The newly released Avid S4 brings the power and workflows of Avid’s Pro Tools | S6 control surface to small to mid-size music and audio post facilities in an ergonomic, more compact package that comes pre-built and configured in one of 3 standard frames with up to 24 faders, with the option to have some additional modules from the S6 range including the Joystick, Post and 32 knob modules. The S4 provides an integrated experience with any EUCON-enabled DAW, from Pro Tools, Nuendo and Pyramix to Logic Pro, Cubase, and other audio software. At IBC 2019, last weekend, Avid Evangelist Greg Chin sat down with UK product specialist Simon Sherbourne to show the new S4 close up and personal…
With its compact, semi-modular design, the design of the Avid S4 enables users to configure the surface with up to 24 faders and three additional module options to meet your specific workflow needs, without dominating studio space. For audio post-production workflows you can add dual joysticks, PEC/Direct controls, and additional assignable knob controls to the S4 to handle surround and immersive mixing and re-recording workflows.
Core Modules - Included In All Avid S4 Configurations
Master Touch Module - A tilting 12.1-inch multipoint touchscreen, plus eight adjacent rotary encoders and other dedicated knobs and keys just like the Avid S6 central module. One per frame.
Automation Module - For navigating and automating projects with a full transport control section including a shuttle/jog wheel, a focus fader, automation control, numeric keypad, and other keys and switches. One per frame.
Channel Strip Module - To control track levels, plug-ins, and other parameters with eight channel faders, which we understand are the same faders that Avid use in the S3, 32 top-lit knobs (four per channel), and other keys and switches. Depending on the frame you choose, you can have up to 3 of these modules installed to support a 24-fader configuration.
S4 Frame - Choose from a 3, 4, or 5-foot pre-assembled frame layout for your control surface.
You can add up to four displays and three additional option modules depending on the size of frame you choose.
Display Module - A high-resolution TFT display that can display channel names, meters, routing, groups, and DAW affiliation, as well as scrolling Pro Tools waveforms, master meters, and more.
Joystick Module - Mix surround sound and immersive audio projects, including Dolby Atmos and Ambisonics, using dual touch-sensitive joysticks, with TFT and OLED displays, to position sounds.
Post Module - A module that enables you to switch between listening to recorded tracks/stems and their inputs using two rows of 10 PEC/DIRECT paddles to ensure they sound identical before punching in to record
Attention Knob Module - Offers 32 more top-lit knobs to your surface (or 64 with two modules), providing additional assignable controls and visual feedback for adjusting attention track functions, including plugins, EQ, DYN, and Pan.
What About The Furniture For The Avid S4?
If like Mike you were wondering about the furniture and the keyboard tray in this video, then wonder no more. It is a sneak preview of the new range of S4 furniture from Frozen Fish Design.
How Does The S4 Compare With The Avid S6?
In this video also shot by Avid at IBC 2019, Sreejesh Nair compares the Avid S4 with the Avid S6 and shows that some components are the same and some parts of the S4 are new, including a much more compact knob and fader channel…
Here is a feature comparison table showing the feature differences and similarities between the 2 models of the Avid S6 and the new Avid S4….
|Features||Avid S6 M40||Avid S6 M10||Avid S4|
|Maximum faders||Up to 64 (or up to 192 max with three M40 engines to support three operators)||Up to 24 (single operator only)||Up to 24 (single operator only)|
|Fader quality||Premium TKD faders||Premium TKD faders||Standard ALPS faders|
|Master Modules||One S6 M40 Master Touch Module and one Automation Module||One S6 M10 Master Touch Module and one Automation Module||One S4 Master Touch Module and one Automation Module|
|Control surface expansion||Fully modular; customize a surface with up to 46 total Fader, Knob, Process, Joystick, Post, and Display Modules (or up to 138 modules max with three M40 engines to support three operators)||Fully modular; customize a surface with up to 13 total Fader, Knob, Process, Joystick, and Post Modules||Semi-modular; build a surface with up to three Channel Strip Modules, four Display Modules, and up to three optional modules (Joystick, Post, and/or Attention Knob Modules)|
|Display modules supported?||Yes||No - but M10+ license will make it possible||Yes (up to four)|
|Knobs per channel||Up to nine||Up to five||Four|
|Frame||Modular frame with leg assembly option||Modular frame with leg assembly option||Preassembled fixed-size frame (tabletop only)|
|Simultaneous workstation connections||Up to eight||Up to two||Up to two|
|Function assignments||Assign functions using the dedicated Process Module||Assign functions using the dedicated Process Module||Assign functions in the integrated Channel Strip Module|
Avid S4 Price And Availability
Accordingly to Avid Dealers there are 3 published prices for S4 configurations…
8 fader model, which includes one Channel Strip Module, one Master Touch Module, and one Master Automation Module in a 3 foot frame will be $23,995.00
16 fader model, which includes two Channel Strip Modules, one Master Touch Module, and one Master Automation Module in a 4 foot frame will be $37,995.00
24 fader model, which includes three Channel Strip Modules, one Master Touch Module, and one Master Automation Module in a 5 foot frame will be $52,995.00
The Avid S4 is expected to be available later this year.