The Focusrite preamps have a nice clean sound that makes for transparent recording...
Today, there seems to be numerous FireWire interfaces on the market that are portable and extremely powerful, which is making it increasingly difficult to find the right match for your personal studio.
But Focusrite seems to have raised the bar in this steady trend with their Saffire interface. The Focusrite Saffire handles up to four inputs (2 analog and 2 SPDIF) at 24-bit, 192 kHz with two quality Focusrite preamps. In addition, it has 8 1/4″ balanced outputs for use as separate headphone/monitor mixes or a 7.1 surround mix. And you can easily control all the I/O levels and effects with the included SaffireControl operation software. SaffireControl is intuitive and very simple to use, and it allows for maximum flexibility while tracking and monitoring. Hailing from the same creators of the Liquid Channel host application, SaffireControl comes with real-time effects like EQ, compression, reverb, and amp modeling that all run off the Saffire’s onboard DSP. You can combine effects processing, such as compression, on incoming signals or use the same effects as plug-ins in your mixing session. In addition, you can add foldback reverb on your separate headphone and monitor mixes, which adds a nice bonus to your tracking sessions.
I was able to integrate the Saffire easily with Digital Performer 4.6 to record some music with the Saffire. It was simple to use and produced great results! The SaffireControl software made setting levels easy and provided exceptional headphone mixes during tracking. The Focusrite preamps have a nice clean sound that makes for transparent recording, and the effects are simple to use, while providing incredible results. Plus, there was no added drain on my CPU during tracking; so, I was able to record with effects processing and remain at a lower buffer setting. But the best part is that the SaffireControl can save settings with its two preset modes. This makes setting up for recording sessions a lot easier and saves the time and hassle of trying to reset everything after you start a new session.
Included with the Focusrite Saffire is Cubase LE software that features up to 48 audio and 64 MIDI tracks and supports up to 8 VST instruments. The Saffire also has very low latency and comes with MIDI In, Out, and a switch for Thru. Overall, the Focusrite Saffire has more to offer than just your standard portable FireWire interface. The onboard DSP processing with included effects, quality Focusrite preamps, SaffireControl operation software, and Cubase LE software make it a tremendous value for any studio.