The 2019 launch of MERGING+ANUBIS caused a ripple of excitement when first shown at a series of exhibitions (remember them) from March onwards. This powerful and innovative interface was clearly more than just another AD/DA converter with industry-leading specifications. Sales in the first year reached a four figure total and the diversity of the customers exceeded expectations. The fact that Anubis was an extremely powerful RAVENNA/AES67 hub was very quickly realised by major international broadcasters looking to move their operations to regional data centers linked by IP. Anubis was ST2110 compliant from day one, so that enabled the monitoring of large numbers of AES67 audio streams in a very compact and affordable package. The results, often in conjunction with the MERGING+HAPI, were outstandingly successful but there was one request that followed. Was there a way to make Anubis ST2022-7 compliant?
The original concept for Anubis was for a low-cost, extremely high-quality interface that would be at home in a studio, post-production suite, or similar environment where a redundant network topology would not be anticipated. The adapting of Anubis to fulfil certain roles, now and in the future, was anticipated and would be tailored by software. The initial Monitor Mission allowed for listening to the chosen sources on multiple speaker sets or headphones and this made it perfectly adaptable to monitoring incoming streams from remote locations. Providing SPS (Seamless Protection Switching) was a bigger challenge because this was a hardware issue. There needed to be a second RJ45 connection on the rear panel. The response from the Merging engineering team was immediate and development started on a new product that has appeared in months despite the additional challenge of sourcing components and dealing with global lockdowns in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The MERGING+ANUBIS SPS is now shipping with full ST2022-7 compliance. Perhaps not surprisingly, the initial deliveries have been made to dB Broadcast for installation at locations for a multi-national mass media company and a pan-European television sports network. A quantity of Anubis SPS is also following the original Anubis to the world’s premier multi-national technical production partner as a key element of its remote production facilities.
The same discussions with key broadcasters revealed that discovery and control of IP sources is a major challenge and although Anubis, when controlled via ANEMAN is capable of handling large numbers of RAVENNA/AES67 audio streams, the overall network management compliance needs to be addressed. Anubis SPS also adds NMOS IS-04 (Discovery & Registration) and IS-05 (Device Connection Management) to its list of features which is a major step forward in the easier integration into a complete IP infrastructure. In addition, Merging is simultaneously launching its Merging Audio Device, which coupled with Anubis SPS, opens remarkable possibilities. MAD is a multi-ASIO driver (also with WDM support) that has an infrastructure option that supports ST2022-7, ST2110, NMOS and Virtual Machine control. This latter feature specifically recognizes that centralized data centers and server-based installations are now the new normal way to manage the global nature of the broadcast industry in the most efficient way.
Merging is now offering a compact desktop controller/monitor with a host of other features that can interface with other NMOS compliant equipment and capable of monitoring Virtual Machines, all with full redundancy. This provides a scenario where local production satellites can use Anubis SPS in their workflow and feed ST2022-7 back to the central resource, which is similarly equipped to receive the streams on the same equipment which is fully integrated into the VM environment. Furthermore, it should be remembered that Anubis is fully capable of monitoring all the immersive audio standards that are increasingly being incorporated into the broadcast workflow. The Anubis SPS and the MAD Infrastructure option cost just over $2,000 which is remarkably reasonable for such a feature-rich combination.
Merging’s recording customers can also benefit from the second RJ45 connection. The convenience of using RAVENNA networks for recording has been well proven for many years and the amount of equipment needed for remote sessions has been drastically reduced. However, there has been the need to include a managed network switch even if you only had one stagebox. Now it is possible to go with a laptop, Anubis SPS and a Horus or Hapi and leave the switch at home. The second port is connected to your stagebox instead being the redundant path. Those Merging customers recording in high-resolution formats will be thrilled to hear that Anubis SPS is also available in a Premium version, as is the regular Anubis product that still continues as it is for those who don’t need this facility.
A valuable addition to all Anubis products is the introduction of a comprehensive parametric EQ with extensive filtering on all outputs. This is another popular request and significantly enhances its role as the primary monitoring device on desktops everywhere. More Anubis features are planned over coming months, thereby protecting the investment of the early adopter.