RME Multiface II by Feuerbach
The Multiface II is part of RME's HDSP line of interface. It is so feature-packed that any review can only scratch the surface. Due to the complexity it takes quite some time to wrap your head around all features it has to offer.
The interface itself is only the break out box which contains all the connectivity which includes 8 analog I/O, 1 SPDIF, 1 ADAT I/O, 1 MIDI I/O and a separate headphone out.
To connect it to a DAW the additional RME HDSP PCI, PCIe, Cardbus or Expresscard card has to be installed. The proprietary digital data bus connection between the card and the interface is realized by using a standard firewire cable (IEEE 1394). The Multiface II runs at a maximum samplerate of 96 KHz.
The soundquality of the ad/da conversion is prestine. I have not measured it myself, but RME claims a frequency response of -0.5dB from 5 Hz to 21 kHz at 44,1 kHz sampling rate. Either on the studio or when using it on stage the sound comes across clean, undistorted and punchy. It has no preamp inputs, just line level, so additional gear has to be connected to make any kind of microphone recordings.
The Headphone amplification (which can be completed individually routed) is quite potent although I feel that with more loudness or higher impedance heaphones distortion creeps in before hitting the maximum gain.
Software and Driver Support
Besides the great soundquality the drivers are another highlight of this package. I am using the MF II in combination with the HDSPe PCI Express Card on a Studio PC and the Cardbus card with a laptop. Either way not once in the several years of usage has the driver come in the way of stability. The drivers have seen mutiple revision enhancing funcionality and adapting to newer hardware or software. Stable low latency audio is possible without the MF II breaking into sweat. Tests indicate that the HDSP Line it is one of the most efficient low latency recording solutions in the market, which means the CPU is least taxed with handling audio data streaming leaving head room for other tasks (sequencers & virtual effect/instruments calculations).
The RME HDSP also includes the Digicheck software, a great set of realtime measurement tools. They include frequency analyser, peak and rms meters for all channels and goniometer for stereo field representation.
The Multiface 2 is the most reliable audio device I ever bought for my studio. It simply works since day one with any further fiddling. It is running several years without a glitch. It is one of the best investment I made. Nothing not to like and highly recommended.