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Getting Equipment to talk with one another i.e. Word Clock

Can anyone give me the name of someone I can contact and hopefully speak with that can give me advice regarding Wordclock connections and or work arounds in my recording system?


Kapt.Krunch Fri, 02/02/2007 - 02:25

This is as good a place as any to ask questions :wink:

Perhaps, first, list all the gear that you want to sync up that has Word Clock connections (brand, model, etc.)

Then, explain what you are trying to accomplish...or ask questions like "should this be master, and everything else be slave?", etc.

There are people in here that know a little (me), and people who know a LOT. I learn more by watching people ask questions and seeing what the answers might be. I also learn more by not being afraid to ask what I think might be an elementary question, and getting gracious replies from almost everyone. I occasionally even throw out far-fetched replies just to get replies that better explain something. " NOT do that! Here's why..." :shock:

Might be useful to have the manuals for all the stuff handy. Could be you can do what you want with the equipment you already have, or you may have to add a piece of equipment to allow it.

I'm pretty sure most people will tell you that you want to sync everything up to the best, most stable clock source...and that's where the gear list comes in handy. Someone here will know.

Then there's Google. Search for terms like "Word Clock", "Word Clock Sync", etc., and search for the models of your equipment. Occasionally, you'll run into articles or forums that explain in different ways just what you are looking for. Or, they'll get close, but if it's a forum like this, you can always ask another way.

You'd be doing yourself, and people like me, a favor by picking the brains of some of the intelligent people who are here so we can all learn more.

Good luck,


anonymous Fri, 02/02/2007 - 13:34

Getting Digital Equipment to talk to one another "Wordc

Kapt. Krunch : Thank you very much for responding, as an old 24 trck analog person, God knows I need the help. Here is a list of the pieces I am using and my goal is to record, mix, and master/burn CDs with the mix and burn in the digital realm.

- Two, MOTU Midi Timepieces AV (USB connection to MAC G5 Dual 2.7 gig (non intel or dual core) running OSX 10.4 and Logic Pro 7.2. They are linked together with Apple talk cable. Unit "A" has eight MIDI out to keyboards patched to it with two MIDI inputs patched to it from Toland RX8 and Alesis QS8 for controllers. Unit B (linked to Unit A, has two MIDI outs to R8 and QS8 Both of these units (A & B) have Worclock out.

- MOTU 2408 MkIII Audio Interface connected to TASCAM DM3200 digital mixer via three TDIF cables. (for in/out audio streaming to mixer. It has (75 ohm BNC Wordclock in/out capability) This 2408 MkIII is connected to the MAC via MOTU PCI424 interface card with special MOTU interface cable.

- TASCAM DM3200 digital mixer with (75 ohm BNC, Wordclock in/out/thru capability) which is connected by AES/EBU digital audio out, to

- AES/EBU digital audio inpput of TC Electronics Finalizer Express (Apparently no dedicated Wordclock in/out capability) which is connected by AES/EBU digital audio out to

- AES/EBU digital audio input of HHB CD Burner 830 Plus which has (75ohm BNC Wordclock in capability) which is connected back to

- AES/EBU digital audio input of the TASCAM DM3200.

These are the pieces I need to utilize for recording and mixing and I would prefer the audio mixing and connection to TC Electronic Finalizer Express and HHB CD burner remain in the digital realm. I posed the question to TC Electronics and a they suggested I use the TASCAM DM3200 as the Master and just connect the DM3200 as I have stated above. BUT WHAT ABOUT WORD CLOCK??? MOTU on the other hand suggested I use the MIDI Timepiece AV as the master but did not have a recommendation for getting Wordclock to the TC Finalizer and the HHB CD Burner. I need to know how I should connect gear so it syncs up. PS: The TC Finalizer and the HHB CD Burner do have Analog -4 XLR ins and outs. I could also connect digital audio in and out with SPDIF however it is my understanding that is usually for Consumer use, not Pro Audio where AES/EBU is preferred. I sincerely hope you can understand my sytem and capabilites, and advise how I should connect the pieces including Wordclock (if necessary). I really need the help as I am now technically "At a loss" PLEASE HELP. Mike Knox

Kapt.Krunch Fri, 02/02/2007 - 14:59

YIKES! Seems like more Word Clock outs than ins, there.

This is over my head, as far as the AES/EBU. I don't know much about that, but someone here should.

I could only see that maybe if you could run one of the MOTU Timepiece AV as master to the other via MIDI to control the keyboards (since both only have Word Clock out, maybe you can't really use Word Clock FROM both, or INTO either, but your keyboards should respond fine from MIDI?), and use the first one's (master) Word Clock out into the Tascam DM3200 in, then from the THRU of the Tascam (since you say it has a thru) to the MOTU 2408 in....wouldn't those four be synced to the first MIDI Timepiece? Isn't Word Clock "OUT" on a piece of equipment it's own clock, so you really can use only one unit for the master? Which leaves the 2408 out with no place to go?

That's where I completely lose it, because I don't know how the AES/EBU, which would now connect from the Tascam DM3200, to the Finalizer, then to the HHB....and back into the Tascam is going to behave.

Just throwing stuff at the wall...I'm sure someone will jump in and answer your questions, (and correct my assumptions :wink: ).



Kapt.Krunch Sat, 02/03/2007 - 03:31

Nobody, yet? Hmmm...

Here's a thought. I don't know for sure, though.

MIDI Timepiece 1 as MIDI Master to MIDI Timepiece 2 as MIDI Slave; MIDI connects from either for for controllers/modules/keys? Would both output MIDI in sync to the Word Clock, keeping them in sync?

MIDI Timepiece 1 as Word Clock Master to TASCAM DM3200 Word Clock in.

TASCAM DM3200 Word Clock THRU to MOTU 2408 in.

Would that allow you to record everything into the computer, synced?

Are you wishing to use the Finalizer while recording, or just during mixdown?

If just during mixdown, then you don't need it Word Clocked at this point? If the above works, you can get everything IN TO the computer?

Here's where it gets hairy for me. You say you have the MOTU 2408 connected the TASCAM with TDIF. Then that is going to Finalizer through AES/EBU.

Then you have that going to the HHB, and finally, back into the TASCAM.

Are you mixing, running through the Finalizer and burning to CD on the fly? Or, did you want to mix , run through the Finalizer, then back into the computer as a stereo audio file, to then burn to the CD? Or, are you doing that with the signal just passing through the HHB without burning for the mixdown (if that is possible)? And then running the stereo audio file back through the Finalizer to the HHB?

Are you mixing in the computer down to a stereo audio file, then running that through the Finalizer to burn to CD. Are you running the stereo audio file through the Finalizer, through the burner, and back into the computer as a Finalized stereo audio file, then back out through the Finalizer and into the CD to burn?

In other words, does it just pass through some of this gear without a piece actually being used at the time? And if so, how do you rectify that? Do you need to?

At any rate, once the audio is all recorded into the computer, do you need Word Clock any more? Is it possible that you can run it through the MOTU 2408, to the TASCAM, the Finalizer and the HHB through the AES/EBU synced to some other method...such as SMPTE or something else, with the computer or MOTU the Master? If needed, the computer/MOTU 2408 could also then be the MIDI master, and the MIDI Timepieces with the keys, modules, controllers would follow?

If you left everything synced to Word Clock, would some piece of gear convert that to some other sync method so that others follow through the AES/EBU?

Am I way off, or is there a possible solution lurking somewhere in my ramblings?

I'm intrigued by your dilemma, and am interested in finding out what someone with more knowledge has to say. My setup is WAY simpler...just an 8-track R-R, with a Delta 1010 in the audio computer and synced to a MIDI computer/keys/modules, etc. I haven't had a need for Word Clock and AES/EBU yet, but when and if I do, it would be nice to know how your situation is resolved.

I'm done now. I'll leave the rest of it to the experts. These were just thoughts I had when looking at the stuff you now have...wondering. :?

Good luck,


anonymous Sat, 02/03/2007 - 09:47

Getting Equipment to talk with one another i.e. Wordclock

Kapt. Krunch:

The MOTU MIDI Timepiece and the MOTU 2408 MKIII and the TASCAM DM3200 can and will be Wordclock locked together as I will use them for recording tracks. The TC Finalizer and HHB will only be used at Mix Down. The TASCAM DM 3200 with send a stereo digital audio MIX signal to the TC Finalizer Express by AES/EBU digital audio at 44.1 Khz. The TC Finalizer will then Finallize (Digitally Compress) the stereo digital audio signal and send it by AES/EBU digital audio at 44.1 hz to be recorded on CD by the HHB CD Burner 830 plus. The HHB CD Burner 830 plus will be connected back to the TASCAM DM3200 by AES/EBU digital audio at 44.1 Khz for Monitoring purposes only. By the way I do not know if it makes any difference or not, but all my digital audio in/out will be at 44.1 Khz, 16 bit (Redbook specs). My concern was, will the AES/EBU stereo digital audio signal going to and thru the TC Finalizer Express to the HHB CD Burner work OK, if it was not receiving a dedicated Wordclock signal. The TC Finalizer can be set to receive AES/EBU audio from a source as well as the HHB CD Burner, and both units set at 44.1 Khz. What do you think about this?

Thanks, Mike Knox

Kapt.Krunch Tue, 02/06/2007 - 02:44

Still nobody can answer Mr. Knox's queston, yet? :shock: Hmmmmm

It looks like it's down to does it need a sync signal of some sort to run stereo digital audio signal from the computer through the TASCAM mixer, through the Finalizer, to the HHB CD recorder, and back to the TASCAM for monitoring...all through AES/EBU?

Would a Word Clock from the MOTU Midi Timepiece (or now from another piece in his chain, such as the MOTU 2408 or TASCAM) convert somehow inside one of those to provide a sync signal of some sort for AES/EBU, or does it need to be generated some other way?

Does it need to be synced at all, since it's just a stereo signal that is passing linearly through everything and doesn't have to run along in time WITH another signal...assuming everything is set to the same in and out bits and rate, say 16/44.1? (My guess would be...maybe...but I don't know).

The Finalizer is designed to be placed in between stuff. Would it just go in and through everything, with perhaps the biggest danger being maybe a phase reversal, added jitter...that kind of stuff?


I'm still curious, so I'll try to download the manuals for the TASCAM, Finalizer and HHB and see if anything in there makes sense.

Seems like this would be an easy question to answer for some of the pros here, but there ARE a bunch of ways to set the same bunch of stuff up.


anonymous Tue, 02/06/2007 - 16:56

Getting Equipment to talk with one another, i.e. Word Clock

Capt. Krunch:

I agree that you would think that there would be a lot of pros that could answer the question. I know one way (but costly of course) to solve the problem. Sell the Finalizer Express (at a loss of course even though it has never been turned on) and purchase a Fianalizer 96K and a Word Clock distribtuion amplifier. Plug the 75 ohm BNC out of the MOTU MIDI Time Piece into the 75ohm BNC input of the Distribution Amplifier aned then the multi 75 ohm BNC outputs of the Distribution Amplifier to all the 75 ohm BNC inputs on the 2408 MkIII, TASCAM DM3200, TC Electronics Finalizer 96K and HHB CD Burner 830 Plus. Anyone interested in trading their TC Electronic Finalizer 96k for Brand New never turned on TC Electronics Finalizer Express plus some ($$$) cash? Probably not. Therefore, I am still in need of some answers or a work around. thanks for hanging in there with me Kapt. Krunch. Maybe someone will answer us?? Mike Knox

anonymous Wed, 02/07/2007 - 04:28

Here's my take on it.

You don't need word clock for any of this.

1. As you are just using the MPT/AV's for midi they don't need word clock.

2. Both T/DIF and AES carry their own clock, so wordclock is not necessary.

3. Assign the DM3200 as the master clock source and the 2408's clock to T/DIF.

4. Chain the Finalizer and CD burner together and set them to AES.

Kapt.Krunch Fri, 02/09/2007 - 01:58

Brownsound wrote: Here's my take on it.

You don't need word clock for any of this.

1. As you are just using the MPT/AV's for midi they don't need word clock.

2. Both T/DIF and AES carry their own clock, so wordclock is not necessary.

3. Assign the DM3200 as the master clock source and the 2408's clock to T/DIF.

4. Chain the Finalizer and CD burner together and set them to AES.

Makes sense to me. I didn't even consider not using the Word Clock at all, since the question was about definitely wanting to use it. And admittedly, I knew nothing about how AES stuff was clocked. That's why I come in here, and sometimes try to help dissect questions with my own questions....I learn something new, and potentially useful, every day! :wink:

Happy tracking Mr. Knox!


anonymous Fri, 02/09/2007 - 18:19

Getting Equipment to talk to one another i.e. word Clock

TO: Kapt. Krunch and Brownsound,
Thank you both for assisting me. I thought that this Old Analog Dog (me of course) was in a unsovable serious dilema, and had committed Hi-Tech suicide! Now maybe I can get down to the creative aspects of the pro audio/video world and record some tunes, which to me is the enjoyable part. Thanks again!
Mike Knox

anonymous Thu, 02/15/2007 - 16:17

Getting eauipment to talk with one another "Word Clock&

Brownsound; thanks for the follow-up. I just happen to have a 15 foot 75 ohm BNC cable in my cable locker that I will run from the DM3200 word clock out to the 75 ohm BNC word clock in of the MOTU 2408. I assume that I should use the DM3200 as the Master clock and the MOTU 2408 as the salve, is that correct? Please advise!! Mike Knox