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  • RME Multiface 2 and 130Mb/s transfer rate

    Quick question...  [H]

    I hear how good these audio interfaces are, but the 130Mb/s transfer rate compared to Firewire 400 or 800 or even USB seems 'slow'.

    Why is it that many people have gone for these interfaces with such apparent slow transfer speeds?

    Is this transfer rate sufficient for audio work? And I guess there are other reason beyond transfer rate why these interfaces seem so popular.

    I guess there will always be 'the next big thing' around the corner ready to come out... but I hear about USB3 and also 6.4Gb/s transfers etc. Should I be waiting for these products to come out?? I guess they'll cost the earth too!

    Any advice greatly appreciated!

     - hey that wasn't a quick question after all! [;)]

    Best regards,


  •  I know nothing bout the technicalities, but traditionally the answer has been:

    PCI/PCIe = low latency use

    Firewire = not so much

    USB = Unusable

    However, Firewire interfaces have improved a lot recently, and there is even a really low latency USB interface from RME, so I would imagine that over the next coupe of years the differences will be marginal.


  • I'm using the "old" MultiFace (not Mk.2) as well as the original DigiFace ever since they appeared on the market. I have to admit that I never even thought about transfer rates, because they simply worked. 24-track 44.1 kHz live recording on a PIII-laptop? No problem. 16 tracks of 96 kHz-recordings for Vienna MIR (4 ADAT-lightpipes routed into one DigiFace and one MultiFace)? Obviously it worked 8-) ...Editing in 5.1 surround from multiple sources? I do it every day ... I could go on for a whole page.

    Drivers and especially the additional software (DigiCheck!!) are unparalleled, if you ask me. Don't know about the quality of the AD/DA-converters of the MultiFace Mk.2, but chances are that they are pretty good. Make sure you use a high-quality clock if you want to be on the safe side, and avoid the DigiFace's phone's out (they are noisy) ;-)


    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Thanks for the replies DG and Dietz... just what I needed to hear!  [:)]

    Sounds like a great piece of kit [H]

    "Make sure you use a high-quality clock if you want to be on the safe side, and avoid the DigiFace's phone's out (they are noisy) ;-)

    High quality 'clock' ?? What is this?!

    Noisy phone outs on the Digiface (like hiss and low computer noise to monitors etc I use xlr cables?)  - does this apply to the Multiface?


  •  I think Dietz is talking about headphones out. The XLRs will be fine.

    I have both Multiface 1 and 2 and don't see any real difference, apart for a couple of knobs/levers being in different places.

    If it helps, I am also running my template (120+ Vienna Instruments and various Kontakt) at a buffer of 128, and only have to bump it up to 256 for very dense passages with lots of notes, keyswitches and controllers.


  • I´m currently working with a Fireface 400, but also had a Multiface I years ago.

    Both work perfect, without any problems.

    With the PCI/e version you could in theory even reduce the latency a little bit  more, because Firewire always incorporates some ( very small) overhead.

    But all this is pure theory. Both interfaces work out of the box.

    The point here IMO is the quality of RME´s audio driver and firmware, which is top notch. I also had an EMU interface for some time. The audio quality was great, but the driver stability was totally rubbish, although it used the same hardware PCI port as the RME did.

    90% I think is software & hardware implementation, whereas the theoretical bandwidth is much less important for audiointerfaces.

    Don´t know how stable their newer USB solutions are, but with any of the other interfaces, either Firewire or PCI/e, you can´t go wrong.



    P.S.: "High quality 'clock' ?? What is this?!"

    If you like, you can implement an external "state of the art" masterclock instead of using the interface´s own digital clock. This can make sense if you have lots of digital equipment and want to glue any effects processor, audio interface, synth , digital mixing console etc to one "master beat". Usually these clocks offer extremely stable clock generators and operate very jitter-free. But they are expensive at the same time.

    IMHO only interesting for professional applications in bigger studio environments, since even the internal clocks nowadays have improved a lot and offer good quality.

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    @knievel said:

    [...] High quality 'clock' ?? What is this?! [...]

    -> [URL][/URL]

    -> [URL][/URL]


    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • kleinholgi, DG and Dietz - I salute you.

    Thank you for the comprehensive replies and for passing on your knowledge. Very, very much appreciated.

    Really fab, thanks.

    Best regards,


  • Another vote for Multiface.  I used to have Multiface 1 but traded it in for a Multiface 2.  I love it.  I wouldn't even consider buying a different sound card.  It's the one piece of gear my mind never nags about "seeing what else is out there".  That's how much I love it and the software that comes with it (you can do incredible internal routing etc) is to die for.

    Please also keep in mind that the protocol used between the Multiface and the PC/Laptop interface is proprietary.  It was completely designed for this type of signal so don't get hung up in the 130mbs.


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    @knievel said:

    Noisy phone outs ...  - does this apply to the Multiface?

    I think 'headphone outs' is indicated there; mine, on my multiface 2, are not noisy.