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RME Fireface UFX USB & Firewire Interface

RME Fireface UFX

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Description

Reviews

RME Fireface UFX USB & Firewire Interface

RME have long been associated with high-end, high performance audio interfaces. The Fireface UFX joins the line up as the new flagship of the RME range, providing both USB and Firewire connectivity to allow for maximum flexibility. There are countless features on the Fireface UFX, and here's what RME say about it:

60 channels of audio! Digitally controlled high-end preamps, reference class converters and full 192 kHz operation.

Ultra-low latency operation with USB and FireWire, combined with the legendary RME driver stability and maintenance. Including active jitter suppression, professional reference level support, advanced stand-alone functionality, RME's unique DIGICheck metering and analysis toolbox, and - of course - nearly identical operation and features on Windows PC and Mac.

DURec: Direct USB Recording: The UFX provides a spectacular feature: an integrated digital recorder for all inputs and outputs directly to USB memory devices - USB thumb drives or hard drives with up to 2 TB capacity - via the front USB port. Independent from a connected PC or Mac.

On top of it: TotalMix FX, the new digital high-end mixer and signal router, driven by two powerful DSP, with integrated EQ, Dynamics and Reverb/Echo effects up to 192 kHz plus a built-in monitoring control.

The full-blown feature set is backed up by extraordinary usability. At its heart is a bright multi-functional colour display with full front panel metering for all 60 channels plus effect bus, and complete control of all key features - directly from the front of the UFX.

RME's new Fireface flagship is a highly integrated pro audio solution, a full-blown studio packed in a 19" enclosure. An interface designed for users who don't want to make compromises in sound, stability and ultra-low latency operation, and who long for an unrivaled professional feature set. Once again a milestone interface from RME, including the best of the best - and even a bit more.

Analog I/O

The UFX provides 12 analog I/Os:

12 Inputs. 8 balanced TRS on the back and 4 XLR inputs with mic/instrument preamps on the front.

12 Outputs . On the rear: 6 balanced TRS and 2 balanced XLR - perfect for the direct connection of the main studio monitors. On the front: Two additional TRS stereo phones outputs providing high volumes even with hi-impedance headphones (playback channels 9/10 and 11/12).

Sound Quality . When it comes to sound quality and price to performance ratio RME plays in its own league. The Fireface UFX is no exception. Like any other RME product it combines excellent analog circuit design with high-grade AD/DA converter chips. Therefore all balanced TRS & XLR I/Os and both phones outputs guarantee outstanding low noise and distortion values. In best RME tradition and product philosophy converters and preamps don't produce "sound", they do not add or remove anything from the source signal, just capture it as it is.

Equipped with the latest A/D and D/A converter chips, all I/Os operate up to 192 kHz and reach 118 dBA dynamic range on playback - even both headphone outputs. Their high power technology delivers high volume no matter if high or low impedance phones are used. The balanced analog inputs are based on RME's low-latency converter design from the high-end converter ADI-8 QS. The DA section is based on RME's M-series. Both designs guarantee excellent S/N and THD specs across a wide analog level range.

Due to its efficient jitter reduction, RME's superior SteadyClock finalizes the state-of-the-art AD/DA conversion, even when clocking to an external digital source.

Every input and output is individually switchable to common professional studio levels: -10 dBV, +4 dBu, HiGain (equivalent to +2 dBV, +13 dBu and +19 dBu for digital full scale) - directly on the device or via TotalMix. The balanced XLR outputs even provide a level of up to +24 dBu.

All outputs can be used for ASIO Direct Monitoring purposes.

Preamps

The UFX has four high-transparency preamps backed up by four stereo converters with RME's new parallel converter technology.

Microphone and instrument preamps of the UFX use the core technology from RME's Micstasy - a high-end preamp for supreme sonic demands and critical applications, like the professional recording of classical concerts. The fully symmetrical preamp design impresses with extremely low distortion, excellent signal to noise ratio and a perfect linear frequency response. A premium solution for transmitting and amplifying any audio input truly unchanged, be it high-level stage or typical studio signals, lower level and high-impedance instruments, or dynamic, condenser and ribbon microphones.

The digitally controlled gain of up to 65 dB, adjustable in steps of 1 dB over a range of 55 dB, is individually set for every preamp by the display-supported controls on the front of the UFX. All level settings are 100% reproducible and can also be adjusted comfortably within the TotalMix software on the host computer or by a MIDI remote controller.

The four inputs on the front use balanced XLR/TRS combo sockets and operate alternatively as Hi-Z inputs. Directly plug in up to four guitars or other instruments - no other hardware required.

Each channel can be individually switched to 48V phantom power or instrument level. LEDs for signal, clip, TRS operation and activated phantom power give a complete overview on the unit's status.

Advanced Parallel Conversion . The four UFX preamps are feeding not only four, but eight AD converters. Every microphone channel uses a double, parallel AD conversion on two AD converters at the same time to reach exceptional signal-to-noise values and a performance not available with a classic converter design.

The UFX follows RME's tradition of providing flexible and expandable audio systems. Adding additional preamplifiers or more analog inputs is easily done via the dual ADAT optical I/Os on the rear.

    Anonymous review via Feefo | Purchase date: 31 July 2014
    Rating

    Initial impressions are of a great product from a very professional company. I was able to update the firmware to latest standards with no issues at all and the product is now sitting as the operational heart of my studio.

    Charlie | Purchase date: 31 January 2013
    Rating

    To put it simply, the UFX has become the key to everything in my audio world. Live recording at band practice, location recording, studio work; it'll gladly take whatever scenario you can throw at it.

    It's a great sounding and hugely flexible unit. I keep coming up with new ways to use it in and so far it's never let me down.

    Dave | Purchase date: 06 December 2011
    Rating

    I would thoroughly recommend this product to ANYONE looking at an interface in its price range. The UFX not only sounds PHENOMENAL, the new Totalmix FX software has quickly become the heart of my studio, so versatile!

    The USB on the front also means I can take it out to my gigs and record myself, without my computer!!!

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