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Old 16th January 2018
Lives for gear
Jamie Mac's Avatar
So a little update after 2 months of use:

It has been superb so far. I would never have thought that the move to the S3 and dock would have been such an upgrade for me.

- It has sped up my workflow by maybe 20 or 30 percent.

- VCA spill is genius

- Layouts are genius.

- In conjunction with a macro application such as Keyboard Maestro you can do the craziest things with all the softkeys and have pages full of macros on the ipad triggering anything you can think of.

- It is an ergonomic wonder. I have it placed on a table with the keyboard in front of it. And because it is so tiny, literally everything within reach. Something that I havent had on the ICONs and even the S6's aren't as ergonomic with keyboardplacement and reaching distance to knobs.

- I thought I would miss the dedicated EQ section, but it turns out when using the channelstrip everything maps out perfectly on the top row of knobs. Which for me is better than having the EQ section away from the faders on the icons.

It comes down to that there is very little (or nothing that I used) that you cannot do with the S3 that you could on the ICON. It outperforms it in almost any way.

However, here come the downsides.

- (I hope avid is reading this) Putting the LCD above the knobs is a catastrophic fail.. I have tried and there is no way a normal person can turn the knob and see what is happening on the LCD above it. If it had been below -> perfect! I don't understand this decision.

- Fader quality. I've mentioned before, far inferior to the D-command faders. But workable.

- I miss a monitoring section. I was planning on keeping my xmon and maybe get a TMC-1. But since I'm going into an Antelope Orion studio interface, I routed my protools outputs into a software mixer and from there I can solo and mute speakers and even have EQ's on them. But I still miss the tactile control.
It's a shame the monitor knob on the Dock can't control the volume of the Orion software.

And lastly, neither a plus or a minus

I read someone say that the "client-impress-factor" might be an issue. It also crossed my mind that I would lose some of the cool factor of a traditional large console or controller. But honestly I stopped caring the moment I found out what was possible with this little cheap controller.
And I have had many clients over since the "upgrade". Not one client cared. It's as simple as that.

I think the traditional look of a studio or stage is gradually changing and we have to let go that you need a large console to have a great room.

I also think it is amazing that they packed so much of the S6 in this controller. There is no single reason I can think of, why I would want to give AVID my money for the S6 now.
I can do everything with this combination and the result is a lot more margin for me.

So in conclusion: haven't regretted the decision one bit.

Attached Thumbnails
AVID S3 as replacement for D-command-img_0347.jpg