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RME Babyface
4.65 4.65 out of 5, based on 10 Reviews

The best pres, converters, USB latency, drivers and mixing software you can buy for $700.


5th December 2011

RME Babyface by PaPi61

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
RME Babyface

The RME Babyface was released in early 2011 and it's now one of three USB 2.0 interfaces produced by the German manufacturer. These three devices (the other two are the Fireface UC and the Fireface UFX, although the latter is a Firewire/USB hybrid) essentially share the same architecture, not to mention the same drivers and mixing software. Unlike its bigger brothers, however, the Babyface only has stereo analog I/O's and it's entirely bus-powered. That's because Babyface is clearly aimed at the "portable" market and its direct competitor is the Apogee Duet 2. That, however, does not mean it couldn't be an excellent solution for project or home studios. If you're an ITB (In-The-Box) musician/producer, you don't need anything more than a stereo output and 2 input channels (with mic preamps) is all you need to record the occasional vocalist/soloist. The Babyface can also appeal to the multi-input/multi-pre crowd because of its ADAT optical link that makes it capable of handling up to 22 channels of audio.

Babyface is housed in a 13 x 10 x 4 inch 2.2 lb stylish box available with blue or silver top panel. Recently two new "special editions" have been introduced with white (dubbed "Snow") and pink ("Ladyface") accents. The controls are limited to a large rotary encoder and two buttons. One selects the parameters controlled by the encoder while the other quickly recalls the main output. The rear panel includes a 15-pin D-sub connector for the breakout cable, TOSlink optical I/O (ADAT), USB 2.0 port and external AC adapter socket (although that is neither needed nor provided.) The right side panel has two quarter-inch connectors for the auxiliary hi-z "instrument" input and auxiliary headphones connector. The included short breakout cable has XLR connectors for all I/O's, plus MIDI I/O (DIN) and a quarter-inch female for the headphones. An additional extender cable and a very nice soft pouch are also provided. The software suite consists of the drivers (for both PC and Mac, the former fully compatible with Windows XP, Vista and 7, the latter only limited to Intel Macs but compatible with every OSX version since 10.5) and the TotalMix application. Most likely you will find the software on the bundled CD to be obsolete, since RME updates often. This is where you get the newest drivers and TotalMix: RME: Downloads

A typical question I get asked all the time is "is USB 2.0 as good as Firewire?" Judging by the average performance of cheaper USB 2.0 devices, the answer would be "not quite!" (although some of the newer products are slowly getting there.) But RME's implementation of the same protocol is rather different than the competition's and well capable of exploiting the full capability of the protocol. The result is excellent latency figures that compare well to the best Firewire units. So, don't be put off by the USB thing, it's actually an advantage because nowadays Firewire is on its way out and not found on many computers, especially laptops. And when it's found, it's most likely not handled by the TI chipset and therefore prone to technical trouble. USB gets rid of all these potential headaches, and RME's implementation gives you Firewire-class performance. Truly the best of both worlds.

OK, now we're getting to the crux of the matter. How does it sound? Well, the Babyface's converter technology is essentially the same (*) used in much more expensive RME units like the brilliant Fireface UFX ($2,000.) So, you're basically getting $2,000-class converters in a $700 box. If you thought the Babyface was expensive (and in absolute terms it is), now it's starting to look like a super-bargain, isn't it? But it doesn't end there. The same can be said about its preamps. While not as "hot" as those of my Fireface UC (and, I presume, those of the UFX) in that they have slightly less gain, the quality and clarity is indeed the same (in truth, you will only notice the difference when using some types of ribbon microphones.) Now, if you're asking me how they compare to the pres of the Duet 2, I would tell you that they are the same. No, really, they are ACTUALLY the same, since the use the very same chipset. In my A/B tests with my Fireface UC, I found the Babyface to be sonically indistinguishable from the former. So, if you don't need the 8 analog ins and the 6 analog outs of the UC, save some money (actually more than just "some", as the UC costs a whopping $1,300) and buy yourself a Babyface. To tell you the truth, I would have bought a Babyface myself, if it was available when I purchased my UC, as I never record more than one instrument/vocalist at the same time and never used once the multiple outputs. The reason why I added Babyface to my arsenal is because I suddenly found the need to record my wife's chamber ensemble at their (wonderfully acoustically-treated) rehearsal location and didn't want to unscrew my UC off its rack every time I needed to take it outside the studio (not to mention the hassle of having to go to the back of that rack holder to reconnect everything...) If your only interface is the Babyface, moving it to and from your studio would be a much more hassle-free task. And if you buy an extra breakout cable, you wouldn't even need to reconnect your I/O's. Score another point for the Babyface...

The TotalMix software is so good, it's slowly becoming a de-facto standard for digital mixing. It's so powerful and flexible, it allows you to really do anything you wish. One of the brilliant features of the Babyface is the dual heaphones output. The two pairs of stereo channels are completely independent in TotalMix, and that allows you, for example, to send a different mix to the recording artist than that the engineer is listening to. Couple that with the Babyface's internal DSP FX and zero-latency direct monitoring and that means you can send a zero-latency effected feed to the artist you're recording while you're hearing a completely different mix featuring your DAW's effects and a more conservative/realistic fader level for your artist. Simply brilliant! Another thing I need to point out about RME's excellent software is that the Windows ASIO drivers are fully multi-client capable. No more switching between your DAW and, say for example, a YouTube video you want to check out on the fly. They will both work at the same time.

Another question I get asked often: Babyface or Duet 2? Well, if you don't use a Mac, there is really no choice, as the latter can ONLY be used with OSX (incredibly stupid decision by Apogee, if you ask me...) The pres are the same, so not really a factor. Converters, well, both use very high quality ones and the differences are minimal and probably subjective. Where Babyface totally crushes its opponent is on features, both hardware and software. Babyface has ADAT, MIDI and the peerless TotalMix, to which Maestro can't really hold a candle. Unless you have some kind of emotional attachment to Apogee, the decision really is an easy one.

OK now, where's the catch? Well, there isn't really one, even trying to be picky. Maybe some people can find TotalMix a bit intimidating. But then again, isn't every powerful piece of software more inherently complex? If you work with Garage Band or any other entry-level DAW, wouldn't you find Logic or Cubase intimidating too? And could you honestly hold that against Logic and Cubase? Come on people, let's not exaggerate. If you're an experienced engineer, you'll master TotalMix in less than a day. If you're not, it might take you a tad longer, but hang on in there, it's really no rocket science. I've heard some people complaining about the jog dial not being entirely smooth. I've never experienced that and I attribute it to defective units. If it doesn't feel right, send it back for a replacement.

(*) It doesn't mean they actually use the very same components.

  • 1
28th December 2011

RME Babyface by Smurfpiss

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
RME Babyface

Having had this baby (no pun intended) for a couple months now it's proving to be a workhorse. The interface itself is beautifully designed with a distinct look that is both aesthetically pleasing and practical, the large knob on the face is firm and solid plus it also has detents allowing confident adjustments.

Full of features, this thing is a real beast when it comes to recording. It can handle almost anything you throw at it with it's 10 in 12 out (thanks to ADAT) connectivity. The mic pres are clean and offer plenty of headroom, most mics will shine and you'd be hard pressed to find better mic pres on an interface at this price. The converters are of pure RME pedigree, solid and reliable, this is what German engineering is about.

One of the few gripes I have is TotalMix FX, don't get me wrong it's a great tool that allows for endless possibilities for signal routing but it's a little too clunky to use. The workflow and design of it could benefit from a few changes to ease newcomers. The other is the absence of DSP dynamics in TotalMix FX, here on the Babyface we have only the echo, reverb and EQ.

To me it all boils down to your current situation, if you're looking at this you're probably using a sub $500 interface and you're looking to upgrade to something better but you don't necessarily want to break the bank and go for something on the extreme end of the spectrum. If you operate on Windows 7 you need this, there is no competition because you won't be able to use Apogee. Reason being that the drivers for RME products are incredibly stable and we all know how important hardware drivers are for the Windows OS. If you're on a Mac OS it really is up to whether you need the extra connectivity.

10th January 2012

RME Babyface by pjamin

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
RME Babyface

On researching a portable recording and mixdown solution I had a few requirements for a suitable interface:

1. Must be PC compatible (to match my HP I7 laptop) and able to plug in with the Mac crowd if needed.
2. Must offer a way of integrating my Dangerous D-Box, Apogee Rosetta 800 and audient pres (with adat out) when required. I mix hybrid with the D-Box summing, into a stereo chain with a TK Audio BC1mk2 compressor usually providing some nice glue.
3. Must offer reasonable clean preamps on board for true portability. There is no point having a bus-powered interface if you have to then cart round mains powered pre-amps to make up for veiled/thin/muddy/bad quality pres on the interface.
4. Must offer bus-powered option for ultra portability. If I need to, I can do 3 hours plus of clean stereo recording battery powered into the laptop, or more with a battery pack.
5. Must not make too many sacrifices on sound quality vs portability. I'm talking AD/DA converters here, I can't stand bad converters, they take the fun out of audio.
6. Must be low-latency and offer stable, proven drivers.

I ruled most interfaces available from manufacturers out on my requirement list, there seriously is not very many options out there for these sorts of requirements. I even considered buying a firewire card for the Rosetta, but on the price that these go for, I figured it would be a much better option to integrate with the RME Babyface. It would also mean mains power dependence, like the other option I considered, A Lynx Aurora with LT-USB.

With RME's in house designed USB architecture shared by the Fireface UC, Fireface UFX and the Babyface, RME has put to rest the myth that USB based interfaces are somehow inferior to Firewire offerings. Babyface boasts extremely low latency ASIO drivers (48 sample buffer) and 22 channels of I/O. This is very good news, as Firewire appears to be on the way out in newer Macintosh and PC vendor offerings. The closest competitor to the Babyface would appear to be Apogee's Duet2. Although, with most of my list of requirements not met by the Apogee, the Babyface really is in a class of its own.

My first and last requirements were met and exceeded by the Babyface. I write exceeded because of the bonuses that I didn't even expect like WDM & ASIO concurrent shared access. What this means in practice is that I no longer have to import a reference track into the DAW to compare, its just a simple alt-tab from daw to VLC or another media player to check reference material at mix down. Big time and frustration saving plus, kudos to RME. In practice, once arming eight or ten tracks for recording, i/o buffer rate works more happily at 128 or even 256 samples than 48, yet the ability to record two track at 48 samples is unmatched, especially for a bus-powered USB device.

Totalmix and Digicheck were absolute bonuses. It is true what you hear about RME, rock solid stability and no drop outs. Digicheck provides at the interface level metering independent of DAW, a great feature for testing and mastering. Latency free cue mix to headphones for the talent is a blessing, as it enables the engineer to really hear what is going on with a more appropriate vocal laid into the engineers mix. Totalmix is no learning curve, if you were smart enough to research and get a Babyface then its no task to learn the software. I'm a bit confused as to why some people find it 'hard to use'.

My second requirement, of hardware integration, was met simply by the Babyface. It was an easy plug and play setup with no discernible loss in audio quality over my previous Lynx L22 card. I noticed no discernible difference on not clocking via wordclock anymore and using the clock on the apogee as master. The analogue ins and outs on the RME monitored via my D-Box showed that this little interface was at home with circuitry of this caliber. And once I plugged in a matched pair of SDCs and recorded an acoustic guitar track I learnt that the preamps on the RME were clean and nicely detailed, ticking off requirement three and passing with flying colors. The RME pres are not too dissimilar from my Audient ASP008 pres in terms of color (or lack of!) and performance. My expectations were more than met in this department by this great little USB box.

The fourth requirement: Total battery powered recording option (two channels) - again met easily by the Babyface. Recording bands live just got a whole lot easier and less time consuming! No more finding a spare plug outlet somewhere in a crowded bar with embarrassed 'excuse mes'! or tripped over power leads for that matter!

My fifth and slightly obsessive requirement, that the AD/DA be up to scratch was met by a whisker with the RME. I wasn't expecting Prism or DAD jaw dropping conversion from a device like this, but my hopes were actually met. That is no deficient comment on the RME at all, it easily holds its own against my Apogee, yet I do have one slight concern to mention on a related front. Independent of the headphone out and monitoring via analogue out on the RME and headphone on my D-Box, my Sennheiser HD600s sound glorious! Yet through the headphone output on the RME it sounds a little brittle and harsh, and I get listening fatigue in a hurry. I would seriously consider purchasing a separate headphone amplifier if you want to use this box (like I do) for listening to music with as well as recording/mixing. If you have some nice cans like the HD600s then it would be a worthwhile investment as the headphone amp on the RME doesn't quite make it in my opinion. While I'm mentioning it, another slight gripe is with the LED metering. I know it would have probably been quite costly to implement referencing the metering with some sort of scale, but that feature would have been an absolute game changer if you ask me. The metering without reference to any sort of level doesn't really provide much benefit, apart from telling you you've clipped. Three green lights vs five green lights means what exactly? Who knows.

One more insignificant gripe (sorry can't help myself!) If only RME could not put all these pictures of babies and terrible baby puns on the box and literature, makes me think I bought a box of nappies or a breast pump by mistake. Maybe it is a German to English misreading of culture thing, but the RME marketing department I don't find have got it right here at all... slightly nauseating in fact...

To finish though, all my above expectations were met and in many cases exceeded by this extremely well engineered, built like a tank, small and portable bus powered device. The RME Babyface really is that good, it should be a no brainer if you were considering an Apogee Duet2 that the RME is miles ahead in terms of quality and features. It also offers a unique solution to cover a lot of bases for a setup like my own that nothing else on the market provides. I am very happy with my RME Babyface and would recommend it to anyone looking for an interface to fufill requirements similar to my own.

1st February 2012

RME Babyface by ReDRuMx

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
RME Babyface

Inside the box you'll find the user's manual, a breakout cable and an extension cable (To expand the total number of inputs and outputs), a nice transport bag, plus, of course, the Babyface interface itself which looks and feels really well-built.

Connections:

On the breakout cable you will find two mic inputs on XLR connectors, line outputs (on XLR connectors as well), MIDI in/out on 5-pin DIN connectors, and a headphones minijack output (which can also be used as line out).

On the interface itself you'll find an instrument input, which replaces the second mic input when activated via the TotalMix FX software, and a second phones out which is electrically linked to the first one. You'll also find an ADAT Toslink input and output.

All this gives you a total of 10 inputs and 12 outputs. Really impressive for such a small interface!


Drivers and software:

The drivers themselves are rock-solid (as you would expect form RME) and integrate quite good with your OS. Also, you have additional control over the routing of the signal via the TotalMix FX software which also enables you to access the Babyface's onboard DSP functionality. (DSP Effects and EQ's which can come-in really handy while recording by helping you reduce the latency)


The only "con":

What I'm unsure about is the instrument input. It's rated at 480 kOhms which some people say is "substandard" because the "usual pro" rating is 1 megaOhm. I haven't had the opportunity to actually test it against some other interface, so I can't be more helpful here...

Conclusion:

Needles to say the converters and preamp quality is superb as we've come to expect from RME, and they are definitely not going to stand in between you and a good recording/mix. So, no more "My mixes suck because I have a bad soundcard" excuses

All-in-all it's a great device and if you need all the inputs and outputs in a small but versatile package, the RME Babyface is the perfect choice.

3rd March 2012

RME Babyface by OLDNOOB

RME Babyface

I couldn't wait to get my baby walking but the baby steps in total mix where a bit challenging for me. The last interface I had was a Presonus Firpod and I guess I was used to the simple knob twisting. Setting up a basic in out seemed to work out but when I tried to send some adat tracks through the pipe I got a bit lost. Not RME's fault, I just am green at the Total mix thing. Seems like a solid little unit. Doesn't allow an external preamp. Sounds nice. The break out cables seemed a bit of a drag because the unit would flip up from the wait of the cables. Not so sure I trust this unit to last or I should say the dial that controls the inner workings. I took it back because I decided I wanted the choice of being able to use an external pre at some point and because I wanted more in out connections. So now I gotta start over and look for a new interface. Wish I had the bucks for the UAD Apollo. It also would be nice if RME had some video's on how to use thier stuff. Just some simple clear Tutorials. Again this is only a desire because I learn faster and easier that way. I think the USB on the Babyface lives up to the hype. Below is more info on the Child.

RME has given a face to digital audio. Starting with the Multiface as first serious/professional mobile I/O solution ever we raised the bar further and further, up to the extremely popular and successful Fireface series. So now that the racks are filled we will start to rock your desktop!

The Babyface has the latest 192 kHz AD- and DA-converters, two reference class microphone preamps, SteadyClock - analog circuit design,
TotalMix FX, 3-band parametric EQs, echo and reverb: near zero latency!

The Babyface uses RME's Hammerfall USB audio core from the Fireface UC -

The Babyface is available in two color variants: blue and silver. Two special editions are available:
- the Ladyface in pink/white
- the limited Snow Edition in white.
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Features
Babyface Silver

Analog I/Os . The balanced XLR I/Os and the TRS phones outputs use RME's analog circuit design, therefore guarantee outstanding noise and distortion values. The latest generation AD/DA converters provide sample rates up to 192 kHz with an SNR of up to 115 dBA. Due to its efficient jitter reduction, SteadyClock(TM) guarantees prestine sound quality, even when clocking to an external digital source.

High-End Mic Preamps . Both digitally controlled preamps provide individually switchable 48V phantom power. A gain of up to 60 dB, adjustable in steps of 3 dB over a range of 51 dB, exceptional EIN performance even at low amplification settings, and extremely low THD+N values let these preamps surpass those of other devices that cost several times the price of the Babyface. All level settings are 100% recallable by the setup software and can be comfortably adjusted directly at the unit.

Digital I/Os . The incredible feature set includes an optical TOSLINK I/O, usable as ADAT port with SMUX support or SPDIF optical at up to 192 kHz. In combination with an ADAT converter, like RME ADI-8 QS or OctaMic II, the Babyface provides an incredible amount of 10 analog input and 12 output channels.

Phones Output . The additional headphone output, driven from a separate and dedicated DA converter, delivers the full sonic experience of up to 192 kHz and is available not only directly at the unit but also at the breakout cable. The phones level is easy to adjust and control with a simple click of the select button and the main volume knob.

Instrument Input . Directly plug in your guitar or other instruments by switching one input to Hi-Z input mode. Recording any instrument becomes a breeze and does not require any other hardware.

MIDI I/O . The integrated MIDI I/O completes the list of features and turns the Babyface into a creative audio system of universal usability. Do what you want - wherever you want!

Perfect Control . With one main control knob and two single buttons the elegant Babyface acts as a perfectly designed direct desktop control for all typical studio tasks: volume control, reference volume store and recall, volume dim, input selection/switching, input gain control - quick and easy access to all functions has been a major point during design and development. The LED bars serve as both level and gain meters, visually supporting the precise control of all inputs, outputs and headphone levels directly at the interface.

USB Made by RME . The Babyface provides RME's unmatched USB pro audio technology for revolutionary ultra-low latencies on Mac and PC, by using two different optimized firmware versions for both operating systems. Like other RME USB 2.0* interfaces, the Babyface provides revolutionary ultra-low latencies even with multiple channels. The Babyface achieves latency values down to 48 samples on Windows and 14 samples on Mac OS X.**

* The Babyface is compatible to USB 3 chipsets.

** Minimal latencies are not guaranteed as they depend on the specific computer and application.

* Minimal latencies are not guaranteed as they depend on the specific computer and application.

List of tested systems (with Fireface UC)

Full mobility . The ultra-portable Babyface has been designed for bus-powered operation (some systems might require a special two USB connector cable - included). This turns the Babyface into the perfect partner for mobile recording of live performances, composing sessions in a park or coffee shop, or just wherever you go. Even if you just see it as a good looking HIFI music player or home studio companion - it will work perfectly on every desktop and laptop computer.
Breakout Cable

Rear Connectors . The Babyface provides two optical I/Os and a 15-pin D-sub connector. Both TOSLINK connectors for ADAT or SPDIF optical are on the back of the Babyface. The breakout cable - connected directly or via a special extension cable - offers the following connections:

- 4 x XLR balanced (Analog I/O)
- 1 x 1/4" TRS for Phones (= Analog Out 3+4)
- 2 x DIN (MIDI I/O)

A breakout cable with unbalanced outputs is available as option (BF-BOCMKH).

More features

Sample rates up to 192 kHz on all I/Os (including two ADAT channels via SMUX4)
Two digitally controlled microphone preamps in high-end quality
Two balanced universal inputs for line and instrument signals
SteadyClock for maximum jitter suppression and clock refresh
Direct operation with rotary encoder and keys
TotalMix FX: Newly developed internal DSP high-end mixer
Full mobility by bus powered operation
DIGICheck, RME's unique meter and analysis tool included
Peak and RMS are hardware-calculated for all channels

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TotalMix FX
TotalMix FX

The next generation of TotalMix delivers hardware mixing/routing with lots of new features and a highly improved usability. For a seamless integration of the new features TotalMix has been rewritten from the ground up. The DSP mixer now not only matches features of high-end digital consoles but even adds effects like a 3-band parametric EQ plus Low Cut on all input and output channels. The Babyface also provides a separate FX send bus for all inputs and software playback channels, feeding two effect engines: Reverb and Echo. Every output channel includes a FX return control for the FX output signal.

Features/Differences to classic TotalMix:

New design and improved usability
Control Room Section: Dedicated section for the main output (e. g. studio monitors) and other monitoring outputs (e. g. phones). All existing stereo output channels can be freely assigned as source for the control room section channels.
Four definable groups for Solo, Mute and Faders
Switchable Mono and Stereo channel view
Channel Options: Stereo Width, MS Processing, Phase L/R
Trim mode: Adjusts the volume for all routed signals of a channel. This option allows to modify the volume of all sends of a channel simultaneously, equalling a hardware's trim functionality.
Unlimited Undo and Redo
FX Sends and Returns: One send bus for every input/playback channel with Reverb/Echo
Expandable channel view for channel settings and EQ setup
Slim channel mode for selected or all channels, to save space or give a meter bridge view
2-Row Mode: reduces the height of the mixer to two rows for smaller displays

The DSP-based hardware calculates RMS and Peak levels for all channels without causing any CPU load.
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Babybag

Babybag Babybag Babybag

The package of the Babyface includes: extension cable, USB power cable, breakout cable (XLR balanced), bag.
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Technical Specifications

Input AD: 2 x XLR (2 x Mic/Line), servo-balanced.

Output DA (Main, 2 Channels): 2 x XLR, servo-balanced

Output DA (Phones, 2 Channels): 2 x 1/4" TRS (Stereo), unbalanced (on breakout cable and interface)

Input Digital: 1 x ADAT optical or SPDIF optical

Output Digital: 1 x ADAT optical or SPDIF optical

MIDI: 1 x MIDI I/O via breakout cable (2 x 5-pin DIN jacks), for 16 channels low jitter hi-speed MIDI

Dynamic range AD: 108 dB RMS unweighted, 111 dBA

THD AD: < -100 dB (< 0.001 %)

THD+N AD: < -98 dB (< 0.0012 %)

Crosstalk AD: > 110 dB

Dynamic range DA: 112 dB RMS unweighted, 115 dBA

THD DA: < -104 dB (< 0.00063%)

THD+N DA: < -100 dB (< 0.001%)

Crosstalk DA: > 110 dB

Maximum Input Level for 0 dBFS: +12 dBu

Maximum Output Level @ 0 dBFS Line: +15 dBu

Maximum Output Level @ 0 dBFS Phones: +8 dBu

Sample rate internally: 32, 44.1, 48, 64, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 176.4, 192 kHz

Sample rate externally: 28 kHz - 200 kHz

Frequency response AD, -0.5 dB: 50 Hz – 20.9 kHz (sf 44.1 kHz)

Frequency response AD, -0.5 dB: 50 Hz – 45.3 kHz (sf 96 kHz)

Frequency response AD, -1 dB: 30 Hz - 90 kHz (sf 192 kHz)

Frequency response DA, -0.5 dB: 10 Hz - 22 kHz (sf 44.1 kHz)

Frequency response DA, -0.5 dB: 10 Hz – 45 kHz (sf 96 kHz)

Frequency response DA, -1 dB: 5 Hz - 80 kHz (sf 192 kHz)

Jitter: Typical < 1 ns for internal, ADAT in

Jitter suppression: >30 dB (2.4 kHz)

Jitter sensitivity: PLL operates error-free even at 100 ns
Driver support

- Windows 7 / Vista / XP SP2 (32 & 64 bit)

- Apple Mac OS X 10.5 or up (Core Audio)

System Requirements

Computer with at least Pentium Core 2 Duo CPU (see the list of Tested Systems with USB chipsets).
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Accessories

Analog Breakout Cable unbalanced (BF-BOCMKH): 15-pin D-sub to 4 x RCA Analog, 2 x MIDI, 1 x Phones

Power supply (for international usage)

Extension cable 3 m (BF-EXT30) - D-sub 15 pin to D-sub 15 pin with Alva special shell

Bag for Babyface (BF-BAGBK) - same as the included "Babybag"

6th March 2012

RME Babyface by Nunuchi

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
RME Babyface

I upgraded to Babyface from the Apogee Duet II, which I do view as an upgrade, last month. The sound is richer with heavier bottom end. The duet was great and all, but having heard direct examples of one another right next to each other the babyface seemed like the obvious choice.

It has fantastic sounding pre-amps which only a small minority of audiophiles would be able to differ from studio recordings. The amount of in's and out's is super handy as well as the ability to extend it to ADAT's or SPDIF's which also in my opinion put it above any other interface of it's size and class. It's super portable and even comes with it's own carrying bag to make it even easier to move from studio to home or wherever. Which also make recording audio a breeze in any environment. All you need is a power supply and you can take your mic, laptop, and babyface to any location. Which is cool if you want to say record natural ambience on vocals of places outside a studio.

The software that came with it took me a little bit to get used to, but once I was used to it i loved it. It makes routing a breeze. Even if your just running vocals through the FX part of if in a live performance, it makes it easy and also if you want to run it seperate from tracks or anything comes out of a seperate DAW. I've was able to operate it and work it effortlessly only a couple days after owning it.

This interface paired with a decent recording mic will give you top end vocal or instrument recordings. I would also highly recommend it for running soft synths or vocals through in live performances, the routing and sound make it the best choice, by far.

31st March 2012

RME Babyface by cmorg

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
RME Babyface

Bought RME's Babyface a few days ago and have spent some time with it recording, listening and learning how to use the total mix software.

Out of the box (creepiest box cover ever for a musical product) the package includes the Babyface unit, all cables and connectors (including an extension cable for the breakout cable) and comes with a good quality bag for people who want to carry their babyface to gigs etc.

The unit features 2 analog inputs with mic pres, 2 outputs (for monitors) and a headphone output (there are 2 headphone connections sharing the same output so you can run 2 headphones off the unit). Also features an ADAT connection for added inputs/outputs. Similar specs to the Apogee duet 2 but the RME features ADAT connections.

Totalmix is a fantastic software mixer. It took me a few hours to really get the hang of it but it is very powerful. Inputs can be routed to any output (I had my microphone playing back with zero latency monitoring with some reverb/delay and eq through the phones, but not out of the monitors).

The recording quality is amazing, thanks to the pristine sounding mic preamps. I recorded some elec guitar with a Rode NTK and an e609 and they both sounded amazing through the babyface. Listening to music through the RME is a joy. I look forward to recording and mixing with the unit which will give me great results, I have no doubt.

The Babyface is perfect for anyone seriously recording at home or live gigs etc. The unit sounds incredible and the total mix software is very pro.

7th September 2013

RME Babyface by dans595

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
RME Babyface

In case you only read the first sentence of this interview, I'd like it to be known that I absolutely love the Babyface. After trying several interfaces (multiple M-Audio interfaces including the C600 and also the Focusrite Forte), I find the Babyface to be heads and shoulders above the others. While the price tag is a little bit steep for an interface with only two preamps, it is not without reason: you do, in fact, get what you pay for.

In the Box (er.. In the Package): With an adorable and creepy baby on the box, you may well find yourself at once intrigued and disturbed. Inside are several more manuals, documents, and CD's, many of which also have the same picture of the naked baby on them. You also get a nice black carrying case made of a synthetic material, perhaps polyester. Within this are a strange two-headed USB cable (which in my case has only ever needed to have one plug in at a time), a USB extension cable, a breakout cable (for connecting microphones, lines, and etc), and of course, the interface itself.

Looks, Controls, Hookups: I encourage you to get the blue one. Mine is the silver one, and I think the pictures of the blue one look cooler. I'm not a big fan of the one huge knob strategy. This is perhaps the only negative thing I can find to say about the gadget - I would love a knob for each thing that can be adjusted. I should clarify that it is in no way difficult or frustrating to control things via the big knob. The breakout cable has its pros and cons, but overall, it works just fine and features two xlr inputs, two line/hi-Z inputs, as well as midi I/O and a few outputs.

Stability / Reliability: I have had absolutely zero issues of any sort whatsoever in this regard. I am completely satisfied with the stability and reliability and have grown quite confident in RME.

Preamps and AD: These preamps are extremely clean. I used the interface with a SM7B directly in. At around 51-54 dB of gain, the SM7B was loud and clear, and the typical noise floor that often lurks just below was lower than on any other interface I have tried. The signal itself was very uncolored and quite ven: lows, mids and highs were all full and present, but none were hyped. Such transparent pres are great to have, but you will eventually want a mic pre to offer some variety in this regard. As far as going directly into an interface and producing acceptable recordings, the Babyface exceeds every other I have tried.

DA and Headphone Amp: I listen to all my music through this thing into a pair of Beyerdynamic DT770's (80ohm). The sound is really superb, as high in quality as anything else I've ever heard. While there are complaints around on the web about the weak headphone amp not being able to power high ohm headphones, I tell you that with my 80 ohm cans, I can definitely get the volume up to uncomfortable levels. I have no complaints in this regard.

Other Features / Closing Thoughts: One really nice feature that I haven't taken advantage of yet is the ADAT optical I/O, which would allow one to expand with an 8 channel interface* to get up to 10 channels. Given how satisfied I am with the two RME pres and the AD/DA of the Babyface, I'll be very happy to continue using it as the primary interface in my recording chain even as my equipment base grows. The Babyface is very much worth its price, if you ask me.

*So long as the interface has ADAT output.

19th September 2013

RME Babyface by TheOmegaShadow

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
RME Babyface

If you one of those guys looking for a rock solid reliable, low latency and high quality interface that's portable, The Babyface is it.

I've owned numerous usb interfaces over the years and never found them to be useful for DAW work, only good for a single instance of a plugin for performance at low latency as for when using them as a DAW interface there were always too many clicks and pops, especially when your compositions get over a certain size with more plugin load, it became detrimental to my performance as I was using plugins for my instruments and guitar tones so the higher latency would kill the mood quickly.

The good news is that the Babyface is not like this at all.

When loading up some of my projects that peak my Intel i3570k on an EMU 1212M, the babyface was able to do it on the 128 sample latency setting, going by the cubase roundtrip measurement its about 6.5ms, My EMU 1212M must be set to 12ms just to play without buffer under-runs.

I was sceptical and refused to even look at USB interfaces for years but it seems the internet chatter is true, RME has finally come and shown everyone how its done. This usb interface is a joy to use.

Sound quality:

5/5

I will not even claim to know how good it sounds, but I did notice more detail in my recordings upon playback of old projects, I've yet to record anything yet but it sounds better than anything else I own on the outputs.


Reliability:

5/5

It's RME. Seriously, the drivers are stable, the hardware works as expected and i've experienced no problems so far.


Durability:

5/5

The breakout cable is beefy but the nature if breakout cables is a bunch of heavy connectors on the end of thin wires, if you don't take care of them, the will easily get damaged but even so, they look and feel strong and durable within reason. I hope an official breakout box becomes available...


Ease of Use:

5/5

driver install was a single driver install wizard and restart, plug it in and it's recognised. The totalmix software is a little confusing, you just copy it off the CD and paste it into your HDD (C:\Program Files\Babyface), run the utility and they will get registered into your system tray/clock area for easy access while in your DAW.

Totalmix. This one can be confusing at first but like anything pro audio if you know a little you can work it all out. Play around if you're a noob and watch youtube. Simple stuff.


Features:

5/5

The totalmix FX routing, live monitoring and effects are top notch.
the connectivity is great the only thing I would like is COAX spdif but you can buy a converter if required. The knob interface will take a minute to figure out, so simple but functional also. The Mic pre level adjustment is intuitive and the 'gang' mode for adjusting both with the one knob is logical and time saving.


Bang for Buck

5/5

RME comes at a premium cost but you get a premium product, Flawless drivers that really let you get on with the creative process, not having to freeze tracks and juggle resources anywhere near as much as on cheaper and sometimes much more expensive interfaces. It sounds great, it's bus powered and portable. It's THE best USB interface I have ever used.

Once you go RME, everything else is just headaches and distractions.

30th September 2013

RME Babyface by SebBass

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
RME Babyface

Well, call me crazy, I've turned my back on Apogee.

I spent 3 years at a studio with AD/DA-16, and swore by it. However, the studio had several glitches and operating problems - lack of wordclock in the setup, let's just say the studio was a B+ for gear, and a C- for management/material upkeep - that made producing there quite a challenge.

Enters my Babyface, after seeing it used by a top mastering engineer I know. A USB plug. A couple clicks. You're done. And dig this: My excruciatingly selective ear actually hears a very, VERY high level of sound conversion, similar to, if not better, then what I got with the AD/DA16 setup (about 3x the price for 16 ch).

imagine that. heh

The preamps are workable, but Im highly anticipating plugging this puppy into better things then its internal preamps, which are ok, but a little brutal to my ear. They work though ! And they are paying themselves off, but anyone knows a good API/Neve style pre is irreplacable.

Next stop: Behringer ada8200, or BLA's Premium mod thingamajig.

But until then, if you're reading this, buy with confidence. Killer product at a killer price, killer features, and a very serious foot into pro audio's door.

1st March 2014

RME Babyface by miky mike

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
RME Babyface

Nice small , slick looking, high quality Audio Interface . Very handy when you are travelling around with your mobile studio, but this can be also the downside , as it was for me , when you need to plugin a couple more mics or instruments, you will need to buy a separate ADAT device which will take you back at least another 250 Euros .

So make sure you think about that, there are many other devices in the same price range that have more inputs and the same quality.

Otherwise a VERY FINE machine ,very happy with it!

 

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