One of the best features of the DMC-842 is its price. The device makes the use of digital microphones affordable, as its price is within the same range as conventional microphone preamp/converter solutions. In addition to its role as an interface, the DMC-842 also acts as a power supply and control device for digital microphones according to the official AES42 standard.
Mode 1 and Mode 2, as specified in the AES42 standard, are currently supported by Neumann, Sennheiser and Schoeps, among others. Mode 1 permits asynchronous operation. Working with several Mode 1 microphones requires the use of SRCs (sample rate converters), which are already built into in the DMC-842. Mode 2 allows microphones to be synchronized. In both modes control data for adjusting gain, polar patterns, hi-pass filter and compression settings can be sent to the microphones. Further functions are specified in the AES42 standard and availability depends on the individual microphone.
In many respects, the DMC-842 is an ideal companion to RME’s Micstasy. Using the same interface connections as the Micstasy (ADAT, AES/EBU, MADI and other optional formats) it ensures problem-free assembly of combined systems for both analog and digital microphones. The DMC-842 even offers analog line level outputs, so there are no problems to include analog devices in the signal chain, e.g. for monitoring purposes.
The DMC-842 can handle standard AES/EBU signals at the same time as the Digital Phantom Power can be switched on or off for individual channels. Thanks to the built-in SRCs, these can even be asynchronous.
To adjust the various microphone parameters, RME includes a Windows-based software application that communicates with the DMC-842 via MIDI. As with Micstasy, the DMC-842 also supports the transfer of MIDI data over MADI as well as over AES/EBU-Signals. All the main microphone parameters are also directly accessible on the unit itself.
The DMC-842 is available in Europe for € 3050,- excl. VAT. In the US the retail price is USD 3999,-. Optionally RME is also offering the unit with an added I64 MADI Card called the DMC-842-M.