Alternatives to RME?

Discuss the hardware/software tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by OneWorld »

At one point I couldn't see the point of Total Mix, it seemed to be made complicated just for the sake of it. I had come from other interfaces where the setup was far easier and intuitive.

Then I started reading the manual and it all became clear to me, and in fact, logically, it makes perfect sense, simplicity itself. Thing is, there is a lot of simplicity, it aspires to accommodate any setup.

Now, if and when I update my interface, I would be reluctant to move away from RME because I like the Total Mix so much.
OneWorld
Frequent Poster
Posts: 4598 Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Essex Boi »

OneWorld wrote: Mon Mar 20, 2023 6:46 pm Now, if and when I update my interface, I would be reluctant to move away from RME because I like the Total Mix so much.

You don’t have to leave the RME stable or lose TotalMix to update your interface. A Digiface USB lets you to use an interface of your choosing (assuming ADAT inputs/outputs). The Digiface might seem expensive for a box that doesn’t really do anything (no preamps or converters), but I’ve recently gone down this route and it’s a revelation. I can pick and choose a collection of preamps and converters for input and a completely separate set of gear for output. And I’m confident RME will continue to update the driver for years to come making the whole rig as future proof as I could realistically expect.
Essex Boi
Poster
Posts: 75 Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2022 1:10 pm Location: Not the bit of Essex on the telly
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Arpangel »

OneWorld wrote: Mon Mar 20, 2023 6:46 pm At one point I couldn't see the point of Total Mix, it seemed to be made complicated just for the sake of it.

This is in no way a stab at the German people, every nation, and its people, have their characteristics.
German software, TotalMix, Samplitude, Reaktor, Reason, all have this initial intimidation, they seem overly complicated, it’s like, the designer is working in a bubble, and isn’t thinking about the large variety of end users, and how they might cope with it.
I have Reaktor, and Reason, I can "use them" but do I have the "big picture" in my head? no, I muddle through not really knowing what I’m doing.
British software is sort of like this, but not quite, I do find American equipment, and software instantly easy to understand and user friendly.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16939 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by forumuser840717 »

Arpangel wrote: Tue Mar 21, 2023 8:07 am
OneWorld wrote: Mon Mar 20, 2023 6:46 pm At one point I couldn't see the point of Total Mix, it seemed to be made complicated just for the sake of it.

This is in no way a stab at the German people, every nation, and its people, have their characteristics.
German software, TotalMix, Samplitude, Reaktor, Reason, all have this initial intimidation, they seem overly complicated, it’s like, the designer is working in a bubble, and isn’t thinking about the large variety of end users, and how they might cope with it.
I have Reaktor, and Reason, I can "use them" but do I have the "big picture" in my head? no, I muddle through not really knowing what I’m doing.
British software is sort of like this, but not quite, I do find American equipment, and software instantly easy to understand and user friendly.

And this is in no way a stab at Arpangel, who definitely has his own characteristics.

You do talk some bobbins sometimes! :tongue:

I've used recording/DAW software in one form or another since the 1980s and I've never noticed a geographical pattern in how it does whatever it does.

All software has a learning curve and different people process that curve differently due to their varying experiences, needs, likes and dislikes. It's just a matter of progressing through each learning curve and finding things that suit one's approach.

All but the most basic software seems intimidating and overly complicated until one is used to it. Whether one takes the time to get used to it depends on whether the rewards justify the effort and whether they can be achieved in a way which suits the user better than another bit of software.
forumuser840717
Regular
Posts: 453 Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:20 pm

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Arpangel »

forumuser840717 wrote: Tue Mar 21, 2023 9:47 am
And this is in no way a stab at Arpangel, who definitely has his own characteristics.

You do talk some bobbins sometimes! :tongue:

I've used recording/DAW software in one form or another since the 1980s and I've never noticed a geographical pattern in how it does whatever it does.

All software has a learning curve and different people process that curve differently due to their varying experiences, needs, likes and dislikes. It's just a matter of progressing through each learning curve and finding things that suit one's approach.

All but the most basic software seems intimidating and overly complicated until one is used to it. Whether one takes the time to get used to it depends on whether the rewards justify the effort and whether they can be achieved in a way which suits the user better than another bit of software.

Arturia great, Valhalla same, Reaper took me about 10mins to learn all I need, coming from Samplitude it was a revelation.
Samplitude was impenetrable, Reaktor same, Kontakt same, Reason you go in you can't find your way out, it’s a maze.
All of the above are great programs but some seem to make it as difficult as they can for to do what you want to do, easily.
Not all of us are computer experts, and don’t what to be, sometimes it’s like these things are designed by engineers for engineers, not musicians.
Regarding certain equipment, software, we have our opinions, and mine aren’t going to change, it’s good there’s enough out there to please most people.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16939 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Arpangel wrote: Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:20 am ...it’s like these things are designed by engineers for engineers, not musicians.

Germany believes in technical education. It shows in their approach to many things, including product design. Personally, I like that! :lol:

If you invest some effort into reading the manual and understanding the underlying mindset these products are phenomenally powerful and remarkably straightforward to use. If you don't, they aren't and appear complex and impenetrable.

In which case, go find something simpler that better suits your level of involvement.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 39602 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Arpangel »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:28 am
Arpangel wrote: Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:20 am ...it’s like these things are designed by engineers for engineers, not musicians.

Germany believes in technical education. It shows in their approach to many things, including product design. I like that! :lol:

Basically, some of us, like me, are idiots regarding certain technical things, we aren’t all created equal, unfortunately some designers don't take this into account, that’s why I like American stuff, they know how to "idiot proof" things. What they remember is that idiots, are also "customers" too.
My particular affliction is a block regarding numbers, maths, a complicated page of software does the same, puts my brain into melt down, a mental panic that I find paralysing.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16939 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by The Elf »

There was a saying oft quoted in IT circles: "Design it for idiots and only an idiot will want to use it."
User avatar
The Elf
Forum Aficionado
Posts: 20280 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Luke W »

I've recently moved over to RME, and I've found TotalMix to be pretty logical. Anything that comprehensive will always have a bit of a learning curve, but it could certainly be a lot worse. I've not spent too much time with it, but I've simply hidden the various bits I don't want or need and labelled everything to match my I/O, that's made a big difference.
User avatar
Luke W
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1585 Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:00 am Location: Northamptonshire, UK

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Arpangel wrote: Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:33 am...we aren’t all created equal, unfortunately some designers don't take this into account...

Why should they? Making something genuinely idiot proof inherently also simplifies it, reducing it's versatility and capability. I get why some designers and manufacturers aren't prepared to do that.

They're aiming products at people who appreciate the design capabilities.

If you don't, find something simpler and be happy with that — but don't criticise a product you simply don't understand or can't be bothered to invest effort in understanding.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 39602 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Matt Houghton »

The Elf wrote: Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:37 am There was a saying oft quoted in IT circles: "Design it for idiots and only an idiot will want to use it."

It's probably a bigger market!

Seriously, though, idiots and braniacs can both be served by the asme product. I must admit, I preferred the older version of Totalmix, before the DSP FX came along and necessarily made the interface busier. But the whole point about it is that a 'friendly' view is possible, and so too is lots of logically laid out info in one screen...
Matt Houghton
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1328 Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:00 am
SOS Reviews Editor

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by OneWorld »

German software impenetrable???

I have one word to say - Cubase

There must be a reason Cubase became to go to DAW for many people

If anyone needs a coder to produce instantly accessible software, I'd suggest go see the coders at TikTok, it's almost become addictive, no wonder the USA wants the forced sale of TikTok, so FaceBook can buy it and get at those algorithms they can't figure out - You heard it here first :-)
OneWorld
Frequent Poster
Posts: 4598 Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by jaminem »

Rubycon-Stratosphere wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 9:45 pm

If you take the Fireface UFX+…to be honest, who needs that much I/O‘s?


I do, i've expanded it with a 32 channel Ferrofish as well - lots of hardware fx and instruments over here...
AND I use a patchbay....
jaminem
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1457 Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2001 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Martin Walker »

Luke W wrote: Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:41 am I've recently moved over to RME, and I've found TotalMix to be pretty logical. I've not spent too much time with it, but I've simply hidden the various bits I don't want or need and labelled everything to match my I/O, that's made a big difference.

Same here - once the input and output names reflect your real-world hardware, TotalMix becomes a lot clearer.
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 20731 Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:44 am Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Arpangel »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:48 am If you don't, find something simpler and be happy with that — but don't criticise a product you simply don't understand or can't be bothered to invest effort in understanding.

Maybe I should stop beating about the bush and just say I don’t like the sound of it.

:)
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16939 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Mike Stranks »

Can we stop now, please?

Everything that could possibly be said has been said - some of it several times.
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10522 Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Arpangel »

Mike Stranks wrote: Wed Mar 22, 2023 10:12 am Can we stop now, please?

Everything that could possibly be said has been said - some of it several times.

I’ve said what I’ve said, yes, let’s stop.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16939 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by rggillespie »

:headbang: Well its back to square one for me! Andertons now have the RME UCXii in stock and I was very happy to get it today. I'm sure it's a professionals piece of kit but its a bridge too far if you don't know your spdif from your adat from your DSP. Four hours after unboxing I'm yet to get a sound out of it. It ships without a manual now, and as someone who likes to have the info in front of me to go through that's a negative. There's not even a quick start guide to help you along, for the expense that's poor. I eventually managed to get total mix to appear but its looks different to my old fireface 400 one and I felt there was another learning curve there. May be they have totalmix templates ready for new users to get them started? I couldn't find them if they do. Their graphics look dingy and old as the hills, personally not very inspiring. RME have some videos to get you started but as I had no sound that wasn't best pleasing. The display on the unit itself is busy and postage stamp tiny meaning you have to be close to read it. I know rme is loved universally here for its drivers and reliability, but I've found you need to have a fair level of expertise to get it working. I've accepted defeat, it will go back and I will now look for a two channel interface that's user friendly. Back to the drawing board it seems............
To their credit my old fireface 400 worked straightaway on being re-connected, what a relief that was!
rggillespie
Regular
Posts: 199 Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:24 am

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Sorry to hear of your woes.

I've just reviewed the new RME Digiface AES. It came with a thick user booklet in English and German, as have all the other RME interfaces cos I've reviewed or bought over the years. So I'm surprised the UCX II didn't have one.

I downloaded and installed the DF-AES drivers, rebooted the computer, and it all worked as expected. TotalMix FX looked and worked as I expected. Audio went in and out of the DAW with no problems once I'd selected the appropriate I/O channels, and configured the clocking. The unit's display screen presents a lot of info, but it's fine once you know what's where.

The UCX II is getting quite long in the tooth now and I imagine an updated model will be along soon...
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 39602 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Mike Stranks »

I have zero interest in this kit and will never be buying one.

Out of interest, I just put the product name into a well-known search engine, and the first thing that came up was RME's own page header about the product. On that page, I clicked 'Downloads' and found what appears to be a detailed User Manual for both Windows and Mac installs...
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10522 Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Yes, all of RME's manuals are available and easy to find online, but I think rggilespie was upset that a hard copy wasn't in the box — something that I find very odd as every RME product I've seen has included comprehensive paper manuals.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 39602 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by resistorman »

I'm at the point where I don't care what interface anyone buys and will not be offering any recommendations :yawn: Unless maybe it's for some special use case where I have direct experience that will help solve a specific problem :D
User avatar
resistorman
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2743 Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:00 am Location: Asheville NC
"The Best" piece of gear is subjective.

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Arpangel »

I have this perverse dream sometimes, that if Woolworths were still trading, would they have a "Winfield Interface" on the market, but I guess Behringer have fulfilled that role.

:D
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16939 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Wonks »

Arpangel wrote: Wed Apr 05, 2023 10:18 pm I have this perverse dream sometimes, that if Woolworths were still trading, would they have a "Winfield Interface" on the market, but I guess Behringer have fulfilled that role.

:D

Obviously a Pick'N'Mix selection, so you point out the number and type of inputs and outputs you want to the assistant. They then scoop them up into a paper bag for you, weigh it, and ring the price up on the till.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 17233 Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am Location: Reading, UK
Reliably fallible.

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Matt Houghton »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Tue Apr 04, 2023 9:12 pmIt came with a thick user booklet in English and German, as have all the other RME interfaces cos I've reviewed or bought over the years.

Yeah, that's been my experience of several different interfaces and preamps over the years too.
Matt Houghton
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1328 Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:00 am
SOS Reviews Editor

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by rggillespie »

I think perhaps its changed or is now changing, my UCXii came with a postcard saying there is an online manual and drivers available from their site. No printed manual or cd with drivers, its good practice from an environmental point of view perhaps that's their reasoning?
rggillespie
Regular
Posts: 199 Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:24 am

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Hmmm. I share your disappointment about the lack of paper manual. I shall enquire to see if its a new policy or something specific to some models.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 39602 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by Luke W »

I'm trying to remember if my MADIface came with a manual... I think it may have just been a card with a link to the PDF. I have to say, although I like a good manual more than most, I think the argument for saving paper is a good one (if that is the case).

As for a CD with drivers, it's been about a decade since I owned a machine with a disc drive, so I do understand why that's less common these days!
User avatar
Luke W
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1585 Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:00 am Location: Northamptonshire, UK

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by The Elf »

IIRC my MADIFace didn't come with paper manuals. But then I just plugged it in and it worked - nothing to figure out beyond a spot of routing allocations. Having previously had a FireFace 800 it was all familiar stuff.
User avatar
The Elf
Forum Aficionado
Posts: 20280 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Alternatives to RME?

Post by resistorman »

Sending back an AI because it doesn't have a paper manual? :beamup:
User avatar
resistorman
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2743 Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:00 am Location: Asheville NC
"The Best" piece of gear is subjective.
Post Reply