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Old 09-14-2013, 04:18 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 13,104
Default Re: ADAT & S/PDIF Question

Originally Posted by Headlow View Post
Good evening folks. I have, I believe, a very stupid question to ask. Please bear with me while I attempt to explain myself. Its ADAT related, and ADAT is something I know absolutely nothing about.

Now, using the ADAT 'out' of my ZED, would it be at all possible for that to feed the S/PDIF 'in' of my Fast Track Ultra 8R?

The reason I ask is that I would like to mix with the ZED, set the Main LR outputs as inputs to an AUX track in Pro Tools (on which I could insert my mix buss plugins), then, finally have that feed the outputs on the Fast Track, thus linking the Master fader on the Zed to a master fader of sorts in Pro Tools.

I had hooked up a similar rig using a Mac Aggregate device, but this proved highly unstable, especially with large sessions.

As I already stated I have no knowledge in this area, but I have heard/read that ADAT and S/PDIF are somewhat closely related.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give,

ADAT and S/PDIF are different incompatible protocols, you cannot have an ADAT output talk to S/PDIF input and visa versa.

ADAT and S/PDIF just happen to run on the same TOSLINK fiber optic connection. But the implemented needs to decide which of the two, or both protocols to support. And the FastTrack 88R does not even have a TOSLINK physical connection, it does have coaxial S/PDIF only (hidden on the rear panel adapter cable), so the underlying connector required by ADAT is not even there.

What exact model ZED do you have? If its got a FireWire then use that as the Interface. Why would you want to also use a Fast Track Ultra 8R? If you need to have the 8R connected because you are running a low-end version of Pro Tools then it may be time to upgrade, or use another DAW.

Aggregate IO is very often unstable, and that is really not just with Pro Tools, a lot depends on the interface driver. Avid only claims to support it for adding built in-output to an interface, not for aggregating multiple interface devices, but some vendors (e.g. Motu) have done a good job working to make sure their devices can aggregate with each other.

I am not sure when you say mixing do you only mean mixing or also tracking. I don't really know the ZED range, but the bigger FireWire ones have a lot of FireWire inputs and outputs. if you are only mixing in the ZED the DAW tracks can go into and out of the ZED (including the mixdown/output track) via that Firewire Interface. You likely really don't want to treat these consoles as analog and go though multiple unneeded DA/AD processing just to use a fader. And personally I'd rather mix in the box than go out to many of these digital outboard/live mixers. Its either mouse or a control surface (which might be an iPad) for me.

I think some of the ZED will output fader MIDI, but they are not motorized faders/full HUI control surfaces so I would not ever try using them as a surface.

Hope that helps.

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