The first software release of 2020, Avid VENUE 6.3 is packed with updates including several incredibly useful new features as well as over 200 bug fixes. This release addresses many customer issues while optimizing various aspects of the system in order to ensure the most stable and reliable platform possible. One of the big changes is in the general system configuration, as Ethernet AVB Network Switches are now supported with VENUE 6.3, allowing users to configure systems in far more flexible ways. Avid VENUE | S6L now also officially supports immersive audio plugins from d&b audiotechnik, FLUX:: Immersive, and L-Acoustics.
New features and workflows in VENUE 6.3 include:
- Luminex Network Switch Support for Star Configuration: qualified network switches may now be used to connect engines and stage racks, making it much easier to achieve configurations with stage devices in many locations
- Immersive Plugin Support: control immersive audio engines from d&b audiotechnik, FLUX:: Immersive, and L-Acoustics directly from your console
- Improved Snapshot Control on the MLM: view Parent/Child snapshots on the MLM itself and even expand and collapse the view easily
- External Display Position as an Option: choose the position of your external display for ease of use when operating with a mouse
- Editable Text Fields on the External GUI and Standalone Software: type values into EQ and Dynamics should you wish to
- Gain Guess Compensates Pre-Fade Aux Sends: not only does Gain Guess compensate for gain changes with the fader position, but it now also compensates for Pre-Fade Aux sends
- Improved Console Windows Activation: activation for window, and date and time settings are now automatically managed by simply connecting your console to the internet
- Enhanced Logging: logs feature improved diagnostics and more detailed information for error analysis
- Over 200 bugs fixed
Luminex Network Switch Support for Star Configurations
While previous versions of VENUE allowed plenty of complex configurations, it could sometimes be complicated to wire up a ring configuration when there are stage racks in multiple different rooms or spread across a stage. Using switches, users can now simply place the network switch in an easily accessible location and send out a pair of cables to each stage rack, with connections to A ports connecting to an A switch, and connections to B ports connecting to a B switch, providing full redundancy. While all Luminex GigaCore switches will work, the Luminex GigaCore 10 and 26i switches have specifically been fully qualified with literally thousands of hours of testing for use with S6L systems. These switches provide both Ethernet and Fiber connectivity options, allowing seamless and easy integration into the S6L environment. When configuring your system with network switches, be sure to read the Luminex Switch Setup guide provided in your Avid account as there are a few settings within the switches that you may need to set.
Some examples of common configurations:
Immersive Plugin Support
With immersive becoming more commonplace in live sound, console control was the logical next step. Plugins for d&b audiotechnik Soundscape, FLUX:: Immersive Spat Revolution, and L-Acoustics L-ISA all allow you to control immersive objects directly from the S6L console itself. Not only can an engineer move objects within a spatial field in real-time, but users may also use snapshots to control the positions of immersive objects. Connect your S6L to the immersive audio engine of your choice via the ECx port, and assign each plugin an object to control, and you’ve got control from your surface. While each plugin is optimized for its respective immersive engine, all install and run in the same way from an S6L console.
Improved Snapshots Control on the MLM
With the introduction of Parent/Child snapshots, the automation used by engineers has gotten more complicated. In order to simplify this visually on the MLM, the encoder on the MLM has changed in functionality a bit, letting you scroll through the Snapshot list to select and target snapshots. The encoder now scrolls through the list exactly as it appears on the Snapshots page, hiding the Child snapshots of collapsed Parents. When a Parent or Child snapshot is selected, pressing the encoder expands or collapses the list view. For example, if a collapsed Parent is selected, pressing the MLM Snapshots encoder expands that Parent. Similarly, if a Child (or expanded Parent) snapshot is selected, pressing the encoder collapses parent.
External Display Position as an Option
When setting up a system, there are a lot of options for placement of the external display. Some users may choose the position of their external display on the left, some on the right—and in the case of S6L-16C and S6L-24C surfaces—many users place the display above the console. The Master Touch Screen settings now offer options to change the external display position within software. This allows users to move the mouse in the literal direction of the screen in order to move between the MTS and the External Display. This option does require a software restart, and is saved to the console itself rather than the show file. This was probably in the top three requests from users for new features.
Editable Text Fields on the External GUI and Standalone Software
This feature has also been a request from users for a while. If you prefer to type values into EQ and Dynamics, it’s now as easy as clicking or touching in the text area and typing values. Additionally, 6.3 adds Buttons to change the EQ type from Bell to Shelf on the upper and lower bands, so this is now editable on the External Display in addition to the console itself.
Gain Guess Compensates Pre-Fade Aux Sends
VENUE has had the Gain Guess feature for over a decade now, but it’s never too late to improve on a feature. Gain Guess has always been able to optimize the gain of the incoming signal, and when it applies that gain, the fader value would automatically adjust to ensure that the signal level coming out of the channel would either be the same or less. With the updates to Gain Guess, the fader now compensates in both directions, meaning if the Gain of a signal is reduced by Gain Guess, the channel fader will raise to keep the output signal level identical. In that case, Post-Fade aux sends are properly compensated since the fader moves. But, not only does Gain Guess compensate for gain changes with the fader position, but it now also compensates for Pre-Fade Aux sends, so the change in Gain is applied to your Pre-Fade aux sends to ensure that your level being sent doesn’t change when you apply Gain Guess.
Improved Console Windows Activation
To simplify restores for new users or users updating their systems, some of the steps to activate the system have been automated. Windows activation, as well as Date and Time settings, are now automatically managed. The system will ask you to connect the ECx port to the internet, and it will take care of the rest. If you don’t have internet available, or just wish to skip this step, a user can always hit ‘Later’.
Both our support and development teams need logs any time they need to help diagnose issues in the field. Improving logging enables the support team to better analyze issues and solve problems faster. Expanded logging also makes it easier for the software team to improve reliability with each and every release using more detailed information from the field.
While star configurations with network switches are clearly the biggest splash in VENUE 6.3, this release is full of requests from our customers as well as a ton of under-the-hood optimizations and fixes. Getting all of those requests in takes a while, but we’re getting them in one release at a time, and every release moves the S6L system forward in stability, functionality, technical features. And we can’t do it without your input—keep your feedback and suggestions coming!
VENUE 6.3 is now available to download at no charge if you have an S6L system and a valid Avid Advantage Elite Live support contract—you’ll find the installer in your Avid Account.