Topic: I'm about to buy the Babyface

Hello, I have some newbie questions...

I have a Sony VAIO F13S0E laptop (Windows 7 x64, Intel Core i7, 6 GB RAM etc.) and would like to buy an external USB audio interface for some amateru/semi-professional recording & mixing. I was thinking bout Presonus Saffire USB and E-MU and M-Audio but a friend told me that Babyface it the ultimte in quality and that it wil work with smallest latency and no dropouts etc. It's also the most expensive one, so before I go and buy one I would like to ask some questions:

1. Is Babyface stable under Windows 7 x64, no dropots, distortion, big latency etc.? Can it be used as a default soundcard for my laptop too (to listen to music with WinAmp, watch movies, play games, watch youtube etc.)?

2. What is the difference with the blue and silver Babyface, only color or something else too? They are both made of aluminium, both have the same drivers and cables in the package etc.?

3. Can I use the headphone out to connect it to my speakers? Will the signal be loud enough? I will most of the time use the Babyface without the breakout cable with only my guitar connected to the TRS input and my speakers/headphones connected to headphone out. Some times I will also need one mic input of the breakout cable to record my guitar and vocals (separately and simoultaneously) - that is all possible, right?

4. Are there any know conflicts with the Babyface and other hardware/software? I could buy a cheaper USB audio interface for my recording needs but am going for the Babyface because of its quality of sound, stability, no problems etc. Am I doing a right decision, is it worth it?

Thank you! smile

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

but a friend told me that Babyface it the ultimte in quality and that it wil work with smallest latency and no dropouts etc.

Your friend is right (IMHO).

1. Is Babyface stable under Windows 7 x64, no dropots, distortion, big latency etc.? Can it be used as a default soundcard for my laptop too (to listen to music with WinAmp, watch movies, play games, watch youtube etc.)?

Yes. Dropouts and big latency depend on your system - which looks good on paper. But you should test your notebook with DPC Latency Checker to see if it has potential problems for low latency operation. We´ve seen some notebooks which never allow a stable low latency operation.

2. What is the difference with the blue and silver Babyface, only color or something else too? They are both made of aluminium, both have the same drivers and cables in the package etc.?

Sure. There is no difference besides the color.

Can I use the headphone out to connect it to my speakers? Will the signal be loud enough?

The headphone output is unbalanced and has less power, but is a line level output with enough power to drive external monitors (8 dBu instead of 15 dBu on the line outs). But for usual speakers you need in any case active ones or a Hifi preamp. Note that you should not connect both headphone outputs at the same time (e.g. for monitors and headphones). This will lower the level.

Some times I will also need one mic input of the breakout cable to record my guitar and vocals (separately and simoultaneously) - that is all possible, right?

Sure, you can use all I/Os at the same time (10+12).

best regards
Knut

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

I run the DPC Latency checker and it rarely went over 500µs. So, can I use the Babyface as an ordinary sound card (for movies, games, web surfing etc.) too?

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

So, can I use the Babyface as an ordinary sound card (for movies, games, web surfing etc.) too?

Of course. These simple tasks do not need a high performance machine.

best regards
Knut

5 (edited by Elpy 2011-03-19 23:13:54)

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

Bellzemos wrote:

1. Is Babyface stable under Windows 7 x64, no dropots, distortion, big latency etc.? Can it be used as a default soundcard for my laptop too (to listen to music with WinAmp, watch movies, play games, watch youtube etc.)?

I just received my babyface today and tested it with both of my workstations (i7 920 4,2ghz and some i3 laptop). Working fine. I cant hear any latency or distortion. And it works just fine for all uses (games, movies, music and so on...)

Bellzemos wrote:

3. Can I use the headphone out to connect it to my speakers? Will the signal be loud enough? I will most of the time use the Babyface without the breakout cable with only my guitar connected to the TRS input and my speakers/headphones connected to headphone out. Some times I will also need one mic input of the breakout cable to record my guitar and vocals (separately and simoultaneously) - that is all possible, right?)

I tried the headphone TRS quickly with my old logitech speakers and it worked just fine. But if you want to use both headphones and speakers, you might as well put the speakers to the analog out? Just use a XLR-TRS adapter or cable. That way you could also control the volume for them separately.

Bellzemos wrote:

I could buy a cheaper USB audio interface for my recording needs but am going for the Babyface because of its quality of sound, stability, no problems etc. Am I doing a right decision, is it worth it?

I was originally going to get a cheaper USB audio interface but in many places read comments of cheaper products that there was always something that wasnt quite right with sound quality or something else (according to random people). I dont really need a audio interface currently for much recording but mainly wanted to get one for portability and because of my MIDI keyboard... So it's mainly used for just listening. So anyway in the end I decided to get the babyface since I just heard good comments about its sound quality and RME in general. Might be pretty expensive for a normal user but since I've got really good speakers (Genelecs).. Might as well get a sound card that does justice to them. :-)

And it looks nice sitting on my desk wink

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

OK, I'm quite shure I'll buy it very soon. I've read and seen youtube vidos about a faulty dial knob. Is this very probable to be damaged when I get the new Babyface? Is there any info if that occured more often with the silver or with the blue version?

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

One thing to bear in mind is that imho you will need an additional headphone amp as the built-in one is too weak to satisfactorily power most headphones.

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

Gr8h8m wrote:

One thing to bear in mind is that imho you will need an additional headphone amp as the built-in one is too weak to satisfactorily power most headphones.

Not very true, headphones like Beyerdynamics dt 250 work very well....

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

Is this very probable to be damaged when I get the new Babyface? Is there any info if that occured more often with the silver or with the blue version?

No and no.

best regards
Knut

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

arctic wrote:
Gr8h8m wrote:

One thing to bear in mind is that imho you will need an additional headphone amp as the built-in one is too weak to satisfactorily power most headphones.

Not very true, headphones like Beyerdynamics dt 250 work very well....

I have here Sennheisers HD650, HD25 1 II and IE8, Grado SR325, Sony MDR7506, Beyer DT100 and others, and I'm not happy with the results of using any of them. It is different if you are listening to already mastered commercial music, but for critical studio work I'm constantly finding myself wanting to wind the level up beyond what the BF is capable of. I want to have headroom in a headphone amp. Using the FF800 this has never been an issue for me, nor even with the lowly output of a Macbook Pro - but its the one thing I find a real drawback with the BF.

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

Try cleaning out some ear wax? rotfl

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

boom boom!

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

High impedance headphones like the 300 Ohm Sennheisers could need an external amp. Low impedance headphones (e. g. Ultrasone Edition 8 = 30 Ohm) work great. This is a necessary compromise of the all-features-possible-bus-powered design of the Babyface.

best regards
Knut
R.I.P.

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

I have a cheaper Sony MDR-XD200 headphones (70 Ohms impendance), will they be fine for Babyface? And by the way, I'm 100% buying the Babyface because Scott from ADK Pro Audio recommended it to me too. I found a dealer in my country and the price is 548 EURO (with one year warranty). I also have an option to order Babyface from Germany (same price + 25 EURO for shipping) with a three year warranty. Do you think that a three year warranty is needed? I'd rather buy it in my country (less complicated + no shipping costs). What do you think? Thanx.

15 (edited by arctic 2011-03-22 09:33:44)

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

I've got 80 ? Headphones and they're fine. :-)
Also I would not buy from a famous German internet store.

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

Thank you for your advice, I got your PM too. I'll buy it at our audio store. Can't wait to get it! I'll write here after I get and test it, it will be a couple of days... Can't wait! smile

17

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

I am sooooo happy with my babyface....

more and more...

smile

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

Another question before buying (I've already ordered it tho, I'll have it in the first week of april - I ordered the blue version:-)): since the Babyface has no on/off switch, how do I turn it off? Do I have to do something in Windows like before you plug out an USB flash unit? Or do I just pull out the USB cable - is that safe?

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

You can use the "Safely remove hardware" feature, or you can just disconnect it...


Regards
Daniel Fuchs
RME

20

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

or just leave it attached and turn the pc off (if you are on pc) wink

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

ggc wrote:

or just leave it attached and turn the pc off (if you are on pc) wink

That's a man's way of doing it. I never unplug it. rotfl

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

Tomorrow is the day! I will buy RME Babyface tomorrow, it's already waiting for me in an audio shop here in Slovenia. So today I'll ask you some questions: how do I properly disable the Realtek driver (integrated audiocard) in my VAIO laptop? I don't have such option in BIOS, so I guess I'll have to do it in Windows 7. And how do I set Babyface then so that it will work properly? Are there any things that I should be aware of, be careful with? I intend to use Babyface all the time (not just for recording/mixing but also for listening to music, watching movies, playing games, surfing web etc.), how do I set it for all that? Thank you! smile

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

how do I properly disable the Realtek driver (integrated audiocard) in my VAIO laptop? I don't have such option in BIOS, so I guess I'll have to do it in Windows 7.

With the Windows device manager you can disable the driver for any installed hardware.

And how do I set Babyface then so that it will work properly?

A Quickstart guide is included (Babycare for Beginners) with all important information on three pages.

... how do I set it for all that?

If the Babyface's main output is the standard audio device everything will be played on this hardware out. If you are using the headphone out instead or besides the out 1/2 don´t forget to create a routing/headphone mix in TotalMix: click the channel Phones output 3/4 (gets brighter) and set the level of your inputs and software outputs to the desired values (e.g. 0 dB).

best regards
Knut

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

I bought it today! smile Unfortunately I have no time to set and try it today, maybe tomorrow, but for the weekend for sure. I managed to put the unit, manual, driver CD, USB cable and the breakout cable into the Babybag. There's no place for the extension cable but that's OK. So far I love the looks, the metal feel etc. All is nicely done, can't wait to try it ASAP.

I have some more questions too: is disabling a Realtek driver in the device manager enough? Can I later buy another extension cable (if I damage this one - and how much does it cost)?

Thanx for now! smile

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

I FINALLY have some proper time to set up and test the Babyface. Should I first install the driver from the CD and then update it or download the new one straight from your website and install it + firmware?

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

Just get the newest files from the website, no need for the CD.

Regards,
Jeff Petersen
Synthax Inc.

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

I have another question. I have a very small table, so I would like to use Babyface only for recording. Which is the quickest way to disable the integrated soundcard and enable Babyface (and vice versa)?

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

Plug out the USB cable?

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

I pluged in the Babyface, updated (installed) the latest driver, updated the firmware, pluged my speakers into Babyface's headphone out and set the PH 3/4 to 0 dB in TotalMix. It sounds great!

Here's how my device manager and sound settings look in Windows 7. I have left the Realtek's driver enabled. Should I disable it before trying to record something? Do I have to disable the nVidia drivers as well?
http://www.shrani.si/f/1j/iQ/42P31fcU/rme.jpg

How low can I set the buffer size? Now it's on 1024. Is there anything I shouldn't do or try? I'm afraid to damage my PC or the Babyface so please tell me.

Thank you!

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

Should I disable it before trying to record something? Do I have to disable the nVidia drivers as well?

I think you don´t need to disable the onboard sound. Choose the Babyface as sound device in your recording software. This is a good fallback option for system sounds when the Babyface is not plugged to the host.

How low can I set the buffer size? Now it's on 1024. Is there anything I shouldn't do or try?

The Babyface buffer can be much lower. 256, 128 or even 64 samples. If you get crackles and dropouts set it higher.

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

OK, I'll go and play around a little bit with it. I hope I won't screw up something. Thank you! smile

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

How do I get the sound on if I connect my guitar to the instrument input of Babyface (the one besides the headphone out - not the one on the extension cable)? When I connect my guitar the "In" on Babyface is blinking (ready) and I get no sound. Is it something that I have to do in TotalMix? Please help.

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

Press the "Inst" button in the settings of channel 2. The input switches from the cable to the one on the Babyface.

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

Thank you, that was it! The left lights on the Babyface were still blinking tough, is that normal?

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

Bellzemos wrote:

Thank you, that was it! The left lights on the Babyface were still blinking tough, is that normal?

Lights blinking! Good god! TAKE COVER!!!
rotfl

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

Ehehe tongue I have set the latency 96 Samples and it seems OK. What does that "errors" mean it the Fireface USB settings? Should I set the priority for the background processes in Windows 7 or is that unnecessary for the Babyface?

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

Thank you, that was it! The left lights on the Babyface were still blinking tough, is that normal?

Yes. It says you can set the gain for the left channel. Press the big Baby butt to blink with the right channel.

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

Hi again!

When I record my guitar it's ok, but when I select mic (instead of instrument in TotalMix) and add some gain (over 30) I get a humming noise (don't know where from, maybe from my laptop?) - how do I get rid of that noise?

When I connect my keyboard via MIDI cable to Babyface it starts playing as soon as I open my DAW. Even if there are no tracks armed. How can I take more control over it (so that it would be heard only when I want it to be)?

What does it mean if when I record something I hear booming sound from time to time - but it doesn't get recorded! Probably a problem with my speakers, what do you think?

Thank you!

Re: I'm about to buy the Babyface

arctic wrote:
ggc wrote:

or just leave it attached and turn the pc off (if you are on pc) wink

That's a man's way of doing it. I never unplug it. rotfl

Turning the PC off won't turn my babyface off. At least I get all the lights. ?