The ACS Channel Strip


Live Sound Mixing Fast Start: Avid SC48


Lesson Info

The ACS Channel Strip

The next major topic we're going to cover is the channel strip eso let's go back to the input tab push the inputs button on the view mode and that's going to take us to our main inputs tab which shows us what's called the s the s is the main channel control for whatever channel is selected so if I go through and I select any one of these channels it will show me both on the screen and in the channel section um how to set this up so let's just start right at the top of all of the input channels we'll get into fader banking in the next section but all of the input channels are assigned one through sixteen on the first bank seventeen through thirty two on the second bank and thirty three through forty eight on the last bank so we'll go back to the first bank and we're just going to start with channel one like I said all the rotary encoders allow you to control um any of the input parameters aug sends or anything that you typically find in the input stage of a channel strip on once that ch...

annel selected then you have complete control of the channel control for that specific selected channel so let's go ahead and first to start off with the section so every channel has its own sort of built in e q on and there's two options the first thing you want to do is make sure he was enabled, so you actually have to turn turn on the cue for that specific channel you can either control it individually with your mouse by changing the parameters like you would on a typical e q even the cue the frequency or the gain for each of the band passed filters or the high pass or shelving filters? Or you can actually just grab each of the points and dragged them, which is typically what I do on the graphical interface to be able to control specifically what you want to control. Um, so let's, go ahead and pull up going to reset this section really quick ongoing and pull up just really quick a track to run through here, you kind of get a sense for what this looks like, and we'll talk about this when we get into the patch bay, but basically what I'm doing is using a show that was recorded live multi tracked, and I'm patching each of those individual channels from pro tools back through the console so that we can sort of virtually mix a show live as if it was actually on a stage without having a bunch of musicians here, so I'm gonna go back to channel one the first thing that I want to do really quick, um, is the sign one of these channels and we're just gonna bring up a kick drum channel so now on channel one I have the kick trump coming through here um I'm going to go out and bring that up make sure that the channel is assigned to the left on my bus wait, go! We've got our input channel one here um we're just listen to kick drum I'm gonna sort of like, walk through on the input page um using the section so there's two options for the accuser's what's called analog q and digitally q um and analog cube basically miers mohr of like what an analog he would look like on a human analog council it was designed the algorithm after an analog counsel you have less control the high it's a high shelf specifically, the low is a low shelf specifically and then you have to ban passed filters. The digitally key was an actual full four band parametric with four individually controlled um band passed filters they could be switched to shelves um if you want them to so yeah it's pretty simple. The q that's built into each channel is really useful and really helpful there's also a plug and said you could bring up if you want something with a little more color or a specific sound a lot of people use those we'll get into inserts in just a second um so all the notch filters here are the band passed. Filters are pretty standard. The high pass filter is actually built into the input stage. So if you look at the input stage there's actually a high pass filter directly after the pre empt, which you would typically find in a council and that still shows up in the section even though it's not part of the actual e q part of the channel control so that's important to note somebody going to activate that and you can see now if I turned down, turn up the high pass, it removes all of the frequencies below one hundred hertz on that I can turn that off so that's basically the q section the next section you have here is what's called it was the dynamic control you have both the expander and the gate and you have the compressor and limiter so let's walk through really quick just setting up a gate on this cake so the gate right now is being fed from the actual channel itself, but there's also two options. With the gate, you can actually set up a side chain. Eso if I turn on the key input, I can actually key the gate from another channel. This is useful sometimes if you want to, for example, key the kick drum to the bass guitar you could keep listen the base of let's say had the base on channel nine I could then feed the input from channel nine directly two cue the gate on channel one and then there's also the key listen so I can listen to that feed before actually sending it obviously right now there's nothing on channel nine so that's not going to be cute by anything but you could also decide where you want that key source to come from whether it's the top of the channel after the instant return or pre fainter I typically choose the top of the channel because I'm gonna be doing if I was king the key the kick gate to the base for example I would probably also doing some compression and you keep on the base and I would want that included before king the kick drum um but there's a couple different ways to do that the other way that you can actually use aside changes with the compressor which we'll get to the second you can either cue the compressor off of a key listen or you can use aside chain for high passing or low passing the the compressor itself okay, we'll turn off the gate we'll switch this back turn off the key listen so we're just set up is a standard gate right now I'm going to turn on the compressor and if you notice the display screen switches to whatever I'm working on surface, which the queue? It changes the display if I switched the compressor the gate, etcetera, it switches between all three, depending on whether I'm working on. So if this is the compressor, I'm going to set the ratio to maybe more like five to one now have both a gate and a compressor um, on the actual, um, kick drum channel. Um, like I said, in addition, you can also use plug ins we'll get to in a second, eh? So you can use the built in q or the compressor on that channel. Or you could use hardware inserts, which this is actually pretty common to among bigger touring engineers that I've worked with, especially on lead vocals. A lot of times, the want um or higher end and along compressor or cue that they'll use for vocals and you can actually patch that straight in through, um, the line level inputs and outputs on the front of house console um on there's a couple different ways to do that. So those hardware inserts are always the very first one. Um, right now we don't have the insert the hardware insert card installed, so all those air great out but the plug it inserts you can also use and those of the following for inserts so let's say in the kick drum instead of using this compressor I want to bring up a different plugging um so I'm gonna go ahead and go to the plug ins page we'll talk specifically about how to set up plug ins later on but let's say I wanted to bring up a smack plug in um so you have four racks I'm gonna bring it up in the first channel of the first rack on and right now it's not assigned to anything so I'm gonna go back to my inputs tablets I have all the plug ins set up that I want to use and straight from the input input tab of the a c s control I can bring up that insert and assign it to that plug in and then if I want to ever jump over that plug and I could just click on that insert and it takes me straight there so now I'm using this plugging directly on the insert um outputs a little bit hot um using the queue on and you could bring up to four individual plug ins for inserts from the plug ins on any individual channel okay let's, talk about rodent control is really quick s o the rotary controls like I said over here on the on the left side there's sixteen one for every input channel you can also use them for the out invaders for different controls. Um, but basically anything that I could do in the channel control I can do on the are on the road or controls for those favors, except for e q or compression. So if I want to bring up any of the aug sends, I can control those, um, directly from the input control or the rotary fader of that channel. You started the very top of the chain you have gained. You could bring up for every channel panning or a high pass filter. So that's where your main three that you start off with and whenever those air selected, it obviously changes the led meters to show which ones you're controlling and where the level is. That and the controls have basically two functions. The first being ah, rotary control toe. Actually decide your level, and the second is a push button controller, which turns it on and off. So for an ob sent, for example, I can tap it once and then the light below. It turns on showing that that's now activated, and then I can turn up the scent dogs one for the sixteen aug sends there's a little bit of a trick. All of the even aug sends air on green, and all of the odd dog sends air on orange and I just happened once or twice depending on which one I want so I want send one a tap it once tap it again and it turns orange um on that's now send to same of three and four five and six seven and eight nine and tannic sandra um so each of those air individually controlled from the rotary controls um channel control section so let's now jump into this whole section the channel control section like I said I can control any of the parameters that I could do with the mouse typically I do a lot with a mouse because the screen is right there and it's so easy to jump between and see everything but if you wanted more hands on control is there's a couple different ways to do that so whatever channel I have selected right here shows up under the selected channel I have my forty eight volts fan and power twenty decibel pad phase reverse and the safe button and we'll talk about channel safe settings in just a second or in the next section I also have my media ring dynamics control expander gate and your plug in gain reduction if you're using a compressor plug in the channel control selection here can either control all of one specific parameter or you can actually custom combine ah whole bank of of individual controls and this is actually pretty cool so we'll start with just the basic if I want to control the queue happy q on it brings up all the controls for that specific channel so I've got my low frequency gain on beacon type frequency to switch between gain and q I've got my low mid frequency same with q um hi mid and high frequency and now I have rotary controls to control all those individual the same channels that I was doing before with just the mouse um if I want to switch to the compressor now I have rotary controls to control the compressor so I'm going to turn the compressor on and I can control the ratio um and the threshold the knee um the output gain and the key listen high high pass filter and low pass filter um same with the gate I have all the individual controls that I can use for the gate and then I can actually switch the channel control to control the og sins either one through eight or nine three sixteen in addition to like using the channel control for that specific parameter I can also create sort of a custom bank of individual controls that I would want to use across any channel so I'm going to go to my user to find on right now I haven't set up a user to find bank of of rotary controls eso it's flashing and says double press the user button to enter assignment mode or press the button for the default assignment socially with the default assignment is right now it's set up for this channel shows gain high pass filter low and mid frequency high mid frequency and threshold which that's pretty close to probably what I want to use but maybe I want to assign and build my own custom channel control that of the of the specific parameters that I mean I know I'm going to use quite a bit so I'm gonna go and double tap the user mode and now I can assign each of those rotary controls to specific controls of that specific channel it so I'm gonna go through with the mouse and just click on each of the ones that I want to control so the first one's going to gain so now that said his gains second one is going to be high pass filter but the third one let's say I want the third one to be panning ah the fourth one I'm actually gonna be august one and the fifth one is august to because maybe those are the two effects that I'm using uh the sixth is going to be compression threshold and maybe uh the fifth is compressor threshold maybe the sixth is output gain or makeup gain on the council and once I'm done, I'm gonna click done and now I've custom designed my own channel control settings to be what I want to use for every channel and no matter what channel I'm selecting that remains the same on the channel control until you switch back to any other channel control mode that I want to use. So it becomes really, really easy to build your own custom set of controls that you know, that you're going to use a lot for a specific channel. There's sort of three ways to control aug sends on any individual channel the main way, like I talked about already talked about a couple, but the main way would be to use the rotary controls at the top of every channel strip. So I'm gonna go through channels one through sixteen, and I'm going to decide what I want. The sends two dogs, one b on each of those channels, and as long as this is set to send one than each of these controls, aiken individually send two dogs one, and build my mix that way. Maybe that's a cent to a river, but maybe that's ah, stage monitor whatever is being sent to dogs, one can be controlled from the channel parameters. The second way, which we really talked about, would be to use the channel control section. So now it's specific to every channel I'm gonna select through each channel and control logs one this is really helpful if you want to see, for example, how many stage monitor mixes are getting the vocals. Instead of having to go through on dh, select every channel and see or select every cent and see which channels are being sent if I just want to bring up the vocals on channel nine I can look at the channel control section and see if let's say um the channel nine's the vocals I can see right now on ly mix one is getting the vocals and I can turn it up mixed four and makes six depending on whatever august and I'm using for a specific purpose so that's really helpful the third way is what's called flip to favors mode and this is pretty cool and it's really fast to be able to help especially if you're using the council is as a monitor counsel I can send all of those individual channels are all those aug sends to the main favors eso if I'm selecting dogs one I just click flip to failures and now the main favors air not controlling the main level being fed to the left and right bus they're controlling the aug san level s o I can eventually bring up any of the individual failures that are changing aug one and then when I want to switch back I just switch back to the favors being the main master control for that channel on any time I switch to a different dogs end it will change the favors to control the overall level for those that accent so there's, sort of the three different ways that you can control a fader or control aug sense from each individual channel.

Class Description

Digital live mixing consoles have revolutionized the live sound mixing environment by providing access to scenes and screenshots, hundreds of on-board digital effects, and expanded routing and i/o flexibility. In this class, we will break down one of the most popular in venue live sound consoles, the Avid SC48.

Built around Avid's VENUE software, the SC48 is the more affordable and popular version of the Profile, Mix-Rack and D-Show live sound systems. In this course, we will cover:

  • Routing and I/O Capabilities
  • The SC48 Channel Strip
  • Aux, Matrix and Groups Routing
  • Monitor Mode
  • Using plugins and effects
  • Saving and recalling shows, scenes, and snapshots
  • Pro Tools Integration and Virtual Soundcheck
If you are a live sound engineer or just breaking into mixing front of house or monitors, get to know one of the most popular and versatile digital consoles on the market.



great class, lot's of great tips for who's starting to mix on avid consoles thanks Zach and Creative Live greetings from Romania Adrian