Avid Pro Tools | S6 M40 16-5-D Control Surface

Avid Pro Tools | S6 M40 16-5-D Control Surface

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Avid Pro Tools | S6 M40 16-5 Modular Control Surface

Avid redefines mixing with ergonomically designed, user-configurable consoles that can be expanded in both fader count and rotary encoders at any time.

Avid’s groundbreaking S6 M10 and S6 M40 modular control surfaces bring scalability and functionality to a new plateau. Another first from Avid, the S6 is the product of a collaboration that combines the experience and expertise of Avid and Euphonix engineers, equally renowned for the creation of world-class audio systems and industry firsts. But more important than the pedigree of its designers, the features and functionality of Avid’s S6 M10 and S6 M40 are driven by the needs and requests of audio professionals.

From intelligent control via integrated touchscreen, to extensive visual feedback, including meters and waveform display of each channel, The Avid S6 is the world’s first control surface that lets you customize the surface to match your current and growing needs.

RSPE Audio Solutions’ exclusive Avid S6 Configurator lets you design a virtual Avid S6 M10 or Avid S6 M40 recording console/control surface, or select from stock Avid S6 M10 or S6 M40 DAW controllers.

Avid S6 Unique Features:

  • World’s first modular system that can be easily user-configured on-site
  • Highly cost-effective design lets you add modules and functionality as needs or budget determine
  • Comes in two versions: preconfigured mid-size M10; custom-configurable mid-size to large-format M40
  • Ergonomic design provides ability to reach more controls without leaving the sweet spot and feels like a physical extension of Pro Tools
  • Customer-driven features include thoughtful conveniences such as computer keypad and script trays that slide along the entire length of the M40 frame
  • High-resolution OLED displays provide detailed channel information, such as 10-character track names, automation modes, record indicator, and more, with higher contrast in low ambient light conditions than LCD screens

Avid S6 M10 and S6 M40

Like its predecessors, the Avid D-Command and D-Control, The S6 comes in two flavors. Analogous to the D-Command, you have the smaller, more affordable M10, and the Avid S6 M40, which takes the place of D-Control and Euphonix System 5 MC.

With Avid’s S6 modular control surfaces, you can select from various pre-configured S6 M10 systems, while the S6 M40 can be custom-configured to your specific requirements in not only fader count, but also number of knobs per channel, plus the addition of visual displays. And upgrading your S6 M40 doesn’t mean buying a new console; you can add various control modules any time you desire without the need for on-site technicians. It’s as close to plug-and-play, or shall we say, plug-and-mix as you can get. In fact, just like the portability of Avid’s Pro Tools software from studio to studio, you can actually bring S6 modules to another S6-equipped facility, plug them in, and mix or track the way you’re accustomed to. Only the Avid S6 M40 allows this kind of scalability and flexibility.

Avid S6 M10 and S6 M40 key features:

  • Customize the surface with only the modules you need for great cost efficiency
  • Scale the system from mid- to large-format to match your workflow, with room to grow
  • Mix faster and easier with intelligently designed controls, touchscreen, and intuitive layout
  • Access and manipulate multiple aspects of your mix through the master touchscreen
  • See your mix in a whole new way with detailed visual feedback and professional metering
  • Get the deep, integrated Pro Tools® mixing control only Avid can provide
  • Extend your control to Logic Pro, Nuendo, and other EUCONTM-enabled DAWs
  • Experience highly responsive, precision control with high-speed EUCON connectivity
  • Control up to eight audio workstations simultaneously (e.g. Pro Tools, Nuendo and Logic—even from across the facility

Avid S6 features in depth

A collaborative effort of Avid and Euphonix engineers, driven by input from audio professionals, S6 offers total scalability from being able to configure number of faders and rotary encoders per channel to the addition of meter/waveform displays. Plus, there are user-requested features you won’t find in any other control surfaces, such as sliding computer keypad tray and script tray that move along the entire length of the desk.

Revolutionary modular design

The words “future proof” have been used in pro audio since N.E.D.’s Synclavier was introduced in 1981. So far, instead of the promised 10 years, future proofing has lasted six months to a year at the outside—that is, until the arrival of Avid’s S6 modular consoles. How does Avid do it? By creating an Ethernet-based power frame that allows you to add modules at any time as your needs or workflow changes.

And here’s where it gets interesting; these scalable modules are not just fader packs. There are six modules that comprise the S6 including: Fader Module, Process Module, Knob Module, Display Module (M40 only), Master Touch Module, and Master Automation Module.

On the S6 M40, you can add stunning visual display modules, as well as more control knobs per channel bank (or less should you desire). For example, you can have 8-channel banks with five knobs to control panning and 4-band EQ right alongside fader banks with nine knobs to add dynamics control to EQ and panning. Or, you could have channel banks with one encoder knob if, for example, you wanted to create dedicated aux or submaster channels. And of course, down the road, you could convert those single-knob and five-knob channels into full 9-knob channels depending on the depth of the S6 frame you’ve selected. (More on frames later.)

The horizontal and vertical scalability of the S6 offers you the greatest cost efficiency by letting you start out with only what you need and no more. You don’t invest in unnecessary bells and whistles or take designer’s potluck; hoping they thought of everything you need, or accept trade-offs if they didn’t. Avid didn’t design the S6 to try to be all things to all people—just all things to one person: you.

Mix intuitively with superior ergonomics

To create the perfect blend of knobs, faders, switches, and touchscreen, Avid engaged in extensive ergonomic research and tapped the expertise of Euphonix engineers who’ve excelled in this area with their System 5 designs.

That said, in long mixing sessions, you need to quickly access controls and see and reach what you need to without “wheel chair races” across the length of your console. S6 addresses these issues by bringing faders and encoders closer to the center section of the console. And for D-Command users who couldn’t reach the top row of controls without climbing over the console, S6’s narrower depth will come as a welcome relief. Quite simply, with an S6 you reach more and move less.

Carrying the idea of ergonomically intuitive access forward, the S6 acts and feels like a physical extension of your software, providing a truly intuitive and immersive experience. Turn around projects faster with high-precision editing and mixing control within easy reach. Quickly access and edit plug-ins, surround panning, and more with the multipoint touchscreen, and see every detail of your mix with unprecedented visual feedback. And along with the ability to stay in the sweet spot longer, the S6 frame comes with a comfortable elbow-supporting bolster and physical topology that doesn’t obstruct the sound field.

The control surface engines—master modules

S6 Master Touch Module (MTM)

This is the real brains of the outfit and is required for all S6 control surfaces. The S6 MTM is a tilting, multi-touch display with eight assignable encoders. It has dedicated navigation buttons, two full-color soft key sections, and monitor section. There are two versions of the MTM: the S6 M10, which can control 10 modules, and its smarter brother S6 M40, which can control 41 modules. (Well, it’s not really smarter, just more powerful.)

The MTM features a 12.1", multi-touch screen that lets you view up to 72 tracks at once in the tracks matrix view, all with colors and meters. And with the swipe of a finger you can scroll vertically through the track matrix to access the rest of your session. You can record-arm, mute, or solo tracks easily via touch. There’s also an “attention” mode that takes you to an exploded view of a selected track. At the top of the exploded track view is a high-resolution meter bridge that you can horizontally scroll through via finger swipe, bringing any bank of eight channels right to you for processing directly via the screen. Touching a meter “attentions the track. Or you can similarly scroll an 8-channel-wide matrix at the bottom of the screen (similar to the track matrix view with just a single row).

With the ability to view, access, and edit various aspects of your mix, including tracks, panning, processing, and metering, without “mouse Olympics” or “sub-menu races,” the S6 Master Touch Module gives you absolute power (yes, you can be the swordmaster of your audio universe).

Speaking of universal domination, there’s a Universal Color Bar above the bottom-screen track matrix that allows you to navigate much larger sections to find the track you want and edit its parameters.

S6 Master Automation Module

While this module is optional (c’mon, you know you want one), the Master Automation Module provides two more soft key sections, bringing the number of soft key sections to four—another way S6 keeps you in the moment rather than searching through menus. It sports a jog/multi-function wheel, focus channel fader with OLED display, transport section, and numeric keypad. It also has a dedicated OLED time code display in the upper right hand corner.

When combined with the Master Touch Module, you have a very powerful master section that is only one foot wide, providing lots of accessible control via touch screen and combined 60 function buttons of the Master Touch and Automation modules.

Avid S6—channel modules

As long as we’re talking modules, lets discuss the remaining four. The channel modules provide the control and feedback elements you need—from faders and knobs, to processing and metering. All channel modules feature reliable, high-speed Ethernet connectivity for easy set-up. With the exception of the TFT Display Module, they all have high-resolution OLED displays, which provide a deeper black background and brighter display than any type of LCD screen. OLED displays are perfect for environments with low ambient light, such as bat caves, man caves, and studio control rooms. Here are the modules you can choose:

S6 Fader Module

The Fader Modules have a bank of eight 100mm motorized faders featuring HQ brushless motors for smooth operation during subtle fader moves. These are the same faders as those used on System 5. To keep you apprised of current status, the OLED displays show full track names and current automation mode.

S6 Fader Module at a glance:
  • 8 HQ brushless motorized faders
  • 8 OLED displays for full track names and automation mode
  • Dual tri-color LED meters per channel (with gain reduction metering)
  • Mute, solo, and other switches with color LEDs
  • Control levels for eight simultaneous tracks
Alongside the faders are 32-segment meter displays that also show gain reduction, plus there’s an automation delta display (automation changes). There are 11 switches per channel, including mute, solo, and others, with color LEDs for easy identification. Beneath the faders, there is a row of full-color modifier keys and additional function keys that match the selected track color in Pro Tools.

S6 Process Module

The Process Module hosts assignable switches for knob-module processing and bus assignments, plus eight freely assignable, multi-color LED top-lit knobs. There are 22 function-select switches per channel with color LEDs for easy identification. This module lets you select process modes (EQ, dynamics, etc.) for the knob modules, allowing control of up to nine simultaneous encoder values. The Process Module also contains eight OLED displays for labels and other visual feedback.

S6 Process Module at a glance:
  • 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 nine simultaneous encoder values

S6 Knob Module

As mentioned above, the Knob Module comprises 32 multi-color LED top-lit encoders (4 per channel) and works in conjunction with the Process Module. With control of 32 simultaneous encoder values, these knobs control EQ, dymanics, and other assignable parameters.

S6 Knob Module at a glance:
  • 32 multicolor LED top-lit knobs (four 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 nine knobs per channel
The Knob Module also features 32 easy-to-read OLED displays that clearly show encoder function, position, and values. There are also 11 additional function-select buttons per channel. Two knob modules can be stacked for up to nine knobs per channel (M40 only).

S6 Display Module

The Display Module tightly integrates the control surface with DAW. Not just a display, it’s a fully networked EUCON module with integrated processor that does all graphics rendering without taxing your DAW’s CPU. Long awaited by large-format control surface owners, it gives you an unprecedented level of visual feedback, including high-resolution metering (supports all Pro Tools metering modes); scrolling waveforms displayed in the track colors from the DAW; and clip names. The scrolling waveforms enhance your ability to manage large track counts in dense sessions.

S6 Display Module at a glance:
  • 8-channel high-resolution TFT display
  • Integrated single board computer
  • Provides deep visual feedback, including channel names, audio meters, routing, groups, DAW affiliation, scrolling Pro Tools waveforms, and more
Displays include:
  • Channel names
  • Audio meters
  • Routing
  • Groups
  • Automation modes
  • Clip names
  • DAW affiliation (and more)
There are also display presets you can select at any time during the mix when different visual feedback is required. For example, you can have full-screen meters with scrolling waveforms alongside them; meters across the top with waveforms below; or meter and pan position without waveforms.

Frames, Ethernet, and power supply

What holds it all together is the S6 power frame, which comprises a number of 1-foot wide chassis that attach together to hold the S6 control surface modules. Each chassis has its own power supply and wiring harness to provide Ethernet and power to each module fitted in the chassis. The chassis comes in two depths: a 4-module version including display module, and 5-module version included the display module (M40 only).

The Ethernet switches (differently sized depending on number of modules) are also housed internally in the frame. Once you’ve selected the number of chassis you want (from 2 to 9), bolster, back-, and side-panels are added to the frame, which can then sit on a desktop. For frames that are five, six, seven, or nine chassis wide, a leg assembly option is available for a freestanding console.

System options

The Avid S6 frame also offers a number of system options—ergonomic extras to personalize your desk. These include:

  • Blank Panel: Cover empty module spaces with a smooth surface
  • Display VESA Arm: Mount your DAW monitor on the surface with an adjustable arm
  • Producer’s Desk (2' W): Integrate a keyboard and DAW display directly into your control surface
  • Sliding Keyboard Tray: Get hands-on with your computer keyboard wherever you’re sitting
  • Sliding Script Tray: Hold pen, paper, and your personal devices within easy reach
  • Speaker Bridge Mount: Place speakers in an optimal position with the S6 frame

Avid S6 M10 and M40 preconfigured systems

If you don’t want to go the custom route, Avid offers a number of pre-configured S6 M10 and M40 systems to get you up and running quickly.

Avid S6 M10 Configurations

The smaller S6 M10 comes in preconfigured versions only and does not support the Display Modules.

S6 M10-based configurations:

8 faders, 5 knobs per channel (S6 M10-8-5)
8 faders, 5 knobs per channel (S6 M10-8-5), plus Producer’s Desk
16 faders, 5 knobs per channel (S6 M10-16-5)
16 faders, 5 knobs per channel (S6 M10-16-5), plus Producer’s Desk
16 faders, 5 knobs per channel (S6 M10-16-5), plus leg assembly and Producer’s Desk
24 faders, 5 knobs per channel (S6 M10-24-5)
24 faders, 5 knobs per channel (S6 M10-24-5), plus Producer’s Desk
24 faders, 5 knobs per channel (S6 M10-24-5), plus leg assembly and Producer’s Desk

Avid S6 M40 Configurations/options

The following pre-configured S6 M40 surfaces are available to handle most music and post workflows. You can customize any S6 M40-based surface further by adding a Producer’s Desk, leg assembly, and/or different channel module combinations.

S6 M40-based configurations:

16 faders, 5 knobs per channel, and TFT displays (S6 M40-16-5-D)
24 faders, 5 knobs per channel, and TFT displays (S6 M40-24-5-D)
32 faders, 5 knobs per channel, and TFT displays (S6 M40-32-5-D)
16 faders, 9 knobs per channel, and TFT displays (S6 M40-16-9-D)
24 faders, 9 knobs per channel, and TFT displays (S6 M40-24-9-D)
32 faders, 9 knobs per channel, and TFT displays (S6 M40-32-9-D)

Included with the Avid S6

S6 surface (a pre-configuration or your own design)
S6 frame and other accessories (as specified per your pre-configuration or customization)
XMON S6 monitoring system
All necessary cabling
One year of Avid Advantage ExpertPlus support* with Hardware Coverage (includes 24/7 access, priority phone support, advance hardware exchange (next-day), complimentary S6 software upgrades, and more—to keep you up and running)

* After one year, you can renew your support plan for continued operational efficiency—and peace of mind.

Intelligent studio control

Pair the S6 with Pro Tools and you gain the Avid advantage of faster workflows, extended visual feedback, and unique features to accelerate your efficiency every step of the way. And with S6 you can extend your control to Logic Pro, Nuendo, and other EUCONTM-enabled DAWs, enabling you to mix projects on multiple workstations simultaneously and switch out sessions in seconds—all from a single control surface.

Experience the deep DAW control that only Avid S6 can deliver. Call or chat with an RSPE representative for more in-depth information, or assistance configuring an Avid S6 control surface for your studio.

There is so much more to this system that we have en entire microsite dedicated to Avid's S6!

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