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Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 FireWire Audio Interface Reviews
Firstly, in terms of value for money, this is the best of all the interfaces available at the moment in this price band. It packs a multitude of features and somehow manages to keep the price down and the build quality high.
I recently did some 8 channel recording at 96k, and it sounded amazing. The preamps are what you expect from Focusrite: transparent; low noise; crystal clear. The drivers are solid (although I had a couple of problems with the MixControl software hanging, although it carried on recording). The interface, knobs on the front panel and general build quality on the whole thing is superb. I really am pleased to see the 1/4\" inputs on the back are not PCB soldered, which will last you a few years longer than other budget studio manufacturers.
The cons: no bus power (one can\'t really expect that from a full rack unit with 8 preamps anyway); meters on the front panel for the monitor out (it has them for inputs); and this is a personal gripe, so it may not bother anyone else, but it could have done with another ADAT in to boost it to maximum 16 channels of recording at 96k. 12 is pretty great, though!
Overall, a rock solid unit that could well serve as the hub of my portable studio for a few years to come.
I got this unit to route hardware effects from and back into my laptop, as well as to record voice, guitars, etc. and it does what it was meant for with a great sound.
At first I had problems with the firewire connection. Tried several cables but my laptop simply did not detect it. This is not a safire problem in itself. I had to get an XPRESS Card firewire port adapter and it runs smoothly. Unfortunatly this means loosing the XPRESS Card slot wich I also use for UAD2 Express effects. I hope new safire or firewire drivers can solve this.
The only reason I\'m not guiving it a 10 is the focusrite mix control software: not intuitive at all if you have to do routings. It should have a more simple layout, kind of like classic mixing consoles. You should also be alowed to have some anotations or names on the tracks like \"9 Reverb Out\" \"10 Reverb IN\" \"1-Guitar\", \"2-Voice\" etc.
This product is so good even a drummer can use it.
Having done nothing music-wise for over 15 years, I found myself in a local band with very limited rehearsal/playing time (we all have families). I needed something that would let me capture 8+ inputs and drive a PA in real-time. I know my way around a computer, but as an Acoustic drummer I knew little about audio inputs and processing.
The Saffire Pro delivered everything I could ask it to do, very very easily. The mixer section is complex but insanely powerful - and not that difficult to understand when you read the (pleasantly well-written) manual.
Add an ADA8000 to open up the additional 8 inputs and an HA8000 for routing mixes to headphones and you have a relatively inexpensive 16-track mobile unit.
Niggles? Read the section on configuring the monitor knob or you may be slightly confused as to why one button seems to control all outputs (it actually doesn\'t). That\'s about it.
Oh, and if Focusrite could be persuaded to make it run standalone then I would be over the moon. As it stands, all you would need to use it in a live setting would be a laptop.
A very good piece of kit and real value for money.
I don\'t want to say much about this unit - there\'s a million reviews out there - all I will say is, I sold my \'industry standard\' M-Audio Delta 1010 PCI interface and bought one of these, and it\'s pretty much cleared my creative blockage.
If you\'re looking to make a demo with your band, this is a great solution - assuming you\'re a standard modern rock setup, this has all the ins/outs you\'ll ever need, with some great sounding mic preamps (for the price) from some of the pioneers of mic preamp technology. Support for phantom power, pads for noisy inputs, and built in preamps mean all you need to record are some mics, a computer, and this thing.
If you have a laptop, this is the one for you - Firewire connectivity means I\'m no longer tethered to a bulky desktop system and can record anywhere. Like, literally, anywhere. Case in point, there\'s an old concrete fire escape stairwell in my place of work which has amazing acoustics - I set this up on a step, hooked it up to my Macbook, connected a mic and recorded the best-sounding vocals I\'ve ever committed to tape (data??) - who needs expensive reverb plugins??!
The one downside of this unit (if you want to see one) is that it can seem overwhelming at first - the software mixer section is very complicated at first glance, but that\'s only because there\'s SO MUCH functionality built into it. I\'m a relative recording beginner, but even I\'m starting to learn the various ins and outs of the system (with the manual in PDF format on my desktop!). Basically, if you\'re doing simple projects, and you\'re willing to put in a bit of time learning all of the various sections, this unit can do more than you\'ll ever need.
Having bought this to use on my new mac mini, i was really pleased by the build quality of this thing.
Having been using an RME 9652 and 3 ADA8000\'s, i was please to find the sound of the focusrite even cleaner and crisper than my previous PC setup.
The only thing i would say is that, the 2 inputs on the front could have been replicated on the rear of the unit as well and there were no mac drivers on the disc i had with it, but they were easy enough to download from the focusrite site.
Great job focusrite, and great service at Dolphin.
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