You are here

RME Digiface AES

USB Audio Interface By Hugh Robjohns
Published June 2023

RME Digiface AES

Originally developed for a German broadcaster, the Digiface is now available to everyone.

RME’s Digiface range of USB audio interfaces probably needs no introduction to regular readers of Sound On Sound, but in essence these units currently all provide straightforward digital format conversion to/from USB. For example, the company’s Digiface Dante, Ravenna and AVB models each provide 64 channels of audio‑over‑IP connectivity in different flavours — and both the Ravenna and Dante units also include another 64 MADI channels of I/O. For ADAT interfacing, the Digiface USB offers a quartet of Toslink connectors for 32 channels of I/O (am I alone in thinking Digiface ADAT would be a more descriptive name?).

The newest addition to this Digiface family is the Digiface AES — although it does rather more than you might expect from its name. When asked to review this new model I was expecting an uncomplicated 16‑ or 32‑channel AES3 to USB interface as a logical extension to the Digiface family. However, it turns out that the Digiface AES is really a fully‑featured 14‑input, 16‑output USB audio interface, and something much more closely resembling a Fireface product, really. In fact, comparing its capabilities and functionality I’d say the Digiface AES sits comfortably between the Babyface Pro FS and the UCX II.

As a quick overview, then, the Digiface AES features two mic/line analogue inputs and two balanced analogue line outputs, plus a stereo headphone output. On the digital side it possesses coaxial S/PDIF in and out, ADAT in and out (reconfigurable as optical S/PDIF), MIDI in/out and... oh yes, a stereo AES3 I/O as well.

Naturally, the unit enjoys RME’s excellent SteadyClock FS technology, and also includes two channels of sample‑rate conversion assignable to a selected stereo digital input, allowing a non‑synchronous digital source to be mixed with other clocked digital sources. It is also fully class compliant, can work in a standalone mode, is bus‑powerable, can be controlled from RME’s ARC, and comes with TotalMix FX and DIGICheck applications. The RME driver allows up to three supported interfaces to be used together (provided they are clock synchronous).

If the extensive overlap of facilities with existing products seems odd, it’s because this new Digiface AES was designed and built specifically as a custom product for a large German broadcaster whose requirements included easy connection to AES equipment, with bus‑powering, mic inputs and high‑quality monitoring. It wasn’t originally intended to be a ‘mass‑market’ product at all, but someone at RME saw the potential in it as a consumer interface and so it is now available, albeit at a price which reflects its slightly specialist origins (and possibly smaller‑scale production run).

Controls &...

You are reading one of the locked Subscribers-only articles from our latest 5 issues.

You've read 30% of this article for free, so to continue reading...

  • ✅ Log in - if you have a Subscription you bought from SOS.
  • Buy & Download this Single Article in PDF format £1.00 GBP$1.49 USD
    For less than the price of a coffee, buy now and immediately download to your computer or smartphone.
  • Buy & Download the FULL ISSUE PDF
    Our 'full SOS magazine' for smartphone/tablet/computer. More info...
  • Buy a DIGITAL subscription (or Print + Digital)
    Instantly unlock ALL premium web articles! Visit our ShopStore.

Claim your FREE 170-page digital publication
from the makers of Sound On SoundCLICK HERE