Topic: Fireface UFX Direct to USB as redundant recording?

Hi All,

I am currently looking into purchasing a Fireface UFX as a mobile recording setup for festivals, etc. I just wanted to confirm something... My hope is to use the UFX as a standard USB interface going into Pro Tools and at the same time be recording to a hard drive via the front panel Direct to USB port. The manual doesn't quite confirm that this is possible.

Beyond that, is there anyone specifically using this same setup? Thoughts about stability, etc? The idea is that although the UFX itself is not truly redundant-- at least if the computer (which I think is most vulnerable to error) goes down, the Direct USB drive would still be capturing.

Thanks very much! Hoping to pull the trigger sometime this week.

C.

Re: Fireface UFX Direct to USB as redundant recording?

Exactly what DUREC is made for!

Re: Fireface UFX Direct to USB as redundant recording?

crandallwarren wrote:

- at least if the computer (which I think is most vulnerable to error) goes down, the Direct USB drive would still be capturing.

... or if the cable connection goes faulty, as happened to me.  DURec keeps on going.  In my case the FW connection went faulty.  DURec kept on going and it can be controlled from the front panel.  I replaced the FW connection with a USB connection  for the rest of the section.

One can actually disconnect and reconnect without effect on the recording - except!  When I reconnected using USB (being cautious - at a suitable break in the program), it stopped.  The reason - the USB driver had remained set at the sample rate it last used, which was different from the one the FW had been using.  Change sample rate, the whole interface (including DURec) stops and resets.  If both had ben set at the same sample rate  ... seamless.

For the future, I can see the possibilty that for most jobs, the DURec could be the main recording method, with the UFX controlled via an iPad, possibly recording a safety mix on the iPad.

De gustibus - et sonus - non est disputandum

4 (edited by ebulb 2014-09-12 15:47:01)

Re: Fireface UFX Direct to USB as redundant recording?

one thing i will say in regards to UFX and DURec as a live recording option is it doesnt handle high gain well.. So if you plan to use it to record via direct outputs from a live console and you are at the mercy of a live engineers gain settings you will likely find this to be problematic..  I have an old Alesis HD24 that i used for years recording via direct outs and it could easily handle very high gain from a console without clipping.  The UFX is a different story, it clips easily by comparison and the result you are left with on the recording is horrible digital clipping no saturation or soft overdrive, like the HD24 would kinda do..

The few times i have tried to use the UFX with direct outs i have found i end up in a bad situation, you cant go telling a FOH engineer to change his gain because your recording is clipping and because the way the signal clips is the horrible digital clipping you can be left in a virtually useless situation..

Last gig i had 4 channels at soundcheck that were consistently clipping and one was lead vocal, just about the worst channel you could ask to be clipping.. I was lucky there were some free AUX sends on the console that i used and lowered the gain.. Even after remedying that at soundcheck, there were still 1 or 2 other channels that clipped during the gig when things got louder..   it can be problematic and it's dissapointing UFX isnt more robust in those situations.

Re: Fireface UFX Direct to USB as redundant recording?

Using direct outs can be problematic, most are post fader so you get the FOH guy's show moves...

But the UFX Line In should handle the level.


The specs show:

"Input level for 0 dBFS @ Lo Gain: +19 dBu"


I have a Mackie HDR 24/96 (similar to HD24), it clips at +22 so it and the UFX are in the same ballpark.


I carry some XLR -10 or -20dB pads for really hot channels.


Truthfully, if the FOH direct outs are much hotter than +10dB I'd say the channels are gonna clip the mix bus once he starts mixing more than a couple channels...

6

Re: Fireface UFX Direct to USB as redundant recording?

@ ebulb: that is a known effect and is planned to be fixed with the next big (big!) update for the UFX. But I have no date when this will be, sorry.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Fireface UFX Direct to USB as redundant recording?

thank you MC.. this is good news.

Re: Fireface UFX Direct to USB as redundant recording?

MC wrote:

@ e ...  the next big (big!) update for the UFX.

Hmmm!  Hardware or firmware?

De gustibus - et sonus - non est disputandum

9

Re: Fireface UFX Direct to USB as redundant recording?

Firmware, of course.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Fireface UFX Direct to USB as redundant recording?

RME - like jazz - the sound of surprise!

De gustibus - et sonus - non est disputandum

Re: Fireface UFX Direct to USB as redundant recording?

HI Everyone,

Thanks so much for your replies. Awesome info about the sample rate stuff, and the line level ins. Yes, I wouldn't be going straight out of the FOH console for this. I'd have my own split in front of the console. My thinking right now is: isolated split> 3 8ch pres> 2 into adat> 1 into the analog ins. I'd use my rosetta 200 to clock everything and provide 2 more ins, along with the 4 pres on the unit. Pretty sexy...

Re: Fireface UFX Direct to USB as redundant recording?

Hi Mathias.

I've been working my way through the various topics about ideal USB drives for the DUrec function. I'm gearing up for a mobile gig at the end of next week. Can you recommend one (or any) that you've found to be rock solid. Info on write speeds, etc is easy to find. But its hard to tell looking at a drive's specs, whether or not it have the partition issues some people have experienced. Many thanks for your help!

C.

Re: Fireface UFX Direct to USB as redundant recording?

Hi,
probably Matthias or anyone else has a better education for you, but here's my experience.

I haven't used any more than one to compare, but for more than 2 years now i'm using a simple and cheap bus powered USB 3 'Intenso Memory Blade'. It's 2,5`` with 320 GB. I don't now the speed but i strongly guess it's only 5400 rpm. I never had a single error with 20 tracks at 96kHz.
Of course with cheap harddrives you never now when it will break, but on the other hand i have had really bad experience (on another system) with the professional and quite expensive Glyph Harddrives. I was probably just unlucky.

I have 2 partitions on the Intenso, one FAT32 for the UFX and another one for Mac, no problem.

I'd recommend not buying the biggest (GB) harddrive available, as over the years i had the impression that for audio recordings (with higher track counts) in general moderate sizes work more reliable. That may be complete bullshit though, but it's my personal experience.

I'd just buy one and test it properly, if it works for some hours with different settings on different days i don't see why it shouldn't stay like that when it comes to an important recording.

Re: Fireface UFX Direct to USB as redundant recording?

crandallwarren wrote:

Hi Mathias.

I've been working my way through the various topics about ideal USB drives for the DUrec function. I'm gearing up for a mobile gig at the end of next week. Can you recommend one (or any) that you've found to be rock solid. Info on write speeds, etc is easy to find. But its hard to tell looking at a drive's specs, whether or not it have the partition issues some people have experienced. Many thanks for your help!

C.

There is a thread (sticky I think) about this.  After some recommendations from RME and others I got a USB thumb drive last spring, although I can't recall the brand and model right now.  It was the first anyone tried that worked *very* well at even high sample rates and lots of tracks. Find that thread and you will find the details. I would get a thumb drive for two reasons: 1) very portable ad 2) standard external hard drives can stutter when subjected to vibrations, including sometime low bass notes, kick drums etc.  Flash memory, with no moving parts, is a better way to go in my opinion.

15

Re: Fireface UFX Direct to USB as redundant recording?

SanDisk Extreme Memory!

I just tested the latest SanDisk USB 3 ones called 'Cruzer Ultra Fit'. They would have been the perfect ones for the front panel of the UFX. Unfortunately I had to send them back - unusable, with write delays of up to 1.8 seconds. sad

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Fireface UFX Direct to USB as redundant recording?

You can't seem to rely on anything.... I'll take that opportunity to rerun my recommendation of inexpensive SD card readers. The disk usage has always been extremely stable with whatever I tested, e.g. this: http://www.rme-audio.de/forum/viewtopic … 744#p78744

Regards
Daniel Fuchs
RME

17 (edited by mjfe87 2018-08-02 00:10:34)

Re: Fireface UFX Direct to USB as redundant recording?

Thanks MC. Thought it seemed too good to be true sad

A compact option that fits within a rack lid would be most welcome as the bulky SanDisk Extreme Pro is rather precarious!

Eastwood Records
www.eastwoodrecords.co.uk

Re: Fireface UFX Direct to USB as redundant recording?

I use a USB right-angle adaptor, low cost and you can leave the longer SanDisk Extreme plugged-in.

Works great (until your UFX RAM dies but that's another story... )