Avid Venue S6L Digital Console Tour with Robert Scovill

Avid Console

Avid Venue S6L Digital Console Tour with Robert Scovill

Noted front of house engineer (and Avid consultant) Robert Scovill takes editor George Petersen on a detailed tour of the VENUE | S6L large-format sound reinforcement mixing system in this exclusive FOH-TV video.

Designed for professional live sound, the new digital audio console was unveiled during NAB 2015 and Musikmesse ProLight+Sound and incorporates onboard Pro Tools, powerful signal processing plug-ins, high channel count and fast, flexible workflows.

Video text:

0:00:12.3 –>
Hi Robert Scovill here I’m the senior market specialist for live sound products for avid gonna give you a quick tour of the s 6l okay are you ready let’s go first place we’ll stop is the control service this is a 24 channel version of the control surface we’re going to have a 24 fader version a 32 Vader version with and without touch screens on the 24 fader version move down here we’re going to have two engine choices an e6 l 144 and 192 that speaks directly to processing input processing channels on the engine itself if we mover here we’re on our stage rack now this is an i/o rack all newly designed preamps and converters will have additional i/o cards etc for it we have built in Madi split we are going to have input sharing and gain tracking models

0:01:02. –>
allowing you to put multiple s excels online and then on top of that have a medic Madi split out the entire thing works on a VB backbone a VB cat5 or optical background backbone if we move over here you’ll see that we have the venue software kind of rebuilt and remodeled refresh for sixteen by nine layout but it’s also optimized for touch so we can do any kind of touch manipulation if we want just on a simple touch screen here I also want to mention just the capacity on the engines on the two engine choices the 144 or the 192 suffix kind of relates to the input processing channel accounts that are available so on the 192 you would have 192 fully processed input channels 96 aux mixes are mixed buses I guess we should call them so plus LCR lrm and two stereo solo buses available for a and B solo buses 24 matrixes 24 by 24 matrixes

0:02:00.2 –>
either 24 or 32 VCA capability depending on your frame size 200a ex DSP plug-in slots and then an additional 32 graphic equalizers on top of seven band parametric high-pass and low-pass on every output on the console all of those numbers are in play at all times we don’t really kind of play the numbers game of subtraction and addition depending on your console configuration all of those numbers are available at all times either at 48 K or 96 K so very very powerful engine our engine design is now in our toss real-time operating system we have new Intel cores that are doing all of the mixing capabilities now we’ve separated the plugins out into HDX cores so we have just incredible amounts of processing Headroom the mix engine itself is working in 32-bit floating-point now so really really high quality really high capacity our goal is to take the whole concept of will I ever have enough off the table you are always

0:03:00.7 –>
going to have enough with this console so we wanted to be able to do that in terms of Pro Tools options it’s going to come standard with Ethernet avb connectivity – Pro Tools so that’ll support 64 tracks of recording but if you want to get up to higher track counts to have your track count match your input count in order to be able to do virtual soundcheck you would use Thunderbolt expansion options in the engine to be able to get up to those 144 or 192 track counts for recording okay with regard to the stage rack we will have we’ve announced others types of options for the stage rack we are we’ve talked about a 16 channel Dante card for the rack we will also have a high-capacity Dante card 64 channel Dante card for the engine we we will be incorporating our input sharing and gain tracking model on the console meaning we can have multiple consoles online all sharing one stage rack plus an additional Madi split of those preamp levels out to other recorders or other concepts needed as you can see down here

0:04:01.6 –>
we have a stage 16 i/o online that’s all part of our AV B network that’s the i/o that is currently available for s3 l but we could incorporate it here for local i/o outside of the shared loop if we need to do it as a move back up to the console here you see the large monitor I think I talked about that already one of the nice things we can do with this new format of console and software is we can kind of partition the workflow a little bit we can do the majority of administrative tasks like managing snapshots Manning managing show files managing plugins all of the options areas we can keep this over on this to the console and concentrate fully on mixing function within the console that will allow even an a2 to sit over here and do some work if you needed to do it within options without disrupting the mixing workflow so we’ve you know tried very hard here to retain the Venu workflow styles that we’ve established so many years ago with all the Venu products a big part of that is obviously

0:05:00.7 –>
keeping Venu software online we have complete portability between previous Venu systems and the S Excel meaning we can create show files on the previous systems and load it on s 6l we can also create show files on its S Excel and use them on the previous systems so that workflow is the portability workflow is totally retained with regard to the rest of the surface and the operation we try to stick to a very strict mandate of nothing is more than two clicks away ever ever if it is it has to be something that is not in the mix workflow in the working workflow has to be something that you would really really want to get to in more clicks so with all that in mind I’m gonna direct your attention up to the surface now when you boot up the surface for the first time it actually comes up in a venue like mode meaning the middle 8 faders on the console are directed to output control and it’s surrounded by input faders same thing would apply on the 32 fader module where 8 8 faders are dedicated to outputs and the other 24

0:06:01.8 –>
would be dedicated to inputs and then we simply have a whole host of soft banking options up here in the TFT screen so much like we have on venue today where we have at a B C and D bank here it’s soft driven where we can have as really as many banks as we want to have it’s gonna allow us to expand and grow the console possibly in the future without a hardware limitation on getting around the console so here we have input banking on this side of the console and output banking over here so very similar to what we’ve had in the past on venue now once we get to the input strips that’s where things start to change just a little bit but still many workflows are retained we have a high high resolution fader here and alongside it a high resolution meter that goes the entire scale of the fader it’s a stereo or mono meter within the confines of that meter we also have dynamics display as well as gate activity display and a unity fader

0:07:02.7 –>
position led as well so if we get the fader to unity we’ll get an indication of that in these LEDs here as we move up the channel strip we can start to see that we have common controls to the venue workflow we have a select button a solo button and a mute button in the same orientation that we’ve had it on venue in the past same color schemes etc and if we select a channel here now we are bringing attention to the ckm the the knob module here the 32 channel knob module and this basically works like a localized ACS so if I select a channel I now have what we commonly refer to as channel control here so select a channel press EQ and now I have the equalizer for the selected channel available if I go plugins I would have for plug-in choices and I can put any plugins controls on those 32 knobs I can get to oxes very quickly 1 through 32 34 33 through 64 65 through 96 if the

0:08:01.5 –>
engine allows for it I also have a complete channel strip here if I want to build an entire channel strip here of combination of input controls EQ and dynamics that can all exist on this 32 knob module as well as making one user definable I can have a channel version that is user-defined of any 32 controls on the console available for a selected channel now the fun doesn’t stop there of course when we select a channel we also get some indication of it up here on the touchscreens we can see that we have equalizer chosen we can make our changes we can put the equalizer in and out etc and the beautiful part of it is that we can we can manipulate this select either at the fader level or we can do it at the screen level so as I go across now I’m selecting other channel equalizers and it’s all staying on the ckm control this control here I can also go down to dynamics notice my ckm changes to dynamics gate and compressor

0:09:00.6 –>
and again I can scroll through channels to find that we also have indication for auxes down here we have some real-time indication I don’t know if your camera’s going to pick this up on here but as I turn it on and turn it up if I’ve given an ox a particular color that color shows up there and what it creates is kind of a gradient view across the console to let you know how much aux activity you have on per channel basis if we want to see a zoomed in version of the channel we simply touch on the meter we’ll have a zoomed in version here where we can get to more detailed information on that given input but once again we can just select away and stay in that view if we want to do it okay so that’s really the fundamentally fundamental workflow for an input side the cool thing about it on s 6l is that we have the ability to have local selection in other places so if I select a channel here I can be working on that equalizer here if I move over to another section of 8 faders I can select a fader here and be working on something

0:10:01.2 –>
completely different over here so it allows for individualized sections of the consoles to out console to operate on its own alright so I think I’m going to take us back to the center portion of the console here this is an area we call the MLM or the master live module here you see as I mentioned earlier we have our banking here but we also have some other ways to navigate faders and banks here that is very important and it’s we’ve kind of adopted this from the s6 workflow we’ve already incorporated it on s3l and that is the idea of a user-defined layer here and I think it’s probably the easiest way to think of that is obviously we have this the stack of inputs and outputs in banking but we also have the ability to cherry-pick from all of those banks and create one custom layer on the top that is as wide as the console so I could have 24 faders on the top layer that is any combination of inputs outputs groups auxes VCAs anything that I want it to be here and most importantly it’s library Abul

0:11:01.8 –>
meaning I can take just my layouts with me to another console or it’s snapshot able or and it’s snapshot able meaning on a personal basis I could have the faders that I need to get to in that song or in that event on the top of the console at all times now if I need to dig down its just as simple as going back to banking to Tran to get down into the channels I need and then come right back to the top layout and I’m back to mixing the event so very very fast workflow there on the right hand side we have custom TFT over here this is where we’re going to do a lot of our events and our mute groups this is all user definable we’ll have an editor that allows people to reorganize it and real able it it’ll all be dynamic color wise same for the input banks as well that’s all going to be dynamic with color on the master the live module we have loops so we have two output faders these can be assigned to any output on the console so any auxilary any group any master left right any matrix can

0:12:00.8 –>
show up here in addition to be able to make them a monitor a or a monitor B bus we can we have two solo buses available on the console now so for monitor guys that are want to direct certain solos to ear mixes and listen to them in their ears they might want to direct other wedge mixes to a separate output to come to a wedge where they’re standing very easily done here with the two faders we also have the ability to make this what we call our Flex channel meaning it follows our channel focus so as we focus a channel it comes up there as well so any one of those is available to that output section there if you move on down to this part of the MLM you see some things that you may not have never seen on a live sound console before none the least of which is a transport control so we’re going to have transport control available right here on the surface it’s going to be able to be directed to multiple recorders you could even direct it to your media page which is USB playback and record you could also direct it to your Pro Tools systems and get them started and on their way without having to dig into the software or go to the actual machine to do it

0:13:00 –>
once you do that you can actually lock out the transport and turn this into function switches if you needed them for the show kind of protecting yourself from accidentally taking them out of record okay if we look around other areas on the console some more normalized things there we see full snapshot navigatable area of the console here we can store recall put the console in preview mode on the down here closer to the user itself we have the previous and the next button we’ve intentionally separated those two areas to try to save some you’ll always be navigating snapshots here in terms of next previous here but if you wanted to do more navigate navigate through the list you could do it here or of course go back to the screen and get full comprehensive input to your snapshots we also have some navigation options here we have an all eight and left/right nudge this is very similar to what we’ve had in s6 in the past where if I go all and left right it will take the console and shift it left or right we can do that in sections of

0:14:00.5 –>
eight we can also do that in single channel sections as well and then finally I want to bring you up to the universe view this is our centralized view this is something we’ve adopted straight from s6 this is going to be really kind of the money work flow to get around very very quickly in very high channel counts and very high output counts we can see in an if we’re on inputs here we can see through scroll see every input that is available to the console we can see every auxilary that’s available to the console groups matrix is right on down the line and not only can we see it but we can actually operate from here there as you can see on the screen the meters are active we get mute statuses solo statuses etc we have color indication that is user-defined and if we go into mute mode let’s say and we see our mutes we can take them on off mute from here we can solo from here if we want all kinds of possibilities there and really one of the more important things that we can do

0:15:00.1 –>
in this universe is filter and sort it very effectively right now it’s in a numerical sort we can also sort by alphabet we can sort by color we’ll be able to even create a list of favorites there so if you’re a monitor engineer or a friend house guy let’s take monitor engineers probably the best example where you would say okay there are three mixes that I need to get my hands on at the drop of a hat or else I’m gonna lose my job well I would just make those three mixes favorites and as soon as I press the star only those three mixes would be available there for me to solo or get to and edit one of the workflows that’s going to work really really great for monitor guys I think is if they’re in oxes maybe we’re looking right now we’re looking at 40 auxes and we we always have the ability to tie a flip a fader flip to a spill or to a solo excuse me so if I’m in solo here and I solo this mix it automatically flips it down to the faders where I know the mix I’m listening on is the the mix I’m mixing on and the same thing goes if I solo another one it just reflux that to the faders so

0:16:00.9 –>
they’ll just be navigating all night here just listening to different mixes etc an alternative to that workflow for monitor engineers that makes more use of output faders would be a user-defined layer like I described earlier where we actually take these 24 faders maybe and make them 24 of my most important ear mixes and they live on the top layer once I do that then on screen I’m actually looking at all output controls across here I have all my output meters I have output seven band EQ x’ with high pass low pass I have limiters all of the functionality for that output is sitting here in one horizontal view and then once I solo an output it’s going to automatically flip those inputs down to these faders and I can mix on that input clear the solo and it goes right back to my output controls here so I don’t think you could probably navigate you know stereo mixes of that kind of quantity at that kind of speed on really on any other console it’s gonna be a fantastic workflow alright so

0:17:00.4 –>
those are just really the basic and fundamental workflows on the console that it’s really the 10,000 foot fly by I’m sure I’ll be talking about a lot more in depth workflows with you guys over time but this will get you started and get some idea of what SXL is going to be alright thanks for coming along

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