What’s New in VENUE 5.2 Software for S6L

By in Live Sound, Music Creation

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







Expansion Card







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.

As Director of Product Management for Live Systems and Consoles at Avid, I am one of the luckiest guys I know. Every day I wake up, go to work and design live sound consoles for the most talented, creative and driven people in the world.