For 10 years RME’s Fireface 800 has lead the field of professional audio interfaces, won countless awards, is most probably the most famous interface ever, has built up a legendary reputation for its sound and low latency operation, is used all around the globe, and will continue to be the most reliable part in their studio for many customers.
In these 10 years RME did not stop development and introduced the world’s first professional USB audio interface, the Fireface UC, followed by the Fireface UFX and UCX, which both offer FireWire as well as USB for maximum flexibility.
Time to rework the Fireface 800 and update it to the latest technologies and innovations present in RME’s other, newer interfaces, but without tampering the soul and feel of the original Fireface. A legend reborn was RME’s approach, and the Fireface 802 does exactly that with a clever mixture of what people made fall in love with the original unit, adding sophisticated features expected from an audio interface released in 2014.
Like with the original unit the heart of the Fireface 802 are its 4 completely analog microphone preamps with manual gain setting. While digitally controlled preamps do have some advantages, the classic technology with pot-control is still preferred by many users for several reasons, like lightning fast access, quicker setup, no loss of settings by crashes or operating errors in software menus and more. Some people may claim that these kind of preamps sound better, but RME’s approach has always been (and will always be) fully transparent, unchanged sound. Therefore we can sympathise, but not confirm such views. The four inputs on the front use balanced XLR/TRS combo sockets and operate alternatively as Hi-Z inputs for direct recording of guitars or other instruments.
The Fireface 802 comes with two instead of only one headphone output on the front. Otherwise the overall design of all elements found on front and rear is very similar to the Fireface 800, except for its new housing with the modern, soft and clear look.
While inside the unit SteadyClock maintains perfect sound quality independent from any external clock source like before, nearly anything else has been redesigned and improved. Latest AD/DA converters with better SNR, per channel reference level control, 2 more analog channels in and out, and support for the Advanced Remote Control, to name a few.
The support for FireWire 800 has been dropped in favor of USB 2 and because there has been no gain in performance compared to FireWire 400, which is still included. To ease connection to modern computers with FireWire the 802 has both a 6 pin and a 9 pin socket.
With the latest TotalMix FX the Fireface 802 not only enters the full mixing, monitoring and effects processing world of UCX and UFX, but also adds Class Compliant compatibility. The Fireface 802 can therefore be fully controlled from an iPad with RME’s TotalMix FX for iPad app.
The Fireface 802 combines 60 channel super low latency conversion with low latency operation via USB or FireWire and RME’s legendary driver stability and maintenance. It includes active jitter suppression, professional reference level support and a complete stand-alone functionality with all core features.Equipped with the latest A/D and D/A converter chips, all I/Os operate up to 192 kHz and reach 118 dBA dynamic range on playback - even both headphone outputs. Their high power technology provides high volume no matter if high or low impedance phones are used.
TotalMix FX delivers a digital high-end mixer and signal router, driven by two powerful DSPs, with integrated effects plus built-in monitoring control. Every input and output channel comes with a luxury feature set, comparable to a full-scale digital console. The effects include 3-band parametric EQ, adjustable Low Cut, Auto Level, Compressor, Expander, MS Processing and phase reversal. The Reverb and Echo effects unit is available for all channels. The 802 offers all these effects even at 192 kHz operation.
TotalMix FX is also a perfect monitor controller with integrated talkback function and much more. The control room features are available in the software or via the optional Advanced Remote Control. A flexible management allows to assign any physical output as Main or Phones output. Talkback, Listenback, Mono, Dim, Recall and External Input will then work automatically and as expected on the assigned outputs.
RME’s new Fireface 802 lives up to its predecessor, being a highly integrated pro audio solution, a full-blown studio, packed in a 19” enclosure, with the feel and look that made the Fireface 800 world famous, but with RME’s latest technology inside that continues to rock musicians and producers around the world. The 802 doesn’t make compromises in sound, stability and ultra-low latency operation, and provides an unrivaled professional feature set with identical operation on Windows PC and Mac.
The Fireface 802 comes with RME’s unique DIGICheck metering and analysis toolbox.
- 30 Input / 30 Output channels
- 12 x Analog I/O
- 4 x Mic/Instrument Preamp, classic technology
- 1 x AES/EBU I/O
- 2 x ADAT I/O (or 1 x ADAT I/O plus 1 x SPDIF I/O optical)
- 1 x Word Clock I/O
- 1 x MIDI I/O
- FireWire and USB operation
- TotalMix FX