What is a word clock connection !!??

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Rubentirado, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Rubentirado

    Rubentirado Guest

    Can someone explain and give me examples of what word clock, Adat In's and outs, SPDIF, connections are for ?? I've been recording for a little while and its time to expand !! I have an good idea, but I've been wrong before !!
  2. Joshh

    Joshh Active Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    ...do you mean word clock?
  3. Rubentirado

    Rubentirado Guest

    Yes Sorry Word Clock ??

    Yes, Word Clock Sorry guys !!
  4. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Feb 10, 2007
    Decatur Il
    I'm not a huge expert and someone will pipe in here soon I'm sure and add to this but, here are the meager basics that I think I understand. Word clock is a protocol for keeping digital audio connections between multiple pieces of digital audio gear in sync with each other. If I have my computer outputing a digital wav file into my digital mixer at 48k, that means that the audio is sampled and those samlples are being read at a rate of 48,000 times per minute. Please correct me if I'm wrong here. Having the word clock protocol activated between the two ensures that all samples output by one piece of gear will be read by the recieving piece of gear. ADAT in and out are just a way to transfer digital audio by lightpipe or fiberoptics. You can send as many as 8 stereo channels on one lightpipe.

    Man I hope I'm not screwing this up but I'm pretty sure this is acurate. Rest assured, if I'm wrong someone will correct me. Lol.
  5. natural

    natural Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    EricWatkins has the jest of it.
    Every piece of digital gear has a clock that keeps the sampling rate fairly accurate. But each devices clock is every so slightly different. So it's best to have one device be the master clock and the other devices slave to it. When devices are not connected this way, the result is usually clicks in the audio.

    ADAT as EricWatkins mentioned allows you to transfer 8 tracks of digital audio over an optical cable. (Ex.8 tracks from ADAT directly to 8 tracks in Logic or Protools)

    SPDIF is the same as ADAT except that it only transfers 2 tracks at a time. (ex: L+R of a stereo track) This can be either optical or over a special digital cable with phono type jacks.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Another way to think of WORD CLOCK is in relationship to TV, movies. Since our audio went digital, it is no longer a linear contiguous stream. Instead, our audio is now carried as frames. US TV, 30 frames per second, European TV 25 frames per second. In a puzzling twist, the frame rate of digital audio is around 33 frames per second. And when you have more than one camera angle or more than one track of audio, it's best if all the frames & tracks, can be perfectly synchronized. So the word clock generator, in each device can be used independently. Conversely, they can also all be tied together by a highly specialized & highly stabilized master clock generator. Sort of like big Ben & the atomic clock.... Unlike George W. Bush, which did nothing to synchronize US.

    Don't forget to wind yours.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    Actually for NTSC (Stands for Never The Same Color <Grin>) Color Video it is 29.97 Black and White is 30. But what is .03 between friends? However it can get you into all kinds of problems with sync. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTSC
    audiokid likes this.

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