RME UFX+ Fireface Thunderbolt / USB Audio Interface
The RME Fireface UFX+ becomes the center of any multitrack studio because it is able to handle up to 94 channels I/O with ease. With unprecedented flexibility, compatibility, the inclusion of DURec (Direct USB Recording) and RME’s famous low latency hardware and driver designs, the Fireface UFX+ raises the bar to new heights.
Packed with features not found on its older sibling, including MADI I/O (188 channels of I/O, 128 channels more than the Fireface UFX), a more powerful DSP, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt™ technology, and a new optional remote control firmly places the RME Fireface UFX+ as the new reference in multitrack recording, mixing and monitoring.
You name it, you connect it
Its flexibility in connectivity and expansion is unrivalled – Analog, ADAT, MADI, AES, SPDIF. USB 2, USB 3 and Thunderbolt technology are standard on the Fireface UFX+. The UFX+ has an impressive channel count: 12 analog + 16 ADAT + 2 AES + 64 MADI = 94 channels input plus output = 188 channels in total. Thunderbolt technology gives the Fireface UFX+ real PCI Express audio performance under Mac and Windows, with lowest latency, lowest system overhead and lowest CPU load. The Fireface UFX+ is fully Thunderbolt technology compatible under Windows, including hot-plugging.
All new AD/DA converters, optimized analog I/O circuits, as well as improved SNR and THD values guarantee pristine, crystal clear and transparent audio. A new PAD-free mic circuit design with +18 dBu maximum input level and 75 dB gain range serves even the most critical recording situation and source trouble-free.
New low impedance Hi-Power phones outputs (2 Ohms) with +19 dBu maximum output level provide ample output power as well as volume on any phones, high or low impedance.
Comprehensive MADI Connectivity
The Fireface UFX+ opens the doors to a host of RME and 3rd party digital and analog I/O solutions. Expanding your analog channel count, the ability to route/mix within the digital domain through numerous sources presents many flexible options. Multiple external MADI devices can also be connected in series.
To further enhance MADI flexibility, the Fireface UFX+ boasts some typical RME-style features. For example in USB 2 mode, which is limited to 30 channels I/O (12 analog plus 16 ADAT plus AES), the MADI I/O is still available via RME’s integrated hardware mixer TotalMix FX. Word Clock I/O (BNC) can be switched to MADI I/O (coaxial), and a special split mode even supports the use of both MADI I/Os simultaneously, with 32 channel each on optical and coaxial.
Improved DURec (Direct USB Recording)
DURec, which is available on the front of the Fireface UFX+, now offers second generation hardware with improved USB functionality and compatibility, providing greater reliability even with slower or multi-partitioned USB thumb drives.
The maximum number of recordable channels has been raised to 76, meaning all 12 analog inputs plus 64 MADI channels can be recorded simultaneously. An internal Realtime Clock (RTC) delivers time-stamped files, and playback now includes several advanced player functions previously unavailable.
ARC USB Remote Control - Plug 'n' Play Plus
The ARC USB connects to your computer via USB, and talks to TotalMix FX directly. It has 15 freely assignable and illuminated buttons, one encoder wheel, and a TS jack to connect a foot switch.
The ARC USB is a USB 1.1 MIDI remote control for the Fireface UFX+. Thanks to operating as a UAC 1 class device, it is natively compatible to Windows and Mac OS X. As soon as it is present in the operating system, TotaIMix FX will automatically detect the ARC USB, and communicate with it via simple MIDI remote commands to control the UFX+.
Since 2001, TotalMix has added unlimited routing and mixing to RME audio interfaces. Its unique capability to create as many independent submixes as output channels available, turned it into the most flexible and powerful mixer of its kind.
With supported hardware, TotalMix FX includes a complete effects system, which not only adds flexibility to the recording chain, but also makes latency saddled software solutions obsolete.
TotalMix FX can completely replace an external mixer, enabling the creation of multiple latency-free monitor mixes with EQ, Dynamics, Reverb and Delay for any outputs, incl. main monitors and headphone mixes for musicians.
TotalMix FX for iPad™ App
TotalMix FX for iPad™ adds full control over hardware mixer and DSP effects for Fireface UFX+, UFX, UCX, 802, Babyface, Babyface Pro and MADIface Pro when in Class Compliant Mode, and lets you create, store and load complete mixes directly from the iPad™
- 94 Input / 94 Output channels
- 12 x Analog I/O
- 4 x Mic/Instrument Preamp, digitally controlled
- 1 x AES/EBU I/O
- 2 x ADAT I/O (or 1 x ADAT I/O plus 1 x SPDIF I/O optical)
- 1 x Word Clock I/O / MADI Coaxial
- 1 x MADI optical I/O
- 2 x MIDI I/O
- 1 x Thunderbolt™ connectivity
- 1 x USB 3.0
- TotalMix FX
- optional: Advanced Remote Control USB
|Computer Connection||Thunderbolt, USB|
|MIDI Connections||In, Out|
|Digital Format||ADAT, AES/EBU, MADI, S/PDIF|
This interface had a great deal of functionality, decent A/DA converters, a great internal master clock, and other strong features. It's also built with real care and first-rate components. Unfortunately, the learning curve is a bit steep (the Total Mix software is not especially intuitive), but the versatility of the unit is commendable nevertheless. I have other interfaces that don't offer nearly as much in the way of connectivity or high quality direct monitoring features.
Aside from the steep learning curve of the Total Mix software (the only means by which the user can access input/output levels, phantom power, direct monitor f/x, etc.), my only other criticism of the RME rests with the "clinical" quality of the four XLR preamps. I kept one of my old interfaces and slaved it into the RME via ADAT light pipe to add some extra channels of XLR mic inputs to my overall setup. While the clocking in the old interface isn't as precise as the clocking in the RME (the RME provides tremendous detail and clarity in the high frequencies), the old interface XLR preamps/converters sound quite a bit warmer and fatter than the XLR preamps/converters in the RME. (Some folks tend to confuse "warmth" with less high frequency content, but in this case, the old interface provides a lot more "air" in the low frequencies. It's not simply a difference in the high frequency content.) But, when I use the inputs from the old interface and run the output of the old interface into the RME (syncing to the RME clock), the sound is FAR better than what either the RME or the old interface can produce on its own. (I also have some great old tube and solid state mic preamps that help to lessen the "sterile" nature of the RME conversion.)
The other unit I seriously considered before buying the RME was the UA Apollo x8p. Because the Apollo is built in China, , because the Apollo has fewer connectivity options, and because I read so many online complaints about Apollo hardware failures and bad UA Customer support experiences, I decided to go with the RME. I'm happy with the RME, but not ecstatic. I am, however, VERY happy with the setup I've created by integrating my old interface with the RME.
HUGE upgrade from what I had (and I'm guessing whatever you have if you're reading this). Worth the extra dough to get this model with the extra MADI option for down the road, particularly on outputs. If you were going to have a 16 channel summing mixer you were run on of outputs quickly and would be well served by an M-32 that used MADI to get the signal there. Interface pres are fine, clean and don't do anything very useful when pushed. The DI is excellent for guitars and bass if you're using simulated amps. TotalMix FX is the best, a bit of a learning curve, but seriously the best. Highly recommended.
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