RME Audio Fireface 800
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RME Audio Fireface 800

Fireface 800, FireWire audio interface from RME Audio in the Fireface series.

songboy 06/08/2010

RME Audio Fireface 800 : songboy's user review

« Best Interface I have ever heard/seen/used »
5

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The main thing that motivated my choice was the High quality preamps, the amazing ad/da converters and the fact that it had both firewire 400 and 800 ports on it. I am currently using a macbook laptop but intend to upgrade to a Mac Pro desktop and having both the firewire 400 and 800 was a must. I use the Fireface 800 to handle all of my instrumentation. I run ableton live 8 with the fireface and I run everything (vocals, guitars, bass, Rhodes piano, synths, computer based synths/effects and outboard effects through effects loops) through the computer, through live in order to loop all audio at my bidding. As for connection types, you get it all; 4 XLR's, 8 analog in/outs, two adats, 1 firewire 400, 2 firewire 800's, word clock in/out, spdif in/out. I run this all on a macbook (2.2ghz 4gb ram, 320hdd).

UTILIZATION

I have not had the unit long enough to update again but the unit has been out for a few years and has been updated regularly. I can very easily use all of my inputs and tons of computer synths/effects and loop it all with the looper and set the buffer so it runs with less than 8 milliseconds of latency. Its quite remarkable especially compared to my former unit the Presonus Firebox. The drivers are extremely stable, as to be expected from RME. I use this mainly with ableton 8 but I also use it often with Logic 9. The most amount of tracks I have tried to record simultaneously is 8 and it performed perfectly. xpected from RME. I use this mainly with ableton 8 but I also use it often with Logic 9. The most amount of tracks I have tried to record simultaneously is 8 and it performed perfectly.

GETTING STARTED

I have had no compatibility issues so far. The manual that came with the fireface is fairly indepth and I highly suggest reading cover to cover if you want to get the most out of this unit. It is a very well written manual and is more than sufficient. I guess I could say the general setup is simple, but this unit can do so much. If you want to use all its amazing options, then you better be ready to do your homework. Yes, the typical functions are accessible via the front of the unit and the software mixer/control panel that automatically loads on the computer when you connect via firewire.

OVERALL OPINION

What I love most about this unit is the pristine ad/da converters. I run my analog instruments (guitar/bass/rhodes/synths) into a Mackie Vlz3 mixer with the output going to a Fender Twin Reverb amp and a Peavey TNT 150 bass amp. I use the Alt Outputs on the mixer to send a "loop" to the RME then back into the mackie so I can "Loop" the instruments in Ableton 8. When I did this with the presonus, there was a little latency and the audio quality was significantly altered. With the the Fireface, the difference between the straight analog pathway and the computer pathway are virtually indistinguishable. I have even thought about getting rid of the Mackie and just running everything direct with the RME, its that good!!!! New these go for $1700 but I got mine used for $1250. Its a lot of money, no doubt, but if you want this kind of quality, you have to pay, and its worth every last penny. 10 out of 10 for sound quality (I'd give it an 11 if I could). I have used a Presonus Firebox, Firepod, Alesis Multimix, and a MOTU 828 mk2 and this blows them all out of the water. I would definitely make the same choice again. I highly recommend this unit.