Monday, September 05, 2005

RME Multiface II Announced



RME make some of the best audio interfaces for your computer. Buy one of their products, plug it in, and it will just work, at the highest possible standards for the money. Their drivers are the bomb and provide features unheard of in other products. I use their Multiface and now there is an improved model, the Multiface II, which is so new that it's not even on their home page yet!

But here's the scoop.

For full information you can download the official manual. The quick summary is that this box is the same as its predecessor except:

* The headphone output is improved to 119 dBA signal-to-noise ratio and has a volume control. It's a little-known fact that the headphone output has a better spec than any other output on the box! Maybe you should wire this to your monitors?

* The internal power supply has been improved.

* The analog inputs have increased signal-to-noise ratio by 10 dB, and lowered THD as well.

* The analog output stages likewise have lower THD.

* There are switches on the front of the unit to change the reference level of the inputs and outputs. This previously required opening the unit for a jumper change.

* The little-used ADAT Sync interface has been removed from the back of the unit in order to increase socket spacing.

* It's got a new funky blue panel. :-)

Otherwise this is the same beast, completely compatible with existing firmware and software, and at the same price as before. I can easily find it for €685 (or €859 including the PCI card interface).

For some that looks like a lot of money. But this is a 36-channel 24-bit/96kHz interface with eight analog inputs, ADAT digital I/O, SPDIF digital I/O, and even MIDI. Best of all, it can operate at absolutely minimal latency on even older-generation computers.

As a bonus, you can get a CardBus interface and use the same Multiface with your laptop.

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