When I recently started upgrading my own personal studio, I knew that I would want a piece with top-notch quality, plus versatility to grow over time. The Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 is definitely that piece. It offers six high-quality preamps, plus two of their Liquid preamps that allow me to model other high-end preamps (such as Neve, API, Pultec and Avalon). I particularly like the Focusrite Red 1 and Neve 1073 emulations with a tube mic on vocals. There is also a plethora of additional I/O that will let me add on to my studio as it grows. It's also got two separate headphone busses, which let me create two independent headphone mixes. With the additional benefits of separate line inputs on every channel and a suite of Focusrite plug-ins, the Liquid Saffire 56 has proven to be the perfect choice as the centerpiece of my newly upgraded studio!
I bought a Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 to expand my studio for more inputs. Set-up was easy: plugged it in, downloaded the driver, opened Pro Tools, and voilŗ, Pro Tools immediately recognized the unit. The preamps are clean, and immediately made my drums sound fuller. The Liquid modeling technology is fantastic for record vocals - I have the option to use models based on gear from Avalon, Focusrite, HELIOS, Manley, Milenia, Neve, Pultec, Telefunken, and Universal Audio - and they all sounded fantastic! It's a great aresenal to have in the studio.
Bought this unit around six months ago, as an upgrade from Avid MBox 3 Pro. Yeah, same price range, but a lot more I/O. What can I say....I didn't expect such a huge difference! I was totally blown away! The whole sound got enormously clearer, and the preamps are so great that I stopped using external ones. Maybe, when I get myself a nice Neve 1073, I'd add it to the chain, but otherwise, I don't see any reason not to hoor right into the LS56. Bottom line: Go get it! Now!
Just as advertized
I was in need of a little more I/O in my home studio, and as an RME Babyface user I was shopping for a high quality product but skeptical I could find what I wanted. I had done firewire before and was open to the idea when I found the LS56. The price of the unit made me a bit nervous that it might be cheaply made. WOW... far from it. This unit is solid and the reviews here are not a pile of marketing hooey. This interface is so flexible and user friendly it's incredible. Time save, solid pre's, (the liquids aside), mixing flexibility for everyone in the room! Get one!
High quality and thought-through technology!
Owned one for a few years now, and I'm thoroughly impressed with it. High quality construction, nothing feels cheap. Also the company is on top of updating software. LOVE the ability to playback internally from the interface with zero latency! Thats a HUGE deal for anyone who doesn't own a multi-core processor: works great if your running it from a laptop. You won't go wrong for investing in this powerhouse.
Great box for the price.
It's a beast and the sound quality is great.
Liquid - More like Golden
I have been recording nonprofessionally for 5 years. I have used multiple Mic Pres, from Cheap Tascams, the 2i2, ADAT, 002, 003 and even Presonus StudioLive Pres. This single unit has changed the overall clarity of my recordings. I always thought it was the Mic that did most of the work, but man, the Pres on this thing change everything. The Saffire Mix control is very easy to use, and the Liquid Pre's are great to work with. Everything about this is screams quality. The double Headphone mix is great. Its super easy to set up out of the box and sounds great right away.
A Gradual Learning Curve
Good gear. Period. Liquid Pres...wicked to have. Pre amps...super solid. Gain is tricky coming from my old rig but got the hang of it after playing with it. Saffire mix control is a whole new way to look at your workflow and I am still learning it.
I havent even connected my hardware yet...but I am pleased with this purchase.
Review of Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56
I mostly bought the Liquid Saffire 56 because of the high quality firewire connection, the Clock In and out and the number of I/O's .... in fact I bought it as a step up from the saffire Pro 40 ... I really like the unit .. it it extremely quite and works well ... I am not impressed with their amp simulations .... they are "all right" but do not even come close to real mic preamps [but despite the adds I did buy the 56 believing that] ... but that said ... the high grade clock I/O let you use multiple quality Preamps and input to the 56 with great results ... this is a great buy IF you know what you are going to get ... for that it is excellent ..yes would I recommend it as part of a serious studio ... absolutely!!!
Never let me down
I have had this over a year now thanks to my sales engineer Mike Hammond, and it has never let me down. The liquid preamps really are something special, but also sound great in their own right, without the emulations turned on. The software has done wonders for my mixing workflow, and while the drivers weren't the most stable at first, a year and a few updates has since made this thing rock solid on the digital side of things. This interface really does sound great, and is, in my opinion, the best solution for anyone who wants to make legitimate recordings and mixes without laying down the money for an entire analog vocal chain. I have not once questioned my gear since buying this, it's all the power you need for under $1500.
This is a great interface. Super clean pre's and conversion. Lot's of I/O. The liquid channels are a plus. Actually a whole lot cleaner than what I ever expected. Then add 6 more Focusrite standard pre's. Major bonus! Really like the user interface. Controls for every channel right on the front of the unit. No fumbling with software or a single multi function knob to make fast adjustments.
Chose this unit over the RME for several reasons. 192K conversion, dual headphone outs, 8 Focusrite mic pre's, and Focusrite's reputation.
The liquid channels are an added bonus and much nicer than I expected. Compared the LC to my Avalon 737, the Avalon emulation was spot on.
You can also run multi Focusrite units in tandem in ASIO mode.
Just don't think you can find a better value at this price point. Kudos to Focusrite for upping their game with this unit.
Also chose this over the UA Apollo. Had an Apollo but returned it. Much happier with this unit. Couldn't make the Apollo work for me at all and the one knob control is very frustrating. But I will add that Universal Audio's support is #1. They're fast an very helpful.
Briefly dealt with Focusrite support. Had a bad pot on one of the headphone outs. They were very helpful. Not real speedy...but helpful.
On the other hand, Sweetwater support was extremely fast and accommodating. They remedied the problem immediately.
Many thanks to my Sales Engineer. Jim Watson. He went out of his way to make sure I was happy.
This Focusrite is Sweet
Replaced my older digital console with this interface. Very happy with the unit. More happy with the service I received at Sweetwater. Best sales customer service and best tech support I've experienced. The unit sounds pristine. The software that controls the unit is excellent, flexible and complicated. The variety of inputs was just what I needed... 5 Star Unit
Really like this equipment. I can't believe Focusrite can deliver a package that does so much for such a small price.
I had no problems with setting it up. Everything worked as advertised.
The Saffire Mix Control software was very simple to use and zero latency makes things go smoothly for the talent. The software did hang a couple of times but I think it was a Firewire connectivity problem. It seems to be a bit sensitive to that signal path for sure.
Overall a great package.
Great Rack For Live Instrument Tracking!
I've used this with a MK2 attached for a couple years. Its pretty solid, not super complicated to hook up and run. Mix Control is decent but can be glitchy. Only disadvantage would be that when tracking vocals live, u have to do it dry. Using a plug on your DAW can be used with little latency. Overall clean pre's for the cost. It works if you work it!
The Great Part is that I bought it from SweetWater! Hands down, best service before, during, and after the sale on the planet. HANDS DOWN!
I can't say enough about this interface. It sounds great and the zero latency feature is an incredible improvement over my old Digidesign 003 rack. It sounds better and works perfectly. I have yet to have it lose connection with the computer like the 003 did. I had read the software was hard to learn. I watched a Youtube video on how to use it and was up and running and recording within 30 or 40 minutes. So I don't really know what they are talking about. The two liquid channels are a nice touch and add a warmth to the signal that I enjoy. If you want to move up and record with zero latency, this is the deal for you. I am very pleased.
these features, this price?. . . child please. .
For the amount of I/O you get out of a single unit, this thing is really amazing. Add on top of that some pretty darn great sounding mic pres and it's basically the best deal out there. The conversion is great and the unit is rock solid. One of the best purchases I've made for my studio.
Believe The Hype
Short and sweet !!! This thing is built tough, sounds Fantastic, works perfectly with my Pro Tools 9, & Imac, and looks Awesome doing it !! Rock solid conversion, and even though I've never heard any of the actual units that the liquid pres are emulating, what they do sound like is very sweet to my ears !!! Get one, you will not be disappointed !!!!!
Great value, clean sound, built-in MIDI
Thought I'd compare this with then Motu 896, which I sometimes use. No DSP in the Saffire except for the mic preamps, so if you need eq and/or compression on several tracks, the Motu is the choice. Both have good software, the Saffire being more intuitive to me. I monitor through the interface, and the Saffire excels at this. Very clean sound, and lots of routing options for cue mixes, etc. The Saffire is sturdier, and includes a MIDI interface, which Motu does not. Saffire also has separate XLR mic inputs, so no danger of the phantom power getting shorted by a TRS line connection (of course we all remember to turn it off when not in use). I really like the Saffire and find myself using it the most. Works great with the Neve Portico providing hardware processing in front.
Great sounding interface at a very affordable price. We were using Presonus Studiolive to record with and it worked very well, but this is step up and well worth what I paid for it. The Liquid pre's ave very cool and each setting has its own sound and I'm still exploring them but they are very fun to have. The normal channels are very clean with a slightly warm sound. I'm extremely happy with my purchase and my Sales engineer Patrick... you guys rock
Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56+
#1 it is Great value for the bucks spent #2 it is very carefully designed #3 the sound quality is very refined #4 Rupert Neve's design influence is all over this product. #5 Sweetwater backs this product with their 2 yr. warranty, and they don't talk about service, they do it! #6 It is very versatile and u don't have to spend your life in a patch bay...I threw my patchbay away. it looks like Focusrite got it right!
Very nice Interface I'm still checking it ou. itst working very good and is clean . Running with Pro Tools 10 I love all the inputs.
thanks Dustin and Sweetwater for a speedy delivery
The LS56 is full of great features that make it flexible. There are no other units like it being made for that price. I had a lot of trouble getting it to work right and I noticed on line that a lot of other people did too. I spent weeks talking to technical support staff, other folks that have or did have this unit and gave it up, gear forums, and youtube looking for the answer. When it came down to it, there was no discernible reason for it not to work right that anyone could figure. Worked for some folks, didn't for others. My tactic was to format my hard drive and do a clean install of my OS. Problem resolved. Works really well now and glad I have it.
This thing is awesome. I have musical examples to prove! it!
This is a very dope machine! I use it with ProTools 9! I love all of the emulations. I use it with a MacMini with Lion and it is awesome. Support does suck that's why you should always read up on stuff before you buy. Actually support sucks on anything you buy now a days. One thing about Sweetwater, the sales team is knowledgeable and it will make you confident about buying from this company.
Been very happy with this Interface. While I don't have any reference point to compare the accuracy of the Liquid Preamps... I do like what I hear. I also have a Pro 40 which I liked so much we bought this for the Studio. I use both on the Mac platform so I can't speak to its use on the Windows side. I think the features, flexibility and quality of this interface are far beyond anything in its price range.
A Lot in an little box...
This interface has been great! I went from a Tascam US 1641 and wanted to stay with the 8 mic inputs to have flexibility to record a whole drum kit if I wanted. The Liquid pre amps are an added bonus; so many different tones from those two channels. So far there are absolutely zero latency problems; my small critique would be the Mix Control software is a little over my head but haven't dug into it fully or needed to to use the unit.
Worth all the pain!!!
Ok so Ive had this interface for about 3 weeks now and Ill say this first...this unit is a b***h to hook up and get it communicating with your DAW (for me ProTools 10) but a once you have everything routed correctly....SWEET MARY MOTHER OF GOD!!!! This interface is well worth every penny and the lengthy full blown, cussing out loud, late nights spent hooking it up. Might come easier to others but Im still fairly new (6 years recording). The Liquid Pre's are killer and each one of the 10 different emulations has its own distinct sound and harmonics which you can dial in to your liking. Absolutely love that each channel has its on phantom power button so going between condenser and dynamic mics doesnt require double checking and rechecking to make sure you dont put something like a sm57 on one of the channels that has phantom power. The pre's on the unit sound very clean as well. There is a little noise but nothing that cant be corrected by using a gate and the noise it produces can actually be desired sometimes in different applications. Having two separate headphone jacks is another plus as well as having a monitor dim and mute switch on the front panel. So far to date Ive run a Blue Spark, Rode NT2A and a Neumann TLM 102 through it and it downright sounds awesome on all mics. Worth everybit the asking price!!!
Nice, but lacks support
I really like this piece and what it can do. My biggest frustration with it is that the manual is terrible at explaining how to work it. SO, if you don't know much about using stuff like this it could be really difficult to figure it out. I also looked for different videos on Youtube and other help forums and there isn't much out there to help with getting it set up and learning how to use it. Again, I like what it's capable of, but if you're not familiar with this stuff, good luck figuring out how to use it.
Liquid Saffire 56
This is great! Very easy interface! Sounds great! Hardware is solid!
Improved my recordings / Very Happy
I used a Delta 1010lt interface for years and was unsure if this upgrade was worth it......it was. The conversion quality was noticeably better, the stock preamps are much better, and the liquid pres are pretty good. I'm not sure if they realistically emulate the originals, but they each add a unique and very usable color to the inputs.
I'm still getting a hang of the mix GUI, but even if you don't wish to mess with the countless routing options, you can use the default settings to get up and going pretty quickly while you get the hang of things. My only minor gripe would be the desire to be able to completely bypass the preamps so that I can use outboard gear unfettered, but the onboard pres are pretty transparent so not a dealbreaker.
Overall, I would definitely buy this unit again since I have yet to see another interface as feature-rich, flexible, and clear sounding as this unit.
Extremely satisfied with this product. My sales engineer Josh Sites recommended it for me and it was exactly what I was looking for. This is an absolutely awesome all around interface. The pres are great, the converters are awesome and it works like a charm with Protools. If you want great sound for a great price I would recommend this interface hands down. And the liquid pres are awesome as well Thank You.
Fantastic interface and pres!!
I run a pro recording studio and bought this as my main interface 18 months ago. The A/D converters are crystal clear and very accurate. The preamps sound slightly warm, detailed, and very, VERY good. I constantly use the "Class A 2A" setting on the 2 liquid pre's (which emulate NEVE 1073 pre's) which sound absolutely amazing on drum overheads and acoustic guitars. I even prefer it over the Avalon setting for lead vocals. When I first bought the Saffire 56, it didn't want to stay linked to my computer. I found out that the problem was the quality of my computer's firewire card, so I promptly upgraded to a high-end Siig firewire card and the interface fas never faltered ever since. I mean ROCK solid stability. Focusrite's website has a list of firewire cards that have proven to be compatible with the saffire interfaces. Do yourself a favor and buy one. There is simply NO BETTER INTERFACE FOR THE MONEY, if at all. I like it so much that I expanded it by adding two saffire pro 40's to the ADAT inputs so I can use all 24 mic pres and also have 3 different sets of S/PDIF sends and returns. Sweet deal!!
I was looking for an interface that was high quality and had lots of I/O for flexibility. I researched a lot on this interface and saw that it had great reviews, met a lot of my needs, and offered more for the money than oher interfaces at this price point. This interface definitely delivers in all aspects. Great sound quality. I haven't messed around with routing headphone mixes, but the interface is very easy to use with MixControl. The Liquid pres are a great tool to have. All of the pres are very clean and have low noise. The first recording that I did with the interface produced the best mix I have done so far. I also recorded a live jam and it sounded great too. Highly recommended.
Awesome value, but hopeful for future upgrades
This interface looks great in my rack, and sounds better than my old Digi002 interface. The preamps seem to be a bit more clean and "open" sounding than my Digi002 interface, but they aren't too sterile sounding. The Liquid preamps don't offer near the capabilities of my old Liquid Channel, but with what options they have, they sound great (and thankfully, Focusrite included the preamp models that i use most!) The word clock, spdif, and adat connections really help integrate this nicely into a digital studio.
The interface layout is nice, and the monitoring section is really a standout, a major upgrade from my old interface. The total amount of i/o is really awesome also, allowing for future expansion easily.
The included monitoring and routing software is really awesome, and has a ridiculous amount of flexibility. With that said, it is not quite as intuitive as I think it could be, the documentation in the manual is minimal, and it would have been REALLY nice if they would have thought to include some basic DSP powered effects for use in the headphone mix while tracking - a basic compressor, eq, and reverb would have been a nice idea, and i hope they consider adding that in the future.
All in all, this is a fantastic value, excellent sounding, and capable of professional work. The interface is robust, expandable, and pretty well thought out. The software is powerful, but really could use a little tweaking to make it more intuitive, user friendly, and effective. Not that i'm dying to use the free plugins, but i am also a little surprised that they don't have RTAS compatible plugins in the package yet, as Pro Tools has been compatible now with this interface for plenty of time for them to have made that happen.
The Gear is the best and so is Mac Hatton, as usual !!!!!!!!!!!!
The Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 is Fab, the best, you can't get any better.
I own and run my own studio for my personal music,and I'm telling you
that I demand nothing but the best, I mean the very best when I record..............
Liquid Saffire 56 makes my Mics sound like a million dollars, I use
5 to 10 thousand dollar microphones when I record, so do the math,
It's totally unbelievable, what a great rack to use..........
Also my friend Mac Hatton who works at Sweetwater is the best,
he always tells me the truth on all of the gear that I'm interested in
buying, he's never done me wrong, ever and thats the truth...................
Thanks Mac and Sweetwater, your the best in the BIZ...........
Worth every penny and more...
I recently upgraded to the Liquid Saffire 56 about a month ago. I have been locked away in my studio ever since, enjoying working with this outstanding piece of kit. It worked perfectly out of the box and the Liquid pre-amps have opened up a whole array of recording options. I can't say enough about this gear!
Ive had this unit for 10 months now, and i must say it is the best sounding interface ive used yet. the pres are great (best ones on any interface i ve used. The mixer takes a while to get get started but configured its a breeze. I also have a liquid mix 16 which is also great. I would recommend this unit for anyone serious about his or her music.
I replaced an M-Audio Project Mix with this. I had no idea all that I had been missing. This unit is worth every penny. Quality build, properly functioning software, amazing sound, great flexibility...it has it all.
Great Preamp and Converters
I recently ordered this product and was impressed with the quality of the preamps. I am a musician/ producer and I have been doing studio work for years now; particularly I produce for Chevon Corlew and Jeremiah 29:11 and recently did our traking in Mark Colemanís studio. After listening to the Liquid Preamps, I was impressed with the clarity of the vocals compared to the top end preamps (bang for the bucks). I upgraded from a Tascam 1641 interface and Bluetube preamp to this baby. Note, you can get quality sound from lower end equipment but you have to work that much harder to achieve the results you can easily achieve the results (plus the quality will plateau based on the quality of equipment).
You will get latency if you have sound coming from interface and DAW at once. I set the setting (donít remember off top of head) to zero latency recording and mute the track on the daw to deal with that if an issue.
I also love the customer service from sweetwater (best so far) and the fast and great shipping service.
Good: It sounds very good. The liquid channels are pretty cool. It offers a ton of features for a stand alone unit!
Bad: The drivers are a bit unstable as at times it randomly disconnects itself. Focusrite's tech support is the worst I have ever seen. There is no way to contact them via phone at all, which is totally absurd after you just spent a grand on one of their products. Everything has to be over email and their answers are vague at best. I hope someone at focusrite reads all the reviews online that say that same exact thing.
Night and Day...
I had a Project Mix (horrible!)...I say had because it's on E-bay now after getting this. Wow! I now have sounds and not noise. I've only been recording for about 5 years in my project studio, and I added the S56 because I wanted to upgrade my audio. The Liquid Channels are great.
If you are like me, just getting into recording and producing, and you are looking for a game-changer for you - you can't go wrong with this. I use Studio One and PT9.
The best bang for my buck so far - thanks Sage!
Just plain impressed..
I needed a firewire recording interface for a mobile recording rig and had been looking at many alternatives before i called sweetwater for advice. Originally i wasn't too fond of the idea of a 2U rack space unit since i wanted to keep the portable rack as small as possible but in the end it was well worth it! Setup was easy, the mix control can be a little intimidating at first but once you know where everything is you realize the routing possibilities that this thing can bring are quite impressive. I already own a focusrite octopre mkII therefor i knew what to expect from the pre's, good clean sounding pre's. The surprise came from the liquid pre's which really sealed the deal for me. I tested them while recording a jam session with my band using the liquid pres on the drums with the recorder man technique and i was blown away by how it sounded with such a simple setup. I almost want another one for my home studio!
Perhaps the only down point i can think of its the lack of stand alone mode but apart from that this interface is just rock solid. With its powerful routing, 2 independent headphone outs, all the connectivity you could ever need to expand your studio, 2 impressive sounding liquid pre's and now full support with pro tools 9, i am positive there is nothing that can beat this unit at this price range. Thank you Trent for recommending me this fantastic unit!
Focusrite Saffire 56
After having one for a year.. The warranty ran out and the motherboard in the unit is fried. Stay away from this unit.. I was talked into buying one.. Don't do it. If I can help anyone out there all the better. Support from Foucsrite is the worst. Pre amp gain is at 9 and will over distort on vocals. Liquid emu are not even close.
Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 Saved me
Sounds much better than the 003. Just got the one 3 days before Pro Tools 9! Wow!! It sounds great. The Liquid Pre-amps gives me additional options to color my sound to my liking. It has replaced my Digi 003. Did I mention zero latency monitoring. My vocalist now nail their sessions in fewer takes.
In Pro Tools 9 I mute the track that is being recorded so the sound won't play back during recording.
Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56
I've had the Liquid Saffire 56 for several months now.
First of all, the liquid preamps are really neat. At first the emulations sounded all the same, but when I pushed the phase switch in, that's when I could hear the differences. It gives me a lot of possibilities. It's not going to top the real thing but it's the next best thing.
The other six preamps are pretty good.
The AD/DA conversion gets the job done. There is better, but it'll cost you a pretty penny more.
The drivers are very stable so far (I'm using Windows XP Pro) and it works flawlessly with Sonar 8 Producer.
In a sum up, I'd say this is one of the best pieces of equipment made by Focusrite.
This is really a great unit. The pres themselves sound incredible. I have this unit paired with a Blue Baby Bottle and I absolutely love it. What really sets this unit apart from other interfaces are the Liquid Pres on the first two channels. This thing is easy to use and well worth the money. It's expandable, has input meters and a well designed software mixer. Using this interface with Logic 9 has been one of the best investments I've ever made.
You Aint Got One
I have owned alot of interfaces from fire studio's to mboxes to 003's to M-audio(the worst), but this thing is unlike anything I have ever owned. Great A/D/A a ton of I/O's, Focusrite Pre's, and Liquid Technology what else can you ask for. I know A lot of people go all technical on these reviews but I want. Here is the skinny every since I got this thing I have yet to have a negative comment on my vocal chain, and that is what matters when running a home studio or any studio for that matter.
P.S. Hip Hop producers might wanna check out the silver 2 emulation its close enough to the 737 avalon that Dre uses.
liquid Saffire 56 is on fire!!
My sound has changed from project studio sound to a million dollar ssl/neve studio sound....lol
Seriously This unit is really the truth! Can't go wrong If you get one in your studio. My mixes has more space and depth and the vst plugins are amazing. I love this Unit and will be getting another one for my other studio!
I'm using this with sonar 8 - 256 samples at 5.3 mil second latency. Everything has been very stable since tweaking it a bit. Was trying to run 128 samples but getting pops. I'm very happy with 5.3 latency. I love the preamps and all the in/out possibilities. It allows me to route my external processors. I had an m audio nrv10 before - the focusrite preamps are much better and the unit has a fuller and wider sound. Much better a/d conversion in my opinion. The liquid pre amps are fun. They do all sound different but subtle.
I definitely recommend this product!