Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review: RME Babyface USB Audio Interface

What does it do?

If you have a computer, a microphone, a midi keyboard and perhaps a few other instruments, as well as some recording studio software such as ProTools or Cubase, this $750 small blue device will allow you to record and play back studio quality audio.

How do you install it?

Plug it in to USB (one of the two dual plugs should be enough), plug in the adapter, plug your microphone into the breakout connector, plug your powered studio speakers into the proper breakout connectors, install the drivers from the CD, reboot your computer.  Under Windows Control Panel | Sound settings, set "Analog (3+4) " as your Default playback device. Click that and select properties and under Advanced I have "2 channel, 24 bit, 96000 Hz (Studio Quality)" selected. Click test to be sure you can hear audio. Set up TotalMix (see below). Set up your recording software to use the unit. (see below).

Why am I getting no sound?

There are many different things to check: 1. Turn up the input and output levels on the RME Babyface unit with the "Select" and rotary wheel.

Of course, the Babyface is a whole lot more than a DAC. It’s one of the most fully featured compact interfaces that has ever been made. Fully balanced on both input and output? Check. Phantom powered pres? Of course. Hi-Z DI? Yep. Toslink I/O for both digital audio and ADAT, and support for up to an absurd 192khz sample rate? You bet. Dual headphone amps, each with a dedicated DAC, up to 8 configurable sub-mixes with simultaneous main and cue mix outputs, onboard DSP effects processing, 11 segment LED metering and fully recallable settings on nearly every parameter? Why not. Oh, and did I mention that the whole thing runs bus-powered via standard USB 2.0 protocol? Only the Germans could possibly attire this with the epithet “baby” (I’m part Austrian, I get to make these jokes). I have my gripes, especially with the ease of use and UI design, which I’ll get to shortly. But it’s taxing the full extent of my willpower to refrain from just launching into a superlative-laden diatribe about the sickness of this unit.

via In Dev Review: RME Babyface USB Audio Interface.

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