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Discussion in 'Recording' started by sammyg, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    hey all,

    just wondering, I dont have any gear with AES/EBU and I havent really used that protocol much, is there a substantial difference in quality between AES/EBU and ADAT, I hear a lot of people saying pro's will not use adat, just after a bit of clarification.


  2. soundfreely

    soundfreely Guest

    AES/EBU is only two channels per connection and it allows for the transmission of up to 96kHz audio. Adat or Lightpipe can transfer 8 channels per connection but is limited to 48k. Although, Lightpipe can use bit splitting or S/MUX to transfer four channels on a single connection.

    I don't think that there is really a difference in sound quality between the two types. Allegedly, AES/EBU is less prone to jitter. Both connection types include clock information within the signals.

  3. johnwy

    johnwy Well-Known Member

    I would much rather say "avoid at all cost!" :lol:

    We will (grudgingly) use them. :| Whenever we are working with adats we will try to convince the client to bounce the audio to another format. They are just a pain in the neck when you have to lock (synchronize) more than three together at a time (I had 7 locked together for a mix) and/or with any other tape format like 2" analog. It is alot easier now to just transfer adats into protools.

    I once (just once) had a producer tell me that the studio we were working in (that had about $300,000 worth of pro equipment in the room at the time) was "not a real studio" because the studio did not own adats. :?
  4. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    I think that the first post was about the ADAT transfer protocol rather than the actual Alesis ADAT machine...correct me if I am wrong!!!

    Anyway, the AES/EBU protocol also allows for longer cables to be laid with less loss ("jitter" as soundfreely wrote?).

    Also, it is possible to transfer up to 192K with AES/EBU, in either single or dual wire protocols depending on the device.
  5. johnwy

    johnwy Well-Known Member

    You are correct sir

    Thats what I get for replying to something before my first cup of coffee!!!
  6. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    so is it fair to say that an AD box boasting 96k or 192k will only be able to do that via its AES/EBU outputs not its ADAT outs?

    would you recomend using S/MUX sending four channels rather than 8 channels down one lightpipe?

  7. soundfreely

    soundfreely Guest

    As far as I have seen, lightpipe only allows up to 96k using bit splitting. If you have to run a longer line, it would be best to go with AES/EBU since it is less jitter prone. With shorter distances (less than about 10 feet), it should not make too much of a difference whether you go with lightpipe or AES/EBU. If your using sampling rates in excess of 96k, obviously AES/EBU is your answer.

  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Most of the above statements are true - AES is better for long runs and it does support higher sample rates. However, it will support up to full DSD and/or DXD rates, not just 192kHz. Also, the ADAT format is technically capable of supporting 2 channels of 192 kHz as well, but little or no devices use this capability. (I believe it's referred to as S/MUX 4)

    Also, technically, a lot of the converters that are 24 bit/ 96 kHz 8 channel converters will allow you to send your signal via 2 S/MUX outputs thereby giving you a full 8 channels of 96kHz output. This is by no means a given though, so you definitely want to check this feature out. You will be able to tell by seeing the 2 ADAT outputs for each 8 channels.

    There is always a lot of debate over which format is better. Notice in Johnwy's earlier post, he didn't mention that they begrudgingly use them because of their quality, but because of their issues with large scale syncing. If you only intend to use, say, up to 24 channels, then you are probably okay. Afterall, you are simply transferring 1's and 0's, and for the most part (given a stable source) it doesn't matter whether you do that with photons (optical) or with electrical pulses (AES / S/PDIF Coax).

  9. soundfreely

    soundfreely Guest

    Quantum mechanics and how it relates to audio recording by...
    :D :wink:

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