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RME Fireface 800 / UFX , Midas XL-48 / Audient ASP800/880
Old 28th December 2015
  #1
Here for the gear
 

RME Fireface 800 / UFX , Midas XL-48 / Audient ASP800/880

Hi there

I am a drummer and i have a home studio and its time to upgrade my soundcard and preamps.

My current budget is about 1600 euros.

In my home studio i record everything for the bands i play , but also for other bands.
I work mainly with metal/extreme metal music , and i have 2 drumkits , Yamaha Recording Custom and Yamaha Maple Custom.
Some of the mics are Sm7b , sm57 , beta52a , Rode Nt5 , Oktava Mk012 etc.
My DAW is Cubase.

Right now i have 3 Mackie Onyx Blackbird chained via adat and firewire.
That gives me 24 channels and i use 20 of them because i have a very big setup and i like to close mic almost everything.
Very nice interface with good preamps and never had any problems.

Now its time to upgrade for something better.
My main concern is the drums , but i also want something good for Guitars and Vox.

So for my main interface , i can buy the RME Fireface 800 for 700 euros , used but in excellent condition (tested) or the RME UFX for 1400 euros (also used and tested)
I dont need the extra staff UFX is giving , but i know it has better preamps and converters , so as my main interface that i want to keep for 2-4 years (hopefully) do you think it deserves the extra money?
And i am also thinking that maybe RME introduces a new UFX in 1-2 years as did with the new 802?? who knows..

If i buy the UFX i will keep the 2 Mackie Onyx Blackbird.

Now if i go with the RME Fireface 800 , i will have another 900-1000 euros where i can buy a new 8channel preamp to replace one of the Mackie.

From my research i am between Midas XL-48 or Audient ASP800/880.
Which do you think is better for my situation ? (mainly for drums , but also guitars and Vox) or do you have anything else to suggest?

Thanks
Old 29th December 2015
  #2
Gear Head
Go for the AUDIENT ID22 and ASP880 combo, sets you back about 1500$, Burr Brown converters and superb preamps. You will not be dissapointed!
Old 29th December 2015
  #3
I just bought the Audient Id22. 100% satisfied...
Old 29th December 2015
  #4
Here for the gear
 

As i said above... ''That gives me 24 channels and i use 20 of them because i have a very big setup and i like to close mic almost everything.''

Can you have 20 channels (16 from adat) with ID22?? Nope!

Also the question regarding the main interface is RME Fireface 800 or RME UFX
Old 29th December 2015
  #5
Lives for gear
 
JulianFernandez's Avatar
 

If it ain´t broke...
Old 29th December 2015
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

I use a UFX and an Audient ASP008 (the predecessor of the two audient pre's you mentioned)... Same thing... I'm a drummer, and wanted 16 inputs. The audient preamps are nice... I'd recommend them. The variable HPF and impedance are very useful, especially with close dynamic mics on a drum kit.

I like my UFX. It has been, for the most part, stable for me. The converters are very good. The pre's are good also, but very flat/transparent. This is usually what you would get on any interface preamp, for maximum versatility, but while they are technically good, I don't find them very inspiring, and I usually have to add more EQ and processing ITB.

I don't have hands on experience with the FF800, but I understand that both the converters and preamps are quite a step up in the UFX. I would also be concerned about investing in an older interface because a) the converter technology has improved vastly in the last 10-15 years (at least at this price point), and b) backwards compatibility might be an issue. Firewire seems to be going the way of the DoDo. I personally wouldn't invest in anything that is not thunderbolt or USB3.0 at this point... thats just me.

Although I like my Fireface, I have had a bit of buyers remorse. The UA apollos are available for similar money, and their DSP plugins are very appealing - especially the Unison preamp/channel strip models. I know that you already have your mind set on an RME interface (and they are absolutely a great piece of kit), but as an owner of a fireface, I think I would get an apollo if I had to do it over again.
Old 29th December 2015
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Best advice is wait for winter namm. It's only a few weeks away. You will probably see something new from rme or another manufacturer that will fit your needs perfectly or will lower the price of the ufx in the used market
Old 29th December 2015
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Hi my friend and thank you very much for your answer!

Yes that's what i also thought.. Fireface 800 is from 2004 i think and UFX from 2010..
I have also read it has better converters and preamps as you said and i find it very logical as a new release!

Do you think an UA Apollo would be better for my situation? because i dont use vst , i only record raw inputs.
And i dont know if the Apollo has better conversion.. also i have read stability problems.. its a new interface and it has to be tested first a few years i think
Old 29th December 2015
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jezed16 View Post
Best advice is wait for winter namm. It's only a few weeks away. You will probably see something new from rme or another manufacturer that will fit your needs perfectly or will lower the price of the ufx in the used market
Thats true i wont buy anything before winter namm , you never know
Old 29th December 2015
  #10
Here for the gear
 
sounds_easy's Avatar
If you can afford it, the Apollo's are amazing value for money when you consider the I/O, convertor quality - definitely comparable to other high-end brands such as RME, and most importantly the DSP and pluggins you get standard, plus others available to you from the UA online store which generally all sound amazing. Most importantly, you can run those pluggins in the channel path, which could be extremely useful for tracking drums given the dynamics processors available to the Apollo and UAD-2. UA re-released the original firewire rack-mount Apollo with their new convertor technology. I think the Quad is the only option available now, but it means you could use the firewire protocol for now and purchase the Thunderbolt card if you needed to in the future, which might extend it's lifespan somewhat... To be fair though, I don't think purchasing anything from RME would be regrettable - they make excellent convertors and have extremely stable drivers for both Mac and Windows... The UFX also gives you some DSP too.
Old 30th December 2015
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for your answer buddy

Just saw tha apollo has an offer here these days , and you get Universal Audio Apollo Quad Firewire for 1999 euro , and they give you for free a UAD-2 Satellite Quad Firewire!!

I forgot to mention that i am only recording , i dont do any mixing/mastering at the moment.
Also i am a windows user.

So i think i will have to look at this Apollo unit closer , seems very nice.

Its RME UFX or Apollo Quad now
Old 3rd January 2016
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Hi again and a Happy new year to everyone

I found RME UFX from a friend in excellent condition and i can get it for about 1200-1300 euros.

But i just saw this...
Evaluating AD/DA loops by means of Audio Diffmaker

is RME's converters so bad ??
Old 3rd January 2016
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Also this mic preamp shootout here helped me a lot and i am leaning towards Midas (liked it better on Drums)

Review & Shootout: Audient ASP880 Vs Midas XL48 Mic Preamps — Pro Tools Expert
Old 3rd January 2016
  #14
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
hi, the XL-48 would be my choice .. used XL-42's at the house of blues on sunset blvd in the recording room .. really nice punch .. you will not be disappointed
Old 3rd January 2016
  #15
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for the info buddy , thats nice

Anyone who can comment regarding these results about RME UFX??
Because i am gonna buy it tomorrow and these results shocked me :O
Evaluating AD/DA loops by means of Audio Diffmaker

Thanks
Old 3rd January 2016
  #16
Here for the gear
Why is it shocking you? Don't really understand the measures...

I also want to buy a rme ufx or 802 and what would you think should I do regarding just the soundquality, especially the preamps?

Greetings
Old 3rd January 2016
  #17
Here for the gear
 

It's shocking because according to these measures from what i understand shows that UFX does not have very good converters.

UFX from what i have read has better converters and preamps from the 802 , thats why i chose it.
I dont need the extra features like the durec etc , but i really need a good and solid interface with good preamps , drivers and converters to be the centre of my studio for the next 2-3 years.
Old 4th January 2016
  #18
Here for the gear
Yeah you're right... i'm looking for the same, maxbe someone has better experiences with the ufx
Old 4th January 2016
  #19
Lives for gear
 
ChrisLudwig's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blastgr View Post
It's shocking because according to these measures from what i understand shows that UFX does not have very good converters.

UFX from what i have read has better converters and preamps from the 802 , thats why i chose it.
I dont need the extra features like the durec etc , but i really need a good and solid interface with good preamps , drivers and converters to be the centre of my studio for the next 2-3 years.
The 802 would, be your best option if you do not need the extra features of the UFX. Both have excellent converters and Pres. Both sound almost identical.

By far the best drivers either way.

Chris
Old 4th January 2016
  #20
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADKChris View Post
The 802 would, be your best option if you do not need the extra features of the UFX. Both have excellent converters and Pres. Both sound almost identical.

By far the best drivers either way.

Chris
Thanks for your answer buddy

The thing is i can get UFX used but like new condition for 1300 euros.
802 is about 1350 euros new

What would you choose on these conditions?
I think its better to get UFX so i can have slightly better conversion and preamps , and the extra feautures.
Old 4th January 2016
  #21
Lives for gear
 
ChrisLudwig's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blastgr View Post
Thanks for your answer buddy

The thing is i can get UFX used but like new condition for 1300 euros.
802 is about 1350 euros new

What would you choose on these conditions?
I think its better to get UFX so i can have slightly better conversion and preamps , and the extra feautures.
Hi,

You will 1350 Euro is a ggood price.
The UFX and 802 are onl around $200 difference in price new anyways.
You will get their 2 year warranty on the new 802. So worth the xtra $50 IMHO.

Chris
Old 4th January 2016
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Arksun's Avatar
Yeah I would suggest getting the newer option with included warranty rather than second hand for that $50 difference. If you're lucky you might even be able to find a longer warranty. When I bought my UFX it was part of a deal that included a 5 year warranty.
Old 4th January 2016
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
EricBradley's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blastgr View Post
Thanks for your answer buddy

The thing is i can get UFX used but like new condition for 1300 euros.
802 is about 1350 euros new

What would you choose on these conditions?
I think its better to get UFX so i can have slightly better conversion and preamps , and the extra feautures.
There are a couple of things that are pretty important in the implementation.
The UFX uses digitally controlled pre-amps while the 802 has small knobs on the front panel to control gain.

If you like hands on the 802 is definitely more intuitive, however there are many advantages to the digitally controlled preamps of the UFX.
One of these advantages is "AutoSet" that helps you setup your gain automatically. Just click a button and let let the musician play/sing.
Another one is the ability to save gain settings as snapshots. I use this all the time to move extremely quickly between vocal and bass sessions.
Old 4th January 2016
  #24
Here for the gear
Ok, so the general opinion is it's more about the handling and extra features than the sound quality? What about the totalmix, I read it's a newer version, does it differ between the 802 and UFX?
Old 4th January 2016
  #25
Lives for gear
 
ChrisLudwig's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JakobJ View Post
Ok, so the general opinion is it's more about the handling and extra features than the sound quality? What about the totalmix, I read it's a newer version, does it differ between the 802 and UFX?
Hi,
Other the features specific to the UFX or 802 the Total Mix FX versions for both are the same.

Chris
Old 4th January 2016
  #26
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for all your answers guys , I finally bought the UFX
It's in like new condition with original box , manual , cables etc

(RME UFX here in Europe costs 1790 euros and RME 802 1350 euros)

Can't wait to install it on my rack , connect it with my preamps , learn the Total Mix FX and do some tests

If everything goes well , in about a month i will also buy the Midas XL-48.. i think i like it more on the drums and vox versus the Audient ASP880
Old 4th January 2016
  #27
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADKChris View Post
Hi,
Other the features specific to the UFX or 802 the Total Mix FX versions for both are the same.

Chris
Thanks Chris!
Blastgr are you willing to contribute to the same ad/da test you posted? Would be interesting if your ufx is "as bad" as the posted one
Old 4th January 2016
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

Can I point out if im not mistaken that the ufx has 12 channels of ad conversion vs the 8 on the 802?

This is another obvious reason for the price increase!
Old 5th January 2016
  #29
Here for the gear
 

i will try to do that yes

I am trying to learn Total Mix Fx right now , great software and very powerfull , but i have one problem i cant solve...

I connected my mackie blackbird preamps via adat , everything good so far..
but when i connect a mic in any of the 8 inputs on my Mackie , on RME UFX Total Mix Fx goes to all the ADAT input from 1 to 8..
So it basically see all the ADAT input as ONE..
Does anybody knows what i am doing wrong?
Thanks
Old 5th January 2016
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Sounds more like a mackie issue that it's broadcasting the same signal to all 8 outputs of the ADAT. I'd start there. And that you have the ADAT in ADAT mode and not S/PDIF mode if the mackie has that option.
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