RME was founded in 1996 in Haimhausen, Germany. They specialise in high-end digital audio products, designing and manufacturing a range of USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt and PCI / PCIe audio interfaces. They also have a range of analog-to-digital & digital-to-analog (AD/DA) converters, digital audio format convertors and microphone preamps too.
Over the past 20 years, RME has earned a distinguished reputation for having the most stable and reliable audio drivers available for both Mac and Windows systems. Their audio interfaces rank amongst the best regarding low latency performance, digital clocking technology and A-D / D-A converters.
Key developments by RME include the Fireface 800, released in 2004 - it was the first ever Firewire 800 device. The MadifaceXT released nearly 10 years later in 2013 was the first USB 3.0 audio interface. The MadifaceXT can run up to 394 channels, mainly via MADI - a protocol vastly utilised by RME. Also of note is the Fireface UFX- a Firewire 400 and USB 2.0 interface that is capable of running 60 channels of I/O comfortably. To mark their 20th anniversary, RME released the UFX+ which is a 188-channel USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt interface featuring all-new analog convertors and mic-preamp designs.
RME uses Field Programmable Gate Array chips (FPGA) at the core of most of their audio interfaces. This has allowed them to maximise both channels counts within the available bandwidth of limited protocols such as USB 2.0 and Firewire 400, and it also makes their devices easily upgradeable. In recent years, RME has further developed Total Mix (audio-interface GUI) into Total Mix FX. Total Mix FX is an extremely diverse and comprehensive virtual mixing system that gives you access to all I/O and the ability to route any input to any output. The FX section offers RME EQ and Dynamics processors on every channel, plus Reverb and echo FX are available too.
RME have recently acquired ALVA cables, which manufacture most of their breakout and other proprietary cables. They are a company that has continued to deliver intelligent and innovative audio solutions, that are very high quality at modest prices. The RME mantra has been to create innovative products for the professional audio industry, drawing from a diverse range of technical and artistic backgrounds. Core personnel include electrical engineer and head of developments Matthias Carstens, digital designer and engineer Stephan Flock; who is also a concert pianist with a classical music degree, and brothers Uwe Kirst & Martin Kirst - early pioneers of the company's first PCI cards, Hammerfall products and firewire interfaces.