How to “mix in a bus” with RME’s Fireface UFX

How to “mix in a bus” with RME’s Fireface UFX

Client

Soundesign Ltd. provides broadcast sound for radio, TV, film and music productions. To service this market they have built the Mixbus, a location sound truck designed with only two guiding principles in mind; sound quality and reliability.

Naturally they have chosen a whole host of RME hardware. To date the list includes:

  • ADI-4 DD / ADI-642
  • Fireface UCX / Fireface UFX
  • HDSPe MADI FX
  • MADI Bridge
  • MADI Converter
  • MADI Router
  • MADIface USB / MADIface XT
  • Solution

Conrad Fletcher, founder of Soundesign Ltd. selected the RME Fireface UFX for his location sound truck, the Mixbus.  Amongst many other high-profile broadcast events, it was used during the first ever 4K live-to-cinema stream of War Horse from the National Theatre, London. The ­broadcast reached number 1 in the UK cinema charts.

“The Fireface UFX actually solves a number of monitoring problems for us very well indeed.

“We have a set of three Barefoot speakers at the front of the Mixbus and, due to space constraints, a set of PMC Wafers at the rear. The Wafers fit very nicely, but they sound different to the Barefoots and this is where the RME Fireface UFX comes in. We use the extremely high quality integrated EQ to make the rear speakers sound the way we want.

“When it comes to live-to-cinema streaming we can also make adjustments so that the speakers sound the way they should in the auditorium, level-wise and EQ-wise. Including simulating the result of a specific cinema alignment standard called X-Curve, which is normally a bit of a nightmare to get your head around.

“We can even give different mix engineers their own monitoring EQ preset. So if they think the speakers sound a little bit bright, they can load a preset and the monitoring is setup exactly how they want. Amazing!

“On top of all this, when mixing sound for a live-to-cinema event you are very conscious that the consumer’s listening environment is substantially different to a more traditional TV or radio broadcast.

“The audience are in a purpose built auditorium that is equipped to a very high standard and usually lined up to Dolby specifications. So they can hear absolutely everything, even a pin drop, unlike someone watching TV at home with a hoover in the background or -listening to radio in the car. This means we have to deliver a very high standard or face the prospect of thousands, or tens of -thousands of complaints.

“Aside from its proven reliability in mission critical environments, the sound quality of the RME equipment really hasn’t let us down. Over the years we’ve A/B’d the Fireface UFX against a lot of other -interfaces and it is still one of the best we’ve ever heard.”

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