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RME M-series & Fireface UC

Latest audio interfaces from RME
RME have launched a number of new products that will appeal to users at each end of the audio interface market. Let’s start with the high-end announcements:

The M-series comprises four products that provide analogue connectivity to Multi-channel Audio Digital Interface (MADI) systems, which are capable of carrying up to 64 input and output streams simultaneously. The M32 is available in AD- and DA-suffixed versions, which offer analogue-to-digital and digital-to-analogue conversion functionality respectively. Analogue connections include 32 separate line-level inputs or outputs (depending on which derivation of the device is in question) on balanced jack and D-Sub connectors.

On the digital side, there are coaxial and optical MADI inputs and outputs on both DA and AD versions, so multi-device chains can be set up using the digital throughputs. What’s more there are ADAT connections, so if running at sample rates of 48kHz, all 32 channels can be transmitted simultaneously to a different system if, say, you want to split the feed to supply both a live-to-air desk and a hard disk recorder. Other connections offer provision for connection via BNC connectors to an external synchroniser, and remote control using MIDI.

The device’s front panels feature a simple array of buttons for choosing the clock source, selecting the MADI format (some devices adhere to the original 56-channel protocol, while others operate at the maximum 64-channel bandwidth), and switching the channel range of the device (i.e. whether it’s providing analogue connectivity for channels 1-8, 17-24, etc). Full six-step LED meters allow for each of the digital channels to be monitors visually.

Two other M-series units are available: the M16AD and M16DA. As you may have guessed from their model numbers, they operate in the same way as RME’s 32-channel A-D and D-A devices, but only offer 16 channels of connectivity. Numerous M-series modules can be linked together to form a large, semi-modular system. Prices, at the time of writing, were not confirmed.

The last of RME’s new offerings is the Fireface UC, which is basically a USB 2.0 version of the company’s Fireface 400 audio interface for Mac and PC. But thanks to some clever firmware technology that adapts the device to the operating system it’s working under, RME claim that they’ve circumvented “current restrictions of typical USB audio interfaces”, stating that, as a result, their latency figures are “sensational”, quoting 48 samples on the shortest buffer setting under Windows Vista and an impressive 14 samples when running on Mac OS X. Surf to the RME web site for more information.

Synthax Audio UK +44 (0)1923 693756

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