Alesis ADAT-XT User Manual

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ALESIS

ADAT-XT

Reference Manual

INTRODUCTION

Thank you for purchasing the Alesis ADAT-XTDigital Multitrack Tape Recorder. To take full advantage of the XT’s functions, and to enjoy long andtrouble-freeuse, please read this user’s manual carefully.

HOWTOUSETHISMANUAL

This manual is divided into the following sections describing the various modes of the XT. Though we recommend you take time to read through the entire manual once carefully, those having general knowledge about multitrack recorders should use the table of contents and index to reference specific functions while using the XT.

Chapter 1: Introduction. Deals with the necessary preparation before recording and playing, including connections to external devices. This chapter also discusses the difference between “threaded” and “unthreaded” tapes.

Chapter 2: Your First Session with the ADAT-XT.This section provides a brief tour of the XT, shows you how to format a tape, record and playback, set locate points, auto punch-in and out, bounce tracks, and points out other various features.

Chapter 3: Connections. Details rear panel connections (like inputs and outputs, footswitches and the ADAT Optical Digital Interface), and properhook-upprocedures.

Chapter 4: Basic Operations. Covers the user interface of the XT and the way to use its basic control features, how to read the display, and how to navigate through and edit parameters.

Chapter 5: Multiple ADAT Operation. How to lock together multiple ADAT Compatible™ devices, and how to record and transfer digital audio between them.

Chapter 6: Applications. Describes severalreal-worldexamples of how the XT may be used.

Appendices. Features an explanation of digital audio recording concepts, troubleshooting, maintenance and service information, specifications, a Glossary and an Index.

CONVENTIONS

All front panel buttons, LEDs, display icons and rear panel connectors are referred to in this manual just as their names appear on the XT, using all capital letters and in brackets (Examples: [PLAY] button, [AUTO INPUT] button,EDIT icon, etc.).

When something important appears in the manual, an icon (like the one on the left) will appear in the left margin. This symbol indicates that this information is vital when operating the XT.

ADAT XT Reference Manual

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ADAT XT Reference Manual

INTRODUCTION

Thank you for purchasing the Alesis ADAT-XTDigital Multitrack Tape Recorder. To take full advantage of the XT’s functions, and to enjoy long andtrouble-freeuse, please read this user’s manual carefully.

HOWTOUSETHISMANUAL

This manual is divided into the following sections describing the various modes of the XT. Though we recommend you take time to read through the entire manual once carefully, those having general knowledge about multitrack recorders should use the table of contents and index to reference specific functions while using the XT.

Chapter 1: Introduction. Deals with the necessary preparation before recording and playing, including connections to external devices. This chapter also discusses the difference between “threaded” and “unthreaded” tapes.

Chapter 2: Your First Session with the ADAT-XT.This section provides a brief tour of the XT, shows you how to format a tape, record and playback, set locate points, auto punch-in and out, bounce tracks, and points out other various features.

Chapter 3: Connections. Details rear panel connections (like inputs and outputs, footswitches and the ADAT Optical Digital Interface), and properhook-upprocedures.Chapter 4: Basic Operations. Covers the user interface of the XT and the way to use its basic control features, how to read the display, and how to navigate through and edit parameters.

Chapter 5: Multiple ADAT Operation. How to lock together multiple ADAT Compatible™ devices, and how to record and transfer digital audio between them.Chapter 6: Applications. Describes severalreal-worldexamples of how the XT may be used.

Appendices. Features an explanation of digital audio recording concepts, troubleshooting, maintenance and service information, specifications, a Glossary and an Index.

CONVENTIONS

All front panel buttons, LEDs, display icons and rear panel connectors are referred to in this manual just as their names appear on the XT, using all capital letters and in brackets (Examples: [PLAY] button, [AUTO INPUT] button,EDIT icon, etc.).

When something important appears in the manual, an icon (like the one on the left) will appear in the left margin. This symbol indicates that this information is vital when operating the XT.

ADAT XT Reference Manual

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ADAT XT Reference Manual

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Index

CONTENTS

1: SETTINGUP

7

 

 

Unpacking and Inspection

7

 

AC Power

7

 

 

 

Avoiding Ground Loops 8

 

 

Line Conditioners and Protectors

9

About Audio Cables

9

 

 

Basic Audio Hookup

10

 

 

Input Normaling

10

 

 

“Threaded” vs. “Unthreaded”

11

 

 

 

A Word on ADAT’s S-VHSCassette Tape

11

 

Operating Environment 12

 

 

 

 

Thermal Considerations in Rack Mounting

12

 

Mounting on a Shelf or Non-RackEnclosure

12

 

Avoiding Electromagnetic Interference

12

 

 

2: YOURFIRSTSESSIONWITHTHEADAT XT

13

Power-up,and Tape Insertion

13

 

 

 

Formatting A Tape – A MUST! 14

 

 

 

Recording While Formatting

14

 

 

 

Making A Recording

15

 

 

 

 

Track Selection and Setting Levels

15

 

 

Time Counter

15

 

 

 

 

 

Transport Buttons

16

 

 

 

 

Recording

16

 

 

 

 

 

Playback

17

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewing and Cueing

17

 

 

 

 

Locating

18

 

 

 

 

 

Creating A Loop

19

 

 

 

 

Automated Recording

20

 

 

 

 

Rehearsing

20

 

 

 

 

 

Pitch Control

21

 

 

 

 

 

Track Delay

21

 

 

 

 

 

Track Copy

22

 

 

 

 

 

Display Brightness

22

 

 

 

 

3: CONNECTIONS

23

 

 

 

 

Analog Audio – Unbalanced Inputs

23

 

 

Input jack characteristics

23

 

 

 

Typical input jack hookups

23

 

 

 

Analog Audio – Unbalanced Outputs

23

 

 

Analog Audio – Balanced Inputs and Outputs

24

 

Analog Audio – Input Mode

25

 

 

 

Sync In/Out

26

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Audio In/Out

27

 

 

 

 

Footswitches

28

 

 

 

 

 

The XT Remote 28

 

 

 

 

 

ADAT XT Reference Manual

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Index

4: BASICOPERATIONS

29

 

Tape Formatting

29

 

 

Formatting Considerations

29

 

Complete Format

30

 

 

Recording While Formatting

30

 

Format Extend

31

 

 

 

Write Protect Override 31

 

 

Reading The Display

32

 

 

Display Icons

33

 

 

 

TIME Counter & ABS/REL Button

35

Locate 0

35

 

 

 

Basic Editing

36

 

 

 

EDIT Value Button

36

 

 

▲ and ▼ Buttons

36

 

 

Entering Numeric Values

36

 

Editing Individual Digits

36

 

Input Select

37

 

 

 

Analog Input

37

 

 

 

Digital Input

37

 

 

 

Track Copy

38

 

 

 

Input Monitor

39

 

 

 

Auto Input Monitor

39

 

 

All Input Monitor

39

 

 

Meters 39

 

 

 

 

Peak Mode Button

40

 

 

Peak Clear Button

40

 

 

Fine Meter Mode

40

 

 

Recording a “Benchmark” Tape 40

 

Record Enable

41

 

 

 

Setting Levels

41

 

 

 

Transport Controls

42

 

 

Eject

42

 

 

 

 

Rewind/Review

42

 

 

Fast Forward/Cue

42

 

 

Play

43

 

 

 

 

Record/Punch In or Out 43

 

 

Stop

44

 

 

 

 

Sample Rate (Clock)

44

 

 

Record Crossfade Time 45

 

 

Displaying Frames vs. 100ths/Seconds

45

Pitch Control

46

 

 

 

About Pitch Changing

46

 

 

Track Delay

47

 

 

 

Autolocation Controls

48

 

 

Absolute (ABS) Time vs. Relative Time48

Locate 0

48

Setting Locate Points 49

Locating

49

Auto Looping

50

Auto Return

50

Auto Play

50

Loop Limit

50

Auto Record

51

ADAT XT Reference Manual

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Index

Looped Recording

51

 

 

 

Rehearsal

51

 

 

 

 

Tape Length

52

 

 

 

 

Footswitch Controls

53

 

 

 

Footswitch Controlled Punching

53

 

Footswitch Controlled Autolocating

53

 

Using the XT Remote

54

 

 

 

5: MULTIPLEADAT-XT OPERATION55

Overview

55

 

 

 

 

Synchronizing Machines

56

 

 

Master/Slave Interaction

56

 

 

Achieving Lock57

 

 

 

 

Independent Slave Mode

57

 

 

Formatting Multiple Tapes

57

 

 

Master Format Enabled, Complete Format

57

Master Format Enabled, Format Extend 57

 

Master Format Disabled

58

 

 

Master Format Disabled, Format Extend

58

Bouncing Tracks Between XTs

59

 

 

Reassigning Channels to Different Tracks

59

Making Digital Backups

60

 

 

Recording Digital Audio from Other Sources

61

Digital Clock Considerations

61

 

 

Tape Offset

62

 

 

 

 

Combining XTs and ADATs

63

 

 

XT Transport Speed

63

 

 

 

Sample rate vs. Pitch Control

63

 

 

Input Monitoring

63

 

 

 

Phase Inversion

 

64

 

 

 

Connections

65

 

 

 

 

6: APPLICATIONS

67

 

 

 

Overview

67

 

 

 

 

Combined Multitrack/Mastering Deck

67

 

Computer Control

69

 

 

 

MIDI Systems: Virtual Tracking

69

 

MIDI Machine Control: Virtual Remote Control69

Libraries and Archives 70

 

 

 

Modular Recording

70

 

 

 

Using Track Copy as a Digital Router 71

 

 

Calculating Tape Offset Using the Locates

71

 

APPENDIXA: DIGITALRECORDINGCONCEPTS

73

Analog Recording Basics

73

 

 

Digital Recording Basics

73

 

 

Why S-VHS?74

 

 

 

 

APPENDIXB: TROUBLESHOOTING

75

 

Trouble-ShootingIndex 75

 

 

 

Re-initializing75

 

 

 

 

Checking Software Version

76

 

 

Error Rate Display

76

 

 

 

About Error Rate Readings

76

 

 

ADAT Head Life

76

 

 

 

ADAT Head Maintenance

77

 

 

Tape Maintenance: Safe Tape

78

 

 

ADAT XT Reference Manual

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Index

Maintenance/Service 79

 

 

Cleaning

79

 

 

Maintenance

79

 

 

Obtaining Repair Service

79

 

APPENDIXC: ERRORCODES

81

Steps To Take Before Calling For Help 83

APPENDIXD: SPECIFICATIONS84

GLOSSARY86

INDEX91

ADAT XT Reference Manual

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Setting Up: Chapter 1

CHAPTER1

SETTINGUP

UNPACKING ANDINSPECTION

Your XT was packed carefully at the factory. The shipping carton was designed to protect the unit during shipping. Please retain this container in the highly unlikely event that you need to return the XT for servicing.

 

The shipping carton should contain the following items:

 

ADAT-XTwith the same serial number as shown on shipping carton

 

Power Cable

 

Optical Cable

 

• XT remote control unit

 

This instruction manual

 

• Blank S-VHSST-120cassette

 

Alesis warranty card

J

It is important to register your purchase; if you have not already filled out your

warranty card and mailed it back to Alesis, please take the time to do so now.

AC POWERHOOKUP

With the XT off, plug the female end of the power cord into the XT’s [POWER INPUT] socket and the male (plug) end into a source of AC power. It’s good practice to not turn on the XT until all other cables are hooked up.

The XT works with any AC voltage from 90 to 250 volts, 50 to 60 Hz. This eliminates the need for transformers or voltage switches. Your XT was supplied with the correct power cord for your country or local area, however only the following alternative power cords are approved for use with ADAT:

• For 90-120VAC 50/60 Hz operation in the US, Canada and/or Japan, use Alesis UL/CSA power cord#7-41-0001.

• For 240 VAC 50 Hz operation in England, use Alesis Power cord #7-41-0004.

• For 220 VAC 50 Hz operation in Europe and Scandinavia, use Alesis EU power cord #7-41-0002.

 

• For 240 VAC 50 Hz operation in Australia, use Alesis AS power cord #7-41-0003.

 

The XT’s IEC-specAC cord (do not substitute any other AC cord) is designed to feed

 

an outlet that includes three pins, with the third, round pin connected to ground. The

 

ground connection is an important safety feature designed to keep the chassis of

 

electronic devices such as the Alesis ADAT - XT, BRC and AI-1at ground potential.

 

Unfortunately, the presence of a third ground pin does not always indicate that an

 

outlet is properly grounded. Use an AC line tester to determine this. If the outlet is not

 

grounded, consult with a licensed electrician. When AC currents are suspect of being

 

highly unstable in VAC and Hz, a professional power conditioner should be used.

J

Alesis cannot be responsible for problems caused by using the XT or any associated

equipment with improper AC wiring.

 

AVOIDINGGROUNDLOOPS

 

In today’s studio, where it seems every piece of gear has a computer in it, there are

 

many opportunities for ground loop problems to occur. These show up as hums,

ADAT XT Reference Manual

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