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Are you successfully using your AX8 via s/pdif?

If you are able to, what's your audio interface and which operating system are you on? If you're unable, same question?

The reason I ask (and have posted about it before) is that I am unable to use mine successfully via s/pdif hooked up to a NI Komplete Audio 6, on anything from El Capitan to Sierra, on multiple Macs. In a nutshell, Audio MIDI Setup thinks it's getting 44.1k from my AX8 when I select External Sync, and there appears to be nothing I can do to change that.

Just trying to see if this is something that's unique to my unit, or a problem with the KA6, or something else entirely (including user error). A user in a recent thread had s/pdif problems with the Focusrite Pro 40 and Scarlett 18i20, but was successful with an Mbox Pro 3. What's your experience?


Yes. OS X 10.10 through macOS 10.12. Focusrite Saffire Pro 14.

Only problem I have is Logic X wants to set the Saffire to 44.1 whenever it's the main interface and I have to set it back to 48 kHz after I setup a new project.


Yup - me too. I'm using motu Ultra Lite and likewise, Logic wants to use 44k so I need to manually set things to 48K in the DAW and on the device. Otherwise all good.

Dan Hill

That's exactly why I ditched spdif. Got tired of monkeying around with having to constantly reset the clock on the interface. Plus, I really couldn't hear a difference between that the the xlr cables.


Fractal Fanatic
I'm using it with an Audient iD22 in Reason. The Audient only has Optical S/PDIF so I'm using an el cheapo coax to opto adapter from Amazon.

Of course it has to work in 48kHz, which Reason doesn't mind staying on, and the Audient switches to internal clock automatically when the AX8 isn't on.

I've switched to using S/PDIF for several reasons: 1) it frees up the only two analog inputs on my interface so I don't have to unplug my mic to do guitar tracking. 2) it opens up the possibility of reamping on my otherwise 2-channel interface. 3) lower noise floor. Even with Apogee preamps (I haven't tried the Audient preamps with the AX8), there was a faint but non-zero amount of noise floor even with the AX8 output all the way down. I chalk that up to the cables and the extra AD-DA conversion. With S/PDIF, the AX8 is the final destination for any analog signal.


SPDIF has been trouble free with everything I've tried: I have a UAD Apollo 8 now, but also with an Apollo Twin, a $15 DVD player SPDIF coax adapter and a buddy's Behringer FCA1616.

As far as DAW setup goes: Start from a template with everything set as required, so no need to make or remember all the changes from defaults. I have the AX8 Output routed directly to the monitors (= no latency) for general practice and playing. If I spontaneously want to record an idea that comes up (not all that often): Its just a quick matter of opening the Test project in the DAW (SPDIF track assignment instantiated) and hitting record: no changes to cabling, levels or anything. So fast & easy. For serious recording: same deal, but I'll also record the DI via Output 2. Its a really great workflow for me. I'm so thankful FAS, in their wisdom, included it.
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Very interesting... I may just have to pick up one of the Focusrite Scarlett interfaces, just so I can narrow down whether the problem exists with my particular AX8 unit or not.


I will say I don't use SPDIF for any particular sonic reason. It's just easy: one cable and I'm rocking and rolling with stereo.
I will say I don't use SPDIF for any particular sonic reason. It's just easy: one cable and I'm rocking and rolling with stereo.
That's precisely why I'm trying to make this work. I'm more than happy with the sound from my XLR or 1/4" outputs but would love to free up the analog inputs on my interface :)


with spdif you can hear in real time while your are playing/jamming with the AX8?

The way to look at it is the audio interface becomes a mixer. It's mixing audio from the computer with SPDIF audio from the Fractal hardware and sending it all out to the monitors.


Yes - using without issues on a 2012 Mac Mini running OSX Sierra
With a MOTU 828Mk2. Set the default clock in MOTU Cuemix at
48kHz and it purrs like a kitten.
Mine will sync to my Mbox Pro 3 but won't sync to my Scarlett 18i20 or my Saffire Pro 40-regardless of computer or OS used. Once any sound is sent the lock is broken.

I'm pretty sure Cliff has said spdif is troublesome in and of itself and in his opinion not worth the trouble-I believe his comments are in the wiki.


Fractal Fanatic
I recall (way back) Cliff asking the forum whether we thought spdif was necessary on the AX8 long before it's release. Forum said yes, and there it is.

I'm glad, use it all the time at home because it's easy, and because I don't like the idea of another round of ad\da conversion even though my ears probably can't hear the difference.


SpDIF works great for me. Using an apogee ensemble, 2015 macbook pro, w sierra loaded as the os. Recording into Protools v12, but ive used the ax8 spdif into logic 9 as well with no problems.


Kind of related but could someone run me thru the process of hooking up SPDIF plz?
I have the Focusrite 18i20 gen 2 AI and am thinking that it cant be too difficult!

I have connected a cable from AX8 to SPDIF in on AI. On the Focusrite Control Output Routing panel I've added the SPDIF L-R hardware input. In the Device Settings I've set sample rate to 48kHz and clock source to Internal. The Sync Status says Locked.
All I get is some intermittent popping sound.

Any ideas?
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