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The Avid VENUE | S6L Unified Platform Expands: S6L-24C, E6L-112, and Stage 32 Now Available

I remember the very first time I saw the VENUE | Profile console. It was on a Saturday in June 2006, in a tiny ground floor hotel room on the banks of Lake Geneva amidst the chaos of the Montreux Jazz Festival.

The Profile console was a prototype and the only one in the world to leave the hands of Avid engineering in California. As the newest, youngest, and least experienced member of the fledgling Live Sound team in Europe, it made perfect sense that it should fall to me to look after this top secret, priceless prototype and make sure it got into Switzerland somehow.

The purpose of all this was to reveal Profile in secret to special guests by invite only, including some of the world’s leading live sound engineers. Avid had launched the VENUE Live Sound Environment only 18 months before and the flagship VENUE | D-Show system was taking the world by storm. The industry was rife with speculation that there might be a smaller-format, baby-brother on the way.

VENUE | Profile system

Here it was in my hotel room—a beautiful, slimline console born from D-Show. A 34-fader surface that somehow provided all the same controls as the larger D-Show surface but in a far smaller footprint. Instantly familiar as a VENUE console, sections of controls were scaled down to make navigation quicker, with switches, colours, labelling, and workflows all maintained. Even the famous mushroom knobs were kept.

I’ll never forget the response from one of the world’s foremost sound designers when he first saw it. He took a step back, placed his hands on his hips and loudly proclaimed, “Gentleman, you are looking at the future of musical theatre!”

He was right.

The VENUE | Profile system went on to be used for numerous Broadway and West End shows, and installed in countless theatres, performance venues and houses of worship across the globe. In rock n’ roll, Profile went on to be the number #1 live sound system for concert sound and touring and Avid’s most successful mixing console.

On tour with Stereophonics

Stockholm Concert Hall

The fact that Profile had a smaller footprint than D-Show allowed theatres and performance venues to add in more seats without compromising on processing power or sound quality. The surface was small enough to squeeze into OB vans, and small and lightweight enough to reduce shipping costs for touring.

Transmix OB truck

Profile’s control surface layout and simple ergonomics were instantly familiar to engineers experienced in using D-Show. The VENUE software, common between D-Show and Profile, enabled Show file portability between the systems and allowed existing VENUE operators to jump onto Profile and get up and running in minutes. This made proved to make perfect sense in festival environments where there is a little or no time to prep before the set.

Glastonbury Festival

The VENUE family was designed as a platform. D-Show and Profile surfaces were both designed to connect to the FOH Rack processing engine and were therefore interchangeable (they were even hot-swappable live). This allowed sound companies to add Profile consoles to their existing inventory and offer two different-sized VENUE systems.

D-Show and Profile control surfaces

This interchangeability meant Profile could do everything D-Show could do, just in a smaller footprint for a smaller budget. The hallmarks of the VENUE platform, studio-grade sound quality, VENUE software, Pro Tools connectivity and onboard plug-ins were maintained in Profile systems, realizing Avid’s first steps towards a unified platform for live sound.

VENUE | S6L-32D on tour with Korn

Skip forward to 2015 and the launch of Avid’s 2nd generation live sound platform: VENUE | S6L. Like the flagship D-Show system, S6L was designed as a premium-level system and designed to build on the legacy established by VENUE, with the additions of huge advancements in processing power, modern user interface and touchscreen workflows, and exceptional sound quality.

VENUE | S6L has been hugely successful for Avid, being adopted across the world for the highest-profile tours, houses of worship and theatre performances, even outselling the industry-standard Profile and SC48 systems. This is due to the unique capabilities of S6L which we call these the hallmarks of S6L.

As an engineering team we deeply understand the supporting technology and intellectual property that provides these hallmarks. By taking this technology—realized in the modular architecture of S6L and scaling it down into new packages—we can design new products. These new products can achieve new price-points while maintaining the same build quality, stability, audio quality, software, workflows and features of our premium-level S6L systems. This concept is the heart of our design methodology for Live Sound at Avid. We call it the VENUE | S6L Unified Live Sound Platform.

The Unified Live Sound Platform strategy is simple: expand the S6L family of products into new price-tiers by introducing new surfaces, engines, and I/O racks built with the same components and modules of S6L, so that all new products benefit from a single hardware and software architecture.

The realization of this development methodology is the industry’s only live sound platform with 100% software, hardware, and show file compatibility, delivering unprecedented performance, coherent workflows and exceptional sound quality across the entire family.

In April 2018 we announced the first six new products to be developed with this design methodology and added to the VENUE | S6L unified platform—all fully compatible with each other and existing S6L devices.

Avid Updates Its Profile

Since we introduced the S6L in 2015, live sound engineers, sound designers, and sound company owners everywhere have been waiting what the successor to the Profile will be. The answer is the new VENUE | S6L-24C. Let me tell you why:

 

The S6L-24C system has been designed to drop-in replace your Profile system:

S6L-24C systems, like Profile systems, are made of three components: a compact control surface with elegant ergonomics, powerful processing engine rack, and a stage rack of exact size and base configuration as Profile’s VENUE Stage Rack. We have made sure that the S6L-24C system configurations available to purchase from Avid match that of Profile.

Not only does the configuration of S6L-24C match that of Profile, the price does too. The S6L-24C-144 (S6L-24C surface + E6L-144 engine) is the exact same price as Profile at launch, while offering a far more capable and better sounding system. Scale the S6L-24C system down in capability by choosing the lower budget E6L-112 engine, and you achieve a very capable system for less money than a Profile system.

 

S6L-24C has maintained the most important features provided by Profile:

Like Profile, S6L-24C is powered by the VENUE software providing complete Show file portability between S6L-24C and all the other S6L systems. Deep interoperability with Pro Tools is provided together with an onboard HDX-based plug-in ecosystem. S6L-24C even supports the latest version of Waves plug-ins by connecting to the Waves SoundGrid processing platform, providing unmatched control of plug-ins in the software or surface knobs, storing/recalling settings in snapshots and saving the Waves plug-in settings in within the VENUE Show file.

 

Moving from Profile to S6L-24C is easy:

VENUE | S6L-24C will load your settings from Profile. Put your Profile Show file onto a USB key and load it into S6L-24C. No transferring of file types is required—S6L-24C will accept the file as is, maintaining all your mix settings, snapshots, channel/bus configuration, plug-ins and even Patchbay assignments.

If you have Waves plug-ins loaded within your Profile Show file, simply connect the S6L-24C system to a SoundGrid processing server and VENUE will automatically load all of your Waves plug-ins into SoundGrid and the VENUE software. It could not be easier!

Waves Soundgrid on S6L

S6L-24C provides the features requested by Profile operators:

VENUE | Profile has been out in the world for over ten years now. Profile owners and operators have been telling us what they want to see in a 2nd generation system and we have designed these requests directly into S6L-24C. Here are some of the primary asks:

  • More mix busses (96 busses with E6L-192, 64 busses with E6L-144, 48 busses with E6L-112)
  • Dual screens to see mix settings and other things like Snapshots or Plug-ins simultaneously
  • Audio networking connectivity provided in Ethernet AVB and Dante formats
  • 96 kHz processing engine facilitating exceptional audio quality
  • iOS application (VENUE | On-Stage app is now available)

 

S6L-24C is fully integrated into the S6L Unified Platform, raising the bar of what’s possible in a mid-level live sound mixing system:

S6L-24C is an integral component of the S6L Unified Platform, supported for use with all E6L engines and I/O devices with 100% software, hardware and Show file compatibility. This means S6L-24C inherits capabilities designed for the original premium-level S6L systems at a mid-level price-point. Build quality, processing capabilities, workflow, connectivity and audio quality are the same in S6L-24C systems as in the larger S6L systems.

VENUE | S6L-24C system

We are hugely excited about the release of the VENUE | S6L-24C control surface, the E6L-112 engine, and the Stage 32 remote I/O rack, as well as new VENUE 6.0 software—all of which are now shipping and available. We hope that these new components will provide our customers with even greater flexibility to configure the perfect system to meet the demands of even more of your tours, events, and installations.

Check out all that VENUE | S6L has to offer or contact sales to find the perfect system to meet your needs and challenges.

Avid VENUE | S6L Unified Platform

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Introducing the Avid VENUE | S6L Unified Live Sound Platform

We are hugely excited to announce a massive expansion to our award-winning Avid VENUE™ | S6L live sound family, with three new control surfaces, a new engine, and two new I/O racks—built on a unified technology platform.

Offering unmatched modularity, scalability, and flexibility to meet any size production, space, or budget requirement, VENUE | S6L is the industry’s only live sound platform with 100% software, hardware, and show file compatibility across all system components.

Avid VENUE | S6L is a modular live sound mixing system that delivers best-in-class functionality for a range of applications, including front-of-house and monitor mixing for concert tours, festivals, clubs, theater, broadcast, house of worship, and corporate events.

VENUE | S6L has been hugely successful for Avid, being adopted across the world for the highest-profile tours, houses of worship and theatre performances (link to Live Sound Gallery), even outselling the industry-standard Avid VENUE Profile and VENUE SC48 systems. This is due to the differentiating feature set and unique capabilities of S6L that make it stand out against other consoles in its class. We call these the hallmarks of S6L and it is now time to apply these hallmarks to a range of new products.

Since S6L launched in 2015, we as a product development team, have been focused on ensuring that S6L is the most powerful, most robust, and most fully-featured live audio mixing system in the world. This has been realized by fifteen software releases and five hardware releases, each delivering the capabilities that you have been asking us for. As you can imagine, the engineering effort has been significant and we are hugely proud of where S6L is today.

When considering future systems, we approach our design methodology with care. VENUE | S6L was developed with a modular architecture—what if we could take this modular architecture and scale it to design new products, at new price-points, with the same build quality, stability, audio quality, software, workflow and features of the premium-level S6L? This would mean that new consoles would benefit from the years of engineering investment in S6L, straight out of the door.

This concept is the heart of our design methodology for Live Sound at Avid. We call it the Unified Platform Strategy.

The concept is to expand the S6L family of products into new price tiers by introducing new surfaces, engines, and I/O racks built with 100% reuse from S6L, so that all new products benefit from a single hardware and software architecture.

The result is a coherent, unified portfolio of products on a single platform where all devices are compatible and interoperate with each other. Solutions scale proportionately in price and capability, ranging from mid-level systems ($40K) to enterprise-level ($150K+).

So, what are we launching? At Avid Connect, NAB, and Pro Light + Sound 2018, we are announcing the following six new devices that expand the S6L platform into new price tiers and capabilities.

VENUE | S6L-24C

VENUE | S6L-24C is a 24-fader control surface designed as a replacement for, or more accurately an upgrade to, our hugely successful VENUE | Profile console. This is your festival desk. When coupled with the E6L-144 engine and Stage 64, it has the exact price-point of the Profile system. Complete reuse of S6L control surface modules supports the workflows designed for the larger S6L-32D and 24D surfaces. S6L-24C is supported with every E6L engine and I/O rack.

VENUE | S6L-16C

VENUE | S6L-16C takes the 24C and scales it down into an ultra-compact footprint. This console comes into its own when space is at a premium but you do not want to compromise on audio quality or processing power. Again, all the same modules designed for the larger consoles are used here, providing S6L workflows on 16 faders and 32 encoders. Remember, even though this is a small format console, it can be connected to any E6L engine and leverage the full capacity of that engine.

VENUE | S6L-48D

The VENUE | S6L-48D is our new flagship S6L control surface. This enterprise-level console is designed for high-end theatre, music broadcasts and large houses of worship. 48 faders, 160 encoders and six integrated touch screens give you unmatched visual feedback and control, ideal for supporting two operators at once.

VENUE | E6L-112

VENUE | E6L-112 is a powerful processing engine at the heart of our mid-level systems.  With 112 input channels, 48 busses and 100 simultaneous plug-ins, its price-point should not deceive you into thinking it’s anything less than the most powerful live sound processing engine in its class. When coupled with the S6L-24C or S6L-16C control surface, it should prove a great solution for current Profile or Mix Rack users wanting to move up to VENUE | S6L.

Stage 32

Stage 32 is the most flexible remote I/O rack we have ever designed. A modular design with four I/O option slots, it accepts any of the I/O option cards designed for Stage 64 (link to options), but here’s the cool bit… Any of the slots can accept an input card or an output card, meaning you can configure it exactly how you like, up to a total of 32 channels total. We will provide an empty rack option to allow total customization. Audio quality is identical to Stage 64 since it uses all the same option cards.

Local 16

Local 16 is a non-modular I/O rack that expands the local I/O of your console. With 8 analog I/O, 8 digital I/O, it provides identical audio specifications as the S6L console I/O, including the same mic-pres as Stage 64 and Stage 32. You can see that all the connections are on the back of the unit. This is so the rack can live with your outboard gear and all the cabling is on one side down the back of the flight case, leaving just two Ethernet cables to connect to the back of your console.

Front

Back

Take all six products and add them to the existing S6L products, and this is the result: a unified family of live sound solutions on a single hardware and software platform with 100% compatibility between them.

VENUE | S6L is the industry’s only live sound platform with 100% hardware, software and show file compatibility, delivering unprecedented performance, coherent workflows and exceptional sound quality across the entire family.

Five control surfaces, three engines, and four I/O racks scale in price and capability to allow you to scale the system to meet the needs of any application you will face. With 100% interoperability between devices, the surfaces, engines and stage racks can connect to form a full range of systems.

With each system, there is no reduction in quality. S6L-16C systems have the same audio quality, user interface, I/O connectivity and build quality as the biggest S6L-48D system, and Show files are compatible across the entire product line.

We are hugely excited about this massive expansion to our award-winning S6L family. These new products will begin shipping later this year, but stay tuned for events that will be happening across the globe—starting with the NAB and Prolight + Sound shows. The Avid Live Sound team will be taking the prototype systems on the road to visit as many partners as possible in the lead-up to availability. Call your Avid dealer to see if you can get a chance to see these new systems in person before they ship.

Finally, I want to thank all of our tremendous customers who have not only turned to Avid the S6L system for their tours, events, and installations, but have fed back critical insights, requests, and feature suggestions over the past 2+ years. Your engagement is highly valued by the product team as we work to develop the most powerful, best-sounding, easiest-to-use live sound system in the world. Stay tuned —the best is yet to come!

Avid VENUE | S6L Unified Platform

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What’s New in VENUE 5.5 Software for S6L

The VENUE 5.5 software update is now available for Avid VENUE | S6L, bringing new capabilities to our flagship system, including:

• Support for the Avid Stage 16 remote I/O box

• Meters View on the console Master Touch Screen

• New system Key Commands on the console Master Touch Screen

Gain more I/O flexibility with support for the Avid Stage 16

With VENUE 5.5, you can now use Avid Stage 16 remote I/O boxes (the same I/O used by the VENUE | S3L-X system) in addition to your Stage 64 rack(s), giving you more networked I/O distribution flexibility. Each Stage 16 box provides 16 analog inputs, 8 analog outs, and 4 digital outs, making it an ideal compact solution for expanding or distributing I/O across any performance space.

• Connect up to four Stage 16’s and two Stage 64’s to support up to 192 analog inputs

• Get full support for Avid’s I/O sharing with True Gain functionality when using Stage 16 with S6L

• Stage 16 runs at 96kHz when used with S6L systems and integrates into S6L’s network infrastructure, allowing Stage 16’s and Stage 64’s to exist on the same AVB ring

• Maintain Patchbay assignments when changing configuration between Stage 64 and Stage 16

• All VENUE Link and Pro Tools Virtual Soundcheck workflows are supported for Stage 16

System Configurations:

The following system configurations are supported with VENUE 5.5.

System Configuration

Stage Inputs Max

Stage Outputs Max

Stage 64’s

Stage 16’s

AVB-192 Cards

Single System, Max Stage 16’s

64

48

0

4

2

Single System, Stage 64’s + Stage 16’s

128

80

1

4

2

Single System, Max I/O

192

112

2

4

2

Dual System, Shared I/O, max I/O

192

112

2

4

2

Note: Two AVB-192 Network Cards are required to connect Stage 16 to the E6L engine in all supported system configurations. VENUE 5.5 does not provide the ability to network VENUE | S6L with S3L-X systems.

Single system, 4x Stage 16

Single system, 1x Stage 64’s + 4x Stage 16’s

Single system, maximum I/O configuration

Dual system, shared I/O, maximum I/O configuration

Get better insight into your mix with Meters View on the Master Touch Screen

With the new Meters view on the Master Touchscreen, you can now get an uninterrupted continuous view of your channel metering across all of your S6L console screens. This new view provides all of the same functionality as the Meters view on your Channel Touch Modules.

Access key commands faster

Need a quick way to run a system test, lock your console, or shut things down? The latest VENUE software adds two new fast-access buttons to the Master Touchscreen. With the System button, you can quickly access such system commands as Shutdown, Info, Update, Lock, and Clear System. And if things aren’t working as expected, the Troubleshooting button enables you to quickly access and run system tests and more, directly from the control surface.

We are hugely excited about the release of VENUE 5.5 and the capabilities that it brings to S6L, including support for the Stage 16 remote I/O box. We’re sure that you will use many of these features and workflows regularly to deliver the best mixes possible for your artists in the months to come. Check out all that VENUE | S6L has to offer or contact sales to find the perfect system to meet your needs and challenges.

VENUE 5.5 is now available to download at no charge if you have an S6L system and a valid Avid Advantage Elite Live support contract—find the installer in your Avid Account.

Discover VENUE | S6L

The next stage in live sound is here—with the award-winning VENUE | S6L system, you can take on the world’s most demanding productions with ease.

LEARN MORE




What’s New in VENUE 5.4 Software for S6L

The VENUE 5.4 software update is now available for S6L, bringing significant new capabilities to our flagship system. Designed with input from leading sound designers and system integrators, VENUE 5.4 introduces advanced new workflows to meet the challenges of even the most complex theatre and house of worship productions in addition to a range of exciting capabilities for all S6L users.

VENUE 5.4 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.

Here’s what VENUE 5.4 brings to S6L

  • Mix theatre productions with ease— with significant updates to the VENUE Snapshots and Events systems.
  • Take ownership of any Stage 64 output in shared I/O configurations with the new Output Sharing feature.
  • Mix faster, the way you want, with a range of new control surface and software workflow enhancements.

 

Snapshot Enhancements

The VENUE Snapshots system has been significantly updated with VENUE 5.4. Theatre operators can stay on top of every performer, act, and scene with new workflow enhancements that take the stress out of mixing live theatre. Let’s take a look at the new features in detail…

Each individual aux send is now available as a separate entity within the Snapshot scope:

Each snapshot can be defined as a parent or child of other snapshots. This allows the user to define a hierarchy of snapshots with child snapshots reporting to parents.

Snapshots can be defined as non-sequential, allowing the user to recall complex settings without affecting the position of the next/previous target of the snapshot cue list.

Each snapshot can be included within a selection group, enabling changes made to one snapshot to affect others within the group.

Fader level, mute, solo, Attention and safe parameters are now active in the channel strips in the External GUI > Snapshots page.

Updates to the programmable Events system

Significant capabilities have been added to the VENUE programmable Events system. This incredible level of customization of the S6L control surface and software allows users to perform complex mixing adjustments with speed and ease. Let’s take a look at the significant updates to the intuitively programmable Events system.

  • Almost all parameters are available as actions and triggers, including Input, EQ, Dynamics and Aux Send parameters.
  • X&Y switches and channel color switches are available as triggers to provide three user-defined switches for every channel strip.
  • MIDI commands are available as triggers and actions, allowing simple integration with MIDI-enabled systems such as QLab and Ableton Live.
  • MIDI time code (MTC) and linear time code (LTC) and time of day values are now available as Event triggers, enabling parameters to be recalled directly from time code without needing to create a snapshot.

When a function switch is programmed to trigger an Event, the Event name is provided in the MLM display.

Take ownership of any output in shared I/O configurations

When sharing Stage 64 I/O racks across two S6L systems, all outputs are no longer “owned” entirely by a master system. With the new VENUE 5.4 software for S6L, any engineer on the AVB network can take ownership of the shared Stage 64 outputs on a per-output card basis, giving you even more versatility and workflow possibilities.

Mix faster, the way you want

VENUE 5.4 software for S6L provides many new control surface and software workflow enhancements to let you customize and simplify your mixing experience. Drag and drop output channels. Engage multi-select quickly see the names of your devices in the Patchbay. Get faster access to the functions and controls you need. And so much more.

  • Rearrange your output channels by dragging & dropping Aux master, Group master and Matrix masters channel strips in the External GUI > Outputs page.
  • Get quick access to 32 Aux Sends in vertical channel strip mode.
  • Update your Show File using the Overwrite switch on the console Master Live Module.
  • See the user-defined names of your S6L devices reflected in the External GUI > Patchbay page.
  • Engage Multi-Select more easily by holding a channel Select key and selecting additional channels.

I hope that you’re as excited as we are about this release, as it represents another big step forward in the functionality and capability of the system. We’re sure that you will use many of these features and workflows regularly to deliver the best mixes possible for your artists in the months to come. Check out all that VENUE | S6L has to offer or contact sales to find the perfect system to meet your needs and challenges. You can also find the new “What’s New in VENUE 5.4” documentation here for more technical details of this release.

VENUE | S6L Now Available

The next stage in live sound is here—with the award-winning VENUE | S6L system, you can take on the world’s most demanding productions with ease.

LEARN MORE




What’s New in VENUE 5.3 Software for S6L

The VENUE 5.3 software update for S6L brings significant new capabilities to our flagship system, including:

  • 128 tracks of Pro Tools recording and playback over Ethernet AVB
  • Multiple user-definable fader layouts
  • Select follows Solo
  • Matrix Spill
  • Toggle EQ gain & frequency in Vertical Channel Strip Mode

This update is now available to download at no charge if you have an S6L system and a valid Avid Advantage ExpertPlus support contract (find the installer in your Avid Account).

VENUE | S6L at the Kraków Live Festival

Pro Tools 128 track recording/playback

With VENUE 5.3 the channel capacity over Ethernet AVB between S6L and Pro Tools increases to 128 channels (from 64 channels)—that’s 128 channels of simultaneous record and playback via an Ethernet AVB connection over a single CAT5e cable. Simply plug a supported Mac Pro with Pro Tools (and Live Sound Production Toolkit) into the Ethernet Pro Tools port on the back of the S6L control surface to enjoy 128 channels of recording and playback, including per-channel Virtual Soundcheck. Note that you will need to have two AVB-192 Ethernet AVB Option Cards installed in the E6L engine to support the increased bandwidth required on the network for 128 channels. Everything is pretty much plug and play. All of the VENUE patchbay functionality, the global virtual sound check functionality, the per-channel virtual sound check, the gain propagation workflows, transport control from S6L—all of that stuff that you got with 64 channels you’ve now got with 128. And this of course is really important because the I/O capacity of S6L is significant. This increased recording capacity covers all but the most demanding channel counts. Visit this page for a comprehensive list of hardware and software requirements to run 128 channels of Pro Tools with S6L.

Configuration diagram of single S6L system, three Stage 64 I/O boxes, and Mac Pro running Pro Tools for 128 channels of recording and playback—if recording 128 tracks in an I/O sharing configuration, only one Mac Pro is supported on the shared network

MADI-192 MADI Option Card

VENUE 5.3 also supports the new MADI-192 option card, which provides 64 inputs and 64 outputs per card at 96 kHz. You can have up to four MADI-192 cards installed in an E6L engine simultaneously, which would give you up to 256 channels over the MADI format. This is exciting for a number of reasons. Firstly, just the ability to interface with other MADI-enabled devices is huge. We’ve provided customers with a MADI split via the Stage 64 I/O box since the beginning, allowing you to feed other consoles, broadcast locations, etc. directly from the preamps. But now with the MADI-192 option card, we can now deliver high channel count connectivity with other MADI-enabled devices, letting you route any signals to and from the system.

We can also use MADI as the front end for our Virtual Soundcheck workflows to interface with recording devices, similar to how we handle it over the Ethernet AVB network, only using MADI as the interface. As I already covered, VENUE 5.3 ups the Pro Tools recording and playback over Ethernet AVB to 128 channels, which is a very simple, no-fuss solution for Virtual Soundcheck. However, what MADI-192 cards allows us to do is just have a higher channel counts than 128—to a maximum configuration of 256 channels of record and playback if we have four cards installed. Since S6L supports up to 192 inputs on stage, using MADI enables us to capture all of those inputs. And this Virtual Soundcheck over MADI still provides you with all the unique VENUE advantages when used with Pro Tools, including per channel Virtual Soundcheck (the ability to just choose which channel is) and VENUELink which automatically configures your session files within Pro Tools (with automatic patching, naming, and interfacing between Pro Tools and VENUE console).

MADI-192 MADI Option Card

Another massive capability that the MADI-192 opens up for us is to interface directly with the Waves SoundGrid platform. A lot of customers who mix on Profile, D-Show, and other legacy VENUE systems rely heavily on Waves’ huge range of sonic tools, and the MADI-192 provides these customers with the capability to connect to Waves. With the MADI card installed, you can route signals via the VENUE patchbay out to the Waves SoundGrid server (via a DiGiGrid MGB I/O device). VENUE 5.3 makes MADI streams available as patchable hardware inserts—which is something that we couldn’t do with our legacy systems. What that allows us to do is associate the hardware insert for an input or output channel with a MADI input stream and output stream—all patchable from the VENUE patchbay. This enables us to send/return a channel to/from the Waves SoundGrid from the channel, giving us the ability to have Waves plug-ins running at the insert point of our input and output channels, which is absolutely amazing. And of course that also allows us to then to do the same thing when we’re setting up aux busses. We can route a bunch of channels to an aux bus then have the use the insert to route the signal via MADI to/from Waves SoundGrid. This is really useful when we want to use the reverbs and other bus-fed effects within the Waves MultiRack environment. With the ability to instantiate up to eight Waves plug-ins in series on a single channel within MultiRack, the sonic possibilities are endless.

 

Multiple user-defined fader layouts

One of the most highly requested features from S6L users has been support for multiple user-definable fader layouts. The default fader banking configuration of S6L is what we call “Profile mode” – input channels positioned either side of centrally located output channels. In addition to this we give you four fader banking modes (Inputs, Outputs, VCAs, and Layouts) each with its own switch located in S6L’s central Master Live Module (MLM). Pressing one of these switches places the console into the corresponding banking mode, targeting channels of the associated type onto the faders (all your inputs, outputs, VCAs). Pressing the Layouts button recalls your custom, user-defined fader layout which can be a mix of any type of channel—whatever you want at your fingertips. With VENUE 5.3 we’ve expanded this feature to provide you with 24 user-defined fader layouts. Now when you press your Layouts button, the control surface will go into Layouts mode and the MLM’s middle soft keys section will populate with 12 layouts. If you need more than this, simply scroll onto the next page to get layouts 13 to 24.

Access up to 24 custom layouts from the MLM section of S6L's control surface

Layouts can be created and assigned to MLM switches using the INPUTS and OUTPUTS pages of the External GUI or Standalone software – and via the control surface

This allows you to create a number of different fader layouts, store them to a soft key switch, and then recall them live on the fly to get to that custom fader layout during operation. The idea of it is to enable you to create your own console. Although we give you the default configuration of banks in our default “Profile Mode,” user-definable fader layouts let you configure the console exactly how you want to and recall those layouts directly from the control surface. You can create any combination of inputs, outputs, VCAs, and groups, in whatever order you want them, store it as a custom layout within your show file. When you next load your show file, up comes your user-defined custom configured control surface. And we still allow you to store and recall custom fader layout via Snapshots, but you can now access up to 23 additional layouts in addition to the one stored in your snapshot. You no longer need to dedicate Snapshots as the primary method of sorting and recalling fader layouts.

 

Select follows Solo

Select follows Solo is very straightforward new option that has been placed into the Options > Interactions page of the VENUE 5.3 software. With Select Follows Solo engaged, when you solo a channel from control surface or the GUI, if the channel is banked to the control surface, it will also be locally selected. This means that you can use the Solo button to target channels locally and have their parameters presented on the CKM encoders. This is really useful during a line check. As PFL channels the console will automatically select that channel you’ve soloed and provide all the functions for the channel directly on the encoders.

Now this is something that we’ve done in legacy VENUE before where we linked solo to select on a Profile system or within S6L we linked solo to attention, but what’s cool about this new enhancement is that with S6L as it’s the Select key that targets parameters onto the encoders. So every time you’re pressing Solo you’ve got access to all of the parameters associated with the channel directly on the CKM encoders in front of you and the console will follow you as you go.

 

Matrix Spill

With the VENUE 5.1 software update, we introduced Spill Mode for S6L, which includes Aux Spill, Group Spill, and VCA Spill. The concept is that you double press your Attention button or press the Spill button within the Universe View of the Master Touch Screen and all of the channels that are members of or assigned to that particular output are then spilled onto the control surface faders in front of you. With VENUE 5.3, this works with Matrixes too. Now with S6L, you have always been able to select a matrix output and access all of the sources that feed into the matrix from the encoders, but with the new Matrix Spill feature in VENUE 5.3, you can access and adjust the levels of the sources feeding the matrix using the faders too.

Toggle between EQ gain & frequency in Vertical Channel Strip Mode

This is a very simple control surface feature but requested by many S6L users. If a channel has not been locally selected to the CKM, the CKM is in what we call Vertical Channel Strip Mode. Parameters are arranged on the encoders vertically like an analog console aligning with the associated channel on the fader below. The CKM < and > switches allow you bank through the parameters for the channels below (input, EQ, Dynamics, and Mix). When you get EQ, four gain parameters are provided, one for one each band of parametric EQ (two pages for the 7-band output channel EQ). With VENUE 5.3, you can now toggle between gain and frequency by pressing the SEL switch next to the respective encoder. This simple feature significantly enhances your workflow for controlling parameters in an analog channel strip configuration.

I hope that you’re as excited as we are about this release, as it represents another big step forward in the functionality and capability of the system. We’re sure that you will use many of these features and workflows regularly to deliver the best mixes possible for your artists in the months to come. Check out all that VENUE | S6L has to offer or contact sales to find the perfect system to meet your needs and challenges.

VENUE | S6L Now Available

The next stage in live sound is here—with the award-winning VENUE | S6L system, you can take on the world’s most demanding productions with ease.

LEARN MORE




What’s New in VENUE 5.2 Software for S6L

Got VENUE | S6L? Now you can get more power and flexibility from your system with new VENUE 5.2 software. This update is now available to download at no charge if you have an S6L system and a valid Avid Advantage ExpertPlus support contract (find the installer in your Avid Account).

Here’s what VENUE 5.2 brings to your S6L…

  • Share up to three Stage 64 remote I/O racks between two E6L engines, with True Gain automatic gain compensation ensuring proper levels are maintained for each engineer
  • Integrate S6L with Dante-enabled audio mixers, amps, preamps, DSP, wireless mics, and more with the new DNT-192 Dante Option Card for Stage 64
  • Double your plug-in processing power with support for up to four HDX-192 DSP Expansion cards in the E6L-192 engine
  • Preprogram show files and get familiar with VENUE operation offline using new VENUE 5.2 Standalone software
  • Navigate and mix faster and take control of more parameters using the External GUI
  • Mix more easily with numerous system optimizations and improvements to device connectivity, discovering, and pairing, as well as audio signal integrity

 

 

Share I/O across multiple S6L systems

VENUE 5.2 introduces I/O sharing and gain tracking functionality, enabling you to share the same I/O across multiple networked systems easily—without any loss of audio quality. Avid True Gain technology automatically manages gain compensation to ensure the proper signal levels in each engineer’s mix. This feature alone can save you thousands of dollars by reducing I/O and cable requirements, set-up time, and transportation costs.

Our I/O sharing implementation is unique. When S6L systems are networked, all users on the network are provided with the exact same experience. Each engineer is given fully independent control of all input gain levels, removing all confusion of analog gain stages versus digital trims. Gain settings for all systems are intelligently managed between show files, master/slave configuration changes, and even within snapshots.

When sharing I/O, you and any other engineer on your S6L network can…

  • Share up three Stage 64 units between two E6L engines
  • Maintain proper levels on a per-channel basis across all E6L engines with True Gain automatic gain compensation
  • Take independent control of the full input gain range (+10 dB to +60 dB)
  • Get detailed feedback about ongoing device connectivity, assignment, health, and status monitoring, thanks to intelligent communication between the E6L engines
  • Have confidence in your mix, as automatic gain compensation is applied at all times—even during a snapshot store or recall
  • Maintain redundant connections to shared Stage 64 units in supported connectivity schemes
  • Mix with the same plug-and-play workflows you know when working with networked system configurations

 

Two Ethernet AVB-192 cards are required for I/O sharing & gain tracking functionality. The first Ethernet AVB card provides a redundant ring between the E6L engines and the Stage 64 remote I/O devices. The second AVB card connects the S6L console to the E6L engine and Pro Tools.

Connect to Dante devices with the Dante Option Card

VENUE 5.2 provides support for the new DNT-192 Option Card for the Stage 64 remote I/O rack. This easy-to-integrate, 16-channel audio interface card delivers high-speed, high-quality Dante connectivity and communication to VENUE | S6L systems, and preserves the full quality and integrity of original sound sources to achieve the highest quality mixes.

The DNT-192 Card enables you to integrate VENUE | S6L with a network of Gigabit Dante-enabled devices, including external audio mixers, new Aviom A-Net distributors, amps, preamps, DSP, wireless mics, and more. You can install up to six Dante cards in a single Stage 64 for a maximum total of 64 inputs and 32 outputs per rack.

The free Dante Controller software enables you to quickly configure cards and devices, monitor signal health and status, and route audio throughout your entire Dante network. Set up is smoother and faster than ever before thanks to automatic device discovery, one-click signal routing, and user-editable device and channel labels.

 

Increase your plug-in processing power with DSP Expansion Cards

Since we released the D-Show System in 2005, VENUE live systems have been the only consoles capable of running plug-ins natively, without requiring any external processing hardware. VENUE | S6L is no different.

Central to the S6L system is the groundbreaking E6L engine that delivers industry-leading performance and unique processing capabilities. Working in tandem with the RTX engine, E6L also features the scalable HDX Plug-in Engine, which is solely dedicated to handling all AAX plug-in processing. This ensures that you always maintain the highest level of mixing performance, no matter how large or complex the production.

With VENUE 5.2, you can now double your S6L system’s plug-in processing power. This update enables you to install up to four HDX-192 DSP Expansion Cards within the E6L-192 engine. That means you can run even more plug-ins simultaneously, providing you with an unparalleled palette of sonic tools from the vast number of plug-ins available from Avid and our connectivity partners.

The E6L-192 engine ships with one HDX-192 card preinstalled. Additional cards are sold separately.

Option Card

Preinstalled HDX-192 Cards 

Maximum HDX-192 cards
supported prior to VENUE 5.2

Maximum HDX-192 cards
supported with VENUE 5.2

E6L-144

E6L-192

E6L-144

E6L-192

E6L-144

E6L-192

HDX-192 DSP
Expansion Card

1

1

2

2

2

4

Work offline with new VENUE 5.2 Standalone software

Accompanying the VENUE 5.2 release for S6L is the new VENUE 5.2 Standalone software. While VENUE 5.2 requires an S6L system to use, you can preprogram shows or edit show files offline using VENUE Standalone Software. Version 5.2 of the standalone software has been specifically developed for S6L systems. Not only can you program new VENUE show files for it, but you can also use the software to reconfigure existing show files from older VENUE systems before transferring them to S6L.

VENUE Standalone software is a free download that runs on Windows-based computers, as well as Macs running Boot Camp or emulation software. The standalone software is also a great way for new users to get familiar with VENUE operation before laying a finger on the console.

The following are the minimum system requirements for using the VENUE S6L Standalone software:

  • Computer running 64-bit Windows 7 (or higher) operating system
    • VMWare Fusion, Parallels and similar are also supported (though not exhaustively tested) as long as virtual screen resolution matches or meets the requirements listed below.
  • Intel Core2 CPU, minimum (Core i3 recommended)
  • Minimum 1920 x 1080 screen resolution
  • Minimum 2 GB RAM
  • Minimum 300 MB of available hard disk space, 512 MB recommended
  • Available USB port and compatible USB storage device (such as a flash drive file transfer)

You’ll find a link to download your VENUE Standalone Software installer in your Avid Account if you have an S6L system with a valid Avid Advantage ExpertPlus support contract. The Standalone Software is also available on the Avid website for new users here.

 

Mix more easily with enhancements to the External GUI

VENUE 5.2 introduces additional features that improve workflows in the Inputs and Outputs pages in the External GUI. You can now control text-based EQ and Dynamics parameters, as well as Aux Send levels, with a mouse or via touchscreen. EQ bandwidth and Compressor Knee values can also be controlled using a mouse scroll wheel or pinch gestures on the touchscreen. These simple improvements mean that all parameters in the system are now controllable from the External GUI and through the console ECx connection for remote control over VNC.

Get system optimizations and improved reliability

Avid is committed to ensuring that our customers experience the highest level of satisfaction when using VENUE | S6L. In addition to all of the significant enhancements detailed above, VENUE 5.2 introduces critical updates to improve device connectivity, discovery, and pairing, as well as audio signal integrity.

The VENUE 5.2 software update represents a major boost to the S6L system’s power and flexibility. If you’re an S6L owner, we encourage you to log in to your Avid Account and upgrade your system with this no-cost download. More  information on installing the new VENUE software is provided in our new tutorial videos.

VENUE | S6L Now Available

The next stage in live sound is here—with the award-winning VENUE | S6L system, you can take on the world’s most demanding productions with ease.

LEARN MORE




What’s New in VENUE 5.1.1 Software for S6L

The new VENUE 5.1.1 software update is now available to download at no charge for all VENUE | S6L customers with a valid Avid Advantage ExpertPlus support contract. VENUE 5.1.1 enhances S6L control surface functionality with GEQ on faders and improves overall system performance.

To download the VENUE 5.1.1 software update free of charge, S6L customers just need to log in to their Avid Account and find the installer link.

 

GEQ on Faders:

VENUE 5.1.1 adds the new GEQ on faders functionality, allowing users to control each of the 31-bands of the built-in graphic equalizers via the control surface faders.

VENUE | S6L provides a pool of 32 31-band graphic EQs (GEQs) which can be inserted across any Aux bus, Group bus, Mains bus or Matrix output channel. It’s always been possible to control the Graphic EQ from the External GUI or via the control surface encoders, but with VENUE 5.1.1, it’s now possible to control GEQs via the faders.

S6L's 31-band graphic EQ assigned to the faders

Here’s how you do it…

In the VENUE software, go to the OUTPUTS page. Attention an Aux, Group, Mains or Matrix output channel. Target the “GEQ” tab and insert a GEQ across the output channel using the drop down list.

Now go the MEDIA > Events page and create a new Event. Choose a Function switch (for example F1) as the Event Trigger. Choose the new GEQ on Faders option as the Event Action. With this simple Event programmed, every time the function switch (F1) is pressed, the S6L control surface will target the graphic EQ to the faders for the Attentioned output channel.

Now go back to the S6L control surface. Attention an output channel (one with a GEQ inserted across it), and engage your new GEQ on faders event by pressing the function switch in the soft keys section.

Result: GEQ on faders!

VENUE | S6L Now Available

The next stage in live sound is here—with the award-winning VENUE | S6L system, you can take on the world’s most demanding productions with ease.

LEARN MORE




Avid S3L: The Center of Your Live Production Environment

The following is the final post of a seven-part blog series from Al McKinna, Principal Product Manager, Avid Live Systems & Consoles, that provides a look inside the design of Avid S3L.

 

Picture the scene.

It’s Friday night, 7 p.m. You walk into the auditorium. The walk-in music is pumping, house lights down, band not yet on stage. A sea of heads spreads out in front of you. You approach front of house. It’s another night, another gig, another rock ‘n’ roll band.

In front of you—the new console. Avid S3L. Super slim, super compact.

How can a live console have such a low profile, such striking contours, and such defined lines? The beautiful dark grey surface, unburdened with unnecessary controls, all-white silkscreen popping from soft-touch coating, and the matt finish only marginally reflecting the light. 16 faders, 32 encoders, 32 high-resolution OLED displays and unmatched control and flexibility in an ultra-compact small format. How is it even possible?

And that’s it; you are gone. It’s love at first sight.

Who would think it—you and Avid S3L? At first, you would be forgiven to think this love is skin deep, a surface love. But believe me, it will not be love that’s skin deep for long. Soon this love at first sight will blossom into a beautiful partnership. All you need to do is get to know Avid S3L

Avid S3L is not just a great sounding, great looking, easy-to-use, and ultra-compact digital mixing system. Its capabilities go far beyond that and far beyond any other mixing console in its class. Scratch just a little below the surface and you’ll see how deep the functionality goes. Learn just a little of the snapshots and events system, the onboard MEDIA record and playback system, and how S3L interoperates with Pro Tools and you will be opening your mix to a world of creative possibilities and realizing a new benchmark of production values.

Avid S3L provides capabilities that put it firmly at the center of your live sound production environment. This is achieved by taking many of the capabilities of devices usually external to the mixer (such as outboard processors or triggered playback devices) and providing them to you directly within the S3L system—providing you with a completely unified user experience when controlling your show.

I guess you are going to want specifics right? I’ve already covered some of the key capabilities of the system in my blog series, but let’s pull them all together and take a closer look at how they work together as a complete, turnkey live sound production system. The following five capabilities make Avid S3L much more than a mixing console. It’s these elements that put S3L as the central point of control in a live sound environment:

  1. Avid S3L provides a fully networked system of distributed I/O
  2. Avid S3L uses an onboard AAX plug-in ecosystem for infinite sonic possibilities
  3. Avid S3L provides an advanced integrated system of snapshots and events
  4. Avid S3L provides an onboard record and playback system, fully integrated into all areas of the VENUE software
  5. Avid S3L provides the most integrated interoperability with Pro Tools ever provided by a live mixing console

Avid S3L devices are connected via a robust network of Ethernet AVB and EUCON.

1.  Avid S3L provides a fully networked system of distributed I/O

Firstly, let’s discuss Avid S3L’s fully distributed network of distributed I/O over Ethernet AVB. We have discussed before that with Avid S3L, you can connect up to four Stage 16 remote I/O boxes. Since each box has 16 mic pres, 8 analog outputs, and 4 digital AES outputs, this provides you with a maximum of 64 inputs and 48 outputs on stage. With 100m cable runs supported between devices, Stage 16 boxes can be easily deployed around a venue to establish a system of true distributed I/O.

The cool thing is that S3L is the central point of control, management, and monitoring of this distributed I/O. It is the hub of the assignment process, patching, and signal processing. All network management is done from within the VENUE software directly. No third party devices are required to monitor devices or to route signals to perform setup functions.

The OPTIONS > Devices page is the central point of control for device navigation and network management.

As all Avid S3L devices are plug-and-play, there is no device configuration needed at all. A simple drag and drop method assigns Stage boxes in the VENUE software OPTIONS > Devices page. To simplify this further, the E3 engine always seeks to maintain its last configuration, looking across the network for the Stage 16 boxes it connected to the last time it was in use. The VENUE software acts as a central point of control for the networked devices, providing device health, redundancy indication, and even control of Stage box muting from the software—putting you in maximum control of the networked world as you stand at your mix position.

The renowned Avid Channel Strip plug-in running internally in S3L.

2.  Avid S3L uses an onboard AAX plug-in ecosystem for infinite sonic possibilities

Plug-ins! This concept is still amazing to me—the concept of taking all the outboard gear required for a show and running it internally in the mixing console. This is a concept first introduced with the Avid D-Show System and is as beneficial today in S3L.

Avid S3L’s onboard ecosystem of AAX plug-ins puts infinite creative possibilities at your fingertips. S3L users have no need for outboard or external plug-in runners, as up to 20 plug-ins (in mono or stereo) can be run simultaneously on the system. Plug-in parameters map directly to surface controls, and all plug-in settings are stored in snapshots and show files, meaning you only need a single interface to control what would otherwise take a whole outboard rack of processors to achieve.

Avid S3L comes complete with a full range of plug-in effects. Even more Avid and third party plug-ins will be qualified for S3L on an ongoing basis, increasing your range of creative choices throughout the product’s life.

 

3.  Avid S3L provides an advanced integrated system of snapshots and events

Snapshots and events are advanced functions that can take the heavy lifting from you by enabling you to store and instantly recall huge ranges of parameters, link previously unrelated functions, and subsequently control multiple areas of the system simultaneously. If you are feeling like you need more arms than an octopus, you probably need snapshots and events.

The snapshot system takes the heavy lifting from you by enabling you to store and instantly recall huge ranges of parameters.

The VENUE software provides deep snapshot functionality, and every parameter in the S3L system and VENUE software can be stored and recalled with snapshots. All fader levels, send levels, pans, mutes, and solos. Every parameter within every channel, plug-in settings, VCA members, matrix input levels, even patching and channel names can all be stored and recalled. In addition to this, snapshots can be used to trigger MIDI commands, 2-track record and playback from a connected USB drive, and Pro Tools transport controls and marker insertion.

The Events system is equally as powerful. The huge range of event triggers and actions allow you to configure the behavior of your S3L system to match your workflow, linking previously unrelated operations. 2-track USB record and playback, Pro Tools transport control, snapshots, and even GPIO operations can all be triggered via the Events system.

Pictured left to right: Event triggers and event actions.

4. Avid S3L provides an onboard record and playback system, fully integrated into all areas of the VENUE software

Avid S3L has the capability to record and play back stereo audio files via a connected USB drive. This is hugely exciting and useful functionality to have fully integrated into the system, as S3L can be used to play walk-in music, background music beds, spot effects, and other cues, or to record a simple board mix of the show. This capability is managed in the MEDIA page of the VENUE software, and is directly and deeply integrated into all other areas of the software, including Patchbay, Snapshots, Events, and Show files.

Onboard 2-track playback functionality is managed from the MEDIA page.

The recording functionality is managed from the MEDIA > Record page in the VENUE software. As the USB device appears as an item in the VENUE Patchbay, any pair of output channels can be routed to the USB drive for recording, as can any direct output from any input channel, FX return, or output channel in the system.

The record functionality is directly integrated into the snapshots system. Every snapshot in the snapshot list has the capability to either trigger the record or playback of audio files on the USB drive. When triggering a recording via a snapshot recall, you have the option to take the name of the snapshot as the name of the recording. So, if you are using snapshots for each song in your show, at the end of the gig, you will have a USB drive full of audio files already labeled and cut to length.

Record and playback functionality can be linked directly to snapshot recalls.

The MEDIA > Playback page provides a playlist for you to manage your audio files. Add tracks to the playlist (from multiple USB drives if you like) and then play them back either directly from this page or trigger them via Snapshots and Events.

 

5.  Avid S3L provides the most integrated interoperability with Pro Tools ever provided by a live mixing console

Avid S3L has the deepest interoperability with Pro Tools found in any live mixing console in the world. A single Cat5e Ethernet cable between S3L and a Pro Tools computer brings 64 tracks of record and playback, all the fantastic VENUE Link functionality, and (coming soon) DAW control via EUCON.

VENUE Link functionality is the transfer of metadata between an Avid Live System and Pro Tools. Plug your Avid S3L system into Pro Tools and load a new session—Pro Tools knows its connected to S3L and prompts you to import your VENUE settings into the Pro Tools session, creating an audio track for every mic-pre, generating the correct patching, naming the audio tracks to match your settings on S3L, and even arranging them to match the layout of your channels on your S3 control surface.

But VENUE Link brings even more functionality than this. When Pro Tools is in record (for example, during show time), recalling a VENUE snapshot will automatically place a marker on the Pro Tools timeline. This greatly speeds up the process of navigating through archived recorded material. Conversely, when Pro Tools is in play (for example, during Virtual Soundcheck), recalling a VENUE snapshot locates Pro Tools to the marker created by that snapshot. This functionality dramatically speeds up the Virtual Soundcheck workflow, as Pro Tools playback will always be in sync with the VENUE snapshot you are working from.

Use Pro Tools to record your live show, use Pro Tools to play back music beds, spot effects or sound design, or why not use it for both? S3L can record and play back from Pro Tools simultaneously, enabling you to choose live stage inputs or Pro Tools playback inputs on a per-channel basis.

The Pro Tools transport can be controlled directly from the S3 control surface or VENUE software, allowing you to integrate control of Pro Tools directly into your live mixing workflows and use one interface to control your entire production.

Coming soon with EUCON DAW control functionality, you will be able to take your live recordings and mix them in the box in Pro Tools using S3 as a studio controller. S3 was designed specifically with this function in mind, keeping the console as lightweight as possible with as small a footprint as possible for portability. This enables the console to be used in environments where space is as a premium, such as mixing on the tour bus or in a hotel room.

Michael Brennan with Avid S3L for Primal Scream.

So, lets bring all this great functionality together. Picture the scene once more:

You walk up to your Avid S3L at front of house. You are at the center of a network of distributed I/O, standing before a compact control surface with unrivaled flexibility, controlling a rich UI, and all powered by a next generation HDX-powered engine. The OPTIONS > Devices page in the VENUE software tells you all devices are online, and everything is connected with full redundancy.

You connect your Pro Tools laptop. One Ethernet cable is all it takes for 64-tracks of record and playback, VENUE Link, and EUCON connectivity. You load a new session. Pro Tools sees S3L and with your prompt, automatically creates 64 tracks to match the 64 mic inputs of your mix, naming and ordering every track to match the layout of your console.

At 7 p.m. the doors open. The crowd begins to fill the auditorium. You unmute FX Return 8. This subsequently recalls your first snapshot, triggering the MEDIA playlist to play the walk-in music from your USB key drive. With the press of a function switch, all tracks in Pro Tools are armed and the transport is in record ready.

The band is about to come on stage. Your next snapshot is recalled, loading all the parameters of the mix of the first song, recalling all plug-in settings, and triggering Pro Tools to begin recording 64 tracks, and the name of the first snapshot automatically appears in the Pro Tools timeline.

The band comes on stage. You are all over this little desk with the elegance of a gazelle. Paging through mixes, AFL-ing Aux masters to spill the sends down onto faders, banking the faders to input channels while throwing the VCAs up onto the encoders, mapping plug-ins to encoders. You trigger snapshots throughout the show, each time placing the snapshot name into the Pro Tools timeline. You use a footswitch to set plug-in tap delay and function switches to trigger spot effects directly from the MEDIA playlist.

At the end of the show, you press a touch strip zone to stop the Pro Tools transport. 64 tracks have been recorded into Pro Tools. You pick up your Pro Tools laptop and carry your S3 control surface onto the bus to mix down the night’s recording. With the S3 DAW control functionality via EUCON, you plug your S3 straight into your Pro Tools laptop and do the mix right there on the tour bus, ready to publish to the web.

With the S3 DAW control functionality via EUCON, you plug your S3 straight into your Pro Tools laptop and do the mix right there on the tour bus, ready to publish to the web.

The next day you can use last night’s recording for the Virtual Soundcheck, integrating artists back into the process, as they soundcheck live over the multi-tracks as you control Virtual Soundcheck on a channel-by-channel basis using S3L’s Pro Tools Input switches.

So there it is, Avid S3L. With a fully networked system of distributed I/O, onboard plug-ins, integrated Pro Tools control, record and playback, built-in media system, and powerful system of snapshots and events, Avid S3L is not just a great looking, ultra-portable mixing desk—it’s a live production system and the central point of control of your live sound environment.

This is my last blog entry in the Designing Avid S3L series. I want to thank you for taking the journey and I hope that I’ve been able to pique your interest in this amazing system. But don’t take my word for it—try it out for yourself.

Avid S3L is now shipping and available worldwide. Call your Avid dealer and organize a demo, and as always, let us know what you think.




The Power of Events with Avid S3L

Designing Avid S3L: The Power of Events with Avid S3L

The following is the sixth of a seven-part blog series from Al McKinna, Principal Product Manager, Avid Live Systems & Consoles, that will provide a look inside the design of Avid S3L.

 

Oh, the tales I could tell you about the power of events. The things I have seen on my travels. The things they can do are mind-blowing, eye-widening, jaw-dropping, and other such hyphenated phrases.

Events can trigger pyros, stage lights, on-air lights, applause lights, and even console flight case bead lights. Events can fire in spot effects, cues, and playback music from a single button press. Events allow a tiny control surface to follow an engineer’s every move as he navigates through multiple monitor mixes while jumping in and out of flip to faders triggered only by an AFL switch. Events can change the patches of onstage keyboards and guitar effects pedals and trigger recording to high-channel multi-track recording systems simultaneously using only a snapshot recall.

I’ve seen an engineer target channels using only footswitches so he could keep his fingers on faders and knobs for the entire show. I’ve seen the curtains open and the entrance music triggered from a simple fader start. I’ve seen a single live sound console control a second live console as well as a lighting console at the same time. Hey, I’ve even seen a console hooked up to a coffee machine!

The possibilities blow my mind, and it’s all down to events.

Avid S3L is extremely compact but incredibly powerful. We knew when designing S3L that we would need to provide an incredibly rich Events system as it would become integral to the versatility and efficiency of the console.

Consider just a few of S3L’s applications:

  • High-demand concert sound and festival applications with quick turnarounds and many acts
  • House of worship applications with large quantities of performers and speakers
  • Theatre applications with multiple scenes, complex control surface workflows and integration with playback systems
  • Corporate AV applications with talking heads, presentation systems and video
  • Live broadcast and recording applications with a constant rotation of multiple acts when maintaining a deadline is paramount

With these scenarios in mind, the ability to link unrelated operations together via a detailed and user-friendly interface becomes tantamount to S3L’s effectiveness in these high-pressured environments. This is exactly what the Events system is designed for.

We knew when designing S3L that we would need to provide an incredibly rich Events system as it would become integral to the versatility and efficiency of the console.

So what actually is an event?

If I was to employ the skills of Nick Pellicciotto (Avid technical publications writer extraordinaire) and ask him how to define an event in the VENUE software, I am guessing he would say something along these lines…

“An event is a user-defined combination of one or more triggers to cause one or more actions. Each event serves as a type of software ‘macro’ in which you can establish a cause-and-effect relationship between a trigger and the resultant behavior of the S3L system, the action.”

In fact, Nick did say this exact thing because I plagiarized it right out of his S3L System Guide. What it means in real-world terms is that you can customize and enhance the behavior of your S3L system so it can perform multiple tasks simultaneously, using previously unrelated functions. This customization can relate directly to the way that the S3 Control Surface and VENUE software behave, and more excitingly, how S3L interacts with other devices in your live sound environment. All you need to do is access the OPTIONS > Events page in the VENUE software, create an event and define its trigger (the function that kicks off the event) and the action (the resultant behavior of S3L).

The list of triggers available in the Events page is extensive. Almost any button on the S3 Control Surface can be used as a trigger, including the 16 function switches and 4 touch strip zones, together with non-control surface items such as snapshot functions, footswitch activation, GPI inputs, and even toggling Show and Configuration modes.

The list of triggers (left) and actions (right) in the OPTIONS > Events page of the VENUE Software is extensive.

The list of actions available is extensive also. You can select any channel in the system, mute any channel, engage mute groups and mute stage outputs, change view modes in the VENUE software, trigger snapshots, and control the transport of the onboard 2-track record and playback system and even a connected Pro Tools system.

Events can be programmed offline in the VENUE standalone software, so to check out the full power of them, just download the software. It’s on us and available here.

 

Tips & Tricks

With all this functionality, where do we begin? Let’s give you a few starting points, a few simple tips and tricks for cool stuff we can do with events. These will do nicely for starters…

  1. Changing VENUE Software View Modes
  2. Triggering Mute Groups
  3. Setting the Tap Tempo
  4. Recalling Snapshots

Also remember to check out my previous blog on using S3L for monitoring mixing applications. I included some neat tricks to quickly navigate through mixes on the S3 Control Surface, optimized for the monitor guy.

 

1. Changing VENUE Software View Modes (via a Function switch)

Avid S3L provides a number of ways to navigate through the pages of the VENUE software. You can use the view buttons and navigation on the S3 Control Surface, the function keys on your QWERTY keyboard, or just use the mouse. However, if you need to access a particular page or screen quickly, the best action is an event (pun intended).

Here’s how you make Function switch 1 target the PLUG-INS page of the software:

  1. Navigate to the OPTIONS > Events page.
  2. Press Create to create a new Event.
  3. Double click the Event to rename it. Rename it “View Plug-Ins (F1)”.
  4. In the Triggers section press ADD.
  5. Select from the dropdown list Function Switch 1.
  6. In Actions section press ADD.
  7. Select from the dropdown list Change View Mode, Plug-Ins Page.

Changing view modes of the VENUE software using Function switches.

2. Triggering Mute Groups (via a Function switch)

Avid S3L gives you 8 mute groups. Channels are assigned to mute groups in the INPUTS page of the VENUE software. There are no dedicated mute group switches on the S3 Control Surface, so activating mute groups is done via the Events page, which gives us a wider range of choices for engaging them.

For simplicity, let’s say we have drums on channels 1-12 and we want to mute the entire kit as one entity from a single button press. We can assign a VCA to do this, but let’s use a mute group this time.

Here’s how you make Function switch 1 activate Mute Group 1:

First you need to assign your drum channels to a mute group:

  1. Navigate to the INPUTS page of the VENUE software.
  2. Press the Assign button in the Mute Groups section of the INPUTS page to enter Assign mode.
  3. Make sure the red button for Mute Group 1 is activated.
  4. On the S3 Control Surface or in the software, select the drum channels (channels 1-12).
  5. Press the Assign button once again to exit Assign mode. Mute Group 1 is ready.

Channels are assigned to Mute Groups in the INPUTS page of the VENUE software.

Now you can set up an Event to activate Mute Group 1 using Function switch 1:

  1. Navigate to the OPTIONS > Events page and create a new event.
  2. Rename the event “Mute Group 1 (F1)”.
  3. In the Triggers section press ADD and select Function Switch 1 from the dropdown list.
  4. In the Actions section press ADD and select Mute Group 1 from the dropdown list.

Activating Mute Groups via Function switches.

Remember that you can trigger mute groups using other triggers than just the Function switches. Mute groups can be triggered from snapshot recalls, the mute switches of any channel in the system, and any other previously unrelated function the Triggers list provides.

 

3. Setting Tap Tempo (via a Footswitch)

Avid S3L provides tap tempo for syncing the delay of your plug-ins with your performance material. It’s handy to have this Tap Tempo assigned to a footswitch, so here’s how to set it up:

  1. Connect a footswitch to Footswitch port on the rear panel of the S3 Control Surface.
  2. Navigate to the OPTIONS > Misc page of the VENUE software.
  3. In the Tap Tempo section, press the ON switch.
  4. Navigate to the OPTIONS > Events page and create a new event.
  5. Rename the event “Tap Tempo (Footswitch)”
  6. In the Triggers section press ADD and select Footswitch from the dropdown list.
  7. In Actions section press ADD and select Tap Tempo from the dropdown list.
  8. Step on your footswitch and set the tempo.

Setting Tap Tempo using a footswitch.

4. Recalling Snapshots (via a Function switch)

You can use Events to recall any snapshot available in your Snapshots list. A handy workflow is to use the Function switches on the S3 Control Surface to recall next and previous snapshots so your scene recalls are right under your fingertips.

To make Function switches 7 & 8 recall previous and next snapshots follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the OPTIONS > Events page and create a new event.
  2. Rename the event “Recall Previous Snapshot (F7)”
  3. In the Triggers section press ADD and select Function Switch 7.
  4. In the Actions section press ADD and select Recall Previous Snapshot.
  5. Create another new event. Rename this one “Recall Next Snapshot (F8)”
  6. In the Triggers section press ADD and select Function Switch 8.
  7. In the Actions section press ADD and select Recall Next Snapshot.

When you start integrating S3L’s Snapshots system with its Events system, the functionality can go pretty deep. Consider using a fader start to trigger the first snapshot in your show that subsequently triggers playback of the walk-in music on your 2-track USB drive or even the sound design from a connected Pro Tools system. One Snapshot recall can be set to trigger subsequent snapshot recalls, so a whole series of events can be set in motion with a single button press.

Remember that MIDI messages can be transmitted via snapshot recalls, as can GPI outputs via an event, so S3L can interact with the lighting guys, the pyrotechnics, video dudes or even trigger other audio consoles in the auditorium… Phew!

I’ll let you ponder the possibilities.

 

Integrating Events with the MEDIA page

This little blog entry would not be complete if I didn’t mention the MEDIA page. The MEDIA page is the central point of control in the VENUE software for S3L’s onboard 2-track USB record and playback system. Plug a USB flash drive into any available USB port on the E3 engine and the MEDIA page allows you to manage the stereo recording to the drive and the playback of stereo files from the drive through the Patchbay integration, simple folder navigation windows, transport controls and playlist, all fully integrated into your Show file. However, the system truly comes into its own when used in conjunction with Snapshots and Events.

The MEDIA page is the central point of control in the VENUE software for S3L’s onboard 2-track USB record and playback system.

Let’s start with playback. Any WAV or MP3 file that you want to play back must first be added to the Playlist in the MEDIA > Playback page. Once it’s in there, you can trigger the playback via an event or a snapshot. As all the MEDIA transport functions appear in the Actions list in the Events page, any button on the S3 Control Surface can be used to trigger the playback — just like a sampler. This is great for triggering spot effects or cues on the fly during a theatre show or sports event.

If you are using snapshots, the playback of any file in your playlist can be triggered directly from the snapshot recall, either as a single or repeated play of a track or to begin continuous play of the entire playlist. This couldn’t be easier to set up. A new MEDIA tab within the SNAPSHOTS page of the software allows you to select a file from the playlist and add it and assign it for playback when the snapshot is recalled.

The MEDIA pane in the SNAPSHOTS page allows 2-track USB record and playback to be triggered using snapshot recalls.

When it comes to recording, S3L gets even more interesting. Just like the playback functionality, recording can be triggered via an Event, so again surface controls can start the 2-track recording to the USB drive. Recording can also be triggered via a snapshot recall. But here’s where it gets even more clever…

Let’s say you have built your show using snapshots. You are running a show with a snapshot for each song in the set. Before the show, the lead vocalist asks you for a simple board mix of tonight’s performance. You oblige.

You plug in your USB flash drive. You go to the SNAPSHOTS page, you select the first snapshot in the list, and in the MEDIA tab you click Record > Use Snapshot Name. You repeat this process for every snapshot in the list.

2-track USB record and playback can be triggered using snapshot recalls.

The powerful Events system provided by the VENUE software streamlines your workflow through a user-defined system of advanced control functionality, enhanced beyond the capabilities of any other live mixing desk.

It’s show time. The band comes on stage. You are recalling snapshots for each song in the set. Every snapshot recall triggers a recording to the USB drive. Now, because S3L has a record divide function, every time you trigger a snapshot recall the USB recorder finalizes the current recording and instantly starts a new recording, each time taking the name of your snapshot as the name of the file being recorded. At the end of your show you have a USB drive containing audio files for each song in the set, already cut into discrete files and labeled to match the set.

The artist thinks you’re a genius and that’s fair enough, you are.

So in closing what can I say? Only this—you are in control.

The powerful Events system provided by the VENUE software streamlines your workflow through a user-defined system of advanced control functionality, enhanced beyond the capabilities of any other live mixing desk. It takes S3L into a new realm of live production control beyond that of mixing the audio. The Events system is powerful and wholly user-defined, so that power is all yours.

But don’t take my word for it, try it out for yourself. Avid S3L is now shipping and available worldwide. Call your Avid dealer and organize a demo, and as always, let us know what you think.

In my final blog entry for our Designing Avid S3L series, we are going deep. We are drawing together everything we have talked about over the entire blog series, adding a little sprinkling of Pro Tools and a few snapshots, and discussing how Avid S3L is much more than just a digital mixing console.

With a fully networked system of distributed I/O, onboard plug-ins, integrated Pro Tools control, record and playback, built-in media system, and powerful system of snapshots and events, Avid S3L is not just a great sounding mixing desk. Avid S3L is a live production system, and the central point of control of your live sound environment—in my next blog entry, you’ll find out why.




Designing and Optimizing Your Live Sound Monitor Mixing Workflows with Avid S3L

Avid S3L

The following is the fifth of a seven-part blog series from Al McKinna, Principal Product Manager, Avid Live Systems & Consoles, that will provide a look inside the design of Avid S3L.

 

In this week’s blog we are going straight to the point. No introductions, no tongue and cheek opening gambit, no setting of the scene. We are going straight to the heart of the action.

This week we are standing by the side of the stage in monitor world. We are talking about managing multiple mixes to multiple destinations across a distributed network of I/O. We are talking about super-fast shortcuts and navigating with speed across an ultra-compact control surface with the grace of a gazelle that your job depends on. This week we are talking monitor mixing workflows with Avid S3L live sound system.

Lets start with system configuration. Avid S3L provides 64 input channels, 24 mix busses, 8 VCAs, 8 matrixes and mains, and the system can be placed in one of three bus configurations:

  1. 8 Auxes and 8 Stereo Groups
  2. 16 Auxes and 8 Mono Groups
  3. 16 Auxes and 8 Variable Groups

Avid S3L provides a choice of three bus configurations in the OPTIONS > System page of the VENUE software.

For the monitor guys out there, there is option #3: 16 auxes and 8 variable groups. Informally, we call this bus configuration Variable Groups Mode that essentially gives you 24 aux busses (a variable group being an aux bus that can be routed to mains).

To place S3L in Variable Groups Mode, navigate to the OPTIONS > System page of the VENUE software, and under “Bus Configuration”, select “16 Auxes and 8 Variable Groups”. For the rest of this blog, we will be working from the assumption that we have placed S3L in Variable Groups Mode to have the system nicely optimized for monitor mixing applications.

These 24 bus masters can be accessed quickly via the fader banks. As the S3 Control Surface has a tiny footprint (relative to its level of control), 7 fader banks are provided to navigate through all channel types. In Variable Groups Mode, S3 will give you the following banks:

  • Banks A-D = Input Channels 1-64
  • Bank E = Aux Masters
  • Bank F = Variable Group Masters
  • User = VCAs 1-8, Mains

 

Fader Banking:

Aux and Group output channels are accessed from the S3 Control Surface on Fader Banks E and F.

The Aux masters will always appear in Bank E and Group masters on Bank F, irrespective of the bus configuration. In addition to using the fader banks, all output channels can be controlled by the Global encoders (the 8 knobs on the very top-right hand side of the control surface)—more on this later.

Output channels can be labeled up in the VENUE software, and labeling an Aux or Variable Group output channel will automatically label the sends to that bus as well, and populate the name throughout the software and control surface.

All output channels are given discrete outputs in the VENUE Patchbay and can be routed to any physical output, ranging from Stage 16 remote I/O boxes to drive your onstage monitors to any local output on the S3 Control Surface and/or E3 Engine (and additionally patched direct to Pro Tools). To put it bluntly, any output channel can be routed anywhere you like in S3L’s fully distributed system of networked I/O.

Aux and Variable Group output channels can be routed to any Stage or Local output in the Patchbay page of the VENUE software.

OK, so that’s how you access your bus masters, but how about actually setting up your monitor mixes? How do you access the sends to the busses and start dialing in the mixes? Well, on the S3 Control Surface, this can be done in two ways:

  1. Using the Channel Control section
  2. Using the Assignable Channel Encoders

The Channel Control section gives you all the parameters associated with the selected channel. Select a channel and the top left-hand set of 8 knobs on the control surface will give you a choice of Input, EQ, Compressor, Gate and Aux Sends to access for that selected channel. Choose Aux 1-8, Aux 9-16 or Variable Groups to spill those sends onto the Channel Control encoders and you are good to send that selected channel to any mix bus (or multiple mix busses) you might be working from.

This is a great workflow when working from the input channel, and setting up which of the 24 mixes to send the channel to. It is not as efficient for the monitor engineer working from the Aux or Variable Group bus, dialing in the sends for multiple input channels to create a specific mix. For the multi-tasking gazelle-like monitor engineer, we have the Assignable Channel Encoders.

 

Encoder Assign:

Aux and Variable Group sends are accessed from the bottom row of encoders (Channel Encoders) using the Encoder Assign section.

The Assignable Channel Encoders (or just “Channel Encoders” if you prefer) are the bottom row of 16 knobs that stretch right across the S3 Control Surface. Each Channel Encoder is part of each channel strip—every channel strip has one, providing one type of parameter for every channel banked to the surface. If one Channel Encoder is controlling input gain, they are all controlling input gain.

Every Avid Live Sound console has this row of knobs, and they all work in pretty much the same way. On S3, the section of 6 buttons to the left-hand side of the Channel Encoders, allow us to target a range of functions. This section of buttons we call Encoder Assign. Encoder Assign allows us to access Gain, HPF, Pan, Compressor Threshold, and any of the 24 sends via the Channel Encoders. Pressing one of the Encoder Assign buttons targets that parameter to the Channel Encoders.

Here’s how you access the sends. Press the Aux button in the Encoder Assign section. This will bring up Aux Selection Mode. The Aux button will flash and each channel display will show a different aux send. Press the encoder associated with the send you want to access, lets say its Aux Send 4, now each Channel Encoder will give you Aux Send 4 for every channel banked to the surface. Press the Flip to Faders button and you can use the faders to dial in the mix rather than using knobs.

If you want to access another mix, press the Page Left or Page Right buttons above the Encoder Assign section. This will page through all the adjacent Aux Sends—so if Aux Send 4 is targeted to the encoders, pressing Page Right will target Aux Send 5 and so on. This will continue to work even if the console is in Flip to Faders, so you navigate across your mixes and use the faders to control the send levels.

If for example, you are operating from Aux 1 and you need to get to Aux 15, perhaps you don’t want to have to press Page Right 15 times to get there—neither do I. Instead, press the Aux button in Encoder Assign one more time to bring up Aux Selection Mode once again. From here, you can access any of the 24 sends by pressing the associated encoder. Bear in mind that when you are in Variable Groups Mode, you will need to page right to access the Variable Group Sends in Aux Selection Mode.

OK, so before we deep dive into more advanced workflows, let’s have a little recap…

Steps to dial in an aux mix from the S3 Control Surface:

  1. Press the Input Bank (A-D) you want to work from
  2. Press the Aux button in Encoder Assign to enter Aux Selection Mode
  3. Press the encoder for the Aux mix you would like to access (encoder #3 for Aux Send 3)
  4. Press Flip to Faders to dial in the mix on the faders rather than the knobs
  5. Press Page Left or Page Right to access an adjacent mix or press the Aux button to re-enter Aux Selection Mode and target another mix

As mentioned earlier in the blog, all the output channels can be controlled via the Global Encoders as well as the faders. These 8 knobs in the top right-hand section of the console provide access to Aux and Group masters, Matrix masters, VCAs, Monitors and Mains.

Aux and Variable Group masters can be accessed via the Global Encoders freeing up the faders to control input channels and sends to the busses.

To target the Aux masters, just press the encoder displaying “Aux/Group”. This will spill Aux masters 1-8 to across these top right-hand 8 encoders. To AFL an output, double press the SELECT switch next to the encoder. To bank the encoders to Aux 9-16 and Variable Group masters, press the Page Right button.

Being able to control the Aux masters using the encoders enables the 16-fader S3 Control Surface to behave like a 24-fader console, freeing up the faders to navigate around the input channels. This is really powerful when the S3 Control Surface is in Flip to Faders mode, allowing you to navigate through your mixes and keep the aux master (and 7 other aux masters) up on the surface at all times. If at some point during the show you need quick access to any of the 24 mix outputs, you can press Fader Bank E to get all 16 Aux masters on the faders and bring up the 8 Variable Groups on the Global encoders.

Now stay with me, lets go deep.

Avid S3L provides a number of functions to dramatically speed up your monitor mixing workflows. They are as follows:

  1. Aux Follows AFL
  2. AFL Follows Aux
  3. Bottom Row Flip to Faders

 

Aux Follows AFL:

To select this option, navigate to OPTIONS > Busses page in the VENUE software. When Aux Follows AFL is active, every time you AFL an aux bus, the sends to that aux bus are automatically targeted to the Channel Encoders. So, if you AFL Aux 3, Aux Sends 3 will appear on your bottom row of knobs. This workflow is particularly powerful when you have the aux masters up on your Global Encoders.

Here’s why this is cool…

Target Aux 1-8 onto the Global Encoders. Now double press a SEL switch to AFL an Aux master. The Aux master will solo to your headphones and immediately you have the sends to that same Aux bus on your encoders, or when in Flip to Faders mode, to the faders themselves. Now, Global Encoders will retain this AFL state, allowing you to AFL any Aux master by pressing the SEL switch for the next bus just once, meaning you can navigate through all your mixes very fast, soloing each one in turn and having the console follow your every move.

Now you’re looking hot.

'AFL Follows Aux' and 'Aux Follows AFL' modes are selected in the OPTIONS > Busses page of the VENUE software.

AFL Follows Aux:

What can I say, it’s like it says on the tin. It’s the opposite of Aux Follows AFL. Easy right? When this option is engaged, choosing an Aux Send to target to the Channel Encoders will instantly AFL the associated Aux bus. So, if you are paging between the Aux sends on the bottom row of knobs using the Page Left and Right buttons, S3L will solo the master for the Aux sends you have selected.

To use Aux Follows AFL, navigate to OPTIONS > Busses and select the Aux Follows AFL option.

 

Bottom Row Flip to Faders:

Bottom Row Flip to Faders adds that little bit of extra spice and efficiency to the Aux Follows AFL workflow. Bottom Row Flip to Faders is activated via an Event. It is an event action that engages Flip to Faders. This means we can use operations on the console other than actually pressing the Flip to Faders button to engage Flip to Faders mode.

Still with me? You already know what I am going to say right? What function should we use to engage Flip to Faders? How about Aux or Variable Group AFL? Now we are talking.

Navigate to OPTIONS > Events. Create a new event with “Solo Any Output” as the trigger and “Bottom Row Flip to Faders” as the action. Every time you AFL an output channel the console will engage Flip to Faders.

Engaging Flip to Faders mode whenever an output channel is soloed is achieved in the OPTIONS > Events page of the VENUE software.

Using the 3 advanced functions outlined above unlocks a fantastically efficient workflow of accessing, navigating, and creating your monitor mixes.

Let’s put this all together—here’s another example for you:

You are doing a show. The lead singer signals to you, she needs more lead singer in her wedge.  She’s on Aux 3. As always you are prepared. You already have your Aux masters on the encoders. You double-tap SELECT and AFL Aux 3. Automatically the sends to Aux 3 are targeted to the Channel Encoders and thrown down onto faders—the console following your every move. You turn up the send on the vocal channel. You page left and right between your other mixes if you need to, or just AFL the next Aux master and again, the console follows you. You have super-quick access to all your mixes without the need for the arms of an octopus; you’re playing that console like it’s a piano. Forget the aux master, you are the master.

Now you are looking very hot.

Avid S3L is immensely powerful, provides a versatile distributed system of networked I/O and is the perfect size for sitting by the side of stage. The S3 Control Surface is heavily optimized for monitor mixing workflows and purposefully designed to empower the live monitor engineer to effortlessly navigate through extensive parameters and mixes like a true virtuoso.

But don’t take my word for it, try it out for yourself. Avid S3L is now shipping and available worldwide. Call your Avid dealer and organize a demo, and as always, let us know what you think.

In the upcoming blog, we will take a look at advanced workflows of the Media, Snapshots and Events systems, Pro Tools interoperability and how Avid S3L is optimized to be the central point of control of your complete live sound production system.