RME Fireface UCItem ID: FirefaceUC
18-in/18-out 24-bit/192kHz USB Audio Interface with Two Digitally Controlled Microphone Preamps, TRS I/O, ADAT, S/PDIF, MIDI, and Word Clock - Mac/PC
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From Our Research Team:
Another amazing interface from RME!RME's Fireface UC continues the Fireface legacy, but this time trades in FireWire for USB. Using a newly developed RME Hammerfall core, the Fireface UC is capable of super-low latencies when running multi-channel audio. Two different firmware versions with different transfer methods are used, effectively removing the current restrictions of USB. I/O is plentiful, as the Fireface UC boasts two mic pres, ADAT, and S/PDIF, for a total of 18 input/output channels plus MIDI I/O. Latency is nearly non-existent on both Mac OS X and Windows Vista with the Fireface UC.
RME Fireface UC 24-bit/192kHz USB Audio Interface at a Glance:
The Fireface UC works on both the Windows and Mac operating systems. In fact, the compact Fireface UC has been uncompromisingly optimized for highest performance under either platform. Based on a newly developed RME Hammerfall core the Fireface UC provides revolutionary ultra-low latencies even with multiple channels. It uses two different firmware versions with different transfer methods to remove current restrictions of typical USB audio interfaces. The unit's operating mode Win or Mac can be changed directly at the unit at any time. Under Mac OS the Fireface's MIDI ports are class compliant, the operating system therefore automatically uses the included MIDI driver. Under both Operating Systems the available latencies are incredible. The smallest buffer offered under Windows Vista has 48 samples, under Mac OS X 14 samples. With this RME provides a performance comparable to PCI Express interfaces — under USB 2.0.
Built on RME's stellar legacy
The Fireface UC features all of the proven RME analog and digital circuitry. It is the only device in its class with active jitter suppression, enhanced stand-alone functionality and complete controllability from the front panel, highly flexible I/Os in professional quality, and an unsurpassed 648-channel matrix router — all at sample rates of up to 192kHz.
TotalMix integrated DSP mixer
All inputs and outputs can be freely mixed, routed, and distributed with RME´s TotalMix software. Up to 9 totally independent stereo submixes can be set up. Every output channel, and every submix channel can be recorded directly and without external cable loops. TotalMix can be completely MIDI remote controlled. The DSP-based hardware calculates RMS and Peak levels for all channels, without causing any significant CPU load.
Eight analog inputs and outputs (all balanced, except outputs 7/8) with software controlled reference levels (-10 dBV, +4 dBu, Lo/HiGain), realized discretely in the analog domain, ensure high dynamic range and fidelity. Inputs 5 through 8 on the rear panel feature RME's proven level references, -10 dBV, +4 dBu and Lo Gain can be selected in the settings dialog, equivalent to +2 dBV, +13 dBu and +19 dBu for digital full scale. The same applies to the balanced rear analog outputs 1 to 6. The hi-power phones output offers high volumes even with low-impedance headphones.
Preamps are arguably one of the most important links in the signal chain, and the Fireface UC boasts sensational pres. The Fireface UC features 2 balanced microphone inputs with a digitally controlled input stage, individually switchable 48V phantom power, and Neutrik Combo connectors for XLR and TRS. These can also be used as additional line inputs. A pre-amplification of up to 65 dB (adjustable in 1 dB-steps over a range of 55 dB), exceptional EIN (Equivalent Input Noise) performance even at low pre amplification settings, and extremely low THD+N let these preamps surpass many reference devices. All level settings are 100% reproducible and can also be comfortably adjusted by software. Inputs 3 and 4 are flexible universal balanced inputs. They operate exactly like inputs 5 to 8 on the rear and can be adjusted to accept standard studio input levels (+4 dBu, LoGain). The input impedance can be switched from line (10 kOhm) to instrument (470 kOhm), and offers an additional analog input amplification of up to 18 dB in steps of 0.5 dB.
The inclusion of ADAT I/O provides digital connection to mixers and converters. In combination with an ADI-8 DS/QS or OctaMic II, there are up to 16 analog inputs (respectively 12 @ 96 kHz). The coaxial SPDIF I/O (up to 192 kHz) is fully AES/EBU compatible. SPDIF can also be accessed through the optical I/O. A Word Clock input and output plus two MIDI I/Os (special breakout cable included) complete the list of features and turn the Fireface UC into an entire audio system of the highest quality.
RME Fireface UC 24-bit/192kHz USB Audio Interface Features:
Compact desktop horsepower with RME's Fireface UC!
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Reviewsbased on 3 reviews
Finally, an interface that just works
by Broad Run Studio from Manassas, VAI have been using firewire interfaces for years, but they don't function predictably on modern windows laptops. This unit is fully functional on every computer I hook it to. Win 7, Vista 64, XP, vari... read more [+]ous laptop manufacturers. The preamps sound awesome and the amount of in/out options is incredible like the instrument ins can be switched to line level ins. The software is very intuitive and simple to use, and the latency is very low (2ms or 48 samples) if you want to play with soft synths/drum samplers. You also have the option of routing the input directly to the phones for zero latency. close [-]
May 25, 2010
Music Background: Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Pro Musician
by Ned from Portland, ORSounds great; very low noise floor; plenty of I/O options. Low latency performance is very good for a USB system.
November 6, 2011
Music Background: Recording Engineer
The supporting software is reliable and has a nice polished UI.
... read more [+]
Overall a very professional package. 4.5 stars only due to the premium pricing. close [-]
Amazing USB Interface
by Michael from NYCI just upgraded from an Apogee Duet2 to the Fireface UC. Wow, what a difference, especially when using spidf into the Fireface. The physical build is solid (German engineering gets a 10 out of 10 he... read more [+]re) and the sound is excellent. Converters seem to be at least as good as Apogee's, if not better. The new TotalMix FX software is very good, but takes longer to learn than the Apogee software (the manual isn't updated for the latest FX version which caused me to lose a few hours). But the software is also 100x more powerful. There are so many inputs and outputs that can be connected in any configuration. You can mix any inputs to any outputs. All in a compact 1/2 rack box. Firmware upgrade and driver install were EASY on a Mac Pro! I rated this 4.5 and not 5.0, only because RME needs to do a better job writing their manual and making the software a more intuitive. You will not be disappointed with this interface! close [-]
July 9, 2011
Music Background: Hobbyist
by: Mitch Gallagher
interfaces have long been known for their feature-heavy design, rock-solid drivers, low latency, and pristine sound... read more »
Absolutely superb! I have one of the first RME Fireface UC interfaces that arrived in the US and have not looked at anything else since. It continues to perform flawlessly in every capacity. The kicker, it's only a half rack space.
Phillip, Lynwood, IL
RME Fireface UC
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