Perhaps best described as the ‘mother of all control surfaces’ Avid announce the S6 modular mixing console, which although available in pre-configured options, has almost limitless configurations. In their own words Avid have ‘leveraged the best of the ICON and System 5 product families in a revolutionary new modular design’.
The new Avid S6 is built around 2 core frames, the S6 M40 allowing for up to 41 modules and the smaller S6 M10 allowing for up to 9 modules. The larger S6 M40 is aimed at high-end professionals and facilities that need great scalability and customization with the smaller S6 M10 aimed at smaller- to mid-size facilities, such as producers.
Having read through the concept and specs in detail and seeing the almost limitless potential of the modular design, this is kind of ‘build-a-bear’ for the audio professional, although granted it may not be as cute and somewhat more costly, the S6 is far more sexy and impressive.
Master modules are the central hubs of your S6 surface. All surfaces must include a main engine, which provides touchscreen access and control; you have a choice between two—S6 M40 or S6 M10. The S6 Automation Module complements both, providing controls for transport, automation, and more. Here’s a closer look at these modules. Both feature a tilting 12.1-inch multipoint touchscreen, eight adjacent rotary encoders, and dedicated knobs and keys for monitoring and global control, enabling you to view, access, and edit different aspects of your mix—such as tracks, processing, and metering—without mousing through menus.
Modules In Detail
S6 Fader Module
- 8 motorized faders
- Dual LED meters per channel (with gain reduction metering)
- Mute, solo, and other switches with color LEDs
- Control levels for 8 simultaneous tracks
S6 Knob Module
- 32 multicolor LED top-lit knobs (4 per channel)
- 32 OLED displays for labels and visual feedback
- 11 function select switches per channel with color LEDs
- Works in conjunction with the Process Module
- Control up to 32 simultaneous encoder values; stack two Knob Modules (S6 M40-based surfaces only) to get up to 9 knobs per channel
S6 Process Module
- 8 multicolor LED top-lit knobs (one per channel)
- 22 function select switches per channel with color LEDs
- 8 OLED displays for labels and visual feedback
- Provides mode selectors for Knob Modules to control up to 9 simultaneous encoder values
S6 Display Module
- 8-channel high-resolution TFT display
- Integrated single board computer
- Available only with S6 M40 configurations
- Provides deep visual feedback, including channel names, audio meters, routing, groups, DAW affiliation, scrolling Pro Tools waveforms, and more
S6 Automation Module—This master module is included in all pre-configured systems, but is an optional add when building your own S6 M40-based surface (though you’d probably want one). It features a full transport control section (including a shuttle/jog wheel), focus fader, automation control, color shortcut displays and switches, a numeric keypad, and more for writing automation and navigating projects.
S6 works with the following EUCON-enabled applications and can also work with them simultaneously, enabling control of DAWs like Pro Tools, Cubase and Logic in a single session.
- Avid Pro Tools HD 11
- Avid Pro Tools HD 9/10
- Avid Media Composer 5.5 and higher
- Avid NewsCutter 9.5 and higher
- Avid Studio Monitor Pro and Express
- Avid XMON
- Adobe Audition
- Apogee Maestro 1.9
- Apple Final Cut Pro 7
- Apple Logic Pro 9 and Express 9 and higher
- Apple SoundTrack Pro 3
- Cakewalk Sonar X1 Producer
- MAGIX Sequoia 11 or higher
- Merging Pyramix 8
- Metric Halo MIO Console
- MOTU Digital Performer 7
- Steinberg Cubase 6.5
- Steinberg Nuendo 5.5
The following pre-configured S6 surfaces are available to handle most music and post workflows. You can customize any S6 by adding a Producer’s Desk, or customize the surface further with different channel module combinations by choosing an M40 configuration.
M40-based S6 configurations
- With 16 faders, 5 knobs per channel, and TFT displays (S6 M40-16-5-D)
- With 24 faders, 5 knobs per channel, and TFT displays (S6 M40-24-5-D)
- With 32 faders, 5 knobs per channel, and TFT displays (S6 M40-32-5-D)
- With 16 faders, 9 knobs per channel, and TFT displays (S6 M40-16-9-D)
- With 24 faders, 9 knobs per channel, and TFT displays (S6 M40-24-9-D)
- With 32 faders, 9 knobs per channel, and TFT displays (S6 M40-32-9-D)
M10-based S6 configurations
- With 8 faders, 5 knobs per channel (S6 M10-8-5)
- With 16 faders, 5 knobs per channel (S6 M10-16-5)
- With 24 faders, 5 knobs per channel (S6 M10-24-5)