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confused about Focusrite Liquid 56 ADAT outputs.. ?!

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confused about Focusrite Liquid 56 ADAT outputs.. ?!

Postby luts » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:15 am

Hi there

I'm trying to get my head around a Saffire 56, especially the mix control software.

So, when I go into the mix control router I can route mixes to the analogue outputs on the back of the box.. outs 1-10.. I can see them and hear them when i connect pieces of equipment.

What I don't get is, on the router, I also seem to have access to another 16 outputs via ADAT optical.

How do I access these outputs so I can use them for extra headphone sends etc.. ?

There are no "physical" ADAT output ports as such.

Do I need to purchase some kind of breakout box that connects to the ADAT outs on the back of the Saffire 56 and converts them to analogue (i.e.: physical) outputs?

I don't quite get this.

It would be nice to have access to more outputs. Currently I have output 1 and 2 for my main monitors, leaving outputs 3-10 for 4 stereo headphone sends.
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Re: confused about Focusrite Liquid 56 ADAT outputs.. ?!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:51 am

luts wrote:There are no "physical" ADAT output ports as such.

Oh yes there are! They are on the rear panel, labelled 'Optical Out' -- two of them, one for ADAT outputs 1-8 and the other for 9-16. ...and they output digital signals in the optical ADAT lightpipe format.

Do I need to purchase some kind of breakout box that connects to the ADAT outs on the back of the Saffire 56 and converts them to analogue (i.e.: physical) outputs?

They already are 'physical' outputs -- there are physical connectors on the interface. However, what you seem to expect or want are additional analogue outputs... and to get those from your ADAT outputs you will indeed need 16 channels of Digital-to-Analogue conversion to convert your ADAT outputs to analogue interfaces. There are lots of options, but the Ferrofish Pulse 16 gets good reviews, for example.

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Re: confused about Focusrite Liquid 56 ADAT outputs.. ?!

Postby wired4sound » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:21 pm

Hugh

Thanks for the reply.

Yes, I understand that there are physical ADAT outputs on the saffire 56.

But what is the point of an ADAT output unless its connected to an analogue output?

What else would I use an ADAT output for unless Im outputting from an ADAT mic pre?

The studio Im learning about has an octopre connected to the saffire via its ADAT outputs.. that makes complete sense to me.

But, why are there ADAT outs on the sapphire 56 unless to output to a box that converts them to analogue (usable) outputs. ?

Still confused.
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Re: confused about Focusrite Liquid 56 ADAT outputs.. ?!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:27 pm

wired4sound wrote:But what is the point of an ADAT output unless its connected to an analogue output?

The point is to allow a convenient multichannel digital connection with other equipment -- external hardware recorders or mixers, additional preamps/converters, external FX boxes, etc...

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Re: confused about Focusrite Liquid 56 ADAT outputs.. ?!

Postby Matt Houghton » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:04 pm

Yeah... what Hugh said. ADAT connectivity dates from a time before computers, when digital mixers and digital multitrack recorders (including yes, you guessed it, the ADAT machine) ruled the roost. So the ports were a way to hook this gear together without having to keep converting between analogue and digital. And because they used optical connections, that also helped to break ground loops and so on.

Fast forward to today, and, apart from a few legacy systems, ADAT ports are pretty much only used to hook up additional analogue IO to audio interfaces. Some of those boxes are just one way (ie just A-D conversion, to add more mic inputs), whereas others offer both A-D and D-A conversion, with either mic/line inputs and line outputs, enabling you to add more mic pres, or to hook up external gear such as a small analogue mixer or some processors/EQ to use as 'external effects' in your DAW.
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Re: confused about Focusrite Liquid 56 ADAT outputs.. ?!

Postby James Perrett » Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:29 pm

wired4sound wrote:But, why are there ADAT outs on the sapphire 56 unless to output to a box that converts them to analogue (usable) outputs. ?

That's exactly what they are there for. You could buy something like the Behringer ADA8200 which goes from ADAT to 8 analogue outputs as well as the other way round. If you are a real cheapskate you might find someone throwing out an old ADAT recorder which could be pressed into service as a D/A convertor.
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Re: confused about Focusrite Liquid 56 ADAT outputs.. ?!

Postby OneWorld » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:54 pm

You might also be using a digital mixer, which will almost certainly have ADAT i/o, or indeed a hardware hard disk recorder, which may also have ADAT i/o

I have 2 synths which have ADAT out, and if running out of analogue inputs to the interface, the extra inputs by way of ADAT (but set as stereo) come in handy
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Re: confused about Focusrite Liquid 56 ADAT outputs.. ?!

Postby uselessoldman » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:41 pm

I have both the Focusrite Liquid 56 and the Behringer ADA8200. I connect the 10 Jack analogue outputs on the Liquid as such

1-2 Monitors go to Studio Monitor Speakers for mixing mastering or plan stereo
The rest are in a 7.1 configuration
3-4 Stereo Amp with Cabs Celestion Vintage 30 G12T drivers (Guitar Lead - Rhythm)
5 Mono Keyboard & Room Amp/Cab
6 (Subwoofer) Mono Bass - kick
7-8 into Stereo Amp/Cab for Drums/Cymbals/Toms
9-10 into Stereo Amp for vocals basically center speaker but split main left and backup vocals Right

I have Liquid 56 Toslink ADATA IN 1-8 coming from ADATA OUT on the Behringer ADA8200 for 8 extra Pre-amps and Behringer is the time sync set to 48kHz

I have Liquid 56 Toslink Out to Behringer ADA8200 IN 1-8 to the 8 outputs on the back - probably never use them but they are cable up to patch panel

The computer has a toslink into a Atmos amp which is set to 7.1 for surround.

I use the Liquid Outputs 1-2 for mastering and mixing
I use the Liquid 56 Jack outputs 3-10 for playing and recording
I use the Computer Toslink for playback - mastering checks as to how it all sounds on a HiFi

Now that is not all.....

I have a behringer Mic MS8000 line splitter - mics come in and split to Liquid for dry and any effects are routed through the Ada82000

I have Guitars doing through a Di Pro 8000 dry into the Liquid - Di Pro front outs going to amps and amp DI outputs going to ADA82000 via patch panel with all effects - wet input basically and cab mics go back through line splitters MS8000 as above

I have a stage box connected and going through patch panel cabled as such
8 XLR going to 8 on back of Liquid - via patch
8 XLR going to Mic Splitter (ms8000)
8 Jack going to Di Pro

The patch panel has a Samson S-Patch plus that splits\routes the in and outs so I can break the signal path on the front rather than mess about on the back of my cabinet

All in a 8u Samson cabinet - absolutely awesome fun all boxes screwed in the front and patch panels on the rear. Took me ages to think it through and get it right then wired up. Now I have a complete mobile recording studio with so many inputs I will never run out and I can run the stage box from anywhere I want cos it has a really long long loom

Going to use another cab to rack effects although I tend to use computer vsts most of the time but thats on the cards sometime in the future

Now someone can come round record play back on proper instrument guitar amps cabs (Marshalls Vox) Mix on the Yamaha Studio Monitors and check on a half decent 7.1 HiFi system if they want - all corners covered !!!!! mix and finally master - leave happy

Confused? not to worry so was I until I printed all the connections off and posted it on the wall
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Re: confused about Focusrite Liquid 56 ADAT outputs.. ?!

Postby CS70 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:13 pm

wired4sound wrote:But what is the point of an ADAT output unless its connected to an analogue output?

ADAT is simply a format to exchange digital audio. So an output allows you to send a signal to whatever is capable of receiving it.

Most often, as Hugh says, this will be a D/A converter which you will use to send the signal further on to some analogue machine (an effect box, an active monitor, a tape machine).

But if you have say an ADAT recorder, it'll be happy to accept the ADAT output from your interface.

What else would I use an ADAT output for unless Im outputting from an ADAT mic pre?

If you use outboard, every mono box takes 2 sockets =1 input and 1 output, and a stereo box takes obviously 4. You soon run out of analogue channels even with an interface with many I/Os.

So a common use nowadays is to use ADAT to extend the channel count of an interface, by sending the ADAT out and getting the ADAT in to and from an AD/DA converter box, which usually exposes 8 analogue inputs and outputs.

For example I have 20 channels of analogue I/O on my main interface, and a converter with additional 16 channels connected via ADAT, for a total of 18 inputs and outputs. Given a couple outs go to the monitor controller for the speakers, that leaves me with the possibility of connecting 16 outboard boxes.
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Re: confused about Focusrite Liquid 56 ADAT outputs.. ?!

Postby MOF » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:42 pm

Still confused
You’re confused? I’m confused, luts asks a question, Hugh replies then wired4sound thanks him for the answer to luts’ question and then at the end says the quote above. Confused? You soon will be. :lol:
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