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Old 10-27-2019, 06:02 PM
pchimbidis pchimbidis is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 14
Default Help getting Apogee and Focusrite to work together

Using an Apogee Element 88 and Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (2nd gen)

I set the Focusrite to send signal from its inputs to its optical outputs, then connected the optical cable to the Apogee. Both boxes are set to 48k. The Apogee connects to my MBP with Thunderbolt. I assume this means the Apogee is the “master” and the Focusrite is the “slave,” but I guess I’m not even sure of that.

Although the optical tracks all show up in PT, recording or even input-monitoring any of the Focusrite channels gives a high-pitched, digital distortion/breakup to the sound. All the channels on the Apogee sound fantastic. (I’ve had the Focusrite for years, and, on its own, it sounds fine too).

I assume I’ve done something wrong in the sync arena, I just don’t know what.

The Focusrite has only one word clock port, while the Apogee has two. I did use a word clock cable, but was unsure which port on the Apogee to connect it to. (in? Out?).

Second, which box should be set to “internal” clock?

Third, then, what should the other box be set to—“ADAT” ? “External”?

Fourth, do I even need the Word Clock cable if I’m doing this with optical cable—i.e., does the optical cable provide sync on its own?

Thanks for any help you can offer.
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:34 PM
pchimbidis pchimbidis is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 14
Default Re: Help getting Apogee and Focusrite to work together

Okay, mostly disregard.

I discovered that somewhere along the way, the Focusrite reset itself to 44.1k, which was causing the discrepancy between the Apogee running at 48k. Once I switched it, the sonic problems went away.

I also discovered that my only option for setting the clocks was Focusrite on INTERNAL, and setting the Apogee on ADAT. No other option would lock in.

So... my only other remaining question is, again, is there any real need for me to hook up the Word Clock cable between the two interfaces?

EDIT: And, an alternate question:
I'm doing this all with the Element 88 as my input device on Mac OS. My thinking was that, this way, only one device is plugged directly into the MBP. Is this actually a better way of doing things? Or, should I simply plug both in (Apogee via Thunderbolt, for which I have to use a TB2-->TB3 adaptor; AND Focusrite via USB-2) and use the Pro Tools Aggregate I/O?

I'm sure I'd need to sync with Word Clock then, but I'd also have a lot more flexibility with routing output channels to monitor mixes, etc.

Is it smarter (or possible, even) to use both interfaces at once, each plugged into different ports on my TB3 Dock; or should I stick with the master/slave thing via optical?

Thanks again.

Last edited by pchimbidis; 10-27-2019 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:57 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Norwich, CT
Posts: 35,534
Default Re: Help getting Apogee and Focusrite to work together

I would stay with the master/slave setup, but clocking still needs to be assigned correctly. With the boxes you have, I would leave Pro Tools set to internal clock with the Apogee. Then feed wordclock from the Apogee OUT to the Focusrite IN and set the focusrite to use external clock. If that fails, set the Focusrite to internal and go in Pro Tools to Setup>Hardware and set the clock source to ADAT so the Focusrite is the master(just make certain that the Focusrite is set to the same sample rate as your session
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