Alesis AI4 User Manual

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Reference Manual

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Table Of Contents

Introduction ........................................................

3

Welcome! ................................................................................

3

About the ADAT AI4 ......................................................

4

Important Features of your AI4.............................................

4

How to Use This Manual ..............................................

6

Important Safety Instructions ........................

7

Important Safety Instructions (English)..................

7

Safety symbols used in this product .....................................

7

Please follow these precautions when using this product:..7

Instructions de Sécurité Importantes

 

(French)............................................................................

9

Symboles utilisés dans ce produit .........................................

9

Veuillez suivre ces précautions lors de l'utilisation de

 

l'appareil:................................................................................

9

Lesen Sie bitte die folgende

 

Sicherheitshinweise (German) ...................................

11

Sicherheit Symbole verwendet in diesem Produkt...............

11

Folgen Sie bitte diesen Vorkehrungen, wenn dieses

 

Produkt verwendet wird:.......................................................

11

CE Declaration Of Conformity ...................................

13

FCC Compliance Statement ........................................

13

Getting Started ...................................................

15

Unpacking and Inspection ....................................................

15

Mounting the AI4 ...................................................................

15

AC Power Hookup.................................................................

15

Line Conditioners and Protectors ..........................................

16

Signal Connections ............................................

17

AES/EBU Connections ...........................................................

18

ADAT Optical Connections....................................................

18

Word Clock Input...................................................................

18

A Word About Digital Clocks ................................................

19

Operation .............................................................

21

Selecting the AES/EBU Clock Source....................................

21

Selecting the ADAT Optical Clock Source ............................

22

Applications.........................................................

23

Using an AES/EBU-equipped Digital Mixer with an

 

HD24 ......................................................................................

24

Using a Word Clock Generator .............................................

26

Using the Alesis MasterLink as a High-resolution

 

Analog/Digital Converter with the ADAT HD24 .................

27

Using an Optical Digital Soundcard with a Digital Mixer

 

and an Alesis MasterLink, Synced to Word Clock ................

27

Troubleshooting .................................................

29

Troubleshooting Index ..........................................................

29

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Table Of Contents

Specifications ......................................................

31

Inputs .....................................................................................

31

Outputs...................................................................................

31

Resolution...............................................................................

31

Mechanical .............................................................................

31

Warranty/Contact Alesis ...................................

33

Alesis Limited Warranty .........................................................

33

Alesis Contact Information ....................................................

33

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Introduction

Welcome!

Thank you for making the Alesis ADAT AI4™ a part of your studio. Since 1984, we've been designing and building creative tools for the audio community. We believe in our products, because we've heard the results that creative people like you have achieved with them. One of Alesis' goals is to make high-qualitystudio equipment available to everyone, and this Reference Manual is an important part of that. After all, there's no point in making equipment with all kinds of capabilities if no one explains how to use them. So, we try to write our manuals as carefully as we build our products.

The goal of this manual is to get you the information you need as quickly as possible, with a minimum of hassle. We hope we've achieved that. If not, please drop us an email and give us your suggestions on how we could improve future editions of this manual.

We hope your investment will bring you many years of creative enjoyment and help you achieve your goals.

Sincerely,

The people of Alesis

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Introduction

About the ADAT AI4

Anyone who's ever tried to interconnect of digital gear will tell you that digital connections aren't as simple as plugging two jacks together. Like people speaking different languages, various digital formats cannot talk to one another without some form of translation. The AI4 can convert up to eight channels of AES/EBU format signal to Alesis ADAT Optical format (and vice versa). Because these are two of the most popular formats in digital audio, the AI4 will let you interface a wide range of gear.

Important Features of your AI4

Sample Rates of up to 96kHz

In case you haven't noticed, sample rates are like the price of baseball tickets—theykeep going higher. This is good news if your main interest is sound quality (and bad news if you like to sit behind the first base dugout). The AI4 can keep up with the emerging professional standard of 96 kHz, while maintaining compatibility with the still popular rates of 44.1 kHz, 48kHz—andeverything in between.

AES/EBU Ins and Outs

The AI4 sports four XLR AES/EBU inputs and four XLR AES/EBU outputs; each carries a stereo signal. You can transmit/receive up to eight simultaneous channels at any sample rate between 44.1 kHz and 96 kHz.

Optical Interface

The ADAT optical interface includes a pair of TOSLINK-styletransmitters and twoTOSLINK-stylereceivers. By dividing the connections into pairs, we're able to support eight channels of24-bitaudio at sample rates of up to 96 kHz.

BNC Word Clock Input

The AI4 can sync up to a wide range of professional digital gear via industry standard Word Clock input. The AI4 can accept Word Clock of any frequency between 23kHz and 105kHz.

Independent Clocking Capabilities

The AI4's AES-to-OpticalandOptical-to-AESdata paths have independent clocking capabilities. This allows the AI4 to act as two independent interfaces in one unit, routing separate and asynchronous signals through each data stream.

Front Panel Clock Selection

The AI4 gives you front panel access to clock selection. Front panel LEDs indicate the current clock source, eliminating any confusion as to which devices are clock master and slaves in your studio.

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Introduction

AES-to-Optical

The AI4's AES-to-Opticalsection lets you choose either word clock or any of the four AES inputs as clock master. Use the front panel buttons to toggle among the clock source options. Corresponding LEDs illustrate the current clock source and sample rate.

Optical-to-AES

The AI4's Optical-to-AESsection lets you choose either Optical input or the word clock input as clock master. As with theAES-to-Optical,front panel buttons let you select the clock source, and LEDs keep you informed about clock source and current sample rate.

Simple User Interface

Although it's built for professional use, the AI4's main mission is to simplify your life. Its straightforward user interface is designed to keep you working without having to dip into this manual very often.

AI4 Key Features

8 Channels of AES/EBU to ADAT Optical format conversion

8 Channels of ADAT Optical to AES/EBU format conversion

Separate clocking for each format conversion

Support for nominal sample rates from 44.1kHz to 96kHz

BNC word clock input

Simple user interface

Internal Switching Power Supply supporting voltages ranging from 100-230Vat 50/60 Hz

Standard 1-URack Mount Design

Front panel input and clock source selection

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Introduction

How to Use This Manual

This manual is divided into the following sections describing the various functions and applications for the AI4. While it's always good idea to read through the entire manual once carefully, if you have a general knowledge of digital interfaces, feel free to jump to the table of contents and zone in on the features you need.

Chapter 1: Getting Started. Takes you through unpacking, inspecting, and mounting your AI4

Chapter 2: Connections. Details all the connections on your AI4

Chapter 3: Operations. Details each light and button on the AI4's front panel

Chapter 4: Applications. Shows you how to use the AI4 in your studio

Chapter 5: Troubleshooting. Problems and solutions, service information, and specifications.

Helpful tips and advice are highlighted in a shaded box like this

When something important appears in the manual, an exclamation mark (like the one shown at left) will appear with some explanatory text. This symbol indicates that this information is vital when operating the AI4.

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Important Safety

Instructions

Important Safety Instructions (English)

Safety symbols used in this product

This symbol alerts the user that there are important operating and maintenance instructions in the literature accompanying this unit.

This symbol warns the user of uninsulated voltage within the unit that can cause dangerous electric shocks.

This symbol warns the user that output connectors contain voltages that can cause dangerous electrical shock.

Please follow these precautions when using this product:

1.Read these instructions.

2.Keep these instructions.

3.Heed all warnings.

4.Follow all instructions.

5.Do not use this apparatus near water.

6.Clean only with a damp cloth. Do not spray any liquid cleaner onto the faceplate, as this may damage the front panel controls or cause a dangerous condition.

7.Install in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

8.Do not install near any heat sources such as radiators, heat registers, stoves, or other apparatus (including amplifiers) that produce heat.

9.Do not defeat the safety purpose of the polarized or groundingtype plug. A polarized plug has two blades with one wider than the other. A grounding-typeplug has two blades and a third grounding prong. The wide blade or the third prong are provided for your safety. When the provided plug does not fit into your outlet, consult an electrician for replacement of the obsolete outlet.

10.Protect the power cord from being walked on or pinched, particularly at plugs, convenience receptacles, and the point where they exit from the apparatus.

11.Use only attachments or accessories specified by the manufacturer.

Continued next page

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Important Safety Instructions

12.Use only with a cart, stand, bracket, or table designed for use with professional audio or music equipment. In any installation, make sure that injury or damage will not result from cables pulling on the apparatus and its mounting. If a cart is used, use caution when moving the cart/apparatus combination to avoid injury from tipover.

13.Unplug this apparatus during lightning storms or when unused for long periods of time.

14.Refer all servicing to qualified service personnel. Servicing is required when the apparatus has been damaged in any way, such as when the power-supplycord or plug is damaged, liquid has been spilled or objects have fallen into the apparatus, the apparatus has been exposed to rain or moisture, does not operate normally, or has been dropped.

15.This unit produces heat when operated normally. Operate in a wellventilated area with at least six inches of clearance from peripheral equipment.

16.This product, in combination with an amplifier and headphones or speakers, may be capable of producing sound levels that could cause permanent hearing loss. Do not operate for a long period of time at a high volume level or at a level that is uncomfortable. If you experience any hearing loss or ringing in the ears, you should consult an audiologist.

17.Do not expose the apparatus to dripping or splashing. Do not place objects filled with liquids (flower vases, soft drink cans, coffee cups) on the apparatus.

18.WARNING: To reduce the risk of fire or electric shock, do not expose this apparatus to rain or moisture.

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