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Sgruggling to Understand using ADAT I/O
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Sgruggling to Understand using ADAT I/O

Hi all, I've tried googling this several times and browsing the threads here but can't seem to find an answer.

Some background: I have a boring ol' Behringer UMC 1820 that I want to add more mic inputs to through ADAT. I found an ADA8000 for $70 and a Maudio Profire 2626 for $110. I'm leaning towards the Maudio because I want to try a different flavor of pre's.

The problem: I know that NOTHING in this realm is ever as simple as just "go grab it and plug it in." I'm confident the ADA8000 would at least work because this is literally what it was made for, but I'm not sure what I should be looking at to make sure the other interface is compatible with mine before I buy it. If I knew what makes them compatible, couldn't I theoretically get an even older but more high end strip of mic pre's equipped with ADAT and get an even better sound? Thanks for reading. First post out of the way lol
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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Any gear that has analog in and outputs and ADAT what can be routed will do the job.
Sample rates need to be set the same and the clock of one needs to be set as master and others to slave.
Would there be any "quality" difference?
I doubt it in this price range and in higher verry little or subtle.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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Thanks. So I'll probably need to make sure it's capable of the sample rates my interface runs at and has a word clock plug. Is your last statement about the 2626 pres specifically or do you think trying to get an older one with nicer preamps in general won't do too much? (BTW, I'm absolutely certain "word clock plug" is not a real term but I haven't even started to dive into all THAT lol.)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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As long as the used sample rate are set the same on both devices, its ok (44.1 - 48 kHz, 8 channels / 88.2 - 96kHz, 4 channels or 2 channels up to 192kHz over a single ADAT pipe).

Clock wil be send over ADAT (same plug ) , but only one should be master (settings interface).

Imo preamps don't make that big difference in sound.
Mic placement and performance far bigger.
Upgrading skills have more impact then upgrading gear.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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Quetz's Avatar
The 2626 by all accounts is a better quality unit than the Behringer, I've used an ADA8000 and I'm using a 2626 as an expander at the moment.

To use the 2626 in stand-alone mode though (which is what you want) you have to hook it up to the computer via FireWire first to make the settings then you can disconnect the FireWire.
So if you don't already have a firewire card you'll want to consider that cost (about £30 on Amazon, prob less than 25 USD in the states, I didn't check your location).
Don't buy one without the breakout cable as that has your Wordclock and coaxial s/pdif on there.

Pluses for the 2626 are that its line inputs don't go through the preamp circuitry (which is rare), and the preamps are highly regarded from what I've read and are supposed to be one of its best features.
I've only used the line ins on mine so can't give you first hand info.

You also get the option of using the first two inputs as instrument/hi-z which you don't get on the 8000.

It also lets you use its second adat ports/coaxial s/pdif as a digital format converter which effectively gives you two extra channels.
If you have a device with optical stereo out but want to send it to something that only has adat and coaxial in or vice versa, you can pipe one format into the 2626 and get the other out.
That's how I will get my xbox audio into my interface
But it could be a stand-alone preamp or whatever.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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I'm actually leaning towards the 2626. But I don't have a computer with firewire (internet says it will just go into standalone mode if you turn it on without firewire plugged in, is that true?) Also the guy doesn't have the breakout cable, so that means it can't be synced with another device because of the lack of wordclock? Do they make other breakout cables you can use with this?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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The routing of in and outputs (to and from ADAT) need to be done in software, saved to the device that will be used in standalone mode.
Also sample rate and clock source need to be set in the software.
If you don't use midi, spdif or wordclock you don't need the breakout cable.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
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Quetz's Avatar
You can sync the unit without wordclock, it will lock to clock using the adat connection, but wordclock if available is preferable as it's only doing that one job.

The s/pdif is good to have but if you don't feel you'll miss those things then the unit will work fine without the breakout cable.
Theoretically the internet is right in that if you turn it on without firewire connected it will go into standalone mode, but that doesn't mean it will work.

As BT64 says there are settings you must make/check first when connected with FW so that it works in standalone mode in your system.
The clock source needs to be set (w/out the breakout) to adat input, you need to set sample rate to match your interface and it's also wise to set the buffer the same.
You also need it to set the unit's routing and to make sure it's set to A/D - D/A for standalone mode otherwise you might find you only have ins OR outs exclusively.
Plus you need to make sure that the main volume knob has been unassigned from outputs so all audio is straight-through from interface adat to 2626 analogue outs.

You could buy a firewire card from amazon, set up the 2626 then send the card back, of course.
I would knock the seller's price down by 15-20 bucks though if it's not boxed with breakout.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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Thanks a bunch guys. I ended up getting the profire because it was a sweet price, and the love it got on here. Between all of the work I've been doing lately I've only been able to test it insofar as I have audio going from a mic into the unit, thru my actual interface, and then into computer and I can actually hear it. That accomplished, as far as sample rate and bit depth are concerned... Is that it? Does the fact that it works mean it actually just works? I set in Reaper for the computer to control the time at 44.1k, I don't know if I've actually done it or if I'm just telling a rock to stream audio at a certain rate. I mean the the audio I heard coming through it could be at the different bitrate, and I just had no way of knowing, or maybe it wouldn't have worked at all if this was so?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
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Quetz's Avatar
I think it was set to 44.1 with clock on adat in when you got it, so it's matching your setup.
This is a common config so seems likely.

Try changing your interface/reaper samplerate and see what happens.
Also, inputs 1 and 2 are passed straight through to the outputs, the others are routed through the M-Audio mixer.
If the blue light on the front is steady, then it's locked to clock.
It'll flash if not.
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