What devices need clocking?
In a simple system featuring one audio interface with built-in mic preamps connected to a computer-based DAW, the interface clocks the DAW since the most clock-critical element of the audio chain is the A/D converter, as that’s built in to the interface. If you were to add an external digital device to the equation (reverb, multi-effects processor etc), it should be configured to work as a clock slave to the interface.
Following that logic, even in bigger and more complex studios, it’s generally best to use an A/D as the master clock. If there’s more than one of these you’ll need to decide which one to use as the master, and everything else will have to be slaved to that. It’s quite possible that there will be audible differences between various configurations, because most A/Ds will perform slightly differently when configured as clock master and slave.
Paris, France, June 22, 2013 – The mythical Parisian Châtelet theater welcomed on stage one of the younger generation’s most acclaimed French comic artists, Gaspard Proust. The show, was shot in HD by director François Hanss, famous for his work with France’s biggest stars of music, such as Mylène Farmer and Johnny Hallyday. In order to meet the director’s high standards, the recording engineer Benoit Hénaff and his assistant Cosi Mero followed the advice of recording mixing engineer, Fabrice Chantôme and chose to use Antelope Audio’s Trinity as the master clock for all digital gear.
The team at Digital Encoding System near Paris, France, is working on a major and long-term job: transferring to high resolution digital, stereo masters and multi-track analog tapes of the greatest French artists since the 50’s such as Georges Brassens, Serge Gainsbourg, Barbara, Jacques Brel, Johnny Hallyday…
by Robert Dugan, Sound Engineer
Antelope Audio 10M & Trinity Combo during a Live Event with Robert Dugan
I‘ve personally used Antelope Audio in the Live Sound domain. At first, I was skeptical of how much clocking could really change the sound, especially since I was using a digital console. But after the unpacking and setting up, it was all ready to go within five minutes and, if I would have known how I was going to react, I would have prepared a little better.
Upon hearing Deftones “Digital Bath,” it seemed like the PA had come alive after sleeping for years. The drums were lifelike and it sounded like I was listening to the Deftones right in the rehearsal room. Immediately, I thought that the clock couldn’t be doing all of this, so I unplugged the BNC from console to Trinity. The sound seemed to escape and it reminded me of listening to the song through iPod headphones – thin and one road.
by Robert Dugan, Sound Engineer
The Importance of Clocking
56 inputs, all synced by Antelope Audio clocks
Like it or not, the digital age is coming in full force, making every audiophile worried about quality being lost. This is why it’s best to educate audiophiles and consumers about the importance of clocking. I’ll try and make this easy to understand and straight to the point. When an analog signal is about to be converted to a digital signal, it is represented by bits that are representations of the analog waveform. When two points that are represented are slightly off, they create jitter – which is digital distortion.
Clocking can play a very important role during this process. With all these signals digitized, it’s important that the timing and space between every ‘bit’ are exactly the same (in sync), so the audio source has no jitter. This is where Clocking comes into play by synching all the audio signals.
World Renowned Mastering Facility Has Also Installed Several Zodiac DACs at Listening Stations to Maximize its Quality Control
New York, January 30, 2012 — Masterdisk, one of New York City’s foremost mastering facilities, has installed several of Antelope Audio’s Isochrone Trinity Master Clock and 10M Rubidium Atomic Clock units in its mastering suites, to maintain stereo imaging and the overall sonic integrity of projects passing through its studios. Masterdisk is installing multiple Antelope Audio Zodiac D/A converters at listening stations throughout the facility for quality control purposes.
According to owner Scott Hull, Masterdisk’s mastering suites were constructed with very high quality acoustics and solid grounding, and were already well clocked —therefore they did not appear to be candidates for improvement. “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” he says. Yet, the Antelope 10M — which incorporates a reference generator that is 100,000 times more accurate than the quartz oscillators in most equipment — and the Trinity, which offers 64-bit DSP and up to 384 kHz audio streaming, have had a noticeable impact on performance clocking the digital audio converters in the rooms.