1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

Wordclock for Portable Recording Rig?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by mrdarius, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. mrdarius

    mrdarius Guest


    I'm just starting to get into recording. I'd like to set up a mobile studio to record live groups in rehearsal or performance.

    Here's what I have:

    ** 2 X M-Audio Octane 8ch Preamp w/ ADAT Lightpipe
    ** M-Audio ProjectMix I/O Audio Interface and Control Surface
    ** MacBook Pro running Logic 8

    The preamps are in a SKB portable case with a power conditioner. The plan is to take the equipment on location to do recordings and then do the editing and mixing at home. I will patch the first preamp to the inputs on the ProjectMix and ADAT from the other preamp so that I have a total of 16 inputs.

    I have two questions:
    1. Is there any other gear that I should include in my setup?
    2. Based on what I have today or what's being suggested, do I need an external wordclock source signal? I have ZERO experience with the digital recording world today, so if I do need wordclock, please explain why I need it and how I would go about connecting it.

  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    No, you don't need a separate wordclock. Sync the ProjectMix to its ADAT input and all will be well.

    For monitoring, you could carry a pair of active monitors with you, and/or use headphones for when you are not acoustically isolated.

    But how actually are you going to monitor with this setup? On location, you need to have monitoring that can solo one or more channels (preferably with panning enabled), and to generate a rough two-track mix. Logic is a great production tool, but it is not the best DAW for live mixing and monitoring.

    You will need a snake with at least 16 sends.

    Microphones (and stands) are a whole separate issue.

    Don't assume you can use any part of the bands equipment or PA system.
  3. mrdarius

    mrdarius Guest

    Thanks Boswell.

    I am still trying to figure all of this out... in terms of the monitoring, I have two headphone mixes and two stereo monitor mixes that I can control with software. You think that will cut it for what I'm wanting to do?

    In terms of mics, stands, etc, I have plenty. I have been dealing with the live analog stuff for enough time now to have accumulated enough gear. It's the digital world that has me lost.

    Just one more question - on the original wordclock issue, does the lightpipe signal carry wordclock? Or will I need to set the preamp to slave and use a BNC connector to get the ProjectMix's internal wordclock signal to the preamp?
  4. mrdarius

    mrdarius Guest

    And which DAW is best for live recording? ProTools perhaps?
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    An ADAT receiver recovers a wordclock from the ADAT optical bitstream. Set the ProjectMix to take its clock from the ADAT input. The Octane acts as the clock master and the ProjectMix becomes a clock slave. You don't need any BNC cables. Stop worrying about it.
  6. Mike Caruso

    Mike Caruso Active Member

    Well, I am at a loss, because I have this exact setup except with an Alesis XT20.
    After setup, I can't see the Adat inputs in my Pro Tools M-powered. In the Projectmix i/o hardware panel, I have sync set to external digital. I have the digital i/o set up and can see that adat 9-16 is available on the i/o in Pro Tools. The only thing is that I cannot see the Adat 9-16 inputs when I try to select them in any given track. Only Analog 1-8. Any help would be huge! And I do not have a wordclock cable attached, ...thinking about it though! Thanks! Mike
  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    If your heart be fufill with a word clock cable go and buy one. But really, Boswell said it, you don't need one.
    You'd be force to sync via word clock cables if you'd use 3 units, let say one in the spdif and one in adat.

    In the projectmix software, go choose sync from ADAT, not digital which is the spdif input.
    On the octane preamps, choose sync internal.
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    are you planning on setting up your own mics or are you going to take feeds from the direct outs of a board mix?
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    To add to what people are implying, if you are really going to record live bands you will need microphone splitters and your own preamps to do it properly. If you cannot see inputs in your DAW that is because you are not set up correctly in the first place.
  10. Mike Caruso

    Mike Caruso Active Member

    I appreciated the quick replies guys! I have all the settings correctly, and have confirmed it. Sync = Internal -digital inputs unmuted & for Digital input ADAT is selected, not SPDIF.

    Currently I have my Mackie 24.8 sending direct outs from 1-8 directly to my Projectmix i/o with 1/4".
    Then I am sending 9-16 via RCA to my Alesis inputs. Then ADAT hooked up from there to my Projectmix.

    I know everything is hooked up and set up right, yet I still cannot see the Adat inputs available under my track inputs!?

    It's driving me crazy. Do you think I need to ditch the Pro Tools preferences file? I read that for digidesign pro tools you have to do this when connecting a new Adat. I am not sure if this is the same as M-powered?

    I'll take screen shots when I can of my settings and upload them.
  11. Mike Caruso

    Mike Caruso Active Member

    Sorry, I have also tried Sync = External Digital and setting the clock on the Alesis to Internal.
    Basically tried chasing either the Projectmix, or the Adat. Sync seems to work best when chasing the Alesis.
  12. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I've use the same setup lately while waiting for my may i/o unit to come back from warranty.
    I was using sonar and the projectmix + sending a UA 4-710 which have 8 adat channels and it was fine..
    in m-audio driver, do you see the adat levels? if you plug a mic on the adat unit, do you see the level moving in m-audio software ?
    Are you sure they are on the same resolution (ex : 44.1 or 88.2 or 96khz)? do they say in-sync ?

    Sorry for not helping with the pro-tool part, I use sonar.

Share This Page