RME Babyface on Linux

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RME Babyface on Linux

Brent Busby
Has anyone any experiences or comments on the RME Babyface interface on
Linux, in particular, can I use hdspmixer to control the monitor mix as
I currently am able to with my Multiface II?  I am thinking of getting
one soon (in the next few days), so I'll have a second interface to take
with me for laptop/offsite recording.

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Re: RME Babyface on Linux

Ralf Mardorf
On Tue, 01 Aug 2017 13:45:43 -0500, Brent Busby wrote:
>Has anyone any experiences or comments on the RME Babyface interface on
>Linux, in particular, can I use hdspmixer to control the monitor mix as
>I currently am able to with my Multiface II?  I am thinking of getting
>one soon (in the next few days), so I'll have a second interface to
>take with me for laptop/offsite recording.

Hi,

I don't own the Babyface, but I'm quite sure it works as a class
compliant device only, so hdspmixer is not available. This isn't
guessing, a while back I bought an USB audio device compatible with iOS
and Linux and the Babyface was one of the interesting devices.

This info was "Last modified: 2014/09/17":
https://wiki.linuxaudio.org/hw/rme_babyface#totalmix_fx_and_dsp

However, my researches are from December 2017.

Regards,
Ralf
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Re: RME Babyface on Linux

Brent Busby
Ralf Mardorf <[hidden email]> writes:

> I don't own the Babyface, but I'm quite sure it works as a class
> compliant device only, so hdspmixer is not available. This isn't
> guessing, a while back I bought an USB audio device compatible with iOS
> and Linux and the Babyface was one of the interesting devices.
>
> This info was "Last modified: 2014/09/17":
> https://wiki.linuxaudio.org/hw/rme_babyface#totalmix_fx_and_dsp
>
> However, my researches are from December 2017.

I just did more checking and realized the one I was looking at was the
Babyface Pro, which has at the least, two more analog inputs than the
regular version described here.  (Didn't notice before there were two
revisions.)  I doubt the situation with mixer support is much different
on the Pro though.


Here is what I'd like to have in an interface:

+ hardware monitoring, preferably with a Linux mixer to control it

+ converter quality comparable to RME Hammerfall, or close

+ 96kHz, not because I think I need it for sound, but because all
   my existing projects are recorded at that rate and I need to be
   able to open them

+ USB connection

+ at least four analog inputs and outputs

+ stable on Linux


Am I asking too much?  :)

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Re: RME Babyface on Linux

Fons Adriaensen-3
In reply to this post by Brent Busby
On Tue, Aug 01, 2017 at 01:45:43PM -0500, Brent Busby wrote:

> Has anyone any experiences or comments on the RME Babyface interface on
> Linux, in particular, can I use hdspmixer to control the monitor mix as
> I currently am able to with my Multiface II?  I am thinking of getting
> one soon (in the next few days), so I'll have a second interface to take
> with me for laptop/offsite recording.

I have a Babyface Pro, and I'm quite satisfied with it.

With Linux it works in class-compliant mode. You have all the
12 inputs and outputs (4 analog + 1 ADAT), but no hdspmixer.

Most things (sample rate, input and output gains, phantom
power), can be controlled from the unit itself. This includes
mixing, but limited to the 4 analog I/O and the first two
ADAT channels. Also no panning, only L,C,R.

Audio quality is perfect. Just one thing to be aware of:
the first two analog outputs are REALLY balanced, i.e. you
get two antiphase signals on pins 2 and 3 of the XLR.
Which means that to connect to an unbalanced input you
need a  non-standard cable, leaving pin 3 unconnected.

And strangely enough, analog inputs 3 and 4 (on TRS) are
*not* balanced.

Ciao,

--
FA

A world of exhaustive, reliable metadata would be an utopia.
It's also a pipe-dream, founded on self-delusion, nerd hubris
and hysterically inflated market opportunities. (Cory Doctorow)

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Re: RME Babyface on Linux

Brent Busby
Fons Adriaensen <[hidden email]> writes:

> I have a Babyface Pro, and I'm quite satisfied with it.
>
> With Linux it works in class-compliant mode. You have all the
> 12 inputs and outputs (4 analog + 1 ADAT), but no hdspmixer.
>
> Most things (sample rate, input and output gains, phantom
> power), can be controlled from the unit itself. This includes
> mixing, but limited to the 4 analog I/O and the first two
> ADAT channels. Also no panning, only L,C,R.
>
> Audio quality is perfect. Just one thing to be aware of:
> the first two analog outputs are REALLY balanced, i.e. you
> get two antiphase signals on pins 2 and 3 of the XLR.
> Which means that to connect to an unbalanced input you
> need a  non-standard cable, leaving pin 3 unconnected.
>
> And strangely enough, analog inputs 3 and 4 (on TRS) are
> *not* balanced.

Thanks very much for the information.  I think I'd like to go ahead and
get a Babyface Pro then, because I'm used to RME quality.  Does
controlling your headphone/monitor mix from the hardware ever cause you
any difficulty in real usage?

--
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                + With the rise of social networking
--  Studio   -- + sites, computers are making people
--  Amadeus  -- + easier to use every day.
----------------+ ===============================================
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Re: RME Babyface on Linux

Roger E
In reply to this post by Ralf Mardorf
On 02/08/17 05:53, Ralf Mardorf wrote:
...
> However, my researches are from December 2017.
Did you do that from your TARDIS? :D
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Re: RME Babyface on Linux

Ralf Mardorf
On 02 Aug 2017, at 01:45, Roger <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On 02/08/17 05:53, Ralf Mardorf wrote:
>> ...
>> However, my researches are from December 2017.
> Did you do that from your TARDIS? :D

:D

No, actually we are living in 2018, I just asked the Doctor to sent the email for me. Seemingly the Doctor made a mistake and sent the email last year, so you received this mail in the past.

I need to take a look at the mailing list archive, to ensure, that this mail is in the 2017 archive, too and not in the 2018 archive. Good, it is. Btw. you posted a link to a song from you, made in December 2017. Very good, but most of us, including the Doctor, would mix the drums a little bit louder.

Regards,
Ralf



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Re: RME Babyface on Linux

Fons Adriaensen-3
In reply to this post by Brent Busby
On Tue, Aug 01, 2017 at 03:57:44PM -0500, Brent Busby wrote:

> Thanks very much for the information.  I think I'd like to go ahead and
> get a Babyface Pro then, because I'm used to RME quality.  Does
> controlling your headphone/monitor mix from the hardware ever cause you
> any difficulty in real usage?

I only ever used it to share two mic signals with another sound
engineer during a live recording. And that's why what I wrote is
not entirely correct.

You can control monitoring of the 4 analog inputs and the
first two ADAT inputs to the 4 analog outputs and the first
two ADAT outputs.

BUT THERE IS NO PANNING AT ALL. Odd numbered inputs can go
to odd numbered outputs only, same for even numbered.
No problem in my use case, actually just what I needed,
so I didn't notice then.

I got confused by reading the manual, which says:

  "Use SELECT to choose between left, right or both channels."

which I interpreted as L,C,R. Actually this selects which
of a pair of *inputs* are controlled.

But if you want pure quality, it's a great interface.

Ciao,

--
FA

A world of exhaustive, reliable metadata would be an utopia.
It's also a pipe-dream, founded on self-delusion, nerd hubris
and hysterically inflated market opportunities. (Cory Doctorow)

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Re: RME Babyface on Linux

Brent Busby
Fons Adriaensen <[hidden email]> writes:

> I only ever used it to share two mic signals with another sound
> engineer during a live recording. And that's why what I wrote is
> not entirely correct.
>
> You can control monitoring of the 4 analog inputs and the
> first two ADAT inputs to the 4 analog outputs and the first
> two ADAT outputs.
>
> BUT THERE IS NO PANNING AT ALL. Odd numbered inputs can go
> to odd numbered outputs only, same for even numbered.
> No problem in my use case, actually just what I needed,
> so I didn't notice then.
>
> I got confused by reading the manual, which says:
>
>   "Use SELECT to choose between left, right or both channels."
>
> which I interpreted as L,C,R. Actually this selects which
> of a pair of *inputs* are controlled.
>
> But if you want pure quality, it's a great interface.

No I mostly would like to be able to setup a headphone mix for
monitoring while tracking, and have some control over the relative
volume of already recorded tracks versus the inputs.

--
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                + With the rise of social networking
--  Studio   -- + sites, computers are making people
--  Amadeus  -- + easier to use every day.
----------------+ ===============================================
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Re: RME Babyface on Linux

Anders Hellquist
A bit off topic but..

The MOTU AVB series interfaces are ultra flexible and contains an embedded 48ch mixer with eq, compressor, gate, reverb and busses fully customizable and you can control everything from any web browser on the same network. Expandable via adat and/or more devices on the same AVB network. Fully class compliant and works pretty well with Linux. You can even let the musicians control their own monitor mixes via the aux-mix view.

The MOTU device can be used as "Soundcard" "Standalone mixer" "Studio extension" Stage box with or without monitor mixin" but that is only presets that you can change to suit your needs and things can saved as new presets

I also have a Fireface 800 and the MOTU device seems to be on par sound wise.

I don't work for MOTU but I like my MOTU cards a lot.

Anders

tors 3 aug. 2017 kl. 04:32 skrev Brent Busby <[hidden email]>:
Fons Adriaensen <[hidden email]> writes:

> I only ever used it to share two mic signals with another sound
> engineer during a live recording. And that's why what I wrote is
> not entirely correct.
>
> You can control monitoring of the 4 analog inputs and the
> first two ADAT inputs to the 4 analog outputs and the first
> two ADAT outputs.
>
> BUT THERE IS NO PANNING AT ALL. Odd numbered inputs can go
> to odd numbered outputs only, same for even numbered.
> No problem in my use case, actually just what I needed,
> so I didn't notice then.
>
> I got confused by reading the manual, which says:
>
>   "Use SELECT to choose between left, right or both channels."
>
> which I interpreted as L,C,R. Actually this selects which
> of a pair of *inputs* are controlled.
>
> But if you want pure quality, it's a great interface.

No I mostly would like to be able to setup a headphone mix for
monitoring while tracking, and have some control over the relative
volume of already recorded tracks versus the inputs.

--
- Brent Busby   + ===============================================
                +       With the rise of social networking
--  Studio   -- +       sites, computers are making people
--  Amadeus  -- +       easier to use every day.
----------------+ ===============================================
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Re: RME Babyface on Linux

Joel Roth-2
In reply to this post by Brent Busby
Brent Busby wrote:

> I mostly would like to be able to setup a headphone mix for
> monitoring while tracking, and have some control over the relative
> volume of already recorded tracks versus the inputs.
 
Hi Brent,

If your soundcard has sufficiency low latency, it may be
feasible to create your headphone submix in software rather
than hardware. Not sure about your preferred DAW, but for
example, Nama has a submix feature that provides per-track
faders (and any other desired effects) with a stereo output
separate from the main mix. The idea at the time was to
support in-ear monitors for musicians.

cheers

--
Joel Roth
 

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Re: RME Babyface on Linux

Ralf Mardorf
On Thu, 03 Aug 2017 09:00:33 +0000, Anders Hellquist wrote:
>A bit off topic but..
>
>The MOTU AVB series [snip] you can control everything from any web
>browser on the same network.

A mixing console could be used in combination with each audio interface
and without a browser and even without a keyboard or mouse. Maybe a
mixing console + an audio interface are too much gear for portable
usage, but some audio interfaces are small mixing consoles on
their own, resp. some mixing consoles have build in an USB audio
interface.

On Thu, 3 Aug 2017 01:33:07 -1000, Joel Roth wrote:
>If your soundcard has sufficiency low latency, it may be
>feasible to create your headphone submix in software rather
>than hardware.

Since the latency is caused by a chain of equipment, not caused by the
audio interface alone, I wouldn't count on it, at least not for offsite
recording.

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Re: RME Babyface on Linux

Anders Hellquist
The key point here is that the motu interface is class compliant and every setting is web based (if you need to change anything) you get the best of both world's. 100% usability and no need for that extra mixer to carry. I have lots of audio cards, FF800, Focusrite Saffire Pro 40, Pro 24 DSP, Presonus FP10 and various USB cards to name some of them and all of them works but on board DSP features are not possible to use unless on Windows or OSX.

The Motu AVB line is the first I have come across where everything is accessible from ANY os including onboard reverb, busses routing matrixes and so on. No monitor mix latencies since it is hardware. I was considering a smaller formfactor  RME for live performance but stumbled on two Ultralight AVB cards for the price of one and this is a game changer so I wanted you to get my point.

I use it mainly as a plain interface but if I need to record a vocalist. I just set up a mixer with a few channels and let the vocalist adjust the monitor mix without affecting my recording. Give him a small amount of reverb in the monitor mix (that he then can adjust for his liking) It is too easy not to check this out. If the vocalist has his/her own ipad, they get their named faders to adjust accordingly. The possibilities in this little card is close to what you get with a full blown mixing console like X32 or Presonus Studio live console. RME is great but this flexibility is not their strength at the moment IMHO.

/Anders

On Aug 3, 2017 14:08, "Ralf Mardorf" <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Thu, 03 Aug 2017 09:00:33 +0000, Anders Hellquist wrote:
>A bit off topic but..
>
>The MOTU AVB series [snip] you can control everything from any web
>browser on the same network.

A mixing console could be used in combination with each audio interface
and without a browser and even without a keyboard or mouse. Maybe a
mixing console + an audio interface are too much gear for portable
usage, but some audio interfaces are small mixing consoles on
their own, resp. some mixing consoles have build in an USB audio
interface.

On Thu, 3 Aug 2017 01:33:07 -1000, Joel Roth wrote:
>If your soundcard has sufficiency low latency, it may be
>feasible to create your headphone submix in software rather
>than hardware.

Since the latency is caused by a chain of equipment, not caused by the
audio interface alone, I wouldn't count on it, at least not for offsite
recording.

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Re: RME Babyface on Linux

Brent Busby
In reply to this post by Fons Adriaensen-3
Fons Adriaensen <[hidden email]> writes:

[...]
> Audio quality is perfect. Just one thing to be aware of:
> the first two analog outputs are REALLY balanced, i.e. you
> get two antiphase signals on pins 2 and 3 of the XLR.
> Which means that to connect to an unbalanced input you
> need a  non-standard cable, leaving pin 3 unconnected.
>
> And strangely enough, analog inputs 3 and 4 (on TRS) are
> *not* balanced.

Well, I did buy the Babyface Pro, and it looks like it's going to work
well.  I am wondering what to do about the balanced outputs you
mentioned though.

I want to connect one of the balanced XLR outputs to an unbalanced TS
input jack on an Ensoniq DP4 effects processor.  I'm almost sure that
any premade XLR-TS cable I buy will have the ground pin connected, since
that's usually considered good.

I currently already have a lot of XLR-TRS fully balanced cables with me
though.  If I simply disconnect the sleeve connection at the TRS end of
one of them, will that work?  What do I really have to do to connect
this output to a TS jack correctly?

--
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                + With the rise of social networking
--  Studio   -- + sites, computers are making people
--  Amadeus  -- + easier to use every day.
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Re: RME Babyface on Linux

Ralf Mardorf
On Mon, 07 Aug 2017 14:16:51 -0500, Brent Busby wrote:
>If I simply disconnect the sleeve connection at the TRS end of
>one of them, will that work?  What do I really have to do to connect
>this output to a TS jack correctly?

Connect + and sleeve, but don't connect -.

https://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0ahUKEwi-6Kep7cXVAhXRKFAKHQoQC8EQFgg1MAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sengpielaudio.com%2FGeraeteverbindungen.pdf&usg=AFQjCNEDJ22V183i57sxb-KM61hFmDXC2w

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d9/XLR-Belegung.png
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Re: RME Babyface on Linux

Ralf Mardorf
In reply to this post by Brent Busby
PS:
https://lists.linuxaudio.org/pipermail/linux-audio-user/2017-January/107159.html
https://lists.linuxaudio.org/pipermail/linux-audio-user/2017-January/107161.html

:)

Nowadays most of the times it doesn't make a difference, both does work,
with - connected or disconnected.
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Re: RME Babyface on Linux

Fons Adriaensen-3
In reply to this post by Brent Busby
On Mon, Aug 07, 2017 at 02:16:51PM -0500, Brent Busby wrote:

> I currently already have a lot of XLR-TRS fully balanced cables with me
> though.  If I simply disconnect the sleeve connection at the TRS end of
> one of them, will that work?  What do I really have to do to connect
> this output to a TS jack correctly?

On the TRS side, cut the wire connected to the *ring*
or on the XLR side, cut the wire on pin 3.

Ciao,

--
FA

A world of exhaustive, reliable metadata would be an utopia.
It's also a pipe-dream, founded on self-delusion, nerd hubris
and hysterically inflated market opportunities. (Cory Doctorow)

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