The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
S6 vs Quad Artist Mixes.
Old 15th May 2015
  #1
Gear Nut
S6 vs Quad Artist Mixes.

Moving the SSL out and looking for viable options in replacing it. I know a Control Surface isn't at all like working on a LFAC, but today's clients want recall at the touch of a button and with all the notes, setting EQ's, Comp's and what have you, I'm losing precious time.

Enter today's offerings. I've recently picked up a Burl B32 to handle my summing needs. I've got a pair of Pultec's and an Obsidian strapped on the 2 bus. Then several extensively planned out Patchbays coming out of Protools to hit my outboard before hitting the Burl B32.

Here's the dilemma and where I'm needing advice. I want "not need" at least 32 faders to control level and etc with in Protools. I want control over plugin parameters, while not being to overboard with buttons and infinite knobs I do not need. I know I could just use a mouse, but I'm old school and like turning knobs. I'm more hands on and will always be a LFAC junkie at heart.

Now a days, most if not all my projects are 32 or less tracks. So a Burl B32 and a control surface with 32 faders is ideal. I can reach this with either a S6 setup, or quad Artist Mixes. Anyone have experience with both which do you prefer?Strength and Weakness of each?

Have plenty of budget for either. Let's hear opinions! Also had a SSL 4032 G+ previously in the spot I want the new control surface. There's plenty of ample space for a larger S6 setup or for a new desk built around the Artist Mixes.
Old 15th May 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I tried again recently to use my artist mix to control HMF gain on the digi eq to write some automation and control some sibilant vocal parts.

It took me several minutes to even get the correct parameters to show up on the knobs and then it still wasn't workng smoothly.

My experience with the artist mix is they work for faders but controlling plugs takes too much time to get to the parameters you want. The mouse is so much faster.

The S6 might be a different story, but I like using different EQ's which I'm guessing complicates the layout as far as consistency goes.

I probably just haven't spent enough time with it, but realistically if the function is more than 2 buttons away, the mouse will be faster.
Old 15th May 2015
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Squawk's Avatar
I've not used the S6, but I think it's a fairly safe bet that it's going to be the better controller over the Artist series. I mean these are two vastly different price points you are talking about, and generally you get what you pay for. The Artist controllers I've tried (granted, they were silver Euphonix) were poorly built.

I'm in the market for the S3, and having watched some videos on it, it seems perfect for being able to lay out plugin parameters across it and control them.
Old 15th May 2015
  #4
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk View Post
I've not used the S6, but I think it's a fairly safe bet that it's going to be the better controller over the Artist series. I mean these are two vastly different price points you are talking about, and generally you get what you pay for. The Artist controllers I've tried (granted, they were silver Euphonix) were poorly built.

I'm in the market for the S3, and having watched some videos on it, it seems perfect for being able to lay out plugin parameters across it and control them.
The S6 is Avid's big control surface for now. I imagine its going to have all the necessary features I require and then some. The 32-5-D setup was what I was initially looking at. But, the 32-9 while only adding four more knobs per channel might just give me the extensive control over plugs that I want.

Most of my mixing will be done with outboard obviously. But ITB is great for surgical EQ adjustments and etc.
Any S6 users out there?
Old 15th May 2015
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Squawk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leak1989 View Post
The S6 is Avid's big control surface for now. I imagine its going to have all the necessary features I require and then some. The 32-5-D setup was what I was initially looking at. But, the 32-9 while only adding four more knobs per channel might just give me the extensive control over plugs that I want.

Most of my mixing will be done with outboard obviously. But ITB is great for surgical EQ adjustments and etc.
Any S6 users out there?
The S6 looks absolutely amazing, and you can configure it in stages. The starting price of entry isn't cheap though, certainly compared to the Artist series

I'm looking at the S3 as the lower price baby brother of the S6. If you can afford the S6, that would be the one to get.
Old 15th May 2015
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myles83 View Post
I tried again recently to use my artist mix to control HMF gain on the digi eq to write some automation and control some sibilant vocal parts.

It took me several minutes to even get the correct parameters to show up on the knobs and then it still wasn't workng smoothly.

My experience with the artist mix is they work for faders but controlling plugs takes too much time to get to the parameters you want. The mouse is so much faster.

The S6 might be a different story, but I like using different EQ's which I'm guessing complicates the layout as far as consistency goes.

I probably just haven't spent enough time with it, but realistically if the function is more than 2 buttons away, the mouse will be faster.
I don't know which DAW you use but I can only speak about Cubase. With the Artist Series and the S3 (and I assume the S6), you can create custom plugin parameter layouts which makes a huge difference. So for example you can set up all your plugin EQ's so that the parameter layout is identical. i.e. knob 1 will always be LF Gain, knob 2 will always be LF frequency etc. It then becomes much more intuitive and useable.

I think the thing with controllers in general is that you have to put in some time getting to know it well before it genuinely speeds up your work. You have to be familiar enough with it that it becomes second nature to reach out and hit a certain button without thinking about it when you want to access your EQ's, sends, inserts etc. THEN it becomes quicker than the mouse.

Last edited by J-S-Q; 15th May 2015 at 09:55 AM..
Old 15th May 2015
  #7
Lives for gear
To the OP, if budget is really not the deciding factor, I'd say go for the S6. Absolutely no question. I've owned the Artist Series and now the S3, along with various other controllers in the past. Don't underestimate the value of the colour coded LED's of the S3 and S6. It makes it much quicker to identify which track or parameter you want without thinking about it. If you want to edit EQ's, just hit the purple button, without having to read what the various buttons say, and the controller lights up in purple so make it clear that you're in EQ mode. If you want to edit sends, hit the yellow button etc. Plus, with the additional knobs of the S3 and more so on the S6, you have to push fewer buttons to get to what you need and you have more visual feedback on the status of your mix. All this simply saves you a second or two every time you need to do something and that makes a massive difference. That can be the difference between using the controller and thinking, 'this will be quicker with the mouse'.
Old 15th May 2015
  #8
Gear Nut
 

anybody had issues with those avid controllers ? i did read on GS that some people experienced "dead faders" after minimum 30minutes use and the only way to get them back is to restart the console... i'm interesting in a S3 myself
Old 15th May 2015
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by themixbedroom View Post
anybody had issues with those avid controllers ? i did read on GS that some people experienced "dead faders" after minimum 30minutes use and the only way to get them back is to restart the console... i'm interesting in a S3 myself
I've never had any fader issues with the Artist series, or the S3 (which I've only had a few weeks). The only issue I had is that if I connected to the internet with Wifi after my Artist series was up and running, they would drop connection. As long as I connected to Wifi first, everything was fine. So for me, they've really been rock solid (on Windows 8/Cubase).
Old 15th May 2015
  #10
Gear Nut
I'll be using the S6 with Protools HD exclusively. I imagine it being an Avid product the control will be other worldly. As mentioned it'll be about adapting to the S6 and learning the controls as I go. I've had experience with artist mixes and wasn't impressed. I'm working on a demo of an S6 right now and will be flying to Indiana with some mixes to test on it.
Old 18th May 2015
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Squawk's Avatar
Well, I just took the plunge and ordered the S3 on Friday and am getting a custom desk for it. Looking forward to Eucon, hopefully it will be a better experience than I had with the older Artist series units...
Old 18th May 2015
  #12
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk View Post
Well, I just took the plunge and ordered the S3 on Friday and am getting a custom desk for it. Looking forward to Eucon, hopefully it will be a better experience than I had with the older Artist series units...
Let me know how your experience with it goes. I'm sure the S6 will be miles ahead, considering the price but I'd love to hear how well and easy the S3 is to use.
Old 18th May 2015
  #13
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk View Post
Well, I just took the plunge and ordered the S3 on Friday and am getting a custom desk for it. Looking forward to Eucon, hopefully it will be a better experience than I had with the older Artist series units...
Have you got any more info on the custom desk you're getting?
Old 18th May 2015
  #14
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by J-S-Q View Post
Have you got any more info on the custom desk you're getting?
I'm interested in this as well. Argosy, Nice Racks and Sound Construction all offer products for Avid's other Control Surfaces. Why no S3 desk yet?
Old 18th May 2015
  #15
Lives for gear
 

I have an artist mix. Black one.

Its a good fader and pan controller. Thats really all it does well IMO. No custom fader groups, or VCA spill.

The faders on it are just subpar too. I wish there was an upgrade option to put higher end faders in it. The D-Control/D-command/S6 faders are very tight and precise.

The artist mix faders are a little sloppy. but its only $1250.
Old 18th May 2015
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ienjoyaudio View Post
I have an artist mix. Black one.

Its a good fader and pan controller. Thats really all it does well IMO. No custom fader groups, or VCA spill.

The faders on it are just subpar too. I wish there was an upgrade option to put higher end faders in it. The D-Control/D-command/S6 faders are very tight and precise.

The artist mix faders are a little sloppy. but its only $1250.
It is actually possible to program custom fader layouts with the Artist Mix. The problem is that you cannot recall them with a button on the Artist Mix. You either need to have an Artist Control or Transport, or I believe you can recall them using your mouse, via the Eucontrol software (haven't tried this method personally though.
Old 18th May 2015
  #17
Gear Nut
I'm a little over an hour away from demoing the S6, 32-fader 5 knob setup. I'm growing more and more anxious as the time goes. I'm still worried I'm going to miss the old LFAC, but the times are changing!
Old 18th May 2015
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Squawk's Avatar
Hey guys,

Yes, Sterling Modular is making a desk now for the S3. I've attached the pdf, as it looks like it isn't on their website yet.

I'm also talking with a local custom builder, so haven't fully decided which way I will go yet with the desk. Price will likey be about the same either way.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf AVID S3 Multi-Station Low Rez.pdf (451.0 KB, 260 views)
Old 18th May 2015
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Squawk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leak1989 View Post
I'm a little over an hour away from demoing the S6, 32-fader 5 knob setup. I'm growing more and more anxious as the time goes. I'm still worried I'm going to miss the old LFAC, but the times are changing!
Sweet! Sounds like fun, keep us posted! Post some pics of it!
Old 19th May 2015
  #20
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk View Post
Sweet! Sounds like fun, keep us posted! Post some pics of it!
I wasn't able to get any pictures, but I'm going to say the S6 is a thing of beauty. My demo was of the 32-Fader, 5-knob configuration (the one were getting). They had all outboard ran into 4 Avid HD I/O 16x16's (one for mic pre inputs and two for hardware inserts for Protools). On the back side two of the outputs from two of the 16x16's were fed out to a Burl B32 for 32-channels at mixdown and it sounded incredible!

They had Avantone Mix cubes as secondary monitors and ATC 25A's as the mains. After working with this setup, I'm completely sold on it. The faders on the S6 were smooth and felt great as well. We'll be picking up the S6, B32 and possibly 4 HD I/O's to incorporate our outboard as PT inserts. Really enjoyed the way things were easily routed and the ease of operation was extraordinary! The only issue I have, would be adapting to the workflow change.
Old 19th May 2015
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
Fred Pearson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by J-S-Q View Post
I don't know which DAW you use but I can only speak about Cubase. With the Artist Series and the S3 (and I assume the S6), you can create custom plugin parameter layouts which makes a huge difference.
Unbelievably, the S6 still doesn't have custom faders/the ability to map parameters to different controls (yet). You have to use the standard maps, and although they're quite good, are still no comparison for custom faders.

Cheers.
Old 19th May 2015
  #22
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Pearson View Post
Unbelievably, the S6 still doesn't have custom faders/the ability to map parameters to different controls (yet). You have to use the standard maps, and although they're quite good, are still no comparison for custom faders.

Cheers.
That is VERY surprising. Presumably this will get implemented at some stage. But really, how could they leave this out from the flagship controller?

I've found it makes a MASSIVE difference in the usability. For example, I've edited all my compressor plugin maps so that the knob sequence is always Threshold, Ratio, Gain, Attack, Release. Since I did this, I can literally edit the main parameters without even having to look at the controller.
Old 19th May 2015
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
Fred Pearson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by J-S-Q View Post
That is VERY surprising. Presumably this will get implemented at some stage. But really, how could they leave this out from the flagship controller?

I've found it makes a MASSIVE difference in the usability. For example, I've edited all my compressor plugin maps so that the knob sequence is always Threshold, Ratio, Gain, Attack, Release. Since I did this, I can literally edit the main parameters without even having to look at the controller.
I completely agree with you. There were a lot of things missing on the S6 when it first surfaced - I'm not completely savvy on it, but I've heard they had to rush it out to comply with a requirement that states they have to release the product in the same quarter/year/financial year (not sure which) as they announce it.

Things have got better, but there is still a lot of functionality missing compared to the Icon series.

Cheers.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump