On the first day of winter NAMM RME launched its new audio interface: the Fireface UCX — RME UFX's little brother. The Fireface UCX includes iPad support. Here is a snapshot review of the Fireface UCX.
I use this soundcard as the core of my home studio where I produce my music and mix and master songs for other people.
I also use it as MIDI interface for my synths, an also to record them with Live.
I use Live 9 to produce my music and Reaper for mixing and mastering and this card works fine in any situation with my two workstations.
I chose it specially for TotalMix FX, which allows you to do complex routings and access a very good EQ and compressor without using the PC's processor.
Very stable drivers, both with Live and Reaper. The overall latency of 7ms is imperceptible (for example, playing a guitar plugged directly into the card and using headphones to not disturb the neighbors, hahaha).
Very easy installation, as well as the overall setup, no incompatibilities. The TotalMix software might make you scratch your head in the beginning, but you'll get it fast enough.
I have been using it for a bit over a year now (I used to have an FA-66, a Native Instrument Audio Kontrol, which I still use live because it's super sturdy, and also a MultiMix 8) and it is perfect for all my needs, besides having an excellent performance (compared to the other soundcards I mentioned, the difference in terms of audio quality is flagrant).
TotalMix FX is a big plus due to its routing prowess and its quality DSPs.
It's not cheap, but you know what you are getting.
I'm not an easy guy when it comes to buying gear! I like to take my time, nose about everywhere and ask everybody questions! I previously had a Firebox (my first soundcard)! I had just gotten my first monitors (KRK) and didn't have much money! I opted for a low-budget card (about $400). As time went by, my home studio grew! It was about time to move on to serious things! I had some spare money, so I made myself a treat! Watch out, the plane has left the gate! In terms of quality, it's like a dream come true! I can record in my room as if I were in Abbey Road! Everybody works with RME now! I see it everywhere!
Personally, I don't use ADAT (fiber optics) nor SPDIF! I only use the jacks!
It's not bad via USB, it works quite good! With the condition that you don't connect it to a USB hub, unless you connect it to the grid! Because it is self-powered by the computer, which is cool!
With Firewire it blows my mind, but modern computers use this format less and less!
I work with Reason Record! I have guitars (acoustic, electric, e-bass, cello), a Moog Slim Phatty, an MPC 2000XL! So I'm über-happy with the sound of the recordings! It goes up to 192,000Hz!
No updates or anything else needed every month!
The installation is not too complicated.
I still use windows xp on my desktop computer! The MIDI function doesn't work! Although I haven't updated it, because I'm afraid nothing will work then! But on my laptop Pc running windows 8 everything works correctly, I also tested it on a mac and it works fine!
+ The sound quality
+ USB and FireWire!
+ The preamps with input and output compressor! Yes, gone are the days when the films I download sound louder when there's action and softer when there's only dialog ^^)
- It lacks pots on the front panel!
- The software (it resets to default when you press F4, F5, etc. And they are the keys to change windows on Reason Record! So if you are working with headphones because you girlfriend is asleep, you'll have lots of fun!
I had a babyface and had the need of a light and quality interface for mobile recordings and live.
RME, my love... the optimized drivers are the most stable on the market.
w7 64bit + i5 8gb, I can easily get down to 3ms of latency!
I still haven't looked into every feature of TotalmixFX, but given the possibilities it's very powerful and versatile.
I still haven't tried to connect it to an ipad or a linux system, but it looks promising!
I've been using it for a month, my purchase was well-thought-out and I think it's gonna last.
You can't demand much more from such a small unit.
And if you ever need more, there's the UFX... Twice the inputs with full RME quality.
Excellent features but no MIDI control with a sequencer (DAW).
For those who don't agree with my opinion: It can be useful for people who need MIDI automation, be tolerant!
No MIDI control,so it's useless in my studio.
Very simple connections.
Excellent unit, BUT...
After assigning the Fireface MIDI inputs/outputs in the DAW and arming the track, Totalmix sends no MIDI messages: The MIDI track remains empty and the MIDI message VUmeter doesn't move.
I tried all sorts of configurations, with and without MIDI cables: It's impossible to transmit MIDI messages between Totalmix and the DAW.
RME ─ who is very active in the forums ─ has no intention of developing this function.