ADAT interfaces reliability ? CPU Ressources with lots of outputs?

Who’s got experience with linking two audio interfaces with ADAT ?

For my next tour i’ll be using a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 extended by a Focusrite OctoPre MkII used to extend the total number of hardware outputs. I’ll be using 14 outputs.
Does it sound safe to you for a live usage ?
What’s the impact on the CPU of using lots of outputs ?
How safe, mechanically, is the “tosslink” connection ?

So far, i didn’t encounter any particular issue, but i’d be curious to know your experiences and advices.

Thanks !


I’m using a Universal Audio Apollo Twin with a Motu 828 connected by ADAT to increase the number of inputs, and it’s been pretty wonderful so far.

I have to make sure that the clocking is configured correctly, since the Apollo only has ADAT in (no ADAT Out), so the Motu has to be in charge of the clocking, but other than that, it doesn’t do much crazy stuff. I only have 10 simultaneous ins, though, so I’m not typically rendering that many output channels at a time.

From a CPU load perspective, it doesn’t seem like whether you use ADAT or not matters that much, since the Saffire will probably be dealing with the clocking/syncing to the OctoPre

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I’m using an RME RayDAT with a Marian Adcon, a Behringer ADA8200 and some expert sleepers modules (ES-3 x 2, ES-6, ES-5 + Expanders). I have slowly scaled this setup up (from just the Adcon) and I have not noticed any instabilities, increase in CPU usage or anything like that from any of the additions. I’m now sending / receiving on 54 channels (not counting the ~32 additional channels of the ES-5 + expanders) without any issues and wouldn’t be worried in the slightest to take this setup on stage.

The toslink-connectors aren’t much of an issue in my opinion. I’d try to get these tiny cables that have nearly no jack whatsoever (sort of like this). They click in just the same as larger connectors, but it’s harder to break them off or rip them out by accident because they make smaller targets :slight_smile:

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So, three gigs after. Three times i had to reboot my computer like 10 times on stage before starting the show because of glitches on outputs provided by the extension (Octopre mkII Dynamic).
Once it works, it works. But this is a painful experience. Thinking of getting a Motu 16A.

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Regarding Toslink/ADAT cables I recently had a couple custom made for me and to @x2mirko and his point you have options that can be very helpful on your setups. These cables came from in Canada and although it’s not a cheap solution it is brilliant. If you look closely there are two different gauges used because I needed one of the Toslink cables to fit between patch cables.