Music: McDSP Plug-ins Now Go from Studio to Stage with Qualified Support for Avid S3L Systems

By in Live Sound, Music Creation

Take the power of McDSP plug-ins from the studio to the stage, and back again, with the release of Avid S3L System support for all McDSP HD v5 plug-ins.  McDSP has qualified all its AAX DSP plug-ins to operate on the S3L systems, and even added a few improvements to better support the S3 control surface.  McDSP plug-ins like the new AE400 Active Equalizer, and bundles like Live Pack and even Everything Pack, now include support for this new modular, networked live sound system from Avid.  The Avid S3L modular live sound system takes full advantage of the AAX DSP plug-ins originally found only in Pro Tools, so users can go from the studio to the stage and back again.

S3L compatible installers are available for download now.

McDSP support for Avid S3L systems is available as a free update to v5 customers. Customers not already owning v5 McDSP plug-ins can purchase upgrades from the McDSP online store. But just what are the cool features that make McDSP plug-ins ideal for live sound production?

Use the same McDSP plug-ins you had in the studio. Same presets. Same DSP footprint. Same ultra low latency. Same sound. Your audience will thank you.

McDSP Everywhere

Ok we’re not Avid, but we’d like to be everywhere – because if you’re not everywhere, you’re nowhere, which isn’t even somewhere, so don’t go there. But really, when you’re going on tour, you don’t want to re-do your carefully crafted studio sound! So if you’re a McDSP user, and like what you’re hearing from your Pro Tools session, then going on tour with an S3L system is a good plan.

McDSP AAX DSP plug-ins are custom made for the HDX DSP cards, take full advantage of the processing power therein, and have earned a reputation for reliability and quality. The Avid S3L System is built around the HDX DSP platform, and McDSP plug-ins operate as well on the S3L System as they do in Pro Tools.  You’ll be able to use the same McDSP plug-ins you had in the studio, and they’ll operate the same way on the road. Same presets. Same DSP footprint. Same ultra low latency. Same sound.  Your fans will thank you, who by the way, are everywhere.


Latency Stinks

Minimizing the amount of the time it takes to get signal from the performer to the crowd is critical, so the ultra low latency in McDSP plug-ins is appreciated by many a FOH and monitoring engineer. Most McDSP AAX DSP plug-ins have only 16 samples of latency. Take the ultra low latency in McDSP plug-ins out on the road and the difference is, literally, right in front of your, uh, ears!


Customized for the S3 Console

Control surfaces are only as useful as long as the software maps to them in an intelligent manner. McDSP AAX DSP plug-ins have customized page tables for the S3 console for the EQ and Dynamics Channel Control sections, and the Global Control Insert Mode section. Be sure to check out the convenient mapping of the encoder switches with rotating knobs on the S3 console when using McDSP plug-ins – just press the knob once to engage second control assigned to it.


Features for Live Sound

But what makes the McDSP AAX DSP plug-ins useful for live sound production? Read on.

Channel G Compact – Custom Fit for the S3 console

Channel G Compact may be a ‘lite’ version of the original Channel G plug-in, but is a sonic heavyweight all the way. The four bands of EQ, high and low pass filters, and compressor/limiter have all the sound qualities that made Channel G a TEC Award nominee. Cool features like a pre/post selector for the compressor/limiter to route it before (or after) the EQ section. Best of all, the user interface of Channel G Compact maps nicely to the EQ and Compression center sections of the S3 console.

MC2000 – Got multi-band?

Most instruments (and singers) have a wide frequency and dynamic range. Some of these sources can be tamed with a single-band compressor. But for those challenging tracks, a multi-band compressor is very useful. The MC2000 multi-band compressor comes in two, three, and four band configurations (mono and stereo) for greater flexibility. The compressor design is from the industry acclaimed McDSP CompressorBank plug-in, and all the modeling capability available from the original is also in the MC2000.

AE400 – Active Equalization

Is that singer still giving you trouble? Then it’s time for the AE400 active equalizer. Four fully overlapping bands of EQ, each with fixed and dynamic gain, provide multiple EQ curves for different signal levels. When the singing is soft and subtle – you’ve got a setting for that. When the singing is loud and harsh – you’ve got a setting for that. And the AE400 switches between the two settings at user selectable threshold levels, in real time, with customizable smoothing between the two EQ curves.

ML4000 – Output level control and more

Look-ahead limiters may not always find themselves in the monitor mix, but the ability to control all signal peaks and guarantee an output ceiling is perfect for the FOH engineer. Unwanted digital clipping can ruin a live mix, and the error will live on long after the show if the performance is to be repurposed for a CD/DVD/iTunes release. The ML4000 is two plug-ins – the ML1 limiter, and the ML4 multi-band dynamics processor and limiter. In both plug-ins, the total latency is just over 1 msec (due to limiter look-ahead). A unique Knee control in the limiter allows aggressive or gentle dynamic range control. The ML4’s control over four selectable frequency bands with the multi-band gate, expander (up or downwards), and compressor is perfect for the final tweak to the mix.

FutzBox – What the Futz?

Not all audio applications have the need for high fidelity. Sometimes the sound of a phone, message machine, bullhorn, or old smelly tube radio works nicely in a production. The FutzBox plug-in, originally released for the post-production market, has found uses in the music and now live sound industries. FutzBox’s SIM (Simulated Impulse Model) section provides articulated emulations of devices like two-way radios, cell phones, and vacuum cleaner tubes in a ultra low latency algorithm. And unlike standard convolution reverbs, the SIM presets can be changed and ‘tuned’ in real time. The additional EQ, filtering, distortion, signal rectification, noise generator, gate, and lo-fi effects make FutzBox ideal for the non-ideal sounds.

DE555 and NF575 – Good Tools for Bad Problems

The DE555 de-esser uses a threshold-less technology so you only get as much de-essing as you select, and do not have to ride some threshold control during each performance. De-essing modes support either reduction of all frequencies or high frequency only suppression.

Cable buzz ever hindered your gig? If so, the NF575 noise filter’s five super steep notch filters and high and low pass filters will take care of the problem. Each notch has a selectable amount of cut (up to 40 dB), and is so narrow they become nearly inaudible even when swept through the frequency range.

Live Sound Low Down

Since 1998 McDSP has made some of the most widely used plug-ins on the planet. Our clients will tell you McDSP plug-ins sound pretty darn amazing. We agree with such opinions in the most biased way possible.

But don’t take our word for it – check out a demo. If fourteen (14) days of sonic bliss isn’t enough to make you buy our company outright, you’ll hopefully be able to calm yourself down and just pick up the McDSP Live Pack bundle.

The next time you are about to take it on the road, be sure to check out McDSP plug-ins for your Avid S3L live sound system.

Colin McDowell founded McDSP in 1998 and is currently based in Mountain View, CA. McDSP is one of the 'oldest' plug-in manufacturers in the pro audio industry, designed to meet the demand for better quality audio processing on the Pro Tools platform.