INTERVIEW: Avid’s Sheldon Radford on the S3L system

On Day One of InfoComm, our man Ken DeLoria caught up with Avid’s Sheldon Radford to find out more about the company’s new S3L system.

Representing a clear departure from its cousins (D-Show, Profile, and SC48), the S3L is much more than just another size, shape, and price point – though it comes in somewhat below the SC48.

One of the major benefits of the S3L is that it can mix a live show while recording directly to Pro Tools, and (with an upcoming software release) the S3 control surface can then be used later for mixing, overdubbing, and other session requirements. No big surprise there. But what might raise a few eyebrows is that it can also be used with any EUCON-enabled DAW, such as Steinberg’s Nuendo or Apple’s Logic Pro.


“An intentional design goal was to ensure that the console would be small and light,” states Radford, senior product manager for Avid’s Live Systems and Consoles group. “In today’s music business environment, performing artists are working harder than ever to capture revenue from live shows and recorded works in tandem, whenever possible. The S3L weighs less than 14 pounds and is small enough to be carried onto the tour bus, up to the hotel room, or readily transported as additional baggage. This flexibility offers unprecedented operability and functionality.”

Although Avid has elected to stay with their very successful 48 kHz sample rate, the floating point processing offered by the HDX-powered engine means that the S3L boasts an internal data path that plays a huge role in pristine sonic quality and dynamic range.

“The S3L uses the open Ethernet AVB standard for the audio transport layer,” Radford continues. “This means that interfacing with other standards-based AVB devices is quick and painless. We’ve taken IP addresses and other network qualms off the table, replacing them with user-friendly simplicity. Auto redundancy of the transport layer with no perceptible loss of audio is also a built-in feature."

“Software control will be familiar to those who have used Avid products in the past, and the fully networked S3L is able to accommodate the latest AAX DSP plug-ins. The control layer utilises the open EUCON protocol, developed by Euphonix (which Avid acquired in April 2010). We believe that the combination of technical specifications, operating features, sonic quality, and an exceptionally small and lightweight format add up to a unique and innovative product,” Radford concludes.

For more information on the system, click here.

InfoComm 2013 is currently taking place at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, and concludes tomorrow (June 14th).

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