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Word Clock, RME and the ADA8000

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by tnjazz, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. tnjazz

    tnjazz Active Member

    Hi all,

    I've got a quick question. One of my mobile rigs has 3 B* ADA8000's, going via lightpipe to a Nuendo RME/Digi. I've been thinking about maybe tightening up the sync on the setup with wordclock and I'm looking for a reasonably priced clock generator (can't afford Big Ben right now!)

    Anyway, I was looking at the back of the ADA8000s this morning and they have only a single BNC on the back? All the other devices I've seen have WC in and out on separate connectors. The ADA8000 has only Wordclock IN...

    So my question is - can I somehow slave all 3 ADA8000 to a single clock device, or is it not possible? The RME box has both In and Out, like most other devices. Where would this enter in the mix?

    Is it possible to use a BNC splitter of some sort? One from the main clock to 4 (one in each ADA8000 and one in the Digiset?) Or is this going to somehow degrade the signal?

    I'll admit I don't fully understand all the workings of word clock sync, so if anyone out there can help me with this it would be most appreciated!

  2. tnjazz

    tnjazz Active Member

    Nobody? I'm not being discriminated against because I admit to owning B* gear, am I? (':wink:')

    I know Big Ben has 6 distinct BNC outs, and the Aardsync II has 3. I'm wondering about other devices that may only have a single BNC out for generating timeclock. How would I go about clocking 3-4 devices from it? Or would I?

  3. tnjazz

    tnjazz Active Member

    Well, can't say I appreciate the help but after a lot of searching the answer to my question is to use a word clock distribution amplifier (such as the Aardsync DA).

    So if anyone else happens to have this question, there's the answer.
  4. Roly

    Roly Guest

    Hi Dirk
    A word clock distribution device still needs a source to distribute.
    So you would have to chose between the rme and the B device as master.
    I think it's possible to daisy chain the B pieces so that the rme is the master clock for them.
    You will have to look into what the manufacturer recommends regarding terminating the 75 ohm clock feed.
    This may work as well as a clock distributor and will be much cheaper. ( more other gear)
    I am not qualified to offer detailed instructions but I think I am on the right track.
  5. tnjazz

    tnjazz Active Member

    Roly, thanks for the reply. Actually I was thinking of picking up another device to do the clocking, not the RME box. So my device would be generate the WC source, but it might only have a single WC out.

    That's my very possible scenario. Or maybe I just bite the bullet and pick up a Lucid or an Aardsync...

  6. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    All you need is some connecting hardware.

    Simply use the RME box as clock master. RME is known to have really good clocks inside them, so that is definitely a good start. Set the RME as master and all the ADA-s to slave on the word clock input.

    In ordet get this to work you need to buy the following:
    - 4 short word clock cables. Select decent quality and be sure that they are made to be used for word clock. (Should be no problem in a music shop).
    - 3 T-connectors
    - one 75 Ohm terminator.

    Place the T-connectors on the ADA-s (the IN connector on each). Put the first cable in the OUT of the RME, and then chain all the ADA-s together on the T-connectors. Put the terminator in the final empty position on the last ADA.

    And don´t worry, this is exactly how word clock was designed to be used and chained together. The guys doing the design knew exactly what they were doing.

    It seems to be a common misunderstanding that you should chain using in-out connectors of every box. It can work, but it is not how it is designed.

    Another common misunderstanding is that you need a distribution amplifier. Well, as long as the cables are fairly short in total (say less then 30 feet or so) and you have a decent number of units connected (say 6 or less), daisy chaining with T-connectors is exactly as good. Remember it was designed to be done this way. The equipment sellers want you to believe differently of course, but it is your money.

    Once you have this setup, you might want to consider getting another master clock. Well another time, but don´t expect too much difference.

  7. tnjazz

    tnjazz Active Member

    Thanks Gunnar! That's really the answer I was looking for. I am actually considering another master clock device but it's good to know I could use the RME in the meantime.

  8. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Using an external clock with ADA800 assumes that the ADA8000 will perform better than it's internal clock. And while there are many times where this does improve jitter and the sound, it is not always the case even for top notch gear. I sure would not expect the ADA8000 to perform better enough using WC to justify the cost of a buying a good external dedicated clock source.

    I would rather save that money and just get real good converters with an ADAT output.
  9. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Gaff -

    You are thinking the Behringer ADA8000, not the Apogee AD8000 - right?

    The clock in the ADA 8000 is not great and often in need of a boost. The converter ain't half bad, considering the price and the name tag, but the clock -- mmm, not so hot. RME clocks really are quite nice and probably would help out a tad.

  10. tnjazz

    tnjazz Active Member

    That's the idea. This is a very budget rig we run most often for the "just getting started and have no money band" live shows around town and I'd like to tighten it up a little without spending too much. For really important stuff I have access to much higher end gear so clocking isn't really an issue...

  11. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Ok, mabe I wasn't paying full attention. But this being the Budget Forum ya, I was referring to the cheap Beringer box.

    I was trying to make the point that just because a digital device has WC, that doesn't always mean it is a good WC or that it will be better than using no word clock.

    If your going to bother to get a WC to tighten and make things sound better than get a very good one. If clocking isn't really an issue as you say, then you don't need to worry about WC.
  12. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    I have an ADA8000 clocked to an RME. It's only the Multiface, but it still says "RME" so I guess it counts. I honestly haven't used the thing as it is for spare emergency channels, but maybe I should do some testing on it, with and without wordclock, for the furtherment of knowledge if nothing else.

    The quick listening test I did when I got it to make sure the thing worked as advertised had me thinking, "Hmmm. This is OK."

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