Babyface vs. Fireface: Battle of the interfaces

Audio interfaces come in all shapes, sizes and numbers of inputs. To see what difference size makes, we’ve pitted the small but mighty RME Babyface against the heavyweight RME Fireface UFX. Our audio consultants have each taken a corner to argue why their choice should be champion.

RME Babyface

Backing the RME Babyface interface is Alex Judd, who reckons the ultra compact, bus-powered interface packs more of a punch than you’d imagine. “Marketed as the entry level RME interface, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s not a serious production tool,” he said. “The Babyface boasts the same amazing sound and ultra low latency as the Fireface series, and comes with a breakout cable for connecting two mic preamps, an instrument input, two headphone outputs, stereo line out and eight‑channel ADAT I/O.”

Alex also points to the Babyface’s fantastic routing, mixing and signal processing software, Totalmix FX, which allows you to perform complete routing and mixing, as well as adding effects (DSP-based EQ, and host based delay and reverb). But it’s the portability factor that’s the real winner for him. He said:

“It  will fit into the most crowded of studios, and easily tuck into your laptop bag (or man bag). Just hook the RME Babyface up to an eight‑channel preamp via ADAT and you have the ability to record multitrack sources when and where you need to. It’s ideal for musicians and producers who are after a simple stereo source for mixing, but who also need something to take on tour or out on location. It’s a very clever way of RME sucking you in,” Alex added.

RME Fireface UFX

Rob Holsman has been using the larger RME Fireface UFX for recording guitars and drums for his band for a while, with one of his standout features being direct USB recording. To see how to set up this function in action, check out Rob’s video below.

“There are clear uses for this technology,” Rob said, “from having a safety recording running in the event of a DAW crash to being able to record live gigs where using a computer might be ill-advised […] Sometimes there are just situations where a standalone recorder is what you want to use, and that’s exactly what this firmware update turns the UFX into – a standalone hard disk recorder.

“The decision to record a single multichannel audio file is a good one too, as it makes it much easier to write high data volumes to slower devices (such as memory sticks) than trying to simultaneously write multiple files. It also ensures that all files remain synchronous when importing into an editing program like Pro Tools or Cubase, which both handle multichannel files natively, automatically showing each channel as a separate region.”

Rob went on to deliver his verdict on the interface. “The RME Fireface UFX was already one of the best professional audio interfaces available based on stability features and sheer audio performance, but [this update makes it] stand out from the competition, pushing the UFX into an exciting class of its own and making it a simple choice for people looking to record critical, non-repeatable performances.”

The results

We’ve used a very complex system of calculations to tot up the points, and it turns out it’s a draw. Which audio interface you go for really depends on how it’s going to fit into your recording and production. As Rob said, the Fireface UFX has top quality sound and a handy direct USB recording feature, but if you’re recording on the move, you really can do no worse than the incredibly portable and affordable RME Babyface interface.

We’re an RMExpert Dealer, which means we can offer expert advice, demonstrations and even loan a wide range of units for customers to try in their own setup. Get in touch for more info.

To find out more about the RME Babyface, call us on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. You can also keep up with the latest audio news and offers on our Twitter (@Jigsaw24Audio) and Facebook page.

To get your hands on an RME Babyface with a free Audio Technica AT2020 microphone (worth £89), visit Jigsaw24.com now!

Shariff
Shariff
Call us: 03332 409 306