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NEW! inSync Summit: Digital Clock

NEW! inSync Summit: Digital Clock

Something unique and wonderful happened back in February, 1997 when we first launched inSync. It was one of the first email newsletters in our industry (and certainly one of the first that also had an online presence) that offered useful information such as tech tips and industry word definitions. Over time we introduced various inSync Summits which gave readers the opportunity to share their expertise on important topics of interest with other inSync readers. These topics included: Drum, Acoustic Guitar, Piano and Vocal Recording Techniques, Acoustic Treatment Tips and others. The wealth of knowledge and information shared and collected during each Summit was, and still is, a treasure trove for anyone interested in learning more about how to improve their craft!

Well, the time has come for a new inSync Summit! This time around we’ve chosen a topic that comes up all the time when we’re speaking with our customers. While the idea of a completely digital studio has been around for years, there’s one area relative to working with multiple pieces of digital gear simultaneously that might still be a mystery to many of us – the Digital Clock. Digital Clock has the distinction of being a little understood, yet a very critical part of today’s studio with the proliferation of digital gear. It is generally known that they regulate the rate at which samples are taken and/or converted back to analog, but how they impact the quality of our recordings and ability to monitor is not as widely known, and not universally agreed upon.

So, how do the Summits work? We’ll pose some interesting questions below regarding Digital Clock issues that you can either respond to directly, or use as jumping off points for your own tips and tricks or general insight into this topic. Since this is an issue that comes up a lot we’re interested in getting our readers’ take on how they approach clocking in their digital studios. We can all share this information with each other and benefit from it via inSync! Once we have enough responses, we’ll share them all right here in inSync, and create a page on our site similar to our previous Summits for all to enjoy for many years to come!

So here some questions to get you started (You don’t need to respond directly to these questions unless you want to. We’re just trying to give you some stuff to think about.):

  1. When you look around, how many digital clocks exist in your studio (count them all, there’s probably more than you realize)?

  2. Do you use an external clock as a master, or use a clock built into one of your existing digital components? Which clock is the master of your studio?

  3. If you use an external clock, which one is it and can you notice a difference between it and the built in clocks of your recording devices?

  4. How would you characterize the difference in sound?

  5. Do you send your digital clock reference from one device to another, then to daisy chain to another, etc., or do you distribute from one source to many devices?

  6. Explain the pros and cons you’ve experienced with either or both.

  7. What are some of the problems (and subsequent solutions) you’ve run into with digital clock in your studio?

  8. Are there issues in your studio relating to digital clock when you’re working in high definition audio?

Email your response and tips, thoughts, ideas to:


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