Sound On Sound magazine reviews RME’s latest 188-channel flagship interface.
Reviewer Hugh Robjohns is no stranger to RME devices, having reviewed the original Fireface UFX back in 2011 – a hugely popular interface that remains the centrepiece of many studios and live touring rigs to this day!
Although the original design has since been revised into the Fireface UFX II – complete with updated converters, mic pres and SteadyClock FS clocking – a new ‘flagship’ was already available in the form of the RME Fireface UFX+ (with its monster channel count of 188-channels).
Time moves on of course, and as with the UFX, RME chose to revise the UFX+ in 2023 with the release of the RME Fireface UFX III.
Whilst the UFX III features the same number of I/Os as the UFX+, the internals of the device have been completely redesigned, with a new analogue and digital board; brand new AD and DA converters (with improved THD+N and SNR values); plus a bunch of new features including full USB class compliant mode (up to 94 input channel recording on USB-C iPads); remappable front panel keys; track-naming in DURec; SteadyClock FS; and DC-Coupled outputs for recording with analogue and modular synthesizers.
None of which was lost on SOS‘s Technical Editor Hugh Robjohns: from RME’s industry benchmark low-latency performance (“supporting buffer sizes down to 32 samples, which I was able to run reliably on my Windows PC.”), to the UFX III’s luxurious sound quality (“seriously impressive converters and a quartet of stunningly clean and noise-free mic preamps”), Hugh found plenty to love about RME’s new top of the range audio interface, which he calls “Fully deserving of RME flagship status.”
“The innards have been completely redesigned, with new converters and mic preamps that are essentially the same as those used in the outstanding 12Mic,” writes Hugh. “As you’d expect, the technical specifications for all inputs is exemplary, this is a genuinely top-notch, mastering-grade interface!
“It’s impossible not to be impressed with RME’s latest offering, which clearly deserves its flagship title.”
Big thanks to Hugh Robjohns and Sound On Sound for the great review! You can read the full review for yourself on the Sound On Sound website.
Now with 20-channel Room EQ!
In case you missed the news, RME have also previewed a new advanced equaliser coming soon to a number of existing RME interfaces, including the UFX III.
The new Room EQ will be implemented into TotalMix FX, providing up to 20 channels of 9 band Parametric Equalization, plus 16 channels of delay compensation for monitoring with the latest immersive audio formats.
RME’s Matthias Carstens (Head of Design) says “A firmware update provides these three interfaces with an optimized handling of the existing 3-band PEQ in TotalMix FX. Under the hood a 9-band PEQ is built from three 3-band PEQs, usable on any output channel. Obviously DSP power is limited, so any activated Room EQ reduces the available total number of 3-band PEQs by that amount. That should be no issue though, there are plenty available.
“The maximum number of Room EQs is 20, so up to 20 mono output channels or 10 stereo output channels or any combination of these. That’s more than needed for a 16 channel surround setup.
“Additionally the Room EQ window includes Delay, adjustable from 0 ms up to 42 ms, in steps of 0.01 ms. Up to 20 of these delays can be activated, matching the number of 9-band PEQs.
“The Room EQ window also offers Volume Calibration through level adjustment from +3 dB down to -24 dB. This helps to set up all speakers in a usable way, without having to fiddle with the respective output channel’s fader.
More info to follow on this exciting update soon! To test out the Room EQ for yourself, head over to the Room EQ RME Forum thread to download the required drivers and firmware.
The new centre of your studio
Introducing the RME Fireface UFX III, the latest 188-channel flagship audio interface from RME Audio.
The successor to the popular Fireface UFX+, the Fireface UFX III once again raises the bar for reliable, high-performance USB audio, with 94 inputs and 94 outputs across its extensive selection of analogue and digital I/O.
A powerful all-in-one recording solution designed for recording studios, live audio and high-end location music recording, the Fireface UFX III is the ultimate professional tool for multi-track recording, mixing and mastering.
Welcome to a new standard in professional audio and music production. This is RME.