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RME Fireface UFX+ becomes centrepiece of Crooked Media’s LA studios

Crooked Media is an LA-based podcasting studio

Kyle Seglin. Photo by Narineh Melkonian.

Since becoming Crooked Media’s studio manager a year ago, audio engineer Kyle Seglin decided the studios’ audio equipment needed an upgrade.

Seglin selected RME’s Fireface UFX+ and it now serves as the “centrepiece” of the studios through which all of the company’s podcasts are recorded.

Since its founding in 2016, Crooked Media has experienced especially rapid growth in the booming podcasting industry. Starting with its flagship podcast, Pod Save America, the media production company has since developed a variety of hit podcasts, including Lovett or Leave It, Pod Save the World, Keep It, The Wilderness and the new daily podcast What A Day.

Seglin liked the idea of RME’s Fireface UFX+ because it can be used in combination with RME’s TotalMix FX software, which makes his life easier by allowing him to do all of the monitoring and routing required for Crooked Media’s podcasts without added complications.

“When I came to Crooked Media, I upgraded our equipment to feature the two RME units as a core component of both studios,” Seglin said. “I went with RME largely because of TotalMix FX, because it allowed me to do everything that I would do with a large-format console, but without the physical routing connections and massive physical footprint.”

RME’s Fireface UFX+ and TotalMix FX.

Seglin’s studio set up now includes four desk/host mics, which he sends to a separate four-channel mic preamp before feeding it into the Fireface UFX+ via the unit’s ADAT input. Of the four Fireface UFX+ preamps, Seglin plugs a talkback mic into one and a room microphone into another.

“The other two RME preamps are open for whatever needs might arise,” he added. “In addition to the microphones, I have two phone lines coming line-in to the Fireface via a Telos unit, as well as a Skype feed, first using the virtual inputs in TotalMix to run directly off my main computer, then using TotalMix to route that signal wherever I need it to go. I also have a Bluetooth audio receiving unit and an auxiliary input coming into the Fireface through line inputs. All of these things are connected at all times.

“The outputs I use largely to send mix-minus feeds back to phone lines and VoIP lines. I love that the Fireface UFX+ used alongside TotalMix FX gives me the ability to have independent sub mixes for each and every output. Essentially, I can have my studio set up and ready to go with everything in place — and with no need to re-patch anything, due to the flexible, plentiful I/O.”

He continued to praise “the direct USB recording, (DURec) because that eliminated the backup recorder that I used to use in my rack, which was only capable of taping a two-track recording. With the direct USB recording in the Fireface UFX+, being able to record, multi-track, as a backup, independent of what I’m recording into Pro Tools, that’s huge. With the Fireface UFX+, I have all that within one rack space.”