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RME ARC-USB Programmable USB Remote for Fireface UFX+
The RME ARC-USB is a wired remote designed for direct access to the most frequently used actions and commands of TotalMix FX, an indispensable tool in the studio's daily applications. Its extremely flexible configuration through TotalMix FX will simplify workflow and greatly increase the usability of the RME interface in most real world situations.
The ARC USB is a USB 1.1 (UAC1) MIDI remote control, natively compatible to Windows and Mac OS X. As soon as it is present in the operating system TotaIMix FX will detect it and communicate with it, without disturbing other remote controls. Therefore it is also not necessary to switch the ARC USB on or off within TotalMix FX - it will just work. And because it communicates with TotalMix FX (via USB) it is compatible to all RME audio interfaces that are detected and supported by TotalMix FX. This goes back to RME interfaces released 2001!
As soon as the ARC USB is connected to a computer any button press or wheel turning will cause the respective action performed by TotalMix FX - and therefore also by the RME audio interface.
With the UFX+ and UFX II the ARC USB can also be connected directly to these devices, currently the only RME interfaces having an internal USB 1.1 host with matching connector. This way of connecting is handy in stand-alone mode, where the ARC USB is also supported by the UFX+ and UFX II.
The ARC USB is bus powered, but draws only little current. Also it uses USB 1.1 as bus standard, which these days is uncritical due to its lower frequency and speed demands. USB 2 cables with 5 meter to 10 meter length, and cheap USB 2 cable extensions that usually make a bus-powered interface fail will work perfectly for the ARC USB. Still at higher lengths RME recommends to use active USB 2 cables (also called extension or repeater cables), which are not expensive and work over lengths of more than 20 meters.
The ARC USB can control several interfaces simultaneously, which happens automatically as the Key Commands dialog in TotalMix FX is specific to the currently selected audio interface. Just assign only the functions that are desired for each respective interface. After that the ARC USB keys and the encoder wheel remote the respective interface where they have been assigned to, without the need to further switch or select anything in normal operation.
- Talkback: is lit dim as soon as the ARC USB is running on 5 V USB bus power
- Speaker B: is lit dim as soon as a USB communication is possible
- DIM: is lit dim as soon as a communication with TotalMix FX is established
- Therefore in normal operation all three lower keys are lit dim constantly
- Row 1 and 2: activating Snapshots 1 to 8
- Row 3: Mono, Volume Phones 1, Volume Phones 2, External Input
- Lower keys: Talkback, Speaker B, Dim
- A set of stickers with all currently available TotalMix FX commands is included - these can be used to label all keys reflecting the current user configuration
- The rotary encoder wheel is used to change various parameters, like gain and volume, it is programmable in TotalMix FX as well
The Advanced Remote Control is configured in the Options menu via the Key Commands dialog of TotalMix FX, tab ARC USB Settings. As the ARC does not have any memory, all configuration and storage is done via TotalMix FX. All settings of the ARC USB are stored within a Workspace, and are therefore identical in all Snapshots of that current Workspace.
More than 36 different commands can be assigned to the 15 keys. The behavior of each individual button can be changed between push, toggle, enable and disable, depending on the base function.
- No Funktion
- Global Mute
- Global Solo
- Mute Group 1 to 4
- Solo Group 1 to 4
- Fader Group 1 to 4
- Link Main AB
- Speaker B Select
- DIM (Main Out)
- Mute (Main Out)
- Mute FX (Main Out)
- Mono (Main Out)
- External Input
- Cue Phones 1 to 4
- Snapshot 1 to 8
- Layout Preset 1 to 8
- Volume Main
- Volume Phones 1 to 4
- Mic Gain 1, Mic Gain 2, Mic Gain 1+2
- Inst. Gain 3, Inst. Gain 4, Inst. Gain 3+4
- Mic/Inst. Gain 9, Mic/Inst. Gain 10, Mic/Inst. Gain 9+10
- Mic/Inst. Gain 11, Mic/Inst. Gain 12, Mic/Inst. Gain 11+12
Some commands are not available at certain interfaces, or slightly changed due to different functionality. Fireface UFX and UFX+ have additional commands for DURec: Record, Play and Stop.
Several functions can be activated at the same time. Example: Button 1 is set to Cue Phones 1. That means the phones submix is heard via the Main output (the studio monitors). To be able to also change the volume of the phones submix itself, set button 2 to Volume Phones 1. Activating both will allow you to listen to the phones submix via the main output, and also to change its volume (the fader in the third row) by turning the encoder knob.
A standard footswitch (with switch, sustain pedals with pot are not supported) can be connected to the 1/4" TS jack on the left side. In Key Commands Settings the same options are available for the footswitch as for the 15 keys.
Overall an incredibly useful tool that greatly enhances the usability of my Fireface UFX. Great build quality, and the fact you can map any function to any key is amazing. I have mine serving as hardware 48v buttons and gain wheels for the Fireface’s pre’s, as well as a monitor controller to quickly switch between my mains and a mono Avantone. It’s almost perfect, but occasionally it defaults the button mapping and I just have to restart it, hence 4 stars. But still absolutely worth it.
Sturdy, configurable control for RME’s Totalmix software. Saves me a ton of time and makes it easy to quickly switch monitoring settings. Highly recommended!
I have a rather large argosy desk that I use in my home production studio. With this remote I am able to control my RME interface in the just out of reach slot of my rack. this leaves the closest to me rack spaces open for the outboard gear I use the most. I also love being able to switch between headphones and monitors with the push of a button and the turn of a dial. This remote has increase my productivity by helping with my workflow.
Really worth the extra money to grab this as a companion to the Fireface. All of the buttons are programmable so you can swap monitors, adjust gain on a preamp, turn the vocalists headphone mix down, and mute all the open mic inputs very conveniently after you've set it up.
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