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AES/EBU Port interfacing to other equpment

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Working on doing some reamping here with the Helix. I find little information on the AES/EBU port specifications in the documentation for the Helix or even in this forum. 

 

Specifically what I want to know is when I interface the Helix via the AES/EBU port to my RME 802 I get an indictor light on the RME device that tells me "NO SYNC" or "lock". Anyone know why? I have all sorts of specs for the RME AES/EBU port and next to nothing on the Helix. So I am trying to narrow down what the issue is and I suspect it is the Helix. I am using a 110 ohm cable and the RME specs for the port to achieve sync is a Lock range of: 27 kHz – 200 kHz. So a further question is this. Does the Helix fall in the Lock Range??? That is a pretty wide frequency range and I would think the Helix "should" be able to do that. But can it?

 

Thanks for any help you can give.

LB

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The AES/EBU port on Helix is only compatible with other Line 6 devices. They use a proprietary protocol called L6 Link.

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I thought this output is an either or thing. Either L6 Link or AES/EBU?

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The AES/EBU port on Helix is only compatible with other Line 6 devices. They use a proprietary protocol called L6 Link.

 

 

I thought this output is an either or thing. Either L6 Link or AES/EBU?

 

Yeah, it can be either...

 

To the OP, have you selected AES/EBU as the digital output you want to use in the Global Settings menu? This setting is under Global Settings > Ins/Outs, page 3, knob 5. You can select either S/PDIF or AES/EBU. I believe SPDIF is the default setting.

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Hmmm... this effectively makes the Helix the Master Clock of your DAW. I wonder how good its jitter rate is.

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"I thought this output is an either or thing. Either L6 Link or AES/EBU"---

 

It uses AES/EBU 110-Ohm cable for the Line 6 Link, which is to AES/EBU standard

circuit type,... and not XLR 50-Ohm mic cable.

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Thanks for the quick responce!

 

Hum, that is to this old guy rather misleading. Why even call it an AES/EBU compatible port then as the manual does:

31.
AES/EBU, L6 LINK L6 LINK provides easy digital audio connectivity between Helix and Line 6 StageSource monitors and/or DT-Series amplifiers. Alternatively, digitally connect Helix to your studio equipment via an AES/EBU (110Ω XLR) cable. See "L6 LINK Output"???
 
I had a HD500x and it clearly stated this port (Same XLR style Connector) was for Line 6 gear only. Not so on the Helix as shown above. I could really use this port as long as I can get a "sync lock".
 
LB

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Yeah, it can be either...

 

To the OP, have you selected AES/EBU as the digital output you want to use in the Global Settings menu? This setting is under Global Settings > Ins/Outs, page 3, knob 5. You can select either S/PDIF or AES/EBU. I believe SPDIF is the default setting.

That is a good point. I am pretty sure I did. I will double check when I get back to the Helix and have it in front of me. 

Thanks!

LB

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I just realized I've been using a regular mic cable with my helix and stagesource l2m, did I just mess up my equipment?

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Hmmm... this effectively makes the Helix the Master Clock of your DAW. I wonder how good its jitter rate is.

 

To me, if this is the case it would be bad news. I want the RME 802 Interface to continue to be my master. Also,Jitter enters the AES\EBU equation anyway if you have no Sync Lock. That is why I am trying to figure out why I have no lock. I get what sounds like good audio using the connection now between the Helix and the RME 802, but SYNC is the way to go I would think..

 

Thanks,

LB

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"I thought this output is an either or thing. Either L6 Link or AES/EBU"---

 

It uses AES/EBU 110-Ohm cable for the Line 6 Link, which is to AES/EBU standard

circuit type,... and not XLR 50-Ohm mic cable.

 

Right, I bought a nice 110 ohm cable just for this purpose...

 

Thanks,

LB

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I just realized I've been using a regular mic cable with my helix and stagesource l2m, did I just mess up my equipment?

 

No danger of that... Over short distances, you would most likely be OK with a mic cable, but even then there's more of a chance that you could have issues with signal degradation. Using an AES/EBU cable is best practice.

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No danger of that... Over short distances, you would most likely be OK with a mic cable, but even then there's more of a chance that you could have issues with signal degradation. Using an AES/EBU cable is best practice.

Thank you for the info.  I just ordered a AES/EBU Cable.

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Hmmm... this effectively makes the Helix the Master Clock of your DAW. I wonder how good its jitter rate is.

 

 

Hi again,

Turns out that you were onto something here. RME support said this should be rather straight forward. The Helix only has a one way street out port. As your saying it has to be master. The RME 802 up to this point has been my Master of 3 devices. The Helix became the 4th device and simply HAS to be set in the RME 802 software to be a slave to the Helix. RME support said not to worry too much about SYNC on all equipment as it has a good comprehensive clock. It will negotiate with the Helix to establish clock there. Then it will provide good clock to all other equipment connected to it. So pardon the pun, but a setting change and I should be all set! As soon as I get back to the Helix I will give it a shot and hopefully be able to post this one as resolved.

 

LB

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Thank you for the info.  I just ordered a AES/EBU Cable.

 

Yes your much better off with the 110 Ohm cable as it meets spec for AES/EBU. You don't want to be wondering where the heck a future pop or click came from!

 

Good Luck,

LB

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Ok,

Just got back to the Helix AES project. I set my RME 802 interface from being Master clock to AES. AES = Helix. I now have a solid LOCK on all 4 of my digital devices as follows:

AES - (Helix)

RME 802 - (Interface)

Adat 1 & 2 - (I/O Port expanders)

 

Tis a good day as I had almost written off the Helix AES port. This is great as it gives me back 2 expensive high quality front panel mic pre/instrument ports. In addition there might be a speed improvement in the all digital pipe from the Helix to the Interface. That in turn might help cut my latency in the reamping signal chain. All the above are big plusses!

 

Now, all that needs to happen for a complete fix is for the Helix to prove itself worthy of being the Master clock. I believe this is highly possible since the chips are cheap today for higher end ones and they are much better than in days of old. Now all I have to do is find out where I saw the "resolved" button and so mark this one as completed.

 

If anyone is into reamping and wants a simple flowchart diagram on it I made one and will post it for you. Just let me know.

 

Take care and thanks to all that helped.

 

LB

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The AES/EBU port on Helix is only compatible with other Line 6 devices. They use a proprietary protocol called L6 Link.

I thought this output is an either or thing. Either L6 Link or AES/EBU?

Yeah, it can be either...

 

 

Thanks for the correction duncann and Phil, and sorry if my misinformation caused difficulties for anyone.

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No worries. It's also somewhat confusing because it's also either the SPDIF or (AES/EBU or L6 Link) output, as Phil pointed out above.

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Well I wanted to get back on and let folks know this thing is not finished yet. I was playing and rocking away with my guitar and the Helix as Master Clock. I heard an audio glitch in my headphones. So I quickly look up to my rack and see the RME flashing away, indicating it lost sync on the ADAT and AES links. My other gear has NEVER had a sync issue, EVER. It could be the new AES cable I bought or another port extender I recently got. So I am going to pull the Helix out of the loop and see  if I am stable. If so I will put the Helix back in the loop and see if I lose lock again. My fear is the Helix may not be steady enough to be the Master clock source. Sigh, I really thought I had this licked.

 

Stay tuned,

LB

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Yes your much better off with the 110 Ohm cable as it meets spec for AES/EBU. You don't want to be wondering where the heck a future pop or click came from!

 

Good Luck,

LB

 

This is pretty much the same as DMX cables for lighting. The technical spec is for 110 ohm cables, but over short distances standard XLR mic cables work fine. The specs cater for all sorts of transmission line effects over long distances which don't have a significant effect over a short cable

 

Mike

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This is pretty much the same as DMX cables for lighting. The technical spec is for 110 ohm cables, but over short distances standard XLR mic cables work fine. The specs cater for all sorts of transmission line effects over long distances which don't have a significant effect over a short cable

 

Mike

Yes this is a DMX cable and could be used for lighting too. Do you happen to know the length in question? in other words how long of a cable is "too long"? I am using a 20' DMX cable.

 

Thanks,

LB

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Well, for DMX you should theoretically be able to run 1500 ft without needing a repeater/option-splitter, but there are other caveats, such as the number of devices on the line. But AES/EBU aren't exactly the same type of signal. I imagine that digital audio is more sensitive than DMX as DMX is purely a control signal.

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Well, for DMX you should theoretically be able to run 1500 ft without needing a repeater/option-splitter, but there are other caveats, such as the number of devices on the line. But AES/EBU aren't exactly the same type of signal. I imagine that digital audio is more sensitive than DMX as DMX is purely a control signal.

 

Thanks - 1500' is out there a bit. It would seem the 20' for this application should be an acceptable length. I will see if Google has the specs or answer for this one.

 

By the way I have had all 3 of my Adat devices humming away today without the Helix on the AES link. Nary one glitch. Looks like I have to do what I had hoped to do via AES with an analog cable run. If it is not the cable and it likely is not. Then I hope a future firmware update will lead to better stability in the Helix master clock so the AES connection is more solid.

 

LB

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I know this is old, but a real answer to 110Ω AES/EBU cable length hasn't been given. 

110Ω AES/EBU should go 150m (492') with a decent 110Ω audio cable, twice that with high end wire.

http://www.mogamicable.com/category/bulk/dig_interface/aes_ebu/

But for short ( like ~ 6' ) jumpers, I've used standard 50Ω balanced audio cables for years without issues.

It won't hurt anything, but at some length, it just won't work due to loss.

I also use yellow ended (for video) RCA cables for S/PDIF, they're 75Ω.

 

BTW, Helix Rack has a wordclock input for syncing the Helix to external clock. 

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