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Allen & Heath SQ-5 Pro Tools DAW Control

In this Lagniappe Lesson video, Ryan walks through how to setup the Allen & Heath SQ digital mixers with Pro Tools to control faders, mutes, solo, start, stop, record, etc via the DAW controller driver. It's pretty quick and easy!

Configuring the Allen & Heath SQ-5 with Pro Tools for MIDI DAW Control

- contributed by Ryan C.

All right. How you doing folks? This is Ryan here with the Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts. We're here today with another video in our Lagniappe Lesson Series. So, today, we're going to be talking about DAW control with Pro Tools and the Allen & Heath SQ-5. So, kind of a recording video for you. And the reason we're doing this is because we have this mixer here in our studio. And DAW control was something that I was wondering how this particular mixer handled when I was researching it and I didn't come across any videos on YouTube.

And the good news is everything works great. It's very easy to set up and the instructions are actually very good from Allen & Heath. But if you're like me and you probably are because you're on YouTube searching for this, you'd rather watch a video about setting it up rather than the instructions. So I am happy to do that for you.

So let's go ahead and get started here. We're on the Allen & Heath website and you just do a DAW control SQ-5 search and you'll get here. This is the main SQ page. It has a lot of various software for the different versions of the SQ mixer and of course the app for MixPad, USB driver. We want the DAW control driver.

So you do want to download the latest one because it supports scribble strips, which before it did not apparently. So you definitely want to use that one. Let's go ahead and download and install it. Just click. I have already done that and I actually just need to launch it. So I'm going to launch it. That's what it looks like. And then you get the neat little icon down there, and once it's installed, you just need to do a little basic configuration.

You select the SQ as the mixer, leave midi channel as two, unless there's a reason not to, protocol is going to be HUI. And then you can choose your midi option here. So if you're on a network, you can use TCPIP and then you'll want to check the connect box here. And then you can pretty much just close that out.

So you've got the DAW control running. Great. Now we're ready to go over to the mixer. So let's take a look at that. On the mixer you're going to want to go to the setup tab and you want to select the surface icon. Then if you look over here on this side, you're going to want to go to the DCA midi.
And the way this works is you have a midi channel for each Pro Tools channel that you want to control. So the SQ-5 can do 32 midi channels and you can access those by just scrolling this way, and then you see all your midi channels. Now where to place the midi channels, that's the question. Well the good news is you can do this anywhere you like. The mixer and the channel strips are completely customizable.

So we have layers A through F. So you get to the different layers just by pressing these buttons. And it's really up to you. I have layer B available, so there's nothing on there right now. So that's where I'm going to do mine here.

So let's go back to a closeup here so you can see. And then I'm just going to tap a midi channel here and just drag it down. And then you can do as many as you like, just need one, like I said, per Pro Tools channel that you want to control.

So once I do that, you see the scribble strips turn white and what you can't see is it actually says midi one, midi two, midi three, midi four. Later, once we launched Pro Tools, that'll actually change to the name of the track.

So once that's done, we're going to go over to the utility tab and then we're going to select midi. This is a neat little page here where you have the control so you can play, stop, rewind, pause, arm. So that's pretty helpful to have right there. You can also assign soft keys to do a lot of things via midi. I haven't investigated that yet. If you know how to do that and want to share, feel free to comment. I'm sure eventually I'll get into that.

But what you want to look at here is make sure you have midi channel one and then DAW, I don't think you can change the DAW control to anything but two, maybe you can but you really don't need to. So just leave that as it is.

So now that we have that taken care of, we are going to go over to Pro Tools now. And we need to do two things there. So we're going to go first to the setup tab, and then we're going to go to midi and midi input devices. What you need to see here is DAW control midi one through four. Now if you don't see that, it's probably because you had Pro Tools open when you installed the DAW control driver. So just go ahead and close Pro Tools, relaunch, and then you'll probably see those.

And make sure you check mark each one of those. And then we're going to go over to set up and we're going to go now to peripherals and then to midi controllers. And what you need to do here is set up a controller for every eight midi channels that you want to control.

So we're going to select Huey as the protocol, then receive from DAW control midi one, send to DAW control midi one and number of channels is eight. You can't change that. And then do it again for another eight channels. I'm going to be doing 16 channels eventually, probably. So that's why I have two sets of eight. And we select okay.

And that is it. So now you should see on your scribble strip the name of your track, which is hard to see here, but that is working for me. And then of course the fader. So the fader is moving. Great.

And then if I select mute on the mixer, my mute button is activated and then the PAFL button acts like a solo button. And, like I said, the soft keys also can do a lot of things and I'll get to that eventually. But for now this is great. This means I can work. And I'm sure that means you can work too.

So anyway, if this was helpful for you, please give us a thumbs up and subscribe. And if you'd like more videos on this, just let us know. We do all kinds of things here with our videos. We cover all kinds of topics, so thanks so much for joining us today and we'll see you next time. Take care.

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