Alesis ADAT-HD24EC2 Owner`s manual

EC-2
96kHz Sample Rate Upgrade
A/D and D/A Converter Cards
for the ADAT HD24 Hard Disk Recorder
OWNER’S MANUAL
VERSION 1.0
APPLIES TO ADAT HD24 SOFTWARE VERSION 1.05 AND ABOVE
EC-2 96kHz A/D/D/A upgrade • appendix A
© 2002 Alesis. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited.
Change Without Notice.
Specifications Subject To
7-51-0107-A 6/2002
EC-2 Manual
appendix A
EC-2 96kHz Upgrade Cards
This document covers only those aspects unique to the EC-2 cards and should be kept with the HD24 manual.
Table of Contents
Important Safety Instructions ................................ 2
Safety symbols used in this product ....................... 2
CE Declaration of Conformity................................ 2
About the EC-2..................................................... 2
Installing the EC-2 into the HD24........................... 3
Using the EC-2 ..................................................... 6
Inputs and Outputs............................................... 7
About the EC-2’s audio performance...................... 8
When to use 88.2/96 kHz ...................................... 8
Extending the frequency range of other studio
equipment.................................................... 10
Using the HD24/EC-2 with computer
workstations and digital mixers..................... 11
Using the HD24/EC-2 with the Alesis AI-4
AES/EBU Interface....................................... 12
Specifications ......................................................... 13
Index
12-channel operation................................................ 6
AES/EBU Digital Audio Interface........................... 12
Analog Input (A/D) board ....................................... 5
Analog Output (D/A) board .................................... 5
Antialiasing filters ................................................... 8
anti-static
during installation ............................................. 4
converters ............................................................... 8
daughterboard ........................................................ 3
DC power cable ....................................................... 6
Digital inputs and outputs
at high sample rates ........................................... 6
digital mixers
at high sample rates ......................................... 11
dynamic range......................................................... 8
Latency ................................................................. 11
level change
in unbalanced input ........................................... 7
EC-2 Manual
low-pass filters ...................................................... 10
MasterLink
exporting to..................................................... 12
microphones ......................................................... 10
MIDI sequencer ....................................................... 2
mixing consoles ..................................................... 10
monitors
at 96 kHz......................................................... 10
Nyquist theorem...................................................... 8
oversampling filters ................................................. 9
phase response ........................................................ 9
sample rates
about ................................................................ 8
software
upgrade ............................................................ 2
Synchronizing ......................................................... 7
Word clock............................................................ 12
workstations.......................................................... 11
A-1
EC-2 96kHz A/D/D/A upgrade • appendix A
Important Safety Instructions
Safety symbols used in this
product
This symbol alerts the user that there are
important operating and maintenance
instructions in the literature accompanying
this unit.
This symbol warns the user of uninsulated
voltage within the unit that can cause
dangerous electric shocks.
About the EC-2
The EC-2 is an optional 96kHz sampling rate analog
hardware upgrade designed exclusively for the
Alesis ADAT HD24. It provides 24 simultaneous
channels of balanced +4 dBu analog audio inputs
and outputs via 48 1/4” TRS type jacks. The EC-2 is
installed directly inside the HD24’s rear panel, in
place of the original A/D and D/A boards, for
simple system integration and flexibility. With the
EC-2 installed, the HD24 can record and play back
digital audio at the 96kHz or 88.2 kHz sampling
rates (in addition to the standard 44.1 and 48 kHz
rates) via its analog inputs and outputs. In high
sample rate mode, the HD24 can record and play
back up to 12 tracks at a time.
The EC-2 expansion cards are designed for use
only with HD24 software version 1.05 or higher.
If your HD24 has a lower software version, visit
our web site at www.alesis.com to download the
latest HD24 software and instructions for
updating the HD24 via a standard MIDI file or via
Ethernet. If you don’t have a computer or MIDI
sequencer, contact your Alesis dealer or local
service center to help you with the upgrade.
All safety warnings in the HD24 manual (pages 7
through 10) apply to the EC-2 as well.
CE Declaration of Conformity
For the CE Declaration of Conformity, please visit
the Alesis web site at: www.alesis.com
The EC-2 upgrade boards are a replacement for the
standard HD24 analog converter boards. They do
everything the standard boards do, plus:
A-2
•
24 channels of High Performance 24-bit
Analog Audio Conversion. 24 channels of
simultaneous input and output on 1/4” TRS
jacks. Superior DACs and ADCs allow the EC-2
to considerably surpass the standard converter
boards in THD+N and dynamic range.
•
Support for Sample Rates up to 96kHz. The
EC-2 boards allow you to use analog inputs and
outputs at 88.2kHz and 96kHz nominal sample
rates.
•
Simple hookup and operation. The EC-2 is
designed to install in the rear panel of the HD24
and connects to the main circuit board with the
included multi-pin ribbon connectors. Once
connected, the HD24 will detect the cards’
presence, and allow you to select analog inputs
as the source when using the 88.2kHz and
96kHz sample rates.
EC-2 Manual
appendix A • EC-2 96kHz A/D/D/A upgrade
Installing the EC-2 into the HD24
Precautions
The EC-2 boards should only be installed by a
dealer or trained technician. End users
should only attempt installation if they have
experience with this type of procedure. If
any of the following instructions are not clear
to you, please have a dealer or trained
technician install it for you. Improper
installation by the end user may damage the
boards and/or your HD24 and may void
your warranty.
Packing List
In the EC-2 box, you should find the following
items:
Overview
In the HD24, the conversion between analog and
digital signals takes place on two PCBs (printed
circuit boards) that are mounted directly to the
input (A/D) and output (D/A) connectors that poke
through the back panel. In a “stock” HD24 without
96 kHz sampling capability, each card connects
directly to the main PCB on the bottom of the unit
with a ribbon cable.
To add 96kHz analog recording and playback
capability, both the input and output boards are
completely replaced, and another board (the
daughterboard) is added bridging across them. The
daughterboard then connects via ribbon cables to
the main PCB. The daughterboard requires a
connection to the power supply, so the existing 4connector power cable must be replaced with a new
5-connector power cable.
•
This manual (P/N 7-51-0107, E2 User’s Manual)
Tools required
•
96 kHz Analog Input board (P/N 9-40-0256, E2
A/D PCB)
Before you begin, have these tools ready:
•
96 kHz Analog Output board (P/N 9-40-0257,
E2 D/A PCB)
•
Daughterboard (P/N 9-40-0258, E2 D/D PCB)
•
DC power cable (P/N 4-74-0031, E2 DC Power
Cable)
•
#2 Philips-head screwdriver
•
14 mm nut driver or socket wrench
Before you begin, verify that you have everything
in this packing list. When you unwrap the
components, save the packing materials so you can
use them to store the original parts.
EC-2 Manual
A-3
EC-2 96kHz A/D/D/A upgrade • appendix A
Prepare to install:
Remove the existing converter PCBs
and cables:
1 . Disconnect the HD24’s AC power cable, and
make sure you are working on a clean, flat, hard
surface. Ground yourself by touching a
grounded metal object.
An anti-static
workstation with anti-static mat and wrist
strap is highly recommended.
3.
Hazardous voltages are present within the
chassis. Do not remove the top panel without
first unplugging the unit from AC power!
2.
Locate the existing DC power cable. This cable
has several thick red, orange, yellow, black, and
blue wires bundled together. Pinch the tab lock
holding the white connector to the back of Drive
1 and carefully disconnect it. Do the same for
the connector on Drive 2, the Main PCB (the
printed circuit board on the floor of the HD24),
and finally the power supply itself. (This will be
replaced with a new cable in step 14.)
4 . Disconnect the 26-pin flexible ribbon cables
from the existing converter PCBs and the main
PCB, and remove them completely.
New 26-pin cables are attached to the EC-2
daughterboard—the old ones will not be used.
Remove the cover from the HD24: The cover is
held to the body with 5 Philips head screws on
the rear, 2 on each side, and one on the top.
Slide the cover directly towards the rear; don’t
lift it up—there are metal tabs on the back panel
and along the bottom that will get bent if you
do.
5. Remove the 24 nuts and washers on the 1/4”
input connectors, holding the PCB in place to
keep it from falling. Then remove the old A/D
PCB (the highest one on the back panel).
6.
Do the same for the 24 nuts and washers on the
1/4” output connectors. Hold the PCB in place
to prevent the D/A PCB from dropping onto
the main PCB. Once the PCBs are removed, put
the nuts and washers back on the jacks and store
these PCBs and cables in the packaging that the EC2 came in.
HD24 interior with original A/D/A PCBs
Main PCB
A/D PCB
Power
supply
D/A PCB
DC power cable
(remove)
26-pin ribbon
cables (remove)
Drive 1
A-4
Drive 2
EC-2 Manual
appendix A • EC-2 96kHz A/D/D/A upgrade
Install the new EC-2 PCBs
7.
Find the daughterboard in the EC-2 package: it
has two 26-pin flexible cables attached to it.
Insert the ribbon connector labeled “J4 TO
MAIN PCB” on the daughterboard into the 26pin header labeled on the main PCB as “J15 TO
A/D PCB”.
8 . Insert the ribbon connector labeled “J3 TO
MAIN PCB” on the daughterboard into the 26pin header labeled on the main PCB as “J14 TO
D/A PCB”.
The headers on the main PCB sit near the back
center, where the old input/output PCBs used to
plug in. The red side of each cable should face the
right of the HD24 (closest to the fan). Verify that
the cables don’t have any twists in them and that
there are no unconnected or exposed pins on the
headers.
9. Lay the daughterboard gently on the PCBs at
the rear of the hard drive cages until the Analog
Input and Analog Output PCBs are installed.
NOTE: The Analog Input and Analog Output
PCBs look very similar. Verify that you have
the correct PCB by looking for the part number
and part name in the text in the corner of the
PCB.
11. Place the Analog Output PCB in the bottom set
of rear panel holes (labeled OUTPUT on the
rear panel) with the components facing down
(so that you can read the white text on the PCB,
which says “D/A PCB” and “Analog Output”).
Put a few of the washers and nuts on the 1/4”
jacks to hold the PCB in place. Screw them
down all the way, but do not tighten yet—it
should be just a little loose.
12. Place the Analog Input PCB in the top set of rear
panel holes (labeled INPUT on the rear panel)
with the components facing down and put a
few of the washers and nuts on the 1/4” jacks to
hold the PCB in place. Screw them down all the
way, but do not tighten.
10. Get the new Analog Output (D/A) PCB from its
packaging. Remove the nuts and washers from
the 1/4” connectors on the new Analog Output
(D/A) PCB.
HD24 with EC-2 installed
Daughterboard PCB
1
Analog In
A/D PCB
2
Analog Out
D/A PCB
New DC
power cable
3
4
5
6
EC-2 Manual
A-5
EC-2 96kHz A/D/D/A upgrade • appendix A
Connect the PCBs
13. Connect the daughterboard to the Input and
Output PCBs: Line up the connectors to the
bottom (D/A) and top (A/D) PCBs, make sure
all the pins line up, then gently push the
daughterboard to the rear of the HD24 using the
plastic ribbon cable headers as pressure points,
making a connection between all three PCBs.
The connectors will only line up in one orientation.
Verify that there are no pins unconnected or exposed.
14. Put the remainder of the washers and nuts on
the jacks of the input and output connectors and
tighten them all down (total 48 jacks).
15. Install the new DC power cable, connecting the
power supply, main PCB, daughterboard, and
hard drive PCBs as shown in the illustration on
the previous page.
Run it from the
daughterboard to the main PCB to the power
supply, then back from the power supply to the
two drives. Make sure the connectors snap into
place securely.
16. Replace the top panel.
To test for proper installation
After installation, you will be able to select
ANALOG input as well as DIGITAL with SAMPLE
RATE set to 88.1 and 96kHz.
1.
Plug the unit back in to AC power and turn on
the HD24.
2.
Select or create an 88.2kHz or 96kHz song.
3.
Press INPUT SELECT until the “INPUT” group in
the alphanumeric display indicates
“ANALOG”. This confirms that the HD24 has
detected the EC-2’s presence.
If it’s not detected, unplug the unit and check all
connections carefully, disconnecting and connecting
each, then trying again to see if the EC-2 is detected.
Contact Alesis Product Support or an authorized
service center if the cards are still not detected.
A-6
Using the EC-2
For important information about high-resolution
operation of the HD24, see Chapter 7 of your
ADAT HD24 owner’s manual (page 65).
About 96kHz/88.2kHz Sampling
Operation
An ADAT HD24 with EC-2 upgrade boards
installed operates identically to a “stock” HD24
with respect to input arming, selection, and routing
(or “normalling”). The only difference is that you
will be able to use analog inputs and outputs when
the system is set to 88.2kHz or 96kHz sampling
rates. (Without the EC-2, you must use the ADAT
Optical digital inputs and outputs with an external
88.2/96kHz converter to record at higher sample
rates.)
•
About 12-channel operation at high
sample rates
When recording and playing back any Song that has
been initialized at the 88.2 or 96 kHz sampling rates,
the HD24 is limited to recording a maximum of 12
channels.
•
Analog input channels 13-24 will be ignored.
•
Analog output channels 13-24 will duplicate
output channels 1-12.
•
Digital inputs and outputs are grouped in fours
instead of eights: tracks 1-4 on the HD24’s ADAT
OPTICAL 1-8 ports, tracks 5-8 on the HD24’s
ADAT OPTICAL 9-16 ports, and tracks 9-12 on the
HD24’s ADAT OPTICAL 17-24 ports. For more on
operation of the ADAT Optical port, see page 66
of the HD24 manual.
When using an HD24/EC-2 at the standard 44.1kHz
or 48kHz sampling rates, you will still be able to
record and play back all 24 tracks. The only
difference from the original boards will be
improved audio performance, due to the higher
quality converters and analog circuitry of the EC-2.
EC-2 Manual
appendix A • EC-2 96kHz A/D/D/A upgrade
Synchronizing at high sample rates:
To record more than 12 tracks in the high sample
rate mode, simply synchronize two HD24/EC-2
units together by linking them with an ADAT Sync
cable (see page 24 of the HD24 manual). Up to five
HD24s may be synchronized this way, allowing
high-sample rate systems of up to 60 tracks.
Synchronizing two HD24s at
different sample rates:
When synchronizing multiple HD24s (or an HD24
with tape-based ADATs) together, it is possible to
have an HD24 record and play back a high sample
rate Song, while other machines play back a
standard sample rate Song.
In this case, the sample rates must be even multiples
of each other (44.1 with 88.2 or 48 with 96 kHz).
For example, one HD24 can be running with 24
tracks of instrumental tracks at 48 kHz while a
second HD24 records and plays back 12 tracks of
vocals and leads at 96 kHz, for a total of 36 tracks
simultaneously.
Inputs and Outputs
The inputs and outputs of the HD24/EC-2 are the
same basic type as on a “stock” HD24: balanced
1/4” TRS jacks with a nominal +4 dBu level
corresponding to –15 dBFS on the HD24’s meter. In
most installations, there will be no difference in
meter readings or levels after you install the EC-2.
However, there is a slight difference in the
balancing circuitry that may affect some
installations. The EC-2 features true differential
inputs and outputs, with dual drivers on each
output instead of the more common (and less
expensive) “impedance balanced” (sometimes
called “ground compensated”) method of balancing
the outputs found on most audio gear (and on the
original HD24 boards).
As a result, if you plug the output of the EC-2 into
an unbalanced input, the nominal output will be –2
dBu, 6 dB less than if the EC-2 was seeing a true
balanced load. This is normal operation and has no
effect on the final quality of the sound...it only
reduces the readings on the console’s tape return
meters. To avoid this 6 dB loss, simply plug the
outputs of the HD24/EC-2 into balanced inputs on
the console.
Depending on the software version of your HD24, a
warning message may appear or the sample rate
indicator may flash indicating the mismatch in
rates, but this will not affect operation.
EC-2 Manual
A-7
EC-2 96kHz A/D/D/A upgrade • appendix A
About the EC-2’s audio
performance
An HD24 with the EC-2 upgrade has audio
performance far superior to that of any analog
recorder, and a wider dynamic range than most
input and output devices that may be connected to
it. Here’s why:
The converter defines the sound
The first and last steps in digital recording—the
conversion from analog to digital, then back
again—define the audio quality of the digital
recording process. Once captured in the digital
domain as a series of ones and zeroes, the audio is
protected for as long as the media lasts. So the
converter you use when recording a master is one of
the most important choices you can make in the
studio.
The EC-2 upgrade uses premium AKM 5393 analogto-digital (A/D) and AKM 4393 digital-to-analog
(D/A) converters, among the best available today.
The input and output electronics are virtually
identical to those of the acclaimed Alesis
MasterLink High-Resolution Master Disk Recorder.
Even at standard sample rates, the noise floor and
distortion are lower than most units costing much
more. The noise floor is 10 dB lower than a “stock”
HD24, and 20 dB lower than standard Compact
Discs and the original 16-bit ADAT. How much is
10 dB? From a laboratory standpoint, 20 dB stands
for 100 times the power—so the dynamic range
increase is analogous to the difference between a 10watt amplifier and a 1000-watt amplifier. Because
of the logarithmic nature of human hearing, to most
people, each -10 dB of difference sounds “half as
loud”, so the noise floor of the EC-2 will be
perceived as 1/4th that of a standard CD.
The resulting 112 dB dynamic range is not only
more than that found on a standard Compact Disc,
it is much wider than the acoustic dynamic range of
even the best recording studios. When you record
analog audio directly into an ADAT HD24
upgraded with an EC-2, the recorder is literally no
longer an issue in the overall sound quality. Even
dedicated (and expensive!) outboard converters
connected to the ADAT Optical ports of the HD24
have a tough time beating the specs of the EC-2.
With proper recording techniques, any noise or hiss
you hear is coming from the self-noise of the
microphones or preamps, not from the HD24.
A-8
When to use 88.2/96 kHz
Why 44.1/48 kHz?
Many engineers believe that the sampling rates that
have been used up to now are less than ideal. The
industry-standard sample rates were chosen at a
time when digital storage was much more
expensive than it is today. The “consumer” rate of
44.1 kHz was the lowest possible sampling rate that
could still record and play back the highest
frequencies in the commonly-accepted human
hearing range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. At a 44.1 kHz
sampling rate, a 650 MB Compact Disc would be
able to play back 72 minutes without
interruption—the length of Beethoven’s Ninth
Symphony.
In an era before digital mixing consoles and
computer workstations, the 48 kHz sampling rate
was designated the “professional” rate for two
reasons:
1.
2.
the slightly higher sampling rate allowed
more room for the antialiasing filter to do its
work, and
professional recorders needed to be able to
“pitch down” 12% and still play back the full
20 kHz frequency range.
The case for a higher sampling rate
While the traditional sampling rates give excellent
performance (especially with today’s converter
technology), there is criticism that these rates are too
low to obtain truly audiophile quality. Most of this
criticism centers on the filters that are necessary to
make digital audio work.
Antialiasing filters
The Nyquist theorem, upon which digital audio
recording is based, states that you can reliably
record and play back any signal by sampling it at
least two times the rate of the highest frequency you
want to record. However, if there are any analog
frequencies in the incoming signal that are higher
than half the sampling rate, nasty-sounding
reflections appear in the signal, known as aliases.
For example, if a 47 kHz tone is sampled at 48 kHz,
you’ll hear a 1 kHz tone, right in the midband of the
audio—hardly what you’d want to hear by getting
“extended frequency response”.
So, early analog-to-digital converters had a steep
“brick wall” analog filter on the input. To avoid
EC-2 Manual
appendix A • EC-2 96kHz A/D/D/A upgrade
aliasing, the steeper the filter, the better. Some
converters boasted 10 th-order (-60 dB per octave)
filters.
For comparison, most loudspeaker
crossovers have 3rd or 4th-order filters (-18 or –24 dB
per octave).
The problem is similar on the output side—the 44.1
or 48 kHz sampling frequency itself has to be
filtered out of the analog output from the D/A
converter, or it will send ultrasonic signals into
amplifiers and tweeters, making toast of them even
if the speakers don’t have response that high. This
called for a steep reconstruction or output filter,
between the D/A and the analog output.
Such steep filters keep ultra-high frequencies from
turning into aliasing noise, but they have their own
negative side effects. Like any equalizer, filters
have phase effects below the frequencies they
directly affect. So, although the first digital
recorders and CD players had flat frequency
response, they did not have flat phase response—in
the top octave from 10 to 20 kHz, the sound would
start going through a small time delay as it
approached the cutoff point of the antialiasing filter.
In the opinion of critical listeners, these filters gave
digital audio a harsh and unnatural high end. Since
this phase response was often the only significant
measurable difference between the input and
output signals, designers focused on eliminating it
(although it was never proven to be audible).
However, a digital filter with perfectly flat phase
response still filters out frequencies above 20 or 22
kHz. Good analog tape recorders are capable of
recording beyond 30 kHz. And there are those who
believe that higher frequencies, while perhaps not
audible in themselves, may have an effect on the
quality of the audio taken as a whole.
Can you hear it?
You now have in your hands a tool that can let you
hear the ultimate in recording for yourself. By
making comparison recordings at 48 kHz and 96
kHz, you can judge what type of program material
should be recorded at the higher rate, and what
effect that has. But for an accurate comparison,
make sure that everything else in the
record/playback signal path has flat response (see
“Extending the frequency range...” on the next
page).
Digital oversampling filters
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, engineers made
quantum improvements in the design of A/D and
D/A converters. Key among these was the
development of digital oversampling filters. To
vastly oversimplify, an oversampling filter sets its
sampling frequency at a high multiple (originally 8
times, now usually 64 or 128 times) of the final
sampling frequency. Then, most of the filtering
takes place digitally, by throwing out the “extra”
samples. A digital recorder or player with
oversampling filters on its converters still records
and plays back at the standard 44.1 or 48 kHz rate,
but the analog antialiasing and reconstruction filters
don’t need to be “brick wall”: a 12 dB per octave
filter is just fine, since the sampling is taking place
much higher than the audible range. Therefore,
today’s CD players and digital recorders have
almost perfectly flat phase response within the
audible frequency range. (For more detail on this,
we recommend The Art of Digital Audio, by John
Watkinson.)
EC-2 Manual
A-9
EC-2 96kHz A/D/D/A upgrade • appendix A
Extending the frequency range of
other studio equipment
Even though an ADAT HD24 equipped with the
EC-2 upgrade gives you the capability of recording
audio beyond 40 kHz, many other elements of your
studio may need to be upgraded to truly take
advantage of this capability.
Most studio
equipment was designed to meet a 20-20 kHz spec,
not the 44 kHz range that the EC-2 can record.
Many devices treat anything above 20 kHz as
nothing more than noise and may have low-pass
filters that cut it off. To make truly wide-range
recordings, make sure that every component of the
signal chain is capable of ultra-wide response:
If you’ve done all the above, and confirmed your
studio’s capability of reproducing the full range of
frequencies the HD24/EC-2 can record, you now
have a truly state-of-the-art studio that’s capable of
mastering audiophile-quality DVDs and SACDs.
Though the extra octave of high end may not be
audible to the majority of listeners (or even to you,
especially if you’ve been listening to loud music for
too many years), you can be assured that what
you’re recording will stand the test of time, for all
listeners. Audio technology won’t get significantly
better than this.
•
Look for measurement microphones, usually
small-diaphragm condensers, with response
beyond 30 kHz. Most microphones are limited
to 20 kHz response.
Good luck and thank you for using the ADAT
HD24 with the EC-2 96 kHz Upgrade!
•
An ideal mic preamp for 96 kHz recording
should be flat to at least 70 kHz. Make sure the
microphone preamp does not have built-in lowpass filters in an attempt to keep RF (radio
frequency) noise out of the circuitry. They still
need some filtering, but a well-designed
preamp filters out RF without filtering audio.
•
Many mixing consoles also have internal
filtering to cut down on crosstalk, etc. These are
often critical to low noise operation, so in some
cases your best bet is to bypass the console
during tracking and save it for only the final
mix. Plug high-grade microphone preamps
directly into the balanced inputs of the
HD24/EC-2. Or, have your console custommodified to raise its low-pass point by someone
who understands the tradeoffs between noise,
stability, and frequency response.
•
For listening to a high-sample-rate recording,
electrostatic headphones (e.g., Stax) or monitors
with electrostatic or ribbon tweeters are your
best bet. Most studio monitors don’t respond
well to frequencies above 25 kHz, if they
respond at all. A soft-dome tweeter trying to
reproduce 30-40 kHz often goes into irregular
modes that may, oddly, sound “good” to a
listener, but they’re not really playing back
what was recorded.
A-10
EC-2 Manual
appendix A • EC-2 96kHz A/D/D/A upgrade
Using the HD24/EC-2 with
computer workstations and
digital mixers
Because the EC-2 upgrade provides 24 high quality
inputs and outputs, it can be used as an external
converter to extend the number of analog inputs
and outputs of any computer workstations and
digital mixers that feature an ADAT Optical
interface. When using it as an A/D converter, press
the ALL INPUT button with INPUT SELECT set to
ANALOG; when using it as a D/A converter, set
INPUT SELECT to DIGITAL.
Remember that for an input or output to be active,
the current Song must be initialized for the
proper number of tracks, even if you’re not
recording or playing back the HD24 itself.
For more information see pages 39-40 in chapter 3 of
the HD24 manual, Basic Recording and Playback.
Latency
Every digital conversion requires a certain amount
of time, although the time delay involved is usually
less than the time it takes sound to travel one foot
through the air. However, if you have a digital
workstation that allows compensation for input and
output delays, see the Specifications section on page
13 of this manual for latency figures. In most cases,
this is only critical when you’re using different
interfaces simultaneously (for example, the analog
inputs of a computer interface plus its ADAT
Optical inputs receiving the output of the HD24). In
extremely critical applications, you should test
latency matching by using a 20kHz burst tone sent
to all inputs simultaneously, viewing the start point
of the waveform bursts on the screen of a digital
audio workstation, then adjusting the start times of
all tracks to compensate.
High sample rate operation
If you want to use the HD24/EC-2 with a
workstation or digital mixer at the 88.2/96kHz
sampling rates, the question to ask the
manufacturer of the other unit is: “does this
support the ‘sample-split’ implementation for
96kHz audio transmission, with 4 channels of
96K/24-bit audio per ADAT Optical cable ?” The
details of this format are outlined by the Alesis
Optical Interface Specification Addendum,
February 2001. If it doesn’t, instead of treating each
lightpipe as a high-speed 4-channel interface, the
workstation will use it as the traditional standardspeed ADAT Optical 8-channel interface. If that’s
the case, you’ll get apparently “duplicate” signals
on the device receiving signal from the HD24 in 96
kHz mode: Track 1 will appear on channels 1 and 2
of the digital mixer or workstation, etc.
In some cases, you need to manually set the other
device to send and receive a 96k signal on the
ADAT lightpipe. In other cases, you may need to
upgrade the software or hardware of the unit so it
can interface digitally. Contact the manufacturer of
the workstation or mixer for more information.
EC-2 Manual
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EC-2 96kHz A/D/D/A upgrade • appendix A
Using the HD24/EC-2 with the
Alesis AI-4 AES/EBU Interface
The Alesis AI-4 AES/EBU Digital Audio Interface is
a single-rack space unit available from your Alesis
dealer that lets you connect ADAT Optical input
and output signals to industry-standard AES/EBU
digital signals, eight channels at a time. The AI-4 is
designed to handle standard operation, as well as
high sample rates (88.2/96kHz).
With the AI-4 you can:
•
Export tracks from the HD24 to mastering units
(such as the Alesis MasterLink), DAT recorders,
and workstations
•
Import tracks to the HD24 from any recorder or
source with an AES/EBU interface.
Using the AI-4 at 88.2/96 kHz
The AI-4 is ALWAYS capable of eight-channel
conversion, simultaneously—each of the AI-4’s four
AES/EBU inputs and outputs carries a stereo signal,
regardless of sample rate.
The only difference at the high sample rates is that a
second pair of ADAT Optical cables must be used to
connect the ADAT OPTICAL 9-16 jacks on the back of
the HD24 to the ADAT OPTICAL (5-8) jacks on the
back of the AI-4. This is because the ADAT Optical
interface transmits four channels of high-speed
data, in the space used for eight channels of
standard-speed data.
Remember that if you’re transferring more than
eight tracks at a time to the HD24, and must
do multiple passes, there should be some
synchronization via ADAT Sync at the same
time. If the workstation doesn’t have ADAT
Sync, you should use multiple AI-4s to
download all tracks at the same time.
Word clock
In a simple transfer between the HD24 and the AI-4,
a separate word clock connection is not necessary,
because word clock is contained within the ADAT
Optical signal.
However, in more complex
multipath situations, the AI-4, HD24, and all other
digital devices in the studio should be connected to
a separate word clock generator and set to use this
external word clock source as the timing reference.
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EC-2 Manual
Specifications
For the Alesis HD24 with EC-2 96 kHz Sample Rate Upgrade A/D and
D/A Converter Boards:
AUDIO INPUT
Input Connectors:
Nominal Input Level:
Maximum Input Level:
Input impedance:
A/D converter:
Analog filter:
Latency (analog in to digital out):
24 balanced 1/4" TRS jacks
+4 dBu (1.23 VRMS) = -15 dBFS
+19 dBu (6.9 VRMS) = -0 dBFS
10 kΩ
AKM 5393
2nd-order Butterworth filter w. 96 kHz corner frequency
Approximately 45 samples (<1 ms. @ 48 kHz)
AUDIO OUTPUT
Output Connectors:
Nominal Output Level:
Maximum Output Level:
Output impedance:
D/A converter:
Analog filter:
Latency (digital in to analog out):
24 balanced 1/4" TRS jacks
+4 dBu (1.23 VRMS) = -15 dBFS
-2 dBu when connected to unbalanced circuit
+19 dBu (6.9 VRMS) = -0 dBFS
+13 dBu when connected to unbalanced circuit
220 Ω
AKM 4393
2nd-order Butterworth filter w. 96 kHz corner frequency
Approximately 32 samples (<0.7 ms. @ 48 kHz)
AUDIO PERFORMANCE
Signal to Noise Ratio:
112 dB A-Weighted, Analog In to Analog Out
THD+N:
≤ 0.002%
Frequency Response:
22-44 kHz ±0.50 dB
Throughput delay (analog in to analog out):
Approximately 77 samples (0.8 milliseconds @ 96 kHz, 1.6
milliseconds @ 48 kHz)
Sampling rates:
44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96 kHz (each variable ±12%)
Channel to Channel Gain Match
±0.50 dB
All measurements done over a 22 Hz - 22 kHz range with 1 kHz sine wave at +18dBu (-1dBFS) input unless
otherwise specified. Impedances are measured at 1 kHz.
© 2002 Alesis. Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited.
7-51-0107-A 6/2002
EC-2 Manual
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