Handling of wordclock distribution in tight spaces?

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valis
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Handling of wordclock distribution in tight spaces?

Post by valis » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:27 am

I've got two older RME soundcards here (Multiface I & Multiface II (the latter of which has their better jitter protection) and my aging Scope cards, and 1 other MOTU device. The Scope cards have enough ADAT i/o to handle connecting ALL of the other cards, but I don't want to run the Scope gear as the clock master always. Rather, when a machine is the central use in a given role, I would prefer its clock to be master...so I am looking at my BNC cabling situation.

In the past, I only clocked my Scope cards/machine via bnc or adat from the Mutlface II on my primary Mac Pro. So the BNC cabling was very short, simple, and internal termination worked well enough for the simple direct cabling. I'm now looking to distribute clock by using a chain of T connectors and cables, however I can't fit the T connectors close to most of the gear.

So my questions are:

1. Is this setup sensible or should I just start thinking of a master clock?
2. If this route of clock distribution is adequate for my small home studio, can I use short lengths of BNC cable to 'space' the T connectors out from the soundcards?

#2 is my real question here, for I don't know how to do this otherwise. Thank you for your input kfhkh

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garyb
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Re: Handling of wordclock distribution in tight spaces?

Post by garyb » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:58 pm

1. no, it's not sensible. you need a master clock. although wordclock may work when used in parallel, it's not supposed to. for wordclock to be stable, it needs to have one port for one device. you're better off using ADAT, otherwise.
2. no. see above...

cheapest master clock?
http://artproaudio.com/wordclock_genera ... t/syncgen/
only four connectors on this one, though... i guess that's enough...

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valis
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Re: Handling of wordclock distribution in tight spaces?

Post by valis » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:01 pm

The main issue with ADAT is that Scope would always have to be master. While I'm not opposed to that, I don't always need Scope running for many of the uses I'm thinking off (not all are directly music production related) and I really want the 'master' machine to also always be master clock...

Someone mentioned Aardvark Sync DA for a distribution amp as a solution, but that still assumes one master.

That SyncGen is CHEEP!, thanks for reminding me about it. I can probably afford more at present, am doing some commercials for a friend in LA, but I'll have to think on this a bit more then. Big Ben is the obvious one that comes to mind, I haven't been paying attention to master clocks otherwise in a few years. Reverb.com?

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garyb
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Re: Handling of wordclock distribution in tight spaces?

Post by garyb » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:43 am

yeah, or ebay.
i got my Rosendahl Nanoclocks there. yeah, i prefer bnc clock if i'm connecting more than 2 digital devices, but whatever works, works.

the ART would be fine, if 4 outputs is enough. the Aardvark is really good. a better clock is better, but i haven't known of many bad clocks...

Scope can be slave to ADAT...

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Re: Handling of wordclock distribution in tight spaces?

Post by valis » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:08 am

indeed it can. What I'm doing here is using all the adat i/o on both Scope cards, and the only way adat works to distribute that is scope as master =)

I haven't seen in searching anywhere is whether making a 'pigtail' of a foot to get the t-connector off the back of the interfaces is a worthwhile idea. So I suppose I should spend a few weeks catching up on what's good for master clocks. I know that the older RME here is just a PLL to track incoming clock, the newer one has their current tech (though it's just a multiface II) so it's probably the most stable with external clocking. I never had issues clocking scope from either of those, but moving to all of them in operation at once is new territory for me.

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Re: Handling of wordclock distribution in tight spaces?

Post by garyb » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:45 am

the RME can be the wordclock master, but then you still need a distributor to provide clock to all the other devices. t connectors are a bad idea. clock impedance is important. clock must always be serial, not parallel. here's a typical gearslutz page:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-c ... butor.html

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garyb
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Re: Handling of wordclock distribution in tight spaces?

Post by garyb » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:47 am

if it didn't matter, they wouldn't make this:
https://mutec-net.com/product_mc-7.php

this one:
http://www.sonifex.co.uk/redbox/rbdda6w_ld.shtml


getting the info might be a little tough, but you could probably make your own distro box. you can mix WC and ADAT, as well. there just has to be only one master. you can slave to WC and still send out clock via ADAT or AES or SP/DIF.

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Re: Handling of wordclock distribution in tight spaces?

Post by valis » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:13 am

The Mutec looks perfect, I'm a bit busy atm for DIY. Gary, you are the don sir. Thank you =)

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Re: Handling of wordclock distribution in tight spaces?

Post by garyb » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:55 am

:)

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