OUR PART # FIREFACE-UCX
RME's Fireface UCX is a highly integrated pro audio solution in an ultra-compact format for studio and live recordings. It continues RME's long tradition of designing compact high-end interfaces, packing into a half-rack size unit what usually would be spread out over two or three 19" panels.
In doing this, the Fireface UCX marks a new packing record: 300 electronic components more than inside the already well-stocked Fireface UC. RME once again packed all the latest technologies plus a bunch of newly developed ones, into a half 19" housing with full mobile usability. The Fireface UCX is not just a smaller version of the UFX, with the HFX-core, the preamps and the complete effects engine.
Inputs and Outputs:
The UCX provides 36 channels of audio - 18 I/Os. All channels can be used at the same time. Up to 8 analog and 10 digital channels can be recorded onto 18 separate tracks. All outputs can be used for ASIO Direct Monitoring purposes.
Available I/O (channels) with different Sample Rates:
Sample Rate Analog SPDIF ADAT Total In/Out
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
The UCX provides 8 analog I/O in a very flexible combination:
All outputs can be used for ASIO Direct Monitoring purposes.
Microphone/Instrument Preamps with AutoSet
The UCX provides two high-end mic and instrument preamps built right into the front. Both preamps use the core technology of RME's Micstasy - a high-end preamp for 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 2 TRS inputs on the front will alternatively operate as Hi-Z inputs. Directly plug in up to 2 guitars or other instruments - no other hardware is required.
AutoSet. The UCX offers a unique RME feature that 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 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.
Digital I/O, Word Clock & MIDI
The UCX provides the complete effects engine of the Fireface UFX - all effects are available at all sample rates.
Features/Differences to classic TotalMix:
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 a superior 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.
Included Remote Monitor Controller
Thanks to the multi-functional rotary encoder and the included Remote Control the UCX is more than just a great desktop level controller for the main monitors and phones. The integrated TotalMix FX high-end mixer provides an impressive set of monitoring control features for modern Mix-In-the-Box studios or live mixing sessions. Among them Dim, source selection, monitor switching, integrated Talkback, a flexible Cue setup, Mute and Mute FX, Mono, Speaker B switching and much more.
Contrary to 3rd party external monitoring controllers, the built-in UCX solution preserves the original sound, as its hardware outputs stay directly connected to the studio monitors, avoiding another device with a possible signal alteration in the signal path.
The flexibility of RME's DSP-driven TotalMix FX monitoring tool set is impressive: any physical output can be assigned to the directly knob-controlled monitor outputs (Main out, Speaker B, Phones 1, 2 ...) - any output can be used. The functions Talkback, Listenback, Mono and Dim will work automatically for the assigned outputs in the expected way. Cue mixes can be sent to a predefined output, an external input can be assigned and monitored with a simple click. Convenience for any studio or live situation at its best.
The UCX provides an integrated connector on the back for RME's remote controls.
The included Basic Remote Control provides one big wheel dial, a button for level storage/recall, and a freely programmable button for nearly all TotalMix FX functions. The optional (sold separately)Advanced Remote Control (ARC) adds 6 freely programmable buttons with LEDs to the feature set. Just assign all frequently used TotalMix functions to these buttons. Both remotes come with a flexible, 5 m (16 ft.) long cable.
Hammerfall-X-Core: USB & FireWire
RME doesn't use a third-party USB or FireWire audio technology. They use their own self-developed Hammerfall Audio Core with an outstanding performance and uncompromised pro audio features. RME integrated the latest and most sophisticated version of RME's bus technology, the Hammerfall-X-Core - combining both, USB 2.0 and FireWire - within one half-rack sized interface.
USB 2.0. Like other RME USB 2.0* interfaces, the Fireface UCX has been optimized for highest performance under Windows and Mac OS. It uses a special customized firmware for each operating system, and provides ultra-low latencies, even with multiple channels.
*The Fireface UCX is compatible to USB 3 chipsets.
FireWire. The redesigned FireWire technology of the HFX-Core provides the UCX with the same compatibility and performance as RME's USB solution. The UCX does not have any FireWire chip inside - the complete bus technology is programmed into the FPGA and remains under direct control. If ever necessary, it can be updated anytime by a simple firmware update.
Class Compliant Mode
The Fireface UCX is the first fully professional audio interface with the option to be used as a Class Compliant interface. The Class Compliant mode is a standard that is natively supported by operating systems like Windows, Mac OSX and Linux distributions. No proprietary drivers are required, the device will be directly recognized when the CC mode is activated by the button on the front panel.
The Class Compliant mode allows for connecting the UCX to an Apple iPad or iPad2. The iPad is not only an attractive mobile music creation and recording platform, but a closed hardware and software system without common driver problems and interferences from 3rd party hardware, like graphic or network cards. It provides stability, real-time performance, and an easy handling.
The UCX provides the iPad with the professional analog I/O connections it lacks. Superb microphone preamps with EQ, dynamics, even with the AutoSet feature, in addition to professional balanced line outputs, and a high-power headphone output that also excels with high-impedance headphones. Plus level adjustments, reverb, echo, zero latency monitoring, digitally via USB, without any limitation in quality, at up to 96 kHz and 24-bit.
Instead of using the jitter-prone USB clock, the UCX works with its own internal SteadyClock. Many USB audio devices extract clock for DA conversion from the USB data packets, running in slave mode (adaptive mode), with comparably high jitter values, especially since most won't offer active jitter suppression. The UCX works in clock mode master (asynchronous mode), both during recording and playback, thus achieving the exact same sound quality with an iPad as under Windows and Mac OSX.
Supported Inputs and Outputs. When connected to an iPad, the analog mic/line input 1 works with mono apps, inputs 1 and 2 with stereo apps (both dual mono and stereo), and all 8 analog inputs with 8-channel applications, like MultiTrack DAW and Music Studio.
Playback will use analog outputs 1 and 2 (there is no app supporting 8-channel playback at this time). The output signal 1/2 will be copied to outputs 7/8, SPDIF and ADAT, and can be processed independently (Volume/EQ/Dyn/FX Return).
Audio Routing and Processing. The UCX is also a powerful tool in CC mode, and can be pre-configured via TotalMix FX under Windows/Mac. Apart from the current configuration up to 6 previously-saved configurations can be loaded from the setup memory, allowing for a quick reconfiguration without a connected host PC/Mac.
The input signal will pass through all activated functions of the TotalMix FX input channel, namely settings, EQ, and Dynamics, and is then sent to the iPad. Like under Windows and Mac, the input fader controls direct monitoring to any output. The FX send control for echo/reverb is also active. The iPad's output signal passes through all activated functions of the TotalMix FX hardware outputs, namely settings, EQ, and dynamics. The third row's fader sets the output level.
NOTE: Some features in DIGICheck are not available in the Mac version.
AD, Line In 5-8, rear:
Line In 3-4, front
As AD, but:
Microphone/Line 1-2, front
as AD Line In 5-8, but:
DA, Line Out 1-6, rear
DA - Phones, 7/8, front
As DA, but:
Word Clock: BNC, switch for internal termination 75 Ohm
Basic Remote Control|
RME's Basic Remote Control comes with the Fireface UCX and the ADI-8 QS. It works with the Fireface UFX and other RME interfaces, released after 2011.The BRC provides a solid metal case with a main encoder dial, two push buttons and ...
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