Get a free Thunderbolt card with your Apollo interface

Get a free Thunderbolt card with your Apollo interface

From now until 31st March 2014, anyone registering a new Universal Audio Apollo DUO, Apollo QUAD, or Apollo 16 audio interface bought from us will receive a free pre-installed Thunderbolt Option Card worth £409!

The Apollo Thunderbolt Option Card provides greater UAD plug-in instances, improved performance at higher sample rates, and reduced UAD plug-in latency versus FireWire. Compatible with the latest generation of iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini, the Thunderbolt Option Card offers unrivalled bandwidth and next-generation connectivity for Apollo.

Universal Audio Thunderbolt Option Card

So how do you get your hands on this astronomic offer? Just click on the banner to buy your Apollo interface without the Thunderbolt Option Card, or get in touch with us on the details below, and you’ll receive the free card from us. As an authorised Universal Audio reseller, we can provide all your Apollo needs!

Universal Audio Apollo interfaces on Jigsaw24

Want to know more about our Universal Audio Apollo interface deal? 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.

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Thunderbolt vs Thunderbolt 2: ATTO’s comparison guide

Thunderbolt vs Thunderbolt 2: ATTO’s comparison guide

With Mac Pro finally upon us, you might be wondering just how the new Thunderbolt 2 connection stacks up against regular old Thunderbolt. Luckily, ATTO have been experimenting with Thunderbolt 2 and released their findings in a handy document for you.

The first thing to remember, ATTO say in their comparison guide, is that Thunderbolt 2 doesn’t mean 2x the bandwidth of Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt 2 enables two 20Gbps bi‐direction channels instead of four 10Gbps channels, and performance is limited due to protocol, host and bandwidth capability. ATTO’s key findings are as follows:

– 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 technology‐enabled devices are backwards compatible with 10Gbps Thunderbolt technology‐enabled hosts. It works!

– Overall aggregate performance for Thunderbolt 2 is the same as Thunderbolt.

– A single Thunderbolt 2 or multiple DP1.1a connections will support 4K video performance.

– Overall storage throughput still depends on the quantity and types of drives that are connected.

– It’s not practical to daisy chain a 4K monitor and high‐speed storage. Independent connections are required!

You can download ATTO’s guide, ‘What is Thunderbolt 2? How does it compare to Thunderbolt?’ here.

Want to know more about Thunderbolt, ATTO solutions and the new Mac Pro? 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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Our top 3 keyboards and MIDI controllers for the classroom

Our top 3 keyboards and MIDI controllers for the classroom

In our last outing, we showed you our 6 best headphones for the classroom, and this time round we’ve turned our attention to those mainstays of the music classroom – keyboards – with our top picks for all needs and budgets.

Keyboards and MIDI controllers are one of the first things to think about when kitting out the music department. Constantly being jabbed and prodded by musically enquiring young minds, they’re very often the hardware that schools find themselves needing to replace most frequently too, so we’ve taken durability and price into account, as well as the breadth of features on offer.

Size is another very important factor. Most keyboards come in 25, 49, 61 or 88-key variations, so you have to decide what’s right for how you’re going to be using them. 49 keys are most common in the classroom, as you get four octaves to play with, but they still don’t take up too much desk space, and you can physically fit more in the classroom.

The smallest 25-key size is useful if you’re teaching basic composition in software like Sibelius, but are not doing much playing. For students who are learning playing more, a 61 key keyboard gives a better playing experience, with more octaves and more room for hands, while 88 keys are ideal for teaching piano, with a full octave range, and often better feel and more weighty feedback.

The entry-level, durable option – Alesis Q49

One of our all-time best-selling keyboards for schools is the Alesis Q49. And you can put that popularity down to its low price, great feature set and durability. This tough keyboard features 49 keys and four octaves, making it a great space-saving option for the classroom, and it’s completely bus-powered too (runs off your computer’s power) meaning there are no bulky power adapters getting in the way.

Alesis Q49 on Jigsaw24

The Alesis Q49 works with any music software so is ideal for pretty much any music application, from notation in Sibelius to performing, recording and sequencing in Ableton Live Lite, which comes bundled in for free. There’s also a full compliment of controls, including pitch and modulation wheels, octave up and down buttons, an assignable data slider, and the ability to send program changes from the keys. 25, 61 and 88 key versions are also available.

– Find out more about the Alesis Q49 keyboard here.

The advanced, automated option – Novation Launchkey 61

At the other end of the scale is Jigsaw24 favourite the Novation Launchkey 61, a more advanced 61-key MIDI controller that packs in more features and a better feel than the Alesis Q49, but is still very affordable. Featuring more controls including nine sliders, eight rotary knobs, 16 trigger pads and transport controls, which are quickly mappable to software functions, it’s ideal for working with music production software such as Logic and Cubase.

Novation Launchkey 61 on Jigsaw24

Plenty of keyboards have keys for launching software, but the Launchkey 61 programs controls automatically and instantly, which saves a bit of lesson time. It can then be used to trigger drum samples and clips in whatever audio plug-in you’re using. Interestingly, it’s also compatible with iPad, letting you work directly with Novation’s synthesiser apps.

– Find out more about the Novation Launchkey 61 keyboard here.

And an honourable mention for the M-Audio Oxygen

While we would say that the Alesis is the ideal keyboard in terms of durability and affordability, and the Launchkey is our favourite when it comes to features, we’re also rather keen on the M-Audio Oxygen. This keyboard has the same functionality as the Alesis Q49, with the addition of more faders and transport controls, however you don’t get the pads that come with the Launchkey. A good middle ground, then.

M-Audio Oxygen on Jigsaw24

Want to know more about keyboards and MIDI controllers for the classroom? Get in touch for full pricing and payment options, including our 30 day credit account for schools!

Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, reviews and recommendations, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or Like’ us on Facebook


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Choosing the right camera for your TriCaster setup

Choosing the right camera for your TriCaster setup

Are you looking to add a camera to your NewTek TriCaster setup, or build a broadcast and streaming solution from scratch? This quick guide will help you get the perfect camcorder for your needs, whether you’re working with TriCaster 40, 410, 460 or 860.

Our broadcast team have looked at which cameras are currently available (TriCaster will work with pretty much any camera, and any display too) and done plenty of hands-on research, looking at factors like portability, network integration and versatility, as well as the all-important price.

After extensive discussions, complicated equations and gallons of strong coffee, they’ve whittled the shortlist down to three camcorders that they think are ideal companions for your TriCaster setup. (If you’re still deliberating over which TriCaster is for you, have a read of this helpful article.)

What sets TriCaster apart from other similar broadcast solutions is the high-end functionality you get for a low price. It’s no coincidence then, that the three cameras the team chose all come from the JVC stable. JVC camcorders are similarly renowned for being incredibly affordable for the feature set you get with them, whether you’re after an entry-level camera or a solution for a professional studio.

For an entry-level, portable setup (TriCaster 40)

If you’re just getting started in live broadcast, or want a solution that’s perfect for education, you’ll need to be looking at TriCaster 40. The smallest and most portable model, it’s great if you need to move it round for various applications, or are working in a cramped space. TriCaster 40 only accepts component inputs, and you’re limited to four lower quality camera channels, and just one audio input, but it’s still delivering HD video at a great price, and is perfect if you’re mostly going to be working with VGA feeds.

To match those portability and affordability factors, the team suggest the JVC GY-HM150E. Small and lightweight, it also comes in at under £1400, so is ideal for a multicam HD setup with minimum outlay. Packed full of features such as JVC’s 3 chip 1/4″ progressive CCD, a 10x zoom Fujinon lens with a Rotary Optical Image Stabilizer and a 2.7″ LCD monitor, the HM150E really stands out compared to competitors in its class. We can even modify it for you with extras like pan controls and a viewfinder, making it a nifty budget studio camera.

We recommend: JVC GY-HM150E ProHD 1/4″ CCD 35Mbps 10x zoom SD and HD camcorder.

JVC GY-HM150E on Jigsaw24

JVC GY-HM150E on Jigsaw24

For more complex studio setups (TriCaster 410 and 460)

If you’re looking to create more complex broadcasts with multiple feeds and outputs, or deliver content to multiple locations at the same time, TriCaster 410 and 460 are for you. These can handle four cameras, accepting full HD video in both 1080i and 720p, along with SDI, Y/C, component and composite inputs, with the 460 supporting ISO recording too.

For a budget studio camera that delivers excellent image quality at a low price point, the team have plumped for the JVC GY-HM650 (at just over £3500). What’s really special about this camera is the network integration capability – you can tap into the camera’s internal settings (things like white balance and picture profiles) and control them from the backend, just as you would in a full-scale studio setup.

The HM650 also lets you stream data over IP point to point, to a server in your control room. Other notable features include the ability to control the camera using iPad, and the 23x zoom which makes it a very versatile option indeed. As with the 150, we’re also able to modify the HM650 to optimise it for your studio, with extras like HD monitors, thumb controls for zoom and more, as well as being able to help with the network setup.

We recommend: JVC GY-HM650 1/3″ ProHD CMOS camera with 23x zoom.

JVC GY-HM650 on Jigsaw24

JVC GY-HM650 on Jigsaw24

For a full-scale professional studio setup (TriCaster 860 and 8000)

Able to take up to eight camera feeds, TriCaster 860 and 8000 can handle everything a pro studio can throw at them. You essentially get the power of an OB truck, with the most diverse graphics and backdrops available, in a rackmountable box. The extra power does come at a cost, but for the calibre of content on offer, and pro features on offer such as frame sync for keeping all your cameras co-ordinated, it’s ideal for professional studio environments and delivering content to multiple sites (global news outlets use this kind of setup, as do our customer Staffordshire University).

Our team’s clear choice for the 860 and 8000 is JVC’s GY-HM790E. This modular HD camcorder comes with solid state recording capabilities as well as studio functionality, the highest level of HD picture quality in both 1080i and 720p formats, an MPEG2 codec capable of providing highly efficient compression of full HD 1920×1080 up to 35Mbps, and also SD recording, covering all the major signal formats.

The HM790 is a little more money, but for the price you get full control, with hardware backends, professional accessories and Fibre Channel connectivity, meaning fewer cables around the studio. It’s a system that works in the same way most broadcasting studios work, and matches TriCaster 860 and 8000 perfectly.

We recommend: JVC GY-HM790E ProHD media camcorder with Canon 14×4.4mm ENG lens.

JVC GY-HM790E on Jigsaw24JVC GY-HM790E on Jigsaw24

Want to know more about TriCaster or the right camera for your setup? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and how-tos, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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Up to 60% off GenArts Sapphire 7 for limited time!

Up to 60% off GenArts Sapphire 7 for limited time!

GenArts have got into the Christmas spirit early, slashing the price of Sapphire 7 for After Effects by up to 60%! You’ll have to act quickly to cash in on their good will, however, as this offer is only on until 6th December.

The deal means GenArts Sapphire 7 for After Effects will now set you back just £655 ex VAT. Alternatively, you can get in touch with us on the details below if you’re after a network licence, or want to upgrade your current version of Sapphire for just £170!

What is Sapphire 7 for After Effects?

GenArts Sapphire lets you supplement your After Effects arsenal with over 250 high-quality effects, all equipped with extensive control variables so you can customise the parameters to create any look in less time. Here are just a few of the new effects and transitions on offer in the latest version, Sapphire 7:

EdgeAwareBlur. A new tool that allows you to blur while preserving detail — you can create a watercolour or cartoon-like effect.

Beauty. Leveraging the EdgeAware technology, this new effect beautifies talking heads by softening and colour correcting skin regions.

Sharpen. Updated with the ability to sharpen features of different amounts and sizes for more control.

LensFlare. Enhanced with faster rendering, animation options, atmospheric noise, presets to duplicate popular real-world lenses, and more.

Zap. Now includes 3D rotation and the option to follow a path, allowing it to take any shape you want.

MotionBlur. MotionBlur has been added to many effects, creating a more realistic look.

GenArts Sapphire for After Effects on Jigsaw24

Want to know more about our GenArts Sapphire for After Effects deal? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and how-tos, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

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Atomos Samurai Blade gets new edge with AtomOS 5.1 firmware

Atomos Samurai Blade gets new edge with AtomOS 5.1 firmware

Atomos have unsheathed a brand new firmware update for their Samurai Blade field recorder. AtomOS 5.1 adds an LCD screen adjustment option, colour adjustments and more, and is available to download now for all Blade users.

The most notable features of the new firmware will be the adjustable Gamma, Y Lift and Y Gain slider controls (and a new reset button), with the added LCD screen adjustment page located in Menu > Display Options > Adjust Screen. Canon C-Log users will have a field day with the C-Log colour display and additionally, users can now switch instantly between Rec. 709 and C-Log with just one touch.

AtomOS 5.1 also features calibration Matrix and 1D LUTs for the SamuraiBlade, and more battery display options with D-Tap Mode and AC.

On top of that, new improvements in AtomOS 5.1 include updating the horizontal audio level meter clip indicator to be more visible and in correct colours, improved accuracy and responsiveness of audio level meters, and improved SSD performance by partitioning sectors to a 1MB boundary.

The AtomOS 5.1 firmware update is available to download now from the Atomos website, along with full release notes, and a handy video tutorial explaining how to update your Blade.

Atomos Samurai Blade on JIgsaw24

Want to know more about the Atomos Samurai Blade field recorder? 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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Cubase and Cubase Artist 7.5 are on their way!

Cubase and Cubase Artist 7.5 are on their way!

One for Cubase users’ Christmas lists: Steinberg have announced that version 7.5 of Cubase and Cubase Artist are going to be here just in time for the festive season. With new track handling and recording tools, instruments and first-class effects processors, it’s an ideal digital stocking filler for producers and audiophiles everywhere.

What’s new in Cubase 7.5?

It’s been a year since Cubase reached its 7th version, and in that time Steinberg have been working on a number of updates. The main ones to look out for, according to Steinberg, include:

TrackVersions. For creating, renaming and managing parallel versions of tracks.

Track visibility. Shows only the tracks you want to see in the Project window.

Instrument (t)rack 2.0. Supports multi-outputs and multi-inputs, and merges instrument tracks with the Instrument Rack.

HALion Sonic SE 2. Giving you tons of fresh new sounds plus a totally new synth.

Groove Agent SE 4. With 30 new drum kits and smart user interface for creating beats and hits in no time.

New EDM construction kits. Adding flavour to your productions and giving you new song ideas.

LoopMash FX. For realtime modern-style breaks, tape-stops, stutters and more.

REVelation. Super-smooth and silky-sounding algorithmic reverb that brings back the memories of those old fancy hardware units.

Magneto 2. Adding warmth to your tracks.

VST Connect SE 2. Unique remote recording plug-in now with MIDI data transmission.

Transient navigation. Tab to transients on audio events in the Project window thanks to the new instant hitpoint navigation.

How do I get Cubase 7.5?

Steinberg Cubase and Cubase Artist 7.5 are officially released on 4th December. If you’re already working in Cubase 7, you can download the 7.5 update to get hold of all the new features. We’ll have details on UK pricing when the update hits. Anyone who’s new to Cubase (or has bought since 15th October 2013), will be entitled to the update free of charge!

Steinberg Cubase 7 on Jigsaw24

Want to know more about Steinberg Cubase 7? 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.

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Canon release new C300 firmware, add shooting enhancements

Canon release new C300 firmware, add shooting enhancements

Got the latest firmware for your Canon C300 camcorder? Canon have realised they pushed the button a bit early with their 13th November update, v.1.1.0.1.00, which included incorrect colour balance. But all has now been rectified, with the release of v.1.1.1.1.00.

As well as fixing the colour balance discrepancy, the new firmware brings a huge list of updates to your EOS C300 Cinema EOS Camera and EOS C300 PL Cinema EOS Camera, with new shooting enhancements including ISO up to 80,000, on-set support, and support for Cinema and EF lenses too. You can download the snappily-titled v.1.1.1.1.00 firmware update from Canon’s site here. Alternatively, if you’re rocking a C100, you can find out more about the latest firmware for that here.

What’s new?

– Ability to move the magnification viewing area around the LCD using the MAGN Function.

– Support for a 1440×1080/35Mbps recording mode.

– ISO up to 80,000 has been added.

– Added functionality to support the optional Canon GPS Receiver GP-E1.

– A Key Lock menu setting has been added which now makes it possible to lock all operations, including the START/STOP button.

– Using the optional Canon WFT-E6 Wireless File Transmitter, the camera’s remote-control application allows two users to access the same unit via a Wi-Fi link providing simultaneous camera operation and control, and metadata input simultaneously.

– [Lens Exchange] and [ND+]/[ND-] have been added as functions that can be allocated to any assignable button.

– A new Wide DR Gamma setting provides an expanded dynamic range of 800%.

– Flicker Reduction has been improved (EOS C300 Cinema EOS Camera only).

– Push Auto Iris and One-Shot AF operation.

– A new AE Shift function and the selection of various light-metering modes are now available when used with some Canon Cinema lenses (EF mount) and Canon EF Lenses.

– Ability to assign the two control dials to operate either Iris or ISO sensitivity independently.

– Peripheral Illumination Correction Data has been added for seven Canon Cinema lenses (EF mount) and 15 Canon EF Lenses.

– A function has been added to enable continuous focus and iris setting on a subject in the middle of the screen when one of the two EF STM lenses (EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM) is attached.

Canon C300 camcorder on Jigsaw24

Want to know more about the Canon EOS C300 camcorderGive us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and how-tos, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

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Get free training on your JVC camcorder

Get free training on your JVC camcorder

If you’re using a JVC GY-HM600 or GY-HM650 camcorder, and reckon you could do with a few helpful pointers, JVC are now offering free one-day training courses worth £175!

Aiming to help people make better content with their new camcorders, the courses are ideal for both beginners and those with more intermediate video skills, covering key points including correct camera setup, an overview of camera functions, and best shooting practices.

The first of these one-day courses will be held at JVC’s London headquarters on Wednesday 11th December. It’s completely free to anyone who’s bought a GY-HM600 or GY-HM650 camera (proof of purchase is required) but if you haven’t, and you still want to go, it’s open to anyone else at the normal rate of £175. You can sign up for the JVC training here.

How the training day will work

Hosted by Kevin Cook, a long-time member of the Institute of Videography, the course aims to help you get the most from your camera, and will cover the following topics: Basic overview of camera functionality, Recording media and formats, General camera setups, Audio, Recording,Editing and workflow, Best shooting practices and Accessories. For any more details about the event, and to sign up, click here.

– Interested in streaming and FTP from your JVC GY-HM650? Find out how in our whitepaper.

Buy JVC's GY-HM600 and 650

Want to know more about the JVC GY-HM600 and GY-HM650? 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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Sony November news: PVM-A series, F5/55 accessories and more

Sony November news: PVM-A series, F5/55 accessories and more

Want the latest news on Sony products? You’ve come to the right place, as we round up all November’s biggest headlines from Sony, including the launch of the PVM-A monitor range, new accessories for the F5 and F55 camcorders, and shipping info on the ODS-D77U Optical Disc Archive…

Sony unveil the PVM-A monitor range

To kick off, Sony have announced two new additions to the TRIMASTER EL Professional OLED line – the 25″ PVM-A250 and the 17″ PVM-A170. These new monitors feature all the high accuracy, contrast and picture quality of their predecessors, but in a lightweight, slimmed down form factor. In fact, they’ve had approximately 40% shaved off the depth and weight compared to previous Sony models, which is going to be ideal for live production and OB truck usage.

Sony PVM-A250

“Higher resolution content creation – 4K and beyond – requires monitors with larger screen sizes for accurate colour evaluation on site,” said Daniel Dubreuil, senior product marketing manager, professional monitors, Sony Europe. “But bigger monitors are harder to carry and take up more space. These new models have the screen size needed for critical evaluation, with a thinner and lighter design that’s perfect for live broadcast and outdoor shooting. They even have a handle for easy carrying.”

The PVM-A250 and PVM-A170 also include I/P conversion that delivers automatically optimised signal processing according to input signals, with low latency (less than 0.5 field). They’ll both be available come January 2014, but if you just can’t wait for that, take a look at the current range in our Sony TRIMASTER EL OLED comparison chart.

Introducing new Sony F5/F55 camera accessories

Looking for the perfect addition for your PMW-F5 or PMW-F55 camcorder? Sony have now extended their accessory line-up with tools for 4K Live production, flexible lens adaptors and cable solutions. All in time for Christmas…

The CA-4000 4K Live Fiber Adaptor docks to the back of your F55 to turn it into a 4K Live system camera, with 4K fiber transmission up to 2000m. Other features include support for HDCU-2000/2500 Camera Control Unit operation, high frame rate recording up to 240 frames in 1080p and HD cut-out functionality.

On the lens front, the latest adaptors for the F5 and F55 let you use your favourite glass with the FZ mount, making them flexible enough for everything from news and sport to documentary and run-and-gun filmmaking. The range includes an FZ to PL adaptor with 12-pin connector, a B4 adaptor for use with 2/3 inch lenses, and a remote control version too.

Browse the F5, F55 and Sony’s F-series accessories at Jigsaw24.com.

Sony ODS-D77U

ODS-D77U Optical Disc Archive to ship soon

If you’re after long-term, reliable storage for huge volumes of media assets, look no further than Sony’s new ODS-D77U. The latest in their line-up of next-generation Optical Disc Archive solutions, it brings high speed reading and writing capabilities to the table, being able to achieve a maximum of over 1Gbps – more than twice that of Sony’s ODS-D55U. The ODS-D77U also features a high speed standard USB 3.0 interface for fast and easy connections, and an updated version of its graphical user interface Content Manager 2.0, which supports more formats and features, and has improved metadata operation. The ODS-D77U will be shipping in mid-December.

Shop Sony on Jigsaw24.com

Want to know more about Sony productsGive 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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