Sonos in the workplace

Sonos in the workplace

Sonos is the perfect solution for providing music in the workplace, whether you want to liven up your office or are looking to create ambience in a customer-facing environment. As the most advanced multi-room music system in the world, you have the flexibility to play the same music to all of your speakers, or different tracks to groups or individual speakers, each with their own volume controls.

Sonos is ideal for creating a quiet ambience in a restaurant area, or a louder soundtrack in a bar for example. With Sonos, you could distribute sound around a showroom, but play something entirely different in a client reception area. You could also add impact to meeting room presentations with the Playbar and Sub, all of which can be managed from a simple-to-use interface from your Mac or iOS device. Here’s a rundown of why Sonos is awesome in the workplace:

Access to every song available

Controlled from a central app, Sonos has access to more music than any other system available. You can stream from all the major services such as Apple Music, Spotify, Tune In, Google Play Music, Soundcloud, Deezer, Amazon Music, Napster and Tidal as well as locally stored music from an iTunes library or shared storage.

The Sonos app lets you create playlists that combine tracks from any of these sources to give you complete flexibility. Because you can add your own locally stored files to the playlists, you can easily add your own custom announcements into the mix. The Sonos Connect even lets you add external sources such as CD players into the mix, or even a public address microphone for announcements. Multiple users can access the app to control their own area, whether that’s via computer, smartphone or tablet, and its password protected so that your students can’t take over.

Simple to set up

Audio is streamed between the app and the speakers over your existing WiFi network meaning that installation and setup is very simple. It’s easily scalable too – you can start with just one Play series speaker and add more as your needs grow. Since every speaker is self-contained with its built in amplifier, there is no need for a separate amp rack or excessive cabling. If you have existing installed ceiling speakers, or want to use external weatherproof speaker to bring sound to an outdoor area, you can add the Sonos Connect Amp to drive these too.

Perfect sound – even in non-ideal conditions

Although the Sonos range is visually attractive, there will be plenty of situations where you’ll want to place your speakers more discreetly. Often, this would result in compromised acoustics but not with Sonos – the free Trueplay app analyses the acoustics of your room and speaker placement and adjusts the speaker response to produce a perfect response even in the most non-ideal conditions. That means you’re free to desk-mount your speakers, or place them on one of the dedicated Flexson floor stands, wall-mounts or ceiling mounts and site them wherever is least obtrusive.

If you want to experience the power of Sonos for yourself, you’re welcome to come to our Golden Square demonstration suite and immerse yourself in top-quality sound.

If you’d like to find out more about Sonos, drop us an email at sales@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 400 888. For everything else, including the latest news, events and offers, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Sonos in the home

Sonos in the home

Bring your home to life with music – Sonos allows you to play what you want, where you want. As the most advanced multi-room music system in the world, Sonos gives you the flexibility to play the same music on all of your speakers, or different tracks on groups or individual speakers, each with their own volume controls.

Play one track in the kitchen while the kids listen to something totally different in their rooms (and limit their volumes to avoid annoying the neighbours!) or play the same song throughout the house. Create a full cinema experience in the lounge by combining a Playbar and Sub with a pair of Play 1s or 3s working as a 5.1 setup, and then separate them to put them back in different rooms when you have finished. The possibilities are endless, but why is Sonos so good in the home?

Access to every song available

Controlled from a central app, Sonos has access to more music than any other system available. You can stream from all the major services such as Apple Music, Spotify, Tune In, Google Play Music, Soundcloud, Deezer, Amazon Music, Napster and Tidal as well as locally stored music from an iTunes library or shared storage.

The Sonos app lets you create playlists that combine tracks from any of these sources to give you complete flexibility. Because you can add your own locally stored files to the playlists, you can easily add your own custom announcements into the mix. The Sonos Connect even lets you add external sources such as CD players into the mix, or even a public address microphone for announcements. Multiple users can access the app to control their own area, whether that’s via computer, smartphone or tablet, and its password protected so that your students can’t take over.

Simple to set up

Audio is streamed between the app and the speakers over your existing WiFi network meaning that installation and setup is very simple. It’s easily scalable too – you can start with just one Play series speaker and add more as your needs grow. Since every speaker is self-contained with its built in amplifier, there is no need for a separate amp rack or excessive cabling. If you have existing installed ceiling speakers, or want to use external weatherproof speaker to bring sound to an outdoor area, you can add the Sonos Connect Amp to drive these too.

Perfect sound – even in non-ideal conditions

Although the Sonos range is visually attractive, there will be plenty of situations where you’ll want to place your speakers more discreetly. Often, this would result in compromised acoustics but not with Sonos – the free Trueplay app analyses the acoustics of your room and speaker placement and adjusts the speaker response to produce a perfect response even in the most non-ideal conditions. That means you’re free to desk-mount your speakers, or place them on one of the dedicated Flexson floor stands, wall-mounts or ceiling mounts and site them wherever is least obtrusive.

If you want to experience the power of Sonos for yourself, you’re welcome to come to our Golden Square demonstration suite and immerse yourself in top-quality sound.

If you’d like to find out more about Sonos, drop us an email at sales@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 400 888. For everything else, including the latest news, events and offers, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Sonos in production

Sonos in production

The flexibility, ease of use and straight-up sound quality of Sonos wireless media systems has made Sonos one of the most recognisable brands for audio playback. It’s now installed in millions of homes and businesses around the world, and has become so prevalent that it has almost become a standard.

Sonos is rapidly becoming the reference speaker for content producers – after all, if you wan to check what your content sounds like, it makes sense to be referencing it on the same system that your audience will be using. So, what is it that makes Sonos so good?

Exception sound quality

Sonos speakers aren’t your average speakers – they have a studio heritage. Giles Martin of Abbey Road Studios has been involved in the development of their current range of speakers after being impressed with a pair of Play:1’s. Sonos asked for his feedback, and, based on his advice, were able to further enhance the sound quality of their speakers. As a result, they are now used as a reference point in one of the most famous studios in the world.

Click here to read more about Giles Martin’s involvement with Sonos.

The ideal speaker for non ideal acoustics

Acoustically treating a room to ensure optimal sound for playback can be a very expensive process. Sonos have developed Trueplay – an app which analyses the acoustics of your room and speaker placement and adjusts the speaker response accordingly. Free to use, all you need is an iOS device and in under 10 minutes you can calibrate your speakers to produce a near-perfect response, even in the most non-ideal conditions.

Complete flexibility

Audio is streamed between the app and the speakers over your existing WiFi network, meaning that installation and setup is very simple. It’s easily scalable too – you can start with just one Play series speaker and add more as your needs grow. Use a single speaker, or add a second to make a stereo pair, then add another speaker or two to a dedicated listening room and send your finished mixes there. Why not build a 5.1 setup with more speakers and a sub, and even preview a video project on a client speaker by adding the Playbar.

Every Sonos speaker on your network becomes available as part of a scalable listening system, where all speakers can be controlled individually or grouped as you like.

Sound from any source

With Sonos, you can stream music from all the major services such as Apple Music, Spotify, Tune In, Google Play Music, Soundcloud, Deezer, Amazon Music, Napster and Tidal among others. You can also stream locally stored music from an iTunes library on your device or from shared storage.

If you have external sources you want to connect, the Sonos Connect even lets you add CD players, DVDs, tape decks or vinyl into the mix. No matter what you want to reference your sound against, Sonos puts it right under your fingertips.

Aesthetics

Lets be honest – good looks are important if you’re dealing with clients, and Sonos speakers are certainly no ugly ducklings. They integrate easily into any environment with the dedicated range of Flexion desk-mounts, floor stands, wall-mounts or ceiling mounts.

If you want to experience the power of Sonos for yourself, you’re welcome to come to our Golden Square demonstration suite and immerse yourself in top-quality sound.

If you’d like to find out more about Sonos, drop us an email at sales@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 400 888. For everything else, including the latest news, events and offers, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Sonos in education

Sonos in education

Providing an AV system that can work throughout a school can be both costly and difficult to implement (even more so if you’re hoping to control volume levels independently, and play different audio in different areas). There’s lots of cabling involved, including zoning amps to control volume levels and distribution, as well as expensive touch panels and media servers.

A Sonos system streamlines AV implementation and provides you with a cost effective, easy to use and scalable system that can stream any audio to any speaker or group of speakers on the network. Obviously, we’re not encouraging you to start playing background music in classrooms (although your students might like it) but there’s always a strong demand for music in concourses, cafeterias, reception areas, galleries, sports halls, performance areas. Sonos gives you full control over sound throughout your school.

Access to every song available

Controlled from a central app, Sonos has access to more music than any other system available. You can stream from all the major services such as Apple Music, Spotify, Tune In, Google Play Music, Soundcloud, Deezer, Amazon Music, Napster and Tidal as well as locally stored music from an iTunes library or shared storage.

The Sonos app lets you create playlists that combine tracks from any of these sources to give you complete flexibility. Because you can add your own locally stored files to the playlists, you can easily add your own custom announcements into the mix. The Sonos Connect even lets you add external sources such as CD players into the mix, or even a public address microphone for announcements. Multiple users can access the app to control their own area, whether that’s via computer, smartphone or tablet, and its password protected so that your students can’t take over.

Simple to set up

Audio is streamed between the app and the speakers over your existing WiFi network meaning that installation and setup is very simple. It’s easily scalable too – you can start with just one Play series speaker and add more as your needs grow. Since every speaker is self-contained with its built in amplifier, there is no need for a separate amp rack or excessive cabling. If you have existing installed ceiling speakers, or want to use external weatherproof speaker to bring sound to an outdoor area, you can add the Sonos Connect Amp to drive these too.

Perfect sound – even in non-ideal conditions

Although the Sonos range is visually attractive, there will be plenty of situations where you’ll want to place your speakers more discreetly. Often, this would result in compromised acoustics but not with Sonos – the free Trueplay app analyses the acoustics of your room and speaker placement and adjusts the speaker response to produce a perfect response even in the most non-ideal conditions. That means you’re free to desk-mount your speakers, or place them on one of the dedicated Flexson floor stands, wall-mounts or ceiling mounts and site them wherever is least obtrusive.

If you want to experience the power of Sonos for yourself, you’re welcome to come to our Golden Square demonstration suite and immerse yourself in top-quality sound.

If you’d like to find out more about Sonos, drop us an email at sales@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 400 888. For everything else, including the latest news, events and offers, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Pro audio tip: How to record decent audio for a DSLR

Pro audio tip: How to record decent audio for a DSLR

If you’re looking to record video on a DSLR or a camera like the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, you’re very quickly going to notice that, although you’re extremely well catered for in the lens and recording media departments, the majority of DSLR cameras don’t have anything like the audio connectivity that a traditional video camera offers.

There are some great on-camera mics such as the RODE VideoMic Pro but if you need multiple sources, you need to think about the workflow.

The old field mixer way

A traditional way of approaching this is with one of the many field mixers out there, which allow you to connect multiple sources and then submit this down to your camera’s audio input – usually a stereo minijack. However, this approach has a couple of pitfalls. Firstly, many of these are passive devices and don’t offer phantom power for higher quality shotgun mics. Secondly, you are limited to the audio recording capability of your camera, which is typically a compressed audio format and may have poor noise performance.

Most critically, you have no way of monitoring levels accurately – you may have adequate levels if you plug headphones into the mixer, but you can’t monitor the audio that’s actually being recorded onto the camera itself, which may be too quiet or, worse, too loud and distorting.

The better audio recorder way

A better approach is to use a separate audio recorder. A recorder such as the Tascam DR-60D (or its bigger brother, the Tascam DR-70D) attaches to the bottom of the camera via the tripod mount (and in turn provides its own mount fixtures on the base) and offers dedicated XLR inputs with phantom power, high quality converters, 24bit/96kHz uncompressed recording of up to four tracks at once, and the ability to monitor the actual audio which is being recorded.

Tascam DR-70D on Jigsaw24

As well as meaning you’ll never come back from a shoot to find you have no usable sound, these units also simultaneously pass a mixdown back to the camera, so you have a backup and a guide for easy sound alignment in post. And the best thing is, with all these additional features, they work out better value than most of the rather more inferior camera mixers available.

Sounds like a no-brainer to me…

Want to know more about Tascam’s DR-60D and DR-70D audio recorders? 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.

Guide to Avid Pro Tools 2016: Pro Tools, HDX and HD Native

Guide to Avid Pro Tools 2016: Pro Tools, HDX and HD Native

Avid’s Pro Tools audio recording and editing software, now in its 26th year, is pretty much omnipresent wherever sound production is taking place, whether that’s in a band’s project studio, a commercial recording facility or post-production.

And for good reason – engineers like the intuitive interface, powerful processing and solid stability that can take on the most demanding projects. And the sheer number of users on board means that using it makes you compatible with more other studios than any other software package available, regardless of whether you’re working in a Mac or PC environment.

While opting to use Pro Tools may be a straightforward choice, deciding which system to go for can be anything but. Avid currently offer a software only version of Pro Tools and two different hardware platforms – Pro Tools HDX and Pro Tools HD Native. Which one is best for you depends entirely on what your requirements are, so we’ve tried to break it down a bit below…

Pro Tools (software only)

Go for this if… you need a flexible entry-point DAW and are only working in stereo.

Pro Tools software on Jigsaw24

The software only version of Pro Tools offers up to 96 audio tracks (@48kHz, 24 tracks at 192kHz). 32 simultaneous inputs are supported, with 128 instrument tracks, unlimited busses and 128 auxes, plus support for a single video track.

All software mixing and plugins (AAX format) are handled by the computer and you can use pretty much any audio interface you like, whether that’s a budget 2-in, 2-out or a pro level interface such as an Apogee Ensemble, RME, MOTU or the excellent DSP-laden Universal Audio Apollo range. The software-only licence of Pro Tools is stereo-only, so if you need to work in surround, you’ll want to investigate the HD systems.

Options: Available as a perpetual licence for £599 ex VAT (with a yearly support plan required after the first year to stay up to date), or a 12 month subscription licence for £199 ex VAT per year.

Pro Tools software on Jigsaw24

Pro Tools HD Native

Go for this if… you’re working with big sessions or in post-production.

Guide To Pro Tools HD Native

Pro Tools HD Native is the mid-tier platform and is fast becoming one of the more popular choices. It’s an integrated hardware and software solution that consists of an Avid HD audio interface, a core card which connects it to the host computer (either PCI or Thunderbolt) and Pro Tools HD software.

HD Native can support 64 channels of input and output, and the Pro Tools HD software can handle bigger sessions than the software-only version: up to 256 audio tracks, 512 aux tracks and 64 video tracks. Importantly for post customers, Pro Tools HD software also supports full surround mixing. All processing is still handled by the computer though, so if you are running a heavy session you’ll need a powerful computer.

Options: Various combinations of Avid HD audio interfaces and core cards are available, and we offer a wide range of systems ready bundled – click on the banner to see your options.

Pro Tools HD Native on Jigsaw24

 

Pro Tools HDX

Go for this if… you need the very best for a professional post-production customer or commercial studio.

Guide To Pro Tools HDX

Pro Tools HDX is the top tier. Like HD Native, it’s a hardware-based system, but the big difference is that the core card is loaded with hugely powerful DSP chips and these are used to run the mixer and effects plug-ins, meaning a huge session doesn’t slow your computer to a crawl. Its also scaleable – you can use multiple HDX cards in a system to increase I/O count and processing horsepower (up to 192 inputs and 768 tracks).

Because of the extra power, an HDX system can handle massive surround mixes with lots of spatial effects. It’s also the best choice if you’re recording bands where people want individual monitor mixes with realtime effects, because you don’t have to deal with the processing delays you get when the computer is handling all the number-crunching.

Options: As with HD Native, Pro Tools HDX is scaleable and we offer various systems depending on your needs, including full studio solutions with control surfaces included. See the full range by clicking the banner below.

Pro Tools HDX on Jigsaw24

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.

 

 

 

Pro Tools 12 is here, but not in name…

Pro Tools 12 is here, but not in name…

Pro Tools 12 is here! Except it’s just called Pro Tools now, and instead of new features it’s actually a move over to a new licensing model. Here’s Rob to explain…

Pro Tools 12, as we’ll be calling it for the sake of clarity, doesn’t come with a slew of new features and hardware requirements. This time round, the main change has been a move to a more Media Composer-like licensing model, with changes to the way perpetual licences work and the addition of a subscription model.

Perpetual licensing

The good news for anyone who hates subscriptions is that you can still by a perpetual licence – we’ll even give you £500 off RRP in an exclusive deal, if you like – and it will keep working for as long as you need to use it. It gives you access to the full Pro Tools software plus the AAX plug-in bundle and an iLok key for authentication. You’ll also be entitled to online and phone support from Avid.

However, in order to receive updates and access to new features, you’ll need to take out an Avid Upgrade and Support contract at the cost of £129 ex VAT per annum. You need to renew this every year to keep your licence current and receive updates. If you skip a year and then decide that you want to start receiving updates again, you’ll have to pay for a whole new seat.

The first year’s support is included in the cost of your perpetual licence.

Subscription licensing

A Pro Tools subscription costs £199 ex VAT per annum. The price includes both the software and the support plan, so you pay one monthly or annual fee that covers your right to run Pro Tools and any support or upgrades you may need.

Having sat down and done the maths, we can tell you that the cost of maintaining a copy of Pro Tools for five years is exactly the same on both payment plans. The initial cost of a perpetual licence is a lot higher, but then you have the lower ongoing cost of the support plan, whereas the subscription model requires smaller, more frequent payments, so the only difference is which of these is easier for you.

Users on Pro Tools 9, 10 and 11 all have upgrade deals available to them, too.

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.


NAMM 2015 news: TC Electronic LC2n and LC6n help stay loudness-compliant

NAMM 2015 news: TC Electronic LC2n and LC6n help stay loudness-compliant

Everyone working in broadcast knows that it’s essential to stay within loudness limits, or you’ll have your work thrown back at you. But monitoring loudness is time consuming, especially in an industry where deadlines for delivery are already extremely tight. But with the release of the LCn correction tools at NAMM 2015, TC Electronic may have made this problem go away forever…

In a nutshell, the LCn Loudness Correction Tools application does all the processing and conforming for you, being the scenes. You tell it how your media is to be delivered and what the final loudness level needs to be. You then set up a ‘watch folder’ and a ‘delivery folder’. You bounce your final mix to the watch folder, and LCn will automatically process it in the background, with the conformed file appearing in the delivery folder when it’s finished. It is quite simply the easiest way to get the job done – and let’s face it, it’s a job that no-one really wants to spend time doing!

TC Electronic LC6n

Within the LCn application you have controls for boost, gain reduction and a mastering grade brick wall limiter to make sure you still get the maximum punch. You get a detailed Radar meter to show you how loudness and peak levels change over time and a ‘traffic light’ system to show you whether your material is safe, borderline or needs further work (in case a file can’t be made broadcast-safe within the processing parameters you have set)

There are 2 version of LCn: LC2n for stereo use and LC6n for multi-channel. For the amount of time and headache this saves, at £189 inc VAT for the stereo version and £445 for the surround version, TC Electronic LCn is a complete no-brainer!

TC Electronic LCn on Jigsaw24

Want to know more about TC Electronic’s LCn plug-ins, and the latest news from NAMM 2015? 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.

NAMM 2015 news: Universal Audio go large with Apollo Expanded software

NAMM 2015 news: Universal Audio go large with Apollo Expanded software

Universal Audio are using NAMM 2015 to announce the “biggest update to Apollo since its introduction”. The Apollo Expanded software for their Apollo series of interfaces lets users combine the DSP of their Apollo interface with that of any UAD-2 devices (PCIe or Thunderbolt) to create a much more flexible and powerful system.

For a proper insight into the Apollo Expanded package, check out this video explanation from Universal Audio European Product Specialist Wesley Bendall, via Sonic State.

Apollo Expanded will ship with UAD Software v8.0 when it’s released in March. The release will also include a new console (2.0) and new amp, distortion and AutoTune Live plug-ins.

Want to know more about the latest news from NAMM 2015? 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.

NAMM 2015 news: Focusrite spill Clarett Thunderbolt interfaces, RED 2 and 3 plug-ins

NAMM 2015 news: Focusrite spill Clarett Thunderbolt interfaces, RED 2 and 3 plug-ins

Just as NAMM 2015 was opening its doors in Anaheim, California, Focusrite announced a whole new range of premium level audio interfaces. The new Clarett range of Thunderbolt audio interfaces are also joined by new plug-ins, Focusrite RED 2 and RED 3.

Focusrite Clarett

The Clarett range sits substantially higher up the range from Focusrite’s existing Scarlett and Saffire ranges, and offers Thunderbolt connectivity, new mic preamps which replicate the impedance and transformer resonance of the original ISA units, 24-bit, 192kHz converters and high headroom of 116dB A/D (118dB D/A). Focusrite quote latency figures of <1ms.

4 units make up the range – the Clarett 2 Pre (£399.99), Clarett 4 Pre (£549.99), Clarett 8 Pre (£799.99) and the Clarett 8 Pre X (£999.99). Shipping will start in Q1 2015. The 8 Pre and 8 Pre X feature full front panel metering and ADAT expandability and all models offer MIDI I/O.

Focusrite Clarett on Jigsaw24

Focusrite RED 2 and RED 3 plug-ins

Focusrite have also announced the RED 2 and RED 3 plug-in bundle. With support for VST, AU and AAX 64-bit (Native), this plug-in bundle brings you the sound of the RED 2 EQ and RED 3 Compressor in a plug-in form. Users of older Pro Tools systems will be very familiar with the older D2 and D3 plug-ins which have been staples of countless mixes over the years, and finally updated models of these awesome processors come to both native systems and modern Pro Tools systems.

The Red 2 and Red 3 Plug-in Bundle will have an RRP of £229.99 but will also be bundled with every Scarlett, Saffire and Clarett audio interface – both new and those already registered. So if you’re an existing Focusrite Audio interface owner, you just got a free gift!

Focusrite RED 2

Focusrite RED 3

 

Want to know more about the latest news from NAMM 2015? 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.