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AES to SPDIF? Liquid Channel to Interface.
Old 9th March 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 

AES to SPDIF? Liquid Channel to Interface.

Hey everyone!

Quick question for you.

I recently purchased a Focusrite Liquid Channel. I currently own a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 Interface. The Saffire only has ADAT and SPDIF ins/outs, while the Liquid Channel only has AES ins/outs.

I've been told different things by different people, and I'm wondering if anyone is knowledgable about this issue. I'll explain what I'm trying to do.

The Liquid Channel has built in AD/DA which far-surpasses the AD/DA built into my Saffire Interface. I want to be able to record vocals into the Liquid Channel, use the Liquid Channel's AD/DA, and then send the digital data to the Saffire, which in turn, will send the data into my DAW.

Some people have told me different things. Here are the different theories people have given me.

1. "Buy an XLR to RCA cable. SPDIF and AES are so similar that, if you're lucky, the Liquid will interface perfectly with the Saffire."

2. "Get a transformer. The audio-data is the same between the two formats, but you'll need to change the impedence and voltage so that they correlate with eachother. If not, you might damage your SPDIF port. The Neutrik Transformer will do fine." (Mercenary Audio - Neutrik Digital Transformers)

3. "Even if you buy a transformer, there are 4-bits of code that are different in SPDIF format that could case pops, clicks, and diminished sound-quality when simply using a transformer-based converter. You will need to hack up another $120 and buy a HOSA." (Hosa ODL312 | Sweetwater.com)


I'm not sure what to do. Has anyone ever successfully linked a Saffire Pro24 with a Liquid Channel with simply a cable, and been problem free? I would love to retain the 192khz.

The HOSA converter presents a problem. It diminishes the audio-quality to 24bit, 96khz. The Liquid Channel is capable of 192khz. And also, it's $130, which is a lot considering the loss I just experienced purchasing the Liquid Channel.


Any insight? Has anyone linked a Saffire Pro24 with a Liquid Channel? Any feedback would be appreciated!

~Big Izzy
Old 9th March 2011
  #2
Here for the gear
 

hey man,

I also got a Liquid Channel pre and i'll also like to share your thoughts and experiences with it aswell!

when i got my pre i wanted a saffire to go with it. but the saffire was really ****ty with the spdif input. it created some really really bad clicks and pops..

so i got an EMU 1212m soundcard which claims to have similar AD/DA converters like the protools HD system - *i doubt this though lol.

well i use an AES to spdif cable.. i dont know about the impedance and all that. but that is what i use.. seems fine.. but when recording sometimes it creates some odd static sound.. and im beginning to think it has something to do with the cable and the so called "impedance"...

hopefully i want more thought about the best solution from AES to spdif please!!

btw did you just recently buy the liquid channel??? how do the emulations sound to you.. i actually dont make use of them.. only the compressor.. and i keep the pre as flat and no eq input.

I use a C12 capsule custom built mic.
Old 9th March 2011
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Hey! Thanks for the reply!

I haven't actually used the unit yet. It's sitting in layaway at a local Sam Ash, I'll be able to pick it up and use it once the last payments come in! ;P I just wanted to make sure the interfacing between the Saffire and LC work before I pay off this layaway!

Wait, so are you using the A/D in the Emu, or the Liquid? Because the Liquid is supposed to have awesome A/D already built in. Maybe you're getting the weird fuzzy sound because you're going through two stages of A/D?

And thanks for the input. So you tried a Saffire Pro24 with the Liquid using the XLR to RCA cable with no luck? (clicking and popping?) I'm starting to wonder if buying the $120 Hosa converter box is the only way to go. From what I've read, clicking and popping can come from "errors" within the coding differences between AES and SPDIF. Maybe that's why you had the clicks and pops?

Thanks though for the input! I really appreciate it!
Old 9th March 2011
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigIzzy View Post
Hey! Thanks for the reply!

I haven't actually used the unit yet. It's sitting in layaway at a local Sam Ash, I'll be able to pick it up and use it once the last payments come in! ;P I just wanted to make sure the interfacing between the Saffire and LC work before I pay off this layaway!

Wait, so are you using the A/D in the Emu, or the Liquid? Because the Liquid is supposed to have awesome A/D already built in. Maybe you're getting the weird fuzzy sound because you're going through two stages of A/D?

And thanks for the input. So you tried a Saffire Pro24 with the Liquid using the XLR to RCA cable with no luck? (clicking and popping?) I'm starting to wonder if buying the $120 Hosa converter box is the only way to go. From what I've read, clicking and popping can come from "errors" within the coding differences between AES and SPDIF. Maybe that's why you had the clicks and pops?

Thanks though for the input! I really appreciate it!

to be honest i still get some little clicking...but all i do is demo reference recording so it maybe doesnt bother me much.. but im also taking a look at the Hosa converter box.. im assumeing the RCA cable is similar to the spdif.. from googling AES to RCA is the same exact kind of cable i got aswell but just going into my EMU 1212m spdif IN port... but the saffire was a mess.. i dont know maybe it was because it was a used saffire..lol i dont know.. but if u dont like the sound of the saffire then try something else.. if you get the Hosa converter box then let me know.. i might want to get it as well just need to know if its really worth getting because the liquid channel killed my pocket as well lol.

but i think by using the spdif In shouldnt that bypass the converters on the soundcard?? im guessing it should.. so im probably not using the converter on the soundcard then... i mean all in all the sound i get is pretty decent for what im doing.. so i got nothing to complain about.. im not CLA or a crazy engineer. i still got a lot to learn..lol
Old 9th March 2011
  #5
Here for the gear
 

this is the cable i got

Mercenary Audio - AES/EBU (XLRF) - SPDIF (RCA) Cable
Old 28th April 2011
  #6
Gear Nut
 

I will for sure let you know!

Does anyone have any feedback? Anyone else tried to connect a Focusrite Liquid Channel to a standard audio interface?
Old 12th April 2013
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiumtunez View Post
Did it Work? I NEED TO KNOW!
Old 12th April 2013
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Don't know about the Mercenary Audio cable, but if you're wanting to go AES to SPDIF, you're going to be extraordinarily lucky if you can get it to work just using a standard cable without some kind of format converter in the chain. As I mentioned on guitargodmiles' other thread on this subject, the details can be found in:

Interfacing AES3 & S/PDIF

Follow the link, read, inwardly digest and - hopefully - you'll be able to get to the bottom of any AES to SPDIF troubles you may have. Maybe.
Old 14th April 2013
  #9
thank you adrianww but for some reason somtimes my threads dont show up when I click "my threads" and they only are visible when I click "posts"....weird, has anyone else had a problem with this?

anyway I'm going to just get a converter but am curious to know if that cable actually worked for anyone
Old 14th April 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
 
kosty's Avatar
Please don't follow any solutions that have been posted yet.
If you connect your liquid channel digitally you have only one A/Dconnection.
D/A is not happening as long as you don't use the analogue outs.
Connect your aes/ebu out via xlr/chinch adapter to your spdif input.

In case you have any problems, clock via wordclock or use a cheap samplerate converter (behringer) to transform aes ebu to spdif.
Old 14th April 2013
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kosty View Post
Please don't follow any solutions that have been posted yet.
If you connect your liquid channel digitally you have only one A/Dconnection.
D/A is not happening as long as you don't use the analogue outs.
Connect your aes/ebu out via xlr/chinch adapter to your spdif input.

In case you have any problems, clock via wordclock or use a cheap samplerate converter (behringer) to transform aes ebu to spdif.
Er...I think you're missing the point here. It's not just a case of clocking issues either. Unless you're lucky and both the transmitting and receiving gear are designed with AES and SPDIF outputs/inputs that are forgiving in terms of their signal handling, you can't count on doing AES to SPDIF using just an XLR/cinch adapter.

The voltage and current levels used for signalling by the two standards are different - AES generally being higher (and thus capable of driving longer lines). So, for example, if you are going AES to SPDIF, you can pretty much guarantee that the signalling level is going to be above minimum spec at the SPDIF end, but it may be too high for the SPDIF receiver to accept (depending on how much latitude the SPDIF receiver has on incoming voltages).

Some of the minor protocol bits are different between the two as well. This may or may not be an issue, again depending on the gear in question and how it handles the status information.

You don't necessarily need a sample rate converter to connect them - if you read the Rane note that I linked earlier, you'll see that it is possible to build a simple, passive converter for the voltage levels using resistors and/or transformers depending on which way you're going (and which version of AES you're talking about). You may also, as I said, get lucky (depending on your gear) and find that you have two things that will work together anyway (more or less).

Having said that, if you do want an absolutely solid AES to SPDIF connection with no risk of it occasionally crapping out, you do need to think about putting some proper format conversion in there - either by using a sample rate converter that offers both types of connection or some other type of converter box.
Old 14th April 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitargodmiles View Post
thank you adrianww but for some reason somtimes my threads dont show up when I click "my threads" and they only are visible when I click "posts"....weird, has anyone else had a problem with this?

anyway I'm going to just get a converter but am curious to know if that cable actually worked for anyone
You're welcome. Did you get the response on your other thread - it may have the answer to the clocking problem that you had. If you do get the clock settings sorted out, you may then find that you can go AES to SPDIF with just a simple cable (if the LC and your interface are both relaxed enough about the signalling levels and those status bits). It's worth a try, but if it doesn't work (or doesn't work reliably) you'll have to start thinking about some kind of converter box.
Old 17th April 2013
  #13
Here for the gear
 

You can find some answers on AES to S/PDIF here:
AES to SPDIF Cable Questions
Old 10th May 2013
  #14
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
I bought a cable direct from Focusrite that links my Liquid Channel to Saffire Pro 24 DSP. Works great!
Old 11th June 2016
  #15
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
I bought a cable direct from Focusrite that links my Liquid Channel to Saffire Pro 24 DSP. Works great!
I know it's been a long time, but what cable was that?

Thanks
Old 11th June 2016
  #16
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
Sorry I can't remember. I sold the Liquid Channel a couple of years ago! I contacted Focusrite support to ask which cable and they said they sold them so I bought direct from them.
Old 11th June 2016
  #17
Gear Addict
 
jkervin's Avatar
 

I use a cable that I bought on amazon.com and it works fine. It wasn't a Focusrite cable.
Old 20th January 2019
  #18
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkervin View Post
I use a cable that I bought on amazon.com and it works fine. It wasn't a Focusrite cable.
may I know what cable that was?
thanks!
Old 26th January 2019
  #19
Gear Addict
 
jkervin's Avatar
 

Sorry - I haven't been on here in a while. I'll go look at my purchase history and see if I can find the part number. Better yet, if I can find the cable I'll just send it to you. I sold my LS56 a while back.
Old 22nd June 2019
  #20
Here for the gear
 

I’m not new to this site but this is my first comment
I ran back across this thread while googling about my Liquid Channel. I can say that I successfully linked and locked my Aphex IN2 interface spdif I/O to the liquid channel digital aes. I run sessions at 24/48 with no issues. Pro Tools 12.5 on Lenovo w530 i7-3720QM Win 7 Pro 16GB Ram. I used these cables made by Lynx.

Male:
https://reverb.com/item/1715008-lynx...s-pdif-adapter

Female:
https://www.fullcompass.com/prod/152...caAt84EALw_wcB

Cheapest I found on google. Hope this helps any past and/or future slutz!

Freeze
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