Some Love for Focusrite Saffire 40

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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milfhuntr
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Some Love for Focusrite Saffire 40

Post by milfhuntr » Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:59 pm

I have been using the M-Audio Profire 610 interface up to this point and been very happy with it running on an iMac. However, the MIDI functionality stopped working with Mavericks and they haven't updated the drivers at all so I am done with M-Audio.

So I picked up a Focusrite Saffire 40 for about 1/2 retail price through Proaudiostar on Ebay. They have this thing where you can make a low offer and they will probably accept it. All in all, it was 1/3 what I paid for my Profire years ago when it was a hot new item.

Installation was a breeze. All I did was load the driver CD, change my preferences in Ableton and it was working, full audio and MIDI transfer by Firewire. It is compatible with Thunderbolt also which my next laptop is bound to have.

As far as performance, it is far louder than the Profire with no clipping, which is amazing. It is completely noise free. Clocking MIDI input and output is very close to 1/1. Certainly with the metronome running, you can both play MIDI into Ableton through it and then play it out of Ableton into your synth with no noticeable time delay. I have a decent processor but not the latest and greatest in the iMac. It also comes with Ableton Lite and quite a bit of other software which I gave to my brother and he was very happy about that.

joeyfivecents
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Re: Some Love for Focusrite Saffire 40

Post by joeyfivecents » Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:48 am

I have used the Saffire Pro 40 for the past 3 years and it has always been rock-solid (except for when I tried to run Windows on Bootcamp with FL Studio but, FL has never played nice with ANY of my audio interfaces). Yes, it works very well with Mavericks and with a Thunderbolt adaptor. And it adds a nice midi port which works great with external instruments in Live. My only complaint is that every now and then, channel 7 input will just stop working.
iMac, MacBook Pro, Live Suite, Reason, Logic Pro, Melodyne, FL Studio, iConnect Audio4+, Little Martin, ukelele, Fender Jaguar, pedalboard, amps, mics .
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eyeknow
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Re: Some Love for Focusrite Saffire 40

Post by eyeknow » Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:49 am

I'm not sure I'm quite as happy with my saffire 14 (which according to focusrite is the same HP amp/pres) sound wise as the profire 610, but I'm much happier with the stability of the drivers. I don't know how it was on your mac but if a host crashed in doze (for any reason) you had to restart the computer or it would bluescreen. Not an issue with the saffire.

eyeknow
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Re: Some Love for Focusrite Saffire 40

Post by eyeknow » Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:49 am

Oh, and the latency is better on the saffire :cool:

milfhuntr
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Re: Some Love for Focusrite Saffire 40

Post by milfhuntr » Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:07 pm

joeyfivecents wrote:I have used the Saffire Pro 40 for the past 3 years and it has always been rock-solid (except for when I tried to run Windows on Bootcamp with FL Studio but, FL has never played nice with ANY of my audio interfaces). Yes, it works very well with Mavericks and with a Thunderbolt adaptor. And it adds a nice midi port which works great with external instruments in Live. My only complaint is that every now and then, channel 7 input will just stop working.
I am thinking of building a PC and I notice they have Thunderbolt on the PC motherboard. Then I went to Focusrite and they do support it with use of an Apple adapter on the PC. Great news.

Harmonic Progression
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Re: Some Love for Focusrite Saffire 40

Post by Harmonic Progression » Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:56 am

Hello. Dumb question from me...

I see 8 inputs on the back of the FS 40. How do they get to 20-in/20-out? Are they counting these 8 inputs as 16 mono?

Thanks.
Desktop: Intel i7 hex-core, 64 GB ram, several SSDs, Focusrite Liquid 56, UAD-2.
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eyeknow
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Re: Some Love for Focusrite Saffire 40

Post by eyeknow » Sun Jul 27, 2014 4:45 am

Harmonic Progression wrote:Hello. Dumb question from me...

I see 8 inputs on the back of the FS 40. How do they get to 20-in/20-out? Are they counting these 8 inputs as 16 mono?

Thanks.
Some of it is spidif/optical. I don't know the exact specs but you'll need a another box to get all the ins/outs.

chrk
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Re: Some Love for Focusrite Saffire 40

Post by chrk » Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:49 am

The interface marketers are always counting the absolute maximum number of I/O a device can handle.
Harmonic Progression wrote:I see 8 inputs on the back of the FS 40. How do they get to 20-in/20-out?
Actually you're seeing only six mic/line combos at the back, counting on from the two mic/line/inst combos at the front,
plus two through s/pdif,
plus up to eight (depending on sample rate) from ADAT - you'll need to buy an ADAT converter to get the corresponding preamps and analog ins and outs,
plus two from the loopback device, that lets you record 'what you hear' from the operating system's audio output, so you can e.g. grab the audio from a browser stream.

jrhillma
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Re: Some Love for Focusrite Saffire 40

Post by jrhillma » Sun Jul 27, 2014 2:01 pm

chrk wrote:Actually you're seeing only six mic/line combos at the back, counting on from the two mic/line/inst combos at the front,
plus two through s/pdif,
plus up to eight (depending on sample rate) from ADAT - you'll need to buy an ADAT converter to get the corresponding preamps and analog ins and outs,
plus two from the loopback device, that lets you record 'what you hear' from the operating system's audio output, so you can e.g. grab the audio from a browser stream.
When I switched from Windows+Sonar to OSX+Live on my 2011 iMac I replaced my aging (but quite decent) Echo Layla 3G with an FS 40. Couldn't be happier with the combination. It's rock solid and sounds pretty good. I have my K2500XS connected via optical SPDIF and sometimes external modules or mics via the combo-jacks. For MIDI I decided to continue with my MOTU box, as it has tons of routing that I didn't think possible with the FS 40.

I wasn't aware of the loopback for grabbing system audio, though. That's intriguing and could be quite useful in non-musical applications (Skype, say). I'll have to dig in to the manual and figure that out. Appreciate the tip!

Dragonbreath
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Re: Some Love for Focusrite Saffire 40

Post by Dragonbreath » Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:57 pm

I have my saffire pro 40 since 2010 and its been rock steady since.
Preamps are very nice and clean enough gain. Like the LED meters alot.
Latency are acceptable but wish I had an RME on that end.

No real complaints execpt maybe that the headphone outs use up some the outs on the back (output 7/8 and 9/10 will always the same outputs as the headphones)

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