Topic: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

Good morning everyone.
I managed to install a driver from 2017 (version 1099) for my babyface first gen on windows 7 and it seems to work.
Know I am a bit confused about how I should setup my microphone. The breakout cable has "line in r", line in l", but I don't have any cable called "microphone-in".

My microphone doesn't need the 48volts. I have the choice to either use my microphone with my analogical preamp which would require a line level input on the babyface, or to use the microphone without my analogical preamp which would require a microphone-level input on the babyface.

I don't know yet if I need the analogical preamp, I'm thinking it might be good for the babyface in the sens that the babyface would have to draw less power.

Also I haven't plugged anything for now except my headphones, and the second green led from the bottom of the left channel on the babyface is constantly blinking. Is that normal ?
Thank you.

2

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

You seem to have no manual with your used Babyface:

https://archiv.rme-audio.de/download/bface_e.pdf

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

You're right to tease me, actually it's because I'm not much of a sound engineer. I've read he manual, but It doesn't say what you have to do concretely to set either a line level input or a microphone level input.

If I understand well the line-in input cable of the breakout cable can be used either as a line level input or as a microphone level input, but the manual doesn't say how it works. Does the babyface first gen automatically detects the level when you plug your gear into it or do you have to push a button, tick an option box, or adjust the volume somewhere to choose between line level and microphone level?

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

He, he!
We all like to tease, a bit, about reading the manual ! But only because it 's such a good manual, with lots of info!

You don't need your analog preamp with the BabyFace, unless it 's one that you really like.
Just connect your mic to Liine In L or R. The signal will be reflected in TotalMixFX AN1 or AN2.

First select the output you like to use, Phones or Main monitors(3rd row in TotalMixFX), by clicking on it. It will be highlighted.
With that Output selected, go to the 1st row of TMFX, where the Inputs are.
Click on the "tool"/wrench symbol for your Mic Input. Then the settings tab will appear.
Now, just turn the gain up to a nice level. If "Pad" is lit(activated), click on it to de-activate it!
Since you don't need 48V, keep that setting de-activated, as well.
Now, you can turn the fader of AN1 or 2, up to the level you like.

If you want to use your preamp, you would, probably, need to activate "Pad" and adjust the gain accordingly!

RME Gear: Digiface USB, HDSP 9632

5 (edited by judelaw 2022-01-14 11:01:22)

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

Thanks Metalheadkeys!
Now I just have to connect the line out cables of my babyface to the line inputs of my unbalanced listening equipment.


From the manual :

The short circuit protected, low impedance line outputs do not operate servo balanced! When connecting unbalanced equipment, make sure pin 3 of the XLR output is not connected. A connection to ground will cause a decreased THD (higher distortion) and in-creased power consumption!

How do I make sure to get the right cable for that? I have a specialized shop by my house but I wonder if they're aware of such stuff. They might just sell me some cable with no indication on the box.


This too is problematic, I don't quite understand :

When using unbalanced cables with the XLR breakout cable: be sure to connect the 'ring' contact of a stereo TRS jack, and pin 3 of a XLR jack, to ground. Otherwise noise may occur, caused by the unconnected negative input of the balanced input.

6

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

That's presented here out of context - it's about the input side, not the outputs (first quote).

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

7 (edited by judelaw 2022-01-15 05:42:49)

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

So this quote is about the inputs (line-in) of the babyface? Is that right?

When using unbalanced cables with the XLR breakout cable: be sure to connect the 'ring' contact of a stereo TRS jack, and pin 3 of a XLR jack, to ground. Otherwise noise may occur, caused by the unconnected negative input of the balanced input.

8 (edited by waedi 2022-01-15 18:31:35)

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

judelaw wrote:

How do I make sure to get the right cable for that? I have a specialized shop by my house but I wonder if they're aware of such stuff. They might just sell me some cable with no indication on the box.

The name of this cable is XLR-cable or Microphone-cable.
There are different plugs on both ends, it's impossible to connect it wrong. No need for any labeling.
The microphone has a socket at the bottom end.
Connect your cable there and connect the other end of the cable to one of the Line-Ins of the Babyface breakout-cable.
You also can take the Babyface and the mic to the shop and ask for help there.

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

9 (edited by judelaw 2022-01-16 10:43:09)

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

I bought a pair of "xlr to rca" cables and modified on both cables the neutrik xlr connector to make sure that pin 3 of the xlr connector was not connected to anything. Was I right to do that ?

I have sound but I get usb noise (noise that varies when you move the mouse and such). On the other end when using the phone output of the babyface the sound is clean (no noise at all).

Line out of the babyface is not usable at all. What did I do wrong?

10

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

This is called ground loop and needs changing the grounding, different power situation or isolating USB. Using the Babyface with a power supply sometimes helps, that would be the easiest solution. Using the XLR outputs in balanced mode would stop the noise as well, but as your monitoring amp is unbalanced you don't have that option...

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

Thank you Mr carsten,
That's what I was thinking, what should be the characteristics of a good power supply for the babyface first gen?

I was therefore thinking about using the toslink output of my computer motherboard (providing the babyface will work with it no questions asked, I hope so) and plug it into the toslink input of the babyface. But then I need to know what power supply to buy for it.

12

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

Even then it is not guaranteed to work. Early versions of the BF mute the analog output if no USB power is present.

The power supply is the standard RME one, with 12 V and 2A. Alternatives will work as well.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

13 (edited by judelaw 2022-01-16 18:12:41)

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

Thanks a lot, that's good to know. Not a great thing though, but you just saved me some time and money.
Is mine an early version ?
Here is a photo of the sticker on the back of my babyface. unfortunately the sticker is damaged...
https://i.ibb.co/txDRWZ5/babyface-serial-number.jpg

Can I feed the babyface some usb power (not usb power from the computer) while connecting the babyface to my computer only through a toslink cable? Would that work well?

14

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

Yes, that would work. Just plug the USB cable into the usual smartphone charger. With a good one you don't need the 12V power supply anymore.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

15 (edited by judelaw 2022-01-16 18:48:06)

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

Edit : I have that one laying around: https://www.hema.com/fr-fr/papeterie/or … 30068.html
https://www.hema.com/dw/image/v2/BBRK_P … 110_01.jpg

I don't if it's for phones.

16

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

Try it. It's USB, so will either work ok or inject noise itself (chargers are sometimes very noisy).

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

I'm stupid, I just have a toslink output on my motherboard. I tried but it's not working of course.

18 (edited by judelaw 2022-01-16 21:44:07)

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

It would seem that I'm condemned to use the babyface only with the headphones and to monitor myself singing with the totalmix fx zero latency thingy. But there are some problems regarding that also. I can monitor the wet reverb of my voice but not my dry voice. Also only a 1024 buffer size works. When I switch the buffer size in the settings to any other value from 64 to 2048 the sound is destroyed, chopped.

19 (edited by judelaw 2022-01-16 21:58:19)

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

If I can't make it work I'm probably going back to realtek. I think it will be workable as I got a newer motherboard with a magical coloured line that is supposed to protect the audio circuit from parasites or something. I'm quite disgusted at audio lately, all the things I could have done with the money I spent in fancy yet crippled gear. RME is my last effort, last shot, and the biggest one by far.

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

Do you know what causes are for the buffer to give a destroyed sound at every sample rate but 1024?

21

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

First it is buffer size, not sample rate. Second changing that while ASIO and WDM is active is no good idea. Third on some computers WDM requires a setting of 256 or 128 samples.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

22 (edited by judelaw 2022-01-18 04:31:47)

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

What is WDM?

23 (edited by ramses 2022-01-18 10:10:37)

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

WDM = Windows Driver Model
In the RME driver settings you can create a Windows compatible driver for each of the I/O ports of your recording interface as needed. It's adviced, to create only WDM drivers for I/O ports which you really need, e.g. where your monitors are connected to (usually AN 1/2).
In this setting dialog there is another TAB speaker, there you select which I/O port has the active monitors (e.g. AN1/2).
Because then you get a special speaker entry in the windows sound settings which you can configure to be the Windows default sound device (to hear sound for the Windows OS and applications without ASIO support).

So why is this required ? Windows and most applications like Internet Browser have no support for ASIO.

Therefore the RME driver offers you to create WDM drivers for the I/O ports where windows or applications need direct access to (speakers, headphones, microfones, analog ports where other devices are connected to).

EDIT: the drivers are being dynamically created or deleted as you select / deselect them. No reboot is needed.
Therefore they are also dynamically re-created on every boot of the OS.
If you enable too many of them and if you have a not so powerful CPU on your system, then this can create a significant load on the system during the creation process (with very old systems and many ports I read even a hang situation).
I think nowadays this is not so much likely to happen, but for this reason it is better to enable that only for the ports where you really need it.

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub10.5Pro

24 (edited by judelaw 2022-01-18 10:34:00)

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

I have 6 WDM devices activated in "fireface usb settings". So If I select 0 instead of 6 should the buffer size problem be over ?
What are the consequences of selecting 0 instead of 6 ? My browser won't work? Btw even with "6" the volume on my taskbar doesn't work (not a big deal though).

What if I choose zero in order to change the buffer size and then put the value back to 6 ? Would that work? As simple as that ?

25 (edited by judelaw 2022-01-18 10:40:25)

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

Or do I need also to deactivate Asio also while changing the buffer size ? I don't even know where is Asio (if it's installed at all on my computer as I don't see it either in the list of programs nor in my hard disk.)

26 (edited by ramses 2022-01-18 17:08:42)

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

You simply set the required WDM devices, usually this is AN1/2 for the active monitors.
And then you just leave it like this !!!!

M. Carstens recommended that for some systems it was necessary to set the ASIO buffersize to 128 or 256.
So take the higher value 256 and you should be set ...

Well, thats it and you just leave it in this state, except you really need lower or higher ASIO buffer settings for recording.
This always needs to be adapted to your demands (see *).

Then Windows and applications use the WDM driver via the system-wide setting: Windows default sound device -> WDM driver AN1/2.
And for every application that supports ASIO you best choose the ASIO driver and then can efficiently access every port of your recording interface (bypassing the Windows Sound Infrastructure fully for best quality, reliability, performance).
Both, ASIO / WDM run in parallel, no worries about it.

(*) note: if you intend to play over VSTi, then you need Round Trip Latencies under 10ms, this requires ASIO buffer settings of 32..128. If you want to "play it save" for important recordings where stability is needed and latency is no issue, then select the highest ASIO buffersize. The values 128 and 256 are typical every day values.

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub10.5Pro

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

Is a 128 samples buffer size low enough for perfect monitoring of myself singing? I'd hate it if I was late, I'm used to work with  absolute zero 100% analogical latency with reverb on my voice.
Where do I set the required WDM devices ?

As for applications I use reaper, for me only reaper requires zero latency monitoring, the rest (browser, vlc and mphc) don't require it).

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

so I have to download and install asio ?

Re: Babyface first gen : Line level / microphone level input.

Along with your product you got a manual. The URL has been quoted by Matthias Carstens in post #2, I repeat:
https://archiv.rme-audio.de/download/bface_e.pdf

This contains at the very beginning
- instructions for driver installation under Windows (and also Apple) and
- about the driver settings dialog where you can set WDM devices and the ASIO buffer size and other things

The installation of the RME ASIO driver will install not only the ASIO driver, but also TotalMix FX, the digital mixer.

The driver settings dialog openes, if you click to the little icon in the Windows Notification Area, at bottom right.
See e.g. manual chapter 6 and 8.
Please note, depening on your Windows settings some of the icons in the notification area might be hidden, then you need to click to the triangle to display the rest or to configure Windows so that all these icons are being shown.
You can also drag and drop such a "hidden" icon to the notification area which brings it to the front permanentyl.

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub10.5Pro