We’ve added an Avid S6 controller to Volt Per Octave.
Sometimes derided as the ‘just a big mouse’ I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with studio controllers. I’ve previously had a Mackie Control, SSL Nucleus 2, Euphonix MC Transport and an Avid Dock and they have been great for transport control but the integration with different workstation software has always been hit and miss. The S6 is different. Very different. Yes, it is an order of magnitude more expensive than any of these devices but the way in which it integrates with Pro Tools is absolutely next level, knock it out of the park amazing.
Installing the console required a significant amount of reorganisation in the studio, gone is my Buso Producer XL desk, sold to a chap from Manchester. Rather than pay the, frankly, crazy, prices that Avid wanted for their leg set I’ve bought a Flexispot E7Q Odin sit/stand desk and has a custom table-top made by CNC Creations.
The build process for the S6 is relatively straight forward, although a couple of things need to be mentioned.
Firstly, I think it would be helpful to have video instructions for some of the trickier parts, especially putting on the rear covers. I was certain I was doing it wrong and was going to break some quite expensive plastic parts, but eventually realised that it is just really tight to get them in.
Also, Avid’s supplied networking cables (the controller components are connected via ethernet cable) are a) too long and b) not very well made. I’ve replaced all of their cables with my own, allowing for custom lengths to be used. I get that Avid are making them for a wide variety of installations so I can’t blame them for the lengths but the plug boots they are are just a nightmare to work with. You are trying to wrestle a cable into a socket and the boot slips off. Terrible design.
Otherwise, I am extremely happy.
The console is currently configured with 16 faders, one process and knob module as well as the latest M40 Master module and Automation module. Part of the reason for deciding on the S6 over the S4 was simply down to the bucketed design of the S6 allows us to expand the controller over time. I’ve had the S6 for a couple of weeks now and already decided to expand from a 4ft frame to a 5ft, adding 2 more knob modules and one process module.
This is also why I’ve gone with a Flexispot sit-stand desk as it can be widened to fit the console, so rather than having to buy entirely new furniture each time the console expands, I can simply buy a new table-top.
I have a number of ideas for S6 content that I hope to get to soon.