I use an RME Fireface802 USB interface for 7.1 mixing on Pro Tools 12HD.
One of the best accessories I ever bought for my 802 was the original RME Advanced Remote Control, which plugged into the back of my 802 on a proprietary connector. This allows me to fully control the master monitoring volume on my 7.1 rig and also control snapshots of monitoring configurations, through RME's TotalMix software.
As the name suggests, this updated ARC is a USB version of my ARC Remote, that has a proprietary connection and hardwired lead, which although is a decent length, still limits how far away the remote can be from the interface.
Full Backwards Compatibility
The USB version was originally intended just to be used with the newer generation RME UFX interfaces, but RME have decided to make it fully backwards compatible with any RME interface, be it firewire, USB or PCI, that uses their TotalMix Software, so that includes my Fireface802. See how I get on with the RME ARC USB, in the video above.
The ARC USB is a USB 1.1 (UAC1) MIDI remote control, so as soon as it is plugged into the host computer (Windows or Mac), TotaIMix will detect it. TotalMix is available for RME interfaces dating back to 2001, so that's real legacy support! And because it uses a very stable standard, cable run lengths are not so much of an issue.
Indeed I have it working over VirtualHere and plugged into my Network Storage Server, which has the VirtualHere Server installed. This means that the remote can be in a different room, a different building, or indeed a different country! With the RME UFX+ and UFX II interfaces, the ARC USB can also be connected directly to the devices, which is handy in stand-alone mode. It can also control several interfaces simultaneously, which happens automatically as the "Key Commands" selection in TotalMix is specific to whichever RME interface is selected. Functions on the remote can be assigned to only work on specific interfaces or all simultaneously.
Construction wise, this unit is as bulletproof as the original. The only issue I’ve had with my original in four years is that the letters are starting to wear off on my most used buttons. RME have addressed this in the ARC USB by printing the legends below the buttons, rather than on them.
Altogether this is a must-have piece of kit for any RME interface owner, and at only in the region of £110 in the UK currently, is a real no-brainer. I can't imagine being without my ARC remote and the USB version is a big improvement on an already great product.
A hardware remote beats a virtual remote, be it on your host computer or on an app, any day in my book.
A Big Thank You to Synthax Audio for supplying the demo unit.