S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface)[1][2] is a type of digital audio interconnect used in consumer audio equipment to output audio over reasonably short distances. The signal is transmitted over either a coaxial cable with RCA connectors or a fibre optic cable with TOSLINK connectors. S/PDIF interconnects components in home theatres and other digital high-fidelity systems.

S/PDIF is based on the AES3 interconnect standard.[3] S/PDIF can carry two channels of uncompressed PCM audio or compressed 5.1/7.1 surround sound (such as DTS audio codec); it cannot support lossless surround formats that require greater bandwidth.[4]

S/PDIF is a data link layer protocol as well as a set of physical layer specifications for carrying digital audio signals between devices and components over either optical or electrical cable. The name stands for Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format but is also known as Sony/Philips Digital Interface. Sony and Philips were the primary designers of S/PDIF. S/PDIF is standardized in IEC 60958 as IEC 60958 type II (IEC 958 before 1998).[5]

TOS LINK clear cable
TOSLINK connector (JIS F05)


A common use for the S/PDIF interface is to carry compressed digital audio for surround sound as defined by the standard IEC 61937. This mode is used to connect the output of a DVD player or computer, via optical or coax, to a home theatre amplifying receiver that supports Dolby Digital or DTS. Another common use is to carry two channels of uncompressed digital audio from a CD player to an amplifying receiver.

Hardware specifications

Composite Video RCA connector (yellow)
Digital coaxial audio cable (orange)
Digital Audio Coaxial RCA connector (orange)

S/PDIF was developed at the same time as the main standard, AES3, used to interconnect professional audio equipment in the professional audio field. This resulted from the desire of the various standards committees to have at least sufficient similarities between the two interfaces to allow the use of the same, or very similar, designs for interfacing ICs.[6] S/PDIF remained nearly identical at the protocol level,[a] but changed the physical connectors from XLR to either electrical coaxial cable (with RCA connectors) or optical fibre (TOSLINK; i.e., F05 or EIAJ optical), both of which cost less than the XLR connection. The RCA connectors are typically colour-coded orange to differentiate from other RCA connector uses such as composite video. The cable was also changed from 110 Ω balanced twisted pair to 75 Ω coaxial cable, using RCA jacks.

Signals transmitted over consumer-grade TOSLINK connections are identical in content to those transmitted over coaxial connectors, though TOSLINK S/PDIF commonly exhibits higher jitter.[7]

Comparison of AES3 and S/PDIF[8]
AES3 balanced AES3 unbalanced S/PDIF
Cabling 110 Ω STP 75 Ω coaxial 75 Ω coaxial or optical fibre
Connector 3-pin XLR BNC RCA or TOSLINK
Output level 2–7 V peak to peak 1.0–1.2 V peak to peak 0.5–0.6 V peak to peak
Min. input level 0.2 V 0.32 V 0.2 V
Max. distance 100 m 1,000 m 10 m
Modulation Biphase mark code Biphase mark code Biphase mark code
Subcode information ASCII id. text ASCII id. text SCMS copy protection info.
Audio bit depth 24 bits 24 bits 20 bits (24 bits optional)

Protocol specifications

S/PDIF is used to transmit digital signals of a number of formats, the most common being the 48 kHz sample rate format (used in DAT) and the 44.1 kHz format, used in CD audio. In order to support both systems, as well as others that might be needed, the format has no defined data rate. Instead, the data is sent using biphase mark code, which has either one or two transitions for every bit, allowing the original word clock to be extracted from the signal itself.

S/PDIF is meant to be used for transmitting 20-bit audio data streams plus other related information. To transmit sources with less than 20 bits of sample accuracy, the superfluous bits will be set to zero. S/PDIF can also transport 24-bit samples by way of four extra bits; however, not all equipment supports this, and these extra bits may be ignored.

S/PDIF protocol is identical to AES3 with one exception: the channel status bit differs in S/PDIF. Both protocols group 192 samples into an audio block, and transmit one channel status bit per sample, providing one 192-bit channel status word per channel per audio block. The meaning of the channel status word is completely different between AES3 and S/PDIF. For S/PDIF, the 192-bit status word is identical between the two channels and is divided into 12 words of 16 bits each, with the first 16 bits being a control code.

S/PDIF control word components
Bit Unset (0) Set (1)
0 Consumer (S/PDIF) Professional (AES3)
(changes meaning of control word)
1 Normal Compressed data
2 Copy restrict Copy permit
3 2 channels 4 channels
5 No pre-emphasis Pre-emphasis
6–7 Mode, defines subsequent bytes, always zero
8–14 Audio source category (general, CD-DA, DVD, etc.)
15 L-bit, original or copy (see text)

Bits 8–14 of the control code are a 7-bit category code indicating the type of source equipment, and bit 15 is the "L-bit", which (for most category codes) indicates whether copy-restricted audio is original (may be copied once) or a copy (does not allow recording again). The L-bit is only used if bit 2 is zero, meaning copy-restricted audio. The L-bit polarity depends on the category, with recording allowed if it is 1 for DVD-R and DVR-RW, but 0 for CD-R, CD-RW, and DVD. For plain CD-DA (ordinary nonrecordable CDs), the L-bit is not defined, and recording is prevented by alternating bit 2 at a rate of 4–10 Hz.


The receiver does not control the data rate, so it must avoid bit slip by synchronizing its reception with the source clock. Many S/PDIF implementations cannot fully decouple the final signal from influence of the source or the interconnect. Specifically the process of clock recovery used to synchronize reception may produce jitter.[9][10][11] If the DAC does not have a stable clock reference then noise will be introduced into the resulting analog signal. However, receivers can implement various strategies that limit this influence.[11][12]

TOSLINK optical fiber, unlike coaxial cables, are immune to ground loops and RF interference.[13] The fiber core of TOSLINK, however, may suffer permanent damage if tightly bent.

See also


  1. ^ Consumer S/PDIF provides for copy protection, whereas professional interfaces do not


  1. ^ "S/PDIF Information". Intel. 21 July 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  2. ^ "S/PDIF". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  3. ^ "SoundSystem SixPack 5.1+ True 6 Channel + Digital In & out – Stuff Worth Knowing" (PDF). TerraTec. 5 July 2001. p. 43. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  4. ^ Mark Johnson; Charles Crawford; Chris Armbrust (2007). High-Definition DVD Handbook : Producing for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray Disc: Producing for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray Disc. McGraw Hill Professional. p. 4–10. ISBN 9780071485852. ...connections such as S/PDIF do not have the bandwidth necessary to deliver uncompressed surround sound...
  5. ^ "Sound card". kioskea.net. Kioskea Network. Retrieved 2010-08-04. The components of a sound card are: [...] An SPDIF digital output (Sony Philips Digital Interface, also known as S/PDIF or S-PDIF or IEC 958 or IEC 60958 since 1998). This is an output line that sends digitised audio data to a digital amplifier using a coaxial cable with RCA connectors at the ends.
  6. ^ Finger, Robert A. 1992 'AES3-1992: The RevisedTwo-ChannelDigital Audio Interface', J.AudioEng.Soc.,Vol.40,No.3, 1992 March, p108
  7. ^ "Toslink or Coax". Retrieved 2015-04-15.
  8. ^ Dennis Bohn (2001). "Interfacing AES3 & S/PDIF" (PDF). Rane Corporation. p. 2. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  9. ^ Giorgio Pozzoli. "DIGITabilis: crash course on digital audio interfaces" tnt-audio.com.
  10. ^ Chris Dunn, Malcolm J. Hawksford. "Is the AES/EBU/SPDIF Digital Audio Interface Flawed?" AES Convention 93, paper 3360.
  11. ^ a b Norman Tracy. "On Jitter, the S/PDIF Standard, and Audio DACs."
  12. ^ Lesso, Paul (2006). "A High Performance S/PDIF Receiver" (PDF). Audio Engineering Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 June 2014. AES Convention 121, paper 6948
  13. ^ Joseph D. Cornwall (December 31, 2004). "Understanding Digital Interconnects". Audioholics.com. Retrieved 2007-07-12.

External links

ADAT Lightpipe

The ADAT Lightpipe, officially the ADAT Optical Interface, is a standard for the transfer of digital audio between equipment. It was originally developed by Alesis but has since become widely accepted, with many third party hardware manufacturers including Lightpipe interfaces on their equipment. The protocol has become so popular that the term "ADAT" is now often used to refer to the transfer standard rather than to the Alesis Digital Audio Tape itself.


AES3 (also known as AES/EBU) is a standard for the exchange of digital audio signals between professional audio devices. An AES3 signal can carry two channels of PCM audio over several transmission media including balanced lines, unbalanced lines, and optical fiber.AES3 was jointly developed by the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The standard was first published in 1985 and was revised in 1992 and 2003. AES3 has been incorporated into the International Electrotechnical Commission's standard IEC 60958, and is available in a consumer-grade variant known as S/PDIF.

Audio and video interfaces and connectors

Audio connectors and video connectors are electrical or optical connectors for carrying audio and video signals. Audio interfaces and video interfaces define physical parameters and interpretation of signals. For digital audio and digital video, this can be thought of as defining the physical layer, data link layer, and most or all of the application layer. For analog audio and analog video these functions are all represented in a single signal specification like NTSC or the direct speaker-driving signal of analog audio. Physical characteristics of the electrical or optical equipment includes the types and numbers of wires required, voltages, frequencies, optical intensity, and the physical design of the connectors. Any data link layer details define how application data is encapsulated (for example for synchronization or error-correction). Application layer details define the actual audio or video format being transmitted, often incorporating a codecs not specific to the interface, such as PCM, MPEG-2, or the DTS Coherent Acoustics codec. In some cases, the application layer is left open; for example, HDMI contains an Ethernet channel for general data transmission.

Some types of connectors are used by multiple hardware interfaces; for example, RCA connectors are defined both by the composite video and component video interfaces, but DVI is the only interface that uses the DVI connector. This means that in some cases not all components with physically compatible connectors will actually work together.

Some of these connectors, and other types of connectors, are also used at radio frequency (RF) to connect a radio or television receiver to an antenna or to a cable system; RF connector applications are not further described here. Analog A/V connectors often use shielded cables to inhibit radio frequency interference (RFI) and noise.

For efficiency and simplicity, the same codec or signal convention is used by the storage medium. For example, VHS tapes can store a magnetic representation of an NTSC signal, and the specification for Blu-ray Discs incorporates PCM, MPEG-2, and DTS. Some playback devices can re-encode audio or video so that the format used for storage does not have to be the same as the format transmitted over the A/V interface (which is helpful if a projector or monitor cannot handle a newer codec).

Boxee Box

Boxee Box by D-Link (officially "D-Link Boxee Box DSM-380") is a Linux-based set-top device and media extender that first began shipping in 33 countries worldwide on 10 November 2010. Designed to easily bring Internet television and other video to the television via Boxee's software, it comes pre-installed with Boxee media center software. The hardware is based on the Intel CE4110 system-on-a-chip platform (that has a 1.2 GHz Intel Atom CPU with a PowerVR SGX535 integrated graphics processor), 1 GB of RAM, and 1 GB of NAND Flash Memory. The DM-380 features an HDMI port (version 1.3), optical digital audio (S/PDIF) out, an RCA connector for analog stereo audio, two USB ports, an SD card slot, wired 100 Mbit/s (100BASE-T) ethernet, and built-in 2.4 GHz 802.11n WiFi. The Live TV dongle, which started shipping in February 2012, enables users to watch digital OTA or Clear QAM cable television channels with EPG.

The Boxee Box also ships with a small two-sided RF remote control with four-way D-pad navigation and a full QWERTY keypad as standard. This remote is also being sold separately with a USB receiver as "D-Link Boxee Box Remote DSM-22" that can be used with Boxee installed on a computer (so that one can use this remote without owning D-Link's Boxee Box). The look of both the case and remote prototypes for the Boxee Box was designed by San Francisco-based Astro Studios, the designer of the Xbox 360 and Microsoft Zune.As of 16 October 2012, the Boxee team have announced that they intend to discontinue distribution, and will not be releasing any additional major updates.

Differential Manchester encoding

Differential Manchester Encoding (DM) is a line code in which data and clock signals are combined to form a single 2-level self-synchronizing data stream. In various specific applications, this line code is also called by various other names, including Biphase Mark Code (CC), Frequency Modulation (FM), F2F (frequency/double frequency), Aiken Biphase, and Conditioned diphase.

DM is a differential encoding, using the presence or absence of transitions to indicate logical value. It is not necessary to know the polarity of the sent signal since the information is not represented by the absolute voltage levels but in their changes: in other words it does not matter which of the two voltage levels is received, but only whether it is the same or different from the previous one; this makes synchronization easier.

Differential Manchester encoding has the following advantages over some other line codes:

A transition is guaranteed at least once every bit, for robust clock recovery.

In a noisy environment, detecting transitions is less error-prone than comparing signal levels against a threshold.

Unlike with Manchester encoding, only the presence of a transition is important, not the polarity. Differential coding schemes will work exactly the same if the signal is inverted (e.g. wires swapped). Other line codes with this property include NRZI, bipolar encoding, coded mark inversion, and MLT-3 encoding.

If the high and low signal levels have the same magnitude with opposite polarity, the average voltage around each unconditional transition is zero. Zero DC bias reduces the necessary transmitting power, minimizes the amount of electromagnetic noise produced by the transmission line, and eases the use of isolating transformers.

These positive features are achieved at the expense of doubling the bandwidth—there are two clock ticks per bit period (marked with full and dotted lines in the figure). At every second clock tick, marked with a dotted line, there is a potential level transition conditional on the data. At the other ticks, the line state changes unconditionally to ease clock recovery. One version of the code makes a transition for 0 and no transition for 1; the other makes a transition for 1 and no transition for 0.

Differential Manchester is specified in the IEEE 802.5 standard for token ring LANs, and is used for many other applications, including magnetic and optical storage. As Biphase Mark Code (BMC), it is used in AES3, S/PDIF, SMPTE time code, and USB PD. Many magnetic stripe cards also use BMC encoding, often called F2F (frequency/double frequency) or Aiken Biphase, according to the ISO/IEC 7811 standard. Differential Manchester is also the original "frequency modulation" (FM) used on "single-density" floppy disks, followed by "double-density" modified frequency modulation (MFM), which gets its name from its relation to FM, or Differential Manchester, encoding.

Digital Audio Stationary Head

The Digital Audio Stationary Head or DASH standard is a reel-to-reel, digital audio tape format introduced by Sony in early 1982 for high-quality multitrack studio recording and mastering, as an alternative to analog recording methods. DASH is capable of recording two channels of audio on a quarter-inch tape, and 24 or 48 tracks on 1⁄2-inch-wide (13 mm) tape on open reels of up to 14 inches. The data is recorded on the tape linearly, with a stationary recording head, as opposed to the DAT format, where data is recorded helically with a rotating head, in the same manner as a VCR. The audio data is encoded as linear PCM and boasts strong cyclic redundancy check (CRC) error correction, allowing the tape to be physically edited with a razor blade as analog tape would, e.g. by cutting and splicing, and played back with no loss of signal. In a two-track DASH recorder, the digital data is recorded onto the tape across nine data tracks: eight for the digital audio data and one for the CRC data; there is also provision for two linear analog cue tracks and one additional linear analog track dedicated to recording time code.

The main advantage of any digital recording medium is that of consistent reproduction, which is why some of the first uses of digital recording were for instrumentation data and classical music. For audio, uncolored reproduction is not necessarily always desired, and the uneven reproduction equalization of analog recorders or the ability to record at levels above 0 dB (to produce desirable distortion) is often exploited advantageously, such as the "fat" sound of a kick drum on analog tape. DASH recorders included a specialized circuit called "Emphasis" which was intended to help overcome the noise of analog to digital and digital to analog converters of the time by boosting high frequencies on the front end. This circuit required de-emphasis on playback after the DAC as well for accurate reproduction. While emphasis was almost a necessity in earlier units, the circuit, of course, had a sound of its own and was used less and less as converter design improved.

There were three families of DASH recorders produced by Sony and Studer, with few differences among them:

2 track: PCM-3402, PCM-3202, Studer D820x

24 track: PCM-3324, PCM-3324A, PCM-3324S

48 track: PCM-3348, PCM-3348HR, and the Studer D820 and D827

TASCAM also produced a 24-track DASH recorder, the DA-800/24.With the exception of the Sony PCM-3348HR and Studer D827, all of the DASH recorders have 16-bit resolution with a 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz sampling rate, although it is possible to use an outboard analog-to-digital converter of up to 20-bit resolution. The PCM-3348HR and D827 are capable of 24-bit 48 kHz operation at 45 ips, and are the only machines that still find significant use today, often in only the highest-end studios for music and film production. All DASH recorders primarily use the SDIF-2 (Sony Digital Interface Format-2) as a digital interface, which is slightly different than the S/PDIF / AES-EBU that nearly all other digital audio recorders use, but is technically superior because SDIF-2's word clock is not multiplexed into the bitstream.

Because SDIF-2 is often only found on the expensive DASH recorders, it is also often only found on the highest-end mixing consoles, such as those made by Solid State Logic.

Dolby Digital Plus

Dolby Digital Plus, also known as Enhanced AC-3 (and commonly abbreviated as DD+ or E-AC-3, or EC-3) is a digital audio compression scheme developed by Dolby Labs for transport and storage of multi-channel digital audio. It is a successor to Dolby Digital (AC-3), also developed by Dolby, and has a number of improvements including support for a wider range of data rates (32 Kbit/s to 6144 Kbit/s), increased channel count and multi-program support (via substreams), and additional tools (algorithms) for representing compressed data and counteracting artifacts. While Dolby Digital (AC-3) supports up to five full-bandwidth audio channels at a maximum bitrate of 640 Kbit/s, E-AC-3 supports up to 15 full-bandwidth audio channels at a maximum bitrate of 6.144 Mbit/s.

The full set of technical specifications for E-AC-3 (and AC-3) are standardized and published in Annex E of ATSC A/52:2012, as well as Annex E of ETSI TS 102 366 V1.2.1 (2008–08), published by the Advanced Television Systems Committee.

Electronic Industries Association of Japan

Founded in 1948, the Electronic Industries Association of Japan (EIAJ) was one of two Japanese electronics trade organizations that were merged into the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA).

Prior to the merger, EIAJ created a number of electronics industry standards that have had some use outside Japan, including:

The EIAJ connectors used for DC power (EIAJ RC-5320A, EIAJ RC-5321, and EIAJ RC-5322

The D-Terminal connector (RC-5237), used instead of three RCA plugs for component video connections.

The TOSLINK (EIAJ Optical, RC-5720C) optical S/PDIF audio connector.

The EIAJ-1 videotape format, the first standardized format for industrial/non-broadcast video tape recording, released in 1969.Another standard is the multi-channel TV sound system used with the NTSC-J analog TV system. It is often referred to simply as EIAJ, or sometimes as FM-FM audio.


The fit-PC is a small, light, fan-less nettop computer manufactured by the Israeli company CompuLab.

Many fit-PC models are available. fit-PC 1.0 was introduced in July 2007, fit-PC Slim was introduced in September 2008, fit-PC 2 was introduced in May 2009, fit-PC 3 was introduced in early 2012, and fit-PC 4 was introduced spring 2014. The device is power-efficient (fit-PC 1 was about 5 W) and therefore considered to be a green computing project, capable of using open source software and creating minimal electronic waste.

IEC 60958

IEC 60958 (formerly IEC 958) is the International Electrotechnical Commission's standard on digital audio interfaces. It consists of several parts:

IEC 60958-1: General

IEC 60958-2: Software Information Delivery Mode

IEC 60958-3: Consumer applications

IEC 60958-4: Professional applications


I²S (Inter-IC Sound), pronounced eye-squared-ess, is an electrical serial bus interface standard used for connecting digital audio devices together. It is used to communicate PCM audio data between integrated circuits in an electronic device. The I²S bus separates clock and serial data signals, resulting in simpler receivers than those required for asynchronous communications systems that need to recover the clock from the data stream. Alternatively I²S is spelled I2S (pronounced eye-two-ess) or IIS (pronounced eye-eye-ess). Despite the similar name, I²S is unrelated to the bidirectional I²C (IIC) bus.


McASP is an acronym for Multichannel Audio Serial Port, a communication peripheral found in Texas Instruments family of digital signal processors (DSPs) and Microcontroller Units (MCUs).

The McASP functions as a general-purpose audio serial port optimized for the needs of multichannel audio applications.

Depending on the implementation, the McASP may be useful for time-division multiplexed (TDM) stream, Inter-Integrated Sound (I2S) protocols, and intercomponent digital audio interface transmission (DIT). However, some implementations are limited to supporting just the Inter-Integrated Sound (I2S) protocol.

The McASP consists of transmit and receive sections that may operate synchronized,

or completely independently with separate master clocks, bit clocks, and frame syncs,

and using different transmit modes with different bit-stream formats. The McASP

module also includes up to 16 serializers that can be individually enabled to either

transmit or receive. In addition, all of the McASP pins can be configured as

general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins.

Novation X-Station

The Novation X-Station is a virtual analog synthesizer, audio interface and MIDI controller that was released in early 2004, and made by the British company Novation. It is the end-result of adding an audio interface, a KS-class synthesizer and an effects section to the company's ReMOTE controllers. The product was sold for a short time under the name ReMOTE Audio, before being re-branded as the X-Station. Functionally there are no differences between the two, apart from the software, that can be updated through a USB connection, at [1]. It came in three variants : 25, 49 and 61 keys (2,4 and 5 octaves, respectively).

The Novation X-Station uses a unique process that manipulates algorithms, called "Liquid Analogue Sound Modelling" a technique that mimics the subtle distortions introduced at the filter stage by analog synthesis, originally developed by Novation for their classic synth, the Supernova. You could call the synthesizer of the X-Station "Supernova Light".

The audio interface is 24 bits, with 2 phantom powered XLR/Jack inputs, and S/PDIF out. It also has an assignable 'Xpression' pad and spring-loaded X/Y joystick. The X-Station can be powered by USB, rechargeable batteries, or power adaptor.

The Novation X-Station was discontinued May, 2009.

Power Mac G5

The Power Mac G5 is a series of personal computers designed, manufactured, and sold by Apple Computer, Inc. from 2003 to 2006 as part of the Power Mac series. When introduced, it was the most powerful computer in Apple's Macintosh lineup, and was marketed by the company as the world's first 64-bit desktop computer. It was also the first desktop computer from Apple to use an anodized aluminum alloy enclosure, and one of only three computers in Apple’s lineup to utilize the PowerPC 970 CPU, the others being the iMac G5 and the Xserve G5.

Three generations of Power Mac G5 were released before it was discontinued as part of Apple's transition to Intel processors, making way for its replacement, the Mac Pro. The Mac Pro retained the G5's enclosure design for seven more years, making it among the longest-lived designs in Apple's history.

RCA connector

An RCA connector, sometimes called a phono connector or (in other languages) Cinch connector, is a type of electrical connector commonly used to carry audio and video signals. The name RCA derives from the Radio Corporation of America, which introduced the design by the early 1940s for internal connection of the pickup to the chassis in home radio-phonograph consoles. It was originally a low-cost, simple design, intended only for mating and disconnection when servicing the console. Refinement came with later designs, although they remained compatible.

RCA connectors began to replace the older quarter-inch phone connectors for many other applications in the consumer audio world when component high-fidelity systems started becoming popular in the 1950s. However, quarter-inch phone connectors are still common in professional audio, while miniature phone connectors (3.5 mm) predominated in personal stereo systems.

The connection's plug is called an RCA plug or phono plug, for "phonograph." The name "phono plug" is sometimes confused with a "phone plug" which may refer to a quarter-inch "phone plug" – Tip/Sleeve (TS) or Tip/Ring/Sleeve (TRS) connector – or to a 4P4C connector used for a telephone (which is often, though incorrectly, called "RJ9", "RJ10", or "RJ22").


TOSLINK (from Toshiba Link) is a standardized optical fiber connector system. Also known generically as an "optical audio cable" or just "optical cable", its most common use is in consumer audio equipment (via a "digital optical" socket), where it carries a digital audio stream from components such as CD and DVD players, DAT recorders, computers, and modern video game consoles, to an AV receiver that can decode two channels of uncompressed lossless PCM audio or compressed 5.1/7.1 surround sound such as Dolby Digital or DTS Surround System. Unlike HDMI, TOSLINK does not have the bandwidth to carry the lossless versions of Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, or more than two channels of PCM audio.

Although TOSLINK supports several different media formats and physical standards, digital audio connections using the rectangular EIAJ/JEITA RC-5720 (also CP-1201 and JIS C5974-1993 F05) connector are by far the most common. The optical signal is a red light with a peak wavelength of 650 nm. Depending on the type of modulated signal being carried, other optical wavelengths may be present.


TonePort is a line of USB audio interfaces from Line 6 which extended the earlier GuitarPort interface. The TonePort line was eventually replaced, except for the UX8 model, by the POD Studio line. The TonePort line included the following models:

GX - features: 1/4" instrument input, 1/8" line out/phones, USB output.

UX1 - features: 1/4" instrument input, XLR microphone input, 1/4" (left and right) line inputs, 1/4" monitor input, 1/4" (left and right) analog outputs, USB output.

UX2 - features: 1/4" instrument input, 1/4" padded (-10db) instrument input, 2 XLR microphone inputs, 1/4" (left and right) line inputs, 1/4" monitor input, 1/4" (left and right) analog outputs, S/PDIF output, two VU meters, USB output.

KB37 - same audio interface features as the UX2, plus a 37-note velocity sensitive MIDI keyboard controller.

UX8 - 8 XLR inputs, 8¼" line inputs, two 1/4-inch front panel instrument inputs, eight 1/4" outputs, two 1/4" stereo headphone jacks, stereo RCA S/PDIF input and output, two VU meters, USB outputAll TonePort models included GearBox, a software package for creating and managing amplifier, speaker cabinet, effect, and microphone pre-amp models. All versions except the GX and the UX8 shipped with Ableton Live Lite recording software and Sonoma Wire Works RiffWorks Line6 Edition recording software.

In October 2008, Line6 dropped the TonePort name, except for the KB37 and UX8 models, and renamed the GX, UX1, and UX2 models "POD Studio." In January 2009, the KB37 model was also rebranded, the UX8 being the only model still using the TonePort brand.

Line6 introduced a new software package for the POD Studio line, called POD Farm, which replicates most of the function of GearBox but with a different user interface (both GearBox and POD Farm work with all TonePort and POD Studio models).

Word clock

A word clock or wordclock (sometimes sample clock, which can have a broader meaning) is a clock signal used to synchronise other devices, such as digital audio tape machines and compact disc players, which interconnect via digital audio signals. Word clock is so named because it clocks each audio sample. Samples are represented in data words.

S/PDIF, AES/EBU, ADAT, and TDIF are some of the formats that use a word clock. Various audio over Ethernet systems use communication protocols to distribute word clock. The device which generates the word clock is the only master clock source for all the slave audio devices.

Yamaha MO

The Yamaha MO6/MO8 is a music production synthesizer that comes in two sizes. The MO6 is the 61-key while the MO8 is the 88 weighted key version. The two versions use Yamaha's AWM2 (Advanced Wave Memory 2) tone generator also used in the Motif and the Motif ES series of synths and comes with 175MB of waveform memory, 64 voices of polyphony (124 Max in sequencer), 512 preset programs with 256 User voice and 129 GM voice, over 1700 arpeggio programs, and over 18 different filter types navigated through the 240x64 LCD display.

The MO-series keyboards have been discontinued by Yamaha, and were replaced by the MoX series. Currently, the MoX series has also been superseded by the MoXF-series, whose sound engine is derived from the company's fifth-generation Motif XF series. The units are designed to be integrated with a PC running Steinberg's Cubase, since that company is partly owned by Yamaha.


The Yamaha MO6/MO8's sounds are based on the Yamaha Motif ES sound set and includes pianos, electric pianos, organs, guitars, strings, pads, percussion and special effects.

Other Features

Among other features, the MO6/MO8 comes with 4 knobs and 4 data sliders designed for real time control of the sound. The MO6/MO8 effects processor has 190 effects including 116 insertion effects. The MO6/MO8 also has scene capture mode, remote mode, S/PDIF 24 bit 44.1 kHz digital outs and two USB ports.

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