Alesis AI1 User Manual

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indicated by the fact that both the 48kHz and 44.1kHz LEDs will be turned off.

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CHAPTER 2: HOOKUP

2.0 POWER

The AI-1works withany AC voltage from 90 to 250 volts, 50 to 60 Hz. This eliminates the need for transformers or voltage switches. TheAI-1comes with a line cord for the destination to which the AI- 1 is shipped.

The AI-1’sIEC-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 theAI-1,BRC and ADAT at 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 suspected of being highly unstable in VAC and Hz, a professional power conditioner should be used.

2.1 CONNECTION TO ADAT(S)

2.1A Single ADAT

To connect an Alesis AI-1module, simply use two fiber optic cables to connect the digital ins and outs back and forth between theAI-1and the ADAT (see figure 1). It is not necessary to connect a sync cable from the ADAT to theAI-1(orvice-versa)since the ADAT will provide theAI-1with clock information via the optic digital connection when outputting tracks to an AES/EBU or S/PDIF destination, and theAI-1will provide clock information to the ADAT via the optic digital connection when recording from an AES/EBU or S/PDIF source.

To connect the AI-1to a single ADAT:

1.Connect one end of a fiber optic cable into the optic digital output of the ADAT, and the other end to the AI-1’s“ADAT”

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optic digital input;

Note: If the other end of a fiber optic cable is disconnected and a signal is being sent through the cable, you will be able to see a red light at the output. This is an LED and not a laser light, so you don’t have to worry about damage to your eyes.

2.Connect one end of a fiber optic cable to the AI-1’s“ADAT” optic digital output, and the other end to the ADAT’s optic digital input.

This last step creates a loop in the digital bus, and thus allows for two-waycommunication between the ADAT and theAI-1.

Figure 1

2.1B Multiple ADATs without the BRC

When using two or more ADATs along with the AI-1,the setup is basically the same as with a single ADAT, except you’ll need more cables to accommodate a longer chain of devices (see figure 2). The ADATs must be synchronized together, using dual male,9-pinD connectors. TheAI-1still uses fiber optic cables to connect to the ADAT’s digital bus, but it does not require connecting the synchronization cable, since all sync information is conveyed over the fiber optic cable along with the digital audio.

You might decide to dedicate the AI-1to just one of the ADATs by connecting the fiber optic cables between them. This would, however, limit you to only transmit/receive data between theAI-1and only that one ADAT, and would prevent you from bouncing tracks in the digital domain between that ADAT and the other ADATs in your system. By the way, using a BRC solves all of these problems.

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In the meantime, you may be tempted to reconnect the AI-1to a different ADAT when you want to route digital audio to tracks on another machine. However, to avoid a lot of cable swapping, we recommend swapping tapes instead. For example, let’s say you have two ADATs, theAI-1is connected to and from ADAT #1. When you wish to record from an S/PDIF source onto tracks 9 and 10 (ADAT #2), the best and quickest solution is to swap tapes between the two ADATs and record onto tracks 1 and 2. During this time, any prerecorded tracks may appear on different channels of your mixer (unless you have a sophisticatedpatch-baysystem). But this is a minor inconvenience that lasts only until you have finished recording from theAI-1.

It is recommended that you use the BRC Master Remote Control if you have a multiple ADAT system, due to greater flexibility in digital routing. However, it is possible to incorporate the AI-1into a multiple ADAT system without the BRC.

To connect the AI-1to a multiple ADAT system:

1.Connect one end of a shielded dual male, 9-pinD connector to the first ADAT’s SYNC OUT jack, and connect the other end of the cable to the SYNC IN jack of the second ADAT;

2.For each additional ADAT slave, connect one end of an additional shielded dual male, 9-pinD connector to the second ADAT slave’s SYNC OUT jack, and the other end to the third ADAT slave’s SYNC IN jack. Its SYNC OUT jack then connects to the fourth ADAT slave’s SYNC IN jack, and so on;

3.Connect one end of a fiber optic cable to the first ADAT’s DIGITAL OUT, and connect the other end of the cable to the DIGITAL IN of the second ADAT;

Note: If the other end of a fiber optic cable is disconnected and a signal is being sent through the cable, you will be able to see a red light at the output. This is an LED and not a laser light, so you don’t have to worry about damage to your eyes.

4.For each additional ADAT slave, connect one end of an additional fiber optic cable to the second ADAT slave’s DIGITAL

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OUT, and the other end to the third ADAT slave’s DIGITAL IN. Its DIGITAL OUT then connects to the fourth ADAT slave’s DIGITAL IN, and so on;

5.Connect one end of a fiber optic cable to the DIGITAL OUT of the last ADAT in the chain, and connect the other end of the cable to the AI-1’s“ADAT” optic DIGITAL IN;

6.Finally, connect one end of a fiber optic cable to the AI-1’s“ADAT” optic DIGITAL OUT, and the other end to the optic DIGITAL IN of the first ADAT in the system.

This last step creates a loop in the digital bus, and thus allows for communication between all ADATs and the AI-1.

Figure 2

Note: In a multiple ADAT system, if power is turned off on one of the ADATs in the middle of the chain, all ADATs following it will no longer sync to the master ADAT, as the sync information will not pass through a unit that is turned off.

2.1C Connecting the BRC

When using the BRC, the AI-1’s“ADAT” digital in and out connect between the last ADAT and the first ADAT in the system. In order for transfer of digital audio to be possible, theAI-1requires synchronization information from the BRC. Synchronization requires a dual male,9-pinD connector to connect the last ADAT in the system to theAI-1.In addition, aBNC-typeconnector must be used to connect the 48kHz word clock output of theAI-1into the

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BRC. This is required so that the BRC can synchronize to an AES/EBU or S/PDIF source. Both these connections can be made while power is on or off, and the ADATs do not need to be turned on in any particular order (see figure 3).

To connect the AI-1to a BRC and a multiple ADAT system:

1.Connect one end of a shielded dual male, 9-pinD connector to the SYNC OUT jack of the last ADAT in the system, and connect the other end of the cable to the SYNC IN jack of theAI-1;

2.Connect one end of a BNC connector to the 48kHz OUT jack on the AI-1,and connect the other end of the cable to the 48kHz IN jack on the BRC;

3.Connect one end of a shielded fiber optic cable into the optic DIGITAL OUT of the last ADAT in the system, and connect the other end of the fiber optic cable to the AI-1’s“ADAT” optic DIGITAL IN;

Note: If the other end of a fiber optic cable is disconnected and a signal is being sent through the cable, you will be able to see a red light at the output. This is an LED and not a laser light, so you don’t have to worry about damage to your eyes.

4.Connect one end of a fiber optic cable to the AI-1’s“ADAT” optic DIGITAL OUT, and the other end to the optic DIGITAL IN of the first ADAT in the system.

This last step creates a loop in the digital bus, and thus allows for communication between all ADATs and the AI-1.

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Figure 3

Note: In a multiple ADAT system, if power is turned off on one of the ADATs in the middle of the chain, all ADATs following it will no longer sync to the BRC, as the sync information will not pass through a unit that is turned off.

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2.2 AES/EBU AND S/PDIF

2.2A Connecting an AES/EBU Device

Digital routing to and from an AES/EBU device requires XLR type cables. These connections can be made while power is on or off, and the components do not need to be turned on in any particular order.

To connect an AES/EBU device:

1.Connect one end of an XLR cable into the AES/EBU XLR output of the AI-1,and the other end to the XLR input of the AES/EBU device;

2.Connect one end of an XLR cable into the AES/EBU XLR output on the device, and the other end to the AES/EBU XLR input of the AI-1.

2.2B Connecting an S/PDIF Device

Digital routing to and from an S/PDIF device requires either fiber optic cables or RCA cables, since the AI-1provides both these connectors. These connections can be made while power is on or off, and the components do not need to be turned on in any particular order.

To connect an S/PDIF device:

1.Connect one end of a fiber optic cable into the S/PDIF optic output of the AI-1,OR, connect one end of an RCA cable to the S/PDIF RCA output of theAI-1(depending on which connections are available on the S/PDIF device);

2.Connect the other end of the fiber optic cable to the optic input of the S/PDIF device, OR, connect the other end of the RCA cable to the RCA input of the S/PDIF device;

3.Connect one end of a fiber optic cable into the S/PDIF optic output, OR, connect one end of an RCA cable to the RCA output on the S/PDIF device;

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4.Connect the other end of the fiber optic cable to the S/PDIF optic input, OR, connect the other end of the RCA cable to the RCA input of the AI-1.

Note: Both the optic and RCA outputs are active when theAI-1’sDestination is set to S/PDIF. This means you can route digital audio to two S/PDIF devices simultaneously. When theAI-1’sSource is set to S/PDIF, the RCA input has priority over the optic input. If theAI-1does not detect a device connected to the RCA input (no sample clock present), it will automatically switch over and use the optic input. Since the switch is determined by the presence of a sample clock, you could leave a device connected to the RCA input, and simply turn its power off when you wish to use the optic input.

2.3 48 KHZ CLOCK OUT

The 48kHz output signal is a 75 TTL level square wave output, and is provided via a BNC-typeconnector. If you are using the BRC Master Remote Control and plan to record onto ADAT from an AES/EBU or S/PDIF source, the 48kHz clock out must be connected to the BRC so that it can be synchronized with the source’s clock rate.

2.4 POWERING-UP

Normally, the AI-1does not need to be powered up in any order for it to work with one or more ADATs. The system can even be connected while the power is on.

When using the BRC as the system’s master, however, the order in which the devices are powered-upis important. After all connections have been made, turn on the power of each ADAT in the system, turn on theAI-1,and then turn on the BRC.

For more information on using the BRC, please refer to the BRC Reference Manual.

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CHAPTER 3: TRANSFERRING DIGITAL AUDIO

3.0 AI-1TO ADAT

Recording from an AES/EBU or S/PDIF source through the AI-1onto ADAT involves a few very simple steps. First, put the ADAT(s) into Digital In mode by pressing the DIGITAL IN button (the button will be lit). Next, the digital source must be selected. Then, choose the tracks you wish to record to. Finally, adjust the sampling rate, if necessary, to suit your needs.

3.0A Source

On the AI-1,you must set the source to either AES/EBU or S/PDIF, depending on the actual source you are recording from. This is done by pressing either the AES/EBU or S/PDIF button in the SOURCE section of theAI-1front panel. When pressed, the button will either light solid or flash to indicate the source you have selected. Only one of the Source buttons can be selected at a time.

If the selected Source button’s LED lights solid, it means that an AES/EBU or S/PDIF device is connected, and the AI-1is receiving its clock information. Simultaneously, either the 48kHz or the 44.1kHz Destination Rate LED will light, indicating the source’s incoming clock rate.

If the selected Source button’s LED flashes, it means that either no device is connected to the selected input, or the clock information is not being provided by the source to the AI-1,or the clock information provided by the source is neither 48kHz or 44.1kHz.

Note: If the Source button’s LED flashes, neither one of the Destination Rate buttons will be lit, indicating that theAI-1does not detect any clock information from the source to synchronize to.

Note: TheAI-1provides two types of connectors for S/PDIF devices. When the Source is set to S/PDIF, theAI-1will first look at the

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