Many of you will know of RME, the German company responsible for delivering the best quality and clarity in analogue to digital converters, and a range of audio interfaces. Sadly, I don’t get much from RME for road tests, as they’re not likely to release new devices just for the sake of it. Instead, they deliver products that stand the test of time. That’s why there was a little surprise when I found out that their long standing compact interface was being discontinued last year, with a new model set to replace it. It’s not like RME to take something and simply redress it to spur on new sales, so with the release of the Babyface Pro, we were all expecting some worthwhile changes. And that is exactly what RME has delivered.
THE NEW FACE
Let’s face it; the Babyface was still quite capable of standing its own ground against other competitors in the market. So, when RME announced this new version, there had to be some big things in store for their little box, and it starts right there, with the box. Machined form a solid block of aluminium, this thing is tough as nails and ready to see you through the next ten years of audio recording without a hitch. It wasn’t enough to just redesign the casing; they had to sort out new connections as well. With four analogue inputs and outputs now on the new Babyface Pro, the two main inputs and outputs are now supplied on XLR connections within the casing and not via a breakout cable. Naturally, RME had to take the German approach to this and have redesigned the XLR sockets themselves to better t into the compact housing, saving space and reducing the need for a breakout. MIDI, ADAT, USB, headphones and TRS connections are now all housed on the side of the casing and an updated top panel gives you more control over routing and monitoring than before.
UNDER THE HOOD
It’s not just a facelift with the Babyface Pro though. Obviously, the standout point beyond the build is that there is more I/O than before. It doesn’t stop there; for once we get our signal into the engine you get two digitally controlled preamps that feature a 76 dB gain range with an optional pad, allowing you to work with any and all microphones, no matter what level they output. The DSP chip that works with the TotalMix bridging software allows EQ to all inputs and outputs before getting to your DAW, along with reverb and delay effects too, because of the nature of this chip, it is easily ready for future upgrades to DSP programming, ensuring that the Babyface Pro stays a market leader as the competition develops. Seriously, I cannot say enough about this device. The original Babyface was and still is one amazing compact interface, but the new Babyface Pro has just reset the benchmark some years into the future.
Hits and Misses
Super tough machined aluminium case
Newly designed XLR connections
Class leading AD conversion
More ins and outs than before
Nothing. Absolutely nothing