Avid VENUE | S6L at the Warsaw Summer Jazz Days Festival
The Warsaw Summer Jazz Days festival was created in the early 90’s out of the need to compete with the Jazz Jamboree Festival. The main idea was to create a platform that promotes contemporary jazz, and over the years the festival has grown to earn worldwide success and is highly regarded in the world of jazz. Every year in late June, Warsaw attracts world-renowned international and local talent, and this year’s festival featured the VENUE | S6L as one of the main consoles that was used throughout the festival.
Avid’s Polish partner Konsbud Audio caught up with Thomas Dudar, the FOH engineer from Craftman rental company that worked on the console to hear what he had to say about the festival and his experience working with the new console.
How do you like working on the S6L compared to what you’ve worked on in the past?
TD: I was really impressed with the console and can easily say that it is now one of my top desks. I was very comfortable working on it and it gave a steady, great performance throughout the festival. During these shows, you need a reliable desk that won’t fail. There is no room to compromise on top quality when you are live; console reliability is of utmost importance. The S6L did it for me. I liked its huge processing power, the large number of available input and output channels, the ability to simultaneously use a lot of plug-ins, the extremely convenient and intuitive user interface, and its outstandingly pristine and clear sound.
Have you previously worked on other Avid consoles? What are the most noticeable similarities / differences?
TD: The S6L has a lot of similar functionalities and features compared to the other VENUE consoles. Engineers that are familiar with the Profile and S3L-X, for instance, won’t have a lot of problems adapting to the S6L, because all of the Avid consoles run on the VENUE software which you would already be familiar with. The only thing that is changing is the desk. Having the VENUE Software be a constant element in all the desks is a great benefit, because it allows you to freely move files between the different consoles so you aren’t limited to sticking to one board and having to worry about exporting and importing [show] files.
On the S6L specifically, I was really excited to see the new interface with high quality touch screens (finally!) and a multitude of configurable encoders and buttons—it makes my life so much easier and my work so much more effective and simpler. Almost any desired function can be performed in many different ways, and you are free to do it the way that works best for you. This is quite a rare thing with most desks, because that means that the board can now adapt to your style and preferences versus the way its always been where you as an artist need to adapt to how the board can function. It just makes your life that much easier when the tool you are using facilitates the outcome you want to achieve—it gives you more room to get creative with your work instead of putting a lot of focus and effort on getting the basic things done correctly.
Did you use the onboard plug-ins?
TD: Yes, they are quite useful during the performance, although I must say, I didn’t find them to be much different from the standard set found in the previous [VENUE] boards. A few plug-ins are new and some have been slightly revised (like the Reverb), but for the most part, I feel like they remained unchanged. But in any case with such excellent sounding preamps, you really don’t need to use many plug-ins, especially “vintage warmers” to improve the sound.
How did the console perform overall in the festival?
TD: Throughout the entire festival, the desk was great in terms of the speed of the console and the ease of work on it. For this festival, the main emphasis was on the final sound and clarity of the acoustics. The S6L has a very pristine and accurate sound, which definitely made my job that much easier out there.
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