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Audient ASP800 w/ Focusrite Clarett 8 Pre X Audio Interfaces
Old 13th June 2018
  #1
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Thread Starter
Audient ASP800 w/ Focusrite Clarett 8 Pre X

Hi I just recently acquired an audient asp800 in hopes of expanding my I/O count via adat. It’s to my understanding that if I use just an adat cable I’ll be slaving the Focusrite to the audient? If I am going out of the word clock output on the Focusrite and into the audient word clock input will I be then bypassing the converters on the audient and slaving it to the Focusrite? My plan was to just use the audient for extra pres. This is my first time trying to use multiple units in conjunction (never needed more than 8 inputs) so please be kind.. any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Old 13th June 2018
  #2
Gear Addict
You won’t be bypassing the converters in the Audient by using Word Clock from the Focusrite, you will be forcing the Audient to sync its converters to the Focusrite’s clock. I don’t know how the clock in the Clarett compares to the Audient, but I would bet they’re pretty close.
Old 13th June 2018
  #3
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Thread Starter
Thanks for the quick response! So connecting them via adat and clocking through the audient wouldn’t make much of a difference?
Old 13th June 2018
  #4
Gear Addict
It shouldn’t, it’ll just be slightly more of a hassle to switch sample rates if that’s something you do often.
Old 13th June 2018
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanWolf324 View Post
Thanks for the quick response! So connecting them via adat and clocking through the audient wouldn’t make much of a difference?
I am not sure if I really understood your question. Just a few hints:

ADAT is a digital format.
You will use the Audient Micpres and converters, and transfer the digital data via ADAT to your interface (Focusrite).
ADAT data already "contains a clock", it will work (sync) without extra cable.
Old 13th June 2018
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanWolf324 View Post
Thanks for the quick response! So connecting them via adat and clocking through the audient wouldn’t make much of a difference?
I went through the exercise of clocking my Audient ASP800 three different ways: as the master clock via ADAT, as the slave clock via ADAT, and as the slave device via Word Clock. There was no visually discernible change in the noise floor with those three options.

I mentioned that fact in an article I wrote last year, down near the end of an article called "Triple Bypass Part-1". It's on my website on the second page of the articles listing.
Old 14th June 2018
  #7
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monkeyxx's Avatar
You're going to want to go from the Word Clock Out on the Clarett, to the Word Clock In on the Audient, and press in the 75 Ohm termination button. (The last device in a wordclock chain should always have termination.) Use a BNC coax cable.

I think this is going to give a little better clock signal than an optical lightpipe cable would, regarding jitter, if I understand correctly.

This is the most straightforward way to wire it with the Clarett as the master interface. That way the Audient should "follow" the Clarett if the sample rate changes.

You will obviously need to use ADAT/lightpipe cables to send your audio from the Audient into the Clarett. Only one if you are working at 44.1 or 48K. You need two cables if you plan to work at 96K. This is called SMUX.

The ADAT channels appear inside Focusrite Control and you can treat them like any other audio source within your mixer and DAW. You have now successfully expanded your interface.
Old 14th June 2018
  #8
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shanabit's Avatar
 

As monkeyxx stated, I like to keep the WORDCLOCK on its own BNC cable, its just easier and supposedly less jitter in the sync. Make the Clarett the Master device
Old 15th June 2018
  #9
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
You're going to want to go from the Word Clock Out on the Clarett, to the Word Clock In on the Audient, and press in the 75 Ohm termination button. (The last device in a wordclock chain should always have termination.) Use a BNC coax cable.

I think this is going to give a little better clock signal than an optical lightpipe cable would, regarding jitter, if I understand correctly.

This is the most straightforward way to wire it with the Clarett as the master interface. That way the Audient should "follow" the Clarett if the sample rate changes.

You will obviously need to use ADAT/lightpipe cables to send your audio from the Audient into the Clarett. Only one if you are working at 44.1 or 48K. You need two cables if you plan to work at 96K. This is called SMUX.

The ADAT channels appear inside Focusrite Control and you can treat them like any other audio source within your mixer and DAW. You have now successfully expanded your interface.
Hey thanks so much for the detailed response! I tried to set it up this way but for some reason I’m not able to connect the audient and the Focusrite properly. No new channels are appearing in the Focusrite Control and I’ve tried switching the source to word clock and it isn’t syncing. Also hit termination on the audient but the only thing I’m getting is white noise through the di of the audient :( any suggestions?
Old 15th June 2018
  #10
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monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanWolf324 View Post
Hey thanks so much for the detailed response! I tried to set it up this way but for some reason I’m not able to connect the audient and the Focusrite properly. No new channels are appearing in the Focusrite Control and I’ve tried switching the source to word clock and it isn’t syncing. Also hit termination on the audient but the only thing I’m getting is white noise through the di of the audient :( any suggestions?
I'm afraid I won't be able to help without being there in the room with you.

Check and re-check all connections, etc. Check all digital settings as well.
Old 24th June 2018
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanWolf324 View Post
Hey thanks so much for the detailed response! I tried to set it up this way but for some reason I’m not able to connect the audient and the Focusrite properly. No new channels are appearing in the Focusrite Control and I’ve tried switching the source to word clock and it isn’t syncing. Also hit termination on the audient but the only thing I’m getting is white noise through the di of the audient :( any suggestions?

Are you pressing the Audient clock source switch on the front panel through all the sample rate settings until it flashes green? This sets the unit to "searching for a clock source"

I too have had clocking problems with my ASP 800. *All scenarios here are using the ADAT connectivity on the ASP and not the analog D-SUB out* just like you are doing.

Here is what did NOT work for me:

My MOTU 828x Interface as master (set to clock source: "Internal" (via Motu software) When going from WORD OUT of interface to WORD input on ASP with BNC Coaxial cable and the 75ohm termination on the 800 pressed I get NO sync.
With Interface set to clock source "ADAT" I get NO sync from the Audient.
Next, I inserted another two channel preamp that I own in between the Interface and the Audient on a Word clock Daisy chain incorporating BNC T-connectors. Second preamp is S/PDIF OUT sending it's two channels digitally to the interface.
(Also, this unit has always clocked flawlessly no matter how it is set up to do so.) Clock source set to "Internal" on Motu with BNC WORD OUT of interface to WORD IN on the second preamp T-connector continuing straight through to WORD input of Audient and 75ohm termination cap on the end of the BNC cable chain. NO sync from the Audient. (I tried with the ASP termination button off and the physical BNC termination cap on the end of the cable, also with no cap and just the termination button pressed on the Audient, AND with both the cap and ASP termination button ON. No sync from the 800, but the first preamp DID sync to the interface.
Next, I opened my second preamp unit and looked at the circuit board, I found that it had a termination jumper switch inside. It was set to terminate, meaning the word signal couldn't pass through that preamp to the next source (Audient) until I manually switched it to allow the unit's word termaination to be bypassed through. I unterminated it and screwed it back together. Thought to myself.. awesome. This had to be the problem. (Still was leary though that the Audient wasn't clocking when this preamp wasn't in the way of the signal earlier) Tried again now that the new adjustments were made. Audient was still NOT syncing. Second preamp still WAS syncing.
I called Audient support, they told me to try everything I already explained here even though I told them I already did these things and wanted to know if I was missing something else.. they told me to send it to an authorized repair shop which was on the other side of the country from me, I didn't want to put it though shipping. I called a knowledgeable family member over to get a second set of eyes on it.

Here is what DID WORK for me:

Interface set to INTERNAL clock source. WORD OUT of interface to WORD IN of second preamp. With a second BNC cable, WORD OUT of that same preamp to ASP 800 WORD Input and the 75ohm termaination button pressed ON. No BNC Terminator cap. The Audient now WORD syncs and changes sample rates automatically anytime it is changed at the interface software or in my DAW and shows the solid green light switching to match all changes almost instantly along with the preamp in front of it.
NOTHING else will work for clocking this unit with the gear that I currently have. Out of further curiosity, now that I know it can actually see a clock source and work normally, I let a friend borrow it who has a completely different interface (an Antelope Zen Studio) and he reports that the Audient slaves and locks just fine to his Zen being the master word source and no other units in the mix...
I have read other stories while I was trying to figure this out for myself including the one here with your Focusrite interface, of other Audient preamps not slaving to sources. I get the feeling something in the signal path makes these units very picky to their Master sources??? Just wanted to put this out there for anyone else who is frustrated or thinks they might have a faulty unit. I had to wrestle mine quite a bit until it saw something it liked. I am still not satisfied that if I ever remove this second preamp from my rack, that I will no longer be able to clock my 800 with what I have, but for now, it enjoys a good snuggle with preamp number two, and all is well with my current input sources.
Maybe if you have another preamp you can borrow with BOTH a word IN and a WORD output on the back panel you can verify that your Audient will indeed see a clock source if hooked up this way, but if you need to rely on another piece of gear for this unit to clock properly then...

I used to own the Focusrite clarett 8 Pre interface, LOVED the preamps on rock guitars. However, I didn't have the ASP 800 until after I switched interfaces.. so I wish I could tell you if it had trouble with my Focusrite just the same.
Old 24th June 2018
  #12
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Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

Slightly off topic but I'm curious. I have been using an Audient 800 with an Apollo 8P for a while. I don't use the word cock sync and it works fine. Would I get much of an improvement is I did sync the clock on the Audient?
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