Connecting IO optical or SPDIF to external jacks/xlr?


Hi folks,

I’m a bit confused, can you help me out?
I have not enough in and outputs on my Motu soundcard, although it can offer up to 16 channels via SPDIF or optical.
Can you guys give me some advice how I can use those in/outputs on stage?
Are there any cables available? Because I don’t find any at my store.



could you please tell which soundcard you are using?

What you describe sounds a bit strange as S/PDIF only provides 2 channels for each output (true for optical and coach outs). This would mean 8 optical & 8 coax outs on your soundcard(?).

My guess: in some cases the same optical out can be parametrized to behave as ADAT out. In this case up to 8 channels are possible. If your soundcard has two if them available up to 16 channels would be possible. If this is what you are talking about you‘d need an ADAT to audio converter. F.e. you could use a behringer ADA8200 if you‘re on budget (<200€). This converter makes available 8 additionally I/Os.

But as stated above: only a guess. With additional information I can probably be of better help.

Regards, humphrey


Yes, that’s my setup with my RME Babyface (Mark I) in my “big” setup. With the ADA8200, I get 8 direct ouptuts in addition to the Babyface stereo. Additional Latency of the ADA is neglegible.

What you need is a simple optical connector like this one here:

As long as you only want outputs, you’ll only need one. Make sure your sound card is set as sync master and the ADA as sync slave, then everything should run nicely.




Just to be sure: check that your interface can run ADAT through its TOSLINK ports (that’s the nice square optical ones). e.g. the UltraLite can only use its optical ports for S/PDIF, whilst the Traveler and the 896 provide ADAT connectivity.

Which one is yours?




I have the motu mk3 now but I’m upgrading to mk4.
So I should buy something like this one…


Yep, it has ADAT ports and yes: an ADA8200 (or similar) & 2 TOSLINK cables should do the trick.

Regards, humphrey


Thx guys, I’ve learned something new :slight_smile: