There is no difference between Path 1 and Path 2. The ADA-8XR allows the user complete flexibility to configure each path to suit a particular setup, whether that be A to D, D to A or D to D format conversion.

Find a more detailed description of the ADA-8XR path structure in the Operation Manual, chapter 4 “Philosophy of Operation”. The manual is available from the Downloads page.

Software FAQ

There are three way that you can connect ADA-8XR to Pro Tools:

  1. Use a Pro Tools HD module to connect to a Pro Tools HD system.
  2. Use a Pro Tools MIX module to connect to a Pro Tools MIX system.
  3. Use a FireWire module to Pro Tools 9 software*.

*For Windows 7, please ensure that you have installed the latest drivers

It is possible to use any available output of a FireWire Core Audio interface from within macOS. For example, if you wanted to play iTunes out from the Orpheus S/PDIF outputs, you would do this:

  • Connect Orpheus and go into Audio MIDI Setup (AMS) in macOS
  • Select ‘Properties For: Orpheus’
  • Go into ‘Configure Speakers’. You should have a list of all the available outputs of Orpheus listed.
    • Check the box next to SPDIF (outputs 9-10)
    • Below this list is the speaker configuration, make sure you have stereo selected
    • beneath each speaker you will be able to select the output depending on which outputs you checked in the above list. Select S9 for the left speaker and S10 for the right speaker.

After making changes of this kind, you may find that you need to re-start your audio applications in order for the changes to take effect.


WDM drivers still connect to channels pairs individually. The ASIO driver will automatically combine all audio channels into a single interface. You may need to re-start your DAW in order to detect the additional channels.


You need to ensure that all units are running at the desired sample rate using CSP sync before daisy-chaining them:

  1. Connect a single interface to your Mac and ensure that power is connected. Wait until it appears on the control panel.
  2. Ensure that it has the latest firmware installed
  3. Set the sync source to CSP (using control panel) and set the sample rate. Save all settings by putting Orpheus into standby, then back to normal.
  4. Disconnect the FireWire cable but keep your interface powered. Wait for control panel to go blank.
  5. Repeat above steps for every additional interface.
  6. Daisy-chain all of the units together. The first interface should be connected to your Mac, the second connected to the first one, and so on.
  7. If devices fall off the FireWire bus during the final step, disconnect power from all units, reboot your Mac and begin again from the top.

In order to see channels from all interfaces in your DAW, you will need to create an aggregate device.

Note that you need to set all units to the same sample rate otherwise some channels will not be available. Use the Orpheus control panel to change sample rate for all units, or use the aggregate device sample rate (which can be set from your DAW).

Please also note that your interfaces must be used as the clock master because CSP sync is required. If you have external digital devices, you must synchronise them from wordclock or digital outputs.

It is not recommended to use FireWire interfaces with multiple Core Audio applications unless you are running Snow Leopard (macOS 10.6).

Prior to Snow Leopard, macOS has a bug that results in audio degradation when a class-compliant FireWire audio device is connected to two or more Core Audio clients at the same time. For example, you could experience drop-outs in Logic Pro if iTunes is also being used in the background.

We recommend that you only connect to a single Core Audio application at a time. Please also ensure that Orpheus/ADA-8 is not your default recording or playback device in order to prevent accidental connection.

Apple have confirmed that this bug is fixed in Snow Leopard.

Yes. However, early versions of Logic Pro 8 had issues with FireWire audio interfaces. These issues were resolved in Logic Pro 8.0.2.

We recommend using Software Update to ensure that you always have the latest Logic patches. For more information, please refer to the troubleshooting guides: Logic Pro 7 and Logic Pro 8 & 9.

Orpheus and ADA-8 can be used with any DAW or application that supports ASIO or WDM drivers (Windows), or Core Audio (Mac OS X).

Ensure that the FireWire card is being detected by the ADA-8/ADA-8XR hardware by using the “Interrogate Modules” option in the ADA-8/ADA-8XR’s menu.

Next, ensure that the Source and Destination of both paths is set to the relevant slot which houses the FireWire card. If in doubt, re-load the factory FireWire store.

Finally, check that your operating system is suitable and that your FireWire ports are functioning correctly. Windows users may have to re-install the FireWire drivers when adding a new FireWire card.

If you still have problems, please contact

The FireWire I/O Module type PREV039/10/1 can be used with both Apple Mac and PC.


  • macOS 10.4.11 to macOS 12.6.
  • In macOS 13 Ventura, Apple removed support for Core Audio over firewire so the Orpheus and a multitude of other firewire devices will no longer work.
  • You will need to download & install the FireWire module control panel for Mac in order to select sync sources correctly.


As with any software, it is advisable to create a system back-up prior to installation and to back-up your data regularly.

Hardware FAQ

Yes, S800 is fully compatible with S400.

However, the connectors are different. You will need to use a bilingual, 9-pin to 6-pin IEEE-1394 firewire cable.

The Firewire 400 (IEEE 1394-1995) standard specifies a maximum cable length of 4.5m.

It is possible to extend this range by using active repeater cables, or to extend it to many hundreds of metres by using fibre-optic extenders.

Additional FireWire buses can be added to with FireWire expansion cards.

We recommend that you use cards that have an OHCI compliant Texas Instruments chipset.

Cards with S800 ports are not recommended because there are technical difficulties in manufacture that may cause them to be more unreliable than S400 cards. In any case, S800 cards are more expensive and provide more bandwidth than necessary for Orpheus.

The amount of delay required varies depending on the sample rate.

ADA-8 and ADA-8XR Pro Tools HD – Hardware insert delay

Pro Tools HD allows users to specify the latency of outboard hardware (such as effects devices) in the H/W Insert Delay page of the I/O Setup dialogue. You can enter hardware insert latency, in milliseconds, in a field that corresponds to every input/output pair. These times will be used by the Delay Compensation Engine to time align input paths when a hardware insert is used.

To set an insert delay offset: Enter a value, in milliseconds, in the field corresponding with the input where the hardware insert is connected.

NOTE: Insert delay offsets only have an effect when the I/O is used for hardware inserts.

The following table show the delay compensation that can be applied in the Hardware Insert Delay feature of Pro Tools HD when using the Prism Sound ADA-8 and Prism Sound ADA-8XR multi-channel converters:

Sample RateADA-8 DelayADA-8XR Delay
44.1 kHz2.6 ms1.95 ms
48 kHz2.41 ms1.79 ms
88.2 kHz1.3 ms0.98 ms
96 kHz1.26 ms0.9 ms
176.4 kHz0.49 ms
192 kHz0.45 ms

The pin-out for the Null-modem cable supplied by Prism Sound for use upgrading the software of the ADA-8 and other equipment is as follows.

DB-9 Socket DB-9 Socket
1 and 6 To 4
3 To 2
2 To 3
4 To 1 and 6
5 To 5
7 To 8
8 To 7

However, if you are building a cable yourself, you only need to connect to the following:

DB-9 Socket DB-9 Socket
3 To 2
2 To 3
5 To 5

ADA-8 AES cable pin-out

Dsub pin (25w male)Tentacle coreTentacle identXLR type, pin
1 A ” 1/2 ” XLR1 (F) pin 2
14 B XLR1 (F) pin 3
2 Screen XLR1 (F) pin 1
15 A ” 3/4 ” XLR2 (F) pin 2
3 B XLR2 (F) pin 3
16 Screen XLR2 (F) pin 1
4 A ” 5/6″ XLR3 (F) pin 2
17 B XLR3 (F) pin 3
5 Screen XLR3 (F) pin 1
18 A ” 7/8 ” XLR4 (F) pin 2
6 B XLR4 (F) pin 3
19 Screen XLR4 (F) pin 1
7 A ” 1/2 ” XLR5 (M) pin 2
20 B XLR5 (M) pin 3
8 Screen XLR5 (M) pin 1
21 A ” 3/4″ XLR6 (M) pin 2
9 B XLR6 (M) pin 3
22 Screen XLR6 (M) pin 1
10 A ” 5/6 ” XLR7 (M) pin 2
23 B XLR7 (M) pin 3
11 Screen XLR7 (M) pin 1
24 A ” 7/8 ” XLR8 (M) pin 2
12 B XLR8 (M) pin 3
25 Screen XLR8 (M) pin 1
13 (no connection)

The ADA-8XR can be upgraded from a PC using the serial port. A standard “null modem” serial cable is required.

First, obtain the latest release of the appropriate firmware from the downloads page, noting that the ADA-8 and ADA-8XR do NOT use the same firmware. This is in the form of a zip file which should be downloaded and the contents extracted.

The zip file contains two main files “mapload.exe” and “ADA8VXXX.dld” which must be extracted to the same folder. mapload.exe is a DOS program for loading firmware and ADA8VXXX.dld is the firmware file that it loads. Here the XXX represents the version number of the firmware. DO NOT use any other copy of “mapload.exe” other than the one provided with the download, other versions may be incompatible.

Ensure the ADA-8 is un-powered from the mains (i.e. NOT just in standby mode–the standby light should be OFF). This can be achieved by switching off the power using the switch on the rear panel above the mains inlet.

Connect an RS-232 serial null modem cable (9-way female to 9-way female) between the COM1 serial port of the PC and the COM port of the ADA-8. This is a standard serial cable designed for connection between two PCs, the pin-out for which can be found here.

Get a DOS command line by either going to the start menu, selecting “run…” and typing “cmd” in the box, or by going to Start Menu -> All Programs -> Accessories and selecting “Command Prompt”. This opens a DOS window with a prompt something like:

c:\documents and settings>

Change the path to point to the directory containing the aforementioned files by typing:

CD c:\full path to files

replacing the words “full path to files” with the path to the folder where you extracted the files previously. The prompt should now change to the full path you just entered:

c:\full path to files>

You are now ready to run the installer program “mapload”. Do this by typing:

mapload ada8vXXX.dld -1

changing the XXX to the version number in the actual file name you have downloaded. The -1 at the end of this command indicates the COM port to which the ADA-8 is connected. You can upload firmware from an alternative COM port by specifying it here.

The program will run, and you will see that it is attempting to connect to the ADA-8.

Read this next sentence completely before proceeding: power up the ADA-8 from the mains inlet while holding down the standby button on the front panel and keep the button depressed until the standby light illuminates. Release the standby button.

The program should now connect and the PC should now display:

MAP1 Download…

…followed by a line of hex characters for every 2Kbytes of firmware transferred.

If this does not happen for any reason, power down the ADA-8, close the DOS window where the command was entered and start again.

A successful download takes less than a minute. When the download has completed, the ADA-8 will come out of standby with the new firmware loaded. At this point the serial cable may be disconnected and the ADA-8 may be used normally.

It is advisable to reload the factory default stores when upgrading the firmware, especially if it is required for use with the new DSD I/O module. This can be achieved by the following procedure:

1) On the ADA-8, Go to the ‘Reload Factory Defaults/Stores?’ menu. This is at the end of the ‘Preferences’ section.

2) Press ‘Enter/Accept’, followed by the menu DOWN key.

3) The display should now read ‘Reload Factory Stores? [Enter]’, press ‘Enter/Accept’.

4) Confirm by pressing the RIGHT select key, followed by ‘Enter/Accept’.

There are four banks of stores with six stores in each bank giving a total of twenty four. The factory default stores pre-loaded into your ADA-8XR will depend on the plug-in boards fitted.

Find a more detailed description of the ADA-8XR configuration stores in the Operation Manual, section 4.5 “Configuration / Stores”. The manual is available from the downloads page.

These are menu short-cut buttons that enable the user to cycle through and change only the options available inside the box connected to each blue button.

Find a more detailed description of the ADA-8XR short-cut buttons in the Operation Manual, section 2.2 “configuring the ADA-8XR”. The manual is available from the ADA-8XR downloads page.

Different formats can be accommodated by the ADA-8XR using plug-in modules.

Digital formats supported by the ADA-8XR

The table below lists the ADA-8XR Digital I/O Modules available. For more information on these cards, please see the ADA-8XR Modules page.

AES3 (AES/EBU)8C-AES (includes breakout cable)
Digidesign Pro-Tools™ Mix8C-PT
Digidesign Pro-Tools™ HD8C-PTHD
Digidesign Pro-Tools™ HDX8C-AES (includes breakout cable)
Sony™ DSD8C-DSD (includes breakout cable)
Sony™ SuperMAC™ DSD8C-MDSD (includes breakout cable)
IEEE 1394 FireWire®8C-FW

Troubleshooting FAQ

Your CPU needs a certain amount of time to process audio samples. We recommend that you optimise your computer for audio processing and disable any unnecessary applications.

For more information, please read the guide to “Optimizing your Windows PC for audio”.

S800 ports suffer a performance decrease after installing SP2. This issue is known to affect XP running under Boot Camp on Apple hardware.

You can resolve this by applying Microsoft Hotfix KB885222

If you upgrade to Service Pack 3 after installing Hotfix KB855222, you may also need to apply Microsoft Hotfix KB955408