PDA

View Full Version : Help with choosing a new interface- What is a word clock and what does it do?


rockguitarist1255
09-04-2013, 01:12 PM
First off, I did do research on Google to try and find out more about a word clock, but that just confused me more.

Hey guys I'm having a bit of an issue here. I currently have an Avid Mbox 3rd gen interface. I wanna upgrade to one with more I/O. The two interfaces I have in mind are

Focusrite Saffire Pro 40- http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SaffPro40/
Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56- http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SaffLQ56/

The 40 does not have a word clock, the 56 does. Both have more than enough I/O than I could ever want. Basically, what is a word clock, and why would I need one? If it helps, I'll put below what kind of recording I do to see if any of it would require a word clock.

I record guitar from either XLR output of my Axe FX 2 into the interface XLR input, or I use DI on my interface and use Guitar Rig, EZ mix, etc.

The only other thing I need XLR for is just a mic to record my vocals, or an occasional mic to record a percussion instrument.

For drums, I just use VI- Addictive Drums, Superior Drummer

MIDI- I use my M audio Axiom Pro 49 with many different synth and sample VI's

Craig F
09-04-2013, 01:43 PM
Word Clock is a timing pulse that keeps 2 or more interfaces/systems in sync with each other

think of it like a metronome

place it is used:
doing digital transfers from one format to another (DA-88 into Pro Tools)
syncing Pro Tools rigs together and to a digital console
having special Analog to Digital converters that you need to get into Pro Tools digital

in some cases a better clock can help the sound of the converter but this is less true now than it was in the 90s


I do not think you need to worry about it at this time

rockguitarist1255
09-04-2013, 01:56 PM
Alright that makes a lot of sense now. Since I'm not a producer or anything like that, I think I should do fine without one then since I will only be using my interface to record me, and maybe a few of my friends as a whole band, at the very most. So I shouldn't need more than one interface so I'm less confused now!

Thanks for your help as always on here Craig, really appreciate it!

DonaldM
09-05-2013, 05:28 AM
Alright that makes a lot of sense now. Since I'm not a producer or anything like that, I think I should do fine without one then since I will only be using my interface to record me, and maybe a few of my friends as a whole band, at the very most. So I shouldn't need more than one interface so I'm less confused now!

Thanks for your help as always on here Craig, really appreciate it!

I wonder if you might look at the Focusrite Scarlett 8i6. Given what you wish to use it for, the Sapphires might be a bit of overkill. The Scarlett is a bit less expensive, and smaller, but has 2 XLR/1/4 inputs on the front with nice pre-amps and will work with your guitar and/or vocals nicely either way. The sound is terrific, too. And it is about 1/2 the cost of the Sapphire.

sunburst79
09-05-2013, 06:39 AM
Word clock is nice if your planning on expanding you studio at a later date. It makes it very easy to link together multiple interfaces and devices.

Katherine_Focusrite
09-06-2013, 10:06 AM
Keep in mind that the Pro 40 can sync over ADAT and SPDIF as well, which means that unless you have a specific device that requires Word Clock you would not need it for syncing to an ADAT or SPDIF device.