RME’s Fireface UCX
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Compact, yet powerful, RME’s Fireface UCX is an integrated solution for studio or live recording. Over 300 components are engineered to fit into this half-sized rack housing. It mixes the ease of using the Babyface with the power of the larger Fireface Interfaces. It features 18 inputs, and 18 outputs.
- Low Latency mastering grade converters with outstanding specifications.
- Two mic preamps with the premium technology from RME's high-end recording bestsellers Micstasy and UFX, including the AutoSet overload protection.
- A newly developed Hammerfall audio core, supporting USB and FireWire with the maximum performance and ultra-low latency operation, combined with the legendary RME driver stability and maintenance, on both bus protocols.
- TotalMix FX with the complete Fireface UFX DSP engine, including all effects up to 192 kHz.
- Monitoring Controller: combining the impressive flexibility of the TotalMix FX monitoring tool set and the optional RME Remote Control.
- RME's unique DIGICheck metering and analysis toolbox for Windows PC and Mac.
- Plus support for RME's Advanced Remote Control, active jitter suppression technology, professional reference level support, advanced stand-alone functionality, full 192 kHz operation, and last but not least two high speed MIDI I/Os.
- On top of it: The Fireface UCX is the first professional audio interface with Class Compliant mode to work with Apple's iPad, for perfect stereo up to 18 channel recording and playback, and the addition of truly professional I/Os.
- 18 Input / 18 Output channels
- 8 x Analog I/O
- 2 x Mic/ Line Preamps, digitally controlled
- 2 x Line / Instrument inputs, digitally controlled
- 1 x SPDIF I/O coaxial
- 1 x ADAT I/O (or 1 x SPDIF I/O optical)
- 1 x Word Clock I/O
- 2 x MIDI I/O (via breakout cable)
- 1 x FireWire 400
- 1 x USB 2.0 (USB 3 compatible)
- optional: Advanced Remote Control
- TotalMix FX (with UFX effects engine)
Microphone/Instrument Preamps with AutoSet
Quality over quantity . The UCX provides two high-end mic and instrument preamps - built right into the front.
Like the famous UFX ones, both preamps use core technology of RME's Micstasy. A high-end preamp for supreme sonic demands and critical applications, like professional recordings of classical and acoustic music. The outstanding preamp design boasts extremely low distortion, excellent signal to noise ratio and a perfectly flat frequency response. A premium solution for transmitting and amplifying any audio source truly unchanged, be it high-level stage or typical studio signals, lower level and high-impedance instruments, or dynamic, condenser and ribbon microphones.
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 each preamp with the encoder knob on the front or in TotalMix FX on the host computer. All level settings are 100% reproducible and can also be adjusted using a MIDI remote controller.
Each channel can be individually switched to 48V phantom power. LEDs for signal, clip and activated phantom power give a complete overview on the unit's status.
The two TRS inputs on the front will alternatively operate as Hi-Z inputs. Directly plug in up to two guitars or other instruments - no other hardware is required.
AutoSet . The UCX offers a unique RME feature which was previously available only in the high-end microphone preamp Micstasy and the UFX. Usually a limiter is used during the recording to prevent clipping of the A/D converter stage. But analog processing would not only spoil the excellent technical specifications of the UCX mic preamps but also alter the original sound.
Thanks to digitally controlled gain the UCX can reduce the gain automatically, thus providing perfect protection from overload with no degradation of the audio signal, which does not have to pass any additional electronic circuitry. Additionally AutoSet does not cause any of the control noises known from usual limiters. SNR and THD stay completely unchanged.
Example: In a recording session, the recording engineer asks the vocalist or guitarist to sing or play a reference part and sets the UCX preamp gain to an unusual high level (e. g. 50 dB). AutoSet will automatically reduce the gain when the level reaches -6 dBFS. The reduction is done in a musical way, based on the intensity and duration of the input signal. Manual gain adjustment becomes obsolete most of the time, but the gain can still be set manually. AutoSet can be switched on for each of the 4 front panel mic and instrument preamp channels individually.
The DSP-based TotalMix mixer supports fully independent routing and mixing of all 18 input and playback channels to all 18 physical outputs. Up to 9 totally independent stereo submixes plus a comprehensive Control Room section offer unrivalled monitoring capabilities and unsurpassed routing flexibility.
And there is more: TotalMix FX delivers hardware mixing/routing with lots of new features and a highly improved usability.
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 Level, Compressor, Expander, MS Processing and phase reversal. The Reverb and Echo effects unit is available for all channels by way of a stereo send and return bus. The UCX easily surpasses the competition by offering all these effects even at 192 kHz operation.
Two DSPs ensure an impressive performance even in extreme applications. As usual with RME, TotalMix is available with all channels at all sample rates, completely unlimited. The second dedicated DSP only renders effects, and therefore always has sufficient resources. For example, at 48 kHz 36 EQs, 36 Low Cuts, 26 Compressors and Echo can be activated. With activated Reverb and Echo still 36 EQs, 36 Low Cuts and 16 Compressors are available.
The FX-DSP uses automatic overload surveillance. As soon as no effect can be added anymore the TotalMix surface will clearly signal this condition. When changing to higher sample rates the UCX automatically deactivates all effects that exceed the DSP's performance - the DSP will never be overloaded. This also prevents any possible damage to loudspeakers due to distortion.
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 room.
Furthermore, the DSP hardware calculates RMS and Peak levels for all 54 level meters, so there is zero CPU load on the host.
The main functions of TotalMix can be remote controlled via MIDI with any Mackie Control compatible controller.
AD, Line In 5-8, rear
Signal to Noise ratio (SNR): 111 dB RMS unweighted, 113 dBA
Frequency response @ 44.1 kHz, -0.5 dB: 6 Hz - 20.6 kHz
Frequency response @ 96 kHz, -0.5 dB: 6 Hz - 45.3 kHz
Frequency response @ 192 kHz, -1 dB: -1 dB: 5 Hz - 90 kHz
THD: < -105 dB, < 0.0005 %
THD+N: < -98 dB, < 0.0012%
Maximum input level: +19 dBu
Channel separation: > 110 dB
Input: 6.3 mm TRS jack, electronically balanced
Input sensitivity switchable to Lo Gain, +4 dBu, -10 dBV
Input level for 0 dBFS @ Lo Gain: +19 dBu
Input level for 0 dBFS @ +4 dBu: +13 dBu
Input level for 0 dBFS @ -10 dBV: +2 dBV
Line In 3-4, front
As AD, but:
Additional Gain stage: 0 up to +12 dB
Maximum input level, Lo Gain, Gain 0 dB:
Line +19 dBu, Inst +13 dBu
Maximum input level, -10 dBV, Gain 12 dB, Line:
-7,5 dBu, Inst: -13,5 dBu
Input impedance Inst: 470 kOhm
Input Gain Inst: +6 dB
Input mode: Line balanced (TRS), Inst unbalanced (TS)
CLIP LED: 0 dBFS
SIG LED: -60 dBFS
Microphone/Line 1-2, front
as AD Line In 5-8, but:
Input: Neutrik XLR/TRS Combo jack, electronically balanced
Input impedance: XLR 2 kOhm, TRS 8 kOhm balanced
Signal to Noise ratio (SNR): 112 dB RMS unweighted, 115 dBA
Low Roll Off -0.5 dB: 18 Hz, -1 dB: 12 Hz
Gain range: 0 dB, +10 up to +65 dB
Maximum input level XLR, Gain 0 dB: +10 dBu
Maximum input level XLR, Gain 65 dB: -55 dBu
Maximum input level TRS, Gain +0 dB: +21 dBu
Maximum input level TRS, Gain +65 dB: -44 dBu
CLIP LED: 0 dBFS
SIG LED: -60 dBFS
DA, Line Out 1-6, rear
Dynamic range (DR): 111 dB, 113 dBA @ 44.1 kHz (unmuted)
Frequency response @ 44.1 kHz, -0.1 dB: 8 Hz - 20.4 kHz
Frequency response @ 96 kHz, -0.5 dB: 6 Hz - 45 kHz
Frequency response @ 192 kHz, -1 dB: 6 Hz - 90 kHz
THD: -100 dB, < 0.001 %
THD+N: -96 dB, < 0.0015 %
Channel separation: > 110 dB
Maximum output level: +19 dBu
Output: 6.3 mm TRS jack, servo-balanced
Output impedance: 75 Ohm
Output level switchable: Hi Gain, +4 dBu, -10 dBV
Output level at 0 dBFS @ Hi Gain: +19 dBu
Output level at 0 dBFS @ +4 dBu: +13 dBu
Output level at 0 dBFS @ -10 dBV: +2 dBV
DA - Phones, 7/8, front
As DA, but:
Output: 6.3 mm TRS jack, unbalanced
Output impedance: 30 Ohm
BNC, switch for internal termination 75 Ohm