Topic: Is the RME ADI-2 DAC FS a good choice for mixing and producing?

I'm looking for something to connect my Audio-Technica ATH-R70x headphones and I was thinking of an audio interface since I am getting into music production. I'm interested in producing electronic music and rap beats. Which means I use synthesizers and samples most of the time and have no need to record acoustic instruments.

They recommended the RME Babyface Pro FS 24-channel USB Audio Interface but I honestly don't see the use of having a 24-channel interface if I'm not going to record anything.

The other option was to buy an RME ADI-2 DAC FS 2-channel DA Converter but the RME guys told me via email this:

Hello,

yes you can use the ADI-2 DAC for mixing.

You can connect it to an interface to improve the conversion and sound quality.

If you connect it direct to the computer, then there may be a difference in latency between Windows and Mac, because the ADI-2 on Mac works in Class Compliant mode without a driver and because there are additional safety buffer samples built into the CoreAudio system of the Mac, which may affect the latency.

You can also use the ADI-2 FS to expand your interface and improve your monitoring situation.

The ADI-2 DAC FS and the ADI-2 FS differ in the DA converters. The ADI-2 FS has no USB, no EQ or other digital effects like the DAC. It is a simple AD/DA converter.

Does that mean that it's not a good option for mixing it on a Windows system? I'm confused...

2

Re: Is the RME ADI-2 DAC FS a good choice for mixing and producing?

If you really do only what you listed then you will mix 'in the box', so you don't need a typical audio interface for music production. But a very good sounding DAC with a competent headphone section plus a lot more useful features and goodies would fit perfectly - the ADI-2 DAC.

Your choice!

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

3 (edited by ramses 2021-09-07 10:39:04)

Re: Is the RME ADI-2 DAC FS a good choice for mixing and producing?

> They recommended the RME Babyface Pro FS 24-channel USB Audio Interface but I honestly don't
> see the use of having a 24-channel interface if I'm not going to record anything.

Most likely because it's the smallest USB recording interface from the RME products with already quite nice phones outputs and which is also very practical for mobile use.

> Does that mean that it's not a good option for mixing it on a Windows system? I'm confused...

Mac uses Core Audio which has a little bit more latency compared to Windows when using ASIO drivers which fully bypasses Windows audio and gives the DAW/application direct access to the audio HW. But this difference is not so severe.

For me it's more the question whether you want/need:

1. a recording interface with TM FX (to be able to create individual submixes, etc)
    then you need to get a recording interface like Babyface Pro FS (USB) or AIO Pro FS (PCIe)
    The BBF Pro FS would give you also a Mic preamp, in situations where you want to record rap vocals (maybe in rare cases?)

2. whether you need additional analog ports to be able to integrate outboard equipment for mixing / mastering
    then you need a recording interface like e.g. UCX II or UFX II to be able to connect 1 or more analog outboard devices

3. whether you want to have the best conversion quality for AD/DA plus cool / useful features (Autoreflevel, dynamic loudness, high power phones output, slow ramp-up of volume when plugging phones for savety of your ears, etc ...)
    then you can either run them through USB or alternatively integrate those devices like ADI-2 DAC FS or ADI-2 Pro FS R BE or ADI-2 FS into the concept, see my blog:
    https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … our-Setup/
    https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … ses-EN-DE/

These high end converter you can either connect directly through USB or intrgrate it into your current concept and connect it to a RME recording interface with TotalMix FX through one of the available digital ports, either ADAT or SPDIF or AES (ADI-2 Pro only).

There is also a stripped down version available, ADI-2 FS, without all the bells and whistles of the ADI-2 DAC/Pro product line without USB, which is a pure converter and usually needs a recording interface with TM FX.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H1, Cub11Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT

Re: Is the RME ADI-2 DAC FS a good choice for mixing and producing?

If you are going for pure music listening get an ADI-2. If you really want to get into electronic music making a BFP is a better choice. I stood before a similar situation recently and after testing both decided to go with the Babyface Pro FS.

The ADI-2 sounds a bit better but lacks certain features the BFP brings and which are handy for music making. As Ramses mentioned these include the mic-pre's which you might want to use sooner or later. It also has MIDI which helps integrating external beatboxes and synths. It includes the TotalMix software which is handy routing signals. Last not least the form-factor with the big jog dial and buttons is easier to handle in a recording situation.

Forget about the 24 channel number, that is a BFP decked out with an additional external interface connected via ADAT. In it's bare forme the BFP basically is a 2 channel interface with 2 additional channels of mic-pre's and MIDI.

It also works well for music listening which I do with my BFP and DT1990s every day now.

5 (edited by ramses 2021-09-08 12:31:50)

Re: Is the RME ADI-2 DAC FS a good choice for mixing and producing?

> Forget about the 24 channel number, that is a BFP decked out with an additional external interface
> connected via ADAT. In it's bare forme the BFP basically is a 2 channel interface with 2
> additional channels of mic-pre's and MIDI.

You say it as if this counting would be unusual or did I get you wrong ?
It's completely valid, you also need to count channels of the digital I/O ports.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H1, Cub11Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT

6

Re: Is the RME ADI-2 DAC FS a good choice for mixing and producing?

NoisyNarrowBandDevice wrote:

Forget about the 24 channel number, that is a BFP decked out with an additional external interface connected via ADAT. In it's bare forme the BFP basically is a 2 channel interface

If you have a BF Pro then you should be aware that counting only analog I/O it is a 4-channel interface (both in and out, so a total of 8 channels).

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Is the RME ADI-2 DAC FS a good choice for mixing and producing?

Ramses and MC are right: for sake of comparing to the ADI-2 I oversimplified things. The BFP is a 4 in, 4 out = 8 channel interface + MIDI. It's also expandable with 16 more channels via ADAT.

Practically two of the BFP's outputs are headphone outs so one could think of it as an interface with two "real" XLR outputs. Hence I called it a two channel interface.

Anyhow: my point stands that the BFP is better suited to music production than the ADI-2. It's has all the basic features one needs to work with music software like DAWs and external devices and is a good building block should the need for more channels ever arise.