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Tempus Fugit
new member


Joined: 19/01/04
Posts: 10
Loc: UK
Word Clocks (Big Ben) new
      #19259 - 22/09/04 04:02 PM
Hi everyone,

I would like some help with understanding how a good Word Clock works such as the Big Ben from Apogee (not the physics behind it, just basics as I cant seem to grasp it from reading there site).

I have only recently dipped my toes into the semi-pro digital realm, although I have been recording using analogue gear with PC/Atari for over 10 years.

I have read things like this from apogee’s Big Ben reviews :-

“I have to say that I am ASTOUNDED at the difference that the Big Ben makes.”

And

“There were essentially three differences that I noticed. First, the coherency of the sound. Secondly, there was extension at the high end frequency, and finally, the smudge in the mid-range was diminished.

How does it do this? and could it be useful for me?

Here is a list of most of my equipment that may use a word clock to help anyone wishing to help me out here decide its usefulness in my situation.

2x MOTU HD192
Crane Song Avocet studio controller
Tascam CDRW2000
Focusrite Liquid Channel

Other non word clocked equipment includes

3x Powercore Firewire
TL Audio Valve EQ
ATC SCM20ASL Pro monitors
Bittree Bantam Patchbay
Various Synths & High end plug ins Inc. Waves IR1.
Mackie HUI
MOTU Midi Express

Thank you

Also I don’t understand what the Digital inputs/Outputs are for on the Big Ben?

Whilst I’m here and you lot are feeling helpful is there anything else that would be beneficial to add at some point to the studio to improve the sound (within the price range of equipment I already have). I mention this as I stumbled across a company called dangerous who claim to be able to improve the digital signals with their summing equipment? Again way over my head.

If this has been covered then please let me know politely and if you are feeling helpful today then please help me out.

Thanks

--------------------
Engineer from a small rock near the sun


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James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
Posts: 10660
Loc: The wilds of Hampshire
Re: Word Clocks (Big Ben) new [Re: Tempus Fugit]
      #19294 - 22/09/04 04:24 PM
A stable word clock is important wherever you need to go from analogue to digital or vice versa. If the clock is jittery then the waveform won't be sampled in quite the right place which will lead to distortion.

Whether an external word clock will help will depend upon the design of your convertors. Some convertors sound better if they can act as the master word clock with everything else slaved to them while some sound better with a stable external clock.

A central word clock generator is also useful if you have a complex setup with multiple convertors in different boxes - your system may fall into that category but you might also want to consider using one of your existing devices with word clock output and a simple word clock distribution amplifier for this task.

Cheers.

James.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


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Alex Harper



Joined: 27/05/04
Posts: 688
Loc: Manchester, UK
Re: Word Clocks (Big Ben) new [Re: James Perrett]
      #19384 - 22/09/04 06:22 PM
Tempus, can I ask you something?
Are you a mad eccentric millionaire, or do you actually find yourself requiring as much DSP power as 3 firewire powercores!!?? Thats like using 6 of the pci versions!!

--------------------
om mani peme hung


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Tempus Fugit
new member


Joined: 19/01/04
Posts: 10
Loc: UK
Re: Word Clocks (Big Ben) new [Re: Alex Harper]
      #19397 - 22/09/04 06:36 PM
Thanks for answering the question.

Of course i'm not a millionaire or anywhere near it, if I was I would by racks of Avalons, Neves, Lexicons & Top TC's. It is expanding rapidly though. If you look at their site you will notice that they are investing very heavily into the Powercore. But I admit its a bit of a gamble!

TC also recommended 3 for my uses, but then they would wouldnt they! All my fx and future plugins and VST's will come from them, all I use my PC for is Nuendo, samples and the IR1 convolution reverb.

cheers

--------------------
Engineer from a small rock near the sun


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Axe L



Joined: 10/09/03
Posts: 301
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Word Clocks (Big Ben) new [Re: Tempus Fugit]
      #19539 - 22/09/04 09:11 PM
Quote:

The sonic differences between recordings made with the HD192 A/Ds when slaved to Big Ben's internal clock vs. using the HD192's internal clock were simply astounding. Big Ben's clock made the overall sound dramatically warmer (i.e., less edgy), the high end far sweeter and the spectral balance noticeably smoother. Trust me, this is not simply the ramblings of an obsessed engineer: Even my wife (who is not an audio person) could identify the recording made with Big Ben's clock!



I advise you read this, Tempus Fugit:
http://mixonline.com/products/review/audio_apogee_electronics_big/index.ht ml

Also, Big Ben can perform digital audio format conversions for you, hence the I/Os.

I have a feeling you won't be able to resist, so enjoy your purchase


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Axe L



Joined: 10/09/03
Posts: 301
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Word Clocks (Big Ben) new [Re: Tempus Fugit]
      #19646 - 22/09/04 10:13 PM
Another resource.


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Tempus Fugit
new member


Joined: 19/01/04
Posts: 10
Loc: UK
Re: Word Clocks (Big Ben) [Re: Axe L]
      #20531 - 23/09/04 05:18 PM
Thanks

I think I will have to try and extend my loan a little to give me some available money for the Apogee as it sounds too good to not have really. . Lets hope I can start making some of my investment back.

Thanks for the links Axe L. Its great to have such knowledgeable people online.

--------------------
Engineer from a small rock near the sun


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