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RME introduces the Babyface Pro FS
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Hardware RME introduces the Babyface Pro FS

RME has just announced the new Babyface Pro FS. Here is the official press release :


Four years ago the Babyface Pro again demonstrated RME’s absolute commitment to superior craftsmanship, not only in audio circuits and driver development, but also in mechanics. Created with the highest precision from a block of aluminum, this high-end portable interface incorporated newly designed analog and digital circuits. Its innovative energy saving technologies provided supreme fidelity with no compromises in level, noise or distortion.

In the new Babyface Pro FS even more improvements were implemented:

• +19 / +4 dBu switch on the bottom adds a direct way to reduce the output level, thus improves SNR for sensitive active monitors, avoids distortion / overload, and helps to keep TotalMix FX faders near 0 dB instead of high attenuations.
• Full SteadyClock FS circuit as in the ADI-2 Pro FS for lowest jitter and highest jitter immunity.
• 3.5 mm TRS phones output power rises from 70 mW to 90 mW. THD of both phones outputs improved by up to 10 dB. Uses same output op-amps as ADI-2 Pro now. Output impedance of 3.5 mm TRS lowered from 2 Ohms to 0.1 Ohms.
• Mic inputs SNR improved from 112.2 dB to 113.7 dB, TRS Line inputs SNR improved from 114 dB to 116.3 dB (120 dBA). THD Line inputs improved by 8 dB.
• 6 samples less latency on the AD side by new ADC (5 samples AD, 7 samples DA. It won't get quicker...).
• All the above improvements were achieved without raising the units power consumption.
• K-slot (Kensington Lock) for theft protection.
Product website: www.rme-audio.de/babyface-pro-fs.html
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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Following
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Very interesting.

In therm of specs it is a relatively poor update.

On the AD side there is only a minor upgrade at converters.

Mic port - 0.7 db increase
Intrument port 2db increase


UAD recently updated their Apollo Twin line with the "X" version where the AD converters were increased to 127 db SNR.

Anyway these are only figures. May be a major upgrade in sound of Babyface.

I am very interested because recently sold my Babyface Pro but I want to buy another one. My dilemma is which one? The new one for a bigger price tag. Or The old one with a very convenient price. (170 euro less)

If somebody checked or reviewed the interface let us know here

I have something I do not understand:

The press release states: " TRS Line inputs SNR improved from 114 dB to 116.3 dB (120 dBA)."

As I know the "line input" is a TR input an UNBALANCED input. Was it transformed in a BALANCED TRS input?

or there is a mistake in the press release?

Last edited by zsoltms; 4 weeks ago at 08:53 AM.. Reason: something to add
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by zsoltms View Post
Very interesting.

In therm of specs it is a relatively poor update.
As a massive RME fan, I have to agree. Was not holding my breath for TB, but thought they would at least bring the Babyface line to USB3/USB-C in line with the new machines coming out. RME already proved to significantly increase low latency performance even on USB3 with the Fireface UFX.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Great. The original one arrived just yesterday. Damn, I should have checked the news more. Ok, I'm interested in the comparison between them too. I should have seen it comming. The price was a bit lower than usual. Do you think I should go through the hassle of returning it or the changes are so incremental I should buy ADA8200 with the saved money instead?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Head
 

Close to perfection for my purposes - only missing compressor in Totalmix which I think would be impossible with the onboard DSP power, which in turn is related to USB-bus-power.

Other thing - so clocking really matters below nanosecond of jitter? I find it fascinating that "soundstage has more depth and clarity" because of the improved jitter specs, but in terms of THD or frequency response we can't numerically quantify this improvement in audio.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by habbe View Post
Close to perfection for my purposes - only missing compressor in Totalmix which I think would be impossible with the onboard DSP power, which in turn is related to USB-bus-power.
Yet another thing they could've improved by making this a USB3 interface instead of USB2. This could've provided another 2W of bus power even if they just stuck to 3.0. At least one USB3 port has been standard on every machine produced in the last several years.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Are the converters exactly the same as BFP1 ?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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mutetourettes's Avatar
 

FFS

Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstatic View Post
Yet another thing they could've improved by making this a USB3 interface instead of USB2. This could've provided another 2W of bus power even if they just stuck to 3.0. At least one USB3 port has been standard on every machine produced in the last several years.
All you have to do to take advantage of usb3 power is plug it into a usb 3 port. RME recommends this if you are not powering with an AC adapter.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
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jimmydeluxe's Avatar
does it make a difference to power the old version with an adapter?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
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Ooooh, it looks like our retailer might be down to swap the old model I've just recieved for the new one. Though I had BFP for just a moment, if it happens, I might be able to compare them quite soon. Will keep ya posted.

Edit: Alright. Looks like folks from czech store "kytary.cz" are absolutely awesome. They'll let me use the older model until the new one arrives and then swap it for me. That's what I call an awesome retailer. My options are limited, but I might be able to perform some tests to compare the two. Any ideas? (Nothing that would spoil the unit obviously.)

Last edited by FarleyCZ; 4 weeks ago at 01:50 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstatic View Post
Yet another thing they could've improved by making this a USB3 interface instead of USB2. This could've provided another 2W of bus power even if they just stuck to 3.0. At least one USB3 port has been standard on every machine produced in the last several years.
USB3 chipsets are less universally compatible. It would only lead to complaints, support requests, and returns for RME and their dealers.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noctambulant View Post
USB3 chipsets are less universally compatible. It would only lead to complaints, support requests, and returns for RME and their dealers.
What changed in this regard when moving from USB2 to USB3? Surprised to hear this, given that the 'U' in USB stands for universal. (genuine question)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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minimum buffer setting?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstatic View Post
What changed in this regard when moving from USB2 to USB3? Surprised to hear this, given that the 'U' in USB stands for universal. (genuine question)
USB3 has chipset compatibility issues like FireWire did. The only thing it offers over USB2 is more bandwidth. There’s no reason to use it for any stuff intended for a smaller studio that doesn’t need very high track counts. Thunderbolt is the future for those but still has compatibility issues on Windows and Apple breaking stuff in OS updates.

I also don’t get the USB-C connectors on other brands’ interfaces. The cables themselves,in the part that connects to the tiny Jack, are much more fragile than USB B and A type cables.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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RicardoWheelock's Avatar
I am big fan of RME, let me start by just saying I have owned RME interfaces almost exclusively for the past +12 years. My main interface is a UFX II and before that the original UFX and before that FF800 and before that a PCI 8 channel one...so its like I am married with them...BUT after owing the original Babyface for many years when it came to upgrading it the Babyface Pro was the logical option considering.

Yet I wanted to remain objective and open to other options: Apogee Element 24 and Apollo Twin mkII where the other two options at the moment. So the 3 main things for me too look where: quality and stability of the drivers, converters sound, preamp sound and noise level. Well, after a lot of listening I came to the conclusion that right now, for Mac users the Element 24 is the highest quality compact interface in the market at the moment. Maybe the new Apollo Twin X is better but its high price makes it a no go for me. I think RME has two things to understand, and they better get it quickly:

1) They need to offer higher quality EQ COMPRESSOR REVERB plugins for their TOTALMIX DSP engine, the ones that compete with UAD
2) They need to power their Babyface line in order to upgrade the power of the headphone amps, improve conversion etc.

New Babyface Pro FS seems to similar to the regular Pro in order to justify the change...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
Gear Nut
 

can someone explain to me this +19 and +4dbu switch? RME is trying to solve problem with level mismatch? like you need to set totalmix master fader to a low levels for active monitors?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gedna View Post
can someone explain to me this +19 and +4dbu switch? RME is trying to solve problem with level mismatch? like you need to set totalmix master fader to a low levels for active monitors?
Oh yes, I can explain this. Yes. Yes you do need low levels of output for active monitors. When I hooked up the original BFP to my poor little HS7 monitors, I didn't notice the level was set all the way up and it f*cking blew my socks off. Props to Yamaha engineers for internal limiters design, speakers are OK. (Boy they can get loud! I'm almost worried my tinitus might have gotten a bit worse from that 4 seconds, lol.) For comfortable listening levels, you need to set the slider quite low. I'm guessing new switch addresses this issue. I'll confirm that when the new one arrives.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
I do wish they would have made a new looking BBF with USB and Thunderbolt. Even if it was slightly bigger, I think the BBF could really use a new look. The UAD arrow is a nice sleek looking interface- too bad they did not challenge themselves that much at RME.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gedna View Post
can someone explain to me this +19 and +4dbu switch? RME is trying to solve problem with level mismatch? like you need to set totalmix master fader to a low levels for active monitors?
Hi,

they've add similar functionality like is already on their other interfaces.. some have that accessible from control panel, this new BF has that as a switch.
Basically you have two places, where you can affect output level.
One is in that switch with adapts output sensitivity in analog domain. It sets where is mapped digital zero to analog outs.
Then you have normal output level at TotalMix fader (and linked top knob at unit), this works in digital domain and you have fine control over volume.

Main advantage of such hybrid (analog and digital) approach is, that you'd set output sensitivity first to best suit your downstream devices (like various active monitors types) and then you don't need to apply so severe attenuation in digital domain during normal work. So it would keep optimal dynamic range.

Michal
Old 3 weeks ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallon426 View Post
I do wish they would have made a new looking BBF with USB and Thunderbolt. Even if it was slightly bigger, I think the BBF could really use a new look. The UAD arrow is a nice sleek looking interface- too bad they did not challenge themselves that much at RME.
I disagree, TB's not necessary there IMO, USB is working fine for such interface with low channel count. It would only increase price of device.

Michal
Old 3 weeks ago
  #23
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
I disagree, TB's not necessary there IMO, USB is working fine for such interface with low channel count. It would only increase price of device.

Michal
Exactly. Also as USB-C's data layer should be backwards compatible (don't quote me on that, that's what Google says), in theory all you need to adapt BFP or any USB-2.0 interface for that matter is a right cable (USB-C to USB-B). If they made the soundcard USB-C or Thunderbolt only, it would cut a big chunk of their potentional customers who don't have it on their devices yet.

(Like me. Not planning to upgrade my trusty old laptop till next year.)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #24
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I am planning to buy a new interface soon and can not quite figure this out.

The original Babyface Pro would be about 625 euros.
The Pro FS would be 745.
The new Motu M4 would be only 255.

Specs on the FS and the M4 are pretty close.
The FS of course as the ADAT I/O and the TotalMix - both of which are nice to have in my case. I'll be mostly tracking one or two channels and doing stereo recordings on the go.

Is there something more than meets the eye in the FS? Is the clock stability they underline for example such a plus that it would make it worth the extra €/$?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruotola View Post
I am planning to buy a new interface soon and can not quite figure this out.

The original Babyface Pro would be about 625 euros.
The Pro FS would be 745.
The new Motu M4 would be only 255.

Specs on the FS and the M4 are pretty close.
The FS of course as the ADAT I/O and the TotalMix - both of which are nice to have in my case. I'll be mostly tracking one or two channels and doing stereo recordings on the go.

Is there something more than meets the eye in the FS? Is the clock stability they underline for example such a plus that it would make it worth the extra €/$?
Much faster and more reliable drivers.
Old 1 week ago
  #26
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruotola View Post
Is there something more than meets the eye in the FS? Is the clock stability they underline for example such a plus that it would make it worth the extra €/$?
if judging by ADI 2 PRO FS over regular ADI 2 PRO its definitely worth the extra. To me it sounded like a leap in clarity & sound quality

Last edited by mrkaizen; 1 week ago at 03:25 PM.. Reason: grammar
Old 1 week ago
  #27
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doom64's Avatar
This interface isn't available yet and should be put in coming soon.
Old 1 week ago
  #28
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You can all thank me for all these manufacturers begrudgingly finally starting to jack up their headphone circuit power.

70-90mw isn't the half-one watt I keep pushing for, but at least a few makers are getting out of that stupid 18mw mode that's been around for the past twenty years.
Old 1 week ago
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
This interface isn't available yet and should be put in coming soon.
The Babyface Pro Fs would be available in the next few days.
Old 1 week ago
  #30
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Cgbravo's Avatar
 

Damn I will love it if they did a table top interface similar to the Zen tour, quartet, UAD x4
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