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Author Topic: word clocks live..  (Read 5750 times)

Doug Chang

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word clocks live..
« on: April 25, 2011, 02:20:31 am »

Hello all, I'm just looking for ways to solidify, and tighten up my FOH sound a bit.  My rig is 4 qsc hpr122i (tops), 2 qsc hpr151i (subs), an analog whirlwind snake, and a LS9, with a Clair iO (pretty much a dolby lake contour) for FOH.   Stage is all IEMs.   I mix a 5 piece, all acoustic act, with 8 condenser mics on the front line.  So I need all the help I can get!

I'm wondering if I should be syncing the LS9 with the Clair iO, and if so, which to which.  Or get an external clock, or if it would even make a difference...  Any ideas??
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Patrick Tracy

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Re: word clocks live..
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2011, 03:50:01 am »

Here's one thread from the old LAB Classic that might help (with me sticking my neck out way too far). I would pay close attention to posters with actual digital circuit design experience.

http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/345909/0/?srch=wordclock#msg_345909

If I recall correctly it's best to use the internal clock on any device doing A/D or D/A conversion when possible to minimize/prevent jitter.

Mike Reilly

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Re: word clocks live..
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2011, 10:00:26 am »

Disclaimer:  I have no experience with the qsc boxes or the Clair iO and I've only used the Dolby Lake a couple of times.

That said, syncing word clocks is primarily relevant if you're transferring info between pieces of gear digitally. If you're coming out of the LS9 analog outs to the analog ins of the iO, then any benefit from syncing the 2 pieces together is . . . . debatable. (As you can see if you read the thread Patrick linked to.)

Looking at the specs/prices of the QSC boxes, they're pretty clearly mid-level speakers.  My first advice would be to save your pennies up to buy more serious pro speakers.

Second, what mics are you using ?  Not all condensers are created equal.

Third, I'm not 110% clear on whether you're a dedicated soundguy or a member of the act trying to do sound from the stage.  Mixing from the stage can have some serious limitations.

Fourth, dig deeper into both the LS9 & the Clair iO.  You can do some serious tweaking in both pieces.  Especially if you're coming from an analog background, it's easy to miss a lot of the capabilities of digital gear unless you seriously think about it.
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Doug Chang

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Re: word clocks live..
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2011, 07:36:36 pm »

Thanks Mike, and Partick!  Still reading on that thread... 

Mike,  The speakers are definitely mid-level, but we are a mid-level act as well so can't quite fork out that cash yet.  Believe me, I would love to carry a Meyer, Adamson, Nexo, etc... rig.  So we are working on that.

The mics are, 2 ksm141s, 1 ksm137, 1 sm81, 4 sm86s.

I am the FOH Engineer.  Playing AND mixing would be a nightmare!  Anyway,  I have the LS9 tweaked to death, but could dig deeper into the Clair iO.  I'm just using it for EQ and Crossover right now. 

The band, promoters, and audiences all love our sound, but I'm always looking to improve.

Thanks!  -Doug
 
Disclaimer:  I have no experience with the qsc boxes or the Clair iO and I've only used the Dolby Lake a couple of times.

That said, syncing word clocks is primarily relevant if you're transferring info between pieces of gear digitally. If you're coming out of the LS9 analog outs to the analog ins of the iO, then any benefit from syncing the 2 pieces together is . . . . debatable. (As you can see if you read the thread Patrick linked to.)

Looking at the specs/prices of the QSC boxes, they're pretty clearly mid-level speakers.  My first advice would be to save your pennies up to buy more serious pro speakers.

Second, what mics are you using ?  Not all condensers are created equal.

Third, I'm not 110% clear on whether you're a dedicated soundguy or a member of the act trying to do sound from the stage.  Mixing from the stage can have some serious limitations.

Fourth, dig deeper into both the LS9 & the Clair iO.  You can do some serious tweaking in both pieces.  Especially if you're coming from an analog background, it's easy to miss a lot of the capabilities of digital gear unless you seriously think about it.
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Airton Pereira

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Re: word clocks live..
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2011, 08:57:15 pm »



The band, promoters, and audiences all love our sound, but I'm always looking to improve.


I'd like to have you mixing my band! It's always great when people try to improve even if it's not needed by others.
Anyway, I'd sync the LS9 with the Clair io , with the LS9 as master rather than getting an external clock device. Some articles say external clock is not needed unless you have lots of equipment to be synced.
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Phil Hornung

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Re: word clocks live..
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2011, 09:27:13 pm »

If you do decide to go down this road, but don't want to break the bank, check out the ART SyncGEN and the Blacklion Microclock. Both small, light easy to transport and a fraction of the cost of bigger rack mount pieces. I've used both in the past and never had any problems. (I do not work for either of these companies - just an advocate in general for things that fit in my carry-on bag and are cost effective).
Also, in the case of the ART unit, you are likely able to obtain this through a music store  for trial or rental before you buy.
Phil
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Doug Chang

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Re: word clocks live..
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2011, 12:21:45 am »

Thanks guys.  I'll do my A/B-ing and see what happens, if anything...  Just wanted some other opinions on my particular situation.  Thanks!

Key
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: word clocks live..
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2011, 08:09:01 am »

Here's one thread from the old LAB Classic that might help (with me sticking my neck out way too far). I would pay close attention to posters with actual digital circuit design experience.

http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/345909/0/?srch=wordclock#msg_345909

If I recall correctly it's best to use the internal clock on any device doing A/D or D/A conversion when possible to minimize/prevent jitter.

The linked thread pretty well distills the arguments down to "if you want to spend money on this, fine... but don't count on it doing anything to the audio that can be objectively determined to be "mo' better."

Mr. Chang would do well to read the analysis by Andy Peters in the linked thread.

Have fun, good luck, internal clocks.

Tim Mc
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Geoff Doane

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Re: word clocks live..
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2011, 10:43:04 am »

The linked thread pretty well distills the arguments down to "if you want to spend money on this, fine... but don't count on it doing anything to the audio that can be objectively determined to be "mo' better."

It was refreshing to see that several respected members of that forum had the balls to claim that they couldn't hear any difference between an internal or external clock.  Sometimes it's easier to pretend that you're blessed with golden ears too. ::)

However, I may have to investigate this further myself.  A friend who is using my LS9 based system next month, requested an external clock after his experience at a festival last week.  Last week, he was using an M7CL for monitors, and claimed that adding an external clock to the console suddenly made the built-in graphic EQs much more responsive for ringing out feedback in the monitor wedges.  AFAIK, the console was not connected digitally to anything else, just analog mics in, and out to analog powered wedges.

Personally, I'm highly skeptical (as was he).  Maybe the system tech also noticed that he hadn't actually inserted the graphics on the outputs, as he was hooking up the external clock (and changed the settings on the config page of the console)?  The system tech also claimed it made "an even bigger difference" for the LS9s, no doubt why I got the request. ???

GTD
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Mike Reilly

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Re: word clocks live..
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2011, 11:41:06 am »

The system tech also claimed it made "an even bigger difference" for the LS9s

I'm REALLY skeptical of this claim, since AFAICT the differences between the M7 & LS9 are fairly obvious things like number of inputs & outputs, touchscreen, number of card slots, number of faders, plus I'm 99% sure the M7 has a couple of "vintage compressor" effects that the LS9 doesn't. 

That's how they "justify" the price difference, not by somehow secretly degrading the audio quality of the LS9 thru software and/or component quality.

Plus, IIRC, the LS9 came out after the M7, which the obvious conclusion would be that Yamaha saw how well the M7 was selling and asked themselves, "Is there a way we can put the same software in another desk at a cheaper price point and sell even more desks ??"  Answer: Yes, by incorporating the obvious changes I listed above - they didn't have to use cheaper A/D & D/A converters or dumb down the word clock or anything.

That system tech is (incorrectly) transferring analog thinking to the digital world.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: word clocks live..
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2011, 11:41:06 am »


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