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Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

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Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Kolakube » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:17 pm

Anyone?

Only require analogue jack ins and outs to do this?

So, play 10 raw files out from the analogue jack outs into my mixer for EQing and compresssing etc and then record the afected audio back via the 10 analogue jack ins all at the same time?
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby James Perrett » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:29 pm

There aren't many interfaces that don't do this nowadays. As far as I know, all the RME interfaces allow you to use all the inputs and outputs at the same time.

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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Scramble » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:50 pm

>Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Yes it can.

However, be aware that outputs 9 and 10 are in the form of an an unbalanced stereo headphone jack. Here are the releveant specs from the manual:

[Line outputs: 1-8:]

DA, Line Out 1-8, rear
• Resolution: 24 bit
• Dynamic range (DR): 116 dB, 119 dBA @ 44.1 kHz (unmuted)
• Frequency response @ 44.1 kHz, -0.1 dB: 1 Hz – 20.1 kHz
• Frequency response @ 96 kHz, -0.5 dB: 1 Hz – 43.5 kHz
• Frequency response @ 192 kHz, -1 dB: 1 Hz - 70 kHz
• THD: -103 dB, < 0.0007 %
• THD+N: -100 dB, < 0.001 %
• 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

[Line outputs: 9-10:]

DA - Stereo Monitor Output (Phones)
• as DA, but:
• Output: 6.3 mm TRS jack, unbalanced (stereo)
• Maximum output level at 0 dBFS: +17 dBu
• Output impedance: 30 Ohm
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Kolakube » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:54 pm

Thanks James. I suspected so but its will be an integral part of how I work so need to know before I take the plunge.

Scamble - Thanks mate. Good info
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Kolakube » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:10 pm

Scramble,

Im pleased you mentioned that outs 9 and 10 are unbalanced headphone types. I don't think Id have checked.

Do you know are inputs 9 and 10 unbalanced also?


Looking here im not sure what to think.
http://www.rme-audio.de/en_products_fireface_800.php#3

Under the tech specs it states.....

Input AD: 8 x 1/4" TRS, 4 x XLR Mic, 4 x 1/4" TRS Line, all servo-balanced. 1 x 1/4" TS unbalanced


So whats the diff between the 8 x 1/4" TRS and the 4 x 1/4" TRS?? Is this trying to say it has 12 balanced inputs?
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby The Elf » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:44 pm

The only unbalanced analogue input is the instrument input.

There are 8 balanced I/O on the rear panel (TRS) and four balanced inputs on the front panel as both TRS line inputs *and* XLR mic inputs. Some of the inputs are 'shared', i.e. 1/7/8, but you can actually use front and back simultaneously, or not - it's a control panel option.

Superb interface the FF800 - love mine.
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Kolakube » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:53 pm

Ah you have one have you elf? Great.

Ideally im looking for 10 balanced inputs and 8 balanced outputs.

If its got this im in? Can you confirm mate?
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby The Elf » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:27 pm

Yes, I can confirm that. 10 balanced analogue inputs, 8 balanced analogue outputs. Inputs 9/10 can be accessed only from the front panel.

If you need more I/O you can open up a stereo pair of I/O via the AES/SPDIF and add a further 16 via the ADAT ports. This would need more gear, of course.
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Kolakube » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:43 pm

Cheers Elf,

Only downside with these things is the second hand value is crazy. They go for 800 quid on ebay regular but you can buy them brand new for 15% more or so at 950.

In other words the second hand market is not worth it. Rather have the warranty for 150 quid more.
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby The Elf » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:47 pm

Kolakube wrote:Only downside with these things is the second hand value is crazy.
I think that tells its own story... ;)
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Scramble » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:16 pm

Elf is right, there are 10 balanced inputs (plus input 1 can function as an unbalanced instrument-input channel if you plug into the front instead of the rear, and 4 of the inputs have mic pre-amps).

>Under the tech specs it states.....
>Input AD: 8 x 1/4" TRS, 4 x XLR Mic, 4 x 1/4" TRS Line, all servo-balanced. 1 x 1/4" TS unbalanced

They haven't expressed this very well.

I can recommend the Fireface 800 as well. The reason the second-hand prices are so high is because it's such a great unit. I would also just buy a new one.
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:09 am

Kolakube wrote:
Only downside with these things is the second hand value is crazy. They go for 800 quid on ebay regular but you can buy them brand new for 15% more or so at 950.

Very few (if any) firewire interfaces are as reliable as RME's offerings. I wish I'd bought a Fireface instead of the one I did buy which rarely works properly.

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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby narcoman » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:33 am

Kolakube wrote:Anyone?

Only require analogue jack ins and outs to do this?

So, play 10 raw files out from the analogue jack outs into my mixer for EQing and compresssing etc and then record the afected audio back via the 10 analogue jack ins all at the same time?

You won't be able to monitor the results within the DAW whilst doing it and you'll have to take care about feedback loops. You'll always need an extra pair to monitor back.
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Kolakube » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:47 pm

@ Scramble / James

Thanks. What did you buy out of interest James?

@ Narco - Not a prob mate. Ill be mixing down via analogue desk. So Ill input up to 8 tracks at a time from my hardware sound sources via my mixer to PC via the FF800. All my Sound sources are recorded raw and unaffected for mastering in case I want to remix further down the line in 5 years or whatever.

Ill copy the raw wav masters and then fire these back from my PC via FF800 though my analogue desk to EQ ect and generally mixdown to a stereo pair, what will make up the finished mix.

Ill be monitoring from the desk not the PC. I only need the FF800 as a high quality analogue jack in and out convertor.
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Scramble » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:41 pm

I presumed you'd be monitoring via a mixer (because otherwise you would face the problem Narco outlined). That should be okay.

Note that you could, if you wanted, go straight into the Fireface from your external hardware sound sources. That would give you a slightly better sound quality -- unless you like the sound of your mixer.

For monitoring in that situation you either route a stereo pair to the mixer with all the signals mixed using the Fireface's software mixer, or else send each Fireface input straight to a Fireface output and then into a mixer channel, and do a monitoring mix using the mixer (the inputs still also go to your DAW via Firewire in this case). I prefer the latter method as it allows you to record a decent strength signal for each sound source in your DAW, even the ones that need to be lower in the monitoring mix. You just turn those signals down using the mixer, but that doesn't affect the signal going into the DAW.

Those are just suggestions, though, if you are happy with your own method and get good results then stick with it.
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Kolakube » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:37 pm

Hi Scramble,

Im in a right rush tonight. Don't get on the net everyday either, Ill look into what you say when I get more time (tom hopefully) and get back to you. Thanks for sharing your methods. Im always interested in how others do things.
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Kolakube » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:55 pm

Just quickly before I dash,

I was watching this yet it went for 850!!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251029091256?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:VRI&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2661

950 gets you a new one. No brainier really.
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Scramble » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:43 pm

It astonishes me what music gear can sometimes go for on eBay. I have even sold second-hand gear and got a *higher* price (including postage) than what you could get (inc. postage) from certain of the cheaper online retailers.

On the other hand, I've also got some real bargains with lesser-known gear.
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Kolakube » Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:06 pm

@ Scramble

Note that you could, if you wanted, go straight into the Fireface from your external hardware sound sources. That would give you a slightly better sound quality -- unless you like the sound of your mixer.

Yeah Id thought of this but the prob I get is the Fireface only has 8 inputs. My mixer has 24 that can all be assigned to 8 groups. Each group has its own output. So say if I wanted to use 16 hardware synth sources today and then another 11 another, I dont have to keep swapping cables.

I would prefer to go straight into the Fireface and get the best possiuble recording but 8 ins is half what I need or less.

If you can see any ways around this please shout up. (bar patchbay - a next year job :) or extra fireface - no more cash).

For monitoring in that situation you either route a stereo pair to the mixer with all the signals mixed using the Fireface's software mixer, or else send each Fireface input straight to a Fireface output and then into a mixer channel, and do a monitoring mix using the mixer (the inputs still also go to your DAW via Firewire in this case). I prefer the latter method as it allows you to record a decent strength signal for each sound source in your DAW, even the ones that need to be lower in the monitoring mix. You just turn those signals down using the mixer, but that doesn't affect the signal going into the DAW.


How I will do it is plug the 10 fireface analogue outs to 10 of my mixers tape ins. Then ill record in groups. IE ill get my arrangment spot on, then mix down all drums to 2, then in a seperate session all bass to 2, then all synths to 2 and so on until I have around 8 groups of sounds to mix to 2 what will give me the final stereo master.

I know this way this seems nuts, but I find it drives me on warts and all. Unless I work this way I get lost in perfection and end up completing 90% of the tune in 10% of the overall time then the remaning 10% takes 90% more what is ridiculous. For me instant recall is the work of the devil :)

Only prob with this approach is each time the signal runs through the mixer is picks up more and more hum and artifacts from the analogue enviroment. Im doing the best I can with this by getting all my cabeling sorted out (another thread). I used to panic about such things but then I remember, in the 90s before the days of infinite everything on a stick this is how countless tracks were made that were absolutly superb all bounced to fit on an 8 track studio.

It astonishes me what music gear can sometimes go for on eBay. I have even sold second-hand gear and got a *higher* price (including postage) than what you could get (inc. postage) from certain of the cheaper online retailers.

On the other hand, I've also got some real bargains with lesser-known gear.


Totally!
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Scramble » Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:58 pm

Okay, if you have that many inputs and you don't want to do track-by-track recording then stick what what you find works. You're right that countless records have hiss on them, and sometimes -- as many people on these forums will tell you -- that's the very thing you need to glue your mix together.

(If you did want to record all sources though an interface and avoid the mixer then you don't need another Fireface, a cheaper 8-channel interface with ADAT out would do -- the Mackie Blakberry is your cheapest option here, it's about £300 new, although I've never used it and so can't vouch for it).
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby The Elf » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:14 pm

Scramble wrote:(If you did want to record all sources though an interface and avoid the mixer then you don't need another Fireface, a cheaper 8-channel interface with ADAT out would do -- the Mackie Blakberry is your cheapest option here, it's about £300 new, although I've never used it and so can't vouch for it).
Or a Behringer ADA-8000, which is even cheaper. That will give you an additional 8 analogue inputs - and you can add a second ADA-8000 for 16 inputs, since the FF800 has a pair of ADAT connections. That's how I do it (and a pair of ADA-8000s cost me significantly less than £300 - but it was a while back!), but I do use a patchbay to patch around the ADA-8000s and directly into the FF (or into a nice pre/channel strip and then digitally into the FF) when I'm recording the sources.
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Kolakube » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:49 pm

Scramble / Elf

Yeah James P was on about this to me but I thought he ment as a seperate convertor.

Are you saying I can use the inputs on the Behringer but still go through the convertors on the Fireface? How exactly, Baffled.
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby The Elf » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:18 pm

Kolakube wrote:Are you saying I can use the inputs on the Behringer but still go through the convertors on the Fireface?
No. The Behringer provides the A/D conversion to ADAT.
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Scramble » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:43 pm

What Elf means is that the Behringer (or Blackbird, or similar) provides the analog-to-digital conversion, and the Fireface (or whatever ADAT receiving unit you're using) just sends the digital signal it receives from that unit to your DAW, without affecting that digital signal.

In other words, the ADAT signal that comes in doesn't need to get converted again (it's already digital), just passed on to your DAW.
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Kolakube » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:43 am

Ah right. Thanks for explaining that mate.

Sorry guys but I dont like that idea. The whole reason im buying a Fireface is the superior convertors. I just figure having a wealth of hardware I love all bottlenecks around the A/D inputs. The RME FF is highly regarded in this area by all. Ive yet to hear a bad word to be honest.

If im going to mix that up with Behringer A/D convertors have I not missed the point with half my my sound sources that totally bypass the FF?

(PS I am no Behringer snob. I have 2 items of Behringer kit in my set up, but I cannot imagine there apatch on the FF range. My point also applies to using an ADAT or anything else that will be less than the FF)
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby The Elf » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:59 am

It really doesn't matter how good/bad the ADA-8000 converters are, because (in my system) they're only ever used to enable more inputs for *monitoring*. I never record through them.

It simply means you can hear more of your sound sources while you work on a song. At some point you need to render them as audio to your DAW - and at that point I will patch each source to a 'better' converter as I go.

What's not to like?! 8-)
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby James Perrett » Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:07 am

Kolakube wrote:
Sorry guys but I dont like that idea. The whole reason im buying a Fireface is the superior convertors. I just figure having a wealth of hardware I love all bottlenecks around the A/D inputs. The RME FF is highly regarded in this area by all. Ive yet to hear a bad word to be honest.

If im going to mix that up with Behringer A/D convertors have I not missed the point with half my my sound sources that totally bypass the FF?

Not sure if I was clear in my PM but the Behringer suggestion is only one alternative that happens to be the cheapest. You can go up from there - right up to the likes of Prism if you want. The thing is, if an interface has ADAT connections you have much more flexibility in your choice of convertor and you aren't limited by the quality of the interface's own convertors.

One ADAT connection can handle 8 44.1/48kHz 24 bit signals or 4 96kHz 24 bit channels so the ADAT connection itself isn't going to limit the sound quality. As I also mentioned in my PM, ADAT has the added advantage of electrically isolating the audio side of things from the computer which means that ground loop problems are less likely.

If RME made an ADAT only Firewire interface then I'd prefer to go for that - but as far as I know they only do PCI based ADAT only interfaces.

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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Scramble » Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:17 am

I wouldn't record using Behringer converters myself.
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby Kolakube » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:43 pm

It really doesn't matter how good/bad the ADA-8000 converters are, because (in my system) they're only ever used to enable more inputs for *monitoring*. I never record through them.

It simply means you can hear more of your sound sources while you work on a song. At some point you need to render them as audio to your DAW - and at that point I will patch each source to a 'better' converter as I go.

What's not to like?


Gotcha - I thought you were recording through them



Is there a way of adding 16 outputs to the fireface by ADAT? So id have 24 outs in total going into my desk.

Id happily settle for cheaper outputs but the input are of great importance. Can always remix a good recording later down the line. But you only get one shot to capture it in the first place. Im sure the RME will cover that thoroughly though.
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Re: Fireface 800 - Can this record and playback at same time?

Postby The Elf » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:21 pm

The ADA-8000 has 8 inputs AND outputs, so adding one adds the other. A pair of ADA-8000s gives you an additional 16 analogue line outputs.

That said, if you're concerned about the quality of the Behringer A/D conversion you likely wouldn't want Behringer D/A converters involved in the mix path either...

If you want better you're heading up market and into different price brackets.
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