Topic: Need some help in choosing the right unit

Hi everyone,

Need some help in choosing the right unit for my wanted setup.
I would like to have 30 analog inputs that mainly will be for recording only synthesizers
The units I own are;

1x Fireface UFX II (12 analog inputs) & 1x Octamic XTC (8 analog inputs), connected via Adat


I need a least 10 extra inputs but I don't know what would be the best choice.

Option 1
Buy an older unit (Fireface 800) & also connect via adat to have 10 extra inputs (will it work in total mix?)

Option 2
Buy a 2nd hand UFX + because of the madi connection & connect my Octamic XTC with madi, then connect the UFX II with adat (UFX II has no madi) or is that not possible?

Option 3
Buy a new UFX II & connect all the units via adat

Option 4
Buy an extra Octamic XTC but still then I missing 2 inputs

Option 5
Selling my UFX II because of no madi & go fully madi (want to avoid)

Many thanks for a given direction

Oli1000

Re: Need some help in choosing the right unit

As you don't need MicPres and by the availability on the market my suggestion is option 5

M1-Ventura, Madiface Pro, Digiface USB, Babyface silver

3 (edited by ramses 2022-11-10 01:04:14)

Re: Need some help in choosing the right unit

oli1000 wrote:

Hi everyone,

Need some help in choosing the right unit for my wanted setup.
I would like to have 30 analog inputs that mainly will be for recording only synthesizers
The units I own are;

1x Fireface UFX II (12 analog inputs) & 1x Octamic XTC (8 analog inputs), connected via Adat


I need a least 10 extra inputs but I don't know what would be the best choice.

Option 1
Buy an older unit (Fireface 800) & also connect via adat to have 10 extra inputs (will it work in total mix?)

Option 2
Buy a 2nd hand UFX + because of the madi connection & connect my Octamic XTC with madi, then connect the UFX II with adat (UFX II has no madi) or is that not possible?

Option 3
Buy a new UFX II & connect all the units via adat

Option 4
Buy an extra Octamic XTC but still then I missing 2 inputs

Option 5
Selling my UFX II because of no madi & go fully madi (want to avoid)

Many thanks for a given direction

Oli1000

Hi Oli1000.

Welcome to the RME user forum.

> I need a least 10 extra inputs but I don't know what would be the best choice.

Assume you mean analog inputs. You can only route 8ch through ADAT at single speed.

Option 1: limits you to single speed, and you can route only 8 channels through ADAT. For 2 more channels you could get an SPDIF to AES cable and connect through coax SPDIF.

Option 2: is possible. UFX II is fully manageable in stand-alone mode.

Option 3: a 2nd UFX II for routing only 8ch over ADAT is expensive. 2 more channels through AES.

Option 4: correct, 2ch are missing, get an ADI-2 Pro and connect through AES wink Nice improvement for monitoring section.

Option 5: gives you most flexibility
                UFX+: 4+8=12 channels (44.1 - 192 kHz)
                Through MADI XTC, M-1610 Pro: 16+8=24 ch (44.1 - 96 kHz)

Option 6: Get, e.g. from used market: UFX+, ADI-2 Pro FS, XTC #2 and sell UFX II.
                The two XTC's are remote controllable:
                a) through TotalMix FX (Auxdevice) settings can be stored / recalled through TM FX snapshots
                b) through MIDI Remote AVB

UFX+-+<---------------------------------------------------- 4x analog I/O IN
|   |  \ +<---------------------------------------------------- 8x analog I/O IN
|   |   \+<-AES----ADI-2 Pro [FS[R BE]]<---1/2-------- 2x analog I/O IN
|   |                                                     +---1/2------> monitoring: active monitors
|   | MADI                                            +---3/4------> monitoring: phones
|   |
|   +----------------Octamic XTC #1<--------------------- 8x analog I/O IN
|   +----------------Octamic XTC #2<--------------------- 8x analog I/O IN
+--+

Option 7: Get: UFX+, M-1610 Pro, sell UFX II.
                I left out the ADI-2 Pro here, of course it would also be great here in the monitoring section.

UFX+-+<---------------------------------------------------- 4x analog I/O IN
|   |  \ +<---------------------------------------------------- 8x analog I/O IN
|   |
|   | MADI
|   |
|   +----------------Octamic XTC <------------------------  8x analog I/O IN
|   +----------------M-1610 Pro  <------------------------ 16x analog I/O IN
+--+

I would keep the XTC because it gives you a lot of flexibility as a format converter.
And also ADAT and 4x AES outputs, this gives you a great flexibility.

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

Re: Need some help in choosing the right unit

Thank you Sir,

For the given info & directions!
However I still have some questions.

Option 1:
limits you to single speed
What do you mean with this?

Option 5:
I realize via ADAT you loose inputs when recording on a higher sample rate.
Can I keep my amount of analog inputs when recording via MADI connection?

Option 7:
you mention AES, I see that the octamic XTC has 4 x AES/EBU I/O
Does this mean I can have 4x extra analog inputs directly working into totalmix when not or well working via an ADAT connection?

Thank you for the help!

5 (edited by vinark 2022-11-10 13:54:41)

Re: Need some help in choosing the right unit

A digiface USB would give you 32 inputs at 44 or 48k on adat ports. Just saying.
And just a thought, but if you don't need to record all 30 synths at the same time, would a (maybe digital) mixer not be ideal?
I have about 8 devices (16 channels stereo) coneected like you want and keeping track of everything happening in totalmix is not always that much fun. So often, why don't I hear my synth, oh I muted it last week... Haveing just a physical fader per synth would be nice (but alas no budget)

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
Babyface pro fs, HDSP9652+ADI-8AE, HDSP9632

Re: Need some help in choosing the right unit

oli1000 wrote:

Option 1:
limits you to single speed. What do you mean with this?

ADAT supports 8ch@single-, 4ch@double, 2ch@quad speed due to channel bundling/multiplexing for higher sample rates.
If you have a recording interface with two ADAT ports and if you connect two external preamps or AD/DA converter,
then the maximum number of channels is 8 channels@single speed per TOSLINK connection.
UFX* - ADAT1 - external device #1 - 8ch
UFX* - ADAT2 - external device #2 - 8ch

You said, you need many channels. So, I had to assume, that you want to make use of 8ch per ADAT port/external device.
This is technically only possible at single speed. Therefore, I told you that this solution limits you to single speed.
Of course, you can use higher sample rates (double/quad speed) if you want and if the external devices will allow, but then you have a fewer number of channels available.

oli1000 wrote:

Option 5:
I realize via ADAT you loose inputs when recording on a higher sample rate.
Can I keep my amount of analog inputs when recording via MADI connection?

You partially answer your 1st question yourself.
MADI also uses port multiplexing for double/quad speed, so from single to quad speed you have: 64 / 32 / 16ch.

oli1000 wrote:

Option 7:
you mention AES, I see that the octamic XTC has 4 x AES/EBU I/O
Does this mean I can have 4x extra analog inputs directly working into totalmix when not or well working via an ADAT connection?

If you connect an XTC through
- ADAT, then audio from an XTC AES port would be one of the 8ch that you can route through ADAT
- MADI, then audio from an XTC AES port would be one of the 64ch that you can route through MADI
at single speed.

oli1000 wrote:

Thank you for the help!

Your welcome oli.

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

7 (edited by ramses 2022-11-10 14:55:38)

Re: Need some help in choosing the right unit

vinark wrote:

A digiface USB would give you 32 inputs at 44 or 48k on adat ports. Just saying.

Loss of features, DURec, etc.

vinark wrote:

And just a thought, but if you don't need to record all 30 synths at the same time, would a (maybe digital) mixer not be ideal?

Depends on how much space you have and how many mixers you want to deploy for so many synths.
An UFX based solution can be racked and is more compact and TM FX operation is extremely comfortably and reliable
if you know how to use it.



vinark wrote:

I have about 8 devices (16 channels stereo) coneected like you want and keeping track of everything happening in totalmix is not always that much fun. So often, why don't I hear my synth, oh I muted it last week...

You could use “Layout Presets” in TM FX  to organize the display of according to the devices, in his case with UFX+ and two XTCs:
  - Layout Preset 1: Name: “UFX Ana”  : analog inputs from UFX+
  - Layout Preset 2: Name: “XTC1 Ana”: analog inputs from UFX+
  - Layout Preset 3: Name: “XTC2 Ana”: analog inputs from UFX+
  - Layout Preset 4: Name: “ALL”         : all HW input channels from all devices

Furthermore, you can make good use in this case of Workspace Quick Select slots.
By this, you can quickly recall a workspace quick select settings by using the key combination ALT-1 - ALT0 (you have 10 (!) different workplaces with 8 snapshots / settings directly at your fingertips).

So you could clone a basic TM FX setting with the Layout presets and then unmute different groups of channels.
Maybe again per device.
And then save this into different Workspace Quick Select slots.
Then you can use ALT-1 to e.g. unmute all inputs of the UFX+, ALT-2 to unmute all analog inputs from XTC1.

vinark wrote:

Having just a physical fader per synth would be nice (but alas no budget)

Good HW mixer are not inexpensive and need a lot of space.

This is only an example, maybe you find a better combination for your personal demand.

You can even make use of the ARC USB and mute / unmute groups of ports in 8 different snapshots per workplace.
Also in “Quick Select Workplaces”.

And regarding using fewer ports … Depends … might be very uncomfortably, esp if you have special racks to place many synthesizers ready for use to support the creative process.

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

8 (edited by vinark 2022-11-10 15:24:23)

Re: Need some help in choosing the right unit

Hey Ramses I added "just a thought" and "Just saying" that this was not meant as an alternative to your great advice. Just for completeness, that there are more ways to skin a cat. (sorry to the cats on the forum). And of course I am fluent with TMFX and it is by fae the best audio interface software around! But for some reason I think I would prefer hardware (mixer) with my hardware (synths). But I like working in the box, VSTi only even more, so I might even sell my synths (but that Moog...)

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
Babyface pro fs, HDSP9652+ADI-8AE, HDSP9632

9 (edited by ramses 2022-11-10 17:48:53)

Re: Need some help in choosing the right unit

vinark wrote:

Hey Ramses I added "just a thought" and "Just saying" that this was not meant as an alternative to your great advice. Just for completeness, that there are more ways to skin a cat. (sorry to the cats on the forum). And of course I am fluent with TMFX and it is by fae the best audio interface software around! But for some reason I think I would prefer hardware (mixer) with my hardware (synths). But I like working in the box, VSTi only even more, so I might even sell my synths (but that Moog...)

Also on my side just a few remarks vinark, I am fully relaxed :-)

When I read your good proposals closely, just a few ideas came to my mind.
I only wanted to comment in terms of pros/cons.

Especially, as you mentioned some casual issues you remembered regarding mute, etc.
I had some ideas that might help in such a situation.

BTW, I am using the same trick here currently and I am switching between two Workspace Quick select slots
with a different aim: to route my guitar amps preamp signal through the one or other external FX (Lexicon) with different FX (100% Wet) intensities (still using UFX+ to build a parallel effect loop for my Marshall and to add FX).
Selection of routing and different FX intensities (levels) by using ARC USB (4 snapshots for one FX, 3 for the other FX).

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