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NEW: RME BabyFace with new Total Mix FX Audio Interfaces
Old 11th April 2011
  #211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfg_MacGyver View Post
Sure, no problem.
I had nada problems with my headphones though.
My main point was: please make BABYFACE "lightning" edition with no DSP, adat and latency as low as possible.

My old motu PCI32 card is doing 8 samples buffer when tracking with loads of software effects, vsti's.
Emu 0404 is doing ,not as good, but lower latency than babyface tracking with same vst effects enabled, especially in reaper.

I bet u RME guys could do magic with low latency on babyface if u focused on that and dropped adat, dsp-effects.
If u also gave the headphone amp OOOOMPH enough to drive all kinds of headphones babyface "lightning" edition wud be perfect mobile interface imo.

ty in advance
you are missing the fact that you will never get latency as low as a PCI card with usb. Forget it and move one. Use direct monitoring w/ Babyface and track w/ babyface fx.
Old 11th April 2011
  #212
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfg_MacGyver View Post
Emu 0404 is doing ,not as good, but lower latency than babyface tracking with same vst effects enabled, especially in reaper.
The latency doesn't really matter if you use the direct monitoring, no?
Old 13th April 2011
  #213
TNM
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output latency does matter for playing vsti in realtime though
Old 13th April 2011
  #214
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Breathless View Post
Just got my Babyface today as well.

First impression is that it obviously seems to be very well made. Some people have complained about the jog wheel not being smooth but mine is smooth as a babyfaces butt. I have never, ever witnessed a USB connection being this secure. I almost thought I was plugging it in wrong, even after realizing I had the orientation correct. Nice. No wiggles allowed. I like the included breakout cable extension cord. Nice.

I remember someone earlier in this thread complaining about the weight of the breakout cable. Your kidding me right? Would you rather it weigh an ounce and be a piece of crap? It is neither too big, nor too heavy. Actually, I wish the cables were a little thicker, but I'm sure it probably wouldn't make a difference anyway.

Very easy, easy driver installation. You would think this would be a given, but if you have ever experienced problems installing Digidesign drivers before, you will appreciate this... and I am no knucklehead when it comes to driver installations btw. I am a day in / day out PC Technician for 15 years. Installation on the babyface took like 4 seconds total, and then a reboot. Boom, done - the way it should be. Firmware upgrade, same experience. EASY, and I have had problems upgrading firmware on Mbox's as well. Just double click the firmware file, tell it to update, wait a few seconds for it to finish, click ok, unplug and replug as it tells you... done. No hassle. Avid, you need to go back to the drawing board.

People have commented on how stable the drivers are.... Now I know why. Basically, after playing with this for 15 minutes in Pro Tools 9 under Windows 7, I can safely / confidently / unashamedly say that the Mbox 3 sucks in COMPARISON. Pro Tools was never the problem with the various errors, hardware buffer overflows, DAE errors, etc. It was all Avids crappy hardware all along. With the babyface, when I click on a spot on the top bar in pro tools to play, it plays instantly, no delay. Before with the Mbox 3, if I clicked on the top bar (which instantly starts playing wherever you click on it), there would be a delay before playing.... not too bad, but annoying (regardless of buffer settings, etc). And if I clicked around too fast on the bar at the top with my Mbox 3 I would get hardware buffer errors and such, and I have a GREAT system. I can't make this babyface crash. VERY STABLE.

I then installed it in "Mac". There was one strange thing I noticed after installing the drivers and choosing the babyface as my sound card. When I played system sounds from the sound menu in system preferences, there was a crackle on the end of every sound effect played back. At first I was like "oh no...", however, the strange thing is that when I opened Pro Tools 9 for the first time, played around, and quit Pro Tools, all the system sounds were fine again, and the issue did not reoccur.

Did I mention this thing sounds fantastic? There is a noticeable difference in listening to my sessions through the headphone out as compared to my Mbox 3, and I was not expecting there to be one. I am not one of those people that generally makes a big deal over little, almost indistinguishable differences. I suppose I could be wrong, but the Mbox 3 just seemed kind of harsh to me.... not like it was peaking, but almost like it was close to peaking.

Everything sounds GREAT with lots of volume... just very smooth, and very crispy. I have yet to record anything yet though. When I do, i'll post back an A/B.

Long story short, if you are waiting on getting this, DON'T. There is no reason to, as long as stability and quality is your concern, and money is a little less of a concern.

I got mine for $680 total. If anyone wants to potentially get it for that price, make this guy an offer while he still has them:

RME Babyface 10-in/12-out USB Audio Interface - NEW - eBay (item 230581461507 end time May-03-11 17:11:00 PDT)

No one else was willing to offer me that price, and trust me, I shopped around. Boy did I shop around.

Hi Breathless,

You following sentence made me uneasy:

Just double click the firmware file, tell it to update, wait a few seconds for it to finish, click ok, unplug and replug as it tells you... done. No hassle.

For those of us who use a PC that is NEVER connected to the Internet, how would we be able to get a firmware upgrade?

Thanks in advance!
Old 13th April 2011
  #215
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plugin View Post
Hi Breathless,

You following sentence made me uneasy:

Just double click the firmware file, tell it to update, wait a few seconds for it to finish, click ok, unplug and replug as it tells you... done. No hassle.

For those of us who use a PC that is NEVER connected to the Internet, how would we be able to get a firmware upgrade?

Thanks in advance!
???

You are connected to the internet right now to post. I dare say that there is close to no one on the face of the planet that has one of these, but yet does not have internet access, or access to the internet.

My instructions of course assume that you have already downloaded the firmware file. If you truly do not have internet access you could probably download the firmware file from a computer at your local library or internet cafe to a flash drive, and take it to your computer that does not have access. Someone you know has the internet.
Old 13th April 2011
  #216
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Breathless View Post
???

You are connected to the internet right now to post. I dare say that there is close to no one on the face of the planet that has one of these, but yet does not have internet access, or access to the internet.

My instructions of course assume that you have already downloaded the firmware file. If you truly do not have internet access you could probably download the firmware file from a computer at your local library or internet cafe to a flash drive, and take it to your computer that does not have access. Someone you know has the internet.
Thanks,

I wasn't sure if the firmware ''upgrade'' was a file in itself that can be transported to another computer, hence my question.

Thanks,

much appreciated!
Old 13th April 2011
  #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfg_MacGyver View Post
useless imo...


so much positive has been said bout babyface so here's my less positive small review of babyface:


pre-converter sounds sublime

the "one main control knob and two single buttons" is crap in my hands.

And why no minijack stereo-out (emu0404usb has), with portable setup u sometimes use pc-speakers in hotelrooms.

DSP effects reverb echo eq are mediocre and cant be used in sequencer(as if I wud want to use them)

latency is disappointing only mono track in, stereo out. My emu 0404 usb performs much better latency. Especially in reaper.

babyface is usb powered (grabs two usbs for power). Can run laptop very hot, and force u to buy usb-hub. External power should have been option imo.

breakoutcable feels chunky, for portable setup reading the very small labels is a drag.

I was looking for better converters/pre to replace my emu 0404usb portable setup for travel, babface has better converters/pre but I have to pay for loads of stuff I will never use:
adat, digi ins/outs, dsp effects

my babyface is back at the dealers, keeping my emu. If babyface had performed same or better latency than emu maaaaybe I wud have kept it.
But it didnt.
Man you should have posted clips comparing the babyface to the 0404.
Old 13th April 2011
  #218
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I've just been trying one out with my MacbookPro (2010 model) and I must say I am impressed. i currently use a FF800 on my main rig and just got rid of an Apogee DUET, which, whilst it was great, it was inflexible and had difficulty powering a couple of my mics.
Using a single USB port, the Babyface has absolutely no issues powering for mentioned mics and runs beautifully at 32 samples with LogicPro. It is noticeably faster with regard to latency than the FF800 at the same buffer setting (Firewire using a large safety buffer I believe) and sounds great.
The breakout comes with an extension and it's not like the crappy moulded thing you get from Apogee.
Like I said, I am both surprised and impressed with it and it has exceeded my expectations.

I have been using RME gear for about 10 years now, starting with the Multiface PCI and the drivers IMO are the best I've come across.

I think I'll be adopting this lil beauty.
Old 14th April 2011
  #219
Gear Addict
just a quick chime in that i also got a babyface a few days ago. i've been using the discontinued RPM hammerfall interface since it came out in 2004 with both a cardbus and expresscard depending on what computer i was using.

with latest drivers/firmware updates applied immediately, i can work at 48 samples comfortably on my i7 PC. i couldn't get lower than 256 samples on my hammerfall on the same computer.

the preamps sound miles better than the preamp on the RPM. i'm still getting my way around the new totalmix fx and arranging the best way to use the jog wheel and buttons for my workflow.

really looking forward to the new drivers which will allow multiple software applications to play on the same playback channels simultaneously!

i'm very happy with my purchase.
Old 16th April 2011
  #220
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Plush's Avatar
Yesterday I had a situation with my Babyface. I plugged the output of a console in to the line input of the Babyface and recorded. However, even with low level program material -12 max., the Babyface showed zero dBFS and overs.

I had the gain on the input channels of the Babyface software at ZERO and on this unit one cannot make a gain trim to go lower than ZERO.

What am I missing? It seems the "line inputs" on the breakout cable are feeding what is really a mic amp set to ZERO. Line sensitivity is not correct.
Old 16th April 2011
  #221
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Mats H's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Yesterday I had a situation with my Babyface. I plugged the output of a console in to the line input of the Babyface and recorded. However, even with low level program material -12 max., the Babyface showed zero dBFS and overs.

I had the gain on the input channels of the Babyface software at ZERO and on this unit one cannot make a gain trim to go lower than ZERO.

What am I missing? It seems the "line inputs" on the breakout cable are feeding what is really a mic amp set to ZERO. Line sensitivity is not correct.
Maximum input level of the Babyface is +12 dBu, you're sure that you have no gain set on the inputs in TotalMix FX? It shouldn't clip unless you have really hot outputs from your mixer

I compared the input sensitivity against the UFX at +4 dB setting and it is indeed more sensitive, though still line level. I believe it was a 2-3 dB difference.

Last edited by Mats H; 16th April 2011 at 04:25 PM.. Reason: clarification
Old 17th April 2011
  #222
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Hansest's Avatar
 

[Maximum input level of the Babyface is +12 dBu]

Most preamps could overload this input level easily

It has been asked before, can you bypass the preamp??
Old 17th April 2011
  #223
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Timur Born's Avatar
 

You cannot bypass the preamps, but only set them to 0 dB gain minimum (9+ dB on Instrument input). So Plush is correct in that the any signal is always feed through the preamps.

Have a look at the block diagram on page 73 of the manual.
Old 20th April 2011
  #224
I know a lot of the RME gear had a toggle for -10dBV and +4dBU in software - is it possible it's doing that when in "line" settings?
Old 20th April 2011
  #225
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Timur Born's Avatar
 

The Babyface doesn't have these analogue gain-stages (and correspondingly no "line" setting). You can switch Input 2 to "Instrument" and that's it.
Old 20th April 2011
  #226
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Plush's Avatar
Thanks for the good responses on the issue I raised. I do now see that the mentioned level of +12 dBu is the max. level for "line in."

I do disagree that this is a high or hot level on a console or mic amp. It is a very middling level on a console and one of my mic amps, a Thermionic Culture Earlybird has a max output of over +30dBu.

So I have decided to use in line pads when sending the 2 mix output of a console to the Babyface.

Clearly the Babyface is designed to really handle two mics on the two mic inputs and line inputs ONLY on the ADAT inputs. These could be coming from a console or a mic amp with ADAT outs.
Old 20th April 2011
  #227
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Timur Born's Avatar
 

I just checked the Apogee website to find out the maximum input level of the Duet 2. But there is no mentioning of it. With a gain range of 75 dB it theoretically could be at least +15 dB more than the Babyface. Downloading anything (like a manual) requires registering.

To get more information I started a pre-sales chat that is offered on their website. The representative "Paulina" had to do a pause and told me to "check that for" me. Took several minutes until she got back to me. Spec sheets don't seem to be pre-sales material, but I still appreciate the personal effort.

Since she didn't have anyone around to assist her she asked me to send full specs via e-mail. Once I get these I will post them here for comparison.
Old 21st April 2011
  #228
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Timur Born's Avatar
 

Answer from Apogee via E-mail:

Quote:
Regarding your question today on Live Chat - Duet 2 max input level Hi-Z: 14dBu.
No idea why she mentions "Hi-Z", I did not ask about that specifically.
Old 21st April 2011
  #229
Gear Nut
 
dfg_MacGyver's Avatar
 

why not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by work2do View Post
you are missing the fact that you will never get latency as low as a PCI card with usb. Forget it and move one. Use direct monitoring w/ Babyface and track w/ babyface fx.
Why not same speed or better?

My old motu pci32 card is doing 8samples buffer on my quad6600 pc.

to my knowledge usb 2.0 has almost same transfer rate as pci32, usb 3.0 much higher transfer rate.

Cant see why RME couldnt beat or match my old pci32 regarding buffersize, latency.
If RME focused on buffersize, latency. Instead of dsp, fx in totalmix , adat etc.


I read about RME new usb technology, so my hopes were up.
But its performing worse latencies than my emu0404usb. Hmmm , not good.

"Use direct monitoring w/ Babyface and track w/ babyface fx."

Nono, wud never do that.
I wanna monitor through my sequencer using the vst effects I normally use. And wanna be able to use new vsts if something better emerges.
Dont wanna be stuck with the rme fx and having to set up fx in totalmix also.


Hey I expect the new equipment I buy to perform better than the old.
Am I wrong?
Old 21st April 2011
  #230
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Timur Born's Avatar
 

You have to compares latency in milliseconds, not audio buffers (samples), unless you know how large the "hidden" safety-buffer is.
Old 21st April 2011
  #231
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dfg_MacGyver's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timur View Post
You have to compares latency in milliseconds, not audio buffers (samples), unless you know how large the "hidden" safety-buffer is.
I know.
Thats why I write "But its performing worse latencies than my emu0404usb" when comparing babyface - emu0404usb .
Emu0404 is usable monitoring through sequencer using vsts, babyface isnt...
Old 22nd April 2011
  #232
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfg_MacGyver View Post
Why not same speed or better?

My old motu pci32 card is doing 8samples buffer on my quad6600 pc.

to my knowledge usb 2.0 has almost same transfer rate as pci32, usb 3.0 much higher transfer rate.
No, if it's 33MHz PCI it has 133MB bandwidth. 66MHz PCI has 266MB (your MOTU is probably 66MHz). USB 2 has 60MB max bandwidth. FW400 is 50MB.

1 MB = 8 Mb. Megabyte vs Megabit.
Old 22nd April 2011
  #233
Gear Addict
 

Double check that you're setting the gain knob, not the volume slider. You have to click the wrench to get to the knob for each channel.

Sent from my SPH-D700 using Gearslutz.com App
Old 22nd April 2011
  #234
Gear Nut
 
dfg_MacGyver's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Hepworth View Post
No, if it's 33MHz PCI it has 133MB bandwidth. 66MHz PCI has 266MB (your MOTU is probably 66MHz). USB 2 has 60MB max bandwidth. FW400 is 50MB.

1 MB = 8 Mb. Megabyte vs Megabit.
Ah, ty.

Guess Im gonna stay on PCI til usb 3.0
Old 22nd April 2011
  #235
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Timur Born's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfg_MacGyver View Post
My old motu pci32 card is doing 8samples buffer on my quad6600 pc.
I assume you mistyped and meant 48 samples? Else I'd like to see a screenshot where you are setting up 8 samples and see a reasing of the corresponding latency in ms so that we can determine the real buffer size.
Old 22nd April 2011
  #236
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Timur Born's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfg_MacGyver View Post
Guess Im gonna stay on PCI til usb 3.0
Because of? 60 channels x 196 kHz x 24 bit = 33,65 mb/s
Old 22nd April 2011
  #237
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valis's Avatar
I hear cars are nice & all but I'm going to stay with the tried and true horse & buggy. After all it's worked for thousands of years right?!

Jk, but make no mistake modern chipsets & cpu's are a far cry from the p3/p4/g3/g4 era machines where USB was introduced. The only real limit I see to USB recording interfaces is relying on host power with usb ports in a high-gain situation with large channel counts. I would assume RME did their job here as the specs are identical between UC & Fireface 400 (the most directly comparable imo) and so you're left with the lack of a toggle for +4/-10 as the only feature missing versus their PCI/PCIe based products.

On the flipside there Intel is in the process of completely phasing out native PCI implementations from its chipsets. So you'd get a bridge that sits downstream from a PCIe lane or two, and thus be better off chossing PCIe or USB as they're both native implementations.
Old 22nd April 2011
  #238
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dfg_MacGyver's Avatar
 

yep

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timur View Post
Because of? 60 channels x 196 kHz x 24 bit = 33,65 mb/s
R u on my side now?
Thats why I was saying RME should be able to do better latency if they focused on this. At least match emu0404usb latency on mono in, stereo out.
Maybe they need more than usb 2.0 bandwith to work magic ? RME knows, I dont.

Regarding 8 samples. Yep I wrote 8 (eight). I used these (got two) old pci cards in three Pc upgrades. And in every upgrade lower buffer settings appears in MOTU pci software. Pretty cool.
Hmm , now I get unsure if it does 8 or 16 samples buffer in quite large cubase projects. But its amazing to work , track with. Monitoring through sequencer using any vsts, no problem.

Screenshot? Arh , lifes too short. Ur gonna say I photoshopped it, and so this thread could go on heh
Old 22nd April 2011
  #239
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Timur Born's Avatar
 

That's why I'm asking for latencies in ms here. It doesn't matter what setting MOTU offers in their software if we don't know how many samples buffer they add to that in their driver.

I published the following numbers before and it's several driver iterations old, but likely still quite accurate (Babyface uses the same driver as the UC). I will do new measurements once I find time. Seems to me like RME concentrated pretty much on keeping USB latencies low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timur
Because this questions keeps coming up here is a comparison of the HDSPe (ExpressCard + MF2) vs Fireface 400 vs Fireface UC on both Windows and OS X.

The following list shows the number of samples used by hardware (AD/DA) + safety-buffer, but *without* audio buffers (which obviously vary according to what you setup yourself).

Input OS X vs. Windows (in samples)

HDSPe: 69 vs. 32
FF 400: 109 vs. 45
FF UC: 69 vs. 55

Output OS X vs. Windows (in samples)

HDSPe: 103 vs. 64
FF 400: 96 vs. 96
FF UC: 70 vs. 63

These are the latencies your interface begins with *without* audio buffers being added. So on Windows a Fireface UC at 44.1 kHz with a buffer setting of 64 samples would sum up to 63 + 64 = 134 samples = 2.88 ms output latency.

Windows buffer sizes are lower to begin with but OS X allows to set audio buffers as low as 1 sample (if the application supports it), while the minimum on Windows is 32 for PCI(e) and 48 for FW and USB (in practice rather 64).
Old 23rd April 2011
  #240
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dfg_MacGyver's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timur View Post
That's why I'm asking for latencies in ms here. It doesn't matter what setting MOTU offers in their software if we don't know how many samples buffer they add to that in their driver.

I published the following numbers before and it's several driver iterations old, but likely still quite accurate (Babyface uses the same driver as the UC). I will do new measurements once I find time. Seems to me like RME concentrated pretty much on keeping USB latencies low.
hey

interesting timur. I wonder how u measured that, but hey we could go on forever.
I have given up finding the "IRL latency".
As u say win, OsX "IRL latency" is diff when using same buffer settings.
Also Ive found that diff audioprograms give diff IRL latency using same interface, buffersettings, etc.


When I "test" usb interfaces I use same vst chain(vst chain I use on my PCI) and same settings, monitor throug sequencer in diff audioprograms with diff audiointerfaces.
Dont know how to measure the "IRL latency", but I can hear if its usable or not for me...

And my motu pci does do 16 samples buffer on win, trust me.
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