Topic: Integrating UFX+ with A&H SQ via MADI

I have just ordered an Allen & Heath SQ5 digital mixer along with the fairly new MADI option card (cf. I want to use it as my main live mixing console.

Besides that, I have an UFX+ connected via TB to an Intel NUC, both being housed in a shallow rack.

Now I plan to integrate the SQ with the UFX+ via MADI to do the following:

1) Route up to 8 input signals (e.g., from Vox Mics) from the SQ to the UFX+ and back to the SQ so that I can do some VST plugin processing in the NUC while still keeping the redundant/original signal in the mixer in case the PC goes down. I don't want to use a direct USB connection from the SQ to the NUC because I have experienced some outages and latency issues in the past - no serious solution for live use IMHO.

2) Route up to 8 multi channel playback tracks from the NUC (Ableton) to the SQ5.

Unfortunately I have no experience with MADI and especially Wordclock yet, but I like the idea of keeping all signals digital between input AD and output DA. My questions are:

- What is the correct way of connecting the UFX+ with the SQ MADI card for Audio? I suppose I should use BNC 75 Ohm cables as this is natively supported by both.
- How to handle Word Clock? Should UFX+ be the WC Master or the SQ?
- Also regarding WC: the SQ MADI card has a separate BNC connector for WC In/Out while the UFX+ sends WC via the MADI out BNC. Connection-wise, assuming the UFX+ be the WC Master, do I need some kind of T-adaptor on the SQ side to route the signal both to the MADI in and the WC in socket of the SQ card?

I've already scanned the manual and the forum but couldn't find a proper answer to my question. If anyone of you can help, it would be awesome.

Thanks in advance!

Re: Integrating UFX+ with A&H SQ via MADI

Hi There,

I use RME units in a similar way with Digico desks.

Connect your A&H Madi out to UFX+ Madi in, connect UFX+ Madi out to A&H Madi in. Use good quality 75 ohm BNC Cable

Set your UFX+ to use incoming MADI to sync lock. This will lock it to the incoming MADI for sync. There is no separate connector for word clock when the madi port is in use. You don’t need to worry about word clock as long as the A&H is set to master and the RME is locked to the incoming MADI

Also good idea to measure latency of your plugin host, I use Live Professor with Mac software and try and keep the buffer relatively low at around 128 to achieve lower latency. You can get down to around 4ms. Anything much more than 10ms is noticeable. Especially if you are using In-Ear Monitors with acts.

3 (edited by generalversatility 2022-01-05 13:21:52)

Re: Integrating UFX+ with A&H SQ via MADI


Meanwhile, I've also posted in the SQ forum and got a similar answer there. It seems that I've completely missed the part of the SQ MADI card documentation where it says that it can sync the clock from the MADI input stream as well and doesn't require anything connected to the dedicated WC In.

Latency is a different story, but I am pretty sure I can handle it. My current setup is that I use the UFX+ as stage mixer ONLY, connected via TB with my NUC for plugin processing. I found out that it doesn't really matter if I use Ableton, GigPerformer or LiveProfessor (although I experienced most crashes and bugs in LiveProfessor, tbh, which is why I don't use it anymore). I can go down to 64 samples without cracks, depending on the amount of plugins I use. Mainly choosing close-to-zero latency plugins, e.g. most of the Waves stuff, is crucial here because we use the completely processed signals on our IEMs. Adding the SQ in the chain will simply account for the input redundancy, desk-type physical knobs and fades, and for more advanced mix/output processing (GEQ, RTA, different compressor types, ...) required for live performances.

Re: Integrating UFX+ with A&H SQ via MADI

I would choose the A&H to be the master clock and sync the RME unit from that on the incoming MADI in this situation. Then if any problems with the RME or plugins the desk won't have any clock issues