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ADAT, Clocking, And A Lifesaver

I'm not suggesting you shouldn't add an ADAT preamp to your rig. BUT there's one thing that could happen if you're not careful...

When Things Go Wrong
So far, we’re good. The 002 is clocking off of the Behringer via ADAT.

They’re both set to the same sample rate (44.1 kHz). All is well in the world.

Where things can go wrong is if you accidentally change the sample rate of the ADAT device.

Let’s say Graham accidentally changed the Behringer’s sample rate to 48 kHz and recorded a song through the 002 into Pro Tools (which was still set to 44.1 kHz).

Everything will sound fine while recording, but let’s say Graham fixes it the next day. Now both units are at 44.1 kHz again.

When he goes to play back the tracks, they’re going to sound SLOWER than the original recording. Why? Because the audio was technically captured at 48 kHz (at the Behringer converters) and the 002 is playing them back at 44.1 kHz.

As you can imagine, this is no good at all. The song will be slower AND almost a half-step lower in pitch.

There’s no easy way to fix this. It involves importing audio into new sessions and trying to trick Pro Tools into thinking they’re at different sample rates. I won’t get into that today. Suffice it to say this is a tremendous source of frustration.

Usually you just have to re-record everything, which really stinks.

The moral of the story? Always make sure ALL of your devices are set to the same sample rate BEFORE you start recording.

Make this a part of your routine before every session. It will save you much frustration…and will potentially keep you from throwing your computer out the window.

Joe Gilder is a Nashville based engineer, musician, and producer who also provides training and advice at the Home Studio Corner.

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