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Should I use ADAT or many jacks?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by HaHallur, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. HaHallur

    HaHallur Active Member

    I have an RME Fireface 800 and I bought a Focusrite Octopre to extend the pres I have.

    There are 8 balanced line ins on the back of the Fireface and 8 outs on the Octopre... so I could just use jacks for the number of pres i need.

    But there is also 2 ADAT ins/outs on the Fireface and 2 outs on the Octopre, I donĀ“t know how that works or more importantly, how will it appear in my mixer matrix.

    If anyone could shed some light on using ADAT in this scenario i'd be greatful =)

    Thanks in advance
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    This answer will depend largely on whether you think the digital conversion in the Octopre is better than on the Fireface. I know what my opinion is but you need to come to your own.

    1) If you think the Octopre has better AD conversion then go into the Fireface via the two ADAT inputs.

    2) If you think the Fireface has better AD conversion then go analog from the line out of the Octopre into the Fireface line inputs.

    In the FF matrix the analog inputs are listed as AN1-10. Stuff coming into the FF are on the left most vertical column. Stuff going out of the FF are listed at the top of the matrix.

    And now my opinion. I would use option 2 unless I already had all of the line inputs occupied by other instruments or microphones or preamps.
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    If quality of sound is your main concern, follow Jack's advice and use the ADCs in the FF800. However, your original post mentioned that you would like to "extend the pres" that you have. If this is the case, and you need to keep using all of the 4 pre-amps in the FF800, then routing the Octopre outputs optically to the FF800 ADAT inputs is the logical choice. That would give you a total of 12 microphone inputs plus a further 6 line inputs on the FF800.

    To continue to make use of the superior clock source in the FF800, I recommend that you use the Ext Sync input of the Octopre connected to the wordclock out of the the FF800 via a 75 Ohm BNC cable, terminated on a T-piece at the Octopre end.
  4. HaHallur

    HaHallur Active Member

    Could someone explain what AD conversion is, please =)
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    AD=analog to digital conversion. If you go into the FF via the ADAT you have already converted your electrical analog signal into digital 1's and 0's. If you use the line in/out routing then the analog to digital conversion occurs inside the FF unit itself.

    ADC (analog to digital conversion/converters) is the primary function of a computer interface.
  6. HaHallur

    HaHallur Active Member

    I'm guessing the 1600$ Fireface has better AD conversion than the 500$ Octopre =)
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Quite. In my opinion, until you get to stand alone converters, the Fireface series has the best bang for the buck in ADC/DAC. Of course Metric Halo lovers would argue but it's still my opinion. The problem with getting the best stand alone converters is simply cost per channel otherwise that is definitely the way to go.

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