Product Description for the RME Fireface UFX
Sixty channels of audio! Digitally controlled high-end preamps, reference class converters and complete 192 kHz operation. Ultra-low latency operation with USB OR FireWire combined with the legendary RME driver stability and maintenance.
On top of it: TotalMix FX, the new digital high-end mixer and signal router, driven by two powerful DSP, with integrated EQ, Dynamics and Reverb/Echo effects up to 192 kHz plus built-in monitoring control.
The full-blown feature set is backed up by an extraordinary usability. At its heart is a bright multi-functional color display with full front panel metering for all 60 channels plus effect bus, and complete control of all key features - directly from the front of the UFX.
RME's new Fireface flagship is a highly integrated pro audio solution, a full-blown studio packed in a 19" enclosure. An interface designed for users who don't want to make compromises in sound, stability and ultra-low latency operation, and who long for an unrivaled professional feature set. Once again a milestone interface from RME, including the best of the best - and even a bit more.
Inputs and Outputs
The UFX provides 60 channels of audio: 30 input and 30 output channels. All inputs and outputs can be used at the same time. Up to 12 analog and 18 digital channels can be recorded onto 30 separate tracks.
The UFX provides 12 analog I/Os:
12 Inputs. 8 balanced TRS on the back and 4 XLR inputs with mic/instrument preamps on the front.
12 Outputs. On the rear: 6 balanced TRS and 2 balanced XLR - perfect for the direct connection of the main studio monitors. On the front: Two additional TRS stereo phones outputs providing high volumes even with hi-impedance headphones (playback channels 9/10 and 11/12).
AES/EBU: The UFX provides a professional AES/EBU I/O working up to 192 kHz.
ADAT: Two 8-channel ADAT I/Os expand the UFX by 16 channels available simultaneously with the analog channels. They can be used to connect two 8-channel AD/DA converters, mixing consoles, or to insert effects devices. Both I/Os support sample rates with up to 192 kHz (S/MUX4). Using two external converters like the ADI-8 QS, the UFX will provide 28 analog inputs and outputs, 20 with a sample rate of 96 kHz, and still 16 at 192 kHz.
SPDIF: The second ADAT I/O can be used as optical SPDIF I/O, making the UFX connections even more flexible.
Word Clock & MIDI: A word clock input and output (BNC) with switchable termination plus two MIDI I/Os complete the I/O list and turn the Fireface UFX into a professional audio system with universal usability.
When it comes to sound quality and price to performance ratio RME plays in its own league. The Fireface UFX is no exception. Like any other RME product it combines excellent analog circuit design with high-grade AD/DA converter chips. Therefore all balanced TRS & XLR I/Os and both phones outputs guarantee outstanding low noise and distortion values. In best RME tradition and product philosophy converters and preamps don’t produce “sound”, they do not add or remove anything from the source signal, just capture it as it is.
Due to its efficient jitter reduction, RME´s superior SteadyClock guarantees state-of-the-art AD/DA conversion, even when clocking to an external digital source.
All I/Os operate up to 192 kHz and reach 118 dBA dynamic range on playback - even both headphone outputs. Their high power technology delivers high volume no matter if high or low impedance phones are used. The balanced analog inputs are based on RME’s low-latency converter design from the high-end converter ADI-8 QS. The DA section is based on RME´s M-Series. Both designs guarantee excellent S/N and THD specs across a wide analog level range.
Every input and output channel comes with a luxury feature set, comparable to a full-scale digital console. The effects per channel include 3-band parametric EQ, adjustable Low Cut, Auto Leveler, Compressor, Expander, MS Processing and phase reversal. The Reverb and Echo effects unit is available for all channels by a stereo send and return bus. The UFX easily tops the competition by offering all these effects even at 192 kHz operation.
USB & Firewire
The UFX now combines USB and FireWire, Made by RME, within one interface and has been uncompromisingly optimized for highest performance under Windows and Mac OS. It uses a special customized firmware for every operating system. Like other RME interfaces, the UFX provides revolutionary ultra-low latencies even with multiple channels.
The UFX provides four high-transparency preamps backed up by four stereo converters with RME´s new Advanced Parallel Converter technology. The fully symmetrical preamp design impresses with extremely low distortion, excellent signal to noise ratio and a perfect linear frequency response.
Mic and Instrument preamps of the UFX use the core technology from RME´s Micstasy – a high-end preamp for supreme sonic demands and critical applications, like the professional recording of classical concerts.
The digitally controlled gain of up to 65 dB, adjustable in steps of 1 dB over a range of 55 dB, is individually set for every preamp by the display-supported controls on the front of the UFX. All level settings are 100% reproducible and can also be adjusted comfortably with the TotalMix software from the host computer or via a MIDI remote controller.
The four inputs on the front use balanced XLR/TRS combo sockets and operate alternatively as Hi-Z inputs. Directly plug in up to four guitars or other instruments - it does not require any other hardware.
Advanced Parallel Conversion - All four UFX preamps are feeding not only four, but eight AD converters. Every Mic-pre channel uses a double, parallel AD conversion on two AD converters at the same time to reach exceptional signal-to-noise values and a performance not available with a classic converter design.
The UFX is not only a perfect desktop level controller, but a monitor switcher and source selector with integrated talkback function for modern Mix-In-the-Box studios which are based on software DAWs. As the UFX includes the usually externally added monitoring controller, it also preserves the original sound, as its hardware output stays directly connected to the studio monitors.
The control room features work hand in hand with the control room section of TotalMix. A flexible management allows you to assign any physical output to the three, directly knob-controlled monitor outputs. E.g. just assign the AES/EBU output as Main Out, or as Phones Out - any output can be used. Talkback, Listenback, Mono, Dim - all these features work automatically for the assigned outputs in the expected way. Convenience at its best.
To maintain the best usability for this huge feature set, RME integrated a high resolution color display into the front panel. In combination with a trio of rotary encoders all features of the UFX can be manually controlled directly on the UFX itself. TotalMix, connected PC or Mac, is synced to the interface controls and follows all changes automatically.
The DSP-based TotalMix mixer allows fully independent routing and mixing of all 30 input and playback channels to all 30 physical outputs. Up to 15 totally independent stereo submixes plus a luxury Control Room section offer unrivalled monitoring capabilities and unsurpassed routing flexibility.
There is more: 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 the following effects on all input and output channels:
- 3-band parametric EQ plus Low Cut (up to 24 dB/Oct)
- Dynamics: Compressor/Expander
- Auto Level
The UFX provides a separate FX send bus feeding two effect engines: Reverb and Echo.
All effects are available even at 192 kHz.
The complete effects section not only adds a lot of flexibility to the recording chain, but makes latency burdened software dispensable.
TotalMix can easily replace any external mixer, e.g. to create different latency-free monitoring mixes with EQ and Reverb for the main studio monitors and the headphone of the vocalist(s) in the recording chamber.