RME Fireface 800

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Blueser, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. Blueser

    Blueser Member

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    It got a pretty glowing review in the most recent Electronic Musician Mag. They compare it to a Pro-Tools HD system and some high end preamps (Millenia), and it faired very well.

    I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with one as well? I looking to set a decent system up with my Mac, and was actually thinking of a Lynx Two card, and a RNP preamp and compressor, but the RME does it all in one box for about the same price.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Gerry

    Gerry Guest

    Well, I'm a newcomer at this, about one month (Fireface and Cubase SX3), but I can tell you this- the direct guitar input, with it's cab emulation and drive options (very simple on/off, and a gain level) sounds awesome, especially if you tweak in a miniscule amount of Reverb (on Cubase), it sounds like an amp is being recorded.
    I was researching into hardware and software cab emulators, Pods, etc before I got the system.. but not now - the Fireface IMHO nails the direct recording option.

    Another BIG plus - RME is very attentive to their support with a newsgroup, check it out how promptly they answer tech questions-
    http://www.rme-audio.com/english/info/newsgrp.htm
     
  3. Orren

    Orren Member

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    Funny you mention that review. I was supposed to do it...but the senior editor in charge of reviews realized that he promised it to someone else first. No big deal though, I went out and bought one anyway. ;)

    The review is dead on. And I'm not just saying that because I write for them (I did the MuRF and Joe Meek reviews, as well as wrote the article on DSP cards in that issue). But I've lived with mine now for about 3 months, and it's incredible. The sound is superb. The digital mixer functionality is best in class--it even has high end features likes mid-side encoding/decoding that you wouldn't expect to find in any non-dedicated preamp unit. The drivers are absolutely rock solid. Version 2.0 of the drivers, to be released next week (and already posted in prerelease on their newsgroup) even allow the digital mixer to be controlled via Mackie Control.

    Seriously, I highly recommend this unit. It's seriously the best bang for the buck out there, bar none. It's not cheap, but for what it delivers, its a steal.

    Orren
     
  4. cocheese

    cocheese Supporting Member

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    I'm glad you posted this Blueser.

    I'm getting one of these in the next week. I'm also going to use the included Samplitude 6 Producer and upgrade to Samplitude 8 Propfessional as my software. I like the quality of the unit and that it is all on one box too. The features as well as the cound quality are the real kickers for me.

    My only question seems to center around the Firewire card for the PC I'm having built for use with the Fireface. You need firewire 800 to get the full bang out of the machine, right? Well, the folks at Sweetwater (where I was going to buy the computer...the Creation Station model just below the rack version) say firewire 800 is not stable enough and not to use it. Firewire 400 is good enough they said.

    Any truth to this? Also, any other places where I could have a nice computer made for recording?

    Thanks! :D
     
  5. Orren

    Orren Member

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    Not really. :)

    First of all, you do not need FW800 for your Fireface 800 unless you have more than one Fireface unit. FW400 is MORE than enough bandwidth for all the I/O of a single Fireface. So using FW400 or FW800 will be fine, either way.

    But as for the alleged instability of FW800, that's ********. I'm mostly on a Mac, but I know PC folks using the FF800, or hard drives, etc. on FW800 and there are no problems. I don't have FW800 on my PC to test it with, but I would expect no problems at all.

    So the bottom line is that you don't need FW800 to get the most out of the FF800, but if you want to use FW800, it will work fine.

    Orren
     
  6. straticus

    straticus Member

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    Nice looking interface.

    RME makes great stuff and bundling it with Samp is icing on the cake IMO. I wish it had XLR's for each of its 8 anolog inputs.

    I'm going to consider the RME when I up-grade my system.
     
  7. cocheese

    cocheese Supporting Member

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    Thanks Orren! I really appreciate the info. It's nice to have a recording guru around here. We have well in excess of our quota of self-proclaimed tone-doctors. ;)

    I'll keep you posted on the Fireface 800...
     
  8. Blueser

    Blueser Member

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    Orren.

    Thanks for the replies. I read your article re: DSP hardware, and in the small excerpt about "Hardware from Hell", you mentioned that Metric Halo was the best all in one recording unit available (I'm paraphrasing). Do you think that would be a better choice than the RME? I think the only drawback of the MH is its Mac only support.

    Basically, I am looking to put together a small home studio setup, and am looking for the best recording results with an eye on value, and commone sense (I am just a hobbiest at this point). I already own a pair of Mackie HR824 monitors, and a Mackie 1402 mixer. I also have a SM57, and an e609 for micing cabinets, and will be looking to add one great condenser mic (either an AT4050, or a Soundelux U95) so that I can do some semi serious home recording.

    Any thoughts or opinions regarding this stuff would be greatly appreciated.

    B
     
  9. Orren

    Orren Member

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    No, the MH is not the best anymore. The Fireface 800 is.

    Here's a glimpse into the sorts of things that go on in magazines behind the scenes. :)

    I wrote that article in the summer of 2004. It was to appear in the "Desktop Musician" column in Fall of 2004. Then the Desktop Musician column was eliminated, and the article was simply going to be run on its own. Of course, then they decided that the February 2005 issue would be the date of a graphic redesign, which pushed that article further into the background. So as it happens, it showed up now, in April of 2005.

    The RME Fireface 800 came out with Mac drivers in the end of 2004...and from that point on, my MH comments were out of date.

    Another interesting aside--that article had been in limbo so long, I honestly forgot about it completely. A friend called me up and said "nice article" and I thought he meant the reviews! Even though a mention of the article is on the cover, I *still* didn't realize it was mine. Go figure. :)

    Take care,
    Orren
     
  10. Blueser

    Blueser Member

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    Orren,

    Thanks....How do you get around the issue of the RME not having a physical volume control on the panel? I would imagine something like a Mackie Big Knob, or my 1402 mixer using it just to control the volume. No?

    So you think the RME FF 800 is better than the Motu stuff in it's price range?

    I would also be interested in you opinion of the mics I listed above.

    Sorry to pepper you with all of these questions, but I am close to pulling the trigger, and wanted to be sure before I do.

    Thanks,
    B
     
  11. Orren

    Orren Member

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    NHT PVC Passive Volume Control

    It's just a volume knob, and it truly has no negative effects on your sound.

    Yes.

    I honestly don't know anything about those condencers you mention. However, I have both an SM57 and e609 and both are definitely staples in the guitar mic'ing category. :)

    Hope that helps!

    Orren
     
  12. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I have an AT-4057, which is a discontinued hand-held version of the 4050. Same capsule, everything.

    It's a dark mic with a boost around 10k for the vocal "sweet spot." For certain vocalists with naturally rich timbre it's terrific. I've never tried it as a room mic for guitar but I don't think it would be ideal. Just a guess; don't take my word.
     
  13. Blueser

    Blueser Member

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    Thanks Michael. Have you heard the Soundelux U195? That seems to be getting rave reviews as a great "low cost" mic that competes with mics 2-3X it's price.

    B
     
  14. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    >> Have you heard the Soundelux U195? That seems to be getting rave reviews as a great "low cost" mic that competes with mics 2-3X it's price.

    No, I don't know it. I've heard good things, too, but I dunno. They haul out that same verbiage every few months for whatever is the latest cheap Asian-made product-du-jour, if the company has paid for enough advertising space to warrant the raves. I wish I had a dime for every time I see that phrase. IMO it rarely is true. Half the time the product gets those raves before it even ships, which is interesting if you think about it. E.M. is one of the worst offenders, IMO.

    But if it IS true, then sure, that's very nice.

    (By the way, I've read Orren's articles and I feel he's one of the straight shooters)
     
  15. muddy

    muddy Member

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    do yourself a favor. if you're gonna read ads or "reviews," at least don't believe in them hook, line & sinker. for one, the lynx' converters blow the rme's outta the sky. & the mic pre's are HARDLY going to be of the quality of the millenia's. and digidesign's converters have never been that great, if you're looking to compare anything to their hardware. why do you think engineers use other converters with their prostools' systems? including the hd! beware of all-in-one boxes, really. unless it's an over $3,000 pendullum quartet II, where they HAVE spent the dough on ALL it's component's, they are going to suffer on ALL fronts. get a good mic pre, get good converters...you were on the right track with the lynx & rnp.

    the u195 is a really good mic, btw. don't go comparing it to mic's 2-3X it's cost, though. that's just marketing hype. if you're spending that much on a mic, i'd suggest having a look at www.pelusomicrophonelab.com


    ml
     

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