Syncing up multiple SX-1's


Well-Known Member
Oct 4, 2012
Casper, Wyoming
Gear owned
Most of us by now realize the only thing better than an SX-1, is two.....or....three....or like :shock:

Here's some info on setting up two machines together. I have been doing this for over five years with NO PROBLEMS. At one time I had THREE machines locked together!

First...pick a master machine and a slave. Then you will need the following cables......

An ADAT cable.
A balanced 1/4" to 1/4" cable.
A word-clock cable.

Now....look at the pictures..........

The Wordclock of the master machine goes out to the input of the slave machine.
The ADAT cable goes from ADAT OUT of the slave machine to the ADAT IN of the master machine.


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Also of importance here is to realize that the slave machine needs to be changed internally(a few buttons) to now act as a slave machine. In the pictures you will see SPDIF connections....originally that is how I sent audio between machines....then I decided to use ADAT since it is simply better. (Now, more of my SPDIF gear is getting used) ;)


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If you are syncing THREE machines.....the only change is that you have to send timecode through a 1/4" to 1/4" splitter.....each slave machine needs signal from the maste at the same time......daisy-chaining the 1/4" cable signal does NOT work.
thanks Merlin...that was the information I was looking for when the forums suddenly closed...I remember that you posted a "how-to" thread with pictures, but by the time I was ready to sync mine, it was too late...I emailed Greg and he helped me set the SX's up...I wasn't aware that a bnc cable was necessary...
50ohms or 75ohms???
At such a short distance it won't really matter. Whatever you have, 50 or 60 will do.
I thought that 50 ohms was for data/computers/GPS sysetems/etc and that 75 ohms was for a video signal...I also thought you can do damage to either the cable or the equipment if you use the wrong one and/or cause signal distortion (which would create transmission errors)....there are also other technical and construction differences between the two...I'm just afraid of using the wrong cable and causing expensive site says that 50 ohms is "adequate for analog video applications", but doesn't mention audio...
anyway, after further research of several more sites for several more hours, it appears that word clock bnc cable/connectors should be 75 fact, I don't think there is a 50 ohm "word clock" cable, just a 50 ohm bnc cable...and again, every article agrees that 75 ohms is what should be used for word clock, I'm going to play it safe and go with the 75 ohms...
I hope my research helps anyone else who's "thinking of syncing" :D ...
I bought a 5' Canare 75ohms to be on the safe side...3' is stretching it a bit and I wanted some extra length when I have to move the SX's (like if and when I need to open them up)...I redid my entire studio with Mogami and Canare cables over the last 2 years, so I wanted to get the Canare bnc...I don't think Mogami makes a bnc cable...there's been a dramatic difference in the audio quality since I swapped out the old cables for the new ones...I also invested in "higher-end" power cords and power conditioners, which also made a difference in the overall frequency range (tighter bass, more defined mids, crisper highs)...and it's not just my wild imagination, my RTA verifies what I'm hearing :geek: ...
but that topic is probably better suited for a new thread...
back to the issue at hand...hopefully, having the bnc connections will eliminate the "Error" messages I've been getting on both SX's (if that's what's causing the errors)...I'll find out as soon as the cable arrives early next week... I'm not getting Error messages on the Master SX, only on the slave...whenever I hit any of the transport buttons, an Error shows up:
"TC Locked", "TC Drifting", "TC Unlocked"...
also, the Master machine reads 00.00.00, but the slave shows the slave supposed to be a run behind the Master?
Yes, the slave is going to be "behind" exactly that amount. I have never gotten the error messages.......not sure on that. Do they have problems while playing back or recording?
there's no problems that I can "hear" like clicks or pops or anything...they seem to line up fine when recording...the only reason I know there are Error messages is because I open the Error Log on the scroll down on top of the page where the Shut Down function is...I Clear and hit OK to delete the messages...but the messages start again whenever the Master transport is used...
I have no idea and no one else has mentioned this issue before...
maybe I have it set-up wrong internally, but everything seems to be set-up correctly and the units do what they should do when linked/synced...
it's a mystery :?:
Merlin as usual is 100% correct, you will not have frame accuracy on your transport, you will always appear behind but you are not.Obviously you have gone into the setup mode and have the same frame rate for your time code on the slave deck as you have on the master. When you hit play on the master how long is it before you see a :locked: indication on the LED on the front of the slave SX? Your error messages are not clocking issues, the SX would indicate that as an error message , this is a time code issue. Back in the tape days there would be a pre roll of a few seconds before tape multitracks would lock with the synchronizer syncing machines. Will your slave lock and stay locked once you see a locked message? On playback is there consistant speed? Is there a noticeable drift when you monitor your track playbacks from the slave?
what happened to my message???
I edied one word and the rest was gone....
I'm getting error messages on both units, but it doesn't seem to be affecting the timing or anything else that I can notice...not sure what it all means...
I also seem to be the only one who cares about this, so I guess it wasn't worth mentioning to begin with...
Are you matching your time code on the slave to the same frame rate as the Master?
Also you have to set your sync to external- it defaults to Rising Sun I think. Not in the same city as my gear so when I get back to the ranch I will try and re-create your fault to see whats what.....doesn't sound catastrophic.....
thanks Kozman...I'll wait to hear from you again...
OK back at the Ranch....need more info as far as what the SX's are telling you as far as what the errors are. I can replicate many equipment faults but need specific info from you to try and help.
So -
You are using an external sync source and have selected that in the setup
Unit will default to "Rising Star" when you select external sync

Time code is selected to the same frame rate as the Master?

I don't have the SX's hooked up to an external clock (if that's what you mean)...
how do I set the frame rate on the 2 units?
misleading by me I was referring to your slave machine...go to view then click on settings...
Then select your frame rate for your Timecode.
Just match your slave frame rate to whatever your Master is....frame rate is subjective unless you are dealing with video.

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