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ADAT in/out

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ADAT in/out

Postby pa28 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:09 pm

As a user of a Focusrite saffire Pro 40 even with its 8 ins/outs I need more because of my want to use external hardware, (delays,reverb, etc etc) so bit the bullet and got a Behringer ADA8200 as it really is at a price I can justify for an amatuer.

I bought the toslink cable with it and then realised stupidly it has in/out optical.

So daft question, do I need to have both in/out connected to use this as "interface" for my external gear sends/returns.

I did connect the ADA8200 to go out to my Pro 40 and had "sync" & "Master" lights on on the ADA8200 and selected a couple of inputs I was feeding a line sig to, and , yep zilch appeared, I thought this wouldnt be simple so any help would be nice.
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Re: ADAT in/out

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:20 pm

ADAT cables/connections are not bi-directional (like SP/DIF) so You only need to connect the ADAT out from the ADA to the ADAT in on the Pro 40 if you only need more inputs. But you are using it as inserts? If so you need both in and out connected or the signal goes one way but not the other.
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Re: ADAT in/out

Postby pa28 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:41 pm

Yep, thought so, need another Toslink. as I am using stereo sends/returns.I have managed to get my line inputs working OK as a test on ADAT 1 & 2 but not sure how I did it, I think it was to do with "sync source" which I now have on the Pro 40 as "ADAT" 1 & 2.

Thanks.
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Re: ADAT in/out

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:05 pm

I'd probably run the ADA as slave and the Pro 40 as master clock 'cos the clock in the Focusrite is likely better than the Berry but whatever get's it working hey :)
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Re: ADAT in/out

Postby The Elf » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:09 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I'd probably run the ADA as slave and the Pro 40 as master clock
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Re: ADAT in/out

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:14 pm

Yes, to use the ADA8200 for inserts you'll need two lightpipe cables -- one for the eight* 'send' channel from interface to ADA, and the other for the eight 'return' channels from the ADA back into the interface.

*You'll only get eight channels, or four stereo pairs, when running at base sample rates of 44.1/48k.

The other thing to think about is which device to use as the digital clock master and which as the slave. You can do it either way around, but you'll get slightly better technical performance if you use the Behringer as the clock master, and tell the interface to slave to its ADAT input -- exactly as you have with Sync source ADAT 1/2 on the interface, and make sure the ADA8200 is set to master mode at the appropriate sample rate on the switch at the back.

The reason for this preference is simply that the Saffire works much better in a clock slave mode than the Behringer does -- the performance of the Behringer's converters are measurably degraded when running as a slave.

However, if this is inconvenient because you often need to change sample rates between 44.1 and 48k , then take the technical hit and do it the other way round: slave the ADA8200 to the interface by setting the interface clock to Internal, and the ADA rear panel switch to ADAT. It is possible that you'll be aware of a slight reduction in quality -- mainly high frequency artefacts -- but equally you may not notice any ill effects at all, depending on the nature of your music and the quality of your monitoring.

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Re: ADAT in/out

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:45 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:... the clock in the Focusrite is likely better than the Berry but whatever get's it working hey :)

Yes, that's a common way of thinking, and the clocking system in the Focusrite ~is~ better than that of the Behringer -- which is precisely why it should be the slave!

The fact is that all devices perform best when running on their internal crystal clock... But what happens when you ask it to slave to an external clock is rarely discussed!

A well designed and engineered device will run as a clock slave without any noticeable (or measurable) difference, but a poor one's converter performance will be measurably degraded.

Based on tests with relatively recent Focusrite gear, I suspect that running your interface as a slave would have a minimal effect on its performance. Sadly, though, the same is unlikely to be the case for the Behringer (based on measurements of a variety of Behringer digital boxes).

Consequently, the 'preferred' configuration is to run the ADA8200 as the clock master -- which it does tolerably well from its own internal crystal (and it's a lot better than the old ADA8000) -- and then set the Focusrite to work as the clock slave -- because it can do a much better job of recovering and locking to an external clock than the Behringer can.

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Re: ADAT in/out

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:46 pm

:thumbup:
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Re: ADAT in/out

Postby ef37a » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:33 pm

Glad Hugh cleared that up (again!) because it IS counter-intuitive. One would think the "best" bit of kit should be the master.

All makes perfect sense though when it is explained so well.

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Re: ADAT in/out

Postby pa28 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:48 pm

Good stuff being told here, can't wait to get all hookedup when the 8 way xlr-jack loom and 2nd Toslink cable arrives.

Thanks for the info.
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