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another clocking thru SPDIF or word clock question Audio Interfaces
Old 28th January 2008
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

another clocking thru SPDIF or word clock question

Hi clockslutz,

Sorry to beat an almost dead horse but here goes.

I'm sending audio and clock from my Rosetta 200 through SPDIF A/D out into the SPDIF in on my MOTU 2408MKIII. I'm sending D/A audio out of SPDIF and back into the Rosetta and monitoring from there. Easy enough. Pretty noticeable improvement in sound.
On a recent thread it was stated pretty forcefully that sending audio and clock info thru the SPDIF out is a no-no, that audio messes up the clock data etc.., and that it is much preferable to use the word clock connection for clocking and use the SPDIF for audio only.

So, what are the artifacts created by using SPDIF for both audio and clock?
Is this something audible? Will I hear it in real time while tracking or on playback?
What should I listen for?
If I only record 1 or 2 tracks at a time, is this still an issue?
If a connect a BNC word clock cable, will I hear or feel and improvement?
Are there other factors involving word clock that I should be aware of?

A lot of questions, but since I can hear the benefits of better conversion, I'd like to optimize my current connections.

Thanks
Old 2nd February 2008
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

What, no answers? Too boring, I know. But I'm still curious as to the audible benefits of using word clock instead of SPDIF for clocking.

Thanks
Old 5th February 2008
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dashamu View Post
Hi clockslutz,

Sorry to beat an almost dead horse but here goes.

I'm sending audio and clock from my Rosetta 200 through SPDIF A/D out into the SPDIF in on my MOTU 2408MKIII. I'm sending D/A audio out of SPDIF and back into the Rosetta and monitoring from there. Easy enough. Pretty noticeable improvement in sound.
On a recent thread it was stated pretty forcefully that sending audio and clock info thru the SPDIF out is a no-no, that audio messes up the clock data etc.., and that it is much preferable to use the word clock connection for clocking and use the SPDIF for audio only.

So, what are the artifacts created by using SPDIF for both audio and clock?
Is this something audible? Will I hear it in real time while tracking or on playback?
What should I listen for?
If I only record 1 or 2 tracks at a time, is this still an issue?
If a connect a BNC word clock cable, will I hear or feel and improvement?
Are there other factors involving word clock that I should be aware of?

A lot of questions, but since I can hear the benefits of better conversion, I'd like to optimize my current connections.

Thanks

SPDIF always carries both audio and clocking information...it's just what it is..

Cheers,
Macmod
Old 5th February 2008
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Wordclock is as stable as it gets. Syncing thru coax spdif is better than lite pipe but not as stable as bnc wordclock. If you can sync via bnc workdclock I would. Will you hear the difference not sure. Won't be worse.
Old 11th February 2008
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
TapeOp's Avatar
 

Very well put...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dashamu View Post
So, what are the artifacts created by using SPDIF for both audio and clock?
Is this something audible? Will I hear it in real time while tracking or on playback?
What should I listen for?
If I only record 1 or 2 tracks at a time, is this still an issue?
If a connect a BNC word clock cable, will I hear or feel and improvement?
Are there other factors involving word clock that I should be aware of?
That's something I've been wondering for a long time too, and I wish I could find the answers to those questions, as I'm just about to get new converters and I'm still not sure what to do.

I have a Digi 002 and soon I'll get a Rosetta 200 or a 2 ch Lavry Blue and use it as Master Clock (as well as converters, of course).
But the 002 doesn't have Word Clock, so I will only be able to sync through SPDIF.

The Digi 003 does have Word Clock, but that's about the only feature I wish I had in my 002. So I'm not shure whether the 003 would be worth the extra money (600+ bucks) 'just' because of that.

Anyone has some experiences to share?
Everybody says Word Clock, but has anyone ever heard any difference between that and SPDIF?
Old 11th February 2008
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TapeOp View Post
That's something I've been wondering for a long time too, and I wish I could find the answers to those questions, as I'm just about to get new converters and I'm still not sure what to do.

I have a Digi 002 and soon I'll get a Rosetta 200 or a 2 ch Lavry Blue and use it as Master Clock (as well as converters, of course).
But the 002 doesn't have Word Clock, so I will only be able to sync through SPDIF.
Better check to see you that can actually record via SPDIF while clocking via Wordclock before blowing the cash. You can't do it with an MBox 2 Pro. You have to clock via SPDIF to record via SPDIF. Kinda silly. Really dampened my enthusiasm for the MBox. Not saying the 003 can't do it, because I don't know, just make sure you read the fine print first :-)
Old 12th February 2008
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
TapeOp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by majortom View Post
Better check to see you that can actually record via SPDIF while clocking via Wordclock before blowing the cash. You can't do it with an MBox 2 Pro. You have to clock via SPDIF to record via SPDIF. Kinda silly. Really dampened my enthusiasm for the MBox. Not saying the 003 can't do it, because I don't know, just make sure you read the fine print first :-)
Thanks for that, but that shouldn't be a problem.
I raised that issue in another thread:

What are you clocking your Digi 003R with?

....and according to other members it seems to be fine.
Old 13th February 2008
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Still wondering if you can "hear" a difference if you clock thru SPDIF rather than word clock. I understand the theoretical problems in sending audio and clock thru the same cable, but if there is no audible difference, why would it matter?

I'd be more than willing to connect a word clock BNC cable but if it's just a matter of knowing it's better without hearing it, why bother...

Any thoughts?
Old 11th October 2015
  #9
Nearly 8 YEARS later I found this old thread while researching this very subject, clocking via s/pdif vs BNC Word Clock.

Clocking via coaxial s/pdif is only something that I've been doing in recent years. Years back I had BNC Word Clock connected between 2 audio interfaces in my DAW, it apparently was supposed to be something I should be doing to ensure the 2 cards were in sync. I never could tell the differences between having Work Clock connected or not, it seemed good to me either way.

I've been reading all about various forms of clocking for a while. In this old thread, as well as in countless other threads all over the internet, not only have the question has not been fully answered, but are full of debate, theory vs what actually works. Even articles from pro's contradict each other. It seems that clocking is not fully understood my many.

In 'theory' it's been said that running audio & clock via an s/pdif coaxial cable (or other digital audio cable) can produce distortion of the signal, and mess up the clock timing. Well, that's the theory, but in my personal experience of running stereo audio along with clock information through s/pdif, it works very well. I don't seem to have a real need to run BNC WC and audio separately via s/pdif. If one really wants to know for themselves, just do a comparison yourself.
Old 19th August 2018
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Hi,
if you need to synchronise audio numeric system by worldclock, with a spdif source
you can use this item:
YouTube
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