What Is A Digital Clock & Why Should You Know It

If you’re confused by the terms: ‘digital clocking’, ‘word clock’ or ‘jitter’, we are here to help. 

It’s simple: When digital audio is being transferred between 2 pieces of equipment, the receiving device needs to know when a new sample is about to arrive. This requires the use of a word clock.  Many interface formats already carry an embedded word clock signal within the digital data allowing the receiving device to process the audio without any issues. This process is usually pretty painless, though sometimes embedded clock data can be degraded by the physical properties of the connecting cable, resulting in ‘interface jitter’ which leads to instability in the retrieved clocking information…. aka damaged audio on the receiving end (not fun).

If your studio or live performance setup contains outboard hardware, you cannot afford to be ignorant when it comes to digital clocking and synchronizers.

Read James Coxon’s piece on SoundOnSound to get the full scoop on digital clocking.

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