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volume. In fact any of its keys can be user programmed to operate a huge selection of the software features. Te store and recall snapshot function inside TotalMix allows users through the ARC, to very quickly change between projects or system setups.

On the Road

One of the applications that most suits compact audio cards is location recording. So, for my test purposes I decided to use the 802 out on the road. Tis time it was a classical choir project in a location which sounded great for a medium-sized choir, but didn’t have any recording equipment installed. Terefore all monitoring headphones, microphones, and the recording system had to be taken in and rigged on the morning of the session. Te 802 was simply ideal. With an external preamp unit

connected via optical ADAT for additional microphone inputs, the 802 had everything covered and was easy to setup. Te TotalMix software

really is very easy to use and offered more functions than we could have ever needed on this session. It makes the whole unit simple and easy to use without any reference into a manual. It’s also helpful when tracking something as sensitive as a classical choir, to have all the controls and metering on one screen. Best of all, however, was the ability to quickly create two different headphone mixes. Utilising the two independent headphone outputs on the front of the unit meant we

didn’t need an additional headphone amp. As for the built-in

preamps, they are excellent. Clearly a development over its predecessor the Fireface 800, the preamps are extremely clean and hardly add any coloration, which was ideal for this classical project. Te gain structure was noticeably linear and easy to work with, unlike some other interfaces’ built-in preamps. For me, the biggest surprise was listening back to the audio in the studio afterwards. Te additional preamps on the ADAT connection I have used many times before and feel I know how they perform with the same microphones.

The Reviewer

Simon Allen is a freelance internationally recognised sound engineer and pro-audio professional with over a decade of experience. Working mostly in music, his reputation as a mix engineer continues to grow.

I’ve always been concerned about their A-D conversion yet with the RME there was a clear improvement. I can only assume that this was down to the SteadyClock inside the RME which I clocked from, and the jitter suppression technologies.


Tis is a brilliant product update with all the functionality we have come to expect from RME. Again the company has combined high-quality sound with the maximum specification

at a competitive price. Te 802 has found a gap of its own in an increasingly crowded market, and has done so in true RME colours. Onboard, low-latency DSP processing and the TotalMix FX controller app is an important development from RME, which has pushed the boundaries of what is possible from such a convenient unit. Te materials that encase all these inner workings might not be scratch-proof, but at this price, the industry needs the 802 and I’d be happy to use one again soon. n


Feature set • Provides 60 channels of audio: 30 input and 30 output channels

• Ultra-low latency operation with USB or FireWire • SteadyClock with jitter reduction • Optional Class Compliant mode and operation with TotalMix FX for iPad

• RRP: £1,439 (inc VAT)

August/September 2014 45

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