[Vlog] HOWTO Use Waves Plug-ins With the Avid S3L

TL;DR I’ve you’ve ever wanted to use Waves plug-ins with the Avid S3L, then I’ve got the video for you.

In the video I demonstrate four different ways of using Waves plug-ins with the Avid S3L. While running plug-ins directly on the console is not supported, these alternatives should be attractive alternatives to most sound engineers. I evaluate each configuration based on complexity, portability, latency, and cost.

The four methods are:

  • Hardware Inserts
  • Analog Fx Returns
  • AVB Fx Returns
  • SoundGrid Fx Returns

Please watch the video, and let me know in the video comments what you think, and what other kinds of videos you’d like to see.

P.S. You’re welcome to read the script I used in planning the video.

[Vlog] HOWTO Connect a MOTU AVB Device to the Avid S3L

TL;DR I’ve you’ve ever wanted to connect a MOTU AVB device to your Avid S3L, then I’ve got the video for you.

In the video I demonstrate connecting a MOTU Stage-B16 to expand both the input and output signal count, as well as how to record from the MOTU in addition to other stage boxes.

The process requires changing an internal configuration of the Avid S3L, but this is a simple one-time process that is reversible if needed. Once the change is made, it should be possible to connect practically any AVB device to the S3L. The process required some trial and error, and some help from the Avid forums, but it works consistently and I’ve used it for a while now.

Please watch the video, and let me know in the video comments what you think, and what other kinds of videos you’d like to see.

Testing the Avid S3L with the MOTU M64

TL;DR The MOTU M64 works great with the Avid VENUE S3L. The tested setup was sending 32ch of audio from an Avid VENUE S3L via AVB to a MOTU M64, converting the signal to optical MADI, and sending it over fiber into an Avid VENUE Profile.


A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of working with Patrick Müller and Luca Bruegger of Tonkultur.ch GmbH / Remote Recording Services to connect their Avid S3L system to their Avid Profile system via optical MADI using the the MOTU M64 as a converter.

Patrick and Luca were looking to use a spare Avid S3L console as additional inputs for an Avid Venue Profile console. They normally get a MADI feed from the FoH for their recording, but sometimes have the need for their own on-stage preamps. They wanted the ability to place two Avid Stage 16 stage boxes on the stage, acting as as mic preamps, and send the signals into their existing setup via optical MADI. Unfortunately the S3L doesn’t support MADI.

In their search for a solution, they were pointed at my Avid S3L and 3rd-party AVB Devices article. Seeing that I’ve connected MOTU devices already, they purchased the MOTU M64, and reached out for some help getting it going. Luckily Luca and I have known each other for several years now which made it easy to connect.

Getting it going

Working through the documentation I’ve written, we were able to get the setup working in a couple of hours. This was my first chance to test the documentation on a second S3L system, and I was able to fix some minor mistakes along the way, which should make future configurations go much faster.

A future desire they have is to leave the E3 Engine out of the mix completely, using only the Stage 16 and M64 devices. I’ve started digging into the Stage 16 to see whether that might be possible, and both Luca and I are reading more into the AVB standard, as well as Milan, which is the follow-up standard to AVB. Stay tuned!

[Update 2020-01-14] I’m now able to announce the Stage 16 via AVB so that I can record directly from it with macOS, and I can also manually control the signal settings (gain, pad, and phantom) as well as the LEDs on the front. See what all I have working on my Projects page.

Avid S3L and 3rd-party AVB Devices

This article describes how to connect and use MOTU AVB audio interfaces with the Avid S3L-X console.

[Update: 2021-03-22] I recently released a video on YouTube that demonstrates this. See my [Vlog] HOWTO Connect a MOTU AVB Device to the Avid S3L blog entry for more information.

For years, I have wanted to connect my MOTU AVB audio interfaces to my Avid S3L console, but have had no luck. After recently finding some information on the internets, I’ve found a way to reconfigure the S3L to talk using 8-channel AVB streams, which my MOTU devices require, and with some effort I now have bi-directional audio working!!

I’ve written up a document, and shared it as a public Google doc. I’ll eventually write it up here, but don’t feel like messing with WordPress right now.

Avid S3L-X and 3rd Party AVB (a Google Doc)

I’ve also started collecting data as I discover it in a wiki (https://wiki.forestent.com/Avid_S3L).

I look forward to any feedback!!

My quest to get MIDI working on the Avid S3L

During large productions, my team uses QLab to play various sound effects, and to trigger snapshots changes on our Avid D-Show mixing console. I’d like to make use of the same triggers on the Avid S3L we use for our video mix, but unlike the D-Show it doesn’t have built-in MIDI.

According to the Avid Knowledge Base, the Roland UM-One MK 2 is officially supported, but that other class-compliant USB MIDI interfaces should also work. I don’t have the Roland, so over time I’ll try out various interfaces that I come across to see what I can get working.

If you know of a MIDI interface that works with the S3L-X, leave a comment and I’ll add it to the list.

Device Works? Tested Notes
MOTU 828mk3 No 2018-11-18
MOTU Stage-B16 No 2018-11-18
MOTU UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid No 2018-11-18 USB mode requires external power.