The team at RME are very pleased to announce their newly updated Babyface Pro FS audio interface with an improved specification whilst still using a USB2 connection to your Mac or PC.
The RME Babyface Pro FS
Four years ago RME released their compact USB audio interface, the RME Babyface Pro. This was an updated redesign of the original blue Babyface. The Babyface Pro provided professional users with a reliable and highly accurate mobile recording solution, all of which was bus-powerable via USB 2.0.
RME is once again showing its colours with a commitment to those of us who enjoy mobile recording with the new RME Babyface Pro FS which is claimed to be a high-performance successor with improvements across the board, taking the Babyface name to new audio heights.
Technical specifications have been pushed even further in the new Babyface Pro FS with the addition of SteadyClock FS, which is the same clocking technology found on RME’s ADI-2 Series of AD/DA converters.
Rock-solid and accurate clocking is an essential part of digital audio, with digital audio signals reliant on the clocking frequency for the correct representation of audio bits and sample time reference.
The new SteadyClock FS (from where the Babyface Pro FS takes its name) allows for astonishingly high-quality AD and DA conversion, optimising both recording and playback quality, and designed to replicate the soundstage to the fullest depth and clarity. With RME’s efficient jitter-suppression and filtering technology, self-jitter has been reduced all the way down to the range of femtoseconds, hence the name SteadyClock ‘FS’.
Features And I/O
The RME Babyface Pro FS offers pretty much everything you are going to need for recording and mixing with a mobile rig. The two parallel headphone outputs on 3.5 mm and 6.3 mm jacks feature the same high power output op-amps found on the RME ADI-2 Pro FS. The two digitally-controlled microphone preamps give you an incredibly clean signal, even when working with low output microphones.
Like the original Babyface Pro, both mic preamps can be used simultaneously with 48v even when the unit is being bus-powered over USB2.
You also get 2 x Instrument/Line inputs for instrument recording; 1 x MIDI I/O via an included breakout cable; and optical ADAT I/O for expanding the channel count with up to 8 x additional I/O, when connected to an external AD/DA converter or microphone preamp.
The final new features of the Babyface Pro FS is a +19 / +4 dBu switch on the underside of the interface. This reduces the output level (and improves the signal to noise values) when using sensitive active monitors. Ever leave you recording kit set up in a venue overnight? Well if you do, you can now tie it down using the built-in Kensington lock port. It may not be a biggie but it does show attention to detail.
TotalMix FX And TotalMix Remote
Like all RME audio interfaces, Babyface Pro FS comes with a powerful FPGA-based digital mixer called TotalMix FX. which is controlled by the TotalMix software.
A free app called TotalMix Remote enables you to take remote control of your RME audio interface over any standard network. With TotalMix Remote installed on a Mac, Windows PC or iOS device, the RME Babyface Pro FS can be controlled directly from another computer on the same network, even over Wi-Fi.
Updates From The Babyface Pro
Full SteadyClock FS circuit as in the ADI-2 Pro FS for lowest jitter and highest jitter immunity.
3.5 mm TRS phones output power rises from 70 mW to 90 mW. THD of both phones outputs improved by up to 10 dB. Now uses same output op-amps as ADI-2 Pro. Output impedance of 3.5 mm TRS lowered from 2 Ohms to 0.1 Ohms.
Mic inputs SNR improved from 112.2 dB to 113.7 dB, TRS Line inputs SNR improved from 114 dB to 116.3 dB (120 dBA). THD Line inputs improved by 8 dB.
6 samples less latency on the AD side with the new ADC (5 samples AD, 7 samples DA. It won’t get quicker…).
New +19 / +4 dBu switch (on the bottom of the Babyface Pro FS) adds a way to reduce the output level, thus improving SNR for sensitive active monitors; avoiding distortion/overloads; and helping to keep TotalMix FX faders near 0 dB, instead of high attenuations.
All the above improvements were achieved without raising power consumption!
K-slot (Kensington Lock) for theft protection.
One of the biggest questions on the new Babyface Pro FS might be why RME have still insisted on a USB 2 connection protocol. You only have to do the math and work out that USB 2 is more than fast enough to deal with up to 24 channels of audio even at 192kHz so why limit the computers you can hook your new interface to, by going down the USB-C or Thunderbolt route? In our book, this is smart thinking but sadly it does not make for exciting reading.
I think it’s safe to say that if you already own a Babyface Pro you are not going to be rushing out to get your hands on the new Babyface Pro FS. Yes, we love tweaks and updates but the improvements are at best subtle.
However, if you are looking for a new portable audio interface that is going to work alongside pretty much any computer you can find these days and has a specification to make your eyes water the new RME Babyface Pro FS should defiantly be on your shortlist. Or maybe it should be your shortlist?
The new Babyface Pro FS is now available Pre-Order Now