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Digital clocking between Neve 1073 DPD & UAD Apollo8?

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Digital clocking between Neve 1073 DPD & UAD Apollo8?

Postby skipper01 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:45 pm

Hi, I'm recording a band soon and have maxed out the analogue inputs on my UAD Apollo 8.
I can probably/possibly borrow a nice Neve DPD 1073 with aspirations to connect it digitally to the Spdif ins on the Apollo for another 2 channels obviously.
However, it looks like I really need to properly test this in advance which may prove difficult with timings.
So, can anybody advise? I have read as much as I can including the unit manuals and the SOS article on connecting AES to Spdif. I can see I'd need either a short bodge cable (I appreciate the potential audio risks therein) or proper AES to Spdif convertor?
However, beyond this and maybe I'm overthinking/complicating this without sufficient knowledge! - Both units have BNC word clock ins and outs.
If I use the bodge cable idea, may there be any advantage to getting a BNC cable so I could wire the Word clock out of the Apollo 8 to feed the Word clock in of the 1073 DPD which I assume would mean the DPD would be synced to the Apollo?
I assume the Apollo would be spitting out clock from this connection all the time?
However, in the UAD Console software I can see you have clocking source options of either Internal, Word Clock, Spdif or Adat?
I assume I wouldn't have to choose to clock from the Spdif once connected to get the audio signal into Console? If I do have to choose to Clock from the Spdif signal then I assume there wouldn't be any point in connecting and sending the Word clock out of the Apollo?
Could I connect the Word Clock out of the DPD to Word clock in of the Apollo. Again I assume the Spdif audio would still come through?
All this is hypothetical I appreciate.
Maybe it will be fine with just a XLR to Phono unbalancing bodge cable?
Maybe i should just hire an Adat interface and not take a chance?
Any thoughts would be welcomed as I'd like to learn as well...

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Re: Digital clocking between Neve 1073 DPD & UAD Apollo8?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:51 pm

Well I've got a dbx 386 connected to my Apollo 8 via a normal S/PDIF cable. They talk to each other happily using S/PDIF protocol but they also talk to each other just as cheerfully using AES protocol - the dbx 386 has both outputs but for some reason puts out the same signal on both, whichever of S/PDIF or AES is selected. I understand from Hugh that S/PDIF and AES are sufficiently alike that this is not a surprise. Since the 386 defaults to AES I tend to leave it there. So I would think your AES to S/PDIF cable ought to work.

For clocking I connect the wordclock out out on the Apollo 8 to the wordclock in on the 386 and this works fine with the Apollo configured to internal and the 386 automatically picking up the external clocking. I like this because it means I don't have to configure anything, it all just works whether the 386 is present or not.

Hope that helps.

CC

Edited to add PS: with Wordclock you need to look out for termination. If you ever had anything to do with the old Ethernet co-axial cable you will recognise the issue. At the Apollo end the connection is always terminated, so no problem there. For me at the 386 end it depends on a jumper setting on the motherboard so you probably need to check the manual for the 1073 to see what that does. In all probability you can just connect the cable and it will work but if it doesn't this may well be why.

PPS just looked at the manual for the 1073 and there's a DIP switch on the back to set 75 Ohm termination so it looks like you're OK.

PPPS My mind's going as I get older, the Apollo 8 also has a switch to set 75 Ohm termination, how did I forget? Just make sure both switches are set to 75 Ohms and you'll be fine.
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Re: Digital clocking between Neve 1073 DPD & UAD Apollo8?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:28 pm

I think Chris has covered all the salient points very well.

Provided you keep the cable reasonably short, a simple XLR to phono plug bodge lead (pin 2 to tip, and 3 to sleeve) should work perfectly well. AES3 and S/PDIF are both self-clocking, so you can run the Neve on its internal clock and set the Apollo to slave to its S/PDIF input if you want -- no other cables needed.

Alternatively, you can run the Apollo as master on its internal clock, and use a BNC-BNC cable to convey the clock-out from the Apollo to the Neve, setting the Neve to slave to that word-clock. I can't remember if the Neve is terminated or has a term switch but, as Chris says, you'll need to make sure the word clock feed is properly terminated one way or another.

H
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Re: Digital clocking between Neve 1073 DPD & UAD Apollo8?

Postby skipper01 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:32 pm

It does help greatly, many thanks for taking the time.
I just wonder then what these aes to spdif convertor boxes actually do beyond obviously making the balanced to unbalanced and connection type change more visually appealing?
There doesn’t appear to be a cheap box/solution out there as new...!?
As you say hopefully a short aes to spdif bodge lead coupled with a bnc lead for word clock will do the trick!

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Re: Digital clocking between Neve 1073 DPD & UAD Apollo8?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:38 am

skipper01 wrote:I just wonder then what these aes to spdif convertor boxes actually do beyond obviously making the balanced to unbalanced and connection type change more visually appealing?

They convert between the signal voltage levels, the connector format and the balanced/unbalanced aspect but -- most importantly, they also transform the characteristic impedances of the two connection formats which is critical if you want to send the signal more than a metre or two. That all requires either a specially designed transformer or active circuitry, neither being very cheap!

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Re: Digital clocking between Neve 1073 DPD & UAD Apollo8?

Postby SoundonSound1 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:34 am

Cheers Hugh
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