Topic: Connecting 2 Babyfaces

I know it isn't actively supported.  I'm just trying to use an extra Babyface to get an extra 2 analog inputs for my synths.  I've tried connecting them via ADAT, choosing ADAT in the RME settings, but I think I can't figure out the routing.   I should be able to use my DAW as a master mixer, right?(the manual warns against totalmix doing a "total" mix")

Any help?

I

2 (edited by ramses 2022-10-08 09:13:34)

Re: Connecting 2 Babyfaces

WC (Word Clock) is not an option here, the devices do not support it, so the clock synchronization between BBF#1 and BBF#2 has to be done via digital link, in this case ADAT.

BBF#1 = clock master. In the RME driver settings: set clock source to “internal”.
BBF#2 = clock slave. In the RME driver settings: set clock source to “ADAT” (sometimes also called “optical”).

You need two TOSLINK cables:
1. For sending the clock from the master to the slave:   BBF#1--ADAT OUT------ADAT IN--BBF#2
2. to route the analog channels from BBF#2 to BBF#1:  BBF#2--ADAT OUT------ADAT IN--BBF#1.

According to standards, cable lengths of up to 10 m are allowed, but usually 15 m will also work flawlessly. I have had good experiences with TOSLINK cables from Mutec. Do not use TOSLINK cables with too thick sheathing (e.g., Sommer Cable), then the cables are too stiff and do not lay properly.

Important: make sure that you use the same ASIO buffer size for both devices in the RME Driver Settings to avoid a time offset of the audio channels.

Both devices have their own TotalMix FX instance. TM FX routing only works within one instance.

Therefore, it is best to route the 4 analog channels (Mic1+2, Analog 3+4) from BBF#2 to BBF#1 via ADAT.
For this, you need the 2nd ADAT connection, as already mentioned.

You can easily configure the routing for this in the TM FX instance for the BBF#2, best in submix mode. For this, you click the HW outputs ADAT 1+2 in the lowest row and pull the faders of the HW input AN1+2 IN up to 0dB. Do the same for ADAT3+4 OUT and AN3+4 IN.
If you have audio on the analog channels, then you should see audio arriving at the HW input ADAT 1…4 in the TM FX instance of BBF#1.

Now you can
— record these 4 analog inputs of the BBF#2 via the HW inputs ADAT1…4 IN of the BBF#1 and
— also use those channels for submixes at the BBF#1 for monitoring purposes

This saves latency that you would have when routing everything through the DAW via USB, which would have been the other (worse) alternative, as you have then always the complete RTL (round trip latency) in the signal path.
And this RTL grows if larger ASIO buffer sizes are needed in certain situations.

                                                         PC
                                                         |  | 2x USB cable
   +-----------------------------------------+ +-------------------------------------------------+
    |                                                                                                                      |
BBF#1---ADAT OUT-----------------TOSLINK cable#1------->-------------ADAT IN----BBF#2
                              (transport of clock signal+audio, if needed)
BBF#1---ADAT IN--------<----------TOSLINK cable#2---------------------ADAT OUT--BBF#2
                                           (transport of the 4 analog channel)

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

Re: Connecting 2 Babyfaces

Thank you so much for your help.  This is EXACTLY what I needed.  Such a clear explanation...I will pay your kindness forward, I promise

Re: Connecting 2 Babyfaces

Thanks and have fun wink

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

5 (edited by chrisfab99 2022-10-09 00:44:45)

Re: Connecting 2 Babyfaces

Hmm....I don't have ADAT 1/2 on either of my total mix windows(inputs and outputs, but rather AS 1/2.  How should I proceed?

EDIT: it works!  Do I need to keep the USB plugged in?  I did a fair amount of research and thought I needed to power it with an adapter and have the 2nd babyface go without a USB connection...

Re: Connecting 2 Babyfaces

A follow up!  After using Ramses advice above.....

The only way I could get my DAW to recognize all 4 channels(2 from each babyface), was to disconnect babyface #2 by removing its USB.  I then added both channels from babyface #1, then reconnected the usb on babyface #2.  After that, I was able to add both analog inputs from babyface #2 into my DAW.  My power adapter was of no help whatsoever.

Re: Connecting 2 Babyfaces

According to the manual, up to three BBF Pro are supported from the ASIO driver, although clock distribution would be challenging for the 3rd device, but this is not the case here.

Lets put ADAT /( clock distribution aside, if you connect the two BBF Pro via USB
1. Are both BBF Pro in "PC" mode (not CC mode), see manual ch 6
2. Best to connect the two devices to different USB controller, see manual chapter 28.3
3. Does it make a difference if you use a power supply for both BBF Pro?

If both BBF Pro are recognized by Windows and the RME ASIO driver, then you should see the devices in the Windows device manager and also in the RME driver settings.
Configure the 1st BBF  Pro as clock master .. clock source = internal
Configure the 2nd BBF Pro as clock slave    .. clock source = optical or ADAT (look how this is called)

Connect ADAT OUT of 1st BBF Pro (clock master) to ADAT IN of 2nd BBF Pro
Connect ADAT OUT of 2nd BBF Pro (clock slave) to ADAT IN of 1st BBF Pro

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

Re: Connecting 2 Babyfaces

Hello again Ramses!  I have finally gotten my 2 Babyface chain stable!  The key, was indeed, to make sure I was in PC mode on each device.  There was some confusion trying to figure out the USB controller issue as well, however I found what I needed in the manual chapter 26.3(there is no 28.3!).

Thanks again

Re: Connecting 2 Babyfaces

Nice, congrats :-)

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

10

Re: Connecting 2 Babyfaces

There is no 26.3. Did you read the current manual v 1.5 from the web?

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Connecting 2 Babyfaces

Yes, I used the online manual from the web.  I didn't realize it was different than the printed manual.  RME products are just so solid, I can't believe I got all of this to work with the 1st gen hardware.  Thanks again Ramses

12 (edited by ramses 2022-11-18 09:02:00)

Re: Connecting 2 Babyfaces

chrisfab99 wrote:

[...]There was some confusion trying to figure out the USB controller issue as well, however I found what I needed in the manual chapter 26.3(there is no 28.3!).

chrisfab99 wrote:

Yes, I used the online manual from the web.  I didn't realize it was different than the printed manual.
RME products are just so solid, I can't believe I got all of this to work with the 1st gen hardware.

Misunderstanding from my side, I thought you have Babyface Pro or Pro FS, but actually, you have a Babyface (1st gen).
Therefore, there was a mismatch in manual chapters in communication, but you found the right chapter

Manual fixes and additions you will only find when looking to the latest manual from web.
Here is the link to the latest manual for your Babyface (1st gen) from March 2016, v2.3.
Chapter about USB audio is 26.3 as you found yourself:

https://www.rme-audio.de/downloads/bface_d.pdf
https://www.rme-audio.de/downloads/bface_e.pdf

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro