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Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 Professional 20 In/20 Out Firewire Audio Interface with Eight Pre-Amps
|Price:||$279.99 & FREE Shipping|
- Eight high quality, award-winning Focusrite pre-amps provide the best sounding interface in its class
- High-quality 24-bit/96kHz Firewire & Thunderbolt compatible interface provides pristine audio quality and guaranteed reliable synchronization
- Total I/O count of 20 inputs and 20 outputs, with a host of I/O options provided
- Comprehensive software bundle, including the Midnight Plug-in Suite (RTAS/AU/VST), Red 2 & Red 3 Plug-in Suite (AAX/AU/VST), and the Softube Time and Tone Bundle upon registration
- Two separate headphone buses allow two artists to receive independent and fully-customized monitor mixes
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From the manufacturer
Focusrite Saffire PRO 40 Audio Interface
The Focusrite Saffire PRO 40 represents the new generation of Focusrite multi-channel FireWire/Thunderbolt audio interface. It is the best-sounding interface in its class; attentively designed with today's project studio in mind. Focusrite's unparalleled preamp legacy forms the foundation of this new interface, with eight award-winning Focusrite preamps. These are combined with the very latest in FireWire interfacing technology to deliver seamless integration, excellent routing flexibility and future-proof, rock-solid driver stability.
With Saffire PRO 40, sonic integrity reigns supreme. The eight Focusite preamps ensure low noise and distortion, whilst quality digital conversion and JetPLL jitter-reduction technology ensure pristine audio quality as your audio flows between the analogue and digital domains.
Saffire PRO 40 features high quality A-D / D-A conversion and JetPLL jitter reduction technology; pristine audio quality and reliable synchronization are guaranteed. The Saffire PRO 40 is compatible with Thunderbolt ports via the use of Apple's FireWire to Thunderbolt adapter (not included).
- Audio interface featuring eight award-winning Focusrite preamps
- Comprehensive I/O--20 inputs and 20 outputs
- Precision 24-bit/96kHz conversion and pristine analogue audio
- Multiple connectivity options--FireWire or Thunderbolt (Thunderbolt adapter not included)
- FireWire bus-powered
- Dual headphone outputs--multiple monitor mixes
- Comprehensive software bundle, including the Midnight Plug-in Suite (RTAS/AU/VST), Red 2 & Red 3 Plug-in Suite (AAX/AU/VST) upon registration
Total I/O Count of 20 Inputs and 20 Outputs
Alongside the eight Focusrite preamps are a host of additional I/O options; 10 analogue outputs, ADAT I/O, stereo S/PDIF and two virtual 'loopback' inputs for routing digital audio between software applications. Every channel features phantom power, with the first two channels also featuring -9dB pads for additional headroom. Front panel five-step LED metering for each analogue input offers accurate viewing of levels.
Midnight Plug-In Suite
Upgrade your standard sequencer effects and bring a touch of class to your session with all-new Focusrite Compression, Reverb, Gating and EQ VST/AU plug-ins.
All Saffire FireWire and Thunderbolt-compatible interfaces include the Midnight Plug-in Suite as well as the Red 2 & Red 3 Plug-In Suite (AAX/AU/VST) for free upon registration. The Midnight plug-in suite models two of the most iconic Focusrite modules of all time--the ISA110 equalizer and ISA130 compressor--and gives them elegant, functional on-screen front panels for easy control. Accurately modeled on the classic Red 2 EQ and Red 3 Compressor, the Red plug-ins let you exploit the sound of the hardware originals, conveniently from within Pro Tools (10 and above) and other audio software.
Two Separate Headphone Buses
Two independent headphone buses are provided, each with their own level controls available on the front panel. A dedicated stereo monitor mix output features pads for improved sound quality when connected to active monitor speakers. An 'anti-thump' circuit protects your monitor speakers from spikes when booting up or shutting down. Front panel controls include a main monitor dial with dim and mute switches, all of which fully integrate with customizable software to cover every possible monitoring need, providing a set of controls for any set-up from basic stereo to full 7.1 surround.
Saffire MixControl Ultra-Low-Latency DSP Mixer/Router
Featuring routing flexibility and intuitive one-click set-up solutions, Saffire MixControl provides an 18 x 16 DSP mixer with excellent output routing and monitoring capabilities. Saffire PRO 40 is the most flexible interface in its class, able to adapt to any recording session quickly and intuitively. The user is able to route any input signal or DAW output, or a mix of both, to any of the 20 outputs.
The Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 represents the new generation of Focusrite multi-channel firewire audio interfaces. Focusrite's unparalleled pre-amp legacy forms the foundation of this new interface, with eight award-winning Focusrite pre-amps. Legendary sonic performance is combined with the very latest in firewire interfacing technology to deliver seamless integration, excellent routing flexibility, and future-proof, rock-solid driver stability. With Saffire PRO 40, sonic integrity reigns supreme. The eight Focusite pre-amps ensure low noise and distortion, whilst quality digital conversion and JetPLL jitter elimination technology ensure pristine audio quality as your audio flows between the analogue and digital domains. Alongside the eight Focusrite pre-amps are a host of i/o options; 10 analogue outputs, ADAT i/o, stereo SPDIF i/o and 2 virtual ‘loopback’ inputs for routing digital audio between software applications - ideal for capturing online audio. Every channel features phantom power, with the first two channels also featuring -9dB pads for additional headroom. Front panel 5-LED metering for each analogue input offers accurate viewing of levels. Saffire PRO 40 comes with a Suite of Focusrite plug-ins. All-new Focusrite Compression, Reverb, Gating and EQ VST/AU plug-ins provide a significant upgrade from standard sequencer effects, bringing a touch of class to your session. Focusrite’s established xcite+ bundle is also included. The bundle includes Ableton Live Lite, Novation’s Bass Station soft synth and over 1 gig of royalty-free samples. Saffire PRO 40 Control, the zero-latency 18 x 16 DSP Mixer/Router software provided with Saffire PRO 40, sets a new standard at this price point for audio interface control. It features unparalleled output routing and monitoring, as well as intuitive one-click set-up solutions, a clear and concise mixing layout and large on-screen metering for inputs, outputs and submixes. Two independent headphone buses are provided, each with their own level controls available on the front panel. A dedicated stereo monitor mix output features pads for improved sound quality when connected to active monitor speakers. An 'anti-thump' circuit protects your monitor speakers from spikes when booting up or shutting down. Front panel controls include a main monitor dial with dim and mute switches, all of which fully integrate with customisable software to cover every possible monitoring need, providing a set of controls for any set-up from basic stereo to full 7.1 surround.
Top customer reviews
As of right now, I couldn't be happier with my decision to upgrade to the Focusrite. I am currently using WinXP SP3 on an older model Pentium 4 with 2 GB ram - firewire interface.
My Recording experience: I have been dabbling for about 10 years. In the past, I have primarily used audio interfaces with direct-ins for guitars, and ambient for drums. Basically, I record my bands for personal use. I have recently built a dedicated recording studio and intend to get more serious about sound reproduction, possibly expanding out to acoustic/ambient recording for guitars, horns, and other musical instruments.
Pros: My primary uses are the Mic-in/ Mic-out. They accept both XLR and 1/4 inch. There is a fantom power button for inputs 5-8, mute buttons, monitoring levels, etc. So far I have had no issues with the hardware that i've used. I have not used the ADAT, Optical, or MIDI functionality yet, but expect they will be as seamless as the other inputs.
It is worth noting, that the Pre-amps on the focusrite unit are excellent. (Previously, I used the Mackie CFX 20-mkII and connected the 4 sub-outs to the Delta 66 which produced a very good recording with very little to no noise and consistent levels). Everything i have input to the focusrite has been crystal clear (5 different guitar setups, 2 different vocal mics-shure/audiotechnica, audiotechnica base drum mic and overhead ambient mics).
Overall, the functionality of the hardware has been top-notch with crystal clear recording.
Pros: I am still getting used to the functionality with respect to channel routing and controlling the software/hardware. The only limitations I am finding is that I have not been able to spend enough time to fully understand how it all works together. From my limited experience, the channel routing is very versatile. It is possible to route just about anything from anywhere. For example, playback from your DAW can be routed to say output channel 5&6 (in my case, i send these out to a headphone amplifier) where the user can listen to the playback, while recording back into channels, say 1&2, to the DAW on a separate track. At the same time, either signal (input or output) can be monitored to, say output channel 3&4. This allows the soundman listen to either the full playback or just the isolated new track.
A nice feature, that actually works, with this software is that you can save profiles. This allows you to spend some time to get your gear up and running, working the way you want and SAVE the settings that you have. You can simply hit the "save as", give your setup a meaningful profile name, and easily recall it later. This is a real TIME SAVER! The delta 66 software had a similar feature, but never actually worked!!
Again, I haven't had a lot of experience with the focusrite pro40 yet but so far I'm very happy, and impressed with the versatility and features.
Cons: As a personal preference, I'm not crazy about channels 1&2 being on the front of the board. For me, it is clutter on the front of my rack system, and more potential for bumping into chords and possibly wrecking the chord or plug.
I would happily exchange a few of the other "inputs" for more analog ins/outs.
Although I have looked real deep into this, I believe that it is stated that there is an ability to daisy chain two or more of these together. Based on what I have read, you can't really do this yet. Hopefully, Focusrite will iron this out by the time I decide to expand.
There is no Effects loop. There is a simple work around for this, but it would be nice to have that functionality in the unit. I introduced a separate mixer (with sub-standard behringer preamps). By doing this, I can plug (in my case) vocal mics, run my effects loop, then run the main outs back to the Focusrite. Unfortunately, this is bad for at least two reasons: 1. introducing another piece of equipment before the focusrite degrades the recorded sound, especially if the preamps are junk. 2. It adds another piece of equipment that you either have to have laying around, or go purchase.
Cons: So far, I'm pretty happy with the software. Since I have such a low amount of experience with the software, I have nothing really bad to say about it. What I can say is that it is leaps and bounds above the Delta 66 software that I was using.
Although you could probably use this unit in a professional setting, in my opinion this unit is mainly for home users. If your in a professional studio, your likely using something else anyway.
Beginners: If you are a beginner that has never used an audio interface, there will be a moderate learning curve with the Focusrite system. I have a lot of experience with M-Audio, and "brushes" of experience with TASCAM and Pre-Sonus. Based on what I have seen, the beginner is going to have a better overall experience and be more productive with this Focusrite unit. I believe this is a good unit for a beginner because there is enough functionality to grow into, and enough versatility to keep you interested in the unit for years to come.
If you have some experience with other audio interfaces you will be pleased with the sound reproduction, versatility of the software, ASIO drivers, profile saving functionality, channel routing, multi-mix capability, MIDI features, and expansion abilities (if/when they straighten everything out).
Overall, I couldn't be happier with this unit. Focusrite listened to their end-users and produced a nice piece of recording equipment for home users at a fair price.
Would buy it again though - great unit for the price - about as good as you can do without spending a substantial amount more
The sound quality is good, the signal routing flexibility is great.
The inclusion of the Scarlett, Midnight, and Red plug-in suites adds value, although I think the Scarlett plugs sound lousy, and a phase-invert test seems to indicate that the Midnight compressor and the Red compressor are the exact same plug-in with a different skin. However, I do like the Midnight compressor and the Red EQ is useful for a specific kind of sound.
The headphone amplifiers are powerful and sound better than many. The converters are a notable step up from my old ones (I had been using a pair of ADAT XT20s as A/D and D/A converters for using outboard processors with my DAW, and the Focusrite converters are markedly better sounding).
A few areas where there is room for improvement:
- The Saffire MixControl software (required for routing signals and setting headphone and monitor output mixes) is not the most intuitive thing I've used. Once you learn it, you can get it to do what you want it to, but you have to think it through each time a little bit more than I'd like.
- There is not enough headroom on the mic pre's in reference to 0db on the A/D converters. If I turn the gain up on the input for my vocal mic up loud enough to hear myself well enough to sing well, I clip the A/D converters badly. If I turn the gain down to prevent clipping, the mic sound is dead and weak through the headphone output. It isn't the headphone amp, because I can crank other sources/tracks up plenty loud. As such, I am using an outboard hardware mixer connected to the line output channels of the Saffire for my monitor mixing. It would have been nice to do it in the box, and I would rather have had the line outs available to use to patch in outboard rack gear instead of eating them up feeding a hardware mixer for monitoring. When set to prevent clipping, the recorded signals sound fine. It's just a monitoring issue.
-No insert jacks on any of the inputs. I perform better with a compressor on my voice in my monitor mix, yet I always like to track the unprocessed signal. No can do here, unless you use an outboard mixer for monitoring. Even my cheap little old M-Audio Fast Track Pro had a couple of insert jacks.
- Focusrite is very specific in their manual about not turning the Saffire on or off while the computer is powered on, or damage may occur. This is a shame, because I like to leave my computer on all the time, and I don't want to have the focusrite on in my rack all the time.
- The headphone outputs are the same feed as some of the line outputs, so you can't use those particular rear-panel line outs for other signals if you're using the front panel headphone outs.
All that said, it does give me good sound, great routing flexibility, rock-solid stability thus far, and a large number of ins and outs for the $$. So, I'm quite happy with it and recommend the unit.
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