Digital Sound & Music: Concepts, Applications, & Science, Chapter 5, last updated 6/25/2013
Figure 5.28 - Synchronizing to an external word clock generator with a single output
If you don’t have a dedicated word clock generator, you could choose one of the digital
audio devices in your system to be the word clock master and slave all the other devices in your
system to that clock using the external word clock connections as shown in Figure 5.29. The
word clock of the device in your system is probably not as stable as a dedicated word clock
generator (in that it may have a small amount of jitter), but as long as all the devices are
following that clock, you will avoid any errors.
Figure 5.29 - Synchronizing to the first digital device in your signal chain using external word clock
In some cases your equipment may not have external word clock inputs. This is common
in less expensive equipment. In that situation you could go with a self-clocking solution where
the first device in your signal chain is designated as the word clock master and each device in the
signal chain is set to slave to the word clock signal embedded in the audio stream coming from
the previous device in the signal chain, as shown in Figure 5.30.