ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar

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Brad
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2016/09/30 16:32:42 (permalink)

ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar

Hi
I'm hoping someone can help me. I have a few ADAT Tapes. all 8 track  digital audio. I'd like to transfer these tracks to Sonar. Each song,  8 tracks to a Sonar project. No Synchronization to external drum machines or synths is needed as it's all audio.  No external modules. I just want to transfer 8 tracks at once per song.  I have a Scarlett 18i6 which "seems" to have an optical "IN". (It's got what looks like a cover on it). But anyway. I have the ADAT. It's got an ADAT optical IN  and OUT.  Is there a simple solution to this or do I have to connect My Frontier design  "Tango" Converter, and 8 in 8 out snake too ?  Sheesh. Why do things have to get so complicated ? I'm hoping not.   Any solutions to this ?
 
Thanks
Brad J Hofrichter
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19 Replies Related Threads

    bapu
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/09/30 18:16:00 (permalink)
    If the 18i6 "in" that you are looking at is called lightpipe then you simply need an optical/lightpipe cable connect to out of the ADAT and the in of the 18i6. Then set the "input" on each SONAR channel as the mono of the "ADAT channel..." or something like that (don't own one so I'm not sure how the lightpie channels show up for you).
     
    I did this about 7 years ago but have since sold my ADAT so.... I'm working on memory (of a 63 year old's brain).
    #2
    bapu
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/09/30 18:20:38 (permalink)
    My transfers were a little more exotic since I had 24 tracks to transfer but I only had one ADAT at the time of transferring  and so I needed to "sync" the three tapes once pass at a time.
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    Tom B
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/09/30 18:46:37 (permalink)
    I've transferred ADAT tapes into Sonar several times.  Bapu's  steps (post #2) are the easiest way to transfer from a single 8-track ADAT to Sonar.  I use an RME Fireface UFX interface, and assume the 18i66 has a similar ADAT light-pipe setup.
     
    Here are some other tips:
     
    Make sure your project is set to 48kHz sample rate since that's the default on the ADAT.  Hopefully, your ADAT tapes were recorded at the default sample rate.  In the 18i6 driver control panel, you might have to set clock synchronization to the ADAT input, but I would try without this step to start.  My RME seems to sync automatically.  Even though the ADAT XT is 16-bit, you should be able to set your project bit depth as you please. 
     
    Note: In case any recordings were done on a black ADAT (pre XT),  the recorded digital signal is inverted, and the Sonar channel phase should be set to "inverted" too. 
     
    I have an ADAT XT in the rack, and can probably walk through the process if things get complicated.
     
    post edited by Tom B - 2016/09/30 19:12:24

    - Tom B.
    See the new Cakewalk by Bandlab Forum - Jan 2019.
    #4
    Cactus Music
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/09/30 23:20:37 (permalink)
    This reminds me that I have 12 ADAT tapes sitting on a shelf that are recordings of a great 8 piece R&B band that broke up a long time ago. They had this semi famous engineer record them and it all fell apart. They where left with these tapes that no one has listened to. The band had a huge following. Apparently they will be re uniting next summer and playing at  http://www.cannafest.ca/ .
    I ended up with the tapes because I was their soundguy for many years and I recorded the only album they ever released. I have been keeping my eye out for a ADAT machine but have never followed through. I guess it might be better to find someone in Sonar land to do the transfers for me. 
    The tapes say 24 / 48  and there are 2 tapes per song.  so must be 16 tracks. 

    Johnny V  
    Cakelab  
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    3 Desktops and 3 Laptops W7 and W10
     http://www.cactusmusic.ca/
     
     
    #5
    Brad
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/10/01 13:28:36 (permalink)
    Let me know if you figure it out. I will try, I'll connect the  Scarlett 18i8 optical in to the ADAT XT 's optical out and just run the tapes. I probably won't be able to hear it as it records, since I'm only connecting to the ADAT out.  So, I'll record the complete tapes to one Sonar project then afterwards I'll slice and dice each 8 track song to individual songs and place them into individual Sonar projects.    
    #6
    Tom B
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/10/01 15:17:46 (permalink)
    Brad
    Let me know if you figure it out. I will try, I'll connect the  Scarlett 18i8 optical in to the ADAT XT 's optical out and just run the tapes. I probably won't be able to hear it as it records, since I'm only connecting to the ADAT out.  So, I'll record the complete tapes to one Sonar project then afterwards I'll slice and dice each 8 track song to individual songs and place them into individual Sonar projects.    


    Brad,
    You should be able to monitor the ADAT through either SONAR or your Scarlett 18i8.  The ADAT inputs should act like any other audio input device.  I assume the 18i8 has some kind of monitoring controls.  Or, you can just engage the input echo buttons on the SONAR channel inputs.  
     
    Hope that helps.

    - Tom B.
    See the new Cakewalk by Bandlab Forum - Jan 2019.
    #7
    Brad
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/10/01 16:33:48 (permalink)
    Thanks, I'm gonna give it a try. Strange though. The Scarlett 18i8 has a optical IN THAT HAS A "door" or covering sort of like a doggy door. Am I supposed to pull this off somehow, or push the optical cable through to connect ? 
    #8
    Tom B
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/10/01 17:22:38 (permalink)
    Brad
    Thanks, I'm gonna give it a try. Strange though. The Scarlett 18i8 has a optical IN THAT HAS A "door" or covering sort of like a doggy door. Am I supposed to pull this off somehow, or push the optical cable through to connect ? 


    Yes, line-up the optical plug and push it through the door -- it should connect easily.  Your ADAT probably has/had a dummy-plug which is used to keep the optical port covered.  Those were easy to misplace. 
     
    FYI: Those optical cables/connectors are also known as "TOSLINK" connectors. 
    post edited by Tom B - 2016/10/01 17:45:31

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    Brad
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/10/01 18:38:07 (permalink)
    O.K made the connection.. I see the track meters in the ADAT jumping but no input signal in Sonar. I armed all the tracks left /right  mono - ADAT 1- ADAT 3 -ADAT 5- ADAT 7, but nothing yet.  And I used  first tracks 1 through 8  but then I saw something in MIX control that showed ADAT INS on tracks 9 through 16. So I armed those. Nothing showing on the armed tracks yet.
    #10
    Tom B
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/10/01 19:25:23 (permalink)
    I'm not familiar with the Scarlett products,  but just glanced at the 18i8 manual. 
     
    When the ADAT is playing, I would expect the Mix Control meters to be moving on appropriate channels.  I wonder if the clock synchronization needs changing.  In Mix Control, there's an option to set the word clock synchronization to "ADAT".  You might try that setting -- and remember the current clock setting so it can be set back to the original clock source. I'm assuming any Mix Control enabling/configuration for the ADAT inputs has been done too.  
     
    Once you get the meters moving in Mix Control,  I would imagine the SONAR setup would go quickly.  

    - Tom B.
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    Brad
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/10/01 20:47:21 (permalink)
     I've changed sample rate (44.1 to 48) and sync source (from internal to ADAT) within MIX control and nothing happens. I changed Inputs 9 through 16 to ADAT 1 through 8 and I also tried changing the first 8 input to ADAT 1 -8, as well. The tracks and meters in the ADAT are playing along so somethings playing out of the ADAT. Nothing yet in MIX Control or Sonar.   Hmm...    
    #12
    Tom B
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/10/01 22:06:04 (permalink)
    Brad
     I've changed sample rate (44.1 to 48) and sync source (from internal to ADAT) within MIX control and nothing happens. I changed Inputs 9 through 16 to ADAT 1 through 8 and I also tried changing the first 8 input to ADAT 1 -8, as well. The tracks and meters in the ADAT are playing along so somethings playing out of the ADAT. Nothing yet in MIX Control or Sonar.   Hmm...    


    Wish I could help more, but I'm not familiar enough with the Scarlett 18i8.  
     
    The only other things I can suggest: double check that the TOSLINK connectors are fully inserted on both the ADAT and 18i8.  Check that the ADAT-XT display shows "CLOCK INT 48K" (if not, use the ADAT-XT clock select button to change it).  Hopefully the optical cable is OK. 
     
    Perhaps someone who has used the optical input on the Scarlett 18i8 can be of more help.   Contacting Focusrite might be the next option.  
     
     

    - Tom B.
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    Brad
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/10/02 01:51:36 (permalink)
    Thanks...   One other thing.. Do you think I need to connect tis all to an AD/DA ? I have the Frontier design Tango. I used it with the  old fashioned sound card Dakota back in the day. I didn't go direct to the sound card from the ADAT. I had to go through the  AD/DA Tango 24 converter.  Anyway,   I'll try it thanks.
     
     
     
    Brad J Hofrichter
    soundcloud.com/bradhofrichter
     
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    patm300e
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/10/03 08:30:06 (permalink)
    Did you ARM the inputs for recording (in SONAR hit the "R" button on each track lined up to receive the ADAT INPUTS from the Scarlet)?  That may get them working...

    SPLAT on a Home built i3 16 GB RAM 64-bit Windows 10 Home Premium 120GB SSD (OS) 2TB Data Drive.  Behringer XR-18 USB 2.0 Interface. FaderPort control.
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    Brad
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/10/03 15:33:13 (permalink)
    O.K I just finally got something going a only few minutes ago. Yes, I armed tracks. Set em' to ADAT IN.  I disconnected the Tango24. Forget that.  Yes, it seems to work.  48 sample rate for one tape and 44.1 sample rate on the other. Sheesh.. what was I doing back then?   The ADAT will let you know what sample rate the tape was recorded at , so I just adjusted MIX control to that. Set the clock to ADAT and it locks. Anyway there seems to be one problem some tracks play and some tracks go in and out or are silent. I get an Err 7 which means I have to clean the heads. Could this be why some tracks go in and out or just won't play? What do I need to clean the heads?  Is there a tape that does this and still available ?   Hey thanks all for helping me here. You've all got me through this mess so far.  Now I know why I scrambled to get a DAW software application on my computer working. ADAT's sound great but what freakin'  pain in the ass.    
    #16
    Tom B
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/10/03 18:08:40 (permalink)
    Glad to hear you have the digital audio connection working from the ADAT to the 18i8. 
     
    The video heads in the ADAT are really sensitive and head cleaning should only be done by someone familiar with the  procedure.  Years ago, I had my ADAT heads cleaned by a pro audio/video repair shop, but the place is long gone.  You do not want to use one of those VHS head-cleaning tapes. 
     
    ADAT "Err 7" could explain the audio dropouts.  The ADAT also has an "interpolation light" which will flash when a read error occurs.  It's a star-burst indicator next to the time readout.  If that light is coming on often, it might be an indicator of dirty heads  -or-  bad spots on the tape.  If "Err 7" happens often on all your tapes, perhaps a head cleaning is the next thing to pursue.   
     
    For the most reliable results, ADATs required high quality recording media such as Apex,Quantegy, or Alesis' rebranded ADAT tape. 
     
    Do you have the ADAT-XT manual?  There's a lot of good info in there.

    - Tom B.
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    Brad
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/10/03 20:16:33 (permalink)
    The manual mentions  going to an authorized Alesis Service center...  Haven't found one yet in my area near Phoenix. 
    I'll look for that but no luck yet.
     
     It also talks of a DRY VHS head cleaning cassette.  They recommend 3MVHSHC Black Watch Head cleaner Video cassette or  3M ASD  HC Digital Audio head cleaning cassette.  Since I only need to do this one I might go ahead with that.  I'm nor so sure I'll find it but I'll  look. Thanks for your help.  
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    Cactus Music
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/10/03 20:59:43 (permalink)
    Not sure if this applies, But my very first digital? mastering deck was a Hi Fi stereo VHS deck. I bought a top of the line RCA and my first 5 albums I recorded were all mastered to this. It was an excepted format back in the mid 80's. 
    But head cleaning was a PITA. You had to take it apart and I would used the same foam swabs and tape head cleaner I used on my Reel to reels and Cassette decks. I would imagine an ADAT uses the same elliptical spinning head system,right? So they are not hard to clean as long as it's possible to get at them. The cassette cleaner carts were for lazy people in those days and they never worked properly. A good engineer always got inside and cleaned manually. 
     
    And I would imagine you might have to de-magnatize them too, I never used mine enough to worry about that so I'm fuzzy on this.  Anyhow, just a thought. 

    Johnny V  
    Cakelab  
    Focusrite 6i61st - Tascam us1641. 
    3 Desktops and 3 Laptops W7 and W10
     http://www.cactusmusic.ca/
     
     
    #19
    Tom B
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    Re: ADAT XT transfer of 8 tracks to Sonar 2016/10/03 22:17:43 (permalink)
    Yes, the ADAT has a spinning video head.  It's my understanding that cleaning a video head requires careful wiping in a specific direction using lint-free swabs (like the foam swabs Cactus mentioned). 

    - Tom B.
    See the new Cakewalk by Bandlab Forum - Jan 2019.
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