In the end of 2018 Avid stops supporting our beloved S5MC. So now it finally is time to start looking towards alternatives.
And yes there are really only two options. Avid S6 and Yamaha Nuage.
The Nuage is great IF they have finally fixed the noisy rattling faders. But the support for other DAWs just isn’t that good. HUI limitations in 2017-2018 isn’t cutting it.
If we decide to keep beeing more or less fully Nuendo centric then the Nuage is a no brainer.
But that may or may not be what will happen eventually.
If Avid finally starts making PT and MC integrate well, it will be really hard to stay away from PT.
And if we will use PT then the S6 just makes more sense.
Personally I have a bunch of gripes with how the S6 works (mostly physically/technically).
So I would love to hear some recent comments on how they work with Nuendo.
Especially things like spill zones, VCA integration, quick link, the amount of info on the screens displayed from Nuendo etc.
I just had experiences with S6 on Pro Tools, and the only thing I can say is : You need a lot of RAM in your BRAIN … Even after long hours of use … Nothing comes in hand … exactly as with the d-command. Many things end up with mouse.
By the way, I love working on Nuage, even on big project … Your brain is fully used to mix …
I have seen demos of both the S6 and Nuage. No actual long term experience, just demos.
My impression were…
The S6 is very Mix oriented. If you are doing 90% mixing then the S6 is set for that. But we use Nuendo mostly as a tape machine and do all our EQ, compression, balancing on our Euphonix System-5 console. We will do delay and other FX in Nuendo and buss them to the console for mixing. With this in mind, I found the S6 very lacking in editing features (as compared to the Nuage). Also as an S5 user, I find the S6 build quality to be flimsy in comparison.
The Nuage I liked from the minute I saw it. I did wish the encoders were not at the top of the board, but were closer to the engineer. But as far as function, I thought the Nuage made a lot of sense. You could do some serious editing on it, and it was equally set for mixing features.
I have demo’d Nuage, S6, System-5 MC, Tango, Artist series
and for me the Nuage makes the most sense. It is the closet thing to a perfect controller (for me) the others all had something that was a deal killer for us.
Good luck, enjoy whatever you get.
I have worked on a Nuage system for a week. So I already know that I like it.
Yes the S6 seems a lot more mix centric, quite “fiddley” and I agree a lesser build quality compared to our S5MC.
On the S5MC I’m actually using the keys less than I do the keyboard. When I worked on the Nuage I had pretty much stopped using the keyboard and mouse day two (I guess it “helped” that the keyboard was a French Azerty layout).
It the PT control from the Nuage doesn’t seem to be useful. And that limits its use quite severely for PT users.
Those controllers are great if you have the budget but the Ravens are definitely worth looking at. My friend in LA who is a Film Score Mixer only uses them now. He Retired both his Sony Baby Oxfords for them.
A raven is not at all what we are looking for. I really don’t see the Raven as a tool for dual operator mixing for film and tv post. But in a smaller mix room it may work pretty good if you like that type of interaction. Personally I am more fond of physical buttons than I am of touch screens. With physical buttons you can rely on muscle memory, but on a touch screen you just can’t, you have to constantly look at the surface to get things done. I do not want that.
Our studio uses a System-5M, with Nuendo running as a tape machine. I love the S5, for flexibility, complete recall (setup & automation), ease of use, built quality…
If money were not the sticking point, I would look at any of the System-5 options. System-5MC, System-5 Fusion, System-5 music (if you don’t need the console to be DAW integrated).
In mid line controllers, from what I have seen so far I would choose the Nuage.
Hope this helps,
Oh, I already have a 32fader S5MC and a small 8fader system as well.
They are great, but getting old. Replacing them is the issue.
I understand all too well. Our System-5M is getting to the point where some parts of it are no longer supported. We are currently having issues with the core processor cards, and they are not supported. Surviving off of ebay purchased replacements. Even with all the maintenance issues, I would choose a System-5 product again in a heart beat. Have truly loved working on one.
Having a system-5 product I can’t help but feel that you would be disappointed in the S6.
Good luck with your choice.