Whether you are a musician, presenter, educator, DJ, or anyone needing pro-grade portable PA support, if it’s not simple and straightforward to get great sounding quality and output from your speakers and subwoofers, are you truly getting the most out of your investment? The free JBL Pro Connect app, available for iOS and Android mobile devices and tablet applications, was purpose-built to be the only app you need to dial-in incredible usability over your mixer, DSP, and Bluetooth features. The app offers simplified sound management and adjustments of JBL Pro speakers and systems including PRX900, EON700, PRX ONE, and EON ONE MK2 as well as future available JBL portable PA solutions.
We recently sat down with Scott Wood, Global Product Line Manager for Mixing and DSP, to dwell deep inside the development of the Pro Connect app and its importance as the only app needed to ensure JBL’s most popular portable PA solutions could perform at their very best.
Scott, what distinguishes JBL Pro Connect from other apps in this space?
Traditionally, most apps available today in the market are designed to manage a single speaker. This creates a multitude of user challenges from having to maintain several different apps that have to run on multiple operating systems not to mention constant maintenance and updates to ensure all of these disparate apps can be properly utilized. To truly evolve the user experience, JBL set out to build a single app that is flexible enough to manage multiple speakers and powerful enough to include all the features to support the unique needs of novices, experts, and anyone in between. We found that a single app can build familiarity and usability so that once the user is comfortable using it from an entry-level perspective, they are just as comfortable moving up to a new system. This enhances the user experience as the user is already familiar with the app and the JBL ecosystem across the chain.
Creating a universal experience, no matter what speaker you’re using, was critical. For example, when you connect to any of the speakers over Bluetooth, the experience is exactly the same and there’s a recurring familiarity that instills confidence in the user. And when you need to update firmware, the firmware update is on the same page for all speakers. What’s more, ensuring ease of future updates was important to package as well.
Watch the Deep-Dive JBL Pro Connect App Features Training Series
The best part about using the JBL Pro Connect app is that you don’t need to be an audio engineer to sound your best. We have included eight presets into all of the control parameters, including input EQ, dynamics, gates, limiters, and chorus delay so you can create the ideal sound to support your unique need. And, when you are ready to change your settings, the reset button is in the same position for every function. For more experienced users, we have devoted an exclusive section with even deeper presets. Whether you are in the EQ, gate, compressor, tap, delay, reverb, chorus, output limiter, or output EQ, the experience is the same. We were excited to create an app that doesn’t require customers to spend more time learning the app than actually using it.
How can customers build systems that grow with their needs and that scale inventory over time?
We are always trying to better understand our customers’ needs and requirements to create products that are easy to use in both individual and business applications. For instance, our all-in-one speakers, such as PRX ONE and EON ONE MK2 come with a built-in input mixer. A hotel might own four of each model and have a last-minute need requiring their AV manager to go pick up a few of the speakers for the event. Because the AV manager is familiar with the Pro Connect app, they can capably run any of the speakers they choose – regardless of type or model. This universal approach gives unmatched flexibility.
The same goes for point-and-shoot speakers such as PRX900 and EON700. These can be used as front-of-house, side-fill or back-fill speakers – whatever you need them for, you’re covered with the Pro Connect app. Built-in delay timing ensures that no matter which speaker is used for what purpose, delay timing can easily be dialed-in to make all of the speakers sound just right as a group.
Is app control more comprehensive than on-speaker controls?
JBL Portable PA speakers offer the best of both worlds when it comes to making adjustments. If the speaker is sitting beside a musician pointing at the audience, he or she can quickly and easily reach over and twist a knob on the on-speaker controls to adjust. But what about when the person mixing the sound is not behind the speaker? He or she is often out in the hall trying to get the sound just right among the audience. And in that case, the Pro Connect app gives them the ability to simply use a tablet or phone, whether iOS or Android, to tweak the settings in real time and in the same location as the audience, without having to run back and forth to the speaker.
What levels of sophistication in settings does the app offer?
Well, it really depends on the speaker that’s being used. The all-in-ones offer more functionality than the point-and-shoot speakers but all our speakers are designed to provide complete convenience to the three categories of users, which include the novice who has possibly never touched a speaker before or musicians who like having the option to reach down and adjust knobs quickly. And then there’s the professional audio engineer who often likes to have full control over all of their settings so we made sure that the app is powerful enough to give them that truly deeper level of control.
The barrier to entry seems to be fairly non-existent as far as simplicity is concerned.
When performing, you are typically wearing so many hats on stage to ensure everything goes right. We created an easy-to-use sound management tool to allow you to focus on delivering a great show instead of worrying about adjusting controls. Once you’ve got the app set up the way you want it, our goal is for you to spend as little time managing it as possible.
What about people who long for their analog boards to fine-tune the controls?
So, we completely understand and worked hard to get all the controls right there on the touchscreen. It’s all grab, touch, move and set it the way you want it. We have made it as straightforward as possible.
So it really sounds like you designed the app to let technology simplify the user experience?
In designing the app and continually improving it, we are looking for ways to reduce human involvement in speaker management technology. We want performers and presenters to feel confident about how easy it is to set up for each gig and sound incredible with just a few tweaks of the app or on-speaker controls. And when it’s time to upgrade to a new speaker or system, there’s nothing new to learn – it’s the exact same experience they’ve become used to. At the end of the day, we are using technology to enable our customers to maximize creativity and earning potential while being as minimally intrusive in the experience as possible.
Dive into our support resources to get complete details, specifications, and more:
- Details and Specifications:
READY TO TALK TO A SOLUTIONS EXPERT
If you are interested in JBL Pro Connect app, Portable PA, or other professional audio support, we have a solutions expert ready to assist you. To locate a representative near you, please visit our WORLDWIDE LOCATOR.