For an interface comparison, see my blog, I put together an excel with useful information.
The much older interfaces like FF400/800 are not part of it, because they are not being sold anymore for a long time.
https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … B-MADIfac/
Here the direct link to the Excel: https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/index.ph … 0-04-xlsx/
I would recommend you a few things, but I am not sure whether budget reasons are your main driver here.
1. Avoid Firewire, its a "dead horse"
2. using multiple interfaces has the drawback, that you can't route between the channels of different recording interfaces, because you have one TM FX instance per recording interface and you can only route inside of one TM FX instance
3. working with multiple TM FX instances can become challenging, as it needs more space on the screen
4. you need to clock sync both interfaces by sacrificing one digital channel for that
5. you need to take care of, that both interfaces always use the same ASIO buffersize otherwise you get offsets in audio
The FF802 is a nice interface, but for me it would have the drawback, that it has as fully analog gain control.
Its not possible to digitally control and store the settings of the Mic inputs by using TM FX.
After years of operating UFX and UFX+ interfaces its one of the key features that I like and need to store my full setup digitally.
If you want to spend a little bit more, then I would recommend you to get one of the two flagship interfaces UFX II or UFX+.
The only difference between these two interfaces is, that the UFX II has no MADI (64ch via optical fiber at single speed).
And because its a 30ch interface like the former flagship UFX it requires only USB, USB is capable to carry 68ch (at least for RME) therefore it has only USB2, because USB3/Thunderbolt is not required for this amount of audio channels.
The Flagship interfaces give you several clear advantages
- the use the new MADIface driver which is capable to operate with 32 samples ASIO buffersize, this might be interesting for those people who require lowest latencies when working with VSTi. The old USB/FW driver has 48 samples as minimum, which is tbh fine enough .. but I only want to mention this
- USB Class Compliant Mode is supported
- You have the AUTOSET feature which is fine to quicker find the proper gain level for MIC/Instr inputs
- The Instrument Inputs are terminated with 1M Ohm which is very good for guitar pickups
- The UFX II/UFX+ supports DURec which is excellent for supporting backup recordings in case the DAW would have a hang situation, then with the DURec recording in the backhand nothing is lost
- DURec is even phantastic to make recordings in stand-alone mode, so to be able to use the UFX II/UFX+ as a tape deck. For me this is a big time saver not having to fire up the DAW to quickly record some ideas
- Both devices have now a real-time clock built-in, so that the DURec recordings get a proper timestamp
- All outputs are dampened when powering on/off for most of the other interfaces this is only the case for the phones output. I think this could be useful not to blow monitors / ears depending on how well you matched levels, see this useful info in regards to this topic here from MC: https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?id=25399
I personally recommend to everybody when you have to choose between UFX II and UFX+ to get the UFX+. Why ?
A) The price difference is so small, that you should get the possibility to choose between USB2, USB3 and Thunderbolt.
You have a great flexibility to connect the UFX+. Even by USB2 to operate it without MADI.
The Thunderbolt driver has additionally the advantage to support the "pitch" function, shall you need it, which could not be implemented into the MADIface USB driver. Technically not possible with the USB transfer modes that are being used.
B) Another big advantage is that you can connect so much more devices (preamps, converters) by MADI and with much much longer distances compared to ADAT. ADAT supports 10m officially, with a little luck 15m. With MADI you can have up to 2km distance between each of the up to 8 devices on a MADI Bus (ring structure).
C) if you should work with higher sample rates at times, then you loose quickly channels by multiplexing.
So with only two ADAT I/O you very soon have only 2x4 instead of 2x8 channels at double speed (88.2/96)
Ok, the ADA8200 supports only single speed (44.1/48). But think about the future.
If you buy now, then it can be that you run the device for over 10 or even 20y, think about the long RME driver support.
So its an investment into the future and then it would be nice not having to replace your recording interface, if your demands would raise in the future.
I will also mention the cheapest options to get the ADA8200 connected:
- PCIe based: RayDAT .. offers you 4x ADAT I/O. All very nicely in one TM FX instance
- USB based: Digiface USB ... offers you 4x ADAT I/O as well
Those two products offer different features, you need to compare them side by side
36 Eingänge / 36 Ausgänge
4 x ADAT I/O
1 x AES/EBU I/O
1 x SPDIF I/O
2 x MIDI I/O
optional: Time Code Option (TCO)
optional: Expansion Board WCM
optional: Expansion Board TEB
• 66 Kanäle: 32 In / 34 Out
• 4 x ADAT/SPDIF Eingang
• 4 x ADAT/SPDIF Ausgang
• 1 x Kopfhörer TRS Stereo Ausgang
• TotalMix FX
• Kein externes Netzteil erforderlich
The Digiface USB has a unique selling point, all 4 ADAT ports can be switched to optical SPDIF protocol.
The RayDAT and UFX II/+ support this only for their last ADAT port (ADAT4 / ADAT 2).
But this should be only rarely needed.
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB