Blackmagic Design ship Ursa Mini 4.6K and Micro Cinema Camera

Blackmagic Design ship Ursa Mini 4.6K and Micro Cinema Camera

Blackmagic Design have announced that they’re due to start shipping their Ursa Mini 4.6K camera and Micro Cinema Camera. This means that if you’ve pre-ordered your Ursa Mini 4.6K or Micro Cinema Camera from us, it should be on its way to you soon. However, there is one catch: they’re shipping without global shutter.

ursa_mini_4_6k

As Grant Petty himself explains in this (sadly unembeddable) video, “We’ve been having problems with the global shutter feature of these cameras and it’s been holding up our ability to ship them… As performance is not to the level we’ve been striving for, we’ve decided to ship the cameras without the global shutter feature.

“This is upsetting for us because we really wanted to produce a high dynamic range camera that had a global shutter in an all in one design,” he admits, but points out that users can now choose between the Ursa Mini 4K if they’re working on fast-moving projects like sports coverage and want 60fps 4K, or opt for the 4.6K if their priority is to get that high dynamic range.

Apparently, a 4.6K model being used with global shutter would have been capped at 30fps and have had its dynamic range reduced slightly, effectively rendering it the same as the Mini 4K, so at least this way you’re getting your full 15 stops.

If you head over to the Ursa Mini section of Blackmagic’s site, you can download a short film that Grant and co shot with the Ursa Mini 4.6K, and even download RAW files of the shoot so that you can try grading it in DaVinci Resolve. (The free version of Resolve is available here; Grant recommends working in this so that your RAW files don’t get clipped.)

You can see the full Blackmagic Design camera range here. Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

How does Office for Mac 2016 measure up?

How does Office for Mac 2016 measure up?

While we have nothing but love in our hearts for iWork, we realise that some organisations are always going to want everyone to be working on Office. This makes sense – it sidesteps any compatibility issues and no one has to remember to export to the right file type before sending something to a colleague – but it’s also sent a ripple of fear through many an office. Will Outlook work on a Mac? Are you about to lose all your spreadsheets? Are the Mac versions of these things actually any good? With Office for Mac 2016 the answer, thankfully, is yes. 

Getting the ‘Mac feel’ right

The latest version of Office for Mac is notable for having been redesigned to be more in line with Office for iPad and its Windows counterpart, meaning navigating apps and using the Ribbon menu is a virtually identical experience on all platforms – perfect if you’re moving from PC to Mac and need a shallow learning curve. Word and PowerPoint also support Mac and Windows keyboard shortcuts for common actions like saving, so you can rely on muscle memory for those tasks.

However, this iteration of Office also supports gesture controls like pinch to zoom, meaning it feels much more natural to navigate through apps using your Mac’s trackpad. The unpopular Toolkit floating pane has been replaced by a fixed menu that feels much more in line with the UI of existing Apple applications and, most importantly as far as we’re concerned, replaces Word for Mac’s clunky Inspector with an intuitive Style pane. There’s also support for Retina resolution displays, so you won’t have to put up with icons seeming impossibly tiny.

Version parity: do you still have all your favourite PC tools?

So do the Mac versions of Office apps have all the functionality of their PC counterparts? The honest answer is “almost”. Outlook in particular has come on in leaps and bounds in recent updates, and now includes flourishes such as being able to propose a new time when declining a meeting, smarter email threading and the ability to add different signatures to different kinds of new message (this was previously only possible when replying to an existing thread). It still doesn’t have Outlook for PC’s Ignore feature for muting threads you’d rather be copied out of, but we find throwing things across the office once we lose patience with an unrepentant cc’er works just as well.

Perhaps most interesting is Excel for Mac, which assumes that a casual spreadsheetist will be happy in Apple’s more basic Numbers application, so has focused on providing high-end tools for power users. These include: support for Analysis ToolPak and Solver add-ons; an improved formula builder and equation editor (online consensus is that it’s actually easier to find the components you’re looking for in Excel for Mac than it is Numbers); and support for features that were missing from the 2011 version, like PivotTable Slicers.

There’s also a handy feature that recommends the best kind of chart or PivotTable to display the data you’re currently working on, and autocomplete has gotten far cleverer.

PowerPoint is also greatly improved, having finally worked out how to handle media smoothly. It offers a 3D View that shows you an exploded diagram of each slide’s elements, so you can reorder them more easily. It’s also got 23 new (and less crushingly clinical) design templates.

By far everyone’s favourite feature, though, is the addition of a great honking ‘Switch Displays button’ that means you’re not going to accidentally show everyone your desktop while presenting.

Collaborative tools

One downside, especially given how good the Office for iPad app suite is, is that iCloud and Handoff aren’t supported. However, these are replaced by Microsoft’s own OneDrive cloud storage service, which supports online collaboration between users too, so cross-platform collaborators won’t miss out entirely.

Threaded comments in Word and PowerPoint mean that you can easily track who made which changes, and if you save a document to OneDrive, you can invite other Mac, PC or iOS users to edit, annotate and contribute. Changes are only displayed once everyone contributing has saved the document, so you don’t have to watch someone type sentences, change their minds and try again in realtime. However, be sure to turn on Track Changes, as otherwise none of the changes will be associated with a particular user’s name.

OneNote

This new addition to the Office for Mac suite is a highly regarded standalone note-taking app, which we’ve raved about previously. The key thing to note in Office for Mac 2016 is that it has inherited the record-audio-while-you-take-notes feature that used to reside in Word. Fortunately, it’s made the move intact, and you can still click on text to hear what you were recording when you typed it, which is excellent if you want to settle an argument about your meeting notes.

Want to know more about Office for Mac? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email business@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

 

Ten things every new Mac user should know

Ten things every new Mac user should know

Just got your first Mac? Wondering how to make the most of it? Too busy and important to read manuals or support documents, and just want someone to tell you ten cool things you can do to make your life easier? We’re here for you. Here are some top tips from the massive Apple nerds who populate our offices.

 1. Sort out your gestures and shortcuts

If you’re new to OS X, one of the first things you’ll notice is that your keyboard shortcuts are different, and your Track Pad/Magic Mouse responds to a strange new collection of ‘gesture controls’ that you’re more used to using on your phone. If learning a new set of shortcuts sounds like a drain on your time, mind and will to live that you’d rather avoid, try Keyboard Maestro, which allow you to remap keyboard shortcuts into your preferred positions, and BetterTouchTool, which lets you add custom gestures to your Track Pad or your Magic Mouse. You can also set up useful triggers like having your computer shut down automatically at 5.30, if you’re not as wild about unpaid overtime as we clearly are.

2. Get your folders and files in order

Noodlesoft bill Hazel as a “personal housekeeper” for your Mac, silently organising and cleaning up file and folder structures while you get on with your work. As they explain it, “Hazel watches whatever folders you tell it to, automatically organising your files according to the rules you create. It features a rule interface similar to that of Apple Mail so you should feel right at home. Have Hazel move files around based on name, date, type, what site/email address it came from (Safari and Mail only) and much more.”

That “much more” includes an App Sweep feature which makes sure that when you delete an application, all its lingering support files go with it, integration with iTunes, iPhoto and Aperture, and integration with Spotlight so you can search for files based on Hazel rules as well as the usual attributes.

Download Hazel here.

3. Get someone to remember your passwords for you

Coming up with one memorable password and using it for every site, application and system you log into is a tempting but terrible idea. Instead, try 1Password from AgileBits. This clever app automatically generates secure passwords for every account you add to it, and then stores them securely behind a “master password” that only you know. When you need to log in to a site, simply hit the 1Password icon in your browser, enter the master password, and 1Password will identify the service you’re connecting to and log you in. Best of all, it syncs between devices, so there’s no more trying to type passwords in on your phone’s tiny keyboard. Here’s a cheerful explanatory video:

Download 1Password here.

4. Find your cursor

Lost your cursor? Using OS X El Capitan? All you need to do is shake your mouse or wiggle your finger on your trackpad, and your cursor will grow to an enormous, easily findable size. So simple! So useful! (If shaking your mouse is part of your everyday working practice, you can turn off shake to find by going to System Preferences > Accessibility > Display and unticking the box marked “Shake mouse pointer to locate.”)

5. Get rid of unnecessary menus

Bartender allows you to hide, rearrange and  consolidate the apps in your menu bar, to give you a less cluttered computing experience. You can display the full menu bar, set options to have menu bar items show in the menu bar when they have updated, or have them always visible in the Bartender Bar. You can then search for menu items rather than clicking blindly through every option, use the keyboard to navigate through menus, and arrange the menu bar applications in any order you want and place the Bartender bar whenever you want. Find out more here.

6. Organise your clipboard (yes, it can be done)

Kelly Hodgkins’ rave review in Engadget was all the convincing we needed to try out Collective, a powerful clipboard manager from Generation Loss Interactive.

Collective keeps track of everything you copy and paste (it can handle hundreds of instances) and allows you to search your clipboard for any of those items, then re-copy them, remove formatting, change fonts and see full size previews of files on the clipboard. If you don’t like copying and pasting, you can give up on that keyboard shortcut entirely, and simply drag an item into Clipboard to copy it and out to paste it. This is an absolute must for anyone who’s ever spent fifteen minutes searching a server for that one graph from the one report that you definitely saw last week and which must be saved somewhere.

7. Sync tabs between devices

As we explained in a former Mac tip of the month, iCloud Tabs is a great way to keep the tabs you have open in Safari up to date on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac. Just sign into your iCloud account on all the devices you want to sync. Then on your iOS devices, head to Settings > iCloud and make sure the Safari option is turned on (it’ll be green if it is). This will allow your browser permission to beam your open tabs to your other Apple devices signed in to your iCloud.

If you want to get your Mac/OS X devices involved too, you need to go into System Preferences > Safari and make sure iCloud is turned on here. Now, as long as you’re signed in to the same iCloud account on your other devices and you’re using Safari, you can switch between reading something on your iPad to reading it on your iPhone or back to your Mac. If you close a tab on one device, it will shut it down on all your devices.

Whether you’re using Safari on a mobile or desktop device, tap the Tabs icon (the two layered rectangles) and scroll down (if necessary) to see your open iCloud Tabs. iCloud Tabs will only show the tabs that are currently open on your other Apple devices, not the tabs that are open on the device you’re currently using.

8. Learn how to record your iPad screen on a Mac

Ever since the arrival of OS X Yosemite, you’ve been able to mirror your iPad screen to your Mac and record the results. This is fantastic if you want to run through a presentation or process you have on your iPad with colleagues, as you can record everything you’re doing on screen, as well as your voiceover explaining any details, then package it up and share it as one file. Here’s how to go about it.

9. Learn how to recover lost drafts

Saved over a draft you wanted to keep? Need to check amends have been made correctly? With Pages’ Versions feature, it’s easy to see the previous incarnation of any of your documents. Here’s how to do it.

10. Forget all your action:searches and use natural language terms

The most recent iterations of OS X have added lots of new functionality to Spotlight, your Mac’s search facility. One particularly useful one is support for natural language searches. If you’re not comfortable building search terms like “Mac news from:Lucy” to find that update Lucy sent you, or “training kind:document” to find your notes from a training session, you can now type “emails from Lucy with attachments” or “photographs from last Tuesday”, and Spotlight uses natural language processing to figure out what you want. Having tried it out ourselves, we can report it’s surprisingly accurate and a really powerful way to search, especially if you’re scared of Boolean.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email business@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

We’re stoked to be stocking Sonos gear!

We’re stoked to be stocking Sonos gear!

We always enjoy adding a new vendor to our canon, especially when it means we get to try out exciting new gear. Which is why we’re very pleased to welcome Sonos into the Jigsaw24 stable.

Sonos manufacture a smart speaker system that allows you to stream music to one room or every room, then control multiple speakers with a single app. They’ve also introduced Trueplay, a responsive technology that analyses the room your speaker is placed in and then adjusts each woofer and tweeter sounds, so you always get the best sound for the room you’re in.

So what are we most excited about?

play5-blk-angle

PLAY:5

Sonos have just released the largest player in the range, PLAY:5. It comes with six custom-designed drivers with dedicated Class-D amplifiers that are lightweight and energy efficient. The PLAY:5 uses Trueplay tuning to deliver sound that’s tailored to the acoustics of your room, thanks to smart-synchronised mid-woofers and tweeters.

Three dedicated mid-woofers ensure the faithful reproduction of mid-range frequencies crucial for accurate playback of vocals and instruments, while also delivering a deep, rich bass. All filter settings, active equalisation, and time-alignment are done in the digital domain through state-of-the-art DSP circuitry so there’s absolutely no loss of audio quality or energy.

Then you can simply control your PLAY:5 unit over WiFi using the Sonos app on any smart phone, tablet or computer, or the convenient touch controls on the device itself.

PLAYBAR

playbar

A player that we think would be great for the M&E sector is PLAYBAR, a sound bar that complements HD screens with highly detailed, richly textured sound. As it works over your WiFi network, it’s easy to set up and expand your system over time, plus it requires just two cords: one power cord and one optical cord, both of which are included. Paired with Sonos PLAY speakers and a SUB unit, it can be used as the basis of a 3.1 or 5.1 surround sound system.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Working with… film sound supervisor Dominic Gibbs

Working with… film sound supervisor Dominic Gibbs

Over the past twenty years, Dominic Gibbs has supervised the sound on a multitude of Hollywood movie blockbusters including Edge of Tomorrow, Legend, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Wrath of the Titans. Having just set him up with a new Avid Pro Tools | S3, we hung around and tried to wrangle a few free tips from one of the busiest and most successful sound supervisors around…

Dom Gibbs 01

Please can you tell us a little about your work and what your company does?
We provide sound supervision and editorial services to the feature film industry. This has included work on a large variety of both independent and studio pictures.

Along with my team of experienced editors, we supply sound effects, design, backgrounds, foley, dialogue and ADR to help build a dynamic and unique soundtrack to each project we undertake.

What does the role of sound supervisor involve?
I manage and supervise the creation of the film’s soundtrack. I begin by meeting with the creative minds behind the movie to discuss any ideas they might have for the soundtrack, and to try and build a concept for how they would like the movie to sound when it’s finished.

Throughout the editorial process, I work closely with the director and picture editor to ensure that my team are working towards the same collective goal. I will also spend time designing sounds for the film, and working with each department within the sound team.

What projects have you worked on in the last few years?
Since 2014 I have supervised Edge Of Tomorrow (Warner Bros), The Man From U.NC.L.E. (Warner Bros), Legend (Working Title) and Takedown (Pinewood Pictures). I’m currently working on Guy Richie’s Knights of the Round Table.

Edge of Tomorrow Poster

You have just installed a new control surface. Why did you decide on the Avid S3?
Our typical sessions are fairly large, so the S3 offers a great level of control in a reasonably compact surface. VCA spills and custom layouts fit well into navigating through our FX sessions.

You have also installed a new Mac Pro based Pro Tools | HDX system. Do you have any particular favourite features of the new setup? 
The new bounce features in Pro Tools 12 allow us to quickly export versions for each other and for the cutting room. Updates to the Mac make it easy to set up three or four displays, without the need for any additional video cards.

Dom Gibbs 02

What are the main benefits you’ve seen with the new system?
The Pro Tools| HDX/Mac Pro setup is a really quick system, so I’m rarely left waiting for much.

Does it allow you to take on anything your couldn’t before?
I don’t like to run massive sessions, but this system is much more stable than previous versions, which to me is far more important than the track count.

Any kind words for our team in Soho?
Jigsaw24 have always been a pleasure to deal with, they are well known for being the ‘go to’ guys in the post-production industry when it comes to system design and equipment supply – most of my team are customers of theirs too.

If you’d like to book a hands-on demo of the Avid S3, all you need to do is get in touch with our team at soho@jigsaw24.com. To find out more about our sound for picture solutions, get in touch on 03332 409 285 or at audio@Jigsaw24.com.

We survived our first Golden Square comedy night!

We survived our first Golden Square comedy night!

Having run out of puns of our own, we handed over to the professionals last night as we held our first ever comedy night at our Soho office. Thankfully, it went off without a hitch…

Big thanks are due to the guys from JAMF Software and Quantum storage, who shepherded us through the productive part of the evening, presenting their plans for the upcoming year. JAMF’s Gib Chan and Kieran O’Connor shared their Casper Suite roadmap for 2016, focussing on new products and features that will be joining the leading MDM solution’s toolkit in the coming months. If a question about device management or mobility strategy ever comes up on a pub quiz, we’ll be ready with the answer.

comedy_night_blog

Next up was Tim Strand from Quantum, who outlined the storage giant’s 2016 plans and introduced us to the updated feature set of their new storage range, Xcellis (you can almost see it in the overcrowded photo above).

Jigsaw24’s very own Tariq Saied introduced our updated solutions and services portfolio, including our managed services for storage, Apple device management, repairs and more. We also announced our new Apple Addicts lunch and learn sessions with Jigsaw24’s own Tom Holbrook, and a new and improved training programme for end users and first line techs.

With the serious business segment of the evening over, it was time for compere Sean Meo, Imran Yusuf and Paul Foot to find out if the IT crowd actually have a sense of humour (of course we do, and they were brilliant). “It was really great meeting the Jigsaw24 team and customers and chatting to them about Apple management,” JAMF’s Kieran O’Connor was generous enough to say. “Plus the comedy acts were absolutely brilliant! Can’t wait for the next event.”

Our next strategy-and-jokes shindig is in May – we’ll hopefully have thought of a better name for them by then – so if you’d like to attend, drop solutions@Jigsaw24.com a line and we’ll get your name on the list.

To find out more about our events, head to our events calendar. For more about mobility, storage and IT strategy, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or emails sales@Jigsaw24.com

Introducing the Sony PXW-Z150

Introducing the Sony PXW-Z150

Sony has today announced the PXW-Z150, the latest addition to its XDCAM range of lightweight, easy to use professional camcorders with new functionality to enable wireless operation and 4K high quality shooting (3840×2160 up to 30P is supported).

pxw_z150

 

According to the press release, the flexible, effortless setup capabilities of the portable PXW-Z150 enable content creators of all experience levels to deliver impressive imagery for content and events shooting scenarios, no matter how tight their brief. The PXW-Z150 is the first professional camera to feature a 1.0 type stacked Exmor RS CMOS image sensor, providing users with  4K recording and impressive 5x slow motion in Full HD – essential functionality for content creators looking to deliver corporate or personal productions to the highest quality.

So what can it do?

The PXW-Z150 can shoot up to 120 frames per second (fps) High Frame Rate continuous recording, in full HD quality. The Clear Image Zoom technology operates at 24x zoom and 18x zoom in HD and 4K modes respectively, in addition to the standard optical 12x zoom. The single 20 megapixel 1.0 type large sensor size (14.2 million effective pixels) offers clear pictures even in low light, giving filmmakers superb clarity and sharpness, opening up the opportunities for flexible shooting in a variety of environments. In response to rising expectations in the fast-paced corporate industry, users can now enjoy live streaming capabilities and FTP wireless connection with built-in WiFi.

Ensuring creative expression isn’t subject to an extensive setup

The PXW-Z150 is ergonomically designed to facilitate shooting with ease. The compact, lightweight body includes integration with advanced features, removing the need for multiple external accessories. The built-in 4-step ND filter is included to offer the flexibility of exposure and depth-of-field control, and the Multi-Interface (MI) Shoe avoids cabling with easy integration between the PXW-Z150 and Sony’s peripherals, such as the UWP-D series wireless microphones.

The PXW-Z150 can be easily controlled by a smartphone or tablet using a WiFi remote, and has a battery life which delivers a remarkable 400 minutes continuous recording time – allowing you to always be on hand to capture what’s needed. High visibility is delivered with the wide viewing angle and high contrast 0.39-type 1440K OLED viewfinder, alongside the 3.5-type 1550K LCD panel.

The PXW-Z150 lends itself to a variety of environments and editing requirements, supporting the conventional broadcasting format MPEG2HD (50Mbps/35Mbps) in addition to Sony’s advanced XAVC (Long GOP) format. The PXW-Z150 provides a wide variety of built-in connectivity options including professional standard 3G-SDI, XLR inputs, HDMI, USB, REMOTE and Composite (phono), eliminating the need for adaptors. To extend recording times and workflow flexibility, the camcorder is equipped with two memory card slots and is compatible with SDXC and SDHC cards. The dual media slots enable various recording options such as backup, simultaneous and relay recording.

“We wanted to introduce a portable camcorder which supports our customers in demanding situations, where there is the need for a solution which provides a quick setup yet with high quality creative options,” said James Leach, Product Marketing Manager at Sony Professional Solutions Europe. “The compact, lightweight camera body coupled with high quality creative features and 4K capability gives filmmakers the tools needed to take their work to the next level, whether it’s corporate, event or online videography. Clients’ expectations within the creative landscape are constantly evolving and content creators need solutions that can not only provide high quality images, but also deliver this in a timely and professional manner. The effortless set up ensures flexible shooting, while the WiFi integration means you can take advantage of live streaming, ensuring the PXW-Z150 is ready when you are.”

Key features of the PXW-Z150

4K high quality shooting with a 1.0-type Exmor RS image sensor and premium G lens.
The PXW-Z150 supports 4K XAVC Long maximum 100Mbps high quality shooting. The 1.0-type Exmor RS image sensor provides high sensitivity and high performance in low light environments. The high-speed read-out ensures high-speed motion shooting with minimum distortion. Videographers can deliver high resolution and contrast from the centre to the edge of the lens, with the high performance 4K-compatible 29-348mm wide-angle lens with 12x optical zoom.

Use on a wide range of applications with 120fps slow motion, rich recording format and network functions.
The camcorder supports full HD 120fps continuous high-speed shooting, which enables 5x slow motion expression. High quality FHD XAVC Long 4:2:2 10bit 50Mbps and the broadcasting format MPEG2HD (50Mbps/35Mbps) are also supported. Users can take advantage of the advanced network functions – such as the camcorder’s built-in WiFi for live streaming capabilities (QoS will be supported by a firmware update) and FTP wireless connections – to integrate wireless workflows, enabling users to keep pace with ever changing client deadlines.

High operability and rich interface, within a compact and lightweight body.
The PXW-Z150 provides extended functionality with three independent lens rings, in addition to high visibility with wide view-angle and high contrast 0.39-type 1440K OLED viewfinder and 3.5-type 1550K LCD panel. Sony’s MI Shoe wireless microphone receivers are supported, increasing the mobility and limiting the need for external cables and multiple accessories. The camcorder’s rich interface includes: 3G-SDI, HDMI, XLR, Cold Shoe and REMOTE. In addition to this, dual media slots facilitate various recording options such as backup, simultaneous and relay recording.

We’ll have pricing for the Sony PXW-Z150 on 1st March. In the meantime, you can put your questions to the team at 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Get excited for tomorrow’s Apogee Symphony I/O Mk II launch

Get excited for tomorrow’s Apogee Symphony I/O Mk II launch

Apogee’s new Symphony I/O Mk II is set to land in our laps this year, bringing with it Thunderbolt, Pro Tools HD or Waves SoundGrid support. And we’ve got ourselves a sneak preview…

Apogee are updating their popular Symphony I/O interface to incorporate their newest flagship AD/DA conversion, modular I/O for up to 32 inputs and outputs and an intuitive touchscreen display. The new version, which Apogee are billing as “the ultimate music production centrepiece for any modern studio”, will be available with direct connectivity to one of three different platforms: Thunderbolt (for anyone running Logic or similar on a Thunderbolt-equipped Mac), Pro Tools (it’ll connect to Pro Tools HD Accel, HD Native or HDX systems via a Digilink connector) or Waves SoundGrid (for Waves SoundGrid system and compatible third party plug-ins, obviously), depending on which model you choose.

The Thunderbolt model is available for purchase now, followed by the Pro Tools version at some nebulous point in “spring 2016″ and the Wave SoundGrid version in the autumn.

There will be four base I/O configurations available: 2×6 (£1639 ex VAT), 8×8 (£2349 ex VAT), 16×16 (£3069 ex VAT) or 8×8 with 8 mic preamps (£3349 ex VAT). With two module slots for expansion per unit, and the capacity for 32 inputs and outputs of A/D and D/A conversion per unit, Apogee reckon the Symphony I/O Mk II gives better value per channel than any other interface in its class.

Key features

– Best AD/DA conversion of any Thunderbolt audio interface.

– Ultra low latency.

– Up to 32 channels of modular analogue I/O (plus optional eight mic preamps).

– Best per-channel value of any interface in its category.

– Choose between Thunderbolt, Pro Tools HD (Mac/PC) or Waves SoundGrid connectivity.

– Intuitive touchscreen display and front panel control.

Want to try the Symphony I/O Mk II yourself?

The new Apogee Symphony I/O Mk II audio interface launches exclusively tomorrow at Jigsaw24’s service and customer experience centre in Soho. Kicking off at 7pm, this premiere event offers guests the chance to get hands-on with the new unit itself! We’ll be taking a look at a Logic Pro X session recorded with Symphony I/O Mk II, mixed ‘in the box’– a great opportunity to see a piece of industry-leading music production kit in action and discuss it with with like-minded enthusiasts. Of course, refreshments will be served throughout the night so get yourself down to Soho on Tuesday 23rd February for this landmark occasion… and some drinks. You register for the event here (it’s free).

If you’re busy tomorrow night, you can always to come round on 16th March, where we’ll be talking Avid workflows, give you the chance to get hands on with kit from them, Sonnox, Trinnov, CB Electronics and more, plus an exclusive presentation with Emmy award winner Donal Hodgson. You can register for that here.

Want to find out more about the Apogee Symphony I/O Mk II?  Drop an email to our pro audio solutions specialists at audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Audio on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

We’re Apple Premium Service Providers for 2016!

We’re Apple Premium Service Providers for 2016!

Big congratulations and a crisp high five to our Nottingham team, who’ve only gone and got themselves Apple Premium Service Provider status for another year!

As well as having an encyclopaedic knowledge of things that could go wrong with a MacBook, “Premium Service Providers consistently deliver exceptional repair support and customer experience that meet Apple’s exacting standard for high-quality repair and prompt service”, according to the official blurb.

Apple Premium Service Provider: Jigsaw24

Which basically boils down to our support team being really nice, incredibly fast and almost always right. We’ve known that for years, but it’s good to know that it’s now a matter of official record.

The team currently offer an in and out of warranty service for Apple devices, and provide phone, email and remote support for everyone who buys from us. They also offer more complex support contracts, in which the standard excellent service is supplemented with a dedicated point of contact, guaranteed break-fix and response times, emergency hardware loans and more. You can find out more about those here.

If you’re currently in the market for a Mac and would like to know you have the backing of our Apple Premium Service Providing team, take a look at the warranties we offer.

Our Nottingham team currently offer in and out of warranty repairs for all your Apple kit. You can book yourself in for a repair here, or get in touch with the team at Apple.Repairs@Jigsaw24.com or call us on 03332 409 227. 

Apple add 4K export and XF-AVC support to Final Cut Pro

Apple add 4K export and XF-AVC support to Final Cut Pro

Apple have announced an update to Final Cut Pro that finally gives users the option to export 4K footage to compatible Apple devices.

The update also introduces sharing options for editors whose clients or collaborators are using iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Pro or a 4th-gen Apple TV. The sharing window has also been updated to support multiple YouTube accounts.

Motion 5 and Compressor 4 have both landed, too, offering compatibility with the same updated range of devices alongside bug fixes.

Aside from that sought after 4K export feature, the headline of this Final Cut Pro update (version 10.2, if you’re still counting) is that it adds support for Canon’s XF-AVC format, making it a viable editing choice for any videographers working with the ever-popular Canon C300.

Final Cut Pro is available from the Mac App Store now for £229.99.

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