Alesis ADAT-XT20 User Manual

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ALESIS

ADAT XT20

Reference Manual

Introduction/Contents

INTRODUCTION

Thank you for purchasing the Alesis ADAT-XT2020-BitDigital Audio Recorder. To take full advantage of the XT20’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 XT20. 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 XT20.

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-XT20.This section provides a brief tour of the XT20, 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 XT20 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 XT20 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 XT20, 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 XT20.

ADAT XT20 Reference Manual

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Introduction/Contents

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ADAT XT20 Reference Manual

Introduction/Contents

CONTENTS

SETTINGUP7

 

 

 

Unpacking and Inspection

7

 

AC Power Hookup

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

 

 

YOURFIRSTSESSIONWITHTHEADAT-XT20

13

Power-up,and Tape Insertion

13

 

 

 

Formatting A Tape – A MUST! 15

 

 

 

Word Length (16/20 Bit) Selection

15

 

 

Sample Rate Selection 15

 

 

 

 

Formatting a New tape 15

 

 

 

 

Recording While Formatting

16

 

 

 

Making A Recording

17

 

 

 

 

Track Selection and Setting Levels

17

 

 

Time Counter

17

 

 

 

 

 

Transport Buttons

19

 

 

 

 

Recording

19

 

 

 

 

 

Playback

20

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewing and Cueing

20

 

 

 

 

Locating

22

 

 

 

 

 

Creating A Loop

23

 

 

 

 

Automated Recording

24

 

 

 

 

Rehearsing

24

 

 

 

 

 

Pitch Control

25

 

 

 

 

 

Track Delay

25

 

 

 

 

 

Track Copy

26

 

 

 

 

 

Display Brightness

26

 

 

 

 

CONNECTIONS

28

 

 

 

 

Analog Audio – Unbalanced Inputs

28

 

 

Input jack characteristics

28

 

 

 

Typical input jack hookups

28

 

 

 

Analog Audio – Unbalanced Outputs

28

 

 

Analog Audio – Balanced Inputs and Outputs

29

 

Analog Input Select Mode

30

 

 

 

Sync In/Out

31

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Audio In/Out

32

 

 

 

 

About 16-bitand20-bitsignal transfers 32

 

 

Footswitches

34

 

 

 

 

 

The XT20 Remote

34

 

 

 

 

BASICOPERATIONS

35

 

 

 

ADAT XT20 Reference Manual

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Introduction/Contents

Tape Formatting

35

 

 

Formatting Considerations

35

 

Complete Format

36

 

 

Recording While Formatting

37

 

Format Extend

37

 

 

 

Write Protect Override 39

 

 

Reading The Display

40

 

 

Display Icons

41

 

 

 

TIME Counter & ABS/REL Button

44

Locate 0

44

 

 

 

Basic Editing

46

 

 

 

EDIT Value Button

46

 

 

andButtons

46

 

 

Entering Numeric Values

46

 

Editing Individual Digits

46

 

Input Select

48

 

 

 

Analog Input

48

 

 

 

Digital Input

48

 

 

 

Track Copy

49

 

 

 

Input Monitor

50

 

 

 

Auto Input Monitor

50

 

 

All Input Monitor

50

 

 

Meters 52

 

 

 

 

Peak Mode Button

52

 

 

Peak Clear Button

52

 

 

Fine Meter Mode

52

 

 

Recording a “Benchmark” Tape 53

 

Record Enable

54

 

 

 

Setting Levels

54

 

 

 

Transport Controls

56

 

 

Eject

56

 

 

 

 

Rewind/Review

56

 

 

Fast Forward/Cue

56

 

 

Play

58

 

 

 

 

Record/Punch In or Out 58

 

 

Stop

59

 

 

 

 

Sample Rate (Clock)

59

 

 

Record Crossfade Time 60

 

 

Displaying Frames vs. 100ths/Seconds

60

Pitch Control

62

 

 

 

About Pitch Changing

62

 

 

Track Delay

63

 

 

 

Autolocation Controls

65

 

 

Absolute (ABS) Time vs. Relative Time65

Locate 0

65

 

Setting Locate Points

67

Locating

67

 

Auto Looping

68

 

Auto Return

68

 

Auto Play

68

 

Loop Limit

68

 

Looped Recording

68

Auto Record

69

 

Rehearsal

69

 

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ADAT XT20 Reference Manual

Introduction/Contents

Tape Length

70

 

 

 

 

Footswitch Controls

71

 

 

 

Footswitch Controlled Punching

71

 

Footswitch Controlled Autolocating

71

 

Using the XT20 LRC Remote

72

 

 

MULTIPLEADAT-XT20 OPERATION74

Overview

74

 

 

 

 

Synchronizing Machines

75

 

 

Master/Slave Interaction

75

 

 

Achieving Lock76

 

 

 

 

Independent Slave Mode

76

 

 

Formatting Multiple Tapes

76

 

 

Master Format Enabled, Complete Format

76

Master Format Enabled, Format Extend 76

 

Master Format Disabled

78

 

 

Master Format Disabled, Format Extend

78

Recording Digital Audio

79

 

 

Bouncing Tracks Between ADATs

79

 

Reassigning Channels to Different Tracks

80

Making Digital Backups

81

 

 

Making a 16-bitcopy from a20-bitmaster

82

Recording Digital Audio from Other Sources

83

Digital Clock Considerations

83

 

 

Tape Offset

85

 

 

 

 

Combining XT20s and ADATs

86

 

 

XT20 Transport Speed

86

 

 

 

Sample rate vs. Pitch Control

86

 

 

Input Monitoring

86

 

 

 

Polarity Differences

88

 

 

 

Connections

89

 

 

 

 

APPLICATIONS

91

 

 

 

Overview

91

 

 

 

 

Combined Multitrack/Mixdown Deck

91

 

Live/Long-TermRecording

92

 

 

Locking to Video: Code-OnlyMaster

93

 

Computer Control

93

 

 

 

MIDI Systems: Virtual Tracking

93

 

MIDI Machine Control: Virtual Remote Control93

The ADAT-PCRComputer Interface

94

 

Libraries and Archives 94

 

 

 

Modular Recording

94

 

 

 

Using Track Copy as a Digital Router

95

 

Calculating Tape Offset using the Locates

95

DIGITALRECORDINGCONCEPTS97

 

Analog Recording Basics

97

 

 

Digital Recording Basics

97

 

 

The Advantages of 20-BitRecording

98

 

Why S-VHS?98

 

 

 

 

TROUBLESHOOTING

 

99

 

 

Trouble-ShootingIndex 99

 

 

 

Re-initializing99

 

 

 

 

Checking Software Version

100

 

 

Error Rate Display

100

 

 

 

ADAT XT20 Reference Manual

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Introduction/Contents

About Error Rate Readings

100

 

ADAT Head Life

100

 

 

ADAT Head Maintenance

101

 

Drum Time Display

102

 

 

Tape Maintenance: Safe Tape

102

 

Maintenance/Service

103

 

 

Cleaning

103

 

 

 

Maintenance

103

 

 

 

Obtaining Repair Service

103

 

ERRORCODES

105

 

 

Automatic Brake Calibration Procedure

107

Steps To Take Before Calling For Help 107

 

SPECIFICATIONS

110

 

 

GLOSSARY

112

 

 

 

INDEX

119

 

 

 

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ADAT XT20 Reference Manual

Setting Up: Chapter 1

CHAPTER1

SETTINGUP

UNPACKING ANDINSPECTION

Your ADAT-XT20was 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 XT20 for servicing.

The shipping carton should contain the following items:

ADAT-XT20with the same serial number as shown on shipping carton

Power Cable

Optical Cable

XT20 remote control unit

This instruction manual

Blank S-VHSST-120cassette

Alesis warranty card

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 XT20 off, plug the female end of the power cord into the XT20’s [POWER INPUT] socket and the male (plug) end into a source of AC power. It’s

good practice to not turn on the XT20 until all other cables are hooked up.

The XT20 works with any AC voltage from 90 to 250 volts, 50 to 60 Hz. This eliminates the need for transformers or voltage switches. Your XT20 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 XT20’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 - XT20, BRC andAI-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.

ADAT XT20 Reference Manual

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Chapter 1: Setting Up

When AC currents are suspect of being highly unstable in VAC and Hz, a professional power conditioner should be used.

Alesis cannot be responsible for problems caused by using the XT20 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, buzzes, or sometimes radio reception and can occur if a piece of equipment “sees” two or more different paths to ground, as shown below.

 

shielded

 

 

cable

 

Device A

 

Device B

 

path 1

 

 

path 2

To AC power service

One path goes from device A to ground via the ground terminal of the three-conductorAC power cord, but A also sees a path to ground through the shielded cable and AC ground of device B. Because ground wires have a small amount of resistance, small amounts of current can flow through ground and generate a voltage along the cable shield. This signal may end up getting induced into the hot conductor.

The loop can also act like an antenna into which hum is induced, or can even pick up radio frequencies. Furthermore, many components in a circuit connect to ground. If that ground is “dirty” and contains noise, it might get picked up by the circuit. Ground loops cause the most problems with high-gaincircuits, since massive amplification of even a couple millivolts of noise can give an audible signal.

Most ground loop problems can be solved by plugging all equipment into the same grounded AC source. However, it is important to make sure that the AC source is not overloaded and is properly rated to handle the gear plugged into it.

For really tough cases, you may need to break the connection that causes the loop condition. If your circuits are balanced, one way to do this is to simply break the shield of the shielded audio cable at some point, usually by disconnecting it from ground at one jack. (The other end

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ADAT XT20 Reference Manual

Setting Up: Chapter 1

should remain connected so that the shielding properties are retained, even if there is no direct path for ground.)

Please note that not all hums and buzzes are caused by ground loops; your cables must be of very high quality, particularly with -10dBV setups. Refer to page 9 for more information.

ADAT XT20 Reference Manual

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