D-Show v2.7 Thoughts
I installed the latest version of the D-Show software today. Everything went smoothly as usual including some firmware updates to all the hardware. However, I have to say that the latest software feels a bit underwhelming for me. There really weren’t a whole lot of new features added this time around, and the ones that were added, in my opinion, pale in comparison to the goodness we got in 2.6 with bank safes and blank channels.
The biggest new feature for me is that the channelstrips now may reflect what VCAs are doing. It’s kind of cool how it works. You still see the physical location of your fader, but now when you adjust a VCA all the channels assigned to that VCA will have these little “ghost” faders that rise or fall over the fader’s actual location on screen. Once upon a time I thought it would be cool if the faders changed with VCA moves, but I think this might actually be better because if I do any offsetting with VCAs my channel fader’s still stay in the sweet spot on the console. The only reason I’m sort of digging this is it will make explaining VCAs and what they’re doing incredibly easy when training newer engineers.
Another new feature is a handy system lock available now on the options page. Although, I think it’s a little too easy to figure out how to unlock it so hopefully they’ll beef it up in a newer version. But I’ll definitely start using it when we’re away from the console. They even let you customize a lock screen to display when you lock the console, and I’ve got ours all ready to go.
There are really only two other features in the new software. One is for getting AFL to follow Auxes and Variable Groups which sounds like it might be handy for folks mixing monitors on the Venue, but I’m just not there, yet, so I can’t comment on the usefulness. The last feature is the software now knows if your plugins are all up to date, and alerts you when there are upgrades. Of course, the database of plugin info only updates when you update the Venue software so I’m not sure this is really going to help us keep our plugins up to date until the next major update.
I guess the bottom line on this version, in my opinion, is that if you are only using the Venue at FOH you might be able to skip v2.7. 2.6 was a must have, but the additions here feel mostly cosmetic–although, the system lock is a good thing for us since our FOH is quite exposed. I’d recommend downloading the v2.7 standalone software, checking out the new features, and seeing if they are relevant to what you’re currently doing before spending the $150 to upgrade. I know that the Digidesign folks are working on some pretty cool new stuff for future releases, and this time you might be able to wait for the next really cool thing. Of course, part of my being underwhelmed might have to do with the Digidesign ICON demo we got at Atlanta Pro Audio earlier in the week–the ICON might be one of the coolest studio consoles I’ve ever seen…
If there’s something you’ve found in 2.7 that you absolutely love that I’ve either mentioned or missed, please add a comment.