Spawn-X 07/07/2012

RME Audio Babyface : Spawn-X's user review

« Reliable and convenient. RME quality. »

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Value For Money : Excellent
-What characteristics have motivated your choice?
The multiple input / output.
The ADAT despite the size of the interface.
The stability of drivers I already knew who had other brand models.

-For what purpose?
A bit of nomadism with Cubase, Reason, Live, Band In A Box, but also a more sedentary at home in a tiny cut, leaving me little room.

-What is your config (Motherboard / CPU / RAM / Disk, ...)?
Currently, an old Dell laptop that is soon to retire in favor of a trendy resort i7 Casawave home. The Dell in question is not free of problems (worries Controller USB / Firewire / ExpressCard particular), I can not really interact with the interface the way I want. But a few weeks ago, I used a round at my place of work (music school) mounted PIV 3.2 GHz with 4GB of ram without any problems except the limited resources of this machine.


-The drivers are stable?
RAS. Probably among the best writing market.

-Are they updated frequently?
Mostly yes. The RME team is also quite reactive and often takes care of very quickly reassembled worries.

-What software do you use most often?
As mentioned above, mainly Cubase 5 and Reason 6.5, as well as separately in Rewire. But also many Band In A Box 2011.5 (current to assist students in improvisation), and of course for Guitar Pro tabs. Live 8 less.

What You Get-latency?
Cubase, I turn to 2.5ms for recording. I can go down a little, but firstly I do not necessarily feel the need, and secondly, my two machines are not the wrath of war were at their birth. However, the park of the apps I use, for its part claims logically evolved more power. Despite that, it turns all m ^ m fine.

-How many tracks do you manage to record / play simultaneously? ...
I have had the opportunity to record with Babyface + a shitty ADDA8000 Berho taken for "lives" of a group in his rehearsal room. Thus, a total of 10 tracks analos carefree.
Reading is another problem because I think the question is not rotated. It can indeed be expected to play a mix of project phase including the high number of tracks do not all play in m ^ m time. If we are faced with such a project, and knowing that phase mix should be increased the latency to retrieve the max resource calculations for effects, well we is necessarily in a situation as eloquent as the question seems to say. I said so. Phase mix, maximum latency, I went up to a hundred runs smoothly. Taken in phase, the max I've tested was a 30aine track while you read a 10aine recorded new tracks. All without the station bronchus masses. Obviously, all this gives only a vague idea of ​​the real power since the question does not mention the number of active plugs or m ^ m the type of these plugs. Therefore difficult to give an objective opinion on the matter without going through a test project that everyone could load him m ^ m on its own station and according to their DAW ...
But hey, trust me, if you have an interface more cheap, the Babyface will necessarily seem like Night VS Day. I tested quite a few other interfaces more or less supposed to work in the m ^ m category (in terms of size / benefits but not the m ^ m rate), and I can tell you that there is Photo no. Go to RME will change your life.


-The installation is done it without problem?
It is an understatement. One click, one plug, and it rolls.

-Have you encountered any incompatibilities?
Yes and no. I'm actually faced with an inconsistency on the part of my laptop and no matter what the interface used. This is a concern for USB controller on the CM of the laptop. This controller is actually, unfortunately, common to all three protocols that are USB, Firewire, and ExpressCard. Normally, this controller is not common and each port has its own controller. But in some "big" manufacturers, we go to the economy, and the controller built into the CM is not only common, but make matters worse, this controller is found to be rotten and poses many problems of workflow, and in particular, audio. You probably know that the board is to make it obligatory for a Texas Instrument chipset when it is desired to use an audio interface FireWire port. Well in this case, it is exactly the problem m ^ m, except that the purchase of a good expresscard> USB chip IT solves absolutely no problem since the controller is crappy upstream. So if you plan to use the BabyFace on a tower, you still have the ability to change one element to circumvent this potential problem. But with a laptop, it's more the story m ^ m. So before you inquire from users of this interface and laptops, to make sure they do not have this problem. Nothing is ever certain, since manufacturers of laptops can always change the characteristics of an element of the chain, but at least you are warned.

-The general configuration is easy?
Yes and no. The basic functions are not very difficult to take in hand, but depending on your degree of logic and knowledge in the field of audio, it is quite possible that you have a little more difficult to apprehend the Total MIX (now Total FX MIX recently also for BabyFace). This application for managing I / O (and effects) is at once one of the strongest market and one of the least easy to understand when one is not already inured in this area. It's simple, it is the nerve center of your system. With this software, you can direct any (s) source (s) to any (s) output (s), in other words, you have a bunch of headaches in perspective. C'que but it's good! Without ADAT converter, the BabyFace is obviously more limited in terms of in / out, therefore, it greatly eases the mind work with Total MIX. But once familiar with the interface of this app, chances are you'll want to move to a more powerful brand. I changed my Fireface 400 here just a question of fact for the benefit of portability BabyFace. But the FF400 uses the m ^ m routing software. And most brand models as well. What changes is the maximum number of In / Out that can handle the different models.

-The manual is clear and sufficient?
Largely, yes.


-How long you use it?
Since only 11 months for BabyFace, but I'm using, as said above, the RME long.

-What is so special that you love the most, least?
The pros:
* Audio quality.
* The quality of manufacture.
* The reliability of software as hardware.
* The format in a handy portable backpack laptop.
* The effects embedded in the new Total FX MIX.
The -:
* Certainly, the breakout cable (breakout) which, via a
D-SUB connector to add the physical I / O on
obviously too small an enclosure for supporting him m ^ m.
The breakout cable is on the one hand not very practical, but more importantly,
it is quite fragile. I plan my shot of making a
small remote box that would contain him m ^ m the connectors
and that I could connect to via BabyFace "extension"
D-Sub/D-Sub provided and which is in turn a little more reliable
Besides being more common to buy (without breaking the bank).
* Given that the various inputs / outputs are deported
on a D-Sub, I regret that the BabyFace does not ultimately
more input / output internally (without using the ADAT).
4 inputs on combo XLR / Jacks and many outputs m ^ m in size
would have been really great.
* There is good 4 outputs, but two pairs of passes
necessarily by a headphone. It is therefore necessary
has a suitable cable "Y" a little blah.
From the * m ^ m way, one of the two is switchable in analos ins
fashion high-impedance (to directly connect a guitar or
a passive bass). It's bad, of course, but most
competitors officiating in the m ^ m this class offers
function on at least 2 inputs.
* The big wheel coupled to the switch used to control SELECT
Total parameters of MIX. That's cool, but alas, some
parameters can be controlled in this way. The
basic operation of this wheel is substantially the m ^ m
the Fireface 400. Clearly, you select which parameter is
driver, and the wheel changes the value. It would be very
easy to allow the wheel to drive any
setting on the screen. But I think the decision of EMR was
taken and to avoid having to include an LCD display to
BabyFace because the shell in such a case, it is necessary to
have a visual feedback to know what driver (which is
the case on its FireFace with LED display), gold, with the
BabyFace, this means of visual inspection is to be the software
Total MIX. So you lose the interest of such a possibility
steering. That allows the rest BabyFace when m ^ m a certain level
visualization via LED In, Out and Phones and the LED Sun
(Which concerns only the headphone output) coupled to two VU meters
LED may flash to indicate which input / output and
selected. It would therefore certainly solutions to
achieve this faultless.

-Did you tried many other models before buying it?
I'm in the computer music since the late 80's. I started at the time Atari / Amiga. So I can say without much error that ... yes, I've tried a sling ... ;)

-How would you rate the quality / price?
Clearly excellent for this type of product.

-With experience, you do again this choice?
Yes, eyes closed. However, I plan to soon complete this interface by larger models. The BabyFace for wandering, and a large model RME to stay permanently in the studio / school.