Avid qualifies the Leostream Connection Broker

Avid qualifies the Leostream Connection Broker

If you’re planning on taking advantage of Media Composer’s virtual machine option but are worried about managing who’s connected to what and where, we have good news: Avid have qualified the Leostream Connection Broker.

For the uninitiated, Leostream is a vendor- and protocol-agnostic management tool that’s designed to simplify the management of access to virtual machines. It allows systems administrators to manage and monitor which end users are using which desktops to connect to which virtual resources, all from a single point, whether you’re using a single hypervisor or multiple ones.

According to Leostream, this Avid qualification means you can allow users to:
– Create pools of available VM resources.
– Terminate cloud-hosted instances when users log out.
– Manage the power state of VMs and user access.
– Maintain user access logs and monitor who uses which VMs.
– Maintain usage statistics for pools of machines.
– Provision new VMware virtual machine pools from templates or as linked clones from snapshots, or build pools of cloud-hosted machines from images available in the cloud platforms.
– Manage user roles and session control levels.

Why choose Leostream?

We’ve been working with Leostream for several years, and have found it to be the most secure option for brokering virtual machines. It’ll also handle mixed environments with ease – we like to pair it with Amulet Hotkey cards to ensure facilities can broker their physical workstations and virtual machines using the same system.

“If you have a mixed estate – perhaps you have a server in a data centre running virtual machines that you use for your offline, and then users switch to using a high powered workstation in your machine room for the online edit – the combination of Amulet Hotkey and Leostream ensures that any end user client device can be pointed at any virtual or physical machine at any time,” explains our Systems Integration Engineer, Matt Ward. Leostream allows you to manage connections to on-premise virtual machines and standalone machines, as well as cloud-based VM systems, creating a truly flexible hybrid system accessible from anywhere on your network.

“We’re one of the few post integrators who have experience deploying Leostream at scale, and we find that it’s more secure than other options – it’s also been deployed in a huge number of critical enterprise environments, so there’s plenty of evidence that it can provide the availability, reliability and – with the right help – simplicity that we know our post clients need so that they can stay focused on delivering the end result.”

To find out more about managing virtual Avid machines with Leostream, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Meet the experts: Neal Kemsley

Meet the experts: Neal Kemsley

Before joining Jigsaw24, technical specialist Neal spent six years at Avid, leading a support team for their infrastructure pipeline, and eleven years working for an English audio firm in the US, on projects including the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He’s also a certified SCP Support Manager, and has the plaque to prove it. 

“I worked for Avid before I came to root6. Initially I was covering support for their customers in Bristol and Cardiff, but eventually I was leading a team of folks providing customer support for their infrastructure products, so things like Interplay, the bigger storage systems and the bigger workgroup-based products. I was also involved in delivering training, and I’m an Avid Certified Instructor for a number of classes on the technical support curriculum that engineers need to take to qualify as an Avid Certified Support Representative.”

Networking, workgroups and workflows

“My main specialities are networking, workgroups and Avid workflows. It’s always interesting to handle complex workflows based on shared storage and involving networks – there are lots of things that can go wrong. We recently had a university that had a really interesting NEXIS problem that we were able to resolve. It was very frustrating for them, because the customer essentially found that the storage had become inaccessible to a large number of clients attached to it, and we had to remote in to the network to diagnose it. It was an intriguing challenge. I’ve also got a lot of experience with various networking technologies from Dell, Cisco and Mellanox.”

Unpacking the stack

“Customers can come to Jigsaw24 confident in the knowledge that there’s someone who can answer questions on each level of the networking stack. It’s a team with a range of expertise. So for example Matt and Phil come in at the media layer, and as you can see from Phil’s tech talks they know a lot about making and connecting the fibre optics. When it comes to connecting from building to building, Dave, Rupert and Graham have done a lot of that, and have experience of hooking up facilities over dark fibre and exploiting those connections. And then when it comes to the actual networking part, getting the sites to communicate, that’s where I come in – putting the actual switches in place,  getting the routers in place and getting it all to talk to the internal equipment.”

Keeping an eye on the giants

“There’s constant interest in where Avid are heading next. We see it at various different product levels and I do think that, because so many of us come from Avid, we have a good understanding of how they work and a gauge on how things are going to develop. We work very hard to make sure we’re on top of the direction that Avid are taking with their technology, and we can also pass that line of questioning back to Avid and say, “This is what we’re hearing from customers – how are you going to make sure this product meets their needs?”

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Avid accelerates Pro Tools | S6 mixing workflows with new EUCON software

Avid accelerates Pro Tools | S6 mixing workflows with new EUCON software

Avid released a string of announcements as this year’s NAMM Show opened, including Pro Tools 2018, but one of the ones we’re most excited by is the new EUCON software update for Pro Tools | S6.

Debuting at the 2018 NAMM Show today, this update enables customers to use Pro Tools | Control – Avid’s free iOS iPad app – in conjunction with the Pro Tools | S6 control surface to remotely control Pro Tools and other digital audio workstations (DAWs), giving them the flexibility to be anywhere in the studio during a mixing session. They can also operate S6 Soft Keys to control multiple DAWs simultaneously.

“With the new EUCON software, sound engineers now have the freedom to step away from their console and even be in the room with the performer they’re recording,” said Rob D’Amico, Director of Pro Audio Market Solutions at Avid. “EUCON also enables customers to send Soft Key commands to multiple workstations at the same time – perfect for facilities running large rigs with multiple DAWs.”

Powered by MediaCentral, the EUCON software update and the free Pro Tools | Control app let audio professionals control track recording, playback and other transport functions remotely from an iPad when using Pro Tools and other EUCON-enabled DAWs. Ideal for capturing ADR and foley performances, it gives users the flexibility to position themselves anywhere in the studio while tracking or mixing a music or audio post session.

The EUCON update also allows audio professionals working on large scale film or TV post sessions to control multiple audio workstations for a faster, more efficient mixing process. Users sending commands from Pro Tools | S6 Soft Keys to all connected DAWs instantaneously can save a session, punch out of automation, and perform other tasks in concert as one. The EUCON software update also includes performance enhancements and stability improvements for all Avid EUCON-enabled control surfaces, including Pro Tools | S3, Pro Tools | Dock and Artist Mix.

As an open software protocol, EUCON facilitates tight integration between Avid control surfaces and Pro Tools, as well as a range of third party EUCON-enabled DAWs. It gives musicians and engineers high-resolution, tactile control and the flexible programmability needed to create great sounding mixes faster, as well as the ability to switch between different DAW sessions in a matter of seconds.

EUCON will be available in February 2018 as a free update to all customers with Pro Tools | S6, Pro Tools | S3, Pro Tools | Dock and Artist Mix control surfaces on valid support contracts. If you’re worried about your support contract status, you can get in touch with your account manager on the details below to double check your eligibility.

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

Pro Tools 2018 announced at NAMM

Pro Tools 2018 announced at NAMM

Avid have announced Pro Tools 2018 at NAMM and, like their last release three months ago, Avid say Pro Tools 2018 “focuses on helping music creators stay in a creative mindset, and finish projects with speed and efficiency.”

Avid’s announcement includes major improvements and new features for Pro Tools | First, Pro Tools, and Pro Tools | HD, and will be available to new customers, current subscribers, and users with an active upgrade plan (you can get in touch with us on the details below if you’re not sure where you fit in, or are worried your upgrade plan may have lapsed.)

Create at the speed of your imagination

The update contains numerous changes designed to make it easier for you to stay creative, including new MIDI editing enhancements and retrospective MIDI recording. It also adds the ability to save your favourite effects chains and instrument sounds as track presets.

Key additions include:

Retrospective MIDI record Capture MIDI performances and advance your musical ideas, even when Pro Tools is not recording. Quickly add your improvisations and practice runs into your session with a simple key command.

MIDI editing enhancements With numerous MIDI improvements and enhancements (including arrow key editing, transpose in-key, and extract chords), you can fix and finesse every note to perfection—from transposing and trimming notes with the arrow keys, to building chords and scores faster than ever before.

Track presets Browse presets with embedded media and build sessions on the fly. With track presets, you can quickly save, catalogue, and recall your favourite effects chains, vocal processing, session import criteria, and other track settings, and spend more time exploring the depths of your creativity.

Improved Import Session data Pro Tools 2018 will include a new ‘Track Data To Import’ dialogue with presets.

Playlist comping enhancements Build a Target Playlist of the best performances – from multiple playlists – right in Waveform view. It’s ideal when working with grouped tracks, making playlist management and viewing no longer a challenge. You can also now cycle through different takes within a clip using the arrow keys for faster review.

Mix window EQ curves show combined EQ effects inserted on a track With new EQ curve graphs on all Mix window channel strips, you can see how your settings and automation are impacting each track in realtime — even those with multiple EQs (supported plug-ins only). In addition, pre-fader sends and Automation lane view menu entries are now colour-coded, making them easier to distinguish.

“Start Collaboration” is now a file menu item Got a session that you’re dying to work on with others? Select File > Start Collaboration, and Pro Tools will automatically save your current session, close it, and reopen it as a project in the cloud, with all tracks converted and ready to be shared.

iLok Cloud support Pro Tools and all Avid audio plug-ins now support iLok Cloud. That means you now have the option to work iLok-free, and reclaim an extra USB port for a MIDI keyboard or audio interface. Or continue using your iLok as before.

Network Site Licensing – coming soon Need Pro Tools for your post facility, broadcast enterprise, or educational institution? You can now purchase a multi-seat Pro Tools or Pro Tools | HD Network Site Licence, which offers many benefits for larger organisations.

Try Pro Tools for free

Many of these features (specifically retrospective recording, editing enhancements, track presets, new EQ curves and UI enhancements are also available in the latest version of Pro Tools | First, the free version of Pro Tools software. You can download Pro Tools | First here.

If you want to know more about this or any other NAMM releases, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Meet the experts: Joffrey Ghiringhelli

Meet the experts: Joffrey Ghiringhelli

Our Audio Business Development Manager, Joffrey Ghiringhelli, clocked up several years as an audio engineer in post facilities before spending over a decade looking after Avid systems across the globe as their Principal Expert for audio. Now, he’s bringing his wide-ranging experience to bear to ensure our customers get the best solutions possible, whether they need solutions for audio, video, infrastructure or a bit of all three…

“Now that root6, Jigsaw24 and Picture Exchange have all teamed up, I think we have a level of expertise that’s unique among resellers. Whether the customer is working in a traditional studio, is a broadcaster looking to move into audio, or is reviewing their infrastructure because they’re planning on implementing not only audio, but much more, there’s someone on our team who has experience of that environment and can help design the best possible solution.”

Embracing technological evolution

“I’m basically a bit of an evangelist for the company – the guy who goes out and shakes hands and spends time with our customers so that we can understand their challenges and solve them, and makes sure people understand we’re not the kind of reseller who’s going to abandon you after the sale. But I also have a very technical background, so I understand customers’ challenges and requirements from that point of view too, and can help them embrace technology and really understand what’s available to them now.”

Pushing boundaries with Dolby

“The good thing about Atmos is that makes you push the boundaries of studio design further. It’s moving people away from just sticking to connecting speakers to an audio interface, because they’re now having to think about their network, they’re thinking about how things talk to each other, they’re thinking about their infrastructure. And we’re working with them to build something unique every time, and making sure we constantly reassess what technology is best for purpose.”

Around the world with Avid

“If you have any Avid pro-audio-related questions or want consultancy around that workflow, I have the experience to help. I spent ten years at Avid as a pre-sales and field services engineer, then as their Principal Expert for audio. I was travelling all around the world to build commissioned mixing desks and systems, train people, and service desks, and have done everything from studio work to broadcast to live sound, in places from South Africa to Iceland.”

Joffrey has over 15 years’ experience in the post, studio and broadcast sectors, and can provide everything from workflow and systems design through to technical training and strategic advice. If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Avid S6 powers Twickenham Studios’ near-field room

Avid S6 powers Twickenham Studios’ near-field room

This May, Twickenham Studios added a new audio suite to their already impressive lineup. Theatre 4 is the studios’ new near-field environment, and has already been put to work on television and film projects. 

At the heart of the room is Avid’s scalable, customisable S6-M40, which in Twickenham’s configuration has 24 faders, five knobs and and a Master Post Module.

twickenham_studios_theatre_4

This sound mixing/monitoring master module is an option which was added to the S6 system that enables the mixers to switch between recorded tracks/stems and their inputs and punch into record. It offers two rows of 10 PEC/DIRECT paddles, each with solo and mute buttons, and an OLED display to view track/stem names

“Twickenham Studios have been in operation for over 100 years, and it’s a privilege to be part of their development and help them continue that legacy,” said Joffrey Ghiringhelli, Head of Business Development for Pro Audio at Jigsaw24. “The flexibility and power of the S6 mean it’s the ideal choice for anyone designing a room to meet Dolby standards.”

Theatre 4 runs one Pro Tools HDX1, one HDX2 and one HDX3 system all on 12 Core Mac Pros with 64GB RAM, and is equipped with Avid MTRX audio interfaces, which combine flexible routing and monitor control with DAD’s legendary AD/DA convertors.

The room is configured for immersive audio, and its Dynaudio monitor array supports formats up to 7.1.4 in conjunction with the Dolby Atmos plug-in for home entertainment mixing. BSS speaker management is in use, allowing anyone to switch between mixing for television or cinema deliverables.

Remote working is also enabled by an Adderlink Infinity KVM system and a GB Labs SAN storage system over fibre has recently been installed to take care of all storage needs.

“Since its inception, Theatre 4 has grown to be a popular room with our clients and in house mixers alike,” said Twickenham Studios. “The Dynaudio BM15 screen and BM6A surround combination delivers a detailed and smooth listening environment, making it a perfect solution for this type of mixing environment.

“For a multi-format room such as this, we needed a certain degree of flexibility, which is why we opted for an Avid S6 controller coupled with a BSS speaker management solution. It is now one of our busiest rooms, catering for all of our Theatrical Mix Home Theatre deliverables, as well as original TV content for clients such as Netflix, BBC, Amazon and AMC.”

You can find out more about Theatre 4 here. If you want to know more about the S6 and our other audio solutions, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

View from the front: Mix with the Pros Atmos edition

View from the front: Mix with the Pros Atmos edition

On 26th October, we hosted the seventh instalment of our hugely popular Mix With the Pros series of events. This time, we tackled Dolby Atmos mixing, with presenters from Avid, Dolby, Sound Technology and Focusrite all offering advice on how to build your Atmos mixing environment and workflow. 

Big thanks to all of you who attended, to our speakers for their incredibly informative presentations, and to Pro Tools Expert for their lovely write up.

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Avid’s Simon Sherbourne was first out of the gate, talking about the new 3D-friendly tools that are coming to Pro Tools in the 12.8.2 update that was announced at AES. The update links the front and rear pan parameters for easier object panning (which Simon was kind enough to demonstrate on our S6), and makes it easier for you to test out your proposed Atmos mix in 7.1.2 before committing to a final mix. It’s also worth noting that Simon managed to do all this with just a MacBook Pro, proving you don’t need as much power as you’d think to run the Atmos Production Suite software.

After that, Dolby’s James Shannon took to the stage to explain the different requirements for Atmos Home and Theatrical certifications, and the investments needed to reach Dolby Premier Studio status.

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And while chasing premier status does mean incurring upfront costs, Sound Technology’s Ben Todd was on hand to showcase the reassuringly reasonably priced JBL Intonato speaker management system, which we’ve praised elsewhere.

Finally, Focusrite’s Simon Short dropped by to give us a crash course in Dante, the audio-over-IP solution that’s increasingly popular among pros who are dealing with immersive mixes. He also spoke about the Rednet X2P and Red 16Line interfaces (we’re very keen on the 16Line, as we’ve mentioned before) which he was kind enough to bring a long for us to have a look at.

Rednet-X2P-[6]

Fancy joining us for a beer and some industry gossip? You can see our upcoming events here. If you were at Mix with the Pros and want to talk to the team about anything you saw there, get in touch on the details below.

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

Giles Martin on his career, The Beatles and the Avid Pro Tools | S6

Giles Martin on his career, The Beatles and the Avid Pro Tools | S6

After recently sorting out Giles Martin with a 32-fader Pro Tools | S6/M40 for Airborn Productions, the Abbey Road Studios-based production facility he operates, we chatted to the legendary music producer about his career, The Beatles, and why you should always back up your work with Pro Tools (especially if it’s the Fab Four’s master tapes…).

Check out our interview with Giles Martin to hear about his extensive music production career, including his tips on using Pro Tools and the Avid Pro Tools | S6 control surface we provided for him…

 

Want to know more? Get in touch with the audio team on audio@Jigsaw24.com or visit www.Jigsaw24.com/audio. For all the latest news and updates, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and like us on Facebook.

Pro Tools 12.8.2 launched at AES

Pro Tools 12.8.2 launched at AES

At AES today, Avid announced Pro Tools 12.8.2, the latest version of their ubiquitous audio software. 12.8.2 includes major improvements and new features for Pro Tools | First, Pro Tools, and Pro Tools | HD.

User requests

Some of these changes are based on user requests, including a slew of new MIDI enhancements to help speed and ease your workflow. Avid tell us you’ll be able to:

– Quickly change Grid and Nudge sizes, and Pencil tool commands, using keystrokes.

– Record-enable, solo, and mute MIDI tracks right in the MIDI Editor.

– View chord names and notes as you play them to ensure input accuracy.

– Store and recall MIDI Editor lanes in window configurations.

– Constrain MIDI clips to edit selections while using the Smart Tool.

Editing and mix for VR

Avid have been working to make immersive full-sphere surround sound content easier to create. 12.8.2 includes support for  first-, second-, and third-order Ambisonics formats across your Pro Tools tracks and busses. You can then output and deliver content to the required format for playback.

Speed up your Atmos workflow

With the new front/rear position knob link, you can easily control both parameters as one when writing panning automation from the Pro Tools interface or a control surface, with all subsequent automation being written following suit. You can also set up Pro Tools sessions in seconds based on the connected Dolby Atmos Renderer configuration, and repurpose existing pan automation data to instantly generate height automation.

Workflow efficiency

The introduction of Batch Rename means you can now give your countless tracks and tips more meaningful names, more easily. Your options for renaming tracks include find and replace, adding prefixes and/or suffixes, and applying various numbering conventions. You can also navigate through large sessions and menus faster with type-ahead search capabilities available in the Scroll to Track dialogue and menus for Plug-in, Input, Output, Send, and more.

Converting projects to Pro Tools | First

If you’re collaborating on projects, you can convert projects from Pro Tools or Pro Tools | HD to a project format in Pro Tools | First, so that you can carry on working with them. Simply open a session and use the Convert to Project dialogue that pops up to save the file as a project in your cloud space.

If you want to know more about the latest edition of Pro Tools, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

IBC 2017: Avid unveil DNxIV

IBC 2017: Avid unveil DNxIV

Avid released the 2U, rackmountable Avid Artist | DNxIQ at NAB back in April, and for many vendors that would have been enough. Not Avid. At IBC, they’re back with the even smaller Avid Artist | DNxIV.

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Link the DNxIQ, it offers high-speed Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, which gives users 40 Gbps bandwidth. This is coupled with a wide range of analogue and digital I/O, including SDI, HDMI, XLR, RS-422 and Timecode. And even better, it’ll work with Media Composer, FCP X and Premiere Pro.

The DNxIQ is larger because it supports more legacy connections: the DNxIV has no PCIe connectivity and doesn’t support SD, universal mastering or Resolve. It also does away with the LCD panel that was on the front of the DNxIQ.

However, it does have HDMI 2.ob connectivity, an audio breakout cable with eight I/O and reference input, enabling you to get 5.1 and 7.1 surround mixing right out of the box. It’s designed to be digital-centric and portable, rather than the all around workhorse that the DNxIQ is. To work out which is right for you, get in touch with our team on the details below.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter‘Like’ us on Facebook or take a look at our IBC roundup.