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In-depth Feature:  Behringer ADA-8000
Nick B writes: .

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Applications
The primary function of the ADA-8000 is to provide 8 additional channels of analogue IO to the DDX3216 desk, but will be just as happy to provide them for any ADAT equipped digital console or sound card. For instance, the original Yamaha 02R console has eight busses, only accessible from the ADAT output. Bussing being a great tool for processing signals externally during mixdown or recording. The only drawback of course being that you can only work at a maximum resolution of 24-bit 48hKz, but at this price, it's unlikely you'll be complaining too hard.

You may also be interested in using it as a front end for stand alone HD recording systems with ADAT inputs for a portable live setup, where you need mic preamps and or line inputs with gain control.

The final application could be for outputting to a multi-channel surround system, with 8 outs, you should be covered until there's a new standard that requires more.

In Use
There's not a great deal to configure with the ADA-8000, once you have your Digital (ADAT connecter, Wordclock) and analogue stuff patched up and decided who's going to be in charge of the digital clocking - the Behringer will handle it of course with a flip of the rear switch and the relevant setting in your connected recorder/desk or whatever your all set. Signals are routed directly to the corresponding ADAT channel - plug a mic into channel one the signal will appear at ADAT channel one. There's no flexibility to this routing and unfortunately you can't monitor directly from the analog output - so any signal you hear will be subject to any monitoring latency inherrant in your system.

One trick that Behringer have missed here is the ability to route the signal to both the ADAT and analogue outs, so you could monitor your signal at the analog output for zero latency monitoring - perhaps a simple 'Direct' button would have done the trick - you wouldn't be able to hear the returning ADAT signal via the D to A but an either or option would have been nice. Of course, if you are going directly into a dedicated HD recorder such as the Mackie HD24 or suchlike, this wouldn't be an issue - but I feel this extra flexibility would have added a useful dimension to the ADA-8000's functionality.

The preamplifiers themselves sound absolutely fine, I wouldn't expect them to compete with the Presonus or Focusrites of this world but we are talking a different league of pricing. They do have a tendency to be a little noisy at high gain settings (as do many) but are generally capable of dealing with most signals. Suffice to say that comparing them to Mackie or other similarly priced console and you wouldn't be disappointed at all.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • ADA-8000 pages @ Behringer

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