The MADIfaceXT is the world’s first USB3 audio interface, and the smallest portable interface that provides access to hundreds of audio channels. For those not familiar with the term MADI, MADI stands for Multichannel Audio Digital Interface and is an Audio Engineering Society (AES) standard electronic communications protocol that defines the data format and electrical characteristics of an interface that carries multiple channels of digital audio. A flexible and advanced interface, its can also be used with USB 2.0, connect to External PCI Express cards and can adapt to Thunderbolt.

The MADIface is capable of transferring digital audio data directly into a computer from any device equipped with a MADI interface. On the front panel, there are two stereo analog mic/line preamps with 48V phantom power and a stereo headphone output. There’s a display screen on the front of the interface that shows the current state of the interface mode, and and the states of digital input. The MADIface can process sample rates from 32 kHz up to 192 kHz and comes equipped with RME’s detailed D/A and A/D converters.

RME MADIface XT (back)

RME MADIface XT (back)

On the rear panel are all the outputs you’ll ever need, including: two analog XLR outputs, word clock I/O, standard coaxial MADI ports, 2 x standard optical MADI ports, a connector for the optional remote control, MIDI I/O and AES/EBU I/O, USB 3.0, PCI Express and a socket for power connection. The MADIface really does have it all, at least when it comes to options for connectivity.

The MADIface also includes a powerful digital real-time mixer, based on RME’s unique sample rate total mix technology. This digital mixer allows for creative mixing and routing options to any hardware outputs. The MADIface is a powerful interface that’s portable and well suited for producers who may be interested in upgrading to MADI in the years to come.

Reason Why I Use A Compressor

It makes the subtleties of the performance come out. They will be able to hear all the minute articulation and expressions. Pitch will get better and they will be able to hear themselves clearer.

They may want a fair amount of reverb and it’s fine. Reverb creates space and this space to a vocalist is like a warm blanket in the winter. Be ok with it. If it turns out to be too much and they’re pitch is wavering then you can knock it down a bit. Don’t be the reverb police.

Delay is another good plugin to have on the bus ready to go. Sometimes a Slapback can inspire. Or even a long delay.

Tips for Naming Pro Tools Sessions

When working on a project, organization is going to be more important then you can ever imagine. It’s possible that in the life span of a project, it may end up being transferred several times.

For example: on the new Fife & Drom record Introducing Fife & Drom we did a fair amount of mobile recording.

I could have just kept the sessions on the master drive, but carting bulky hard drives around NYC can be a pain. So, I opted for a small portable USB drive. Which meant I would be creating copies of the sessions in several directions:

From my hard drive to the USB drive, from the USB drive to the mobile studio drive, from the mobile studio drive back to USB drive and lastly back onto my studio master drive.

Whew, that’s a lot of steps! If you’re not careful about naming the sessions you can find yourself looking at four versions of the same looking file.

Because of this potential for chaos. it’s great to have a labeling sstem. Not just any system either,  a STRICT system!

If you’re too lax, you’ll find yourself making edits on the wrong file.This can be very frustrating and detract from the creativity that should be present in a session. It can also be a real time-suck. There is nothing fun about frantically sifting through eight versions of a song to find the proper drum edit. Pressure is on when the clock is running and the client is paying by the hour.

Do The Evolution

There may be a time that you can’t remember which file has progressed further. Proper labeling will prevent that. In the file name you will not only see the location the files were moved to, but the progress.  When we took the drive over to Gene’s to track strings, we copied my USB file onto his system. We immediately opened the session and saved as:

Please Please Please_gene_04

Again, notice the location AND version number change. After Gene put down a bed of lovely strings for us, we copied the session to our drive and labeled it:

Please Please Please_USB_05


Obsessive Mindsystem

Yeah it may seem like overkill, but if you follow these steps you won’t be left scratching your head searching for a session.

Type A

When copying back and forth, I have a destination folder on each drive. Name the folder something obvious.

On my master (home) drive I have a folder labeled “Home Sessions.” On my USB drive, I have a folder named “USB Sessions.”

Jumping Ship

Proper labeling also comes in handy when switching between different DAWs.  I use Pro Tools, Logic and Ableton. Different tools for different jobs. It can get messy, though.