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Fireface 400 Audio Interfaces
Old 31st August 2006
  #151
Gear Nut
 

Question

Daniel,
thanks for responding...i became frustrated trying to post a question the newsgroups and tried here. can you please answer this question?:

Doesn't the old RME Multiface get better latency 1.5-3ms since they were using a dedicated PCI or PCMCIA RME hammerfall card? The Fireface 400 looks cool, but if it's going to have higher latency on a Dell Latitude D820 laptop, maybe I should keep my old RME Multiface? Daniel, will my Dell Latitude D820 laptop computer work perfectly fine with the new FireFace 400 and old Multiface (w/ PCMCIA card)? thank you for your kindness and help!
Old 2nd September 2006
  #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RME Support View Post
Not quite sure what you're referring to... Enlighten me.

Regards,
Daniel Fuchs
RME
No problem Daniel,

Click here.

Old 6th September 2006
  #153
Gear Nut
 

Question

Daniel,
can you please answer my question about the FireFace 400 and my Dell Latitude D820 laptop?
Old 6th September 2006
  #154
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Melodioso's Avatar
 

dejacky,

Here are the latencies I get using the FF400 with a Dell Latitude D620 and Cubase SX 3.1.1:

Dell Specs:

Processor: Intel Core Duo T2500 (2.0 Ghz, 2Mb, 667Mhz FSB)
Graphics: Mobile Intel 945GM, 14.1" WXGA +LCD
Memory: 1Go DDR2 667 Mhz (1x1024)

Latencies (I/0) in ms:

48 samples: 2.109 + 3.265
64 samples: 2.472 + 3.628
96 samples: 3.197 + 4.354
128 samples: 3.923 + 5.079
256 samples: 6.825 + 7.982
512 samples: 12.630 + 13.787
1024 samples: 24.240 + 25.397

The unit is very cute, and similar to the FF800 in terms of specs and sounds. The pres are ok, nothing great but nothing bad either. It uses the same drivers as the 800, so I had no problems at all installing and using the unit (for two months now). When using low latencies however (48 samples), it's quite taxing on the CPU. It's really nice as a mobile device too!

Attached Thumbnails
Fireface 400-ff400.jpg  
Old 7th September 2006
  #155
Gear Nut
 

Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melodioso View Post
dejacky,

Here are the latencies I get using the FF400 with a Dell Latitude D620 and Cubase SX 3.1.1:

Dell Specs:

Processor: Intel Core Duo T2500 (2.0 Ghz, 2Mb, 667Mhz FSB)
Graphics: Mobile Intel 945GM, 14.1" WXGA +LCD
Memory: 1Go DDR2 667 Mhz (1x1024)

Latencies (I/0) in ms:

48 samples: 2.109 + 3.265
64 samples: 2.472 + 3.628
96 samples: 3.197 + 4.354
128 samples: 3.923 + 5.079
256 samples: 6.825 + 7.982
512 samples: 12.630 + 13.787
1024 samples: 24.240 + 25.397

The unit is very cute, and similar to the FF800 in terms of specs and sounds. The pres are ok, nothing great but nothing bad either. It uses the same drivers as the 800, so I had no problems at all installing and using the unit (for two months now). When using low latencies however (48 samples), it's quite taxing on the CPU. It's really nice as a mobile device too!

Thank you for those details Melodioso! Those latencies were achieved using the Dell Latitude D620's firewire port and not a dedicated FireWire Express Card correct? I'm a little worried regarding you commenting the 48 sample "[taxing]" the cpu heavily since I also have the 2.0Ghz dual core cpu (667mhz but with 2GB of memory & 7200rpm hard drive). How many tracks can you record and playback run simultaneously at 48 samples? and with what kinds of DSP/effects? Thanks again, very helpful post! thumbsup
Old 7th September 2006
  #156
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RME Support's Avatar
 

Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by dejacky View Post
Doesn't the old RME Multiface get better latency 1.5-3ms since they were using a dedicated PCI or PCMCIA RME hammerfall card? The Fireface 400 looks cool, but if it's going to have higher latency on a Dell Latitude D820 laptop, maybe I should keep my old RME Multiface? Daniel, will my Dell Latitude D820 laptop computer work perfectly fine with the new FireFace 400 and old Multiface (w/ PCMCIA card)?
I don't think I've seen specific customer feedback on this specific laptop. If there are problems with the internal Firewire, one can always go for a Cardbus FW interface.

Regards,
Daniel Fuchs
RME
Old 7th September 2006
  #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain caveman View Post
Is the non-overclocked performance drawback highlighted by the Blofelds DSP test related to a native firewire protocol issue, or is it something that can be/is being addressed by RME.
I don't think it has anything to do with either... The Fireface does not render plugins.

Regards,
Daniel Fuchs
RME
Old 7th September 2006
  #158
Here for the gear
 

Compared to...

I'm trying to decide between FF 400, MOTU UltraLite and MOTU traveller.
As a previous RME multiface owner i prefer the FF, but there are some
things i'd like to know.

Can i use the FF front panel knob to adjust the headphones volume, and in all easilly adjust the volume of each output? I'm quite sure that i can, but i just want to
make sure.

How do the AD/DA converters of the fireface compare to ones in MOTU devices?

The traveler costs about the same than the FF400, and there's two more mic pre's.
Also one annoying thing in FF is that i need an extra cable to be able to connect my MIDI controller to the device; what do i benefit from the one port MIDI i/o of the fireface, or is it just to save space on the back panel?

I like the amount of knobs in MOTU UltraLite, and it's also quite cheap compared to FF. There is no ADAT though, but i've never used the one on multiface.

What to do, what to do... i'm eagerly waiting for FF400 & UltraLite review, as i haven't seen single one yet. How come there are none available, as at least the FF has been on markets for two months?

Thanks,

-Ilmeri
Old 7th September 2006
  #159
007
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007's Avatar
 

I'm also really looking into the MOTU Ulatralite, I think it's a wonderful interface for the laptop/wandering ones, when many preamps is not much of a concern. All bus-pwered too, how nice. Furthermore, I can always get it modded at Black Lion later on. I've actually read great user reviews about it, very decent pres and AD/DA. I'm actually thinking of ditching the Digi002R/PT LE and just going Ableton Live + Ultralite. I love PT but realise I don't really need it the way I once used to.
Old 7th September 2006
  #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RME Support View Post
I don't think it has anything to do with either... The Fireface does not render plugins.

Regards,
Daniel Fuchs
RME
The Blofelds DSP has absolutely nothing to do with rendering plugs of any type - its a performance test.

In this thread, the user [email protected] got better performance from an M-Audio interface than his fireface and the Blofelds test highlights the fact that there is an out of proportion increase in low latency performance when overclocking the CPU when using a Fireface.

Its a proven issue.
Old 7th September 2006
  #161
Lives for gear
 

Motu Ultralite

Quote:
Originally Posted by krou View Post
I'm also really looking into the MOTU Ulatralite, I think it's a wonderful interface for the laptop/wandering ones
I have just upgraded from an Maudio card to the Ultralite,
Good sounding unit,nice (and very quiet) Pres although I rather use outboard if available.
It wights less then 2kg! (it is really ultra-lite...) yet it feels solid.
If your on a tight budget and dont need Adat&Wordclock go for it.

Tomer.
Old 7th September 2006
  #162
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stag's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain caveman View Post
The Blofelds DSP has absolutely nothing to do with rendering plugs of any type - its a performance test.

In this thread, the user [email protected] got better performance from an M-Audio interface than his fireface and the Blofelds test highlights the fact that there is an out of proportion increase in low latency performance when overclocking the CPU when using a Fireface.

Its a proven issue.

Hi CC:
Maybe i should go back and edit the post to be more accurate.
I shouldn´t ever posted any results unless they where done with the FF800, better with Lynx cards, because it was the way Vinnie designed the test.
It was a benchmarck for CPU not Interfaces, but since it happened on Nuendo.com, the most used interfaces are RME.

The FireFace 800 i think was designed to meet the needs of ever expanding studio, well the thing is compatible with all kinds of I\O invented so far, and all in great numbers.
managing all this has to be more complicated than any other FW interface there is.

About the Ozonic it was unfair to compare it to the FireFace because M-Audio has its own way of setting buffer, as far as i recall 256 samples read 12 ms both on in and out, 128 samples read 5.6ms.
On the Onyx 400f for instance is quite the opposite it reads at 128 samples 2ms, both ways, at 256 samples 5.8 ms... in this case would be quite unfair with the Onyx, which btw can get to work at 32 samples.

Anyway the issue persists, only is not alone RME´s problem, it has to do with FW and Dual Core CPU´s. On a single core at low latencies i´m able to max the CPU without pops and crackles, with dual core getting past 65% CPU usage is quite difficult... it even can be the way hosts and plugs are designed.

Anyway more important than figures is how one can cope with his tools, i felt very good at working with FF800 at 256 samples, no problems. Others even at 12 samples, if available, would say is too much. BTW on Ozonic at 256 samples i can get very confident about my playing as well.

The FireFace was primarily aan waste on me: too many I\0.
Second a half decent Pre\DI migth cost as much as the fireface, not to mention converters. Anyway what we pay it´s what we get, besides any Pre can be used with it and its converters bypassed, which others, like the Onyx are not able to do.

Anyway as a FW device the FF400 makes a lot more sense in my opinion, because of its portability, also plenty of I\0, the possibility of daisy chaining them and all the advantages inherent to the FF800 too.

Those kind of devices work well, if one wants more performance they can be used as stand alone and synced to a PCI interface, it was my first intention to get the Fireface while waiting for a PCIe card... i´d better not hold my breath on this one.

One thing i would like to know is how much the AD and DA of the FireFace 800\400 oversample??? i believe it gets to 40x bit on TotalMix, but i couldn´t find figures about the internal processing of its converters. I really miss this piece of info.

Bye.
Old 7th September 2006
  #163
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thermos's Avatar
TO those who ask about Motu conversion vs rme.....


No contest. The Rme is about 10x better. I've had 3 motu boxes (828 mk2, 896, 2408 mk3) and the FF 800 is so much better its a joke. Seriously. I laughed the first time I passed audio through it.
Old 7th September 2006
  #164
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stag's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
TO those who ask about Motu conversion vs rme.....


No contest. The Rme is about 10x better. I've had 3 motu boxes (828 mk2, 896, 2408 mk3) and the FF 800 is so much better its a joke. Seriously. I laughed the first time I passed audio through it.

I don´t see the Traveler or the HD 192 there.
Old 8th September 2006
  #165
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thermos's Avatar
Had a friend who had the traveler, sold it and got the fireface 800. He said it was much better as well.

I think the HD 192 is actually the best unit of all, but the internal clock is horrendous. Best A/D though of all the motu units by far.
Old 8th September 2006
  #166
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
TO those who ask about Motu conversion vs rme.....


No contest. The Rme is about 10x better. I've had 3 motu boxes (828 mk2, 896, 2408 mk3) and the FF 800 is so much better its a joke. Seriously. I laughed the first time I passed audio through it.
But the converters in FF400 are different than in FF800 - they are the same
as those in multiface II, as far as i know. I'd like to know about the converters in FF400, are they a lot better than in MOTU ultralite, like 300 euros better...
Old 8th September 2006
  #167
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stag View Post
Hi CC:

The FireFace was primarily aan waste on me: too many I\0.
Second a half decent Pre\DI migth cost as much as the fireface, not to mention converters. Anyway what we pay it´s what we get, besides any Pre can be used with it and its converters bypassed, which others, like the Onyx are not able to do.


Bye.

as far as i know, the onyx has spidf and AES...how can you not bypass the converters?
Old 9th September 2006
  #168
Here for the gear
 

Hi ilmeri,
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilmeri View Post
Can i use the FF front panel knob to adjust the headphones volume, and in all easilly adjust the volume of each output? I'm quite sure that i can, but i just want to
make sure.
Yep. It's pretty slick too. The knob cycles between "channel select" and "level select" modes by pushing it in. The display gives feedback, and you're basically just remote-controlling TotalMix. Turn the knob to select the channel, pop the button, and adjust the level. Tough to describe, but if you understand TM it's very intuitive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilmeri View Post
Also one annoying thing in FF is that i need an extra cable to be able to connect my MIDI controller to the device; what do i benefit from the one port MIDI i/o of the fireface, or is it just to save space on the back panel?
The port breaks out to a pigtail with 2 MIDI in and 2 out. And yes, there's a lot of connectivity and this was likely done to save space.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilmeri View Post
I like the amount of knobs in MOTU UltraLite, and it's also quite cheap compared to FF. There is no ADAT though, but i've never used the one on multiface.
If you don't need ADAT at all you may still find this connection useful in 2-ch optical SPDIF mode.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilmeri View Post
What to do, what to do... i'm eagerly waiting for FF400 & UltraLite review, as i haven't seen single one yet. How come there are none available, as at least the FF has been on markets for two months?
In the US we've been too busy filling orders to get any review units out! But you should see them start appearing shortly.

Best regards,
Old 9th September 2006
  #169
Gear Addict
 

I just got my Fireface 400 hooked up earlier today and so far I've only run into a couple of problems, one of which is that I can't get quicktime to sound through it. Windows media player and all other such players are going through it, but Quicktime just won't. Any ideas, anybody?
Old 9th September 2006
  #170
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stag's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanghaitang View Post
as far as i know, the onyx has spidf and AES...how can you not bypass the converters?
point taken. i wasn´t thinking of a stereo connection doe.
Old 9th September 2006
  #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stag View Post
It was a benchmarck for CPU not Interfaces, but since it happened on Nuendo.com, the most used interfaces are RME.
Hi Stag,

Yes you are correct, but the issue of the FF800 performing a lot better with an overclocked CPU than with a stock speed CPU was highlighted - even though they were not testing for this.

Quote:
Anyway the issue persists, only is not alone RME´s problem, it has to do with FW and Dual Core CPU´s. On a single core at low latencies i´m able to max the CPU without pops and crackles, with dual core getting past 65% CPU usage is quite difficult... it even can be the way hosts and plugs are designed.
Again, I understand that it may not be specifically an RME thing.

All I was asking Daniel was whether it was inherent with the firewire protocol or whether it could be addressed by a driver update.

I hope at least I have brought it to RMEs attention and that they now know that the Blofelds test is not about rendering plug ins of any kind.

Hasta siempre hombre!
Old 9th September 2006
  #172
Gear Maniac
 
RME Support's Avatar
 

Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain caveman View Post
I hope at least I have brought it to RMEs attention and that they now know that the Blofelds test is not about rendering plug ins of any kind.
Then what else it is about? Magneto is a plugin, is it not?

Quote:
Yes you are correct, but the issue of the FF800 performing a lot better with an overclocked CPU than with a stock speed CPU was highlighted - even though they were not testing for this.
As I said, the FF does not "perform" at all when it comes to plugins, and it does not "know" whether the CPU is overclocked or not. What you are seeing there has to do with overall system performance, and one such test shouldn't really lead to such generalized statements about "performance" wih OC CPUs, IMHO...

Regards,
Daniel Fuchs
RME
Old 10th September 2006
  #173
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RME Support View Post
Hi,



Then what else it is about? Magneto is a plugin, is it not?
Hi

I am not disagreeing that Magneto is a plug-in. The Blofelds test does not test how fast a Magneto plug is rendered to a audio file though - it is designed to stress out a system by gradually adding more load to the CPU to see when pops and crackles start appearing in the audio. This test is the most real-world test that anyone has come up with.....

If you have an audio interface that starts crackling at 42% at 64 buffer and another one that starts at 95% then effectively the second interface is doubling the power of your DAW because getting the same performace with the first audio interface would involve getting a CPU that is twice as fast/doubling the number of cores or processors.

Quote:
As I said, the FF does not "perform" at all when it comes to plugins, and it does not "know" whether the CPU is overclocked or not. What you are seeing there has to do with overall system performance, and one such test shouldn't really lead to such generalized statements about "performance" wih OC CPUs, IMHO...

Regards,
Daniel Fuchs
RME
Yes, I agree to a certain extent. However as I have pointed to above, the efficiency of a driver is very relevant in terms of overall audio system performace. This can be seen with the latest beta of your HDSP drivers and all I was wondering is whether the same increase in performace could be given to the Fireface drivers.

Oh, and while we are here, will there be a PCIe card released for the Multiface II?

Thanks for your time Daniel.

Peace and love to RME.

Old 13th September 2006
  #174
Gear Nut
 

Unhappy

oh no :(. i bought an Intel dual core laptop since my job requires me to move a lot and my understanding was that the dual core cpu would be better for my multitrack recording. Hearing that people are getting problems at 50-60% usage of the Intel dual core cpu's is horrible news . Can RME fix this with a driver update?
Old 14th September 2006
  #175
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tengu's Avatar
Daniel,

(or anyone who knows)

does the Fireface 400 need to be engaged by the computer first in order to use it in stand alone mode?

or,

Can it be turned off after use in stand alone mode and will it retain the settings when I turn it on again without the computer?

Thanks in advance.
Old 14th September 2006
  #176
Gear Addict
 
Melodioso's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tengu View Post
Can it be turned off after use in stand alone mode and will it retain the settings when I turn it on again without the computer?
Yes, it can. You can store settings into the unit Flash memory very easily (via computer panel), and it reads it every time you power on the unit, wether connected to a computer or not.
Old 15th September 2006
  #177
C_T
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilmeri View Post
But the converters in FF400 are different than in FF800 - they are the same
as those in multiface II, as far as i know. I'd like to know about the converters in FF400, are they a lot better than in MOTU ultralite, like 300 euros better...
good question!
Old 16th September 2006
  #178
Gear Maniac
 
RME Support's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tengu View Post
does the Fireface 400 need to be engaged by the computer first in order to use it in stand alone mode?
No.

Regards,
Daniel Fuchs
RME
Old 27th September 2006
  #179
Gear Nut
 

Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by dejacky View Post
oh no :(. i bought an Intel dual core laptop since my job requires me to move a lot and my understanding was that the dual core cpu would be better for my multitrack recording. Hearing that people are getting problems at 65% usage of the Intel dual core cpu's is horrible news worried . Can RME fix this with a driver update?
Any thoughts on this RME?
Old 27th September 2006
  #180
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stag's Avatar
 

I don´t know if RME has fixed it.
That´s a commonproblem with all FW interfaces, i don´t think there are exceptions.
Anyway with the FF800 at 256 samples it squeezes all the cycles from your CPU.
I felt confortable with this setting, it was something like 8ms or so.
Well there is people complaining about 2ms as too much latency, are you one of those really fast dudes?
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