Benchmarking audio production

Audio Production
Avid S6
Published 15. September 2021

Integration of Avid Pro Tools | S6 audio consoles

Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) in Munich has deployed two Avid S6 M40 operating panels to enhance their film sound post-production using the audio software Pro Tools by Avid. As a global leading system architects for IT and audiovisual solutions for broadcast and media applications, Qvest supplied and implemented both systems on behalf of BR.

The Qvest system integrators configured the two audio consoles according to the requirements of BR. So as not to interrupt the ongoing operation of the broadcaster, the panels were initially set up and tested in a separate room.

Integration challenge

A particular challenge for Qvest was implementing the wishes and requirements of the customer while preserving the modular construction for the Avid S6 console. It was therefore crucial to retain the mechanics of the components and frames despite adjustments to the frame set-up. In addition, each module needed to be able to be moved and arranged at will as before.

Step by step to the Avid S6 console

Before the final construction, Bayerischer Rundfunk fine-tuned the Avid S6 consoles to suit their requirements. In the first test phase, the BR sound engineers repositioned the separate elements in the frame set-up to find the ideal position. From there, a customized construction of the systems could be developed: The automation module with a jog wheel is located to the right of the master module with a touch monitor unit. The mouse lies directly beneath it, and the keyboard was slightly offset to better support the arms. The operating interface was complemented by four fader and process modules as well as four knob and display modules. After the second test phase, in which the console was connected and BR had configured the operating interface to suit their requirements, the Qvest team set up the console a second time.

Avid S6 integration
Four hours in three minutes
Commissioning a S6 console
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Individual designs for optimum use in customer operations

While constructing the S6, the Qvest experts raised the side walls of the chassis at the rear by 10°. With this Qvest development, the rear two rows with the knob and process modules were raised. This improves the ergonomics and visibility of the displays and operating elements.

In order to stabilize the raised walls, additional brackets were reattached to the frame. During the adjustment period, it was possible to continue using the original mechanics for bolting the t-strips. For the S6 console at BR, Qvest deployed four knob modules per console. Bayerischer Rundfunk now has five knobs per channel. The dual functions of the knobs permit control by either “pressing” or “rotating”.

First of all, the Qvest team installed the fader modules, each with eight faders. Then the core of the console was inserted: the master touch module. To conclude, knob modules, process modules and automation modules with jog wheels were incorporated into the console construction. After the second successful test phase, Qvest was also able to connect the individual modules with the master touch module.

Audio Console
Audio Console
Audio Console
Avid S6 M40 operating panel

Intuitive operability of complex functions

The M40 version of the S6 audio console deployed in the premises of Bayerischer Rundfunk features numerous configuration options. Below, the project participants at Qvest fitted a five-knob-per-channel configuration, each with four process fader modules, process modules, knob modules and display modules. In the middle is the automation module with a jog and the master module with a touch monitor device.

The Qvest experts then performed an initial test run for the latter. In order for BR to operate their audio post-production smoothly later on, the module got checked – everything worked perfectly fine. Altogether, four fader modules were installed. Of course, in the fader test, the Qvest team checked the controllers for their functionality as well.

All tests were successful. During sound post-production, Bayerischer Rundfunk is now easily able to manage the Avid Pro Tools via the operating interface. The individual settings – such as the fader groups – were saved in the respective projects. The option of writing automation on several tracks simultaneously also simplifies the workflow. In order to meet the broadcaster’s varying configuration requirements, the S6 consoles can also be configured later on. At the end of the process with the preparations by Qvest, the two Avid S6 M40 user interfaces have now found their way into the BR recording studios B and C.

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