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Big Ben, Sync I/O, both?
Old 24th September 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Big Ben, Sync I/O, both?

Studio I've been working at just traded in their Mix rig for HD, got 2x192 and a Sync I/O, but he also got a Big Ben.

In the Big Ben user guide, they explain how to set up with or without a Sync I/O, but aren't these boxes redundant? Is there any benefit to having both?

Thanks in advance.
Old 24th September 2007
  #2
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Tibbon's Avatar
The Sync IO and the Big Ben can both be redundant, degrading, or just useless depending what you're doing. In truth, if you don't know that you do need them- then you probably don't.

The A/D convertor will always work best using its own internal clock. If you're using a 2" machine or whatever, you'll likely need something that can sync to blackburst, VTC, or something.

I'm trying to imagine why you might need both. The Big Ben has a pretty nice wordclock distribution system. Many people like its clock, but on a well built converter an external clock is redundant and really shouldn't be needed. It might help something like a Behringer ADA8000 but I'm not sure about a 192.

We ditched the Sync IO at the studio I freelance at, just as we didn't ever really need it.

Just to record/playback with the 192s you shouldn't need either.
Old 24th September 2007
  #3
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darkwater's Avatar
 

That's just not true at all in my experience. The Big Ben definitely make the 192 sound better. The Sync IO would be redundant without external digital devices that need clock, but the BB is a better clock than the 192 has on board.
Old 24th September 2007
  #4
Gear Addict
 

Big Ben

Although the converters are great in the Apogee 800/196 k I found that the Big Ben made our Rosetta 800 sound even better yet.
Old 24th September 2007
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Sorry let me rephrase, the question is not whether you "need" a sync i/o or big ben to clock an HD rig, or which one sounds better, but rather why would you need both, as described in the Big Ben user guide. Appreciate it.
Old 24th September 2007
  #6
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Andrew Kinsey's Avatar
 

This is a widely debated issue.

The fact of the matter is that when you clock a converter from something like a BigBen you are actually introducing more jitter.

It is always recomended to use internal clock source on a converter, the only exceptions apply to interfaces that have poorly designed internal clocks.

Eitherway if you are just using a single interface you dont need a BigBen. For the same amount of money you can get better clocking (for your HD rig) and conversion just by using a dedicated AD converter.

Old 24th September 2007
  #7
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colinmiller's Avatar
 

The sync I/O is for synchronization, something big Ben doesn't do. It being a master clock is just the fact that it's first in the clock chain if you aren't using an external clock. If you are not doing any synchronization, then you don't need the Sync I/O.
Old 24th September 2007
  #8
Moderator
 
Oroz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RinnyTin View Post
Sorry let me rephrase, the question is not whether you "need" a sync i/o or big ben to clock an HD rig, or which one sounds better, but rather why would you need both, as described in the Big Ben user guide. Appreciate it.
You would need both if you had a 2" tape machine because like Tibbon said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tibbon View Post
If you're using a 2" machine or whatever, you'll likely need something that can sync to blackburst, VTC, or something.
You'd use Digidesign's SYNC for that.

And BIG BEN to achieve better sound from you converters.
Old 26th September 2007
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Got it, thanks, that makes sense.
Old 27th September 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Since you have both I'd recommend getting a few people together and listening to the system clocked to the 192 and the Big Ben, and see if you hear a difference. People are always quick to point out why you shouldn't hear a difference, or to say that if you do hear a difference the 192 should actually sound worse when clocked to the Big Ben...yet most of the people who have actually compared the internally- and externally-clocked signals that I've heard from (myself includled) have said that the 192 clocked to the Big Ben sounded better than clocked internally. I have heard from a few who didn't notice a difference, but I don't recall hearing from anyone who thought that the Big Ben audibly degraded the performance of the 192...not to say that those people aren't out there. But since you have both why not listen and see what you think?

And yes, if you're not needing to sync to tape or external video devices (the Sync I/O will sync to just about anything and works at just about every sample and frame rate) then the Sync I/O would be unnecessary, and I'd sell it...not only because it won't make your converters sound better (at least Digidesign doesn't claim it will...I've never tested it myself) but because it's more expensive so you'll probaly get more for it.
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