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RME Fireface 800
4.45 4.45 out of 5, based on 11 Reviews


15th December 2011

RME Fireface 800 by Studdy

  • 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 Fireface 800

Honestly I can't think of another digital piece of gear that has held it's value like the RME Fireface 800. I have had it running on 3 pc's and now on a mac. Installation has always been a 2 second procedure and never had a hiccup. I've often wondered what would sound better because for me this thing sounds amazing. Especially because it never screws up. The preamps could be a bit better but then again they are just utility preamps that are great for certain applications. I actually think on loud sources (close mic drums) they punch pretty good. Not a ton of gain there. I've used the instrument input on the front as well. I think its a great sounding clean DI, I prefer something with a little "iron in the path" but we are talking about $600.00+ devices. One more thing, TotalMix!!! what a beautiful application, creating headphone mixes are a dream come true. DigiCheck!!! what a beautiful application, setting tracking levels is a joke. Honestly I give the RME Fireface 800 a 10/10 and wouldn't give any other piece in my studio that rating. Well the Great River 1NV would be close, but that's another review entirely. I really curious to hear if any "major releases" have been done entirely on a Fireface 800. I know it's possible.

13th January 2012

RME Fireface 800 by Sim

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
RME Fireface 800

Couldn't agree more with the above poster.

Buying an interface is tricky, i went through 3-4 in 4 years and I had bad interface and interface with more pre's. But it comes down to this if your working on pc buying a new interface is always risky if untested on you machine. I was so fed up of not getting the updates for known faults with my old interfaces and it would just some times not work at all hardware wise. I went for an interface with the best support, the quickest most frequent updates. I couldn't bare the though of getting a great idea on drums or guitar and going to record it and find myself spending atleast an hour to get it working nightmare. So I bought the rme fireface 800 used for £750 and never looked back. I have it rigged to a octopre which runs flawlessly, not once has it not done what it's supposed. It easy to install, easy to use and the routing ability you have is outstanding. The pre's aren't anything special but there not bad just average and are probably better than most pre's on interfaces up to probably metric halo's unit that cost's just under £2k going on what I've read on gs. The headphone amps not bad well it's better than sound live mixers I've used I'm talking soundcraft gb4 and venue 2's. I think they rolled out the ff800 nearly 7 years ago and it's still going strong.

24th January 2012

RME Fireface 800 by MechanEvil

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
RME Fireface 800





Sound is air moving, a mechanical wave or vibrations travelling through the air or another medium that can be heard when it hits our eardrums. When we play music, we are creating a sound by making waves that “move” the air. In the days of tape recording reels, to capture these sounds, we would make the sound an "analog" signal, by translating it into an electronic pulse by using, for example, a dynamic microphone, which transfers that analog signal to the tape reel.

In the present day, however, most recording is done on computers, which operate on binary code, though there are still bands that use analog recording technologies, such as the Foo Fighters, which did it on their latest album. However, recording and mixing in analog can be cumbersome and there is no scope for undoing a mistake and processing after recording an analog signal would require bouncing to another tape.

Converting an analog signal, such as the one captured on a microphone, into digital involves converting the signal into binary code so that the same sound is described in the form of a series of 1's and 0's -- a language that a computer can understand and store . However, once we have captured our sound in the digital realm and manipulated it as desired, how do we play it back in the real world? This would involve converting the digital signal back into an analog signal that would be fed to our speakers to move the air again.

The process of analog-to-digital (AD) and digital-to-analog (DA) conversion seems easy enough when explained this way, but when digital devices for recording first came out, they were highly cost-prohibitive and only large companies could afford to buy the technology. However, fast-forward to the 21st century and we now have an array of digital recording devices at our disposal that no one would have thought possible even twenty years ago when touted features like simultaneous multi-track recording, 192 kHz sample rates and 24-bit depth. How does one choose from the veritable galaxy of options?

I'm going to review one of the more well-known recording interfaces in the brave new world of digital audio, the RME Fireface 800. This interface has analog, ADAT and SPDIF input and output options, besides a midi in and midi out port. It is a firewire-connected device, but you cannot power it through this cable and have to use the supplied mains plug. One great feature is that the device is wired to handle 110-230 V current, so it's equally at home with me in India or with someone in the US! Excellent! The device has the ability to record in 24-bit depth at sample rates ranging from as low as 28 kHz to as high as 200 kHz and was one of the first firewire devices to feature low-latency ASIO direct monitoring. The current price I found online at the time of this review was $1699.

... Scratching the surface

Let's get a little bit more into the inputs and outputs of the Fireface 800, which is a 1 rack unit-sized device. The interface has 28 input channels (10 x 1/4" TRS, 2 x SPDIF, 16 x ADAT), but the actual number of inputs is much higher (eight 1/4 TRS" in the back, five 1/4" TRS in the front, 4 x XLR in the front, 16 x ADAT and 2 x SPDIF). The number of output slots is also 28 (eight 1/4" TRS at back, stereo analog output for headphones at front, 16 x ADAT and 2 x SPDIF). Phantom power can be turned on or off for each XLR inputs. In addition, the gain can be set for each of the inputs on the front and the volume level of the headphones can also be adjusted.

Interestingly, the number of input channels remains constant at 28, but you can club some of the inputs together, for example analog input 1 at the back and analog input 1 at the front can be used together at the same time. However, if you were to record analog inputs, they would both appear blended in a single track channel. Notably, input 1 on the front of the interface is a DI instrument input and options like drive (a 25 dB boost), gain, a limiter (soft clipper) and speaker emulation can be applied to it, which is not the case with analog input 1 at the back and I see some interesting tonal possibilities there! However, it needs to be noted that at since the ADAT inputs and outputs are only specified up to 48 kHz, switching to a 96 kHz sample rate reduces the number of ADAT inputs/outputs by half. If you record in 192 kHz, the ADAT channels only provide time code information, but nothing else.

The back panel of the Fireface 800 also sports a word clock input. This enables the connection of a master word clock device to the '800, which enables all digital devices to operate at the same clock rate, a must in the world of DAW recording to ensure that all of them are synchronised and no error creeps into their timing vis-a-vis what is being recorded. There is also, as mentioned before, a midi input and output. There is also a panel that can be screwed out to install RME's own time code module into the Fireface 800. However, prospective buyers need not be nervous about the prospects of their gear going out of sync just because they bought an RME product, because the German company thought of everything. The RME Fireface 800 already has a built-in, low jitter quartz clock of its own, dubbed Steady Clock, which I found to be rock solid for ensuring that my PC, my audio being recorded through the Fireface 800 and my midi input devices were synchronised. However, if one is looking for more complex setups involving connections between a plethora of digital devices, I assume there would be a need for this, which is why the option has been provided.

There is also a single Firewire 400 port and two firewire 800 ports. The Fireface 800 was the first firewire audio interface to make use of the Firewire 800 standard, which enables data transfer at twice the rate of Firewire 400. However, one shouldn't get too excited about the idea of swapping out the Firewire 400 cable supplied with the device with a Firewire 800 cable: Firewire 800 will not result in increased performance from the device. Rather, the Firewire 800 ports were intended in a situation where more than one Fireface 800 is chained together -- up to three of the devices can be hooked up together in a chain! -- in which case the additional bandwidth is essential for handling the simultaneous audio stream.

An interesting feature of the Fireface 800 is that it can be remotely controlled using a midi device, even something as simple as the now ubiquitous Behringer BCF2000.

... The belly of the beast

The RME hardware is clearly top-notch, but when integrating a device with a PC or a Mac, the drivers are the most important thing to ensure that everything goes as per the grand design. In this regard, RME is renowned as a company that supports its products and though the Fireface 800 has been around since 2004, I think, and the latest driver was released on January 17, 2012. I believe this is extremely important to know, as a single change in the code of our OS could mean the death knell of so many devices or softwares that are built on top of them.

One of the really interesting features of the device is a backup BIOS, so in case something goes wrong while updating, the device automatically switches to the backup BIOS, so nothing ugly happens like your expensive hardware being turned into a brick.

The Fireface is linked to the PC through a device called TotalMix, which as the name suggests, allows you to control the inputs and outputs of the interface, assigning outputs to analog and digital inputs, just like a physical hardware mixer From within the Fireface, you can create up to 14 stereo sub-mixes for any channel like your headphones (i.e. send signals from 14 different input channels to a single output). Routing options are unlimited and you can assign inputs and outputs any number of times. In addition, you can play back from multiple programmes on a single channel! The device also facilitates integration of external hardware, by routing a signal to the specific input and output in which the device is connected!

Every single input, output and playback channel has an independent meter displaying peak and RMS levels. In addition, the input channels feature a pan slider and I found this was a better way to pan signals before they entered the DAW which opens up interesting possibilities. The level meters of the input and playback channels are pre-fader, while the output meters are post-fader. You can set the desired input, playback and output meters by means of a slider. There are also solo and mute buttons for each individual channel! You can control multiple faders simultaneously as well and set levels independently for different mixes on different channels. Each individual channel can have a name of its own, as defined by the user.

You can setup a total of 8 presets for TotalMix, depending on your needs, and there are already 8 factory presets on the device. One of the most invaluable presets is the panic setting, which immediately mutes all playback and inputs. There are also three independent presets for the headphones, so you can set them up as required in different situations.

TotalMix also offers control over the RME Fireface 800’s talkback and listenback function, whereby microphones are connected to a user-defined input and simply by pressing a button, you can relay commands between the record room and control room. Professional!

In addition, there are two sections offering control over the main monitors being used in your setup, with controls like dim, mono and phones. There is also a separate section offering control over headphones sub-mixes on different playback channels.

TotalMix also features advanced routing features for techniques like mid/side recording and the “loopback” of signals from the outputs of the device to your DAW software.

As mentioned, the TotalMix software can be controlled using a top-of-the-line midi controller like a Mackie Control or even a cheaper device. One of the great features of TotalMix is that it prevents the computer from freezing in case a midi loop is created between your hardware controller and the software. This is achieved by sending a single midi note every 0.5 seconds from the output that will disable midi functionality in case the same note is detected at the midi input!

The other link between your computer and the interface is the Fireface settings dialog, which allows selection of inputs (remember, some are on the front and the back), turning on/off phantom power, stipulating the level of analog inputs and outputs (0, -10 and +4 dB), establishing synchronisation behavior (i.e. clock master/slave mode, sample rate, source, etc), setting the current sample rate and latency. All changes made in the settings dialog are applied immediately to the device.

Notably, the Fireface 800 is designed to work with professional video applications as well. In this regard, the settings dialog has a section called a “direct digital synthesizer”, which allows you to set complex sample rates as dictated by typical video frequencies with precision.

These are the main “software” links between the RME Fireface 800 and the computer, but there’s one more programme that users get for free dubbed, “Digicheck”, which enables testing, measuring and analysis of digital audio streams, including a vector and surround audio scope and a spectral analyser, among other tools.

I found that the RME Fireface 800 integrates tightly with my DAWs and is compatible with the most popular DAWs like Cubase, Sonar, Samplitude and ProTools.

… The sound of music

The Fireface 800 is is essentially an outboard soundcard and can handle both ASIO and WDM, and is even capable of AC-3/DTS playback through the SPDIF ouput. This “outboard” character of the soundcard enables reduced processing power on the CPU while recording and I believe is the main reason for the stability while recording using the device as there is little scope for dropouts or other strange behaviour during the process of laying down tracks.

The preamps on the Fireface 800 have their critics and their supporters. I myself find they are appropriate for a variety of applications, being clean and transparent. I particularly liked them for recording guitar tracks after a DI box, as I found the audio I heard on my amplifier translated well on my recordings. I have noticed that some wish that the preamps had more “character”, but I am of the view that I would prefer to have preamps on an AD device that ensure a faithful rendition of the sound I actually create, as it would be more logical to have a channel strip in front of some kind in front of the input in case I wished to tailor the sound.

The DI instrument input is also an interesting addition to the device and I found a great way to just plug in a guitar into the Fireface 800 and jam a little. However, I did not use it as much as I probably could have for recording, in hindsight.

There’s a lot of debate on the subject of sample rates and the benefits that they provide. A lot of experienced and knowledgeable sound engineers and producers will scoff at the need for sample rates higher than 48 kHz. Indeed, I am convinced at the merits of their argument. It is also worth noting that a standard audio CD’s sample rate is 44.1 kHz and the bit depth is 16-bits. At the same time, there is a rival camp that also passionately argues about how sometimes sound is sometimes “felt” more than it is heard, with vibrations at unaudible frequencies capable of making music more enjoyable. I am as convinced of the arguments of these experienced professionals.

The bottomline is whatever sampling rate you feel comfortable with and “sounds” better to you, go with it. In this regard, it bears mentioning that I used my Fireface 800 with Samplitude 8 SE, which I got in my box when I made my purchase. I found that the device could handle recording with fluency at a variety of sample rates and bit depths. It is equally at home handling one stereo input panned hard left and right as it is with six mono inputs panned to centre. Full points for the doing the job it says it can do with respect to flawless AD/DA conversion and rock solid dependability.

29th January 2012

RME Fireface 800 by composingkeys3

RME Fireface 800

I've had the RME Fireface 800 for over 6 years now. I've changed my computer 3 times now but had no reason to do so with the Fireface 800. This Audio Interface is simply stable as a rock, flexible with it's inputs and outputs, and offers great low latency settings. It even offers drive, limiter, and speaker emulation for instruments that are plugged in directly.

Other components have gone bad but not this audio interface. RME have provided solid drivers from each iteration of Windows i've had from Windows XP, Windows Vista, to Windows 7. They delivered 64 bit drivers before almost any other company offered them. They also have responded in a timely manner when I had questions via email.

Their total mix software is great to quickly change volume levels, route from different inputs etc.

The only issue I've had is that the preamp needs to be turned way up for my condenser mic to give me adequate levels.

This device was not cheap but considering how well it's made and the years of being reliable, this is a no brainer must have. There are a lot of other audio interfaces on the market but drivers can be an issue when it comes to performance or stability that I've encountered when trying to use other brands out there. If I ever need to buy another audio interface, I will be looking at RME before anything else. Top notch!

30th January 2012

RME Fireface 800 by NikHz

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
RME Fireface 800

Overview:
Over 6 years ago, when I was doing an Audio Production course at university, I needed a stable audio that was versatile enough to allow me to record multiple instruments at the same time and sounded great! I had my heart set on buying a Motu 828 when someone suggested that I could get an RME Fireface 800 for not much more. I was told that RME units had "extremely stable drivers", "great clocks", "good conversion" etc. At the time, I had no idea what any of the above meant and just thought I'd go for it and see what al the fuss was about!

6 years later and I have never had to or wanted to buy another audio interface! I coupled it with an Octapre via ADAT lightpipe and the RME software made it very easy to set up.

The Software:
Most of the time, the FF800 just works without having to faff around too much with the driver software. More complex routing is also easily achieved using the TotalMix software which has my patch-bay gathering dust. TotalMix alows me to "hard-wire" inputs of the FF800 directly to any output I want and then back in - all Latency-free!! Great for when I wanted to use the mic pres on the FF800 but use an external compressor/EQ which tracking.

I have changed computers several times since I've had the FF800 but RME has always released extremely stable drivers which I've never had problems with. I am currently getting latency of 2.1ms without any pops and clicks.
Additionally, the DigiCheck software (for PC only) is absolutely great for checking the more clinical/mathematical aspects of digital audio with spectral analysers and other sound measuring tools.

Inputs and Outputs:
The Mic pres are extremely clean and great for transparent recordings. They won't give you the character of a tube pre but that's not the point... You have 4 solid pres built into the unit with the ability to add up to 16 more Mic pres using the two sets of ADAT ins. You also have an additonal 6 line-level inputs as well as a very capable DI/Instrument In on the front with a built in soft limiter, drive and speaker emulation should you need it.

The conversion on this thing is fantastic! I could immediately hear the difference between the M-Audio interface I had prior to purchasing the FF800. Better conversion is hard to achieve in a similar package without having to pay 2-3 times as much. The feature-set and quality of the FF800 make it a fantastic purchase at the current street price. It was actually slightly cheaper when I purchased it, but if I had to buy again I would definitely pick up another FF800 especially now that I know just what a capable device it is. The headphone amp is very clean and able to easily drive all the headphones I own.

Alternatives and Conclusion:
This unit has served me extremely well with no signs of giving up in the near future. I have taken this all over the place, done location work, recorded live acts, and many a gruelling studio session... and while lots of my other equipment has conked out the FF800 has remained stable as a tank! I couldn't recommend it highly enough. I honestly believe that for the money, it (as well as other RME units in the same price range) is the best quality you can get unless you pay a lot more.

In the last year or so RME have also released the newer UFX and UCX units which offer a slightly different feature-set. This might pose the question of whether the RME FF800 is still relevant, or whether it has been overthrown by these newr units? Well, I think that if you don't need the DSP effects offered with the newer UFX and UCX units then getting the FF800 is a no-brainer... You would get more and ins and outs than the UCX for slightly cheaper! sure, conversion might has improved marginally on these newer units but the FF800 has stood my 6-year long rigorous testing period!! And I'm not tempted in the slightest to look elsewhere for my audio interfacing needs.

30th January 2012

RME Fireface 800 by NikHz

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
RME Fireface 800

Overview:
Over 6 years ago, when I was doing an Audio Production course at university, I needed a stable audio that was versatile enough to allow me to record multiple instruments at the same time and sounded great! I had my heart set on buying a Motu 828 when someone suggested that I could get an RME Fireface 800 for not much more. I was told that RME units had "extremely stable drivers", "great clocks", "good conversion" etc. At the time, I had no idea what any of the above meant and just thought I'd go for it and see what al the fuss was about!

6 years later and I have never had to or wanted to buy another audio interface! I coupled it with an Octapre via ADAT lightpipe and the RME software made it very easy to set up.

The Software:
Most of the time, the FF800 just works without having to faff around too much with the driver software. More complex routing is also easily achieved using the TotalMix software which has my patch-bay gathering dust. TotalMix alows me to "hard-wire" inputs of the FF800 directly to any output I want and then back in - all Latency-free!! Great for when I wanted to use the mic pres on the FF800 but use an external compressor/EQ which tracking.

I have changed computers several times since I've had the FF800 but RME has always released extremely stable drivers which I've never had problems with. I am currently getting latency of 2.1ms without any pops and clicks.
Additionally, the DigiCheck software (for PC only) is absolutely great for checking the more clinical/mathematical aspects of digital audio with spectral analysers and other sound measuring tools.

Inputs and Outputs:
The Mic pres are extremely clean and great for transparent recordings. They won't give you the character of a tube pre but that's not the point... You have 4 solid pres built into the unit with the ability to add up to 16 more Mic pres using the two sets of ADAT ins. You also have an additonal 6 line-level inputs as well as a very capable DI/Instrument In on the front with a built in soft limiter, drive and speaker emulation should you need it.

The conversion on this thing is fantastic! I could immediately hear the difference between the M-Audio interface I had prior to purchasing the FF800. Better conversion is hard to achieve in a similar package without having to pay 2-3 times as much. The feature-set and quality of the FF800 make it a fantastic purchase at the current street price. It was actually slightly cheaper when I purchased it, but if I had to buy again I would definitely pick up another FF800 especially now that I know just what a capable device it is. The headphone amp is very clean and able to easily drive all the headphones I own.

Alternatives and Conclusion:
This unit has served me extremely well with no signs of giving up in the near future. I have taken this all over the place, done location work, recorded live acts, and many a gruelling studio session... and while lots of my other equipment has conked out the FF800 has remained stable as a tank! I couldn't recommend it highly enough. I honestly believe that for the money, it (as well as other RME units in the same price range) is the best quality you can get unless you pay a lot more.

In the last year or so RME have also released the newer UFX and UCX units which offer a slightly different feature-set. This might pose the question of whether the RME FF800 is still relevant, or whether it has been overthrown by these newr units? Well, I think that if you don't need the DSP effects offered with the newer UFX and UCX units then getting the FF800 is a no-brainer... You would get more and ins and outs than the UCX for slightly cheaper! sure, conversion might has improved marginally on these newer units but the FF800 has stood my 6-year long rigorous testing period!! And I'm not tempted in the slightest to look elsewhere for my audio interfacing needs.

4th March 2012

RME Fireface 800 by Slywahker

  • 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 Fireface 800

I've been playing music since I was three, have come to see/hear/try/hear about quite a bit of gear. This is the one piece of gear that have been recommended to me by top studio guys and top touring/live guys.

I had one of their computer based sound cards about 1o years ago. Ended getting rid of the whole thing, with the computer and the console.

This unit looks, feels, behaves and sounds like the real deal.

Just a few weeks ago I was doing a session on guitar where we tracked 9 songs in two days (all rhythm parts). Now all the lead parts, textures, feed backs, intros & outros were left to do.

I told the engineer what I had as a setup at home. (Tube amps, condenser mics, bla bla bla...) As soon as he heard RME FireFace 800, he said; Perfect! Here's a DI, just make sure you track without delays & reverbs and send me both tracks at such and such rate/bit depth when you're done.

Example;
SongOne.wav & SongOne_DI.wav

Guitar ---> DI Split;
A: Direct to FireFace (for re-amping at his place according to taste)
B: Pedal Board - Amps - Mic - FireFace

We did the whole thing like that and he was more that happy.

Their website says it's "the world's most powerful FireWire audio interface ever." I don't know about that but IMHO, it kicks ass.

Solid, sturdy. It heats up quite a while after a few hours. So I just leave blank space above it in the rack. I gave it a "9" for ease of use because I had a bit of hard time with the driver when I first got started, but after that it's plug and play.

I use it to record my songs at home (up to the rough mix. I don't mix or master. That's a whole other ball game.)

If you're shopping around for a soundcard/audio interface right now and plan on spending a 100$ or so. Don't even look at it, go for whatever you were thinking of buying. But if you have close to a 1000$ in mind I'd suggest saving up a bit more or shop around for deals at the usual places. (They go from 850$ to 1600$ street right now.)

17th March 2012

RME Fireface 800 by Bristol Posse

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
RME Fireface 800

First of all, to put this review into context I will start off by stating that I am a hobbyist recorder.
I have had extensive experience with other interfaces such as the M-Audio ProFire series as well as boutique pre amps and converters from Black Lion Audio so any comparative statements made will be in the context of this experience

The RME Fireface 800

This is a 1U Rack mountable audio interface in the familiar blue and silver of the RME Product line.
The front panel provides the following:
4 mic/XLR Line/TRS ins with up to 60dB of clean gain.
1 HiZ (Guitar/Bass) in with gain, this channel alos provides a software controlled limiter, cab simulator and drive simulator accessed through the RME control panel
1 Headphone out with volume control

The rear panel provides the following:
8 TRS Analog ins
8 TRS Analog outs
1 SPDIF out
1 SPDIF in
2 ADAT in/out ports
Word Clock ins & out
1 MIDI in
1 MIDI out
1 FW 400 port
2 FW 800 ports
3 time code inputs

Sound Quality
The mic Pres and converters on this unit are nice and clear and open, this is not a coloration piece but it provides detailed, accurate conversion of the signals with plenty of usable clean gain. The Cab emulation, Drive and limiter functions are also a useful addition and make a separate DI box for studio use unnecessary unless you are dealing with multiple guitar inputs. For the price (as compared to a high end converter only) the sound quality is extremely good

Ease of Use
This is an incredibly flexible unit. The routing possibilities are enormous as are the number of simultaneous ins and outs possible as well as the ability to link multiple units together and calibrate the converters to three different reference levels for 0dBFS. The software mixer allows for the creation and storing of multiple routing configurations, headphone submixes, loop back setups and so on.
As a result of the enormous variety of set up options the user manual and sheer complexity can at first seem daunting.
Having said this, the default settings will work out of the box providing a logical 1 to 1 routing that will allow you to easily assign inputs and outputs within a DAW.
For Use in a live setting, all inputs/outputs are panable, individually routable to multiple outs and the built in Total Mix software can be controlled via a Control surface such as a Mackie, opening up a whole world of opportunities for use as a mixer too
Because of the sheer tweakability I had to score this a seven because it will take some time to get used to the flow of the signals and how to really take full advantage of the capabilities offered

Features
As mentioned above this unit offers a very broad range of ins and outs, almost limitless routing possibilities, Zero latency monitoring, 3 software controllable reference levels for 0dBFS to allow you to determine how much headroom you get and so much more. This is a feature rich unit

Bang for Buck
If all you need is an audio interface then this would be on the higher end of the price range for such a device. The pres are very good and transparent, the conversion is certainly excellent and the flexibility is awesome. Drivers are very stable in both XP and Win7.
I scored this lower on the bang for buck however as I feel you are paying for many features that many in the home and project studio will perhaps never need however for the quality and reliability it is still a reasonably priced unit

Hope this helps someone considering this unit as an option for their musical endeavors :-)

23rd March 2012

RME Fireface 800 by robertshaw

  • Sound Quality 2 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 2 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.5
RME Fireface 800

Features: This unit is packed with a great set of features.

Ease of use: It is a plug and play type unit which requires little usage of the reference manual. It's E/M packaging is superb and the controls are self explanatory.

Sound Quality: The sound quality of this unit is very poor in comparison to other units available on the market.

Bang for buck: I give this 50/50, it has great features and the unit is rock solid as far as stability with integration into your complete system however, the poor sound sort of negates all of its positive aspects.

22nd January 2013

RME Fireface 800 by Gold Morgan

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
RME Fireface 800

Solid drivers, good AD/DA, and a ****load of I/O. Oh yeah...and you can buy this interface for under a grand on eBay or the classifieds. What's not to like? This thing has served me very well for the past few years, however it has recently been crackling and hiccuping, which I suspect is the firewire input or card.

13th March 2014

RME Fireface 800 by Magenta_rules

  • 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 Fireface 800

The Fireface 800 is a very nice and clean sounding unit. The drivers work perfect, the mixer is cool and the price is very low for what you get! I use two of it for years, never got any problems with them. they are solid as rock. The Preamps are good to use and nearly "high-end-stuff". You can get a used FF 800 for about 600 bucks, wich is a steal. So go for it! you wont get any better for that price!

14th March 2014

RME Fireface 800 by gpiccolini

  • 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 Fireface 800

I used a lot of equipment, I had Aardvark, Lexicon, Emagic, etc. and once I get my first RME card (Multiface) was like heaven. It worked perfectly always and the sound was excellent. The FF800 is the same but better: Excellent PC/Mac drivers, excellent convertion and preamps, LOTS of channels, Totalmix (the best virtual mixer in my opinion), Digicheck, still being upgraded 5 years later, and a first class customer support WAY beyond warranty time. I also have an Apogee Rossetta800 and the FF800 converters sound very very good compared to a unit almost double the price, no interface nor preamps. did I said that they sound excellent? I also have V76 and V72 and a bunch of other preamps but I like the sound the RME preamps gives me when I'm on the road. In fact I like it so much that I also bought a FF400 . To me the FF800 is possibly the best interface out there.

 

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