Logic Studio apps Duet, ultralite, fireface for Mainstage


New Member
Hi all,
I need some advice on choosing the lowest latency interface to use live with Mainstage. Currently I have used a Behringer uca202 at home while setting up mainstage but now want to invest in something rock solid for live performance.

My short list has now been narrowed down to:
Rme fireface UC
MOTU ultralite hybrid mk 3
Apogee duet 2

Can anybody please give me any feedback on these interfaces, and if they use them what sort of latency figures they are reliably achieving.

I will be using mainstage for playing synths live (exs24, es2 etc), and for receiving a vocal and guitar feed for my in ear monitors. These I would also like to run within mainstage rather than routing via the interface software (cuemix, totalmix) . If anybody is doing the same and has a different set up please could they also give me a few pointers.

Thank you


I use the RME Firefaces 800 and 400 for studio and stage. Fixed routing in Totalmix. The interfaces are very good and latency is not something to talk about. I am on a 512 buffer anyway.

As with all interfaces, be careful to prepare your rack for transport. Usually the audio jackets aren't screwed to the case but just soldered to the board. The Firewire 800 jacket may break out if you don't secure the Firewire cable (mine did).
RME tend to not only sound better than the other 2, but they have much better and more flexible drivers. Love their gear, always my first recommendation when I am asked by a client (if you go to my www.georgetechguru.com you can see who a few of these people are...).

RME= Fantastic gear.
FWIW, I too use an RME Fireface interface (the Fireface UC) and reliably get less than 9ms delay round trip at a sample rate of 44.1kHz and sample buffer of 128. And that's USB, so FW may be even better. Also, that's "round trip"-meaning guitar note into Fireface, through Logic/Mainstage, back out the speaker. If all you're doing is playing a MIDI controller (synths) and getting sounds out of Mainstage, that's not a round trip, that's a one-way trip, and you can cut that in half.

The truth is, I personally believe that any latency under 10ms is undetectable in normal performance (it's like standing _x_ number of feet away from an amp, etc). So even if the other devices don't have quite as low latency as the RME, it won't matter, it will be good enough.

The real question is, like both George and Peter note, how solid are the drivers and how does the unit sound? I'm only familiar with the RME of the three you picked, but I can vouch for both the quality of the drivers, and of the unit.

Hi guys,

Thank you all for the great feedback. I had a feeling that the RME would be the recommendation as I have read lots of good stuff about them, (I guess the extra expense will be worth it from what yo have all said.

I have been thinking about it today and may go for the babyface instead to save some money as it is about £300 less than the fireface. I guess the drivers will be the same? As it has 2 inputs and 4 outs it will actually be enough for what I need for live use, and will give me a great sound! :)

Thanks again