We are excited to announce the release of the VENUE 6.2 software update and the long-awaited S6L-48D control surface. Continuing the expansion of the S6L Unified Live Sound Platform, VENUE 6.2 offers numerous enhancements and new workflows, including support of the new S6L-48D surface—a behemoth of a console sporting 48+2 faders and over 160 knobs— that offers engineers the most dedicated controls and visual feedback of any digital live sound console. But why stop there? While the S6L-48D control surface is 100% interoperable and compatible with the rest of the S6L platform, there are several big features in the VENUE 6.2 release for optimizing the use of the larger surfaces, and a few new features that make transferring files back and forth between different S6L systems smoother. In addition to some of those workflow advances, we also added significant diagnostics tools and have preinstalled the newest version of all Avid plugins and ECx to simplify the restore procedure.
New features and workflows in VENUE 6.2 include:
- Support for the new S6L-48D Control Surface: the new surface is completely compatible with any configuration of processing engine and I/O.
- Dual-Operator Mode: two operators to separately navigate and run any S6L-48D, -32D, or -24D system.
- MLM Channel Selections on the Left: users can choose to have channel selections under the MLM appear on the CKM to the left OR right side of the MLM.
- Assignable Encoder: touch a parameter on the external GUI and it immediately appears on the Control Surface.
- Quick Access to Plugin View: double press the Plugin button on a CKM to immediately navigate to the selected channel’s plugin zoom view.
- Quick Access to CKM Vertical Modes: press any of the Channel Control buttons on a CKM to immediately navigate to the vertical channel strip type of your choice.
- 48 Layouts and Layout Members: with more complex shows, S6L allows even more customizability with 48 layouts per show file. Not only does VENUE | S6L now allow you to store 48 channels into each layout, but users can also load 48 member layouts on all console types, making show portability much simpler.
- 48 VCAs and Mute Groups: all S6L systems now have the ability to store and use 48 VCAs and Mute Groups.
- New Event Triggers and Actions: as users have gotten more comfortable with Events programming, engineers have asked for more and more control. With VENUE 6.2, almost every editable parameter within the system is available as an Action that can be triggered from almost anything in the system.
- Network Test Mode and Enhanced Diagnostics: enter a zero-tolerance diagnostic mode with network alerts for any data error within the network.
- Pre-installed Plugins and ECx: restores take far fewer steps by including all Avid plugins and ECx software as part of the restore itself.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these key features in VENUE 6.2:
Support for the new Avid VENUE | S6L-48D Control Surface
Featuring 48+2 faders, and over 160 encoders, the S6L-48D control surface is the most hands-on digital live sound console in the industry. For live sound productions where quick access is paramount and sounds may be coming from any of thousands of sources, the 48D offers unmatched visual feedback and control. Broadcasters and theater programmers in particular will appreciate the sheer scope of channels that they can view and tweak. And because S6L-48D is part of the S6L Unified Platform, the control surface flawlessly translates any S6L show file to accommodate its larger frame size, and can be paired with any E6L engine, and any combination of Stage Racks.
VENUE 6.2 offers a tremendously powerful workflow by enabling two operators to work independently on an S6L system without interfering with one another. On any S6L-48D, S6L-32D, and S6L-24D control surface users can designate up to two fader zones for dual-operator mixing. This new software allows a user to split the console into a Left Zone and a Right Zone. When in Dual-Operator Mode, the Left Zone user can run the console as normal, while the Right Zone user can use the right side of the MLM to navigate the console or create events to customize your experience, and design the setup for their personal workflow. Ultimately this provides each operator with access and control of their desired channels without affecting banking in the other operator zone, including Sends on Faders, Spill, and independent Bank Safes in each Zone.
A few details to clarify how this works:
- The Left zone is the “master” zone, which automatically includes the MLM and all fader banks below and to the left of the MLM, as well as the external screen. The Right zone is the “secondary” zone.
- You can choose to include additional fader banks in the Left zone up to the maximum as determined by the number of fader strips available on the control surface. The Right zone must always have at least one fader bank.
- Banking, nudging, Sends on Faders mode, spill, and channel Bank Safe are available independently in both zones.
- Banking, navigation, and modes for the Left zone can be controlled using the MLM switches and left bank of Soft Keys, or Events. Only the Left zone can create or edit User Layouts (both zones can recall User Layouts).
- Banking, navigation, and modes for the Right zone can be controlled using Events, or from the right bank of Dual-Operator Soft Keys on the MLM.
- The Events Triggers and Actions menus now provide Left Zone and Right Zone sub-menus for zone-specific triggers and actions.
MLM Channel Selections on the Left
This new option gives users more flexibility, allowing them to make S6L “D-Series” control surfaces (48D, 32D, 24D) behave more like “C” surfaces (24C, 16C) if they wish. With “C” surfaces only allowing a single channel selection and only offering one CKM in each surface, any selected channel shows up on the CKM on the left side of the console. “D” surfaces allow users to select channels within each bank, but selections under the MLM by default appear on the right side CKM. With this new option, users can choose to have channel selections under the MLM appear on the CKM to the left OR right side of the MLM.
In previous versions of VENUE software, the Assignable Encoder on the MLM has only been used for Oscillator and Talkback level. With VENUE 6.2 a user can now touch or click on any parameter on the VENUE Inputs or Outputs page to immediately assign that parameter to the MLM Assignable Encoder. Any parameter that is currently on the Assignable Encoder, is displayed on the external GUI will be highlighted in yellow. This allows users to quickly grab parameters such as an FX send on a vocal and keep it on that encoder whilst still navigating the console as usual.
Quick Access to Plugin View
Directly by user request, VENUE 6.2 allows users to quickly pull up the Zoom View for plugins on a selected channel. To quickly access plugin GUIs on the external screen you can double-press the Plugin switch on any CKM to go directly to the plugin Zoom View for the first plugin inserted on the currently selected strip. This means no more scrolling through racks, nor even having to reach for the screen—just quickly double tap Plugin above your selected channel and you’ll immediately view the GUI of the plugins inserted on that channel.
Quick Access to CKM Vertical Modes
In previous versions of VENUE software, the Channel Control Mode switches were only available when a resident strip was selected. When no strip was selected, the CKM operated in Channel Strip Mode and could be navigated to other parameters using the lit > or < switches along the bottom of the CKM. Rather than having to scroll through parameters to find the one you’re looking for, you can now just jump straight to your desired parameter. Beginning in VENUE 6.2, the Channel Control Mode switches (except Plugins) are always available and active, even when no strip is selected, letting you quickly access different types of parameters on all eight strips associated with the CKM. For example, with no resident fader strip selected, pressing Input banks the first four Input parameters to the knobs in each strip. Pressing EQ banks the first four EQ parameters, and so on, allowing for unprecedented control and access that can only be rivaled by analog consoles.
48 Layouts and Layout Members
Avid VENUE | S6L already offers the most intuitive layout system of any console system, but with VENUE 6.2, the system now offers both more flexibility and better portability. In previous software versions, layouts would hide channels when moving from a larger control surface to a smaller control surface. This is no longer an issue with VENUE 6.2. Not only does every system now have 48 user-defined layouts, but each layout has 48 faders in it. This means that when you load a 48D show file onto a 16C console, the whole layout is loaded, and you can navigate around within the 48 fader layout using the Nudge keys. So if you’re usually on a larger surface, but have to do a one-off on a more compact system, you can load your file as usual, and still have access to your customizations. Additionally, when a user navigates within a layout, any layout that is recalled is loaded while maintaining the nudge value, as if you’ve physically moved yourself in front of a certain bank of faders and are recalling Layouts.
As with all S6L software feature, this is forwards and backwards compatible to all other versions of S6L software, meaning the following:
- When you load a Show file created in previous versions of VENUE software for S6L (5.0–6.1.x) on a system running 6.2 or later, the stored Layouts are loaded and any unused strips are blank.
- When you load a Show file created in VENUE 6.2 or later onto an S6L system running 6.1.x or lower, any Layout members beyond 24 and only the first 24 Layouts are available and are not retained in that Show file.
48 VCAs and Mute Groups
In keeping with the theme of the 48s, all S6L systems now have access to 48 VCAs and 48 Mute Groups. Not only does this increase the level of control, but it also improves the show portability between the various S6L systems by keeping these numbers the same on all systems.
New Event Triggers and Actions
When it comes to customization, there is no live sound console on the market that can match S6L’s Events system. With VENUE 6.2 the customization possibilities expand exponentially, enabling triggering from far more system interactions, and allowing events to change almost every editable parameter on the console, from Peak/RMS meter ballistics, to Virtual Soundcheck Mode. Users will have customization options that allow snapshots to dim the console lights, a single press to enter Virtual Soundcheck Mode, one trigger to update all snapshots, or automatically unmute channels as they’re assigned to a VCA. You can even set up events to make rehearsal easier by automatically storing a snapshot before moving to the next one, or specifically storing to the parent of the currently selected snapshot. In addition to the epic list of additions to Triggers and Actions, the list itself has been reorganized to allow users to create all of these events without having to scroll.
Network Test Mode and Enhanced Diagnostics
In order to allow for easier system prep and offer better system testing, VENUE 6.2 adds a Network Test Mode. Test Mode can be used as a diagnostic tool for system analysis, when enabled the network is set to zero-tolerance. This means a single packet of data loss will throw a dialogue on the console. Although the system can seamlessly handle a reasonably large amount of data loss over the network, testing the system with zero tolerance will allow users to confidently build their rig knowing that all aspects of the system are working perfectly.
6.2 also includes enhanced system logging, capturing internal details within all AVB cards in the system, as well as interaction details between all aspects of the network, enabling users to better pinpoint of any failures within a network. Additionally, a simplified method for Exporting Logs and dropping markers in logs has been added. Simply navigate to Options > System and click the Logging button to Export or Drop a Marker.
Pre-installed Plugins and ECx
To simplify the restore process, all Avid Plugins have been pre-installed within the VENUE Restore. Avid Plugins will still be available in each user account, just in case you need the installers, but a freshly restored console will no longer need that extra download, extra install, and pressing “Agree” on a hundred license agreements. In addition to the pre-installed plugins, VENUE 6.2 also pre-installs ECx, enabling remote control of the system without having to separately install any extra components.
While S6L-48D is the biggest splash, the feature set that is included in VENUE 6.2 significantly expands the functionality and customizability of all S6L control surfaces and introduces a ton of new features. As the family of consoles grows, keeping portability from system to system as seamless as possible is paramount, and no system delivers that better than S6L. VENUE 6.2 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.
Thanks for all the invaluable input that helps us deliver the workflows and functionality that you need. Keep the fun in mixing, and enjoy the ease, speed and customizability of VENUE 6.2!