lost ADAT connection

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peavy
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lost ADAT connection

Post by peavy »

Hello forum,
during the last weeks I renovated my long time unused setup, now using two Win 10/64 PCs with Scope 7/64 each and a lot of external stuff .. lol
I trigger Scope synths on PC2 (sync slave, Pulsar 1+2 Luna) by Cubase 10.5/64 or MIDI keyboard on PC1 (sync master, Pulsar 2 + 2 Pulsar 1) via MIDI connection and send back the audio signal via a Scope2Scope ADAT connection, thus enjoying the power of 24 DSPs alltogether :)
Yesterday it happend that the ADAT connection sending the synth signals back to PC 1 suddenly got lost without me having changed anything relevant inbetween.
After switching Scope on PC2 into master mode (which of course causes the synths to stop playing) and then back into slave mode again it worked fine as before. Are there any issues about this kind of setup or known ADAT instabilities I'm not aware of ?

Thanks in advance from a Pulsar user since 1998
Stefan

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garyb
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Re: lost ADAT connection

Post by garyb »

no, you're just lucky, i guess.
perhaps there is a questionable cable, or a dirty ADAT port. compressed air might help, if the problem continues.

nebelfuerst
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Re: lost ADAT connection

Post by nebelfuerst »

Try expensive cables.
I had lots of crackles, when running in slave mode, until I spend more money in Adat cables.

It would help if you could provide a schematic of your setup.
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peavy
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Re: lost ADAT connection

Post by peavy »

Hey guys, thanks for the hints so far. Cables was my first idea too. I'll get some better ones ..
nebelfuerst wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:05 pm
I had lots of crackles, when running in slave mode, until I spend more money in Adat cables.
crackles is another topic.. yesterday I had crackles inside PC2 :cry: B2003 is sent to
- a micromixer (just for diagnosis in case the case ADAT connection wouldn't work) and
- the ADAT out
and for a while it crackled on and on. As far as I remenber that was before the ADAT connection got lost. After "resetting" the clock (-> Master, -> Slave), B2003 was quite again.
nebelfuerst wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:05 pm
It would help if you could provide a schematic of your setup.
OK, I knew I would sometimes have to do it anyway .. :D
After 7 years not touching the studio I had forgotten literally everything :oops:

So, here it comes:
http://www.yogabuch.de/Setup_Verkabelung.png

Basically, that's the external setup. grown from year to year .. :lol:
I've bold faced the relevant parts.

There's an Accuphase amp (which does the listening, too) with a Yamaha PX3 linear turntable with Koetsu black MC pickup for high end vinyl digitizing, external FXs with analog connections, external FXs with SPDIF connections, an external MAM vocoder, a Presonus Firestation in external mode, a Fostex D824, valve guitar amps, a 32-ch 8-bus mixing console, a certain amount of synths and rack synths, mostly connected via Motu Midi Express 128 and mostly sent to the console. Almost all relevant audio connections are patchbay-ed (5 patchbays) for a maximum flexibility. With just a few cables changeded I can do literally do everything, even vocodize and Moog-filter a Bach organ vinyl :lol:

Inside the two Scope setups, you problably know how the described procedure looks like ..

I still don't know if in the end I will mix eternally on the 32ch console or internally on DAW and Scope :wink:

By the way: if I (for testing purpose) connect and deconnect ADAT connections several times during a single uptime of the PC, may this puzzle Scope ?

Stefan

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valis
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Re: lost ADAT connection

Post by valis »

In regards to disconnecting ADAT connections, the only real concern is that pulling a cable that is currently set as your SYNC source will cause scope to freewheel sync for a while. If it syncs to a different source when this occurs and that source happens to be at a different sample-rate, it will trigger a reload of all DSPs. Best case, scope will hang and then your DSP allocation for loaded devices changes (this can sometimes cause phase shifts with modular devices and certain older devices, so I keep an eye out for it). Worst case, sometimes the UI will hang or crash if there's a persnickety device present.

In regards to hearing 'crackles' then ultimately losing sync, I agree with GaryB. Dirty ADAT port (either the side with the laser or not), dirty end on a cable, or bad cable altogether. The cheap plastic ones we use these days are also not stellar at lengths above 2-3 meters, but with Monoprice & Amazon both offering higher grade 'budget' options, there's little reason not to just have extras on hand at this point.

Listed in order of quality by my perception:

Monoprice budget option: Monoprice S/PDIF (Toslink) Digital Optical Audio Cable, 6ft

Amazon Basics Optical SPDIF: AmazonBasics Digital Optical Audio Toslink Sound Bar TV Cable - 6 Feet

Monoprice good cables: Monoprice Premium S/PDIF (Toslink) Digital Optical Audio Cable, 6ft

My preference for compressed air: Falcon Dust-Off Electronics Compressed Gas Duster 10 oz (4 Pack) [New Improved Version]

Compressed air is pretty necessary in the studio just for using computers, so surely you already have some. That brand above is also available in 4-packs at Costco for a bit less, which is where I usually get it. It's about $12 here (West coast USA) and at $3/can when single cans are often $7+, that's a no brainer.

Lastly, it is possible that your i/o daughterboard has come loose or has dirty contacts, but I would attend to the above items first. Lastly, and I'm sure you know this, only one item as master, always. If you use the Luna i/o box regularly, it probably makes the most sense to keep that as master.

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Peter Drake
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Re: lost ADAT connection

Post by Peter Drake »

Plastic optical cables are trouble. Cracks or crazing in the material leads to reflective "echoes" in the signal that are challenging for the interpretive circuitry/code. Plastic optical will only bend to an ~5cm radius, glass is more flexible and often seems as floppy as a regular metal-based cable. The Amazon cables Valis recommends are great. Don't spend a lot on "premium" optical cables, they make no difference in the signal.

peavy
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Re: lost ADAT connection

Post by peavy »

I'm very aware of the bending radii, never would I... :o
But in fact, one of the cables is plastic. Since shipping from the US to Germany will be a multiple of the value of the cables, I shall rely on on of the big German suppliers
www.musicstore.de
or
www.thomann.de
like
https://www.thomann.de/de/optical_kabel_2m.htm
or
https://www.musicstore.de/de_DE/EUR/MUS ... 009259-000

I have fond memories of the discussions and speculations about audio cables in Hi End Audio in the 1980ies (and yes, obviously I'm of old age :lol: ), esp. for vinyl turntables and even of the attempt of extending this to the fied of digital signal transmission via SPDIF when CD players came up !
But I'm sure, whereas an analog cable never transmits 100% of the signal, at best close to 100% (that's the reason why - not to my disadvantage - the first owner of my Magnepan speakers spent several 1000 of the then Deutschmarks for silver cables :D ), digital cables even of moderate price already should transmit 100% and every erroneous bit would be quite easy to prove 8)

About the compressed air and the possibility of dust affection transmssion: yes, maybe. The setup rested for severals years in the corner of the living room and not every I/O was covered, mea culpa .. :roll:

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garyb
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Re: lost ADAT connection

Post by garyb »

don't get "premium" cables with large connectors. those actually make trouble because they do not always seat completely. just use a good quality "bargain" cable.

peavy
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Re: lost ADAT connection

Post by peavy »

You refer to my links, Gary ?

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valis
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Re: lost ADAT connection

Post by valis »

The Amazonbasics ones are a tight fit on the back of my RME's (side to side-with each other), but snap in tightly and do fine with Scope. Both monoprice versions work here. I do have the luxury of having setup my space with enough room to access my machines front and rear and side fully behind my desk area, so that I don't have cramped quarters when doing maintenance or connecting cable runs.

I do agree though that the fit can sometimes be an issue with cables, however I stopped using cheap ones a long time ago when I found the need to add BNC wordclock to account for a 12' run of adat cables that was giving crackles (they were plastic, not glass). Now my runs are 6' and it's less likely to be an issue and I just clock to whatever is most convenient. BNC is fully distributed so when all gear is in use that's my choice.

nebelfuerst
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Re: lost ADAT connection

Post by nebelfuerst »

For troubleshooting I had two strategies:

1) If the system seems to be fine, let it run for several hours, without touching anything. I did a recording with the DAW to check if any crackles occured. Sometimes if the equipment heats up, the Adat crackles become more.

2) If crackles occur from start, try changing the powerup sequence and stick to that sequence. I had the impression that switching my A16 ( =sync master) on before powerup of scope(pci) was the right way to do. I also felt, that a powercycle does a deeper reset to a scopepci, compared to a reboot. ( Just my own impressions...)
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valis
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Re: lost ADAT connection

Post by valis »

Heat affecting sync indicates either loose connections, failing solder joints or capacitors.

Power sequence indicates bad sync somewhere, that you're avoiding using because you turned something else on first.

Personally, I prefer everything to be rock solid if possible. That's why I have a box of ADAT cables in addition to all the other crap here. My RME cards are happier with 1 type, scope another, and my consumer devices tend to only use it 1 way so they don't really care and get the leftovers. SPDIF and BNC are more forgiving than they were 20-30 years ago, having the proper termination and resistance is still best imho.

dawman
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Re: lost ADAT connection

Post by dawman »

nebelfuerst wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:05 pm
Try expensive cables.
I had lots of crackles, when running in slave mode, until I spend more money in Adat cables.

It would help if you could provide a schematic of your setup.
Totally agree there.
ADAT & HDMI premiums keep me from pulling my hair out trouble shooting.

Most recently after another dumb Windows 10 update, it kicked on my WiFi which I disabled on Device Manager again.
Any WiFi or un used USB or LAN gets disabled.

Don’t worry about a USB port being disabled.
They still power up USB devices, just won’t transmit MIDI or audio.

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garyb
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Re: lost ADAT connection

Post by garyb »

not referring to anyone's links in particular...

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at0m
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Re: lost ADAT connection

Post by at0m »

Hi,

Firstly, a little from experience on optical cables and my setup.

My hardware is 3 DSP cards (same IO daughterboard connectors there) and then for convertors 3 ADA8000, an ADA8200 and MusicNet/Sonorus DA24 and AD24.

Getting my ADAT cables from thomann these days, and I found their Sssnake ADAT really problematic on both ends: the metal connector is really too tight a fit and every time I have to push them so hard I'm afraid the ADAT connector on the hardware, both on Scope and on the convertors, is going to come off. One unit I've had that happen, and needed to replace the ADAT connector. Costed me 80€ - as much as the ADA8000's go for, these days.

So, as a hint: avoid the Sssnake ADAT cables for our Scope hardware! (that said, I'm very satisfied with the analog Sssnake cables and multi's I'm using. It's just the optical that are no match with my gear) Their big metal connectors also get in the way or sit against the BNC connector at the back of the Behringer ADAT units, more on that below.

Thomann also sells the Mutec Optical, which fits nicely both ends. I can strongly vouch for those!!

As for glass or fiber or whatever material they're made off, I have no idea. And although they don't look or feel not nearly as strong as the Sssnake ADATs, the Mutecs have not let me down.

I hope this will benefit some of you later.


Secondly, I do have sync issues from time to time (last couple days been especially problematic). There's five 5m ADAT pairs running back and forth. Syncplate provides BNC across the chain, using one longer 5m BNC cable from the DAW to the rack and then 4 30-50cm BNC cables to the convertors in the rack, daisy-chained with BNC T-pieces on the convertors.
So sync can be set 2 ways: using either BNC or ADAT.

I prefer BNC, but on 2 ADAT units, those coming from my 2nd DSP card, using the Ssnake cables, BNC nor ADAT does get the convertors a stable clock. As mentioned, the BNC connectors are touching the fat Sssnake ADAT connectors, I thing that may be one problem. Next I'm going to switch the Sssnake and Mutec cables around, and try blowing some air in the optical ports both ends.

I know this is a bigger ADAT setup, with 5 units. No other hardware but Scope DSP would even allow for such. But it's been months in preparation, of buying an extra card just to get the IO daughterboard, and sold it again without ;) , getting all the multi's etc and took me most of januari to re-cable all this rig to the current 52 IO, I really want this to work. Wish me luck.


at0m.
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borg
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Re: lost ADAT connection

Post by borg »

word clock chain properly terminated? If not, this could lead to erratic behavior. Some units have built in termination, some don't.
andy
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valis
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Re: lost ADAT connection

Post by valis »

at0m, glass vs fiber mattered in 2003, don't think it does now. I have 3 RME cards connected via ADAT, and bnc running to everything including MOTU MTP AV, happy to have one RME or Scope master that way. I also run AES & SPDIF both (2 Scope cards) though the SPDIF device likes to be master so rarely use it.

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at0m
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Re: lost ADAT connection

Post by at0m »

Hi borg, valis.

Thanks for your tips. I got some stuff out the rack, closer to the DAW so shorted Mutec(-style) cables could do the run, removing the Sssnake ADAT's, and It Works(TM). Now both on ADAT and Wordclock sync. So definitely the cables.

I notice 2 problems with the Sssnake ADAT cables:
  • the big fat connectors don't fit well since they touch the breakout cable on the Scope cards, and
  • the metal connectors on the Sssnake are too tight a fit, both on Scope's daughter-boards and on the ADA8*00's.
So, problem solved for now: had a long session without any glitches since I re-positioned some ADAT convertors so I could use the thin ADAT cables with plastic heads. Added some longer Mutec cables to my shopping basket, next ordering round I'll have them delivered.

Cheers!
at0m.
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https://soundcloud.com/at0m-studio

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