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RME Fireface UCX Reviews

5.0 stars based on 13 customer reviews
Questions about the RME Fireface UCX?

Questions about the RME Fireface UCX?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • from Georgia June 20, 2016Music Background:
    Radio commercials which required multi tracking music.

    If you care about your studio, spend the money

    Just buy it. If you don't have the money, have a car wash or a bake sale, or whatever to raise it. I'm a 56 year old radio announcer type who is trying to make money as a voice over artist. The people who make money in this industry are younger voices who are more conversational and less "announcery." So I need an edge that makes my studio sound better than the averages 26 year old's studio. I wasted 900 dollars on two interfaces that just didn't make it happen. Then, finally, after a year of time wasting, I did some research and landed on this beauty. How does it sound? The best way to communicate that is to say that It sounds exactly like my mic sounds after it leaves my preamp/mic processor. It doesn't sound any different. Why would I want it to...That's why there's a processor in the chain. If the sound comes out of your processor, the way you want it to, why would you want it to change after leaving the processor. However, If you're not happy with your processor, the UCX is capable of adding compression, bass, treble, whatever. You can make it sound the way you want it to sound. It's perfect in those ways. Now...on to the fun stuff...The Total Mix software. I've had software that had the ability to save settings, but this lets you retrieve settings lightening fast and that's what I really need. I have been in radio 29 years, I'm set in my ways. From the very beginning of attempting to set up a home studio with very little knowledge, I wanted to have the same uncomplicated use that I get out of an actual physical sitting on the table console. I couldn't find that simplicity until the UCX. The Total Effects software lets me switch from various settings in 3 to 4 keystrokes which is a couple of seconds. Because I also paid 229 dollars for the midi remote, it's even faster. If I want to record using my Bluebird headphones, it's two seconds. to listen to the recording on my Sennheiser 600s, two seconds. To go back and record while listening to my Audio Technica ATH-MSR7s, two seconds. You could have a setting with an electric guitar and another setting with an electric guitar WITH REVERB, and always be able to easily toggle back and forth. I highly recommend you use the manual, but I did not because there are all sorts of tutorials that explain it well and it's so intuitive that I was up and going with it pretty much the way I want it in a few hours. The Total Effects was just a bonus. If you buy this for the sound alone, you've made a wise investment.
    Negatives: One: It's rack mountable, yet the switch is on the back. I refuse to take off any points for that though, because that was easily solved by leaving in the on position and hooking it up, by itself to a surge protector with a switch and I turn that surge protector off when I'm through. Pay the money. Don't waste your time looking for something cheaper thinking it's good enough. Pay the money. You won't be disappointed. I can't tell you much about SPDIF or any of the outputs that aren't quarter inch because I don't understand them and I don't need them because it does everything I need without that stuff. I can't tell you much about the other incredible things this soft ware can do for you either, because I haven't gotten into them yet. But like I said, there are multiple tutorials that can probably lead you where you need to go. In summary, in regards to sound, you can't improve on perfect. Ease of use...RME engineers thought of everything you could throw at them. It's like I built it myself and It will be for you as well.

  • from New Jersey March 4, 2015Music Background:
    Producer / Engineer. HipHop - Spoken Word - R&B

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    Everything I needed. I can't give it below 5 stars.

    First off, I can't believe there's only 11 reviews so far on this, so I felt the need to add my two cents.

    1. Drivers are rock solid. Period. I just don't have interface-related issues. When I purchased a year ago I would get an occasional buzz sound caused by my internet browser if I had my DAW open (Win 7 and Win 8). Since then, they've tweaked their driver and the newest drivers solved this. RME seems to stay on top of issues that arises from OS updates. They're very very good. I'm impressed. I can record fairly large projects and keep the buffer size at 64 samples, that way I can play midi without really feeling the latency. (I use the hardware to monitor while I record).

    2. Preamps. They are crystal clear and clean. They erased my desire to purchase a Grace M101. Why would I need to anymore? I will be grabbing additional colored preamps at a later date. The sound I get from these preamps make me feel like the voice is live. It doesn't sound like it was recorded. It's high in detail.

    3. AD / DA. This is completely clean. I did a loopback test and when comparing the recorded file to the original the sound cancelled out. That's all I needed to know, I went no further. This means that I can run my outboard with complete confidence that the conversion is not altering the sound, only my outboard unit. Awesome. The headphone amp is more than adequate to power my Sennheiser HD 650s (my mixes translate great). When I was using monitors (I had a better room environment at the time) my mixes translated great then as well.

    4. Connectivity. Oh my God. It's ridiculous how much I/O this gives you for the price, and all of it is super clean. Enough Line I/O for 2 outboard units connected to the back. 2 hi-z inputs on the front for guitars. 2 preamps.. I use them for the main mic and control room. ADAT... I will be adding a Ferrofish AE16 or similar for additional outboard. SPDIF so I can upgrade to highend AD/DA conversion and run some higher end colored preamps into it. I don't use the midi b/c my keyboards are USB, but having 2 Midi I/O is nice.

    5. USB and Firewire have virtually equal performance. If there's a difference, I haven't noticed it yet.

    6. TotalMix FX is difficult to learn. But once you do learn it, it's incredibly useful. I wouldn't want to run outboard without it. I don't like allowing the DAW to handle all of this. I'd rather have it setup pre-DAW.

    7. Front knob is useful. I need to save some money and buy the ARC controller... that would be even better.

    Flaw... I wish the on/off switch was on the front.

    This interface works as advertised, and does it's job well. It's a clean way to record anything you need to, and has enough I/O to be a great foundation for a small/mid-sized project studio. I originally wanted the UFX but it was taking me a long time to save up the money for it. Luckily for me, they came out with this and it fit perfectly into my setup and fell within my budget.


    Oh.... and it's class compliant. I can use this to record with my cell phone (Samsung Galaxy S5). Cell phone DAWs kind of suck right now.. the market hasn't taken off.... but this hardware works as advertised. I can technically take this anywhere and get high quality recording done on site.

  • from United States September 12, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    A rock solid and stable little tank

    Blown away is a good way to state my feelings about this little box. As a hobbyist, I was hesitant to drop this kind of cash for a piece of gear for my home studio. But after spending 12 years with an M-Audio Delta 44 that was rock-solid and stable every day of its life, I had no qualms about paying a premium for the reputation of stability that precedes the RME brand.

    Out of the box, the FireFace UCX installed properly the first try. Driver and Firmware updates were painless. Windows 7 x64 immediately shook hands and made friends with this little guy, and it has been running 24x7 in my studio for a couple of weeks now with nary a hiccup.

    TotalMix was relatively easy to set up for my direct monitoring purposes, thanks to the excellent hard-copy manual included in the box. I haven't scratched the surface of the capabilities of this routing software, but directly patching several inputs to several outputs for direct monitoring only took a few minutes once I figured out the layout.

    To support my 5-star "blown away" rating, the 2 places where this unit really shines:
    - with a 128 sample buffer, this little magic box is reporting a latency of 3ms in, 3.5ms out. This is remarkable for a USB device. Heck, that would be remarkable for a PCIe device!
    - the ADC and DAC conversion is pristine. Listening to mixes through the UCX has been a true pleasure so far.

    The only knock I can find so far is that the UCX does not like to be set as the default sound device in Windows. I'm used to having my interface be my sound card as well as my recording device. When set as the default device, other apps that try to use it concurrently with my DAW software would cause some horrible inter-dimensional rift kinds of sounds. So, in a rare suggestion for an audio interface manufacturer, RME recommends keeping your integrated sound card active and running that output separately for system sounds (Windows Media Player, in my case). Most audio interfaces threaten to self-destruct if used alongside an integrated sound card. RME not only handles this situation, they recommend it in the manual!

  • from Ithaca, NY USA April 22, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Home Studio Operator

    Everything you need!

    This little box is everything you could ever need if 2 mic pres fills your bill. This replaced my FF400 as I needed the USB connectivity and it is simply sold all the way around. The drivers are second to none, Total MixFX is something else - very powerful, and it really as all the connections I could ever need. Spend the extra cash and get something that will likely outlive you! RME support is great as well.

  • from new england, usa January 9, 2014Music Background:
    musician / composer / engineer

    Unit as advertised. Solid. Transparent.

    if you're a believer that the audio interface is the hub of your project studio and you've moved to the laptop world and lost your PCI slots (or never had PCI slots) - then i don't think you can do much better than this.

    only been a couple of weeks so far - but - not a hiccup. even down @ 128 samples where i've been running.

    the mic pre's are clean and big. the output to my monitors is powerful enough that i no longer need to stick a secondary mixer in the middle. tons of i/o and control.

    add in the totalmixFx with eq/dynamics and its mixing and monitoring flexibility... worth every penny.

  • from November 6, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Great Asset !

    Fantastic device in small size and great sound

  • from April 20, 2013Music Background:
    Music Producer

    You need it!!

    I used to have the FF400 that i used with my MAC until I bought a PC laptop as I decided to use FL Studio to produce my music. but FF400 was only Firewire and my pc laptop was only USB...TATAMM and there came the FF UCX. it's definitely worth it. Just like the FF400 latency is next to 0. Plus this sound card is portable as i am mobile. Definitely recommend this soundcard to any PC or MAC user.

  • from Atlanta, GA February 13, 2013Music Background:
    Musician-Singer/Sogwriter

    A Great Step-up

    Okay here's the "Reader's Digest" version:
    Started off with an AVID M-Box PT 8 LE which was okay for a newbie.
    I then upgraded to a TASCAM 1800 (still using PT 8 LE) to get more I/O. This did the job until I upgraded my Mac to OS X 8 and they didn't have the drivers at the time. This unit was alright but I called my Sweetwater rep who recommended the PreSonus 1818VSL. Now that made the past interfaces appear to be so/so. This was my "Baby" for my home studio until it started having latency issues along w/popping sounds. After doing some research I found that I wasn't the only one. As of today I am still dealing w/intermittent issues... However, no worries thanks to Sweetwater's extended warranty and tech support I will have it resolved.
    Now... with regards to my latest purchase of the Fireface UCX? This is a beautiful interface! The pre's are sweet! This by far blows away my other interfaces. I purchased it for portability, iOS interface with my iPad and its a great complement to Logic Pro/PT 10. I use this more than the other interfaces in my home studio.
    So here's my humble opinion: it's a great pro-level 18 I/O Hybrid interface that has exceeded my expectations. What more can I say? If you're looking for a portable stand-alone or DAW integrated audio interface with sweet preamps... Look no further!

  • from Music City, USA December 5, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Producer

    Maximization of Money Spent

    What to do when you're looking to take the step up from 'gets the job done' to 'can hang with the big boys'?

    Want to increase your I/O but don't have a need for /that/ many?

    On the road (or at a jam session) and thinking "We should record this ... grab your iPad"?

    Everyone else can drool over the details, I'll just tell you that the sound is flawless, it is super versatile and (with expansion to multiple units possible) will be the centerpiece to my studio for a long time to come!

  • from MN August 16, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Excellent product

    I do have lots of equipment and earned some rights to write a word or two. RME UCX is a great sounding unit, PRO stuff. It can compete with some big names is the industry and this is not a joke.

  • from March 7, 2012Music Background:
    musician,pro sound recordist

    RME Fireface UCX

    The mic pre's are robust and the recorded audio quality was stunning.
    Using the RME with an i-pad was effortless.
    What a perfect, and portable unit.
    Good manual,detailed info on the RME website[support]
    Thankyou to my helpful ,knowledgeable Sweetwater tech.

  • from Forney, TX May 17, 2014Music Background:
    mixing engineer

    SOUNDS GREAT

    Sounds great compared to my other interface. The only thing that's upsets me is RME used to provide a free controller for this interface and now it doesn't, so now I have to open up total mix fx just to turn down the volume (it gets annoying after a while) . They could have at least put a master volume on the interface for this type of price even cheap interfaces have a master volume on it. Other than that this interface will put you up another level on production and mixing. Great product. Also, Sweetwater is awesome they shipped it supper fast, and also gave me candy inside the package :)

  • from New York, NY September 22, 2013

    drummer

    Drummer rocks on that nice sounding kits. Great drumming!!

Reviews

  • Mitch Gallagher
    2-24-2012

    RME interfaces have long been known for their feature-heavy design, rock-solid drivers, low latency, and pristine sound quality. With the Fireface UCX, RME has brought all of these qualities together into a compact, portable Mac-/PC-compatible interface that can connect via FireWire or either USB 2.0 or 3. And check this out: the Fireface UCX is class-compliant, so you can hook it up to your iPad using the Apple Camera Kit. How cool is that?

    The half-rack Fireface UCX has eighteen inputs and outputs (eight analog, eight ADAT optical, and stereo S/PDIF). There are two mic preamps with phantom power, as well as word clock I/O. They even found a way to squeeze in MIDI input and outputs plus a connection for a remote control (you can add the RME Advanced Remote Control, which offers more features).

    The Fireface UCX comes with RME's TotalMix FX software for latency-free monitoring. In fact, there are two DSP chips built into the unit -- one for eliminating monitor latency and one for providing DSP-driven effects. TotalMix also includes a complete control room monitor-control section for handling your speakers.
    In use, the Fireface UCX is a joy, getting out of the way so that you can make music. The array of I/O covers all needs, and TotalMix FX drives the whole thing transparently with a user-friendly interface. With its compact size, the Fireface UCX is the ideal laptop companion for location recording. The mic preamps deliver the goods, and the overall sound quality is clean and clear. And the iPad connectivity (via the optional Camera Kit) is a bonus that shouldn't be overlooked. I was able to get eight analog ins with my iPad 2, at resolution up to 96kHz/24 bits! I predict this will become increasingly important as the iPad comes into its own as a DAW host.

    RME's reputation for building quality audio interfaces and drivers is well deserved. That reputation is enhanced even further by the Fireface UCX -- another great interface from a company that clearly "gets it" when it comes to understanding what recording musicians want and need.

Questions about the RME Fireface UCX?

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