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Opinions on the RME Fireface 400...or other suggestions?

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by hansgordy, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. hansgordy

    hansgordy Guest

    My MOTU 8pre died after a couple of years, with absolutely no help from MOTU. The customer support is non-existent. Months of trying to call, email, technical support online, etc. I'm done with them.

    I'm looking at the RME Fireface 400. Any opinions on this one?

    Other suggestions?

    I use it for my keyboards, guitars, and vocals with Cubase SX3.

    Also...would you suggest using a vocal preamp with any audio interface?

    Finally...any interfaces that would do both instrumental & vocals equally as well...without the need for a vocal preamp?

    Thanks
     
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Some of the channels in the RME Fireface series have pre-amps: 2 in the 400 and 4 in the 800. You don't need a "vocal preamp" (whatever that is) ahead of those inputs. If you need to use the additional FireFace line input channels for microphones, you will need external pre-amps for those channels.

    The FF400 would be a good match for the usage you mention, but does not leave much room for additional sources. With two mics into the XLRs and the keys and guitar into the instrument inputs 3 & 4, you would need the external pre-amps for the line inputs 5 - 8. If you can stretch to the FF800, it would be worth while.

    The pre-amps in the FireFace series are top-quality, clean, transparent. If you are contemplating external pre-amps to feed the line inputs, you might want to complement the transparent internal pre-amps by going for valve (tube) pre-amps or transformer-based ones such as the API3124+.

    By "vocal preamp", you may mean a vocal channel strip, comprising preamp, EQ and dynamics processing (compress, limit etc). The FireFace range in no way limits your options here, in that you could always add a channel strip feeding one of the line inputs later.
     
  3. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Using a preamp with an interface is perfectly acceptable providing the preamp connects to a true line input on the interface and not some combo jack. The path Boswell recommends is an example of the proper idea (channel strip into a Fireface line input).

    +1 on the Fireface line of interfaces. Very good gear.
     
  4. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    I have an RME FF800 and it is a perfect interface...rock solid plenty of flexibility and would easily replace your MOTU8Pre.
    In fact if you can get your MOTU to operate in ADAT mode just hook it up to the FF800 and you'll have 18 channels of I/O. Maybe the MOTU will work better as an ADAT interface....just a thought!
    The RME FF400 is the same unit as the FF800 but only 4 in/out.
    I wouldn't even think about it....you really couldn't go wrong!
     
  5. teuron

    teuron Guest

    actually the fireface400 has 8in and 8out (two unbalanced) for analog i/o
     
  6. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    My bad...I stand corrected!
     
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The Fireface 400 and the Fireface UC (new) have:
    8 analog in/6 analog out
    8 ADAT in/out
    2 S/PDif in/out

    Two units can be daisy chained to double the I/O.
     

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