Harrison Consoles: IKIS


IKIS is Harrison's studio automation system. IKIS is the "operating system" which provides graphical control, automation, save/recall, and configuration of all Harrison digital consoles. IKIS is also a networking protocol which connects multiple devices together including routers, mic preamps, effects, MIDI devices, Digital Audio Workstations, transport controllers, and external switches and relays. Multiple IKIS computers can be connected to the same network. This allows full data, filing, and control redundancy in the case of a broadcast console, or it can be used to provide remote access to the console from another room or even another facility. IKIS can partition the console into several different users, each controlling their own subset of console resources. IKIS does not require a KVM system or "remote desktop": Each IKIS computer is a standalone application with full autonomous control. Any IKIS computer can control any user's resources, and each IKIS computer can be limited to certain functions if needed. Password protection is implemented to protect the critical console settings in a broadcast facility.

IKIS provides a rich series of pages, customized to the console application (film,music, sound reinforcement, or broadcast). These pages can follow the operator when he is working on the console, providing heads-up display of DSP, filing, and automation functions. Or the user can "lock" a display to a particular page. Since multiple IKIS screens can be connected to a console, it is possible to have a rich complement of displays showing both an overview, and the fine details of a mix.

IKIS can accommodate touch screen and pen-based screen options. The IKIS screens are resolution-independent. 21" monitors or larger can be utilized to their full extent.

Menus and other graphical objects are animated and semi-transparent. Features like drag-n-drop, fine adjust, contextual menus, and popup help create an intuitive workflow. This attention to detail and breadth of scope gives IKIS an unmatched feel among console automation systems.

IKIS is a modular, enterprise-class software package which runs on PC-compatible computer hardware and the robust Linux operating system. IKIS is the core software for all of Harisson's products. A simple reconfiguration can provide features for broadcast, sound reinforcement, music, or post production. For each application, IKIS has a customized set of screens and functions.

The DSP channel screen, shown below, provides simultaneous access to all parameters of the Harrison DSP engines.

Automated consoles (film and music) have a page dedicated to each user's automation settings. From here the user can globally set and clear automation modes, edit his (or all user's) automation, and manage the previous automation passes that he has made.

The router page, shown below, provides access to Harrison's "anything to anywhere" routing matrix. Harrison's proprietary router design has stood the test of time and is far superior to "grid-based" routing matrices. Routes are performed just like an analog patchbay, with the exception that a range of connections can be "scooped up" at once and routed as a group to a range of destinations. This is a powerful and fast feature that no other router can match. Each router source or destination is color coded. This allows the user to quickly recognize if the router is setup as usual or if something special is happening. The two red routes in the example below might be indicators that something is not assigned as usual. Unlimited undo/redo and a "normal" button for each route selection help users get back to a "normalized" status within just a few clicks.

Filing is handled from the "Project" page. A project is a folder which contains all the settings files for all users. The user can choose to synchronize all users on the same project, or allow each user to manage their own session. This allows one user to switch reels for all users during a movie mix, but also allows an individual user to revert to an old project to copy over some settings into the new project, without affecting other users. (this is one of the benefits of a truly multi-user console) By showing all the files in the session, sorted into their purposes, and without having to manage folders manually, the user is free to get mixes done very quickly and safely. A "favorites" session allows each user to store their favorite settings and session start points in a global location that is available from any session. Each console file has a "notes" field associated with it. This provides the user with a method to document the mix as it progresses.

Broadcast and Live consoles get their own form of filing. Each session in this case keeps an ordered list of scenes which can be navigated up and down from the console surface.

Music and Broadcast consoles have a comprehensive monitoring page which provides headphone (cue) feeds for 4 studios in addition to the main control room monitoring. Comprehensive speaker selection, level trim, speaker mutes, and source selection is handled here and repeated on the console. Machine feeds (recorders) are managed in an elegant fashion.

Film users will be happy to see Harrison's Pec/Direct management page. From here you can associate record/playback tracks with buses and assign them to the monitoring matrix. This type of convenience feature is what Harrison is known for: meeting our customer's needs in a straightforward and elegant manner.

Among the "standard" features of the IKIS software is a "Library" button next to nearly every recallable parameter. Libraries allow the user to call up a previously stored setting for the parameter or set of parameters. For example, EQ libraries can be stored and recalled. This is in addition to the regular filing which stores and recalls all of the EQs for a user. In nearly every case, the Library browser does not occlude the library settings, so the user can quickly step between libraries and both hear and see the changes to decide if they are appropriate. Then when the correct library is found, the dialog smoothly slides off screen.