How do I connect 2 External Preamp units to the Liquid Saffire 56 or Clarett 8PreX via ADAT?

Applies to: Liquid Saffire 56 (LS 56) and Clarett 8PreX

When connecting external preamps to the Liquid Saffire 56/Clarett 8PreX via ADAT, the biggest consideration is how all of the devices are synced together. All digital devices in a signal chain must be synced to a common clock source, in order to pass audio without any clicks, pops, or glitches. Larger and more complicated digital systems will often have a separate master clock, however this is not usually necessary in a smaller system. The most common ways to sync a Liquid Saffire 56/Clarett 8PreX with 2 external preamps via ADAT without an external master clock are outlined below:

1: Syncing via Word Clock, Liquid Saffire 56/Clarett 8PreX as master

In this scenario, the LS56 is synced to its internal clock, and the 2 external preamp units (in this example Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamics) are synced via Word Clock.

2: Syncing via ADAT, Liquid Saffire 56/Clarett 8PreX as master

This setup is very similar to the one above, although the Word Clock connections have been replaced by extra ADAT cables going from the outputs of the LS 56/Clarett 8PreX to the inputs of the external preamp units. The external preamp units are then syncing to the clock signal embedded within the ADAT bitstream.

3: Preamp units without ADAT inputs or Word Clock outputs

When trying to sync two preamp units to the Liquid Saffire 56/Clarett 8PreX, neither of which have ADAT inputs or word clock outputs, it is necessary to set one of the preamp units as the clock master. It is then possible to sync the LS 56/Clarett 8PreX to the incoming ADAT bitstream from this unit, and to sync the second preamp to the LS 56/Clarett 8PreX via Word Clock. The LS 56/Clarett 8PreX can be synced to either of its two ADAT input ports, so it is important to ensure that the correct one is selected in the Saffire Mix Control/Focusrite Control software.

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