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(Unofficial) RME UCX II Interface Review and Measurements

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Question. I had a ground loop from my PC before with another interface, so I returned it and went for a USB/toslink converter into toslink input of a DAC for music reproduction at my PC. On interfaces such as this RME, is the toslink input bidirectional like a USB input, or do you need to use the optical out to carry the signal from a guitar (for instance) to the PC?
 

Trell

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Question. I had a ground loop from my PC before with another interface, so I returned it and went for a USB/toslink converter into toslink input of a DAC for music reproduction at my PC. On interfaces such as this RME, is the toslink input bidirectional like a USB input, or do you need to use the optical out to carry the signal from a guitar (for instance) to the PC?
It’s not bidirectional.
 
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Rja4000

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Question. I had a ground loop from my PC before with another interface, so I returned it and went for a USB/toslink converter into toslink input of a DAC for music reproduction at my PC. On interfaces such as this RME, is the toslink input bidirectional like a USB input, or do you need to use the optical out to carry the signal from a guitar (for instance) to the PC?
You have a TOSLink input and a separate TOSLink output.
I don't know any device where fiber optic signal would flow bi-directionnaly, by the way.
I may be wrong, but that seems completely impossible.

But you may probably get rid of your USB/TOSLink interface with the RME, though.
 
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jhenderson0107

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...I don't know any device where fover optic signal would flow bi-directionnaly...
Dual frequencies and diplexers and make it possible.
1667755685163.png


But of course, TosLink does not employ this technology.
 

vert

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You have a TOSLink input and a separate TOSLink output.
I don't know any device where fiber optic signal would flow bi-directionnaly, by the way.
I may be wrong, but that seems completely impossible.

But you may probably get rid of your USB/TOSLink interface with the RME, though.
Sure it's a fantastic device but I can't be sure I won't get a ground loop.
 

Trell

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Sure it's a fantastic device but I can't be sure I won't get a ground loop.

There are galvanic isolators for USB 2.0 from Intona that RME has tried and found working. Topping has a cheaper one as well.

By not using USB you’re missing many of the features and functionality that a RME audio interface offers.
 

concorde1

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I'm looking at getting one of these Fireface UCX II to replace my Topping D90/A90, for a few reasons. (a) I want an interface for music production. (b) It has 3 balanced out pairs at the back, so I can drive my pair of speakers and two subs. (c) It has TotalMix, so I can high pass for the speakers and low pass for the subs. (d) I want good performance. (e) It looks cool. (f) It might make room EQ easier, not sure.

Would this be a good option? My main requirement is (b) above, that it has multiple outputs for speakers + subs.
 

Trell

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I'm looking at getting one of these Fireface UCX II to replace my Topping D90/A90, for a few reasons. (a) I want an interface for music production. (b) It has 3 balanced out pairs at the back, so I can drive my pair of speakers and two subs. (c) It has TotalMix, so I can high pass for the speakers and low pass for the subs. (d) I want good performance. (e) It looks cool. (f) It might make room EQ easier, not sure.

Would this be a good option? My main requirement is (b) above, that it has multiple outputs for speakers + subs.

You can do all of that with the UCX II, and it's a great compact audio interface.

The low/high pass filters are not intended to be used for crossover so have some limitations (I don't use them for that). The high pass filter (Low Cut) has a selectable slope of 6, 12, 18 or 24 dB/octave, while the low pass has a fixed slope of perhaps 18 or 24.

There are no delays/distance settings for each channel available, though, so that you'll have to do elsewhere if needed.

I recommend that you take a look in the user manual for the UCX II: https://www.rme-audio.de/downloads/fface_ucx2_e.pdf

The product page for the UCX II: https://www.rme-audio.de/fireface-ucx-ii.html
 

concorde1

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You can do all of that with the UCX II, and it's a great compact audio interface.
If low pass is 24 dB/octave and I set high pass of 24 dB/octave, couldn't I just put them really close together, eg 60 Hz and 62 Hz respectively, and they'll be basically seamless? That is, no peak at 61 Hz. I'm thinking I could try different frequencies and measure with my UMIK-1 until I get a smooth crossover response.

I read on RME forum that you can add a reverb or echo effect in TotalMix FX to allow for a makeshift delay.

I suppose that's the only way to do it.

Is there a better option for preamp with multiple outputs, crossover ability and time alignment?

Only thing I've found at a sane price that might work is MiniDSP SHD, but this doesn't even have a headphone output.
 

Trell

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I read on RME forum that you can add a reverb or echo effect in TotalMix FX to allow for a makeshift delay.

The delay setting for echo have steps of 10 ms so not very granular for your purpose, I guess. Also this is a global setting for all channels using echo, so not per channel if you need that.

My use of echo this way is for a simple lip sync during video calls be delaying the microphone sound to the video call program by 200 ms, while monitoring using the non-delayed mic input.
 

Trell

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If low pass is 24 dB/octave and I set high pass of 24 dB/octave, couldn't I just put them really close together, eg 60 Hz and 62 Hz respectively, and they'll be basically seamless? That is, no peak at 61 Hz. I'm thinking I could try different frequencies and measure with my UMIK-1 until I get a smooth crossover response.
Perhaps ask on the RME forum? There are a number of regulars there that knows much about the RME devices and usage.
 

jerryfreak

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got my unit today, it will do some desktop service but i am most interested in field recording

i am using the DURec feature to record to a thumb drive in standalone mode

the samsung Fit thumb drive seems to work well. at 192K/16 channels its usb load is in the 60-70% range with 0 errors and R/W time between 120-150 ms


at more reasonable rates i would typically use:

12ch at 96K : 30% load, 0 errors, same ~120ms r/w time
8ch@96K : 20% load, 100-110ms

such a great design. every recorder should have real-time error logging like that

i like that little samsung as there is no risk of it coming loose or breaking off in field usage, also a fantastic little drive for general use that reads at over 400MB/sec for me on crystaldiskmark
 

rbmusic@

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got my unit today, it will do some desktop service but i am most interested in field recording

i am using the DURec feature to record to a thumb drive in standalone mode
Hi Jerry. I registered on the forum as the ucx ii seems a solid upgrade from my babyface (2 input is enough, but I need 6/8 analog outputs and 2 headphones cue mixes), but I'd like to bus power it by a usb-c adapter and wondering if that's possible / what is the best way to do it?
how you will power it? Better avoid a step up usb-c power delivery trigger/adapter and use a 12v battery or a powerbank?
How long will it last battery powered by a good 30000mah powerbank?

Will take a look at the rme forum, too, as it seems strange that many Google searches for this matter doesn't come up with any relevant results
 
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Rja4000

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Hi Jerry. I registered on the forum as the ucx ii seems a solid upgrade from my babyface (2 input is enough, but I need 6/8 analog outputs and 2 headphones cue mixes), but I'd like to bus power it by a usb-c adapter and wondering if that's possible / what is the best way to do it?
how you will power it? Better avoid a step up usb-c power delivery trigger/adapter and use a 12v battery or a powerbank?
How long will it last battery powered by a good 30000mah powerbank?

Will take a look at the rme forum, too, as it seems strange that many Google searches for this matter doesn't come up with any relevant results
I've used a 12V battery, but I never measured how long it lasts.

You may also give a try to one of those USB-C Power Delivery to 12V or 15V adapters.
They are cheap, and 12W capability is all you need.
I never tried any though. But, in theory, it should work.
The UCX II max power consumption is 12W, so you may compute how long your (12V capable) PD Powerbank will last (divide its mAh capacity by 5000 to get the number of hours).

 
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rbmusic@

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Thanks for your reply! I can't find any usb-c 12w adapter that seems a bit less "China cheap", so if anyone has a link to some that seem nicely built, please share the link.

I found this powerbank on Amazon
(65W PD3.0 USB-C)
That would be useful for the laptop, too, for some extra minutes of energy
12v output is 3A max and should auto set power out, has some protecion built in the inputs and outputs, but don't know if I'm willing to trust it to power an ucx II.
Ideally I'd like a powerbank where I can set max Ampere output and voltage, or max current out @12v is 1A, that should be less risky, right?
Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong
 

Trell

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Thanks for your reply! I can't find any usb-c 12w adapter that seems a bit less "China cheap", so if anyone has a link to some that seem nicely built, please share the link.

I found this powerbank on Amazon
(65W PD3.0 USB-C)
That would be useful for the laptop, too, for some extra minutes of energy
12v output is 3A max and should auto set power out, has some protecion built in the inputs and outputs, but don't know if I'm willing to trust it to power an ucx II.
Ideally I'd like a powerbank where I can set max Ampere output and voltage, or max current out @12v is 1A, that should be less risky, right?
Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong

That is not a powerbank but a charger only. If you're living in EU you can check out https://eu.nkon.nl/charger-72/overige/powerbank.html and the product https://eu.nkon.nl/charger-72/overige/powerbank/nitecore-nb20000-powerbank-20-000mah.html and see if that meets your needs. I've not used that powerbank, though.

I've been a customer of them for many years for LiIon cells, chargers and flashlights.
 
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jerryfreak

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on this run i powered the fireface with a 12V talentcell

i powered the quadmic with this PD3.0 with 12V trigger cable

both batteries were well over half capacity after ~3.5 hours of use

if youre concerned about noise from regulated DC voltage, i noticed none. im pretty sure most of these run at 3.7 or 7.4V and step up

if you want a native li-ion battery without voltage regulation you can get a custom one from here. they look a little more 'bomb like' and enjoy greater scrutiny when flying

the 10.8V is the discharge voltage it runs from just over 12V down to 10.8 which is a good match for the 9V requirement of the fireface. in my experience most dc powered field gear just burns off extra voltage as heat so no advantage to running a higher voltage
 
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