Avid VENUE | S3L-X System


This page is a collection of notes about things related to the S3L that I had to figure out, and wanted to share with others.



Plug-ins can be installed by

  1. Copy the plug-in folder (with the .aaxplugin extension) to an AAX Plug-Ins folder in the root of a USB drive.
  2. Install the on the console under Options > Plug-ins > (choose drive in left pane) > Install.

Some plug-in providers give a Windows executable that installs the plug-in on the local system. The AAX plug-ins can usually be found in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Avid\Audio\Plug-Ins and can also be copied to the USB drive as mentioned above. Note that MacOS versions of the plug-ins unfortunately cannot be copied in this manner.

Plug-in providers

  • Avid
  • McDSP – HD licenses are required. Download the VENUE Installer.
  • Sknote – I’ve not tried these
  • Waves – these are unfortunately not supported by the S3L.



Is it possible to connect a VGA monitor to the E3 engine? No. The S3L-X uses a DVI-D (Dual Link) connection that does not support the requisite analog pin connections that the analog VGA signal requires. For more info about the different types of DVI connectors, see DVI vs. VGA.

The S3L-X system supports AVB. Can I use a non-Avid AVB device with the S3L-X? Connecting non-Avid AVB equipment is not officially supported. Although I’ve never tested this, my research has found that Pivitec produce the e64i/o MADI bi-directional 64-channel MADI to Ethernet AVB Bridge, which should enable connecting to MADI enabled equipment. Pivitec and Avid partnered and gave a demo  at InfoComm 2013, which leads me to believe Pivitec solutions work.

Working remotely

How can I enter/leave config mode while connected remotely via VNC? Double-click the SHOW/CONFIG word in the bottom-right part of the screen.

My E3 engine is located in another room. Can I power it on remotely? Yes, using the Wake-on-LAN protocol. See my blog post on Avid S3L Remote Power On.

There are various free and paid software packages available to send the appropriate “Magic Packet” to wake the engine. All that is needed is:

  1. A computer that is connected to the same Ethernet network as the E3 engine.
  2. The IP subnet address of the network.
  3. The MAC address of the engine.

My Stage 16 I/O is located in another room. Can I power it on remotely? Not without additional equipment.


What versions of macOS work properly with AVB and the S3L-X?

  • macOS High Sierra (through 10.13.2) works for recording, but playback has issues due to timing problems. [20180105] It is recommended to not upgrade to High Sierra at this time.
  • macOS Sierra (10.12.6) is known to work well.
  • OS X El Capitan (10.11) is known to work well.


What display lights can I use with the S3L console? I don’t yet have any that work, but I know that these lights do not work.

  • Stairville (through Thomann in Germany). According to this Avid forum, one can rewire them into a useful state by swapping pins 2-and-3. I’ve not tested this though.

How can I adjust the brightness of the lights on my S3 console? Typically you want to do this through Options > Interaction > Lights within VENUE, but if that isn’t working, you can adjust the lights manually. Avid provides an article entitled “How to reset the LED Brightness and Color on the S3 control surface” that explains what to do.