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Fireface 400 Audio Interfaces
Old 21st July 2006
  #61
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stag's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RLA
I'm about to purchase a whole new setup for recording after 10 years. You hear a lot of debate about quality of converters and preamps between brands and models. So what really is the difference between the 400 and 800, and will the 400 have the compression on one of its inputs like the 800? Thanks https://www.gearslutz.com/board/images/smilies/wavey.gif
the FF400 doesn´t have the HI-z input, which is spetacular.
The cool thing about FF800 is its ability to operate as stand alone, so having spdif two ADAT connections along with analog I\0 makes it future proof investmment.

When i bougth it the PCIe was being implemented, i guess in a year or so PCIe cards will be the norm. By having the FF800 i already have a hot rod break out box to connect to PCIe device, i hope it will last for years because 24bit\192k are not the average converters these days.

Bye.
Old 21st July 2006
  #62
RLA
Gear Head
 

Gracias.
Old 21st July 2006
  #63
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Slaytex's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stag
The FireFace 800 it´s nice, considering its hi-z input, the not so bad mic pres and
loads of I\0.
Personally, i´d recommend a cheap PCI interface with ADAT and use it on a stand alone, it´s drivers and performance are not up with RME reputation.
Any M-Audio FW interface performs better than the FF800 but then M-audio interfaces don´t have to manage 56 I\0 thru FW... I guess that the FF400 should perform a lot better than the FF800.

Bye.
I agree with you on the point that a PCI interface card would be ideal, but I do a lot of mobile stuff as well as studio hopping. Saying that M-audio FW interfaces are better is subjective as I've had issues with a M-audio 410 and 1814, yet the FF800 has run flawless. I guess this only reinforces the point that everyone should "try before you buy" if possible, or find a dealer that will let you return stuff. Remember that you can get a Digiface along with a PCMCIA card that would be very reliable as well since it is not a FW device.
Old 21st July 2006
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stag
the FF400 doesn´t have the HI-z input, which is spetacular.
The cool thing about FF800 is its ability to operate as stand alone, so having spdif two ADAT connections along with analog I\0 makes it future proof investmment.

When i bougth it the PCIe was being implemented, i guess in a year or so PCIe cards will be the norm. By having the FF800 i already have a hot rod break out box to connect to PCIe device, i hope it will last for years because 24bit\192k are not the average converters these days.

Bye.
The HiZ in on the 800 kicks ass! I used to use my MP2NV for most di bass but the fire face 800's input is really getting alot more work. The mic pres on the 800...not so much. However, I would pay $500 to $600 just for the bass input.
Old 22nd July 2006
  #65
Gear Nut
 

Question

Can I send RME my Multiface + HDSP PCI card combo + a little money in exchange for the new FireFace 400?
Old 22nd July 2006
  #66
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kingofswing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stag

Any M-Audio FW interface performs better than the FF800 but then M-audio interfaces don´t have to manage 56 I\0 thru FW... I guess that the FF400 should perform a lot better than the FF800.

Bye.

Interesting...so you feel that M Audio FW interfaces are better than the RME Fireface...

Performs better on what? I was an M Audio (Audiphile 2496 / 192 PCI and FW unit) user for 5 years on both PC & Mac before moving onto a FF800. The M Audio stuff for sound quality is entry level. As for stability - No chance.

How did you come to such a conclusion. tutt
Old 22nd July 2006
  #67
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Sirocco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stag
The FireFace 800 it´s nice, considering its hi-z input, the not so bad mic pres and
loads of I\0.
Personally, i´d recommend a cheap PCI interface with ADAT and use it on a stand alone, it´s drivers and performance are not up with RME reputation.
Any M-Audio FW interface performs better than the FF800 but then M-audio interfaces don´t have to manage 56 I\0 thru FW... I guess that the FF400 should perform a lot better than the FF800.

Bye.
you have GOT to be kidding me. performs better!?!? youve got to be joking! ive had several m-audio products and both the drivers and overall performance doesnt come close!
Old 22nd July 2006
  #68
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stag's Avatar
 

The hard facts:
I bougth a M-Audio Ozonic last week (Stupid i should went for the Novation SL)
but it surprized me regarding it´s performance.
On all audio benchmarcks i performed, Thonex and Blofeld, Ozonic performed a lot better, without ASIO reseting, rebooting et all.
The worst was regarding Amplitube 2, at 128 sample size on FF800 i manage to open 2 instances on a lucky day, while in Ozonic i open 8 without the PC braking a sweat.

I guess FF800 drivers are not optimized to work well on dual core CPU, for instance at 256 samples i open ten magnetos on Blofeld´s test, more than this and the whole project becomes inaudible with crackles and poping everywhere, something wrong is happening because i look at CPU metter, it´s not spiking, it looks steady at 65%, I increase the buffer size to 512 and manage to open 32
magnetos, nothing more but now the CPU metter shows 95%-99% CPU usage.
IMO this is not consistent performance, compared with the Ozonic i can open 23 magnetos at 256 and 42 at 512 samples... it makes me very unhappy.
On a Sony VAIO the performance issue is not so evident but then it´s a single core CPU.

I´m using solely the PCI FW controllers rscommended by RME.

Those two cards can´t be compared, it´s a toy on one hand and a pro audio card on the other, the sound of the Ozonic is not horrible, it´s decent but compared with the FF800 is too digital, like comparing a boutique valve amp with a solid state pratice amp, the pratice amp could play louder, it doesn´t mean better.

The FF800 for it´s connectivity can be the heart of any studio, all the hardware
from sound maodules to fx processors one can have collected thru time can easely and rationally be managed and controlled by the FF800.

I think FF800 is the most ambitious project ever delivered by any developer in the last years, however it suffers from being so feature bloted... manage 56 I\0 is not the same as managing 2 analog I\0.

I sincerely hope that RME sometimes decides to make a simpler, even simpler than FF400, FW card, with two Hi-z inputs, 4 line\mic inputs, two analog outs, two high quality eadphone outs, no ADAT, no SPDIF, no MIDI. All with the best quality possible, RME style.

Bye
Old 22nd July 2006
  #69
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RME Support
Don't you think you are exaggerating slightly...? The newsgroup as such is widely accepted, and its members are customers also. Should we tell them that because one customer has decided to be right, we will no abandon the newsgroup and open a web forum?
I think you will find that as your products become more mainstream, more of your customers will prefer a web-based to a usenet forum. Obviously if you poll legacy forum users they will vote the status quo. But if you polled all your customers (reflecting the trend in the overall population), an overwhelming majority would vote for the more contemporary and open format of the web.

Anachronistic forums notwithstanding, I'm another satisfied FF800 owner. I think it's great.

-matt
Old 22nd July 2006
  #70
Lives for gear
 
Sirocco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stag
The hard facts:
I bougth a M-Audio Ozonic last week (Stupid i should went for the Novation SL)
but it surprized me regarding it´s performance.
On all audio benchmarcks i performed, Thonex and Blofeld, Ozonic performed a lot better, without ASIO reseting, rebooting et all.
The worst was regarding Amplitube 2, at 128 sample size on FF800 i manage to open 2 instances on a lucky day, while in Ozonic i open 8 without the PC braking a sweat.

I guess FF800 drivers are not optimized to work well on dual core CPU, for instance at 256 samples i open ten magnetos on Blofeld´s test, more than this and the whole project becomes inaudible with crackles and poping everywhere, something wrong is happening because i look at CPU metter, it´s not spiking, it looks steady at 65%, I increase the buffer size to 512 and manage to open 32
magnetos, nothing more but now the CPU metter shows 95%-99% CPU usage.
IMO this is not consistent performance, compared with the Ozonic i can open 23 magnetos at 256 and 42 at 512 samples... it makes me very unhappy.
On a Sony VAIO the performance issue is not so evident but then it´s a single core CPU.

I´m using solely the PCI FW controllers rscommended by RME.

Those two cards can´t be compared, it´s a toy on one hand and a pro audio card on the other, the sound of the Ozonic is not horrible, it´s decent but compared with the FF800 is too digital, like comparing a boutique valve amp with a solid state pratice amp, the pratice amp could play louder, it doesn´t mean better.

The FF800 for it´s connectivity can be the heart of any studio, all the hardware
from sound maodules to fx processors one can have collected thru time can easely and rationally be managed and controlled by the FF800.

I think FF800 is the most ambitious project ever delivered by any developer in the last years, however it suffers from being so feature bloted... manage 56 I\0 is not the same as managing 2 analog I\0.

I sincerely hope that RME sometimes decides to make a simpler, even simpler than FF400, FW card, with two Hi-z inputs, 4 line\mic inputs, two analog outs, two high quality eadphone outs, no ADAT, no SPDIF, no MIDI. All with the best quality possible, RME style.

Bye
i think that iswhatthere pcicards/multiface's are for
Old 23rd July 2006
  #71
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirocco
i think that iswhatthere pcicards/multiface's are for
Stag is comparing 2 firewire interfaces so the results are valid.

Stag, the FF400 has 2 switchable impedance inputs (3 and 4) on the front so the hi-Z is still there.

I wonder if it is possible to address the driver issue. Especially the one where there is disproportionate scaling of performance on overclocked CPUs.

RME?

ps

I hate the newsgroup thing. It's a pain in the arse.
Old 24th July 2006
  #72
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stag's Avatar
 

Thanks CC.
I forgot about that, how a little OC could cure all the performance issues on the FireFace, unfortunatelly my new board is too sensitive about it.
Old 25th July 2006
  #73
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
The HiZ in on the 800 kicks ass! I used to use my MP2NV for most di bass but the fire face 800's input is really getting alot more work. The mic pres on the 800...not so much. However, I would pay $500 to $600 just for the bass input.
Quote:
Stag, the FF400 has 2 switchable impedance inputs (3 and 4) on the front so the hi-Z is still there.
The FF800 literature emphasises the hi-z instrument input so much more than the FF400 literature does. The FF800 description says Hi-Z Input For Guitar and Bass With Built-In "Tube Sound" Limiter . Are you guys using the Tube Sound limiter on bass? Does it really make a difference? I'm debating buying the FF800 or waiting for the FF400 and if the HiZ makes a difference it might sway me to the '800.
Old 25th July 2006
  #74
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stag's Avatar
 

Talking those newsleters are for old timers

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwall
The FF800 literature emphasises the hi-z instrument input so much more than the FF400 literature does. The FF800 description says Hi-Z Input For Guitar and Bass With Built-In "Tube Sound" Limiter . Are you guys using the Tube Sound limiter on bass? Does it really make a difference? I'm debating buying the FF800 or waiting for the FF400 and if the HiZ makes a difference it might sway me to the '800.
The Hi-z input as drive, limiter and cab simulation.
When pushed all the way it´s reminiscent of a 60´s Fender tube amp, feeding it to Amplitube just makes it sound very realistic.
On Bass however i use only the limiter.
I like to use the HI-z input just straigth, a lot infact.

To tell you the truth i just sold my FF800 and ordered the FF400 yesterday, probably on less than 15 days i´ll get it.

For the type of thing i do i think it´s a lot more adequate(i don´t need that much I\0), plus the portability, two Hi-z inputs.

let´s not forget FF800 and FF400 are two years apart. that´s a lot of time regarding techonology evolution.

However for the FF400 to take the "bestest fun audio gear prize", 4 hi-z inputs and 2 headphones out were in order... but i think i´ll manage... probably it will win the same for absence of competition.

What i didn´t get rigth is if the FF400 can operate on standalone mode too, someone, please.

A RME forum would be great too, those newsleters are for old timers.
Old 25th July 2006
  #75
Gear Addict
 

Thanks for the info!
Old 25th July 2006
  #76
Gear Maniac
 
RME Support's Avatar
 

Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by stag
What i didn´t get rigth is if the FF400 can operate on standalone mode too, someone, please.
Yes, it does.

Quote:
A RME forum would be great too, those newsleters are for old timers.
There aren't any newsletters...

Regards,
Daniel Fuchs
RME
Old 25th July 2006
  #77
Gear Maniac
 
RME Support's Avatar
 

Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain caveman
I wonder if it is possible to address the driver issue. Especially the one where there is disproportionate scaling of performance on overclocked CPUs.
Sorry, we're not aware of a driver issue... Can you specify? In any case, when it comes to plugin performance, there is no direct connection with the Fireface, which does not render plugins..

Quote:
I hate the newsgroup thing. It's a pain in the arse.
Care to explain why? I much prefer them (and I'm not the only one, I guess). No registration, no logging in, no need to look through various categories of forums, and... No animated smilies... heh

Regards,
Daniel Fuchs
RME
Old 25th July 2006
  #78
Gear Nut
 

Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by RME Support
Hi,



Sorry, we're not aware of a driver issue... Can you specify? In any case, when it comes to plugin performance, there is no direct connection with the Fireface, which does not render plugins..


Care to explain why? I much prefer them (and I'm not the only one, I guess). No registration, no logging in, no need to look through various categories of forums, and... No animated smilies... heh

Regards,
Daniel Fuchs
RME
We like the animated smiles
Old 25th July 2006
  #79
Gear Maniac
 
RME Support's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dejacky
We like the animated smiles
So do I, admittedly... Unfortunately, they don't have my favourite one here on this forum:


Regards,
Daniel Fuchs
RME
Old 25th July 2006
  #80
Lives for gear
 
stag's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RME Support
Hi,



There aren't any newsletters...

Regards,
Daniel Fuchs
RME
Thanks Daniel.
You see, i don´t even know what are those.

Can you elaborate a little on the Hi-Z inputs of FF400 please, are they straigth inputs or have they something else, like FF800???
It´s okay by me either way, just curious.

Bye.

PS: When the x2\Dual CPU are overclocked, even a tiny cycles, the FF800 performance increases almost exponentially that´s what Captain Caveman was telling us, it seems so strange that a lot of people wondered if it isn´t a driver issue.
Old 25th July 2006
  #81
Gear Addict
 

Daniel - any word on when it will be available in the States? A couple of weeks ago an RME rep told me "late July"...
Old 25th July 2006
  #82
Gear Addict
 

....and while I'm asking questions:

It looks like the units are primarily designed for headphone monitoring, or I can use a y-splitter to send unbalanced connections to my nearfield monitor? Does that actually sound ok? Is it possible to assign two of the balanced line outputs for monitoring come mixing time? I have to imagine it's possible, but I just want to be sure.

Thanks.
Old 26th July 2006
  #83
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DrDeltaM's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stag
The Hi-z input as drive, limiter and cab simulation.
When pushed all the way it´s reminiscent of a 60´s Fender tube amp, feeding it to Amplitube just makes it sound very realistic.
On Bass however i use only the limiter.
I like to use the HI-z input just straigth, a lot infact.
I can't get the FF DI input to please me actually. It does the job, but I'm considering buying a Little Labs Red Eye as DI instead. Somehow, I can't get good levels with the FF DI without having nasty clipping distortion.
Old 26th July 2006
  #84
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cypocryphy's Avatar
 

in the first posts of this thread, someone says that the FF800 sucks, well, i own one, and i couldn't be more happy with it! you were unlucky, or maybe some issues with your computer i don't know!

anyway, if the FF400, is like the 800, it's a great buy! fairly good pres, great latency, great converters, and it's a great workhorse, and great drivers (for pc, i heard of some issues in apple computers).

anyway, for the time being the FF800 is, as far as i am concerned, the way to go!
Old 26th July 2006
  #85
Here for the gear
 
cypocryphy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeltaM
I can't get the FF DI input to please me actually. It does the job, but I'm considering buying a Little Labs Red Eye as DI instead. Somehow, I can't get good levels with the FF DI without having nasty clipping distortion.

have you tried messing with the input and output gain in the control panel?

i don't like the way it sounds much, but levels were never a problem!
Old 26th July 2006
  #86
Gear Maniac
 
RME Support's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwall
....and while I'm asking questions:

It looks like the units are primarily designed for headphone monitoring, or I can use a y-splitter to send unbalanced connections to my nearfield monitor? Does that actually sound ok?
Yes, certainly.

Quote:
Is it possible to assign two of the balanced line outputs for monitoring come mixing time?
Yes.

To the best of my knowledge, the FF400 is shipping in the US now... But I'm not exactly sure.

Regards,
Daniel Fuchs
RME
Old 26th July 2006
  #87
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DrDeltaM's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cypocryphy
have you tried messing with the input and output gain in the control panel?

i don't like the way it sounds much, but levels were never a problem!
Never liked the sound either. I run my Fireface at +4dBu because of all the outboard gear connected. I don't think you can switch the reference level on the DI input seperately, or can you? I use the DI gain knob half way up (12 o'clock) for my Rhodes, cuz if I go higher, it starts to clip nasty... Levels in Logic are WAY low then.

I've used the DI of a DRS-2 before, and that one sounds great, plus I could get a nice hot level in Logic with it. But I can't afford to keep this unit just for the DI (I hardly ever use mics at my homeplace).
Old 26th July 2006
  #88
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RME Support
Hi,

Sorry, we're not aware of a driver issue... Can you specify? In any case, when it comes to plugin performance, there is no direct connection with the Fireface, which does not render plugins..
Sure thang, its on the Blofelds Results site.

Navigate to Benchmarks, Blofelds DSP40 Results, Page 2.

There is a big difference between the Fireface results at lower latencies between the overclocked and stock speed tables. A lot more than 2.2 to 2.6Ghz can explain. Also, see Stags results comparing the Fireface drivers to his other interface shows that the drivers could be tweaked.

Anyhoo, I'm on the cusp of a new interface which will either be....
Multiface 2
FF400
Lynx 2

The only thing that is putting me off the FF400 is the low latency operation. I had an Edirol FA101 before whose low latency op was shocking. I then had your excellent 9636 which was a breath of fresh air. Having said that the Lynx 2 is smoking the HDSP units, but this and the Fireface operation can surely be levelled out with a driver update?

I would love to be able to ask these type of questions on the newsgroup but I can't.

Quote:
Care to explain why? I much prefer them (and I'm not the only one, I guess). No registration, no logging in, no need to look through various categories of forums, and... No animated smilies... heh

Regards,
Daniel Fuchs
RME
In my most humble of opinions, newsgroups are for 1990s computer people. I am technically minded enough to put together a computer for audio (and unlucky enough to buy all the stuff that nobody knows is incompatible until I put it together), but I am not clever enough to post on the newsgroup without my girlfriends name coming up as the name. This has its advantages cause the couple of questions I've asked have been responded to pretty quickly - as is the case when one of the sisterhood posts on any forum.

I also don't know how to reply to a post instead of a group and I generally feel a bit ******** trying to operate the thing. I am obviously not alone because you get the odd "Testing" email in the newsgroup by other people who are unsure of the alien communication protocols.

I feel the newsgroup is a barrier between the big love that RME and its users like to share.

And there are no smilies.

Old 26th July 2006
  #89
Here for the gear
 
cypocryphy's Avatar
 

i'm not sure about changing the reference level only for the di, but i almost bet it's not possible! :(

i have only used for bass, so not much experience with it, but have been getting some good results using it with the sansamp bass driver, a tube screamer, and believe it or not, that OD plastic pedal for bass that behringer made! (of course my favourite, is still the sansamp)
Old 26th July 2006
  #90
Here for the gear
 
cypocryphy's Avatar
 

regarding what has been said about the outputs for monitoring and etc, if the drivers to the 400 are similar to the 800, there is a whole world of routing through the fireface matrix!!

it's an authentic patchbay, full of control and possibilities!
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