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- Article number: 1008501
ME Fireface UCX Interface
The RME Fireface UCX is our 1st choice when it comes to super compact e-drum recording studio, live shows, OBS streaming or SKYPE online lessons. TotalMix makes it possible to create almost any channel routing you need for your individual application area from this interface. Especially in the areas of drum education, Twitch, Youtube or Facebook streaming it is quite difficult to combine different audio sources to one usable audio signal and to control the volume levels during the live stream.
The Fireface UCX is a highly integrated pro audio solution in an ultra-compact format, for studio and live use. It follows RME's long tradition of ultra-compact high-end interfaces, combining features, functionality and quality in a half 19" rack space, for which other manufacturers require several full rack widths. On the way there a new record was needed: the UCX integrates another 300 electronic components more than the Fireface UC, which is already packed close to its limit.
The result is a breathtaking combination of RME's most successful interfaces: Fireface UFX, Fireface 400/UC and Babyface. The Fireface UCX is not only a smaller version of the UFX, including HFX core and the complete 192 kHz effects engine. With this technical generation leap it sets a new milestone in the long line of successful compact RME interfaces, and adds to that the great user experience of the Babyface thanks to the optional Advanced Remote Control.
THE FEATURES OF THE FIREFACE UCX AT A GLANCE:
- Mastering class low latency converter with outstanding specifications
- Two mic preamps with the premium technology of the Hi-End bestsellers Micstasy and UFX, including AutoSet overload protection.
- A newly developed Hammerfall Audio Core that offers maximum performance and lowest latency for USB and FireWire, combined with legendary driver stability and maintenance for both bus protocols.
- TotalMix FX with the complete 192 kHz effect engine of the Fireface UFX
- Monitoring Controller: combines the impressive flexibility of the TotalMix FX monitor controller with the optional RME Advanced Remote Control.
- RME's unique metering and analysis toolset DIGICheck.
- Also active jitter suppression, professional reference levels, advanced standalone functionality, full operation at 192 kHz, and of course two high-speed MIDI I/Os.
- And on top of that: The Fireface UCX is the first fully professional audio interface with a class compliant mode. It connects to Apple's iPad, enhances it with perfect stereo and 18-channel playback/recording, and professional I/Os in outstanding quality.
- All in all, the Fireface UCX is a true 'dream' interface, designed with attention to detail. The new premium solution for every desktop as well as live, without compromising on sound, stability or low-latency operation.
- Inputs and outputs
The UCX offers 36 audio channels - 18 I/Os. All channels can be used simultaneously. Up to 8 analog and 10 digital channels can be recorded on 18 tracks. All outputs can of course be used for ASIO Direct Monitoring.
AVAILABLE CHANNELS DEPENDING ON SAMPLE RATE:
- Sample rate Analog SPDIF ADAT Total
- 44.1/48 kHz 8/8 2/2 8/8 18/18
- 88.2/96 kHz 8/8 2/2 4/4 14/14
- 176.4/192 kHz 8/8 2/2 2/2 12/12
- Analog I/Os
The Fireface UFX has 8 very flexible analog I/Os:
On the back: 4 x symmetrical jack. On the front: 2 XLR inputs with mic/line preamps (65 dB gain) plus 2 Hi-Z-capable line/instrument jack inputs.
On the rear: 6 balanced jack outputs. On the front: One stereo headphone output (playback channel 7/8), which provides high volume with high and low impedance headphones.
Equipped with a new 2011 AD and DA high-performance converter design, all I/Os support sample rates up to 192 kHz. The AD/DA conversion even exceeds the extraordinary technical specifications of the Fireface UC/400 with an impressive dynamic range of 114 dBA for recording and playback. The advanced multi-bit conversion architecture guarantees exceptionally low noise and distortion values over a wide level range. In contrast to other manufacturers, RME's sound and product philosophy is based on the original reproduction of the original sound. An RME interface adds nothing to the original sound and takes nothing away from it, rather it captures the original sound unaltered.
Also in the UCX the integrated RME SteadyClockTM ensures optimal AD/DA conversion by efficient jitter suppression, even when clocked from an external clock source.
Low Latency Converter
All analog I/O is based on a low-latency converter design with an impressive 14 samples for the AD converters, and 7 samples for the DA converters, regardless of the sample rate used. These values are only a quarter of those of the Fireface UC/400 (43/28), and outperform even devices that cost many times more. A technical breakthrough that further reduces the overall latency of timing-critical applications in live situations and in computer-based studios. The converter latency is so low (0.4 ms at 48 kHz) that it can be practically ignored, making analog-to-digital monitoring close to pure analog monitoring.
PROFESSIONAL REFERENCE LEVELS
Superior converters require the support of common studio levels for perfect adaptation to other analog studio equipment. Like all other RME interfaces, the UCX supports the professional studio levels -10 dBV, +4 dBu, Lo / HiGain. The software-adjustable reference levels, implemented as a discrete circuit in hardware, guarantee full dynamic range and excellent signal quality.
- Inputs 3 - 8: -10 dBV, +4 dBu and Lo Gain (adjustable in two groups - channels 3/4 and 5 to 8).
- Outputs 1 - 8: -10 dBV, +4 dBu and Hi Gain (adjustable in two groups - channels 1 to 6 and 7/8).
Quality instead of quantity
The UCX features two hi-end microphone and instrument preamps - directly accessible on the front panel. As in the UFX, both preamps use the technology of the RME Micstasy, a hi-end preamp for exceptional sonic requirements and critical applications such as professional recording of classical concerts. The extraordinary design impresses with extremely low distortion and noise levels, as well as an extremely linear frequency response. The result is an outstanding solution for the unaltered transmission and amplification of any signal, be it high-level stage or typical studio signals, low-level or high-impedance instruments, dynamic or ribbon microphones.
The digitally controlled gain of up to 65 dB, adjustable in steps of 1 dB over a range of 55 dB, is set individually for each input via TotalMix FX or the rotary knob on the front panel. All settings are 100% reproducible and can also be adjusted remotely via MIDI.
48V phantom power is individually switchable per channel. LEDs for signal, clip and activated phantom power give an overview of the status of the device.
The two stereo jack inputs on the front can be used as instrument inputs. Whether two guitars or keyboards - no additional hardware is required.
The UCX also has a unique RME feature that was previously only available in the high-end Micstasy preamp and the UFX. Some preamps contain limiters to avoid overdriving - especially the AD-converter. Such a circuit, however, would affect the excellent technical data of the mic front-end. Thanks to the completely digitally controlled gain, the UCX can also adjust the gain itself. This results in perfect overload protection without any degradation, noise, compression or peak reduction of the useful signal, as it does not have to pass through additional analog electronics.
Example: During a recording session the sound engineer asks the singer or guitarist to sing or play a loud reference part. Before doing so, he sets the preamplification on the UCX to a very high value (e.g. 50 dB). With AutoSet activated, the signal is now automatically reduced as soon as it reaches -6 dBFS, based on intensity and duration. This largely eliminates the need for manual intervention during a performance, but it is of course possible at any time. AutoSet can be activated separately for each of the four mic/instrument preamps on the front panel.
Digital I/Os, Word Clock & MIDI
The UCX has coaxial SPDIF I/O that operates at up to 192 kHz sample rate.
An 8-channel ADAT I/O allows the connection of an external converter, mixer or effects unit. The ports operate at up to 192 kHz, with the limitation to 2 channels (SMUX/4) known from ADAT. As with SPDIF, the 8 ADAT channels are available simultaneously. Using an external converter like the ADI-8 QS, the UCX provides 16 analog inputs and outputs, 12 at a sample rate of 96 kHz, and still 10 at 192 kHz.
The ADAT port can optionally be used as optical SPDIF I/O, making the UCX even more flexible in its connections.
WORDCLOCK & MIDI
A word clock I/O (BNC) with switchable termination and two MIDI I/Os complete the available connections and turn the Fireface UCX into a professional and universally usable audio system.
Class Compliant Mode
The Fireface UCX is the first truly professional audio interface with integrated Class Compliant mode.
This term describes a standard that is natively supported by operating systems like Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. No additional drivers are required, the device is recognized directly.
In addition, the Class Compliant Mode also allows the UCX to be connected to any Apple iPadTM !
The iPad is not only an attractive mobile music creation and recording platform, but also a closed hardware and software system, without the usual driver problems and interference from third-party hardware such as graphics or network cards. The system is stable, offers good real-time performance and is easy to use.
The UCX equips the iPad with the analog professional I/Os that it lacks as standard. High-quality microphone preamps with EQ, dynamics, even AutoSet, plus professional balanced line outputs and a hi-power headphone output that can also handle high-impedance phones. Plus level and gain adjustments, SPDIF/ADAT I/O, reverb, echo and zero latency monitoring. All this digitally via USB, i.e. in unrestricted quality with up to 96 kHz and 24 bit. And of course a double, sysex-capable MIDI I/O.
The UCX offers another special feature here: it works on the iPad not with the jittered USB clock, but with its internal SteadyClock. Many USB audio devices extract the clock for DA conversion from the USB data packets, and are thus in a comparatively jittered slave mode (Adaptive Mode). Especially since they usually do not offer active jitter suppression in the audio range. The UCX, on the other hand, works as a Clock Master (Asynchronous Mode), both recording and playback, and therefore achieves exactly the same sound quality on the iPad as it does under Windows or Mac OS X.
Supported inputs and outputs . On iPad, input 1 works for mono apps, input 1/2 for stereo apps (i.e. mic/line, both dual mono and stereo), and up to 8 inputs for apps such as MultiTrack DAW and Music Studio. Garage Band supports all inputs, but only two simultaneously. Auria can record all 18 inputs simultaneously.
During playback, the rear analog outputs 1 and 2, or more if supported by the app, work. The UCX can optionally copy iPad playback channels 1/2 to outputs 7/8 and SPDIF/ADAT for easy monitoring. All outputs can be processed independently (Volume/EQ/Dyn/FX Return).
Audio Routing and Processing
So the UCX is also very powerful in CC mode, and can even be pre-configured for CC operation via TotalMix FX under Windows/Mac. In addition to the current setting, up to 6 configurations can be stored in the device and called up very quickly.
The input signal passes through all activated functions of the TM FX input channel, i.e. Settings, EQ and Dynamics, and is then sent to the iPad. As under Windows/Mac, direct monitoring can be set by routing to outputs 1/2 and 7/8 via the input fader. The Send control for Echo/Reverb is also active. The iPad's output signal passes through all activated functions of the TM FX Hardware Output, i.e. Settings, EQ and Dynamics. The fader in the third row adjusts the output level.
RME's unique SteadyClock technology of the Fireface UCX guarantees excellent performance in all clock modes. Due to the efficient jitter suppression, the AD- and DA-converters of the UCX always work optimally, completely independent from the quality of the reference clock, thus guaranteeing perfect sound quality.
Thanks to SteadyClock the UFX can freely determine its sample rate. The Settings dialog allows direct selection of the most common sample rates for audio and video.
The UCX includes DIGICheck, RME's unsurpassed digital audio analysis tool. From multitrack recorder to spectral analysis and sophisticated level metering, DIGICheck offers unique functions and features. It also displays the level data calculated in hardware, and can even directly display the playback data of an audio software.*
Intelligent Clock Control not only displays the status of all clocks, but also maintains the last valid sample rate in case of a failure of the external source. The technologies known and proven from other RME products, like SyncCheck, ensure easy detection of error conditions.
- 19" Rackmounts