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Old 10-31-2019, 01:58 PM
skilletaudio skilletaudio is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 76
Default Re: S6 Workflow

Originally Posted by creativecontrol View Post
16 Fader S6 Configuration: Fader: MTM: Fader. I like to work from templates. I have layouts based on those templates. Make a layout that contains Effects Returns on the Left 8 faders and VCA Masters on the Right 8 Faders. Within the layout the Effects Returns (Reverbs, Delays, etc) are set to Insert Parameters view (Teal). To dial in reverb settings simply hit Expand on that channel to populate the knob module with those parameters.

For the main VCAs, either set up Auto-Spill (I like cross-spill) where it spills to the opposite side (Left Zone). So, press the Attention key on one of the VCAs on the right side (part of the layout) which spills the slaves to the left side temporarily replacing the Effects Returns. Press the Menu button on any of the spilled slaves to Unspill the VCA and reveal the Effects Returns again. Optionally, Spill into the right Zone with Menu + Swap button. (Make sure to set the VCAs to bus view before you save the Layout so that the slaves will be displayed on the knob modules above.
Nice workflow thanks for sharing your ideas.
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:23 AM
creativecontrol's Avatar
creativecontrol creativecontrol is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 1,097
Default Re: S6 Workflow

A few thoughts.

Let's talk about precedence. When laying out your mix templates, it might be beneficial to consider the following building blocks and their relative precedence:

Locked Channels: The highest level, critical session elements you always need immediate access to.

Track Layouts: The most predictable way to create containers for all of your essential session elements including VCA Masters, Chains and FX Returns.

VCA Masters: An essential organizational and gain balancing tool which can be used to wrangle all of your food groups into a single logical hierarchy. VCA Masters can be used to control and manage any of the following:
(1) Individual units of any flavor
(2) Groups of unit groups for nested control. For example: All FX -> Group A FX -> Group A Mono FX...
(3) FX Returns
(4) Gain Crisis - or the All VCA - Once VCA to rule them all.
(5) Cue Masters. Master Faders and any Submix Aux's for talent mixes.
(6) Stems or Print Tracks

VCA Masters work harmoniously with your Track Layouts as a way to access large numbers of individual unit tracks accessible immediately from a hierarchical structure. Let's look at the layers of precedence between these different types on the surface.

Master Track Layout 1 Recalled. For this example, let's assume this initial layout consists of 24 tracks for a 24 channel S6 configuration. Simple 1:1. Here's an example of one possible way to organize the channels:

VCA Masters on strips 1-8:
vAll, vDX, vMX, vFOL, vFX, vBG, vPFX, vPrint
(Depending on the workflow and scale of the production, these VCA could be contained within 1 or multiple workstations connected to the S6 and populated within this layout.)

vAll = Locked. This would represent top level precedence where this channel will be glued to this location regardless of the view, including application switching between different applications like Pro Tools and DADman.

Any of the VCA Master channels can be spilled in place or into preallocated Left or Right Spill Zones. It's very likely that vFX, when spilled, reveals a whole structure of additional nested FX VCAs, let's say a-j. Additional spills of vFX•f would get me access to those unit tracks. Successive pressing of the MENU switch, when dived into the f•FX unit channels, will do the following:
(1) Return back to the view of all FX VCA's
(2) Return back to the master VCA's
(3) Finally return back to the top level of the master Layout.

Regardless of where you chose to spill any of those elements, your locked Gain Crisis fader would still be accessible from any view (it will obscure one channel).

Chain Submasters on strips 9-16
These might be all of the stereo or multichannel group masters that require processing collectively for each food group.

FX Returns on strips 17-24
These might be all of your essential reverbs, delays, harmonic and sub generating processing which might also be associated with any of the different food groups. I could choose to locally (within this 8 fader bucket) access expand knobs and Expand Faders for a given processor - let's say an Exponential Stratus Reverb that I want to control for some of my music tracks. Meanwhile, I could spill the MX tracks into a Left Spill Zone which won't collide with the bucket housing the music reverb controls. Assuming the Left Spill Zone was assigned to the first 8 faders, I would still be able to access any of the attributes of the Music Chain (faders 9-16) , for harmonic, dynamics or spectral tweaking in context.

Obviously there are a million different ways to organize your templates and optimize your track layouts. Understanding the layers of surface elements can help in creating the ideal structure for your workflow.


Jeff Komar
Solutions Specialist, Pro Audio
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:16 PM
skilletaudio skilletaudio is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 76
Default Re: S6 Workflow

Very nice Jeff thanks for sharing your thoughts on structure and layout, it's nice to see how other people structure their sessions.

If it's of any benefit to anyone here is my current naming conventions for Pro Tools that I put at the start of track names. It makes things quick for me to see when working on sessions on a surface. It's a little different for Nuendo since they have more track types depending on functionality (i.e. FX and Group tracks rather than just aux tracks for that).

Track Type
• Audio Track
  • A = Audio track (No prefix in general means it's an audio track so I can see the most charters possible, instruments, sound effects etc).
  • Mx = Mix track (broadcast mix, Stream Mix, Student Mix etc).
  • Stm = Stems.
  • LyBk = Internal layback track for mixing.
• Aux Input
  • SG = Sub group on an aux track.
  • SGM - Sub group master (sub groups that go to further subgroups like SGM - Instruments, SGM - Vocals, SGM - Room Mics, SGM - FX).
  • FX = Efects track on an aux.
  • TB = Talkback track on an aux.
  • LB = Listen back track on an aux.
• Master Fader
  • M = Master track for layback. i.e. "M - Mix."
  • MHp = Master track for headphones (i.e. "MHp - Headphones Drummer").
• VCA Master
  • V = VCA track.
  • VM = VCA Master track that controls other VCA's.
• MIDI Track
  • D = MIDI track.
• Instrument Track
  • I = Instrument track.
• Video Track
  • Vid = Video track.

Last edited by skilletaudio; 11-12-2019 at 09:45 AM.
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