hardware unit can be reconfigured to do a completely different function by loading alternate programs. This changes the UI to suit the ideal workflow and reconfigures the Anubis engine for the chosen program, giving you even more features. This not only gives the user added utility, it also offers a simple upgrade path to future applications. Although the Monitor Mission and the Music Mission are planned for 2019, the roadmap allows for several other missions to be introduced in the future to cater for a number of different markets.

The extreme flexibility of the Anubis hardware, the compact size, supreme audio quality and the scalability, particularly in a networked environment, surely marks MERGING+ANUBIS as “ONE OF A KIND”.