Hands-On Review: the Fireface UCX Audio Interface

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With the Fireface UCX, RME has successfully delivered another high-end pro audio interface. The Fireface UCX takes up only a half-rack space and offers 18 input and 18 output channels. It works with your computer, as a stand-alone unit, or with your iPad or iPad 2. It even offers multi-track recording directly onto your iPad.

For connectivity, the Fireface UCX affords eight analog inputs and eight analog outputs. It also supports SPDIF, ADAT, Remote, MIDI and BNC Word Clock connectivity. It connects to your computer via FireWire 400 or USB 2.0. The device supports up to 24-bit / 192 kHz recording and the interface is compatible with both Mac and Windows. The Fireface UCX features TotalMix FX software as well, which provides access to the complete effects engine of the Fireface UFX model. Plus, all effects are available at all sample rates. For added convenience, RME offers a Monitoring Controller that combines the impressive flexibility of the TotalMix FX monitoring tool set and the RME Remote Control. Additionally, the Fireface UCX can operate fully stand-alone and continues the tradition of RME's tremendously successful compact interfaces.

AD Line In 5-8 (Rear)  
Signal-to-Noise Ratio 111 dB RMS unweighted, 114 dBA
Frequency Response @ 44.1 kHz (-0.1 dB) 10 Hz - 20.6 kHz
Frequency Response @ 96 kHz (-0.5 dB) 5 Hz - 45.3 kHz
Frequency Response @ 192 kHz (-1 dB) 5 Hz - 90 kHz
THD < -105 dB (< 0.0005%)
THD + N < -98 dB (< 0.0012%)
Maximum Input Level  +19 dBu
Channel Separation > 110 dB
Input 1/4" (6.35 mm) TRS jack, electronically balanced
Input Sensitivity Switchable to Lo Gain, +4 dBu, -10 dBV
Input Level for 0 dBFS @ Lo Gain  +19 dBu
Input Level for 0 dBFS @ +4 dBu  +13 dBu
Input Level for 0 dBFS @ -10 dBV  +2 dBV
Line In 3-4 (Front) As AD, but:
Additional Gain Stage 0 up to +12 dB
Maximum Input Level (Lo Gain, Gain 0 dB) Line +19 dBu / Inst. +13 dBu
Maximum Input Level (-10 dBV, Gain 12 dB) Line -7.5 dBu / Inst. -13.5 dBu
Input Impedance Inst. 470kΩ
Input Gain Inst.  +6 dB
Input Mode Line balanced (TRS) / Inst. Unbalanced (TS)
CLIP LED 0 dBFS
SIG LED -60 dBFS
Microphone / Line 1-2 (Front) As AD Line In 5-8, but:
Input Neutrik XLR / TRS Combo jack, electronically balanced
Input Impedance XLR (2kΩ) / TRS (8kΩ) balanced
Signal-to-Noise Ratio 112 dB RMS unweighted, 115 dBA
Low Roll Off (-0.5 dB / -1 dB) 18 Hz / 12 Hz
Gain Range 0 dB, +10 up to +65 dB
Maximum Input Level XLR (Gain 0 dB) +10 dBu
Maximum Input Level XLR (Gain 65 dB) -55 dBu
Maximum Input Level TRS (Gain +0 dB) +21 dBu
Maximum Input Level TRS (Gain +65 dB) -44 dBu
Clip LED 0 dBFS
SIG LED -60 dBFS
DA - Line Out 1-6 (Rear)  
Dynamic Range 111 dB, 114 dBA @ 44.1 kHz (unmuted)
Frequency Response @ 44.1 kHz (-0.1 dB) 5 Hz - 20.4 kHz
Frequency Response @ 96 kHz (-0.5 dB) 5 Hz - 45 kHz
Frequency Response @ 192 kHz (-1 dB) 5 Hz - 90 kHz
THD -100 dB (< 0.001%)
THD + N -96 dB (< 0.0015%)
Channel Separation > 110 dB
Maximum Output Level +19 dBu
Output 1/4" (6.35 mm) TRS jack, servo-balanced
Output Impedance 75Ω
Output Level (Switchable) Hi Gain, +4 dBu, -10 dBV
Output Level for 0 dBFS @ Hi Gain +19 dBu
Output Level for 0 dBFS @ +4dBu +13 dBu
Output Level for 0 dBFS @ -10 dBV +2 dBV
DA - Phones 7/8 (Front) As DA, but:
Output 1/4" (6.35 mm) TRS jack, unbalanced
Output Impedance 30Ω
Word Clock  
BNC Switch for internal termination (75Ω)
System Requirements  
USB Computer with at least Pentium Core 2 Duo CPU
FireWire Computer with OHCI compatible FireWire 400 (1394a) or FireWire 800 port (via adapter cable)