M-Audio ProFire 2626 - Multiple Profire Configuration
This guide explains how to configure multiple ProFire 2626’s for additional recording inputs. In this configuration, one device will be connected via FireWire as the “interface” (aka Host), and the additional 2626’s will be used as stand-alone A/D (analog to digital) converters connected to the “interface” (Host) via optical (aka TOSlink) cables. You cannot "daisy chain" the devices via FireWire. Since the ProFire 2626 has 2 ADAT I/O ports, you can use up to 3 ProFire 2626’s on the same system! The ProFire 2626 that is connected to the computer with the FireWire cable is the “Host”, and the additional ProFire 2626’s connected to the first are the “Stand-Alone” devices.
Note: 96kHz and 18 x 18 I/O maximum with Pro Tools M-Powered
Before proceeding, install the latest driver for the ProFire 2626 from our drivers/updates page.
- Stand-alone Device Configuration
- Host Device Configuration
- Testing the Setup
- Warranty & Technical Support Information
Your computer-based DAW stores and manipulates music as digital samples. Those samples are sent to and from your DAW as “snapshots” of data. These snapshots are all the same size—16- or 24-bit, depending on your selected resolution—with a beginning and an end, and are sent one after the other as a stream of data. Think of this data stream as a sentence, made up of a series of words of identical length.
Precise, accurate timing in sending and receiving those words is critical. Each device in your interconnected digital world must share the same timing in order to communicate correctly—that is, their clocks must be synchronized. This synchronization is achieved by designating one device as the timing “master,” and all other connected devices as “slaves,” locking the slaves to the master. Only one device in the chain can be the master, and all other devices must slave to that master. All devices must be running at the same sample rate as well. For example, if the master is running at 44.1kHz, no other device can be set to 48kHz.
Word clock is an important part of digital studios but is often overlooked by engineers new to digital recording. It is crucial to set up word clock correctly because without precise synchronization between your digital devices, your digital audio signal will be filled with clicks and pops, (if, in fact, it plays at all).
While the ProFire 2626 provides numerous synchronization options; this guide uses optical (TOSlink) connections from the “Host” to the “Stand-Alone” devices.
- Connect the first “Stand-Alone” 2626 to the computer’s FireWire port and then start up the computer.
- Launch the ProFire 2626 control panel
- Select the Settings tab. In the Standalone Mode section, set the Sync Source to be Optical Port A (pictured below); and the Converter Mode to A/D - D/A. Setting the converter mode is critical for this setup. Also, pay attention to what you have your sample rate set to. This will need to be consistent throughout all ProFire devices connected.
- Shut down your computer, then shut off the Stand-alone ProFire 2626. If you have a third ProFire 2626, now is the time to connect it and boot up the computer. Repeat steps 1 – 4 for this third device. If you are only setting up one additional unit, you are ready to move on to the next section.
- Connect the “Host” ProFire 2626 to the computer’s FireWire port and startup the computer.
- Launch the ProFire 2626 control panel
- Select the Settings tab. The Sync Source should be set for Internal, and the Optical Port B Mode should be ADAT. If you do not re-adjust these settings, the setup will not operate properly. Again, be sure to set Converter Mode to A/D - D/A.
- Shut down the computer, and power off the hosted unit to save the settings. Now you are ready to connect the devices together.
- Using TOSlink optical cables connect Optical Out A from the “Host”, to Optical In A on the first “Stand-Alone” device (Blue line pictured below).
- Next connect Optical Out A from the first “Stand-Alone” device to the Optical In A on the “Host” (Red line pictured below).
- If you are using a third ProFire 2626 (the second “Stand-Alone” device), connect the Optical Out B from the “Host” to the Optical In A of the second “Stand-Alone” device (Orange line pictured below); and then connect the Optical Out A of the second “Stand-Alone” device to the Optical In B of the “Host” (Green line pictured below).
- Now that you have everything connected, and powered on, start up your computer. While the computer is starting up, you should see the “Host” device’s power LED blinking, and the “Standalone” device’s power LED solid. This is normal, and the “Host” unit’s LED should be solid once the computer is fully booted.
- Once you have solid LEDs on all ProFires, and your computer is running, open the ProFire Control Panel.
- First, pull up the Router tab. In this section, we will need to set the ANALOG OUT 1/2 & Analog OUT 3/4 to MIXER OUT as shown below. This will allow the main four outputs of your Host device, as well as the headphones, to monitor incoming signals from your other ProFires.
- Now, pull up the Mixer tab
- This section of the control panel is where we will test the inputs for the standalone units. Above each channel (circled in red below) you have the ability to select what you are monitoring. In the below screenshot, I selected channel 9 to monitor input one from the standalone unit. ADAT ports A In 1 – 8 relate to the inputs on the first standalone device. If you have a third ProFire, ADAT Ports B in 1 – 8 will relate to the third ProFire’s inputs.
- Once you have an input selected to monitor, plug an audio device into the proper input and turn the volume up (be sure to turn on phantom power if you are using a Mic that requires it). You should see the input signal in the Mixer tab react to your audio device. This means you have setup the ProFire correctly!
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