Introducing Mackie’s new iPad controlled mixer, the DL32R

Introducing Mackie’s new iPad controlled mixer, the DL32R

We’ve been fans of mixing on iPad ever since we realised it let us tech gigs from the pie van outside, so it’s no surprise we’re excited about Mackie’s new DL32R, which is controlled through their Master Fader iOS app. 

 

Mackie DL32R hardware

First let’s talk about the unit itself. It takes up a respectably compact 3U of rack space, and Mackie claim that you can take it anywhere because it’s “built like a tank.” It features 32 recallable mic pres – actually, Mackie tell us that all settings are totally recallable – 14 fully-assignable XLR outputs and stereo AES digital output.

You get 36 input channels with four band PEQ + HPF, gate and compression, 32 stereo-linkable input channels and four stereo-linkable return channels. The DL32R has 28 output busses with four band PEQ + HPF/LPF, 31 band GEQ, comp/limiter and alignment delay, 14 stereo-linkable aux sends, 6 stereo-linkable matrix buses, 6 stereo-linkable subgroups and main L?R buses. You’ll also get 6 VCAs and 6 mute groups, 3 stereo VX processors with dedicated sends and returns, full I/O routing with A/B sources per channel and modern and vintage options per processor.

A Dante expansion card is due to be released soon and will be sold separately.

Multi-channel recording and playback

More than just a live sound mixer, the Mackie DL32R canb pull in extra recording duties. You can do 24×24 recording/playback to a USB 2 hard drive, so you can record the show for later mix down, perform a virtual soundcheck, cue intermission music and backing tracks and even use your Mac or PC plug-ins in live shows.

Master Fader app control

The DL32R is controlled using Mackie’s Master Fader iPad app, and can support up to ten devices at once, so you can have up to ten people controlling various aspects of the DL32R at once, or using their iPad or iPhone as a personal monitor. Thankfully, you can limit the access rights of new users so that they can’t make adjustments you don’t want.

Get yourself a Mackie DL32R here.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Audio on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

NewTek news roundup: Say hello to TriCaster Mini and TalkShow

NewTek news roundup: Say hello to TriCaster Mini and TalkShow
Say hello to TriCaster Mini

Not content with stealing headlines at IBC with TalkShow, NewTek have announced a new addition to their industry leading TriCaster range: the TriCaster Mini. 

The TriCaster Mini is designed to bridge the gap between online presentation services like Adobe Connect and the existing TriCaster range by allowing you to stream multimedia presentations. It’s portable and will work with pretty standard-issue AV equipment (including consumer camcorders), so you can get started using kit you’ve already got. The best bit? You can set it up and start recording in five minutes flat.

The all-in-one approach

TriCaster Mini gives you everything you need to start streaming multimedia presentations in one box. Not got Photoshop? Not a problem, there are plenty of title templates. Don’t know how to edit clips? Just cut between channels with TriCaster’s built-in switcher.

The Mini even includes NewTek’s TransWarp effects engine, so you can add full colour, animated transitions, and supports their Virtual Set Editor, so you can drop your presenter into a virtual new room. You can even take a picture with your camera or smartphone and convert it into a holographic virtual set, so it looks like you’re presenting from a real location.

Everything happens within the TriCaster Mini, so you can avoid splurging on expensive creative software or hardware that has functionality you’ll never need. Just stick to the TriCaster Mini interface, and you’ll be able to start out simple and build up your presentations as you get more confident. NewTek have even produced a control surface specifically for the TriCaster Mini, so you can have every function at your fingertips while you’re making your presentation. And if you decide to up your game and move to a TriCaster 410, the control surface will work with that, too.

Another accessory worth looking out for is NewTek’s set of qualified 100 foot HDMI cables. Typically HDMI cables max out at 10 or 15 metres, so you, your camera and your TriCaster would have to be in pretty close quarters to get anything done. These new cables don’t have that problem, meaning you can have your cameras far further away – great if you’re trying to cover a sports match or live event from multiple angles.

NewTek have also made the Mini live up to its name – the entire thing will fit in a backpack, so you can take it with you to events, move it between locations, and tuck it away unobtrusively when it’s not being used.

Connectivity

For the subset of our readers who are just here for the specs, the TriCaster Mini is the proud owner of:

– 4 HDMI camera inputs.

– 2 HDMI outputs.

– A 16 channel switcher.

– 4 M/Es.

– 15 still and title buffers.

– Built-in streaming capabilities.

– Social media publishing.

Pricing and availability

The TriCaster Mini will be shipping this month. We only have US pricing so far, but the unit will be coming in two versions: The TriCaster Mini HD-4i, a lush $7995 version with an integrated screen and enough storage space for 45 hours of HD video, and the Mini HD-4, a $5995 version with no screen and space for 15 hours of footage. (As a general rule, go for the 4i if you want to handle on-demand video, and the 4 if you’re just mixing live footage.)

The control surface will be $2495, while a set of four qualified 100ft HDMI cables will cost a very reasonable $495.

Want to know more? 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.

IBC 2014: NewTek unveils TalkShow

NewTek today unveiled TalkShow VS-100, a video calling production system designed specifically for television studios and live video producers. With TalkShow, any television or live video producer can easily reach 300 million monthly connected Skype users and incorporate them as guest speakers into live programs with full-frame Skype video calls. Attendees at the 2014 IBC Convention in Amsterdam from September 12-16 can be the first to see the new TalkShow system at the NewTek stand 7.K11.

 

The turnkey TalkShow system builds upon Skype TX software from Microsoft for initiating, receiving, monitoring and managing video calls, with a unique set of live production tools not found in other video calling systems. With TalkShow, users have access to customizable settings for fully colour correcting live video calls (including features for automatic colour balancing) as well as SDI-embedded audio, and compressor/limiter, equalisation, and adjustable head-room controls for further improving audio quality. These tools allow producers to deliver enhanced video/audio experiences that are critical when producing credible, high-quality broadcast programming and are simply not possible with standard desktop video messaging products. Additionally, producers using TalkShow with TriCaster multi-camera video production systems will be able to route Skype video calls directly to and from a TriCaster over a network connection without tying up an additional HD-SDI input.

“Almost every live TV and video programme includes a conversation between people-whether it’s a news or entertainment show, a sporting event, or even a corporate meeting,” said Dr. Andrew Cross, president and CTO of NewTek. “While there’s been a growing trend to incorporate social media – such as live Twitter feeds – directly into these programmes, integrating a two-way dialogue over Skype dramatically shifts the experience to a more engaging and participatory event. TalkShow truly breaks down the fourth-wall in traditional live television. It’s a fast, easy, low-cost way to reach anyone in any location with a simple Skype video call and to enrich program content with immediate access to the fresh perspective, analysis and opinions that only a guest speaker can deliver.”

Angie Hill, general manager for Audience Marketing from Skype added, “Skype TX is an important part of our offering to media, so we’re delighted to welcome NewTek to the Skype family. We’re now able to bring new dimensions to broadcasters’ productions and inspire a brand new generation of media moments.”

TalkShow: Make, Receive, Monitor and Adjust Skype Video Calls

TalkShow is the only production system for live video calls that enables broadcasters to manage all aspects of a live Skype video call in the control room like any other video source – and adjust the visual and audio quality of each call. The low cost, integrated hardware and software solution is broadcast ready, offering dual channel Ethernet connectivity, two channels (1 in, 1 out) of HD-SDI I/O that includes reference signal, professional XLR audio support, Tally support and more. The 1RU system allows producers to easily incorporate TalkShow into any live production or studio environment and:

– Access anyone they can reach online including the rapidly growing audience of 300 million monthly connected Skype users worldwide, to include more expert analysis and perspective in their shows, without specialized networking tools, ENG clients or proprietary software to call into a live broadcast or event.

– Transform any Skype video call initiated to or from a desktop, laptop, X-Box gaming system, Skype enabled TV, or mobile device into full-frame video, with automatic aspect ratio conversions and balanced audio. TalkShow operators can work free of audio/visual distractions such as secondary call notifications and advertisements.

– Colour balance video images with full proc-amp controls and automatic color correction to adjust image attributes for any lighting environment, enabling video calls with poor lighting and contrast to appear with far higher quality.

– Deliver reliable broadcast audio signal quality with SDI-embedded audio, and built-in compressor/limiter tools that keep call volumes at consistent levels and prevent audio clipping. Additionally, producers who often wrestle with scratchy audio and nasal-like midrange tone that results from small telephonic microphones can adjust overall tonality and background noise of any Skype call using the onboard graphic equaliser.

– Actively monitor live Skype video calls with full Tally support that allows operators to see when TalkShow Skype feeds are currently live in a programme.

– Easily manage multiple, simultaneous Skype calls within a single, user-friendly interface that offers operator previews, continuous call quality monitoring, and automatic fallback to custom still images when unforeseen bandwidth constraints occur.

Pricing and Availability

The TalkShow VS-100 model is expected to ship in Q4 2014 and is available to order now at a special introductory price of $3,995 USMSRP, which will remain in effect through November 26, 2014. International pricing will vary.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest IBC news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook or keep an eye on our roundup post.

We’ve met the Sony PXW-FS7 and it’s awesome

We’ve met the Sony PXW-FS7 and it’s awesome

Sony threw a curveball at IBC by announcing the PXW-FS7 – a Super 35mm 4K handheld that took everything we liked about the FS700 and stepped it up a notch, challenging even AJA’s none-more-anticipated CION.  Obviously, the first thing we did once we were back in the UK was lure Sony to our office, pump them full of coffee and run off with their prototype. Here’s how it fared…

Ergonomics and build

Not to get everyone over-excited, but a straw poll of the M&E team saw the FS7 labelled as having “the best ergonomics of anything Sony have ever built.” The design is extremely well thought out: the viewfinder is easily repositioned and fits nicely against your eye; the I/O and XLR ports neatly hidden in the body; the whole thing is very modular – it feels very much like a traditional camera out of the box, but can be stripped back if you prefer the ‘boxy’ feel of something like the FS700.

But the real game changer is that hand grip, which we bloody love. It makes balancing the camera (and holding it through long shoots) much easier, allows you to maintain a more natural shooting position, and means you don’t have to rig the camera to the extent that you would expect in order to get the shots you want. And because it’s included with the camera, you can basically take the FS7 out of the box and start shooting.

It would be irresponsible of us to make sweeping statements like “this handgrip will change the world” out here on the internet, but who’s to say what we may have shouted in the privacy of our office kitchen? As our test shooter (and most hirsute consultant) Anthony Corcoran said: “The hand grip balances the whole camera so well, it feels almost weightless. And it puts all the important controls literally at you finger tips. I want one.” See below for an image of the FS7 and its grip reducing Anthony to a gleeful child.

That grip arm is easy to position and has a great range of movement, as demonstrated by this da Vinci-esque publicity shot:

Controls, codecs and cards

To call this camera a PXW version of the FS700 is perhaps oversimplifying, but in terms of use and workflow the two are very similar. The FS7 shoots continuous HD at up to 180fps, giving you super slow motion, and will also record 4K at up to 60fps internally. Its layout and controls are “very Sony”, and if you’ve used a FS700 (or really any Sony camera), you’ll be able to operate this right out of the gate.

Most importantly for anyone who has invested in the FS700 and all its attendant gubbins, the FS7 shoots 2K and 4K RAW in exactly the same way, so you can just whack your IFR5 or Odyssey on the back of this and use exactly the same workflow as you always have.

Anthony would also like to give a special mention to the FS7’s log gamma curves, which include support for S-Log3. This has 18% grey set at a bright level, and so delivers a wider dynamic range than the 1300% achieved by the FS700’s S-log2, effectively giving you 1.5 extra stops. And because the log gamma is close to Cineon log, it’s easier to grade and you’ve got more chance of achieving a classic ‘filmic’ look.

Shooting

While Sony were distracted by the espresso machine, we did manage to sneak off and shoot some test footage, but we’ve been asked not to share it as the footage from the final model is going to be up to five times the quality of the footage produced by the prototype. However, the actual shooting experience was fairly effortless, and having record and zoom controls on the handgrip is great.

Would we recommend it?

Yes. If you’re looking to step up from the FS700, this is the simplest way to do it, and if you’re after a B camera for more high end shoots, the FS7 will slot into your setup quite happily. If you weren’t a fan of the FS700, don’t be put off – the FS7 is seated firmly at the grown-ups table, using pro codecs and generally feeling far more like a traditional camera than its predecessor.

Want to know more? 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.

Blackmagic Design’s URSA: One in the hand…

Blackmagic Design’s URSA: One in the hand…

So the Blackmagic URSA ended up on our desks this morning, and team M&E we convened in the office to give it a look. The official verdict is that we’ve received a lot of camera for our money – or would have, if we actually had to pay for demo kit. Not that we’re smug about getting free stuff.

Anyway, here’s consultant James Graham with his verdict…

“As far as first impressions go, the unboxing experience is fantastic, as is the packaging. But then you’d expect that, as you’ve just received a lot of camera for your money.”

 

“The specs of the camera read impressively. It shoots 4K ProRes HQ at 60p, great for even those Brits who want those extra 10 frames of slow-mo. Then of course there’s 4K RAW and many iterations of ProRes. But if you’re like us, you’ll have read all about that by now, so the main thing we were interested in was getting it on our shoulders and getting a feel for it as a camera. The only thing to do was crack out a Cineprime and our Shape gear.”

“Several things have been said about this camera already, but they stand repeating. Firstly, if you are using it on your shoulder, forget the 10” display. You will need an EVF – something like the Alphatron or a Cineroid EVF 4-RW is perfect, and it’s powered by V-lock batteries. It’s also worth noting that there is a lot going on in the URSA, so it’s a thirsty camera and you will need more batteries than you think you do.”

“There are many ways to operate this camera, and we like this. It will feel at home in many situations. The body can be split into two sides for operation (audio and video), or all functions can be accessed from both, which is a nice feature as you want the camera to work for you in all situations. Many of the menus are the same as what we are used to from other BMD cameras, so there will be no difference there.”

“The machined body feels very tidy in our hands, however, like its predecessors, it’s a camera that needs to be accessorised to a degree in order to get the best from it. We cynically list the best of these along with the camera on our product page, so you can add them to your URSA on impulse.”

Want to know more? 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.


Autodesk Desktop Subscriptions: What you need to know

Autodesk Desktop Subscriptions: What you need to know

Our resident licensing expert Kim Beard explains the difference between Autodesk’s new Desktop Subscriptions and your usual common or garden Autodesk licence…

What are Autodesk Subscriptions?

Back in the day, Autodesk only offered one kind of subscription, and it gave you access to support, resources and free version upgrades. Now, that’s known as a Maintenance Subscription and a new player has entered the game: Desktop Subscriptions.

A Desktop Subscription is also termed a Licence, and in layman’s terms it’s a you rent the licence on  an annual or quarterly basis, rather than buying it outright. Rather than buy a licence and then pay an annual maintenance fee, you pay a flat fee every year or quarter, and Autodesk make sure you have access to the latest version of your software.

Does this mean perpetual licences are being phased out?

No! Both perpetual licences and Desktop Subscriptions are available from Autodesk.

Who would want an Autodesk Subscription?

If you’re a new business looking to limit your initial spend, renting your licences for the first couple of years is a cheaper alternative to buying them outright straight away – especially if you expect the number of staff you employ to fluctuate over your first few years of operations. Similarly, any company that takes on extra staff on a project-by-project basis can save by having a core of perpetual licences, then effectively renting any additional ones on an annual or quarterly basis using Desktop Subscriptions.

And, surprisingly, this could actually be a great deal for any of you using Autodesk’s LT range. With the full versions of applications like AutoCAD and Maya, it only takes three to four years for a Desktop Subscription to add up to the price of a perpetual licence. But if you’re using an LT package, the lower subscription fee means it could take up to a decade for a Desktop Subscription to cost you as much as a perpetual licence, by which time your workflow could have changed entirely.

How does the cost compare to perpetual licences?

Buying a full licence of Autodesk 3ds Max or Maya costs £3625 (all prices are SRP), and a Maintenance Subscription to keep your licence up to date will cost £1280 every year thereafter. An annual Desktop Subscription includes maintenance, so will just cost you £1280 per year. Over time, you end up with a cost comparison that looks like this:

So if you’re going to need your licence for any longer than four years, you’re better off buying a perpetual licence. AutoCAD gives much the same result, as a perpetual licence costs £4350 with an annual £595 maintenance fee, whereas a Desktop Subscription costs £1360 annually.
Our helpful graph for AutoCAD LT looks markedly different:
A perpetual licence with Maintenance Subscription costs you £1140 for the first year and £190 thereafter, putting it far ahead of a Desktop Subscription’s £300 annual payment.
Obviously, this is a sizeable investment either way, and we recommend that you drop Kim and the ever-knowledgable autodesk@Jigsaw24.com team a line before you buy, but hopefully our charming graphs have cleared things up a bit.
Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email autodesk@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Your guide to AirWatch mobile device management

Your guide to AirWatch mobile device management

We’ve got plenty of amazing partners here at Jigsaw24 – Adobe, Apple, HP and Cisco to name just a few (you can see a more comprehensive list here). But a few months ago we added a new accreditation to our IT belt and became an official AirWatch partner. Never heard of it? Here’s what you need to know…

What is AirWatch?

AirWatch is a mobile device management solution that can handle iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices – one of the few solutions that can cater to all three platforms, plus Symbian and several other smaller players. It’s a suite of solutions that allows your users to connect to your network and systems, edit documents and share files all with complete confidence that their work is secure.

While they’ve been in the news recently thanks to a buyout by VMware, the AirWatch team have been  successfully securing devices since 2003, and are still very much in charge of their own ship.

What are the key benefits of AirWatch?

Secure access to email, WiFi and VPN networks User authentication using AD/LDAP is backed up by certificate based access to all your other services and networks, plus secure distribution of documents and apps. It even meets FIPS Publication 140-2 compliance standards for data protection.

Improved visibility AirWatch constantly monitors which devices are connected to your network and makes sure no unauthorised devices or blacklisted apps have found their way on. This is all reported back to your AirWatch admins, who can then block access to services, lock and wipe any lost or stolen devices and more.

Simple, secure document sharing AirWatch Secure Content Locker lets employees distribute sensitive documents using a 256-bit SSL connection. Your admin team can block certain types of user or device from viewing these documents, turn off functions like copying and pasting, and even automatically wipe documents from devices.

VPN on demand With AirWatch VPN On Demand, your team can specify that users must use a VPN to access certain networks or file systems. Every time a user tries to log in, AirWatch will generate a secure VPN tunnel in the background so that they can access the system seamlessly and securely.

Best of all, AirWatch does all this on a single, scalable platform that supports all kinds of devices running different operating systems. No matter how many mobile devices you have or how disparate they are, you’ll only ever have to manage one AirWatch system. This scalable, centralised management has made it popular with organisations like multi-site businesses and NHS Trusts.

Who’s using AirWatch?

Prominent UK names include Pentland Brands, Ted Baker, Roland, Fastjet, Colliers International and several NHS Trusts and emergency services groups, while in America their clients include Best Buy, Goodwill and the Bank of Canada. Many of them offer glowing testimonials here on the AirWatch site. CIO magazine have also given it their seal of approval.

How do I get started with AirWatch?

If you think you’re ready to go, you can download a 30 day free trial here.

For more information, get in touch with our team on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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Casper Suite version 9.4 adds BYOD tools and Android support

Casper Suite version 9.4 adds BYOD tools and Android support

JAMF Software have just launched version 9.4 of their Casper Suite device management tools. The major addition is Casper BYOD, which brings iOS and Android management tools to the Suite in order to better support – you guessed it – bring your own device programmes.

JAMF’s goal for this round of updates is to help end users become more productive and self sufficient, and to that end they’ve added self-service and BYOD tools that are designed to be simple, lightweight and easy for users to access without help from technical staff. Here’s the key info…

Casper Self Service for Mac, iPad and iPhone

JAMF have added new features to their self service toolkit, allowing users without admin access to download software and App Store apps, install eBooks, receive notifications from central IT and auto-configure their own email, contacts, calendars and WiFi/VPN profiles – all without having to raise a helpdesk ticket.

Users on iOS devices can now use the native Casper app to access self service functions, allowing them to download apps, files, eBooks, web clips and more, as well as configuring their email, calendars, contacts and WiFi and VPN settings, so they get a more seamless experience when moving between their desktop computer and any mobile devices.

Big benefits for IT here include the ability to send out push notifications and, hopefully, a massive reduction in the number of helpdesk tickets you have to handle. JAMF have made sure that configuration information still stays central, though, so you can have visibility over who is using which WiFi or VPN profile (and who’s tried to jailbreak their device) even if you’re not configuring it directly.

Casper BYOD

The biggest change in Casper Suite v9.4 is the appearance of Casper BYOD, a lightweight management interface that will let IT teams manage iOS and Android BYOD deployments unobtrusively. It includes tools that allow you to remotely wipe corporate data and settings, remotely lock devices, enforce encryption settings and passwords, and inventory devices and their data from a single, central console.

The key thing here is that wipes and inventories only cover corporate data, so ends users can rest assured that their private data is their own, and they’ll receive notifications whenever the IT team takes action that may affect them. They also get to keep all their personal preferences and settings (as long as they meet the company’s security requirements, such as mandatory passwords).

Casper Simplified Enrolment

Finally, Casper Suite v9.4 includes a vastly simplified process for enrolling users. It requires far fewer steps than before to set up, and users can be enrolled automatically as soon as their device is detected on the corporate network.

If you’re free later, JAMF Software are running through all the changes in a webinar at 2:00pm Central time (8:00pm UK time.) Sign up for the Casper Suite v9.4 launch webinar here.

Want to know more about managing your Macs and mobile devices? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or at sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

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Adobe tools for the computing curriculum

Adobe tools for the computing curriculum
Michael Gove may be gone, but the 2014 computing curriculum lives on, replacing traditional ICT lessons with a more practical (and, let’s face it, more useful) focus on problem solving, computational thinking, and coding.

We’re big fans of this development, but a lot of the schools we deal with have mixed feelings. Staff like the computing curriculum in theory, but don’t think they have the skills or equipment to teach it effectively, especially when it comes to integrating coding into the rest of the curriculum.

Luckily, there’s no need for you to start crowbarring turtle graphics into GCSE art lessons. There are tools out there that can help you give your students a more technical understanding of creative technology, without taking the focus entirely from art, design or whatever else you’re trying to teach – and if you’re using Adobe software, you may well have most of them already.

Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Edge and Muse
Of Adobe’s current crop, the programs you want to focus on for teaching creative coding are: Dreamweaver, which allows students to design and publish web pages; Fireworks, for prototyping and optimising web and app designs for different devices; Edge Animate, a tool for animating Photoshop and Illustrator-created graphics using HTML5; and Muse, a simple, mostly drag and drop interface for creating simple websites.

All of these programs are intended to help non-technical designers, which actually comes in really handy when you move them to the classroom. The focus of the lesson stays on your subject, rather than it becoming a fully-fledged IT lesson, students who are less technically able can use the shortcuts in the software to ensure they can still participate fully, while those who are more confident can use CSS3, HTML5, JavaScript and PHP to push their designs further, or use this as an opportunity to focus on user experience design and usability and how this should inform their IT work. Here are a few of the goals we reckon Adobe can help you hit…

Working with a range of applications and devices
The holy trinity of InDesign, Fireworks and Dreamweaver all contain tools that’ll let you remodel work for different screens, browsers, tablets and phones. This is a great starting point for conversations about responsive design and the changing IT landscape – how are people accessing content? What new things do students need to consider, as developers, as a result of that? How do they make sure they have a design that is simple enough to translate, but still engaging and interesting? Do they know how to build swipe functionality into mobile versions of their content?

It also means that when you send them out into the working world, they’ll be used to taking these (very important) factors into consideration, and have experience with a wealth of devices to draw on – both great pluses for any job-seeking student!

Creating, re-using, revising and repurposing digital artefacts
The interoperability of all your Adobe software makes this one a breeze. Images you’ve created in Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign can all be added to web pages using Dreamweaver or Fireworks, and you can encourage students to repurpose their content for different devices. For example, they can create a web page for desktops, a mobile version that anyone on a smartphone can see, and an app version (complete with touch controls) for anyone who’s looking at the content on a tablet.  You can make this even easier by using Edge Animate to create a series of templates that students can work with or modify, or encourage them to create and share their own.

Self-expression and developing ideas through ICT
“Design and build a web site” pretty much hits this on the head, and that’s what Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Muse allow students to do. They can combine creative work they put together in Photoshop, InDesign, Flash or Edge Animate with functionality they’ve developed using CSS3, HTML5 and jQuery tags in Fireworks and Dreamweaver to create a fully featured, multi-platform project with as much functionality as they can pack in, with tools like W3C validation on hand to make sure they stay focused on creating user-friendly, accessible pages that meet professional standards.

Practically applying IT skills to a range of creative projects and media
CSS3, HTML5, JavaScript/jQuery and PHP are all used throughout Adobe Dreamweaver, Edge and Fireworks, so students can practise working with a range of languages and optimising that content for different devices, browsers and screen sizes. Adobe’s preference for very visual interfaces that offer a code-free way to edit page elements means that students who are less technical can get a clearer idea of which parameters affect which page elements, then tackle the code itself once they’re more confident.

So how so you plan these lessons?
One of the best things about Adobe’s education offering is that it includes access to the Adobe Education Exchange. This is an online portal packed with training programs, curriculum advice and lesson plans to help you get the most out of your Adobe software.

Both Adobe experts and other teachers can contribute, so it’s a good way of gauging how other schools are embedding technical and creative skills across the curriculum, and the resources are guaranteed teacher-friendly. You can even download sample files showing how to complete different types of project, such as creating your own textbooks or building multi-page apps.

It also includes resources for the 10 week Adobe Train the Trainer course, a series of self-paced lessons that act as continuing professional development for Adobe users.

 

Just want to code? Here are some of our top apps to try…
Cargo-Bot (Two Lives Left, free) – This former Jigsaw24 App of the Week teaches programming by asking students to create simple routines to activate a robotarm. Great for gauging pupils’ coding skills when they enter KS3!

 
Codea  (Two Lives Left, £6.99) – The programming app used to make Cargo-Bot, Codea allows you to create apps, games and simulations directly on to your iPad. It includes visual editors as well, so is perfect for beginners who want to grasp the basic concepts before moving on to more complex coding.
 

Scratch 2 Games (David Phillips, 69p) – If you’re using the web version of Scratch to teach students coding, these video tutorials on game creation are a must for teachers and students. 
 

Codeacademy’s Hour of Code (Codeacademy, free) – This app encourages pupils to work through the vocabulary and grammar of coding as if they’re learning a language. They take on one small step at a time, building on previous knowledge, and are introduced to the concepts and terminology behind their favourite apps and websites.
 

Want to know more about your Adobe options? Get in touch us on 03332 409 333 or email adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest education info, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.  

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Avid’s new upgrade plan: what you need to know

Avid’s new upgrade plan: what you need to know

Attention all Avid users: the software giants are saying goodbye to their current upgrade model, and are giving you until 1st January 2015 to move to the latest version by taking out one of their new annual support plans. Here’s what you need to know.

How the new plan works

First off, this isn’t a subscription model. When you buy a new licence of Media Composer, Symphony or NewsCutter, it’s yours and you own it forever. However, the only way you can get access to updates and new versions is by signing up for Avid Support, which costs £190 ex VAT and needs to be renewed annually. This cost gives you access to any and all updates Avid release for free, plus basic tech support. If you stop paying for Avid Support the licence will still function, but if you want to access any new features you will have to pay for a new licence.

Who needs to buy Avid Support?

If you bought Media Composer 8, Media Composer 7 or NewsCutter 11 between 1st April and 29th April 2014, you’ll have been automatically enrolled in Avid Support, and don’t have to do anything until next April, when you’ll need to pay to renew it for another year. All new licences purchased since then will have been automatically enrolled on Avid Support.

Everyone else will need to buy Avid Support before 1st January 2015, or you’ll have to buy new licences. If you’re using an earlier version of Media Composer, signing up to Avid Support will give you access to the latest version at no extra cost.

If you buy add-ons like the Symphony option for Media Composer, these will be covered by your initial Avid Support contract.

In case our aggressive hyperlinking hasn’t already clued you in, you can purchase Avid Support here on our site.

What if I have an existing support plan?

If you have a current Expert Plus or Elite support contract with Avid, then your Media Composer licences will automatically be enrolled in Avid Support, and you just need to renew then annually from now on.

What if I need to buy new licences?

All licences will include one year’s worth of Avid Support, and you’ll be prompted to renew in a year.

What if I choose not to sign up for Support before 2015?

You’ll still be able to use your existing Media Composer licences, but you won’t be able to update them or add Avid Support to them in future. If you wake up on 2nd January 2015 and realise that sweet merciful Zeus, you did need that licence after all, you’ll have to pay for a full, new licence. This will set you back far more than £190, so we strongly advise you to purchase Avid Support here, now, so you know you’re covered.

Isn’t there also a subscription model?

Yep. For those of you who don’t need to own your software licences outright (maybe the number of licences you need changes from project to project, maybe you only need Media Composer for a specific period), Avid now offer annual and monthly subscription plans from £429 ex VAT a year. You pay a regular fee to rent your software, and lose access to it if you miss a payment.

It’s also worth nothing that a Media Composer subscription comes with a load of extras, including access to Symphony, NewBlue Titler, Sorenson Squeeze Lite, Boris Continuum Complete Lite and a 30 day trial of iZotope Insight.

If you want to move your existing perpetual licences to a subscription model, Avid will let you cross grade for £340 ex VAT, after which you’ll have to pay the usual £429 annual fee.

What are the options too convoluted to discuss here, and who should I contact to find out more about them?

There are two other things we think you should consider. First, Avid are now offering networked and floating licences, designed to help artists in a single facility to collaborate more fluidly. Second, if you’ve been on an elderly version of Media Composer and are about to take out support to get the latest version, it’d be a good idea to check your hardware compatibility. We provide Avid accredited turnkey systems, so it’s a good idea to give us a call and discuss your options before switching versions (our contact details are below).

Want to know more? 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.

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MOTU retire 2408 PCIe range after 15 years; announce networkable, Thunderbolt successors

MOTU retire 2408 PCIe range after 15 years; announce networkable, Thunderbolt successors

MOTU have announced a new range of professional interfaces that take over from the now-discontinued 2408/24IO/HD192 range. Offering the same high channel count, the new interfaces offer Thunderbolt connectivity instead of PCIe, with USB 2.0 also present.

The new interfaces also offer a first in this area: AVB Networking, which not only lets you connect multiple interfaces to a single computer, but also allows for the creation of a full audio network of interfaces and computers, where audio can be streamed from any source to any destination. The routing of the entire network can be controlled by a web app running from a computer, tablet or phone.

The MOTU AVB range

There are four products in the AVB range:

MOTU 1248: 32×34 interface with 4 mic preamps, 8 line level, 16 channels of ADAT, Thunderbolt and USB 2.0.
MOTU 8M: 24×24 interface, 8 mic preamps, 16 channels of ADAT, Thunderbolt and USB 2.0.
MOTU 16A: 32×32 interface, 16 analogue line level inputs and outputs, 16 channels of ADAT, Thunderbolt and USB 2.0.
MOTU AVB Switch: Dedicated 5 port AVB switch.

Any of the interfaces can be connected directly to any other via a single ethernet cable, but for further expandability the AVB switch lets you connect up to five together, or four with an uplink to another switch. Any of the interfaces connected to a switch may also be connected to a host computer of its own, with all attached computers being able to see all the connected interfaces.

What are the advantages of MOTU AVB?

Host access through Thunderbolt or USB. MOTU are the first to combine AVB networking with Thunderbolt and USB 2.o connectivity. MOTU AVB networks do not require PCIe slots. Instead, you can conveniently connect your host computer(s) through USB or Thunderbolt.

Support for multiple computer hosts. A MOTU AVB network can host as many computers as can be physically connected, with complete access by all hosts to all connected devices and audio streams. All computers and all network devices run in sync with each other, resolved to the network’s master clock.

256 channels of host I/O. Over Thunderbolt, MOTU’s AVB interfaces support 256 simultaneous channels of audio I/O (128 in plus 128 out).

Over 512 streams of network audio. MOTU’s AVB network can stream over 500 channels of audio throughout the network. Each MOTU AVB device can broadcast eight 8-channel network streams and simultaneously listen to eight 8-channel network streams.

Exceptionally low network latency. Standard AVB network latency is 2 ms. MOTU AVB network latency is an astonishing 0.6 ms, even over 7 “hops” (switches) and hundreds of metres of cable. By comparison, Cobranet has variable (unpredictable) network latency in the range of 5 ms. (We should point out that these figures came from MOTU, not the Jigsaw24 test lab.)

Star configuration. MOTU AVB employs a star network configuration. This is much more flexible than daisychain scenarios, which require dependency on all devices in the chain.

Web interface. MOTU’s AVB system can be controlled from MOTU’s control software, which runs within any web browser running on any networked laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Wireless control. MOTU’s AVB system can be controlled wirelessly through its web interface from any networked wireless device, such as a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

One-click synchronisation. Click the “Become Clock Master” button in the MOTU AVB web app for the MOTU device you choose as the clock master, and all other devices on the network immediately resolve to it.

Thunderbolt connection to host computer. MOTU’s core system interfaces (1248, 8M, 16A, etc.) can connect to the host computer with Thunderbolt, which allows full access to the entire MOTU AVB system network, streaming 128 channels of audio in and out simultaneously, even at high sample rates, thanks to Thunderbolt’s extremely high bus bandwidth capacity.

See the full MOTU AVB range here. For more information, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest audio news, follow us on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.