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If Synching via ADAT Optical, Do I Still Need Word Clock?
#3055147 07/21/20 07:34 PM
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I expanded a PreSonus 1824c interface with a Studio 192 interface via ADAT optical to get some extra inputs. The 192 provides the ADAT clock out, and the 1824c syncs to it. However, both interfaces also have word clock connections. It seems to me that it would redundant to hook those up as well - sync is sync, right? - but wanted to see if anyone with more knowledge about this kind of thing could chime in.

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Re: If Synching via ADAT Optical, Do I Still Need Word Clock?
Anderton #3055162 07/21/20 08:57 PM
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You shouldn't need the word clock. I didn't when I did the same thing with RME gear. You just set the your ADAT expansion box/mixer/whatever to take timing from the ADAT interface. leave your main interface as master. Should be fine. Word clock is generally only needed for very large facilities where not everything is connected directly.

Re: If Synching via ADAT Optical, Do I Still Need Word Clock?
Anderton #3055173 07/21/20 10:01 PM
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Got it, thanks! Dave Bryce said the same thing, so we have a consensus smile

Re: If Synching via ADAT Optical, Do I Still Need Word Clock?
Anderton #3055197 07/22/20 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I expanded a PreSonus 1824c interface with a Studio 192 interface via ADAT optical to get some extra inputs. The 192 provides the ADAT clock out, and the 1824c syncs to it. However, both interfaces also have word clock connections. It seems to me that it would redundant to hook those up as well - sync is sync, right?

Right - sync is sync, but there must be only one master and everything syncs to that. So if you're setting up the the 1824c so that it syncs to the ADAT input, then you shouldn't connect the word clocks together.

However, because ADAT optical sync is more prone to jitter than word clock [internal reflections vs. standing waves], it's possible that using the word clock setup might sound better. And to further enhance your listening enjoyment, you can try to decide which word clock sounds best when used at the master.

Or you could just accept that modern day converters do such a great job of filtering jitter that it's not worth fussing about. But it never hurts to be curious.

Re: If Synching via ADAT Optical, Do I Still Need Word Clock?
Mike Rivers #3055213 07/22/20 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
However, because ADAT optical sync is more prone to jitter than word clock [internal reflections vs. standing waves]...

That was my main concern. But I think you're right, that a) it's not worth fussing about, and b) it never hurts to be curious so I'll see what happens when I eschew ADAT and just use word clock to hook the two together. Thanks!

Re: If Synching via ADAT Optical, Do I Still Need Word Clock?
Anderton #3055615 07/24/20 07:23 PM
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If one has multiple pieces of gear passing digital audio between each other — or just wants to be a stickler for audio quality — the best practice is to have a dedicated word clock unit with several coax outputs and run a separate connection to each piece of gear. But, as noted above, a sync signal can be passed over any digital audio connection, so there shouldn't be sync problems as long as all settings reflect which gadget is the clock parent (usually the one with the best specs in this regard) and which are the children. (Yes, I'm intentionally getting away from "master" and "slave.")


"I'm just a confused musician who got sidetracked into this damned word business..." -Hunter S. Thompson

Stephen Fortner
Principal, Fortner Media
Senior Editor, Music Player Network
Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Re: If Synching via ADAT Optical, Do I Still Need Word Clock?
Anderton #3055640 07/24/20 10:23 PM
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I'm using word clock, and not hearing any difference compared to ADAT sync. But hey, at least it all works!


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