RME has announced that as from today all products sold though official UK partners will come complete with 5 year warranties.
Here in Scan we’ve considered RME the benchmark in audio card performance that all others should meet for many years now. So whilst they certainly fall under the banner of “reassuringly expensive”, in every benchmark we’ve ever run them against they’ve proved that you really do get what you pay for.
So to go along with those rock solid drivers and great build quality, they’ve now upgraded the standard warranty to a total of 5 years… not that we suspect you’ll ever need it. It’s just more added value and a further great reason to invest in what is already one of the best all round packages on the market.
It’s also remembering that here at Scan we’re not only authorized RME dealers, but also RME Experts and approved system solution providers meaning that whatever your RME needs we have the knowledge and ability to tailor a package that’s right for you.
To claim your extended 5 year warranty on any new RME interface, simply head over to their support pages @ http://synthax.co.uk/support and fill in your details to register your hardware.
The RME Advanced Remote Control (ARC) is a programable remote control designed to be used with either the RME Fireface UFX or the RME Fireface UCX.
Whilst the inital batches of UCX shipped with a cut down version of this unit, the are plans afoot for future units to ship minus a remote and at a lower price, with the option for the end user to upgrade functionality by purchasing the new remote unit should they require it.
So what does this remote offer? Over to RME for the answers:
RME Advanced Remote ControlOverview:
The wired RME Advanced Remote Control (ARC) has been designed for direct access to the most frequently used actions and commands required in a studio’s daily work. Its extremely flexible configuration through TotalMix FX will simplify the workflow and greatly increase the usability of the RME interface in any real world situation.
* The RME Advanced Remote Control (ARC) can be used with all Fireface UCX. It can also be used with all Fireface UFX with a serial number 23241707 (built after June 2011) or higher. Upcoming interfaces that feature an Advanced Remote Control connector will also be compatible. Users that own a RME Fireface UFX with a serial number below 23241707 have to send their UFX to their distributor as it requires a hardware modification to be fully compatible to the Advanced Remote Control. This modification is not free of charge.
The ARC consists of a solid metal case with a main encoder dial, 2 push buttons and 6 LED-equipped buttons. The Remote Control connects to the main interface via a 5 m (16.4 ft.) cable and a special connector on the back of both units.
The top of the Advanced Remote Control features a rotary encoder with push switch function, 2 lower buttons, and 6 upper buttons with Status LED. The rotary encoder is used to change various parameters, like gain and volume. The left button Prog is programmable, and can perform several functions. The same is true for the upper 6 buttons, which also include a status LED to signal the current state.
The ARC provides default settings for the 7 programmable buttons, but can be freely configured via the Key Commands dialog of TotalMix FX. All buttons can be assigned to more than 36 different commands. The behaviour of each individual button can be changed between push, toggle, enable and disable, depending on the base function.
Available commands/actions (examples):
– Main Volume
– Global Mute
– Global Solo
– Mute Group 1 to 4
– Solo Group 1 to 4
– Fader Group 1 to 4
– Link Main AB
– Speaker B Select
– DIM (Main Out)
– Mute (Main Out)
– Mute FX (Main Out)
– Mono (Main Out)
– External Input
– Cue Phones 1 to 4
– Snapshot 1 to 8
– Mic Gains
– Inst. Gains
– Volume Phones
Several functions can be activated at the same time. Example: Button A is set to Cue Phones 1. That means the phones submix is heard via the Main output (the studio monitors). Now to be able to also change the volume of the phones submix itself, set button B to Volume Phones 1. Activating both will allow you to listen to the phones submix via the main output, and also to change its volume (the fader in the third row) by turning the encoder knob.
In stand-alone mode of Fireface UCX and UFX there is no TotalMix FX on the host computer. Therefore the settings for the ARC are no longer available. Instead a fixed set of functions is activated:
– Turn Encoder: Main Out volume
– Push on Encoder: Dim for Main Out
– Recall button: Recall function for Main Out
– Prog: no function
– Buttons A to F: load Setup 1 to 6
Ever imagined what would happen if you put a Fireface UFX, a Fireface 400, Fireface UC and a Babyface in a blender?
Well actually, that would make a hell of a lot of expensive unusable mess, however, if you combined the best features of all three units, then you’d come up with the RME Fireface UCX. Initally, it does look very similar to the Fireface 400, but as you look closer, the differences start to appear.
Dual USB / Firewire Interfaces
RME will not stray too far from the rather excellent job that they did getting both ports working on the UFX, so we could have expected a DAWBench LLP score of about 7.5 (out fo 10) on firewire (7.4 on usb), which has been the highest score for a non-pcie interface so far. I say could, because during the re-design of the converter circuits, they’ve managed to slash the latency of the stages to a quarter of that found on the UC and Fireface 400. I think i can go on record now and say that this, with the custom programmed USB and Firewire controller chip from the UFX and the amazingly low latency converter circuit, this DEFINATLY WILL outperform the UFX and take the title of Best External Low Latency Interface. I did hear a rumour that the two guys who write the driver software for RME are in fact two ultra-competitve German brothers, one of which does the Windows ones and one who does Mac. If this is true, then its probably the best ever application of sibling rivalry that i’ve ever heard.
RME Fireface UCX Features:
8 x Analog I/O
2 x Mic/ Line Preamps, digitally controlled
2 x Line / Instrument inputs, digitally controlled
1 x SPDIF I/O coaxial
1 x ADAT I/O (or 1 x SPDIF I/O optical)
1 x Word Clock I/O
2 x MIDI I/O (via breakout cable)
1 x FireWire 400
1 x USB 2.0 (USB 3 compatible)
2 Mic Preamps
The mic preamps have been upgraded to the ones from the Micstacy & UFX and there’s not a gain knob in sight, as they are now digitally controlled and monitored from the Totalmix FX software, which also controls the 48V phantom power for each channel. The Clip-Proof “Autoset” function automatically and intelligently (based on program material) turns down a hot recording without the use of a limiter and associated increase in noise floor that brings. The preamps also handle the two line level and two high impedence instrument inputs in the same way. Of course, this is RME, so you can actually turn the autoset fuction off if you desire.
So, the news is that the converter circuits have had a re-design and reveal that it looks like it’s had a tweak from the 113dBA Fireface 400, but just a smidgen off the 118dBA D to A’s of the UFX, coming in at a very respectable 114dBA. with a THD+N score of -98db. RME also has kept it’s excellent Steadyclock with jitter reduction circuitry. It has also made the driver asyncronus over USB, so the interface is able to use the internal clock as master. The Wordclock output can also be used to sync up your other digital devices too.The unit works up to 192k sample rate (cue arguments over whether you should record at anything over 96k), although it does (as with all units) reduce the number of channels on the ADAT input, from 8 at 48k to just 2 at 192k.
Remote Monitor Control
The RME Fireface UCX also comes bundled with a remote control that has more than a passing resemblence to a babyface (less money spent on mouldings = more money spent on circuit dev eh?). This provides volume control to the RME Fireface UCX as well as a couple of assignable buttons (talkback?)
You can also upgrade the remote to the Advanced remote control, that would add another six extra assignable buttons above the volume knob.
USB Class Compliancy
ok, move along, nothing to see here……. well, unless (like me) you’ve got an iPad.
Its been well known that for a while, iPad’s have been able to access class compliant USB audio devices by means of the Apple Camera Connector Kit.
This little converter dongle sticks into the charging port on the bottom of the pad and has a USB socket on the other side. We’ve had great fun sticking USB valve preamps, Microphones and Guitar leads into it, but what we’ve not yet seen is any multichannel options…. untill now.
The RME Fireface UCX can be quickly switched into CC mode with a quick turn of the front panel selection dial and then becomes a 8 channel interface for the iPad, (well, as long as you are running ios 5, which brought in the multichannel function)
Unfortunatly only a couple of programs can make use of the multiple inputs so far, notably “Multitrack DAW” and “Music Studio”, though you would think that a garageband update must be immenent. All programs that have a record audio function can make use of channels 1&2 on input and output.
The other nice little trick up their sleeves in the fact that you can set up a couple of totalmix FX presets on your computer beforehand that can be accessed in CC mode, such as putting compression and reverb on a vocal channel for recording and latency free monitoring.
Differences RME Fireface UCX to Fireface UC/400
RME Fireface UCX
RME Fireface UC/400
DSP hardware effects
Support for RME Remotes
New 2011 design
Low latency AD/DA Conversion
AutoSet for overload protection
Differences RME Fireface UCX to RME Fireface UFX
RME Fireface UCX
RME Fireface UFX
Advanced Parallel Conversion
1 coaxial + 1 optical
(opt. = ADAT I/O)
(2nd ADAT I/O)
Mic Preamps (digitally controlled)
Word Clock I/O (BNC)
Phones Outputs (dedicated)
High Resolution Color Display
Internal DSP hardware effects
AutoSet for Mic/Inst. Preamps
RME Remote Support
Direct USB Recording
1/2 19 inch
All TotalMix FX features at up to 192 kHz
SMUX (up to 192 kHz)
Complete Stand Alone Operation with Setup Recall
USB & FireWire support (X-Core)
Conclusion It seems like RME have got an absolute cracker of an interface here, the low latency performance will set the mark for external interfaces and the class compliant mode will open the door to a whole new hoard of RME fans.
Manufacturers please take note…. This is how to make an interface.
Please go over to RME and check out all the details as there’s far too much for me to cover here.
The first shipment of the RME Fireface UCX should be available from Scan in the next few weeks, Priced just under a grand.