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Combinations with RME Fireface UCX for more outputs
Old 16th July 2016
Here for the gear

Combinations with RME Fireface UCX for more outputs

I will be getting my hands on a Fireface UCX in the next weeks.
I will need more than the 6 analog outputs available on the interface for a project.
Questions is: can I potentially connect the interface to the Fireface Octamic ll preamp via ADAT and use just the outputs of the preamp.
Now, I understand this might be a silly question because of reasons like:
1) there's no actual digital out from this preamp (on the RME website it says only for sync which means for clock, I guess?)
2) the preamp has virtually no DA conversion (only AD conversion)

So I guess this refers to most preamps then. I can't really exploit a preamp as a DA converter, can I?

So here comes my next question:
RME is a favorite of mine. However, I can't understand how could their AD/DA converters cost 3/4 the price of a proper fully-equiped Fireface UFX. Does anyone have a logical explanation to this? Something that has to do with quality/compatibility perhaps?
Old 16th July 2016
Lives for gear

I don't know why the octo mic pre wouldn't do DA but you could pic up a used fireface 800 probably cheaper and have full 8 channels of AD/DA over Adat of the same RME stability. It only has four preamps though. I'm sure there is another option for 8 channel mic pre with DA but can't suggest one without research. My UA 4-710d doesn't do DA either. RME does support running two interfaces simultaneously but that gives you separate totalmix windows. Adat will keep you at a lower sample rate but allow you to use all the totalmix FX and routing for channels on both units in one window. It might be helpful to have the simultaneous driver option to control some of the mic and input features of something like a ff800 running over Adat even in slave clock mode.
Old 16th July 2016
Lives for gear

Octamic is for expansion of inputs, as you've already guessed it doesn't have any D/A converters. Analog outputs there are line outs from preamps for use with other converter or analog mixer for example.

If you'd like something with ADAT and 8 D/As, then cheapest is Behringer ADA8200 (which might be absolutely fine for some live or monitoring output expansion) next is Focusrite Octopre Dynamics or new DigiMax DP88, which might be good value for its price.
Or as correctly Milliken pointed out, you can use any interface with ADAT I/O and standalone mode. Not only RME, but anything where you can setup I/O routing and it will keep it without computer.. So also Focusrite 18i20 or say used Saffire Pro 40.. (although some interfaces might require Firewire.. at least for that initial routing setup).

Reason why converters and interfaces are very close pricewise is similar manufacturing costs.. Chassis, connectors, analog circuitry, converter chips, clocks.. are much less the same for both and dominates in the price.. the rest like audio interface module, headphone amps corresponds to the difference.
Also vendors often share development of standalone preamps with audio interfaces and the same (or slightly modified) circuitry is used at both.. which also makes sense for devices from the same line, where standalone preamp is also meant as an expansion to interface.

Old 29th July 2016
Here for the gear

Thanks a lot for taking some time to clarify, guys! It's well appreciated.
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